This Week in Tech – 12/03/2017

Google Is Officially 100% Sun and Wind Powered – 3.0 Gigawatts Worth

Google is officially off-setting 100% of its energy usage with either wind or solar power. The company signed contracts on three wind power plants in recent days to bring them over 3GW of production capacity. Google’s energy infrastructure investments have totaled over $3.5 billion globally, with about two-thirds being in the US


A New Bill Wants Jail Time for Execs Who Hide Data Breaches

Top Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee are renewing efforts to pass a law requiring companies to quickly notify consumers in the wake of a data breach, citing recent news that Uber suffered a breach more than a year ago and responded by paying the hackers responsible $100,000 in exchange for their silence


Solar Powered Smart Windows Break 11% Efficiency – Enough to Generate More Than 80% of US Electricity

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, (NREL), has demonstrated a prototype of a solar powered smart window. The smart window lowers building temperatures by shifting from clear to opaque under strong sunlight. When the shift to opaque occurs, the solar prototype begins electricity production. The prototypes tested reached up to 11.3% efficiency. The solar cell is based on the lab/headline favorite material perovskite


SpaceX Raises an Extra $100 Million and Is Now Worth an Estimated $21.5 Billion

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has raised another $100 million as part of its latest funding round, according to new regulatory documents. In August, the space exploration company sold $349.9 million worth of shares, a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing showed. That amount has now risen to $449.9 million, a new filing showed on Monday, adding an extra $100 million onto the current fundraising effort


India Is Preparing to Land on the Moon for the First Time in the Country’s History

The last time any country put boots or, rather, little metal feet, on the moon was in 2013, when China landed its Yutu rover there. Before that, you’d have to look back to the 1970s to find anything built by Earthlings that camped out on the surface of the Moon. But in 2018, India says it’ll be ready to join the ranks of the moon lander. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is getting ready to land its very first lunar rover by the end of March 2018, as part of its Chandrayaan-2 mission


Undercover at Amazon: Exhausted Humans Are Inefficient So Robots Are Taking Over

Amazon run a tight ship, as you would expect from a company founded by the world’s richest man. Tilbury warehouse is a slick operation, up to speed on health and safety and workplace law. But just because it is legal does not mean it is good for you. Weeks before I went in, I had finished a summer running season which included two marathons and a handful of half marathons. Physically I am no slouch – yet my body felt drained every day


The Substitute Phone Is Designed to Help Smartphone Addicts Cope in Their Absence

We’ve all been there: fiddling with your smartphone because it’s there, or reaching for it when you hear a text message notification. Austrian designer Klemens Schillinger created the Substitute Phone as a way to help smartphone addicts cope in its absence. Schillinger tells Dezeen that more and more, phones are becoming an addicting object in our lives. Users constantly play with them, even if they’re not looking for a message or expecting a call, and he was inspired to design “a tool that would help stop this ‘checking’ behaviour.”

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