back to article Google gets into green transport policy

Noted bot-vs-bot information nexus Google has joined Prince Charles in swerving away from core business to offer environment strategies. The internet ad-men have had a scratch of their heads, and reckon they've got the answers to green transportation and energy use. To be specific, the Google flavour of green involves plug-in …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Morely Dotes

    Go ahead and sneer if you must

    Plug-in hybrids make sense, though. My own commute is 12 miles each way - and I rarely drive anywhere else, so a tank of gas is in more danger of evaporating than being burned, if I only had a plug-in hybrid.

    When I have the cash, I'll be converting to an all-electric plug-in vehicle - no gas at all. My old Nissan Maxima will still have the off-the-line performance I love after conversion, but I won't be a slave to Halliburton any more.

  2. Brad Hutchings

    I have a better plan.

    Inspired by the commenter above, my plan to save the environment is to make people work longer hours. If everyone just drove to work and back and rarely drove anywhere else or had any fun, we'd save billions of gallons of fuel annually and pump millions of tons less CO2 into the air. I think this is a plan that every environmentally conscious corporation could get behind!

  3. Steve

    Errr - Plug In Hybrid Feed-In Fantasy

    Not a new idea, but still a very crap one!

    So we're going to put power from the grid and into battery storage at night to extract during the day, following the numbers through -

    Generation Efficiency = 35%

    Transmission = 93%

    AC > DC = 90%

    Battery Charging = 70%

    Battery Discharge = 60-80%

    DC > AC = 90%

    Transmission = 93%

    Total process efficiency = 12%

    So instead of a straight ~32.5% efficiency of generation and transmission we're going to accept a reduction of 2/3 in order to use PI-HEV's as some sort of electricity reservoir, and that's meant to be green? Are they completely mental?

    Not to mention that its a completely unpredictable, unreliable and unmanageable solution to transient power demand during the day. Yes electricity at night is cheaper, but its not any greener now is it.

    Plug in hybrids make sense in some global markets, but far from all - and feeding back in is sheer lunacy, it's pie in the sky shite like that which gives electric vehicles a laughable rep. No doubt David Milliband would think it was a great idea though.....

  4. hyperbadd

    100+ MPG

    I agree as far as the electricity reservoir goes, that is terribly inefficient.

    However 100+ MPG plug in hybrid for me makes sense, and it is a step in the right direction despite still being stuck on the petrol grid.

    I drive 7 miles to work approx 24 miles each day. Like it or not batteries are the next step in transportation. Solar + battery = renewable. The compressed air vehicle makes sense too.

    This is totally silcon valley yuppie type though, obviously not every market is going to use these, but it is a start. 30% solar is a start too. If you can't see any good in this, you need to remove the blinders.

  5. Fred

    But, Steve

    I think you missed something from your calculations. The fuel has to be delivered to the cars to get your 32.5% figure. How about if you factor in the difference between supplying the power stations and ferrying the petrol to every garage in the land. I would not presume to put figures to this, but I reckon it swings the balance towards the hybrid.

  6. Steve

    Fred

    You'd be surprised how efficient getting oil from the well to the pump as petrol actually is in terms of energy transfer (its about 90% depending where in the world the oil comes from) - it's a massively energy dense carrier and that's one of the principal reasons we're struggling to find a viable replacement that covers all requirements.

    Not discounting the hybrid option at all - just the feed in aspect and to a certain degree the whole plug in idea. I work on fuel cell vehicles (30 years off reality currently) and hybrids are going to be the stepping stones towards hydrogen, the potential efficiency of diesel hybrids especially is phenomenal. I just wish the manufacturers would stop hybridising really ugly cars - people might actually buy more of them if they looked vaguely half decent - who except a tree hugging hippy (or media whore celeb/Scientologist/politician) wants to be seen dead in a Prius? It's the Ann Widecombe of cars...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Displacing pollution

    Another aspect of using hybrid cars is that the pollution is displaced. It may sound selfish, but I'd prefer the power stations to produce more pollution and have the cars produce less. Improving the efficiency of power stations is relatively easier and less expensive than improving the efficiency of all the cars on the road, and 'green' cars means less pollution in suburbs and cities, where people are most exposed to it. Power stations are often in out-of-the-way places where the pollution has less effect on humans (and possibly the environment).

  8. Aaron

    It has nothing to do with environmental ethics...

    All they want is somewhere to charge up their Segways!!!

  9. tom carbert-allen

    Barrirers to acceptance.

    Hybrids are expensive as they have to be filled with batteries which use chemicals only found easily in some countries and need much work to use. If we switch to batterries for all cars we will quickly be in the War for Batteries instead of the War for Oil. We need a cheap solution and available solution to portable energy sotrage.

    The next barrier as the PP said is the look. I think the best solution to this is to convert existing well loved cars to new energy sources, seperating the power train and the user interface in assesments.

    If hydorgen isn't ready then compressed air should be strongly considered. It's far cheaper than batteries and doesn't require any exotic materials. Using an automated air tank exchange and slow charging of the tanks in the filling station it's very efficient too!

    As for supply, we need to be using more renewables, not just wind (idiots complain about noise) and PV cells (too expensive and not enough kw/m). Stirling engines are simple, cheap and efficient and can be heated from geothermal or various configurations of mirrors. Fusion will come online soon enough too.

  10. Terence

    Just introduce free public transport in every town and city

    It would be a lot simpler and solve a lot of problems if governments just got over their religious hangups about free market ideology and offered free public transport to everyone in every major town and city. A bus can carry 40+ people. Heck even when it is half full, it will still have at least 20 people.

    That would cut back a heck of a lot of driving, allow for big reductions in CO-2, save dwindling supplies of fossil fuels and lessen the need for potentially billions of hefty energy intensive, chemically nasty batteries.

    This is something that could begin tomorrow morning unlike all the hand wringing over new technologies of every variety.

    The simplest solutions are always the best.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like

  • Google has more reasons why it doesn't like antitrust law that affects Google
    It'll ruin Gmail, claims web ads giant

    Google has a fresh list of reasons why it opposes tech antitrust legislation making its way through Congress but, like others who've expressed discontent, the ad giant's complaints leave out mention of portions of the proposed law that address said gripes.

    The law bill in question is S.2992, the Senate version of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), which is closer than ever to getting votes in the House and Senate, which could see it advanced to President Biden's desk.

    AICOA prohibits tech companies above a certain size from favoring their own products and services over their competitors. It applies to businesses considered "critical trading partners," meaning the company controls access to a platform through which business users reach their customers. Google, Apple, Amazon, and Meta in one way or another seemingly fall under the scope of this US legislation. 

    Continue reading
  • I was fired for blowing the whistle on cult's status in Google unit, says contractor
    The internet giant, a doomsday religious sect, and a lawsuit in Silicon Valley

    A former Google video producer has sued the internet giant alleging he was unfairly fired for blowing the whistle on a religious sect that had all but taken over his business unit. 

    The lawsuit demands a jury trial and financial restitution for "religious discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation and related causes of action." It alleges Peter Lubbers, director of the Google Developer Studio (GDS) film group in which 34-year-old plaintiff Kevin Lloyd worked, is not only a member of The Fellowship of Friends, the exec was influential in growing the studio into a team that, in essence, funneled money back to the fellowship.

    In his complaint [PDF], filed in a California Superior Court in Silicon Valley, Lloyd lays down a case that he was fired for expressing concerns over the fellowship's influence at Google, specifically in the GDS. When these concerns were reported to a manager, Lloyd was told to drop the issue or risk losing his job, it is claimed. 

    Continue reading
  • End of the road for biz living off free G Suite legacy edition
    Firms accustomed to freebies miffed that web giant's largess doesn't last

    After offering free G Suite apps for more than a decade, Google next week plans to discontinue its legacy service – which hasn't been offered to new customers since 2012 – and force business users to transition to a paid subscription for the service's successor, Google Workspace.

    "For businesses, the G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available after June 27, 2022," Google explains in its support document. "Your account will be automatically transitioned to a paid Google Workspace subscription where we continue to deliver new capabilities to help businesses transform the way they work."

    Small business owners who have relied on the G Suite legacy free edition aren't thrilled that they will have to pay for Workspace or migrate to a rival like Microsoft, which happens to be actively encouraging defectors. As noted by The New York Times on Monday, the approaching deadline has elicited complaints from small firms that bet on Google's cloud productivity apps in the 2006-2012 period and have enjoyed the lack of billing since then.

    Continue reading
  • It's a crime to use Google Analytics, watchdog tells Italian website
    Because data flows into the United States, not because of that user interface

    Updated Another kicking has been leveled at American tech giants by EU regulators as Italy's data protection authority ruled against transfers of data to the US using Google Analytics.

    The ruling by the Garante was made yesterday as regulators took a close look at a website operator who was using Google Analytics. The regulators found that the site collected all manner of information.

    So far, so normal. Google Analytics is commonly used by websites to analyze traffic. Others exist, but Google's is very much the big beast. It also performs its analysis in the USA, which is what EU regulators have taken exception to. The place is, after all, "a country without an adequate level of data protection," according to the regulator.

    Continue reading
  • Makers of ad blockers and browser privacy extensions fear the end is near
    Overhaul of Chrome add-ons set for January, Google says it's for all our own good

    Special report Seven months from now, assuming all goes as planned, Google Chrome will drop support for its legacy extension platform, known as Manifest v2 (Mv2). This is significant if you use a browser extension to, for instance, filter out certain kinds of content and safeguard your privacy.

    Google's Chrome Web Store is supposed to stop accepting Mv2 extension submissions sometime this month. As of January 2023, Chrome will stop running extensions created using Mv2, with limited exceptions for enterprise versions of Chrome operating under corporate policy. And by June 2023, even enterprise versions of Chrome will prevent Mv2 extensions from running.

    The anticipated result will be fewer extensions and less innovation, according to several extension developers.

    Continue reading
  • Google recasts Anthos with hitch to AWS Outposts
    If at first you don't succeed, change names and try again

    Google Cloud's Anthos on-prem platform is getting a new home under the search giant’s recently announced Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) portfolio, where it will live on as a software-based competitor to AWS Outposts and Microsoft Azure Stack.

    Introduced last fall, GDC enables customers to deploy managed servers and software in private datacenters and at communication service provider or on the edge.

    Its latest update sees Google reposition Anthos on-prem, introduced back in 2020, as the bring-your-own-server edition of GDC. Using the service, customers can extend Google Cloud-style management and services to applications running on-prem.

    Continue reading
  • UK competition watchdog seeks to make mobile browsers, cloud gaming and payments more competitive
    Investigation could help end WebKit monoculture on iOS devices

    The United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday said it intends to launch an investigation of Apple's and Google's market power with respect to mobile browsers and cloud gaming, and to take enforcement action against Google for its app store payment practices.

    "When it comes to how people use mobile phones, Apple and Google hold all the cards," said Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, in a statement. "As good as many of their services and products are, their strong grip on mobile ecosystems allows them to shut out competitors, holding back the British tech sector and limiting choice."

    The decision to open a formal investigation follows the CMA's year-long study of the mobile ecosystem. The competition watchdog's findings have been published in a report that concludes Apple and Google have a duopoly that limits competition.

    Continue reading
  • Google offers $118m to settle gender discrimination lawsuit
    Don't even think about putting LaMDA on the compensation committee

    Google has promised to cough up $118 million to settle a years-long gender-discrimination class-action lawsuit that alleged the internet giant unfairly pays men more than women.

    The case, launched in 2017, was led by three women, Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease, and Kelli Wisuri, who filed a complaint alleging the search giant hires women in lower-paying positions compared to men despite them having the same qualifications. Female staff are also less likely to get promoted, it was claimed.

    Gender discrimination also exists within the same job tier, too, the complaint stated. Google was accused of paying women less than their male counterparts despite them doing the same work. The lawsuit was later upgraded to a class-action status when a fourth woman, Heidi Lamar, joined as a plaintiff. The class is said to cover more than 15,000 people.

    Continue reading
  • Google: How we tackled this iPhone, Android spyware
    Watching people's every move and collecting their info – not on our watch, says web ads giant

    Spyware developed by Italian firm RCS Labs was used to target cellphones in Italy and Kazakhstan — in some cases with an assist from the victims' cellular network providers, according to Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG).

    RCS Labs customers include law-enforcement agencies worldwide, according to the vendor's website. It's one of more than 30 outfits Google researchers are tracking that sell exploits or surveillance capabilities to government-backed groups. And we're told this particular spyware runs on both iOS and Android phones.

    We understand this particular campaign of espionage involving RCS's spyware was documented last week by Lookout, which dubbed the toolkit "Hermit." We're told it is potentially capable of spying on the victims' chat apps, camera and microphone, contacts book and calendars, browser, and clipboard, and beam that info back to base. It's said that Italian authorities have used this tool in tackling corruption cases, and the Kazakh government has had its hands on it, too.

    Continue reading
  • Brave Search leaves beta, offers Goggles for filtering, personalizing results
    Freedom or echo chamber?

    Brave Software, maker of a privacy-oriented browser, on Wednesday said its surging search service has exited beta testing while its Goggles search personalization system has entered beta testing.

    Brave Search, which debuted a year ago, has received 2.5 billion search queries since then, apparently, and based on current monthly totals is expected to handle twice as many over the next year. The search service is available in the Brave browser and in other browsers by visiting search.brave.com.

    "Since launching one year ago, Brave Search has prioritized independence and innovation in order to give users the privacy they deserve," wrote Josep Pujol, chief of search at Brave. "The web is changing, and our incredible growth shows that there is demand for a new player that puts users first."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022