Friday, October 09, 2009

Humanitarian Technology Challenge

The IEEE, in association with the UN Foundation has launched a Humanitarian Technology Challenge. with three projects for developing nations: Reliable Electricity, Data Connectivity for Health Facilities and Individual ID for patient medical records. Interested professionals are invited to submit ideas and join an online collaboration platform. A Solution Development Workshop will be held in Washington, DC (USA), October 26 - 28, 2009.

There are detailed documents on each project. For data connectivity there is "Data Connectivity of Rural District Health Offices". This is a very good overview document, but unfortunately it has been formatted as a 29 page 267 kByte PDF file. This is at odds with the aims of the project which emphasises the use of mobile devices and efficient use of communications. The project might want to reformat its documents in mobile friendly web pages, will reduce the bandwidth requirements by about 10 to 100 times.

Another problem with the project is the use of a red cross on a white background in the home page. The red cross symbol is reserved under international law for use by specific medical and other humanitarian operations. The usual symbol for first aid, is a white cross on a green background.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Geothermal powered data centre proposed for Australia

Geothermal power company, Geodynamics, have announced a Innamincka Data Centre – Feasibility Study. A data centre would be co-located with the demonstration power plant to be built at Innamincka in Queensland. This makes some sort of sense, as data centres can be located just about anywhere there is reliable power and data communications access, they only need a few staff to service them. The data communications cables can be run alongside the power cables from the plant. It is much more efficient to transmit data long distances than power.
One of several options the Company has identified is the concept of the CDP supplying electricity to a co-located data centre, with communications links into the existing national networks.

The engagement of the Strategic Directions Group follows the encouraging results of a prefeasibility study into the concept. The detailed feasibility study will include identifying potential partners and selecting a preferred business model The Company believes the concept of a co-located data centre is feasible due to the following key factors:
  • Data centres are intensive consumers of electricity and the CDP will be ideally placed to provide long term electricity supply contracts at competitive prices;
  • The CDP will be in a position to provide the data centre with a perfect hedge against the volatility of fossil fuel prices and carbon emission prices; and,
  • Communications infrastructure costs (laying underground optical fibre) are considerably lower than high voltage transmission costs
The Strategic Directions Group is a Queensland based information technology consultancy specialising in the development of state of the art data centres. Most recently, they were the design authority for the Polaris Data Centre project in Springfield, Queensland. The Polaris Data Centre is a state of the art Tier 3+ data centre. More information on Polaris and the Strategic Directions Group can be found at: ...

From: Innamincka Data Centre – Feasibility Study, GEODYNAMICS LIMITED, ASX ANNOUNCEMENT, 20 MAY 2009

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