Now that the dust has settled on yet another holiday season, now is the time that we bask in our takings. Even though the holiday spending spikes that most businesses see during December have come to an end, big profits are still made thanks to the overwhelming popularity of gift cards in recent years. Gift cards are big business, which translates into big profits. Here we take a look at some of the facts behind them, as well as some of the industry secrets to maintaining solid numbers long after the holidays have come to an end.
From Twittering to Facebook, from music downloads to streaming video, from email to e-books, the Internet is driving almost every part of our lives and as a result, the energy needed to run our data centre servers and communications infrastructure is increasing annually. In response, a number of cross-company consortiums, like the Green Grid, have been formed and with a symposium being held this week to discuss data centre efficiency, it seems only right to look at the increasing problems facing our over-worked servers.
Between 2000 and 2005, the energy consumed by such data centres doubled, both in the US and worldwide. As more and more people demand more from online media, then more power is needed to power the centres that keep the Internet and servers running. For the US in 2006, online data centres accounted for 1.5 percent of the entire country’s electricity use – equating to more than the entire state of Massachusetts.
Since 1990 the United Nations Development Programme publishes an annual report called the Human Development Report exploring challenges including poverty, gender, democracy, human rights, cultural liberty, globalization, water scarcity and climate change. This year’s topic is migration and the UNDP has recruited the New York based design studio Zago which originated from Basel, Switzerland to lead the design.