Ubuntu 10.04 announced, named after a deodorant...A sampling of Facebook friends can function as a marginally-offensive "gaydar"...World's most efficient ultra-thin solar cell...The world's most sustainable tech company is a surprise to me...
Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced today, via YouTube, the name and philosophy behind the 10.04 version of Linux: Lucid Lynx. Apparently it's lucid because it's clear-minded and decidedly not drunk, with a focused point of view (in contrast to Linus Torvald's statement that Linux is "bloated"), and it's named "Lynx" for two important reasons. First, the lynx is a great and intelligent hunter. Second (this is the weird part), apparently "Lynx" is the brand of a deodorant that must sell exclusively outside North America, because I've never seen it in the States or Canada. But it must be common elsewhere, because Shuttleworth referenced it at the event, saying this will be the "sweetest-smelling Ubuntu developer summit ever." Not that that's a challenge, am I right? [YouTube]
Two MIT students "discovered" that one's sexual orientation can be puzzled out by analysing the sexual orientation of your social group, a pretty obvious bit of group sociology that they then applied to Facebook with equally obvious results. If the majority of a male's friends identify as gay, it's likely that he himself is gay. This is, like I said, neither surprising nor particularly revealing — the same can be said of almost any minority group and it certainly doesn't qualify to be called "gaydar". Into Remainders it goes. [Mashable]
Sanyo has achieved the highest energy efficiency of an ultra-thin (we're talking 98μm here) HIT solar cell in research, at 22.8%. It is still incredibly expensive and, we should add, 22.8% may be a new world record but we've still got a long ways to go. Traditional solar panels achieve around 40% efficiency and are improving all the time, so Sanyo's 22.8% is impressive but just one more step on the way to truly efficient solar energy. [New Launches]
The Dow Jones Sustainability Index ranked their most sustainable companies in tech, and the number one may surprise you—Nokia, the number 1 mobile phone maker in the world and the main reason I've heard of Finland. For example:
As part of its climate change strategy, Nokia is constantly working on reducing energy consumption and increasing efficiency across its business. Some of its actions include reducing travel, investing in research and development of new technologies using renewable energy resources, and plans to increase the usage of green electricity which already accounts for 25% of all energy the company consumes.
Pretty good stuff, I suppose. Tech is a notoriously difficult industry to be truly sustainable, since certain key elements (batteries, for example) are pretty much Kryptonite for the environment. But kudos to Nokia for making the effort. [TreeHugger]