Wireless News Means Less Pollution

Summaries of Research and Inventions from Science and Technology Journals

3 min read

According to a pair of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, switching from paper newspapers to electronic versions on personal digital assistants (PDAs) leads to less CO 2 , NO x , and SO x emissions. The results are based on the environmental impact of several components of newspaper production, including paper, ink, and delivery trucks. For perspective, a year's worth of The New York Times weighs approximately 225 kilograms and requires approximately 23 000 liters of water to produce. In contrast to this, the researchers show using a PDA requires 24 kilowatthours and less than 390 L of water per year. Based on their findings, the researchers conjecture that if one out of every four newspapers were read online instead of in print, it would reduce CO 2 emissions by 6�10 billion kg.

The researchers also found that wireless conference calls are much more environmentally friendly than business trips. So, if you aren't so eager to take those long business trips, tell your boss or client that a conference call is the environmentally responsible thing to do.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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