Archive for the 'economy' Category
I had recently mentioned some practices in killing animals for meat production via socalled CO2 anesthesia. In this context it should be mentioned that there seem to exist also certain killing practices where the animal is not killed for consumption or disease prevention but in order to ensure something which some might interpret as “meat quality”.
There was recently an article in the german magazine Spiegel Online about a company here in Brandenburg which was in charge for duck mast. Activists had secretly filmed their practices. The breast of the specially fed ducks became so heavy that they partially couldn’t get back on their feet by themselves (warning: video behind the link). Moreover ducks which were not able to run fast and long enough (or which couldn’t get back on their feet by themselves) were slain with a pitchfork (warning: video behind the link). As the article says these marathon-slew practices seem to be illegal in Germany, but of course as one can see they seem to be not so easy to control, moreover there are countries where those practices seem to be legal.
As a matter of fact there seem to exist also cultural differences in mast practices. Like when I was working in Japan I met a woman from Bangladesh (a country which, as the reader probably knows, struggles with malnutrition and population growth), which did her Ph.D. on how to adjust nutrition for chickens in order to boost the size of chicken thighs, as apparently especially the thighs are very popular in Bangladesh. I didn’t ask her though about the use of tannery-scrap poultry feed because I didn’t know about this practice back then.
The attentive randform reader knows (see posts here and here) that Tim and me did an interactive visualization in which temperature stations and their data from a socalled “CRUTEM 4 surface temperature data collection” where displayed on a globe. In the posts it was already found that the data collection “deteriorated” in the last years, i.e. that there were fewer and fewer temperature data, especially in certain regions, available. There is now a post on the blog Azimuth by me in which I give also an overview about other data sets and visualizations, in particular I refer also to all data sets which were used by the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for their 4th assessment report, i.e. the report which was a major policy informer in the past recent years. In the blog post I just state what I have found and you can make up your mind about the state of data yourself. I state my opinion though in the comments to that blog post.
There was recently a post on Gamasutra with the title: Titanfall: Why Respawn is punishing cheaters. The computer game Titanfall is a First person shooter that can be played with a couple of people in one environment. Wikipedia describes it as follows:
Players fight either on foot as free-running “Pilots” or inside agile mech-style walkers called “Titans” to complete team-based objectives on a derelict and war-torn planet as either the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) or the Militia.
I don’t know Titanfall (In general I have been playing first person shooters rather rarely) but what apparently happened was that there where too many people cheating in the game.
In the post it isn’t really described what exactly is implied by cheating, but what I refer from the “punishment” announcement, I think what was happening was that some people used game bots and in particular socalled aimbots, which are software solutions which make shooting easier in such a game. From the Titanfall announcement:
You can play with other banned players in something that will resemble the Wimbledon of aimbot contests. Hopefully the aimbot cheat you paid for really is the best, or these all-cheater matches could be frustrating for you. Good luck.
I was asking myself though wether this action is part of some viral marketing campaign. That is that some cheaters could think that it could be way cooler to “win the Wimbledon of aimbot contests” rather than the usual game. Given that Titanfall had however performance problems which as it seems where due to overloaded game servers and connections, it doesn’t though look as if this would improve with aimbot contests.
In this context:
In a citation about a report by a tech- and investment-advisory firm in the time article: The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy
In his report, Mills estimates that the ICT system now uses 1,500 terawatt-hours of power per year. That’s about 10% of the world’s total electricity generation
The New York times article: Power, Pollution and the Internet remarks the following about e.g. US data centers:
Nationwide, data centers used about 76 billion kilowatt-hours in 2010, or roughly 2 percent of all electricity used in the country that year, based on an analysis by Jonathan G. Koomey, a research fellow at Stanford University who has been studying data center energy use for more than a decade. DatacenterDynamics, a London-based firm, derived similar figures.
A summary of the last IPCC report about climate change and global warming.
In Berlin there is currently the International games week Berlin.
Glowlum tapping along a dull wire, artwork by Hucky Finn, oil on canvas, inspired by a photography by Baertels, www.plainpicture.com.
There have been quite some discussions here in Germany about the revelations about the surveillance of ordinary citizens and the protection of ordinary citizens data in general.
While updating my post about taxes in Greece and their semantic accessability, I looked at some current projects in “big data” and statistics and found an interesting application called Rapid Miner LOD Extension (I haven’t tried it though), which allows to do operations on linked open data (LOD) (see e.g. the european gateway to LOD) via the data mining program Rapid Miner.
The Rapid Miner LOD extension was amongst others used by the winners of the Semantic Statistics Challenge. The winner’s slideshare link hosts some examples, like maps which investigate the correlation between unemployment and police stations in France, which display a bit the capabilities of the involved programms and databases.
According to the notice “NBS signs data agreement with hi-tech firms” on Chinadaily there is also a lot going on in China:
The National Bureau of Statistics teamed up with 11 high-tech firms to use big data technology in the collecting, processing and analyzing of important statistics.
Under this partnership, the bureau and the 11 companies will co-develop a standard on how to use big data in statistics.
So it will be interesting to see wether some of this high tech data will enter the Linked open data pool and wether we will get to see soon some interesting visualizations of it.
John Baez has a new blog post about Europe using wood burning for energy generation. My comment to the blog post is rather detailled and it is also a comment to the currently ongoing debate in Berlin about how to organize its energy supply. This debate was initiated by the socalled Berliner Energietisch (unfortunately not yet in english) so I thought I should maybe post the comment also here.