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There’s a news website for everything these days. For regular news, for tech news, and also for Science related news.

Scientific American has been one of the biggest magazines about Science in America for a long time (they started in 1845, you do the math). Just like every self-respecting news site these days they are also making very good use of their website to keep the world up-to-date about what’s going on in the world of science.

Though the writing sometimes is a little scientific, it still is a very good site to keep up-to-date. See for yourself over at ScientificAmerican.com

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Some Electric Car News From The Grid Side

Electric cars are slowly but surely taking over the roads. Each year more and more of them are being sold, but all these cars need to be charged.

Especially for larger buildings this can be a real challenge, since the price they pay for their electricity is based on several things, of which the maximum peak amount they use during the year is the most interesting when it comes to charging cars.

When you hook up a series of EV’s (electric vehicles) and you want to charge them all at once on a hot summer day, with the airconditioning on the highest setting, you will have to pay extra all year for that 1 hour you might need this amount of power in a year.

This problem is now being solved by the people of GE, who are using artificial intelligence to keep down this peak by smart charging the vehicles. This means that when there is already a high load on the system, it will decrease or completely take out the charging power of the cars, thereby saving the larger buildings a lot of money during the year, since it lowers the peak.

The only downside of this new system is that it doesn’t communicate with the cars, which means that you might be stuck with a near empty battery of your car at the office, since the chargers were cut off. But it’s a very good first step, and in the future it will probably become part of the new system. And the world will keep on running, even with more electric cars.

To read more about the test in New York, check out this article on Wired.

Header image courtesy of Plug’n Drive Ontario on Flickr, under CC.

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Electricity As A Service

One of the common problems any smartphone user encounters once in a while, is the lack of power to keep it running. This problem can be especially annoying when you’re traveling by train.

Now for the rich people they have build wall sockets in the train where you can put the charger of your phone/laptop, but for any second class traveller, this luxury is not available (unless you take the risk of putting a power cable from the first to the second class, which is officially not allowed btw.)

Luckily, for all of those people the catering service on the train is now offering small power banks to charge your phone. With it you get a cable to charge it yourself, but when you forget to do so you can also change it with someone from rail catering for a fully charged one.

Pretty cool idea, and as the picture shows it’s also a small marketing thing, making it even nicer.

Just got to drop the €12,50 for it when you run into one, and you will be able to use your phone on the train (as long as there’s rail catering on it).

Header photo courtesy of user Dr. Flash on Fok Forum.

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Okay. Today I’m cheating a little bit, since it’s not the entire website I’d like to show you, but only the part about the brand new book Value Proposition Design, made by the people behind Business Model Generation.

In this new book they offer you all the help you need to come up with great Value Propositions, which are part of your business model. Just like in their other book, they start of with explaining the basics (which you can download on their site for free by the way), after which they dive deeper into it by explaining the succes of certain companies and the Value Propositions they use.

In my mind another very cool book, and most of all a very useful book for everybody who sometimes have to do with Value Propositions. To find out more, just visit the site Strategyzer.com

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Meetings 2.0

They happen almost all the time, most of us don’t like them but still we have to get through them: meetings.

Usually they take longer than needed, because of multiple reasons. Either the meeting isn’t well prepared, someone doesn’t know when to shut up or something completely unrelated ends up being discussed.

Luckily there’s technology to the rescue. The app Minute helps in making meetings more easy to sit through, by bringing everything together to each participant on their iPad. The agenda, the documents but also presentations can be streamed live to each ones iPad, always making sure that everyone is up to date.

But also notes can be shared via the system, making it much easier for everyone to share the work and cut out any double work.

Hopefully the app will help you make work some more fun, To see for yourself, check out their site.

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Combining the Unobvious

Selling your house in the Netherlands is still a quite difficult thing. Houses are for sale relatively long, and so you must become more creative to sell your house.

In the Netherlands this is also recognized by some larger companies, and so they come up with some brilliant marketing stunts, of which this rollercoaster in a house is the best.

So you see that it can sometimes be very interesting to look further than your own market, and combine it with something from another market. Just dare to look over the borders.

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Sustainability still is a hot issue in the world, which is a good thing in my opinion. However, incorporating sustainability in a business can be quite hard.

What should we focus on, what is really true and all sorts of other questions are for most companies a little unclear (not to say vague). To help these companies with their quest for a better world, SustainAbility.com offers advice on how to handle these problems.

SustainAbility.com is a think-tank and strategy advisory company, which focusses on sustainability. On their site you can find loads of cases about the subject, as well as trends and the latest news on sustainability in larger corporations.

Truly an interesting site for anyone who wants to learn some more about it or wants some inspiration for their own company.

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A Big Shift in the Energy World

Almost all big energy companies are traditionally using multiple sources of energy in their mix; (brown)coal, natural gas and some renewables.

Up till today.

Today, E.On, one of the largest energy producing companies in the world has brought us the news that they’ve decided to cut out all of the non-renewable energy sources (and some extra parts) and bring these to a New Company which they will create over the coming year.

They took this step as they think it is necessary for their long term survival, especially with the current amount of changes in the (energy)world going on. By radically innovating in their business model, they hope to stay ahead of this problem and stay as large as they are.

I think that they will not be the only one of the big energy corporations taking this step, and that we should keep an eye out for the other big ones to see how they are going to react on this news.

And though I applaud E.On for taking this step, I do sincerely hope that we will have enough “old” power plants left to keep the system up-and-running until renewables can always provide enough power, either via battery systems, smart buildings or something completely new. Cause we don’t want the world to look like Belgium

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The Odds of Becoming Who You Are

Statistics are amazing, when you want to tell your story. For now I’m not talking about how to lie with statistics, but really by using a large serie of statistical calculations to show what the odds are of you becoming you.

Originally this story was told by Ali Benazir on his blog, but then someone from Visual.ly made it into something much better; this beautiful infographic.

And so you see that this is usually a better way to get your message across, and it’s just nice to see that the chances of you becoming you are about 0.

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With all the bad news in the world, it is always nice to set the spotlight on the things that go well and make the world better.

Each year in the Netherlands, a list is compiled with 100 young people doing something in or for sustainability. On this list you can find all kinds of people; entrepreneurs, people who work at large companies or people working at NGOs, all with one goal in common: making a more sustainable world.

This years list came out a couple of weeks ago, and to see the entire list you can visit their site: DJ100.nl

Unfortunately it’s only in Dutch, but still very interesting to take a look at when you feel that the world is burning and want to see some positivism.

Fotografie en Innovatie – Net even anders