Does Google Damages The Environment ?

Two Google searches produce the same amount of CO2 as bringing water to a boil on your stove top, according to research from Harvard University. Google claims that the Harvard study is flawed. The Harvard study was first published in British newspaper The Sunday Times.

According to the report just carrying out a typical search through Google can generate about 7 grams of carbon dioxide. Alex Wissner-Gross, the Harvard University professor that authored the report, says that even just browsing a basic Website can generate about 0.002g of CO2 for every second it is viewed. Sites with complex video can bring even more CO2 in the atmosphere, somewhere around 0.2g per second.

But Google doesn’t seem to be happy with the negative publicity the latest Harvard research brings. Only hours after the initial publishing, Google posted on their official blog an article explaining how they “have designed and built the most energy efficient data centers in the world,” calling Dr. Wissner-Gross’s research numbers “many times too high.” Google also says that driving a car for a kilometer (0.6 miles) equates to the same amount of CO2 produced by a thousand of your Google searches.

So is Googling bad for the environment or not? Well, Google definitely has an impact over the environment, due the large amounts of energy it uses in its data centers around the world. But as Google points out, in comparison to other industries (such as the automobile), the effects it has over the environment are comparably lower. The only thing left to see is how good to the planet Google will be as years go by and even more people gain access to the Internet.

Google releases Chrome 2.0 Alpha

Less than a month after announcing that version 1.0 of its Chrome Web browser is no longer a beta, Google has released an alpha version of Chrome 2.0. Available through Google’s Chrome Developer Channel, the updated browser brings many notable improvements over Chrome 1.0.

The alpha version of Chrome 2.0 shows that Google continues to play catch-up with its elder siblings, Internet Explorer and Firefox. Updates to the Chrome browser include the addition of form autocomplete (one of the features most obviously missing from the initial release), full-page zoom, spell checking improvements, and auto-scrolling–among other features.

One of the most interesting new features in the pre-beta 2.0 of Chrome is called Profiles. This lets users separate Chrome’s settings, including bookmarks, history and cookies, in different categories for different types of use. For example, you can have personal and work profiles, both with different home pages, bookmarks and history, together with separate desktop shortcuts.

The 2.0 Chrome pre-beta also uses a new version of the WebKit rendering engine, basically the same as the one in Apple’s Safari 3.1, which enables some CSS coding features such as gradients, canvas drawing, reflections, and masks. Also, Google implemented experimental support for Greasemonkey scripts.

For those with security in mind, along the SafeBrowsing implementation, Chrome 2.0 introduces a new HTTPS-only browsing mode that will only load HTTPS sites. The downside of this feature is that sites with SSL certificate errors will not load.

Other new features include:

– Importing bookmarks from Google Bookmarks;

– Docking dragged tabs (drag a tab to certain positions on the monitor and a docking icon will appear);

– Update of the V8 Javascript engine (to version 0.4.6.0 from 0.3.9.3);

– New network code (Google Chrome now has its own implementation of the HTTP network protocol);

– New window frames on Windows XP and Vista (supporting windows cascading and tiling).

new version of Chrome, you’ll need an earlier version of the browser installed on your computer. You’ll also need to subscribe to the Developer Preview Channel (it’s free); the new version will then download automatically.