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iFive: Facebook’s Green Servers, Intel Invests in Kno, Google Checkin Offers, StumbleUpon’s Billion “Finds,” Google Gives

As the saying goes: “Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.” Note: A dose of iFive, our early news summary, will more or less do the same thing.

1. Late yesterday Facebook revealed a surprisingly green core to its computer operation–efficient server and infrastructure designs that consume less energy than comparable data centers, and are 38% more energy efficient and 24% more cost effective than its previous configuration. Better yet, for the ecologically minded, Facebook is making the design of its infrastructure open source to encourage other folks to use it–it’s called the Open Compute Project. And Zuck’s gang has even more plans for its data storage.

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2. We’ve heard various exciting things about the unusual Kno tablet PC, but today’s news may be the most interesting: Intel and Advance Publications (which owns Condé Nast) have led an investment round totaling around $30 million in the tablet company. Is Intel planning a higher-grade successor to its Classmate PC range, and Condé Nast thinking about dual-page digital magazines? Kno itself is now not going to be making hardware.

3. At the start of the SXSW event recently, Google launched check-in special offers for its Latitude geolocation game to test the system out. Now it’s taking the next step in challenging existing players like Groupon and Foursquare by rolling out check-in offers across the U.S. for Android and iPhone owners. For the time being the offers are crafted in association with Google–but the expectation that a “self serve” system for ad partners is en route.

4. For years Digg was king of net story recommendations, but its various machinations have seen a change in fortune. And now there’s news that StumbleUpon, a serious contender for that same crown, has just passed one billion “stumbles,” or website discoveries per month. Since 2009 the service has nearly tripled its membership from 6 million to 15 million, and its mobile app is growing at around 40% every month. 

5. Taking a similar altruistic step as Facebook’s Open Compute plans, Google just revealed it’s donating one billion computing core hours for academic researchers to use for free so they can tackle some of the big problems facing scientists nowadays in medicine, weather, climate and so on. It’s called the Exacycle for Visiting Faculty project. 

To read more news like this follow Kit Eaton himself and Fast Company on Twitter.

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