2011 Predictions: Richard MacManus

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 2: eBooks will hit 20% market penetration by the end of 2011. In 2010, the Association of American Publishers reported that eBooks made up 9.03% of total consumer book sales – compared to 3.31% at the close of 2009. I’m predicting this growth to rocket in 2011, thanks to a plentiful supply of cheap eReaders and a long overdue price war on eBooks between Amazon, Barnes&Noble and others. I predict it will reach 20%, in other words one in five books in 2011 will be sold as an eBook. If that bold prediction comes true, it will be great news for book consumers and will silence eBook skeptics about the future of eBooks. Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting paper books will go away, just that eBooks become much more popular and utilized.3: Internet of Cars will be the surprise hit of the year. This year we saw further commercialization of services that connect everyday objects to the Internet. In 2011, I predict that cars (not smart homes, smart grids, etc.) will be where the most innovation and mainstream attention happens for Internet of Things technologies. Apps like AutoBot will gain traction over 2011.4: Internet TV tips and gets huge consumer uptake. In 2010 there was a lot of progress in this sector: Apple TV re-design, Google TV, Boxee, Roku, Clicker and other developments. Most of this activity was largely experimental though, in that no one vendor got the formula quite right. For example, the launch problems of Google TV at the end of this year. However in 2011, consumers will flock to these products as they mature and more Internet TV content is made available – particularly in the U.S. market, but hopefully to international markets too. Picking a breakout product is difficult, as each of the main players offers something different. I don’t think there will be a breakout product, although Google has the broadest capabilities and so it has the potential to become one if it gets the product right. I predict that Google won’t dominate this market though; and neither will Apple.5: A major pop music star will do something amazing with web technologies, that blows open the online music scene. Arcade Fire set the scene in 2010, with their experimental collaboration with Google on an HTML5-fueled interactive video. In 2011, I expect an even bigger star – someone innovative like Kanye West or Lady Gaga, or a totally new star – to do something that re-defines what music means online. That could be something new in a live show, a music video, or something completely unexpected. To get more specific, I’ll bet on something that blends a live album with internet technologies – which sells unexpectedly well and thus sets a trend in the music industry.6: Bonus prediction: by the end of 2011, the most viewed YouTube video of all time will no longer be Justin Bieber. Instead it will be a collaboration between an unknown comedian and a breakout new baby. I’m envisaging a combination of comedy tap dancing and baby giggling (perhaps recorded using an auto-tune device). Yes, 2011 will mark the return of viral comedy and laughing babies to the top of the YouTube charts – this time as a duet! Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… richard macmanus Over December we’ve reviewed the top Web products and developments of 2010. Now it’s time to look ahead to 2011. The ReadWriteWeb team is always thinking about what’s next, so in our final series of 2010 we attempt to predict the big stories of 2011. Predictions are of course a tricky business. The braver the predictions, the more risk of them not coming true! Without further ado, here are my predictions for 2011 – 5 serious and 1 not so serious.1: Flipboard becomes the breakout news reading app of 2011. With its latest round of updates in December, Flipboard introduced Google Reader and made some significant changes to sharing and navigation. I expect Flipboard to introduce more such upgrades in 2011 and begin to expand to other devices than the iPad. These moves will push Flipboard into becoming a very popular app to browse, curate and share news each day. It won’t usurp Google Reader for curating and sharing activities, simply because Google Reader can be used on the PC. However for mobile surfing, which will be an increasingly important way to browse news in 2011, Flipboard will rule in curating and sharing of media.ReadWriteWeb’s 2011 Predictions:2011 Staff Predictions2011 Predictions: Klint Finley2011 Predictions: Curt Hopkins2011 Predictions: Sarah Perez2011 Predictions: Mike Melanson Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Tags:#predictions#web last_img read more

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A Florida Bank Branch Claims Net-Zero Performance

first_imgThe PV system is rated at 83 kWAt the Fort Lauderdale building, which claims to be the first net-zero energy bank built in the United States, the ground-mounted and roof-mounted PV arrays have a rated capacity of 82.7 kW, roughly 10 times the capacity of the average net-zero energy house.A ground-mounted array next to the bank includes 244 PV modules. Another 90 modules are mounted on the drive-through roof, while 40 modules are mounted on the bank’s main roof.In addition to the very substantial capacity of the PV system, the bank built in a variety of energy-saving features:Daylighting and daylighting controls that reduce electrical loads for lighting.Low-e glazing, shaded windows and increased insulation that reduce building energy consumption 40% below code, according to the bank.Drought tolerant landscaping and efficient plumbing fixtures that reduce water consumption by 40%.A 10-zone heating and cooling system.The bank said it did not conduct a blower-door test on the building, so no one knows how airtight the building is. Details on R-values for roof and walls weren’t immediately available. Walgreens will apparently have the nation’s first net-zero energy drug store later this year, but the first net-zero energy bank is already up and running.According to TD Bank, 12 months of monitoring shows that the solar arrays at one of their branches in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, produced 111,185 kWh of electricity, while the building consumed 106,814 kWh during the same period. The bank’s net surplus of 4,371 kWh was fed into the local electricity grid.The bank branch opened in May 2011 with a LEED Platinum certification. The building is part of a broader effort by TD to open branch offices that meet green building standards. The bank said it has opened more than 100 stores and offices designed to meet LEED requirements, and that all 41 branches opened and relocated in 2012 are LEED designs.last_img read more

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Can This Panelized System Solve Your Enclosure Problems?

first_imgIf you want to build a superinsulated, airtight house, you run into some difficulties. How do you deal with the extra thickness of your walls and ceilings when you add all that extra insulation? What’s the best way to ensure you hit your airtightness goal? And how do you do all that while keeping the process manageable and the cost affordable?The new Build SMART panelized system has some answers.I saw it in Philadelphia, twiceAt the 2016 North American Passive House Conference in Philadelphia this past September, Adam Cohen presented on his new panelized building system. His goal, he said, was to develop a way to make it easier to achieve Passive House level building enclosures. He also wanted to make it affordable. Over the past few years, he tried out his ideas and found a system that worked. Cohen then partnered with Prosoco to take it to market it and make it scalable. Thus was born Build SMART. RELATED ARTICLESPassive House Building in the Digital AgeFactories Gear Up for Passive House BuildingMaking the Case for Prefab Zero-Energy HomesThese Superinsulated Homes Were Delivered By TruckWhat’s Different About Unity Homes?Factory-Built Wall PanelsPlacing a Concrete Foundation on Rigid Foam InsulationFoam Under FootingsPrefabricated Foam Forms for Slab Foundations “On PHirm Footings: A Survey of Passive House Foundations in North America” Last month I took another little trip to Philadelphia to see the Build SMART system being installed. Rob Leonard, who’s been working with Cohen for 15 years and is the field technical manager for Build SMART, met me ahead of time and gave me some background on the company and briefed me on the project I would be visiting.The next day, Rob and I met up with Tim McDonald, a builder, architect, and Certified Passive House Consultant. The two were giving a tour of McDonald’s project and the Build SMART system. McDonald is building a really neat four-story apartment building in the heart of Philly. The project is going to be Passive House certified and was well underway. They had the first three floors already done and were about to start the fourth floor.Here’s a little of what I learned on the tour and from my other reading and discussions.Build SMART wall constructionWhen you want to build a superinsulated house, you have several choices on how you increase the walls’ R-value. These choices all result in thicker walls. Some methods use all one type of insulation in one place, as in double-stud walls. Most methods have insulation in two places, sometimes with different types of insulation in different places. An example would be framed walls with insulation in the cavities along with more insulation (e.g., foam board or mineral wool) on the exterior.The Build SMART system is the latter type. Image #2, below, shows a small sample of what a panel looks like. It includes a framed wall on the interior (left), OSB sheathing in the middle, then a layer of expanded polystyrene (EPS), and Huber’s Zip sheathing on the exterior (right).The panels come in four types:Straight panels (like the sample shown in Image #2)Corner panelsWindow panelsDoor panelsThe options are currently limited to a few configurations for each type to keep the process simple and affordable. Some architects may feel too constrained by that, but McDonald sees it as an opportunity to be more creative with the design. For this project, he’s working on some cool ideas with LED lights that make a statement about the energy use of the building.Assembling the panelsWhen you’re ready to start assembling the walls, you put everything together in a way similar to doing a structural insulated panel (SIP) building. The first step is staging. You get all your panels moved to where they need to be. In Image #3, below, you can see all the pallets of panels waiting to be installed.Once you’ve got the panels staged, you start at one corner and keep adding panels. Each panel gets attached to the one you did just before (see Image #4). When you’ve made it all the way around and are back at your starting point, you’re ready to build the next floor above or put the roof over it.A critical part of the assembly is making sure you get the air barrier all sealed up. In this case, the primary air barrier is the OSB in the middle of the panel. The photo at the top of the article shows a worker installing sealant (Prosoco’s R-Guard Joint & Seam Filler) with a sausage gun.The water-resistive barrier (WRB) is Zip sheathing and that gets sealed up, too. Huber makes both a tape and a fluid-applied sealant for the seams, and Build SMART recommends that builders opt for the fluid-applied sealant. You can see in the photos that McDonald followed their advice.Benefits of the Build SMART systemIn his presentation during the tour I attended, McDonald said, “The best thing about this system is that the panels come with windows installed.” (See Image #6.) This is a big deal. Most water and air leakage problems in walls occur at windows. It’s not easy to get the flashing details and air sealing done properly with a site-built house. (If you doubt that, just ask anyone who repairs existing homes.)Yes, if you’re a custom builder and have a stable crew, you can get good window installations consistently. When the windows and doors come factory-installed, however, your job on the site becomes a whole lot easier. And faster.Another thing McDonald emphasized was how quickly he could finish a project. The Capital 2 project he’s working on is going up at the rate of one story per week. That’s about 5,000 square feet of floor area dried in, insulated, and air-sealed in one week.They do foundations, tooAnother thing the Build SMART team has developed is a form for slab footings. Image #7, below, shows a section of it. It’s a hunk of EPS lined with a vapor barrier. You put rebar inside, fill it with concrete, and voilà — you have an insulated, watertight foundation footing or slab edge.Is Build SMART the answer?Well, nothing is the answer that solves all our construction problems. There’s no silver bullet. But the Build SMART panelized system sure does help you get a nice, superinsulated, airtight building that can meet the rigorous standards for Passive House certification.It’s a new system, and as such, they’re still improving it. When I posted a photo from my visit to Philly on LinkedIn, Professor John Straube made a good observation about air barriers. He said the system looked nice but his “only caveat [is] to add is that you also want the air barrier to be inspectable during construction in a perfect world.”With this system, the air seal between panels is hidden behind the framing on the interior. If there’s enough of a gap and the exterior hasn’t been sealed yet, light coming through will show places that got missed. There’s not always enough of a gap, though. If a missed seal is behind framing that doesn’t have a gap, you won’t be able to see light coming through. This is far from a fatal flaw, and I expect the Build SMART team to come up with ways to overcome it. For now, make sure the crew putting the panels together understands the importance of sealing every joint and seam and that there’s a good quality control process happening concurrently.I look forward to seeing the Build SMART system’s evolution. I was really impressed with what I saw of it at the Passive House conference this year. I was even more impressed with what I saw in the field. In fact, I’m even dreaming of building my next house with Build SMART panels.It may not be the answer, but it certainly helps move high performance building forward. McDonald’s perspective is that Build SMART is “one answer to ‘scaling’ affordable multi-family Passive house and Net-Zero-Energy buildings in this country.” Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

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Where Are You on YOUR Cultural Competence Journey?

first_imgYours in learning,Brigitte Scott, Ph.D.Director of Program Development and EvaluationMilitary Families Learning [email protected] We are just a week away from the start of the virtual conference! Are you ready? No matter where you are with your own cultural competency skills, this conference and all those participating in it are here to support you and your growth. Cultural competence is a journey—a commitment to exploring ourselves, the world around us, our actions in it, and how our actions impact others. No matter where you find yourself along your cultural competence trajectory, this year’s conference will have so much to offer you. Building our cultural competence takes a multi-pronged approach to learning and behavior change. As I’ve been speaking with presenters and watching the conference sessions unfold, I am reminded that one of the many ways we can think about building cultural competence—no matter our previous experiences with it—is to think about hard and soft skills.As professionals, we all work to build both hard and soft skills in our daily activities at work and in our communities. Hard skills are things that we can learn, measure, and test; they are often skills that we need to do our jobs and do them well. This year’s conference is certain to support us in building our hard skills around cultural competence: we’ll be learning and talking about key terms such as privilege and oppression, power, micro-aggressions, and disparities. We’ll better understand the difference between equality and equity, learn about the social and medical models of disability, and take a hard look at data that shed light on inequities from several angles. We’ll walk away with assessment tools and frameworks that will help us provide the best possible services to the diverse families we work with. All of this knowledge will inform our daily activities and support increased cultural competence in our professional responsibilities, helping us to become successful allies and advocates. But so much of building our cultural competence lies in soft skills—those skills that are important to us as individuals, define who we are, and provide insights into our personalities, our priorities, and our authentic selves. These are leadership and communication skills; things like creativity, how we handle conflict, and how we make decisions; and include qualities such as flexibility, confidence, and work ethic. Though not an exhaustive list, these are some of the soft skills we’ll have opportunities to explore and develop over the course of the virtual conference, with the hope that we’ll be prepared and motivated to continue the journey long after the conference is over. We’ll engage in self-reflection, sharing, authentic communication, handling conflict, and practicing awareness. While we won’t get to exchange knowing nods or have coffee in person, we will have plenty of opportunities to interact with each other. We’ll have the usual chat box during the conference sessions, and the ability to private message friends, colleagues, and new additions to our professional networks. But this year, to support the building of those essential soft skills, we have a few more opportunities for you to take advantage of. Have you seen or are you already participating in the Storytelling for Cultural Competence pre-conference journaling activity to begin practicing self-reflection and awareness? You can start this journaling experience at any time. It is self-paced, and will continue throughout the conference. You’ll notice guiding questions that you’ll see in each conference session as well as in the conference journal, providing opportunities for you to reflect on prior knowledge, and help you get ready to contribute to meaningful conference conversations. Have you had a chance to sign up for and participate in the conference forum, where you can share and dialog with others? This is a forum open to conference participants only, and will be a private and safe space to share experiences, network, and reflect. Throughout the conference, we’ll be here participating along with you in our own journeys of cultural competence. But we’ll also be here to see what our learning network can offer those of you who are really looking to continue your journey with those you’ve engaged with during the conference. What WILL happen after the conference when you take all you’ve learned back to your workplace? What will it be like? Will you get to practice your new skills? Will you have support? We don’t know the answers to those questions, but as educators and professionals committed to high-quality professional development opportunities, we want to be there with you to find out. We want to know what we can do to help. And so after the conference, we’ll be looking for ideas from you: What do you need? How can we assist you? One of my most favorite things about my job is that I get to think about how we can help you—help each other—be lifelong learners. I want to know what we at the MFLN can do to help you on your learning paths with the resources we have. Don’t be shy! Let us know!One more exciting bit to share is that my colleague Alicia Cassels has developed a wonderful podcast series called Show Up Inspired. Her podcasts focus on how professionals can bring their best selves to our work. Cultural competence, hard skills, soft skills—these are all a part of that. But so is self care. So is building our personal networks. So have a listen on your commute, or while you work out, or fold laundry. Alicia will be continuing to develop this podcast series this year, with the idea that it will be appealing to all our network participants, much like having an issue-based conference on cultural competency. So please, join us, whenever you can, however you can. “Bring” your colleagues, spread the word, and maybe even reserve a conference room for your department so you can all participate together. We’ll be offering free continuing education credits to social workers, case managers, and registered dietitians for most of the sessions. I hope to see you next week, and look forward to learning not just with you, but from you.last_img read more

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