Apple to build 200-megawatt solar farm in Nevada

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One of Apple's many solar farms.
One of Apple's many solar farms.
Photo: Apple

Apple is taking another big step to make sure it can utilize 100 percent renewable energy for its operations by expanding the solar farm it uses in Nevada.

The company revealed today that it has reached an agreement with NV Energy to add infrastructure that will generate 200 megawatts of additional solar energy by 2019. Energy created by the project will go to power Apple’s Reno data center, but some of the power will also be available to residents.

Apple VP Lisa Jackson joins federal committee overseeing automation

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Renewable energy is the Apple way, says Lisa Jackson.
Lisa Jackson presenting at an Apple keynote.
Photo: Apple

The U.S. Department of Transportation revealed that it has established a new advisory committee that will make recommendations in the field of automation.

Apple’s VP of environment and policy, Lisa Jackson, will be one of the committee’s 25 members that will work on some of the most important issues facing transportation, including self-driving cars.

Tim Cook to host fundraiser for Hillary Clinton

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Cook
Apple's CEO is helping Democrats and Republicans raise money.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook is planning to help Hillary Clinton in her bid to become the first female president in U.S. history by hosting a fundraiser in Silicon Valley next month for the Democratic nominee.

Cook helped House Speaker Paul Ryan score some sweet Silicon Valley funding at a breakfast fundraiser last month. Now the the Apple CEO is teaming up with the Hillary Victory Fund.

Apple’s environmental VP spreads the good word in India

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Apple's environmental VP meets with a school during her time in India.
Photo: Apple/Lisa Jackson

As part of Apple’s top-ranking executive’s trip to India, VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa P. Jackson this week visited “solar mamas” and a rural school where students are taught there lessons using iPads.

What Apple product launches say about Tim Cook’s leadership

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Tim Cook Apple March 21 event
Under Tim Cook's leadership, Apple is innovating in a new way.
Photo: Apple

A cynic would call it greenwashing, but the most surprising thing about Tim Cook’s “Loop you in” event was what it said about how he’s running Apple.

When Steve Jobs was around, Apple’s product events were about the products, and little else. Yeah, Jobs would often start with corporate issues, but he usually boasted about how the company was absolutely crushing it.

By contrast, the first 25 minutes of Monday’s event — almost half of the hour-long presentation — focused on things only tangentially related to Apple products. Cook and his lieutenants discussed government snooping, privacy, recycling, the environment, renewable energy, creating platforms for sustaining customers’ health — and even protecting Chinese yaks.

Jobs used to touch on issues like these, but under Cook, they’ve taken center stage. Cook has turned Apple’s product events into showcases for corporate responsibility.

The biggest takeaways from Apple’s tiniest keynote in years

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A size for every hand.
A size for every hand.
Photo: Apple

Evolution, not revolution, was the tone of today’s low-key Apple event. Smaller is better, says Apple, with two big product “reveals” that show off compact new devices with impressive internals.

While most of the announcements today have already been discussed and dissected, like the 4-inch iPhone SE, new Apple Watch bands and a smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro, there were a couple of surprises.

Here are the biggest takeaways from Apple’s oddly low-key “Let us loop you in” event.

China goes wild during Tim Cook’s week-long Apple Store tour

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Tim Cook and Apple might be moving into San Francisco.
Tim Cook and Apple might be moving into San Francisco.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook just finished a week-long tour of China, complete with stops at new Apple Stores across the country, as well as a visit to the elementary school at Communication University of China, and a meeting with China’s Vice Premier.

Cook created a Weibo account earlier this week to announce Apple’s new green initiatives in China, but the Apple CEO didn’t stop there. Rather than posting to Twitter, Cook stayed active on the Chinese microblogging all week, posting his interactions with customers and colleagues. In just five days, Tim has amassed over half a million Weibo followers (he’s got 1.3 million on Twitter) by keeping Chinese fans updated with seven posts during the trip.

Take a look at Tim’s awesome Weibo travelogue:

Apple just bought a forest 2.5 times the size of Manhattan

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Photo: Whitney Flanagan, The Conservation Fund
Apple's forest in North Carolina - where future iPhone boxes are born. Photo: Whitney Flanagan, The Conservation Fund

When you’re the richest company in the world you can afford to do crazy things: build a spaceship campus, start secret electric car projects, or buy an entire forest.

Apple announced today that it’s buying up 36,000 acres of private forest land that will be sustainably harvested and used for its packaging.

The land is broken into two tracts in Maine and North Carolina and will be managed by the Conservation Fund. Combined, the two tracts are more that two times the size of Manhattan. The pulp from the trees will go toward Apple’s packaging needs, but other companies will be able to buy fiber from them too.