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Germany generates 74% of power needs from renewable energy [impactlab.net]

Germany’s impressive streak of renewable energy milestones continues, with renewable energy generation surging to a record portion — nearly 75 percent — of the country’s overall electricity demand by midday last Sunday. With wind and solar in particular filling such a huge portion of the country’s power demand, electricity prices actually dipped into the negative for much of the afternoon, according to Renewables International.

In the first quarter of 2014, renewable energy sources met a record 27 percent of the country’s electricity demand, thanks to additional installations and favorable weather. “Renewable generators produced 40.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, up from 35.7 billion kilowatt-hours in the same period last year,” Bloomberg reported. Much of the country’s renewable energy growth has occurred in the past decade and, as a point of comparison, Germany’s 27 percent is double the approximately 13 percent of U.S. electricity supply powered by renewables as of November 2013.

via Germany generates 74% of power needs from renewable energy | Impact Lab.

How Helsinki Became the Most Successful Open-Data City in the World [theatlanticcities.com]

HELSINKI, Finland — If there’s something you’d like to know about Helsinki, someone in the city administration most likely has the answer. For more than a century, this city has funded its own statistics bureaus to keep data on the population, businesses, building permits, and most other things you can think of. Today, that information is stored and freely available on the internet by an appropriately named agency, City of Helsinki Urban Facts.

There’s a potential problem, though. Helsinki may be Finland’s capital and largest city, with 620,000 people. But it’s only one of more than a dozen municipalities in a metropolitan area of almost 1.5 million. So in terms of urban data, if you’re only looking at Helsinki, you’re missing out on more than half of the picture.

Helsinki and three of its neighboring cities are now banding together to solve that problem. Through an entity called Helsinki Region Infoshare, they are bringing together their data so that a fuller picture of the metro area can come into view.

That’s not all. At the same time these datasets are going regional, they’re also going “open.” Helsinki Region Infoshare publishes all of its data in formats that make it easy for software developers, researchers, journalists and others to analyze, combine or turn into web-based or mobile applications that citizens may find useful.

via How Helsinki Became the Most Successful Open-Data City in the World – Olli Sulopuisto – The Atlantic Cities.

I Know Where You Were Last Summer: London’s public bike data is telling everyone where you’ve been [vartree.blogspot.co.uk]

This article is about a publicly available dataset of bicycle journey data that contains enough information to track the movements of individual cyclists across London, for a six month period just over a year ago.

I’ll also explore how this dataset could be linked with other datasets to identify the actual people who made each of these journeys, and the privacy concerns this kind of linking raises.

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that there is a publicly available Transport For London dataset that contains records of bike journeys for London’s bicycle hire scheme. What may surprise you is that this record includes unique customer identifiers, as well as the location and date/time for the start and end of each journey. The public dataset currently covers a period of six months between 2012 and 2013.

What are the consequences of this? It means that someone who has access to the data can extract and analyse the journeys made by individual cyclists within London during that time, and with a little effort, it’s possible to find the actual people who have made the journeys.

via The Variable Tree: I Know Where You Were Last Summer: London’s public bike data is telling everyone where you’ve been.

Robert Skidelsky revisits the Luddites’ claim that automation depresses real wages. [project-syndicate.org]

Robert Skidelsky revisits the Luddites' claim that automation depresses real wages. - Project Syndicate

The Luddites’ rampage was at its height in 1811-12. An alarmed government sent in more troops to garrison the disturbed areas than were then available to Wellington in the Peninsular War against Napoleon. More than a hundred Luddites were hanged or transported to Australia. These measures restored peace. The machines won: the Luddites are a footnote in the history of the Industrial Revolution.

Historians tell us that the Luddites were victims of a temporary conjuncture of rising prices and falling wages that threatened them with starvation in a society with minimal welfare provision. The Luddites, however, blamed their misfortune on the machines themselves.

via Robert Skidelsky revisits the Luddites’ claim that automation depresses real wages. – Project Syndicate.

Web TV – TV Digital Educativa

Web TV - TV Digital Educativa

Los nuevos ambientes de aprendizaje están diversificando la oferta formativa, dando lugar a experiencias innovadoras. Los entornos virtuales de formación generados mediante LMS, extendidos en la educación formal y que promueven diversidad de experiencias de e-learning, han de ser revisados. Mientras, la evolución del software social permite nuevas formas de interacción y comunicación más horizontal, generando otros entornos como redes sociales y comunidades virtuales. Como sistema integrador entre el entorno virtual institucional utilizado para distribuir cursos y este entorno más informal que ofrecen redes sociales y comunidades virtuales de aprendizaje, aparecen los entornos personales de aprendizaje.

Web TV – TV Digital Educativa.

Of weaknesses of social plateforms in political debates | Des faiblesses des plateformes sociales dans les débats politiques « plerudulier

I won’t beat about the bushes for long: Only one week away from second round of presidential elections taking place in this country I can’t say I’m that impressed by social plateforms for relaying anything but noise in the debate.

Je ne vais pas tourner autour du pot longtemps: à seulement une semaine du second tour des élections présidentielles qui auront lieu dans ce pays, je ne peux pas dire que je suis impressionné par les plateformes sociales qui n’ont fait que relayer du bruit dans le débat.

Of weaknesses of social plateforms in political debates | Des faiblesses des plateformes sociales dans les débats politiques « plerudulier.

BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Material World, 19/04/2012

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Material World, 19/04/2012

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Material World, 19/04/2012

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Material World, 19/04/2012

This week, new research number crunching millions of bits of data on breast cancer has allowed scientists to reclassify the disease into 10 different subtypes. They say this is a huge break though which will lead to new treatments and improve outcomes for women with the disease. The lead author of the Cancer Research UK study Carlos Caldas explains its impact.

The maths of politics. Stand up Mathematician Matt Parker and professor of theoretical physics Andrea Rapisarda look at the role mathematics plays in elections and the way politicians behave. Andrea argues political decisions would be improved if politicians were selected at random rather than elected, but Matt sees the mathematical flaw in electoral systems, which he likens to rolling a dice – one where the voters hardly ever get the outcome they wish for.

Its 40 years since British scientist Godfrey Hounsfield invented the CT scan. This multilayered use of x ray imagery has revolutionised the diagnosis of internal health problems and is used worldwide. We speak to Liz Beckmann, one of Godfrey Hounsfield’s former colleagues and the co author of a new book on his life and work, out this week; ‘Godfrey Hounsfield: Intuitive Genius of CT’

via BBC – BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Material World, 19/04/2012.

BBC News – Meeting the ‘new homeless’ on Greece’s freezing streets

In the heart of central Athens, a stone’s throw from the city’s glorious ancient sites, another face of today’s Greece is on show.

Hundreds weave their way around the small, bare courtyard of the municipal soup kitchen, queuing patiently.

Visitors have gone up by a quarter in the past few months as homelessness here reaches new heights.

“This centre was founded years ago to face the problems that exist in every big city – people addicted to drugs, alcohol and so on,” says Dimitra Nousi, the director of the project.

“But suddenly it became somewhere that has to face the poverty of the crisis.

“It’s a completely different phenomenon – we’re still shocked about it.”

via BBC News – Meeting the ‘new homeless’ on Greece’s freezing streets.

EU budget: what does the European Union spend and where does the money come from? | World news | guardian.co.uk

Where does the European Union get its money from‚ and how does it spend it?

With an annual budget of over €122bn, the EU is an economic power in its own right, more significant than many countries. So, how do those finances break down? This latest detailed data – from 2010 – shows where the hard cash goes – and where it flows from. As part of our Europa series, we wanted to look at how the figures break down.

Extracted from the EU budget site, we’ve gone for the most detailed recent numbers.

Most of the EU’s money comes from member nation contributions, €108.5bn in 2010. It’s not completely straightforward – especially if you use the UK as an example.

Où va l’Union européenne avoir son argent, et comment faut-il dépenser?

Avec un budget annuel de plus de € 122bn, l’UE est une puissance économique de plein droit, plus importante que de nombreux pays. Alors, comment ces finances se répartissent? Les dernière données détaillées - à partir de 2010 - montrent où les espèces sonnantes et trébuchantes vont - et d’où elles proviennet. Dans le cadre de notre série Europa, nous avons voulu voir comment les chiffres se décomposent.

Extrait du site de budget de l’UE, nous avons opté pour les numéros les détails les plus récents .


La plupart de l’argent de l’UE provient de contributions des États Membres, 108.5bn en 2010. Ce n’est pas tout à fait simple - surtout si vous utilisez le Royaume-Uni comme un exemple.

via EU budget: what does the European Union spend and where does the money come from? | World news | guardian.co.uk.

Piracy is part of the digital ecosystem | Monday Note

Take a look at the figures below, which shows the peak bandwidth distribution between the US and Europe. You will notice that the paid-for Netflix service takes exactly the same amount of traffic as BitTorrent does in Europe!

via Piracy is part of the digital ecosystem | Monday Note.

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