Skip to Content

Communications & IT

Developments in computing and communications


Smart Grid Using TV “white space”

Written by , on June 25, 2010

The Plumas and Sierra Counties in California are testing a smart grid using the television broadcasting system’s "white space". "White space" is the part of the broadcast spectrum left vacant when television broadcasting is switched from analogue to digital. It can transmit data significantly faster than the current standard Internet Wi-Fi, and can be broadcast […]  Read more »

How Much Electricity Does the Internet Really Use?

Written by , on June 22, 2010

The media is fond of quoting claims that the internet will soon be using more power than the airline industry, that it will consume half of all the electricity produced or that two Google searches release as much CO2 as boiling a kettle of water. The Google search myth arose from a Times article in […]  Read more »

PC Software to Cut Power Usage

Written by , on May 12, 2010

A company called MiserWare Inc, which is a spinoff from Virginia Tech, has launched a free program for Windows and Unix which is claimed to reduce power usage by 30%. The program, called Granola, saves energy by applying dynamic voltage and frequency scaling to the CPU of the system. When a user is reading a […]  Read more »

Worldwide Race for Smart Grids

Written by , on February 4, 2010

A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using two-way digital technology to control appliances at consumers’ homes to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability and transparency. Many governments see it as a way of addressing energy independence, global warming and emergency resilience issues. The United States Department of Energy estimates that modernization […]  Read more »

Smart Grid Will Be Far Bigger Than the Internet

Written by , on May 20, 2009

Cisco Systems Vice President, Marie Hattar, estimates that the "smart grid" could be 100 times, or even 1,000 times, the present size of the Internet. The smart grid is a modernised electricity network which would deliver electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability. Over time, people’s […]  Read more »

Another Reason to Hate Spam

Written by , on April 22, 2009

Internet security company McAfee has released a report which says that 62 trillion junk emails were sent in 2008. Spam makes up around 97 percent of all email traffic. McAfee estimates that the electricity wasted by this much junk email would be sufficient to power 2.4 million US homes.  Read more »

Networked Fridges Could Smooth Power Demand

Written by , on February 4, 2009

The CSIRO has developed a way to network household and commercial fridges together in a way that lets them ‘negotiate’ with each other the best time to consume electricity. According to Sam West, an engineer at the CSIRO. “A lot of people don’t realise that fridges cycle on and off regularly, which means you’ve got […]  Read more »

Use Your Idle Computer Capacity to Help Develop Cheaper Solar Power

Written by , on December 9, 2008

Scientists at Harvard University and IBM are hoping to harness the power of a million idle computers to develop a new, cheaper form of solar power. Researchers have launched the project using IBM’s World Community Grid, which taps into volunteers’ computers across the globe to run calculations on a myriad of compounds — potentially shortening […]  Read more »

Free “Intelligent” Fridges for UK

Written by , on December 4, 2008

The UK government is about to give away three thousand free "intelligent" refrigerators. The fridges, which will adapt their power use to the ebb and flow of demands on the national electricity grid, are to be given away in a trial by the UK government next year. A report from the Department of Energy and […]  Read more »

Electricity Grid Proposals

Written by , on November 13, 2008

The Australian electricity grid includes three major sections which are not connected: the so-called National Electricity Maket, linking all of the east coast and South Australia the Western Australian grid in the south west of Western Australia, centered on Perth and the Pilbara local grid serving the mining area in the north west. Associate Professor […]  Read more »