Google Watches Its Watts

Bill Weihl, director of energy strategy at Google (and an IEEE member), talks about energy-hogging computers, the sex appeal of servers, and the trouble with power plugs

7 min read

In June, Google and Intel announced a Climate Savers Computing Initiative to raise the energy efficiency of the world's computing equipment. The goal is to reduce the amount of global carbon dioxide emissions by 22 million metric tons per year by cutting the amount of energy consumed by computing equipment. According to the initiative's extrapolations, this figure is equivalent to the annual emissions of 11 million cars.

The launch came one month shy of the new Energy Star 4.0 standards in the United States, which go into effect on 20 July. The new specifications will raise the bar on which computers and related devices can earn the Energy Star label, which denotes the devices' superior efficiency. At the time it launched, 40 companies had signed on with the initiative, which sets deadlines by which companies are required to meet certain energy consumption targets.

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The Spectacular Collapse of CryptoKitties, the First Big Blockchain Game

A cautionary tale of NFTs, Ethereum, and cryptocurrency security

8 min read
Mountains and cresting waves made of cartoon cats and large green coins.
Frank Stockton

On 4 September 2018, someone known only as Rabono bought an angry cartoon cat named Dragon for 600 ether—an amount of Ethereum cryptocurrency worth about US $170,000 at the time, or $745,000 at the cryptocurrency’s value in July 2022.

It was by far the highest transaction yet for a nonfungible token (NFT), the then-new concept of a unique digital asset. And it was a headline-grabbing opportunity for CryptoKitties, the world’s first blockchain gaming hit. But the sky-high transaction obscured a more difficult truth: CryptoKitties was dying, and it had been for some time.

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