No stranger to controversy, Amazon finds itself in the midst of an intractable contest between environmental activists and its mission as a profit-driven business. The battle has raged back and forth for years and shows no sign of abating, despite a recent spate of initiatives by the retail and cloud giant in a bid to claim the mantle of environmental leadership.
Microsoft and other major companies launched the Transform to Net Zero initiative this week with the goal to accelerate progress toward a net-zero-carbon-emissions future. Coalition members — A P. Moller-Maersk, Danone, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, Natura, Nike, Starbucks, Unilever, and Wipro — also pledged to achieve net zero emissions no later than 2050.
Apple said it is supporting the development of what it claims is the first-ever direct carbon-free aluminum smelting process and that the first batch of this low-carbon aluminum is being used in production of the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
A Digital Substation Automation Systems (DSAS) initiative has been launched to enhance the power grid’s modularity, interoperability, and scalability to accelerate the effort toward carbon neutrality by 2050.
Linux Foundation organization, LF Energy, with GE Renewable Energy, Schneider Electric and RTE, also launched CoMPAS to make substation systems interoperable as part of this initiative.
This month the tech industry’s lexicon is seeing a small but significant shift: Common technical phrases, most notably “Master/Slave” and “Whitelist/Blacklist” that have been red-flagged as offensive, or even racist, sometimes for decades, are getting updates.
Much like any other profession, the IT industry does not exist in a vacuum. Social upheaval will have as much impact on IT professionals as it does on any other. As conversations concerning race relations become more heated and, hopefully, elevated, many in the IT industry are reconsidering the use of terminology such as master/slave to describe the relationship between applications and devices.
It may seem like things are falling apart this year, but it’s actually a new beginning.
A bigger, long-term question may be how to implant greater transparency in an ever more automated and digital grid. And yet another challenge is how to acknowledge the true vulnerabilities of the American power system and get it what it needs to improve quickly.