Arstechnica: The Square Kilometer Array, which has been proposed for either South Africa or Australia and New Zealand, will be a massive project comprising thousands of radio telescopes linked together. Because of its size, it is expected to produce more than one exabyte (1 billion gigabytes) of data every day—approximately twice the global daily traffic of the internet. To meet the necessary computing power and energy needs of the new telescope array, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy and IBM announced today an initial €32.9 million ($43.6 million), five-year collaboration to research extremely fast but low-power exascale computer systems. Once completed, the telescope array will be used to explore evolving galaxies, dark matter, and the origins of the universe. But the advances in computing technology that the project has sparked will benefit more than just the field of astronomy.
New York Times: A new app encourages people to post their energy use on their Facebook pages and invite friends to share their information as well. The app is available through Opower, which works with utility companies to promote energy efficiency to consumers by analyzing usage and offering recommendations on how to save energy, and money, by making small changes in energy consumption. The software was inspired by the Obama administration’s Green Button initiative to challenge the utility industry to enable its customers to download their energy usage with the simple click of a “green button.” With such data readily available, it is hoped that people will make more informed decisions about how they manage their household energy use.