Clean Tech

Techies Asked to Fix NYC’s Ancient Power Grid, Actual Rocket Scientists Needed

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In a dark conference hall lined with carafes dripping coffee unworthy of the name, a group of engineers, academics, brokers and analysts gathered around a dismal pile of spreadsheets. You wouldn’t think you were at Google’s New York headquarters, except that Google representatives were on standby to make sure no one ventured from the hall into the rest of the building.

Hefty stacks of NYC’s utility infrastructure data awaited them. This hackathon’s mission: to solve the problem of energy inefficiency in New York City. The event was a “Data Jam” — a fun and bouncy term for a big data hackathon — organized by energy data startup EnerKnol as a part of New York Energy Week. Read More

New Media

‘Mic’ Drop: PolicyMic Changes Its Name, Revamps Layout

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Millennials are often accused of being irresponsible and non-committal. We can’t commit to a relationship, a mortgage or a job for more than a year. How appropriate then, that a news site meant for millennials can’t commit to a name.

PolicyMic has changed its name to Mic (Stylized “.Mic”). “Policy.Mic” is now just a section, like Arts.Mic or World.Mic. Distancing themselves from using the word “Policy” in their masthead is meant to chase broader appeal. Read More

Ch-Ch-Changes

Tumblr Planning to Police Self-Harm Blogs on Suicide, Cutting, and Eating Disorders

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On its staff blog yesterday, Tumblr revealed a new policy in works regarding self-harm blogs. “Our Content Policy has not, until now, prohibited blogs that actively promote self-harm. These typically take the form of blogs that glorify or promote anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders; self-mutilation; or suicide,” the company wrote.

It makes sense that a platform that often serves as the digital equivalent of your adolescent diary to try to grapple with issues of plague that demographic. (Of course, these kind of insidious mental health problems are not solely the province of the young.)  But woo boy, is this a slippery slope of where that line gets drawn, which might be why reaction to the post from users is mixed.

“We are deeply committed to supporting and defending our users’ freedom of speech, but we do draw some limits,” says the post, offering much more clear-cut examples like identity theft and spam. Read More