ACOA provides $1.5M for Summerside solar energy project

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ACOA provides $1.5M for Summerside solar energy project

ACOA provides $1.5M for Summerside

solar energy project

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Solar farm will be installed at Credit Union Place

Solar Panel Map

The federal government has stepped in with some money for a large solar energy project on P.E.I.

ACOA is providing a grant of $1.5 million for a solar energy gathering and storage system at Credit Union Place, the major sports

facility in Summerside.

The project will reduce the city’s reliance on carbon-based energy production.

“The city of Summerside’s Smart Storage demonstration project is an excellent example of the sort of innovative solutions that

will drive our economy into the future,” said Navdeep Bains, the federal minister responsible for ACOA, in a news release.

The total cost of the project has been previously estimated at $3 million, and the city has said it is willing to contribute $1.5 million,

because it expects to save about $100,000 a year in energy costs.

The solar panels would go on green space behind CUP. There had been previous discussion of placing some of the panels in a parking lot,

which would have cost about 10 parking spaces, but that idea has since been dropped.

Solar Panel pic

Potential for 30% green power at CUP

Gaudet said it’s difficult to have a clear estimate on costs right now because the costs of solar panels have

changed so much recently. He said generally speaking, the panels could cost between $1.2- 1.5 million. 

He said that’s $2.40/watt, and overall this project would be about 600 kilowatts.

There will also be the battery system aspect of the project, and Gaudet said there is no estimate for that right now.

Mayor Bill Martin

Mayor Bill Martin said this project could be a done deal by next summer

Mayor Bill Martin said this initiative is part of a bigger plan.

“Our long term plan is to have somewhere in the neighbourhood about a 15 megawatt solar farm,” said Martin.

“Obviously it won’t be located anywhere near downtown Summerside, but it will be connected to our grid system,

which would get us up to about 70 per cent green energy.”

Martin believes this initial project will be in the works next year.

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Forestry.io hopes to build ‘world-class business’ on P.E.I.

Forestry.io co-founder says after launching only four

months ago, it already has 5,000 users

Forestry.io is a content management tool for websites.

A Charlottetown tech start-up is aiming to be at the “leading edge” of website management.

Forestry.io is a content management tool for websites. Once a website has been designed, Forestry.io can be used to keep it updated.

‘We’d like to hire some of the brightest minds in the region, and build really cool products and build a world-class business from here.’– Scott Gallant

Co-founder Scott Gallant says the service only launched four months ago, and it already has 5,000 users worldwide.

“We see this as the future of the web,” he said. “In a few years, we think, no developer will use a site like WordPress and, all developers will use the platforms that we support and we just want to be at the leading edge of that.”

The company was accepted into the accelerator program Tech Stars, which offered three months of mentoring and $125,000 US in financial support.

Hiring more staff

Six people are employed now with Forestry.io, Gallant said, and they’re looking to hire a programmer, a designer and some administrative help in the next few months.

Gallant hopes to eventually take the company public, like Ottawa-based Shopify did a couple of years ago.

“We’d like to hire some of the brightest minds in the region, and build really cool products and build a world-class business from here.”

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Trump names Uber and Tesla CEOs as strategic advisors

Trump names Uber and Tesla CEOs as strategic advisors

by in United States

Trump names Uber and Tesla CEOs as strategic advisors

Although some of President-elect Trump’s staff appointments seem questionable, it looks like Silicon Valley won’t be left entirely in the cold.

Trump announced that he has added Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to his Strategic and Policy Forum, which comprises of business leaders who will advise him on economic affairs.

Kalanick and Musk are interesting choices, given that the Forum mainly includes heads of more traditional firms, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wal-Mart, PepsiCo and General Electric.

Plus, neither of them can be described as ardent Trump fans: In November, Musk said that Trump was “not the right guy” for the presidency, and last October, Kalanick said, “Oh my god, Donald Trump’s gonna win. I’m going to move to China if Donald Trump wins.”

It’s worth noting that Musk has previously worked with Trump transition team member Peter Thiel. The duo co-founded PayPal back in December 1998.

Musk also attended a meeting in New York hosted by Trump for face-time with a number of major tech head honchos, including Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

It’ll be interesting to see if the appointments allow Uber and Tesla to sway the Trump administration towards enabling legislation for things like self-driving cars and increased support for electric vehicles.

Via The Washington Post

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Netflix finally adds video previews — but don’t call them trailers

Netflix finally adds video previews — but don’t call them trailers

by —  in Insider

Netflix finally adds video previews — but don’t call them trailers

Netflix  announced the launch of video previews. In the announcement, the company was quick to point out that these weren’t teasers or trailers, but instead a way to help users make better decisions about what to watch.

The video preview aids users by “highlighting the story, characters, and tone of a title” — which totally sounds like a trailer. These “not-trailers” will play automatically on the title page when you click to view more information about a show or film.

According to the announcement:

Today we are launching a new television user interface that uses video more extensively to bring content alive in real time and helps members decide whether to click play. As we launch more than 1,000 hours of original content next year, we know we have less than 90 seconds to capture someone’s attention and get them excited about a title — that’s why we’re introducing video previews into the TV browsing experience.

Call it what you want, but the feature is long overdue. Currently, Netflix only uses a rather odd star rating system — which tends to be hit or miss for me (and I’ve rated over 1,000 titles) — and a short blurb as a description. Users are then forced to leave the site to check IMDB for more in-depth information, or head to YouTube to view a trailer.

Why do you make our lives so difficult, Netflix?

The previews launch globally today, and they’ll make their way to all users over the next couple of weeks.

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This is why Facebook and Twitter desperately need to change in 2017

This is why Facebook and Twitter desperately need to change in 2017

by —  in Opinion

facebook

As we’re nearing the end of 2016, social networks are bigger than ever. Billions of people in the world are connected through only a small amount of platforms — the biggest being Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the last of which announced it passed 600 million monthly active users last week.

Statistically, most of them are doing fine — but in a lot of other ways, it’s been a horrible year for social networks. Facebook is under scrutiny for its surging problem with fake news and Twitter can’t seem to find a way to battle harassment on its service.

More then ever, social networks need to take a step back and take a good look at their services, because the issues they’re facing are extremely serious.

Facebook’s failure

As the world’s biggest social network, Facebook connects over 1.8 billion people with each other on a monthly basis. It’s a staggering number, but great power comes with great responsibility, especially if you’re feeding the eyeballs of so many people around the world.

One of the biggest complications the company faced over the last year is the rise of fake news — articles saying things like ‘Donald Trump did 9/11’. It’s like phishing — in some cases, it’s easy for a technologically literate person to spot a fake story in News Feed. But the biggest part of Facebook’s userbase won’t be able to.

It often happens that someone shares a link without checking the source, which can kickstart a flurry of shares within a matter of minutes. It even got to a point where fake stories were outperforming real news during the last months of the US election. And when millions of people rely on it for a big chunk of their daily news, that’s pretty scary.

The company, however, first denied responsibility for its content, proclaiming it didn’t see itself as a news or media company. Earlier this month, however, it announced a collaboration with third party fact checking services to investigate content flagged by users. When a link’s source is disputed by these services, a warning banner is added, but it doesn’t prohibit anyone from still sharing the content. The new system still has to prove itself, and it’ll be impossible for the fact checking team to process the millions of posts on Facebook every day.

Facebook is in the sharing business — it can’t stop people from putting whatever they want on the platform, as any kind of censorship would always be frowned upon by some of its users. While the new system is a good start, there’s no guarantee it’ll fix the problem entirely.

But the enormous influence fake news can have shows it does have a responsibility to make sure its enormous community doesn’t get fed factually wrong information — if it can’t do that, users might flee to an alternative.

Twitter’s troubles

Twitter can be a great place just as often as it can be a horrible one. As a journalist, I spend more hours on the platform than I’d like to admit — it’s an amazing source for news and part of the community is a great place to be. But you don’t have to dive deep to find hate and discrimination on Twitter — and it’s getting worse.

Up until recently, actions to stop harassment have been on a per-case basis, the most notable example being when Breitbart blogger Milo Yiannopoulos got banned from the service after repeatedly harassing Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones. It marked one of the few times the social network stepped up and changed something, but even though Yiannopoulos was one of the more prominent trolls, deleting one account isn’t going to fix the overall issue.

In November, Twitter announced a couple of features to target hateful messages, either by shielding an account from them by using ‘muted words’ or by reporting tweets containing ‘hate against race, religion, gender or orientation’. It’s another step in the right direction, and shows the company is willing to shake up things to be a better place for everyone. But it might not be enough.

It’s very easy to remain anonymous on Twitter, which makes it easy to say terrible things to people you don’t know. The platforms’ many racist and sexist users can easily lunge out and harass people they don’t like, with their true identity safely remaining in the dark.

And if the company doesn’t change something about that, it’s going to pose a serious threat to its existence.

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Watch Tesla’s Emergency Braking system help prevent a serious accident

Watch Tesla’s Emergency Braking system help prevent a serious accident

by —  in Cars

 

Tesla’s are saving lives, even without the use of Autopilot. Case in point, this YouTube clip from three days ago that shows the Automatic Emergency Braking system (AEB) in action. You might also know this as rear collision avoidance, and it’s designed to prevent a rear-end collision.

Autopilot wasn’t engaged. Still, the car used an array of sensors and radar to determine an accident was imminent before sounding the alarm and applying the brakes. With early detection, application of the brakes, and a slight swerve to the right by the human driver, the Model X was able to escape harm while keeping its passengers safe.

Regardless of your thoughts on completely autonomous driving, there’s no denying safety features like these help to save lives — even while you’re piloting the car.

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4k drone footage shows just how far Apple’s new ‘Spaceship’ campus has come

4k drone footage shows just how far Apple’s new ‘Spaceship’ campus has come

by —  in Apple

Apple’s Spaceship campus is still a long way from complete, but this amazing time lapse shows just how far it’s come — especially when you compare it to a similar one from 2014.

After breaking ground at the end of 2013, we’re now at the end of its third year of construction with the new facility slated to open sometime in early 2017. The project was a massive undertaking. Apple’s new campus boasts 2.8 million square feet over a 176-acre site. All told, it’s more than a mile around and set to house more than 13,000 Apple employees. It’ll also have not-so-secret-passages designed to provide easy entry to the auditorium so Apple’s elite won’t have to deal with the press on the way.

Atop the roof, you’ll notice some of the reported thousands of solar panels that will adorn the finished product. Designed to be energy independent, the roof will feature some 500,000 square feet of solar tiles. When finished, it’ll make approximately 5 megawatts of power, making it one of the world’s largest solar installations.

If that weren’t enough, the campus even plans to grow its own food. Outside, you’ll find hundreds of cherry, apricot, plum, olive, and of course, apple trees.

It’s an architectural marvel, and I really can’t wait to see the finished product. For now though, drone flyovers will have to do.

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Nintendo sold almost as many NES Classics in 3 weeks as it did Wii Us in 6 months

Nintendo sold almost as many NES Classics in 3 weeks as it did Wii Us in 6 months

by —  in Gaming

Nintendo sold almost as many NES Classics in 3 weeks as it did Wii Us in 6 months

Nintendo sold an eye-watering 196,000 units of its retro NES Classic Edition game console to customers in the US during its less than three weeks on the market in November, revealed industry-tracking firm The NPD Group on Thursday.

For comparison, the number of NES Classics the company sold in a mere 16 days is just a fraction below the 220,000 Wii Us it offloaded in the same region during the six-month period from April through September.

Despite the impressive sales figure, it looks like Nintendo didn’t produce enough stock of the NES Classic as it’s consistently sold out at retail stores and online; making it one of the most difficult gifts to purchase this holiday season.

The company has, however, promised to ship more stock to retailers before Christmas, but based on current demand, they’ll probably sell out almost instantly — so you’ll need to hurry if you want to be in with a chance of picking one up.

Earlier this week, Google announced that the NES Classic Edition was the most-searched console of 2016, which, coupled with rising demand, has led some people to believe that Nintendo will introduce more retro products in 2017.