Showing posts from December 14, 2016

They Have, Right Now, Another You

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[How much does Facebook know about you? And how much of that is dead wrong? Now multiply that by the Internet of Things. *RON*]

Sue Halpern, New York Review of Books, 22 December 2016 ISSUE Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil, Crown, 259 pp., $26.00Virtual Competition: The Promise and Perils of the Algorithm-Driven Economy by Ariel Ezrachi and Maurice E. Stucke, Harvard University Press, 356 pp., $29.95 A few months ago The Washington Post reported that Facebook collects ninety-eight data points on each of its nearly two billion users. Among this ninety-eight are ethnicity, income, net worth, home value, if you are a mom, if you are a soccer mom, if you are married, the number of lines of credit you have, if you are interested in Ramadan, when you bought your car, and on and on and on.

America's first offshore wind farm just launched with GE turbines twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty

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[It's happening, as it must... As usual, the purblind United States lags way behind, although this is a milestone. *RON*]

Leanna Garfield, Business Insider, 12 December 2016

The US uses an astounding amount of energy: about 97 quadrillion BTUs, or about 18% of world's total energy consumption. And demand is only going to increase over time.

The vast majority of the energy the country consumes comes from fossil fuels, and isn't renewable or sustainable. But wind farms offer a promising alternative.

Fossil fuel divestment funds double to $5tn in a year

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[It's growing, as it must... UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon welcomes new total revealing concern over coal, oil and gas investments has entered financial mainstream. *RON*]
Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 12 December 2016
The value of investment funds committed to selling off fossil fuel assets has jumped to $5.2tn, doubling in just over a year.

The new total, published on Monday, was welcomed by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who said: “It’s clear the transition to a clean energy future is inevitable, beneficial and well underway, and that investors have a key role to play.”

Billions of litres of raw sewage, untreated waste water pouring into Canadian waterways


Business Tips from a Refugee Camp

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[It's really something, how human ingenuity and flourishing continue under any and all circumstances. *RON*]

Richard Davies, 1843 Magazine / The Economist, 8 December 2016

Many of the Syrians who have fled to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan have started companies there. Their business acumen would impress any management consultant
Getting into the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan is a complicated affair. Forms must be filled in, letters written and passports scanned. Then, after an unspecified wait, the authorities will suddenly issue a permit granting a limited window during which you can enter. So when the green light comes you need to drop everything and go.

UNICEF: One child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen

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[At least 462,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition with 2.2m in need of urgent care, UNICEF says. This is apparently the war that wasn't for all the attention it gets. You might make a Saudi prince uncomfortable if you bring it up, after all. *RON*]

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies, 13 December 2016

More than 400,000 children are at risk of starvation in Yemen, with nearly 2.2 million in need of urgent care, according to the UN children's agency UNICEF.

New figures indicate that hunger among children has reached an "all-time high", with at least 462,000 suffering from severe acute malnutrition - a drastic increase of about 200 percent since 2014.