Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this month.
Tech Bank Fails
In the biggest failure of an American bank since the financial crisis of 2008, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which handles the finances of many businesses in the tech industry, has been closed by regulators. While it operated mainly in the USA, its British arm, SVB UK had over 3000 UK customers, 200 of which were companies that had accounts only with SVB and without access to their funds were at serious risk of going bust.
To prevent this from happening, the government and the Bank of England held emergency talks that enabled HSBC, the UK’s largest bank, to buy SVB UK. As a result, SVB UK customers now have access to their accounts and can continue trading as normal.
HSBC’s purchase of SVB UK, for which it paid only £1, was done without financial assistance from the taxpayer.
Server Heat Recycling
As Exmouth Leisure Centre has discovered, recycling the heat generated by servers can help cut CO2 emissions and save money. While the data centre housed at the leisure centre is no bigger than a tumble drier, the amount of heat it generates is enough to warm the centre’s swimming pool to 30 degrees for 60% of the time. As a result, there is less money spent on either server cooling or water warming.
The leisure centre’s ability to do this comes from a partnership with Deep Green, a start-up which offers its customers infrastructure for artificial intelligence. Deep Green seeks free server storage space in swimming pools in return for paying the running costs for the data centre and providing free heat for the water. The water is heated by surrounding the data centre with oil that absorbs the server’s heat. The oil is then pumped through a heat exchanger to raise the temperature of the pool.
Robot Trial Success
Last year we reported on the launch of a robot grocery delivery trial in the Adel and Tinshill areas of Leeds. This was conducted to see how effective the robots were at making deliveries, how safe the deliveries were and whether the service would help cut the number of local car journeys.
With the initial trial now at an end, Leeds City Council have said that in a survey of 400 local residents, 75% are in favour of the robots being introduced to other parts of the city and 50% thought there had been a reduction in local traffic. Perhaps even more importantly, 40% of those surveyed had actually used the robots to have their groceries delivered from the local Co-op, which is a partner in the trial.
As a result, the trial has been extended until June this year so the council can further investigate the impact of the scheme.
The UK subsidiary of a Japanese company is bidding to win the UK Space Agency’s competition to find the best way to remove space junk. Astroscale-UK, which is based at the Harwell Science and Space Campus in Oxfordshire, has called its project the COSMIC mission, an acronym for Cleaning Outer Space Mission through Innovative Capture. The innovative capture, in this case, involves sending a 700kg space vehicle into orbit from where it will find the satellite and grab it with a robotic arm. The arm will then send the satellite towards the earth where it will burn up as it speeds through the atmosphere.
Uncleared space junk is a major threat to future satellite deployments and space missions. According to the European Space Agency, there are an estimated 36,500 orbiting objects larger than 10cm, 1 million objects between 1-10cm, and 130 million objects between 1mm to 1cm. Travelling at thousands of miles per hour, even the smallest can have catastrophic effects if they collide with other satellites or worse, piloted spacecraft.
Leaner Greener Websites
Every time someone visits a different web page, the sending and receiving of data is adding CO2 to the environment. To reduce the impact, the Eco-Friendly Web Alliance is calling for website owners to reduce emissions to one gram of CO2 emissions for each page visited. With the average web page rising in size from 0.5MB to 2MB since 2010, achieving that target will require making pages leaner.
The Alliance says cutting CO2 emissions can be achieved by using fewer images and videos and making sure pages are smaller in terms of file size. Removing unwanted plugins, caching, script minimisation, compression and content delivery networks can also help. Aside from making your site greener, these actions will also make it faster, which is another excellent reason to make a start. Visit our website for more news, blog posts, knowledge base articles and information on our wide range of hosting services.