North Carolina Stories December 20, 2018

North Carolina governor says state still in open negotiations with Apple for expansion

Last week, Apple announced plans to invest in a new one billion dollar campus in Austin, Texas. The company further announced massive job expansions in New York, Pittsburg and Colorado.

When pressed on why North Carolina missed out on job expansions from the tech giant, Governor Roy Cooper was quick to dispel disappointment, replying that the state still had ongoing negotiations with the company.

North Carolina Stories June 10, 2016

landfill-gas-plant

While solar panels and wind turbines are the two best-known methods of generating renewable energy, they aren’t the only approaches. The day after we learned that Apple has become a power company, we hear that it has just been given the go-ahead to employ a particularly cool method.

Landfill gas utilization traps the methane gas given off from landfill sites and either converts it into pipeline-grade gas or uses it to generate electricity. It’s doubly environmentally friendly, generating power from waste but also preventing the release of methane – a greenhouse gas – into the atmosphere …

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North Carolina Stories August 23, 2015

In this week’s episode of The Logic Pros, we are taking a look at the Moog Sub 37. Another analog instrument from legendary synth powerhouse Moog, the Sub 37 takes it up a notch offering a much deeper feature set and refined workflow compared to its baby brother, Sub Phatty.

In last week’s review we found that Sub Phatty was a more than capable instrument that brings Moog’s world famous sound at an, all things considered, affordable price tag. While the Sub 37 will certainly be reaching into your pockets a little deeper, it comes with just about everything the Sub Phatty has to offer, and then some. I might even make the argument that in some ways, for the price, it outshines Moog’s $3,000 – $5,000 Minimoog Voyagers: expand full story

North Carolina Stories June 1, 2015

Chlorine leak causes multiple injuries at Apple’s North Carolina data center

Emergency crews were called out to Apple’s data center in North Carolina this afternoon after multiple injuries were reported. The injuries reportedly followed a chlorine leak of some sort at the property although the cause of the incident is currently unknown. A total of 5 people were sent to a nearby medical center following the incident. Apple’s Lisa Jackson offered a tour of the facility where the injuries occurred today to NBC last year. The incident follows less than a week after a fire broke out at Apple’s plant in Arizona. Best wishes for those involved at the facility.

North Carolina Stories July 30, 2014

After showing more journalists around its solar-powered North Carolina data center (where it is building a third solar farm), Apple says that its new focus for renewable energy is its supply chain. The Guardian reports that the sapphire factory in Arizona forms part of this initiative.

The company is also moving to install solar and geothermal power at a plant in Mesa, Arizona that has been manufacturing sapphire glass. Apple would not directly comment on the Arizona factory but the state’s governor, Jan Brewer, has publicly praised the company’s decision to relocate there and to use solar and geothermal in manufacturing.

Apple’s VP of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson said that the company is conscious that its supply chain cannot claim the same green credentials as Apple itself …  expand full story

North Carolina Stories July 7, 2014

 

Apple Solar Center

The city of Claremont, NC has agreed to annex the land necessary for Apple to build a third solar farm near its data center in Maiden, the Hickory Daily Record reported (via MacRumors). Apple will make an initial investment of $55 million and indirectly create 75 jobs while constructing the 17.5-megawatt farm, which will be located at 3123 Kelly Blvd.

The farm won’t actually be located at the Maiden data center—or even in the city of Maiden, for that matter—though it will still be located in the same county as the other property.

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North Carolina Stories November 18, 2013

Report profiles Apple’s pioneering clean energy projects in North Carolina [photos]

GigaOM today published a lengthy piece on the state of the solar and fuel cell farm installations that Apple has been building in North Carolina in recent years.

After a visit to the 100-acre, 20 megawatt (MW) solar farm, 10MW fuel cell farm, and another 20 MW solar panel farm situated close to Apple’s North Carolina iCloud data center, the report gives a pretty in-depth look into Apple’s operations, from how its fuel cells work right down to the sheep that eat the grass on its solar farm:

The solar farm across from the data center has over 50,000 panels on 100 acres, and it took about a year to build the entire thing….Each solar panel on Apple’s farms has a microcontroller on its back, and the panels are attached to long, large trackers (the steel poles in the picture). During the day, the computers automatically and gradually tilt the solar panels so that the face of the panels follow the sun throughout the day. The above picture was taken in the late morning, so by the end of the day, the panels will have completely rotated to face where I was standing. The trackers used are single-axis trackers, which basically means they are less complex and less expensive than more precise dual-axis trackers.

You can see in the above picture that the grass is neatly maintained. Apple manages the grass under the panels in a variety of ways, but one of those is a little more unusual. Apple works with a company that ropes in sheep that eat the grass on a portion of the solar farm; when the sheep finish grazing on one spot, they’re moved to the next.

The site decided to take a look into Apple’s decision to take renewable energy into its own hands just as North Carolina utility Duke Energy is requesting that the state allow it to sell clean energy to large corporate customers. Google is one of the large companies interested in purchasing clean energy from the utility, but the hundreds of millions Apple has invested into its own renewable energy efforts have so far made it self-sufficient. The report notes Apple’s two solar farms, along with its fuel cell farm, are producing more than it needs to power its data center by around 10MW:

Apple’s second 20 MW solar panel farm, which is about 15 miles away from the data center near the town of Conover, North Carolina, is also up and running. All told, the three facilities are creating 50 MW of power, which is about 10 MW more than what Apple’s data center uses. Because of state laws, the energy is being pumped into the power grid, and Apple then uses the energy it needs from the grid. But this setup also means Apple doesn’t need large batteries, or other forms of energy storage, to keep the power going when the sun goes down and its solar panels stop producing electricity.

The full feature on GigaOM is worth checking out if you’re interested in Apple’s renewable energy projects.

North Carolina Stories October 18, 2012

StubHub Tickets: There are a few notable apps already hitting the App Store today. StubHub, which recently announced Passbook support for University of Texas and Purdue University, is today announcing Passbook integration for University of North Carolina Tar Heels events starting with the first home football game on October 27. StubHub has rolled out support for Apple’s new Passbook app for four schools total, but plans to roll out support for its 60+ partners in the near future, which include franchises in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA. Tar Heels fans will now have the “Add to Passbook” option available when purchasing tickets through StubHub’s iOS app.

ReaddleDocs version 3.2.5:

– iPhone 5 compatibility

KODAK Professional Film App: Kodak released a new app today that allows users to learn about types of Kodak films, file formats, and where to buy and process film.

For example, are you in the UK and looking for KODAK PORTRA Professional 160 film? Or in Australia looking for a lab to develop your EKTAR 100 images? Simply download the app, select your country and find trusted partners to supply and develop your film.

VLC 2.0.4: Popular open source VLC media player is getting a big update today that includes support for new codecs and a ton of improvements and fixes: expand full story

North Carolina Stories September 14, 2012

New aerial shots of Apple’s North Carolina data center show almost complete solar farm

Apple is making a lot of progress with construction in and around its Maiden, N.C., data center. An almost-complete 100 acre solar farm is pictured in the above aerial shots provided to GigaOm by WCNC-TV.

North Carolina Stories August 1, 2012

Apple gets approval from Nevada Board of Economic Development for Reno data center

According to the AP, the Economic Development Board of Nevada approved a deal negotiated by the state to lure Apple Inc. to Reno with $89 million in tax breaks. Apple plans to build a 350-acre data center east of nearby Sparks. It will employ up to 200 contract workers and 35+ full-time workers with an hourly wage of $25. Apple will also build a purchasing and business center in a blighted area near downtown Reno.

Analysts estimate the projects will bring about $340 million in economic activity to the area over the next decade.

Washoe County and the city of Reno agreed to their share of the tax abatements in June. In Washoe County, Apple will get an 85 percent break on its personal property taxes, while Reno pledged 75 percent of its share of sales taxes to the company for a downtown business center.

In exchange for the tax breaks, Apple pledged to invest $1 billion in the region over 10 years. The agreement contains options to extend the abatements for two, 10-year periods provided the company meets certain benchmarks for continued investment in the region.

Apple is aggressively growing out its U.S. data center capacity, doubling up its relatively new data center and 20MW solar farm in North Carolina, as well as building another new center in Prineville, Ore.

Apple also uses its Reno office as a national tax haven.

North Carolina Stories May 17, 2012

Apple’s 20-megawatt solar farm near NC data center gets NCUC approval

The North Carolina Utilities Commission approved (PDF) Apple’s proposal to build a 20-megawatt solar farm today. Early filings suggested Apple aimed to position the farm by Nov. 1 across the street from its Maiden, N.C., date center, with operations starting Dec. 21. According to MacRumors, the official proposal filed on Feb. 15, and then it underwent to staff review, a public notice/comment session, and feedback from the State Clearinghouse. The NCUC officially approved the proposal on Monday and completed the certificate issuance Thursday:

The Public Staff presented this matter to the Commission at its Regular Staff Conference on May 14, 2012. The Public Staff recommended that the Commission approve the application and issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of a 20 MW solar photovoltaic electric generating facility to be located at 6028 Startown Road, Maiden, North Carolina.

After careful consideration, the Commission finds good cause to approve the application and issue the attached certificate of public convenience and necessity for the proposed 20 MW solar photovoltaic electric generating facility.

According to Reuters, Apple confirmed today that it is constructing two solar array installations in Maiden, with the potential to annually supply 84 million kWh of energy through streamlined solar cells and a state-of-the-art solar tracking system. A 5-megawatt fuel cell installation will support the solar farms, which will open later this year, powered-by 100 percent biogas. Apple also confirmed plans to construct a third biogas fuel-cell plant in 2012.

North Carolina Stories April 17, 2012

Greenpeace says iCloud powered with ‘dirty coal energy’

Despite Apple currently constructing one of the nation’s largest solar arrays and expanding its North Carolina data centers, Greenpeace just released its “How Clean is Your Cloud” report claiming Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft “are powering their growing 21st-century clouds with dirty, 19th-century coal energy.” The organization is urging consumers to read the 50-page report and then contact the companies mentioned to convince them to change their approach when it comes to powering the cloud.

“If Apple is really interested in having the “high percentage” of renewable energy it claims to want for the iCloud, it will have to look beyond the initial steps for on-site generation and use its tremendous cash reserves to invest in or purchase renewable energy and also to put pressure on Duke Energy to to provide cleaner energy”

Apple issued a statement to various media outlets today in response (via NPR):

“Our data center in North Carolina will draw about 20 megawatts at full capacity, and we are on track to supply more than 60 percent of that power on-site from renewable sources including a solar farm and fuel cell installation which will each be the largest of their kind in the country,” said Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokesperson. “We believe this industry-leading project will make Maiden the greenest data center ever built, and it will be joined next year by our new facility in Oregon running on 100 percent renewable energy.”

North Carolina Stories March 16, 2012

When Apple published its 2012 Facilities Report and Environmental Update, we got some new details on its plans for the now-under construction Maiden, N.C.-based iCloud data center. We reported that Apple planned to build the largest end user–owned onsite solar array in the United States across the road from the data center, as well as the largest non-utility fuel cell in the country at 5-megawatts. Today, Hickory Daily Record confirmed construction has officially begun.

…this week, work has started on the main campus of the data center. Driving by the campus, you can actually see the structure from the road. That’s because part of the berm — an earthen wall — has been demolished as part of some type of construction… What type of construction taking place on the main campus is not clear. No one is talking, or seems to know.

While it is unclear exactly what the new structure on the main campus will be, there are a few options swirling around. We know the 5-megawatt fuel cell will be next to the main data center, and the new building could house that installation. However, as HickoryDailyRecord pointed out, Maiden Town Manager Todd Herms said Apple originally planned to build two identical structures when it began construction of its Maiden data center. Apple only built one, so the new building could be the second building of the main data center.

The report noted Apple’s main contractor for data centers in area, Holder Construction, pulled zoning permits last week for a “tactical data center.” Another permit issued on Wednesday named 34 acres of the main data center campus. The current 500,000-square-foot building only occupies about 11.5 acres, so its possible the new building will be larger than the current data center. As we pointed out in our overhead shot of the data center pictured right (Thanks PilotJohn), the report also confirmed land is being cleared for the solar farm’s construction across the road. expand full story

North Carolina Stories January 23, 2012

Apple plucked a high-ranking executive from the folding Sony Ericsson Joint Venture, 9to5Mac has learned.  President of Sony Ericsson U.S. and Head of Region North America Anderson Teixeira will be heading Apple’s Latin America region.  He is leaving Sony Ericsson after a decade at the JV.

Sony is buying out Ericsson’s piece of the venture and the group is folding into Sony Electronics.

Teixeira started at Apple this month.

Internally at Apple, he is “Latin America General Manager,” but to the greater world he’s “Head of Latin America.”  He will be operating out of Apple’s small Coral Gables Florida office at 1 Alhambra Plaza Suite 700.  He has nine reports at that office.

A mid-2009 profile listed some background on his appointment at Sony:

Anderson Teixeira was based at the company’s US operations in Raleigh, North Carolina. A native of Brazil, Teixeira has been part of Sony Ericsson since the formation of the joint venture in 2001. He has led the company’s operations in Latin America, as Head of Region Latin America, based in Miami, Florida, and subsequently in Western Europe, based in Munich. As President of Sony Ericsson US, Teixeira will report to Sony Ericsson President Dick Komiyama. In his role as Head of Region North America, Teixeira will have overall responsibility for Sony Ericsson’s sales and marketing operations in the US and Canada.

It is not immediately clear who Teixeira will report to but we will update that information as it becomes available.

Apple’s Latin America presence has been growing with the iPhone spreading across carriers like wildfire and even a Foxconn iPhone production line opening in Teixeira’s native Brazil.

Videos of Teixeira discussing Sony operations are embedded below: expand full story

North Carolina Stories November 22, 2011

Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has begun a search to find senior-level executives for their cloud services. According to the report, Apple already has one Internet entrepreneur in their sights, but it hasn’t been disclosed who. To assist with their search, Apple is also reportedly looking into hiring out a recruiting firm to find solid talent.

The hopes in finding new leadership for their cloud products is undoubtedly to strengthen Apple’s already existent iCloud, but to also build new web-based applications. The report mentions that Apple is working towards building these web-based applications to limit the amount of hardware a single person needs on them at one time. The details aren’t final, though lower-level positions have already been filled to begin work. Arguably, Apple has already begun this push with iCloud.

Apple is also considering building new apps that leverage the Web to reduce people’s need to carry around numerous devices at once, according to one of the people familiar with the matter.

To assist with their movement to the cloud, Steve Jobs announced the new data center was operational in North Carolina during this year’s WWDC. The data center is home to powering all of Apple’s current cloud services, like iCloud, and presumably will power what’s coming up next.

It’s obvious that Apple will need to begin an aggressive attack on the cloud if they want to be on terms with where Google’s currently headed. It will be interesting to see how Apple will attack making web-based applications, and what else they plan to do in the cloud — but it seems they’re already off to a pretty solid start.

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North Carolina Stories October 25, 2011

Apple building 174 acre solar farm to power North Carolina data center

Charlotte Observer is reporting that Apple has begun work building a 174 acre solar farm to power their new Maiden, North Carolina data center. The data center, located in Catawba County, was revealed by Steve Jobs during the iOS 5 keynote at WWDC this year, and will be partly responsible for powering iCloud. It was […]

North Carolina Stories August 27, 2011

Apple’s grand opening of their first store in Arkansas

Today, Apple is opening three new Apple Stores in North Carolina, Arkansas, and France.

  • Arkansas – The grand opening in Little Rock will mark the state’s first Store, located at The Promenade at Chenal.  There are of course campers.
  • France – France’s new Store is located just south of Paris, at the Centre commercial régional. This makes for the country’s ninth store, after opening a new one just last weekend.
  • North Carolina– The new store is located in Charlotte in the Northlake Mall, making for North Carolina’s fifth store.

While the three new Stores are opening, Apple has made the decision to shut down stores in New York including all three in Manhattan, New Jersey and Connecticut.

In other Apple Store news, we’ve heard the Hong Kong Store is going to be delayed a month into October. But don’t worry, Apple will still be unveiling new stores in order to meet their goal of opening 30 new stores by September 30th. Apple still has 14 more to go. (via ifoAppleStore) (thanks Ryan! and Danny Ocean)

Check out a video of the opening in France after the break:

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North Carolina Stories August 21, 2011

Late last week, Verizon introduced a new 300MB data plan for $20/month for the carrier’s mid-Atlantic region. This covers Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia and North Carolina. This special data plan tier is available in a limited test run from August 18th until September 30th. The idea for the plan, according to Verizon regional president Mike Maiorana is to welcome users from non-smartphones:

This is a great introductory plan for customers who have been contemplating moving from a basic phone to a smartphone but were hesitant because of cost, said Mike Maiorana, regional president in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia. The $20 monthly access promotional plan is an opportunity for customers to learn the many benefits of having a smartphone with email and calendar functions, as well as Internet access and apps, at their fingertips

According to our sources, though, Verizon’s reasoning for the plan is not that simple. The company is actually going right after AT&T’s $15 data plan that provides users with 200MB of data usage per month. Verizon Wireless figures that an extra 100MB for only $5 is the more enticing deal. The plan also doubles as an easier route for parents to set young children up with a phone line on their Verizon plan. Because of this, Verizon Wireless currently plans to make this data plan a permanent and nationwide option by this holiday season. This could change at anytime, though, depending on response to the test-run.

VZ’s current plans

Cross posted on 9to5Google

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North Carolina Stories April 24, 2011

http://www.foxcharlotte.com/v/?i=119900869

Charlotte local news channel WCCB-TV did some snooping around the new Apple  Maiden, NC data center and details the facility including the possibility that Apple may open a campus in the area on another 70 acres they’ve purchased. expand full story

North Carolina Stories December 14, 2010

We’ve come across an interesting Apple job listing today noting the different operating systems which power Apple’s North Carolina data center. The most interesting system mentioned is Mac OS X. With Xserves on the way out is Apple really stacking the place up with Mac Pro/Mac Mini server machines?  Not bloody likely!

Our data center environment consists of Mac OS X, IBM/AIX, Sun/Solaris, and Linux systems.  Though this position is focused primarily on Red Hat Linux and Oracle Enterprise Linux, you should also understand SAN, RAID, file system, and IP networking technology.

So the question is: Is Mac OS X running on Macs (old Xserves?) or is it running virtualized on data center hardware? We’d heard some rumblings of such a virtualized Mac OSX running on vSphere a few months ago.  Such a setup would make sense in this situation.

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