By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
Joshua S. Goldstein, a professor emeritus of international relations at American University, and Staffan A. Qvist, an energy engineer and consultant, writing for The Wall Street Journal: Climate scientists tell us that the world must drastically cut its fossil fuel use in the next 30 years to stave off a potentially catastrophic tipping point for the planet. Confronting this challenge is a moral issue, but it's also a math problem -- and a big part of the solution has to be nuclear power. Today, more than 80% of the world's energy comes from fossil fuels, which are used to generate electricity, to heat buildings and to power car and airplane engines. Worse for the planet, the consumption of fossil fuels is growing quickly as poorer countries climb out of poverty and increase their energy use. Improving energy efficiency can reduce some of the burden, but it's not nearly enough to offset growing demand.
Any serious effort to decarbonize the world economy will require, then, a great deal more clean energy, on the order of 100 trillion kilowatt-hours per year, by our calculations -- roughly equivalent to today's entire annual fossil-fuel usage. A key variable is speed. To reach the target within three decades, the world would have to add about 3.3 trillion more kilowatt-hours of clean energy every year. Solar and wind power alone can't scale up fast enough to generate the vast amounts of electricity that will be needed by midcentury, especially as we convert car engines and the like from fossil fuels to carbon-free energy sources. Even Germany's concerted recent effort to add renewables -- the most ambitious national effort so far -- was nowhere near fast enough. A global increase in renewables at a rate matching Germany's peak success would add about 0.7 trillion kilowatt-hours of clean electricity every year. That's just over a fifth of the necessary 3.3 trillion annual target.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
H. Peter Soyer, Professor of Dermatology, and Katie Lee, Research assistant at The University of Queensland, write: There's a lot to be said for sunshine -- both good and bad. It's our main source of vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health. Populations with higher levels of sun exposure also have better blood pressure and mood levels, and fewer autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. On the other hand, excess UV exposure is estimated to contribute to 95% of melanomas and 99% of non-melanoma skin cancers. These skin cancers account for a whopping 80% of all new cancers each year in Australia.
Like any medicine, the dose counts. And in Australia, particularly in the summer, our dose of UV is so high that even short incidental exposures -- like while you hang out the washing or walk from your carpark into the shops -- adds up to huge lifetime doses. Fortunately, when it comes to tanning, the advice is clear: don't. A UV dose that's high enough to induce a tan is already much higher than the dose needed for vitamin D production. A four-year-long study of 1,113 people in Nambour, Queensland, found no difference in vitamin D levels between sunscreen users and sunscreen avoiders. Further reading: Is Sunscreen the New Margarine?Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department
Huawei would never allow China's government to access customer data, even if Beijing requested it, the CEO and founder of the company repeatedly emphasized Tuesday, amid continued political pressure on the Chinese technology giant. From a report: In a rare sit down with international media, Ren Zhengfei addressed concerns raised by the U.S. government, which has warned that the company's equipment could allow the Chinese government to have a backdoor into a nation's telecommunications network. Ren, speaking Mandarin and using a company-provided translator, told the group that Huawei has never handed data to Beijing. "When it comes to cybersecurity and privacy protection we are committed to be sided with our customers. We will never harm any nation or any individual," Ren told the journalists assembled at Huawei's headquarters in Shenzhen, China.
"China's ministry of foreign affairs has officially clarified that no law in China requires any company to install mandatory back doors. Huawei and me personally have never received any request from any government to provide improper information," Ren added. [...] But Ren actually praised the U.S. president. "For President Trump as a person, I still believe he is a great president," he said. "In the sense that he was bold to slash taxes. And I think that's conducive for the development of industries in the United States."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's end-of-road department
DerbyCon 9.0, the upcoming edition of the popular InfoSec conference in September, will be its last. From an official announcement: When we first started DerbyCon, our goal was to create a conference where we could all come together to collaborate and share as a community, but most importantly as a profession. DerbyCon 1.0 was a huge gamble for us both personally and financially, but we believed in what we were doing, and it worked. For those that don't know the history of DerbyCon, it started off inside of a pizza shop as an idea between a few friends. Our goal was to create an affordable conference that shared a lot of what we had experienced in our early days in security. The ideas of collaboration, community, and the betterment of the industry and the safety of technology were at the forefront. At the end of DerbyCon 1.0, we realized that the conference was a huge success and our dream became a reality.
[...] What we have had to deal with on the back-end the past few years is more than just running a conference and sharing with friends. The conference scene in general changed drastically and small pocket groups focus on outrage and disruption where there is no right answer (regardless of how you respond, it's wrong), instead of coming together, or making the industry better. There is a small, yet vocal group of people creating negativity, polarization, and disruption, with the primary intent of self-promotion to advance a career, for personal gain, or for more social media followers. Individuals that would have us be judge, jury, and executioner for people they have had issues with outside of the conference that has nothing to do with the conference itself.
< article continued at Slashdot's end-of-road department
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's fresh-start department
Being one of the oldest forms of electronic messaging, users have come up with all sorts of different approaches to managing emails. Some people follow the "Inbox Zero" method of filing and deleting emails religiously, while others embrace the "Inbox Infinity" method of letting email messages pile up, replying to what they can and ignoring the rest. Taylor Lorenz, a staff writer at The Atlantic, suggests users embrace the latter for 2019. Lulu Garcia-Nevarro writes via NPR: In a recent piece in The Atlantic, tech writer Taylor Lorenz argues, in 2019, you should lose the zero and embrace the Zen. Let all those emails flooding your inbox wash over you. Respond to what you can, and ignore the rest. Key to inbox infinity -- telling close contacts and family that your email replies might be slow in coming -- if at all -- as well as alternative ways to reach you. It's that easy. Or maybe not, depending on how email-dependent your boss, your colleagues and your best friend, your mom and your husband are. As for me, I've apparently been embracing inbox infinity for years without knowing it. And let me tell you, it feels great. Don't expect a reply anytime soon. How do you manage your inbox? Would you say you follow one of these two principles, or do you have an in-between method that works for you?Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-improved department
Tesla is proposing ways to modernize the electric grid of Greece's many islands in the Mediterranean sea with microgrids and renewable energy to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. "Several Greek islands are relatively remote and rely heavily on fossil fuels to power their electric grid," notes Electrek. From the report: The Greek Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr. George Stathakis, confirmed last week that they have met with Tesla to discuss the deployment of microgrids in Greek islands. They issued the following statement (translated from Greek via Capital.gr): "[...] The extremely interesting thing that emerged from the meeting is that technological progress has now significantly reduced the cost of energy storage. At the same time, successful competitions for new RES investments in Greece, led to an equally significant reduction in the cost of energy production. As a result, the conversion of the islands to RES, apart from being environmentally useful, is now also economically viable. In this context, cooperation with Tesla can prove to be extremely beneficial, as the American company officials have highlighted, showing strong interest in the initiatives promoted by the Ministry for 'smart' and 'energy' islands." Tesla has reportedly already suggested a pilot project to demonstrate their microgrid system in the region. The government would like it to be on the island of Limnos. The idea is to install a large solar array and combine it with an energy storage facility to store the excess energy during the day and use it at night when the sun is not shining.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's proof-of-concept department
secwatcher quotes a report from Threatpost: Researchers hacked the Docker test platform called Play-with-Docker, allowing them to access data and manipulate any test Docker containers running on the host system. The proof-of-concept hack does not impact production Docker instances, according to CyberArk researchers that developed the proof-of-concept attack. "The team was able to escape the container and run code remotely right on the host, which has obvious security implications," wrote researchers in a technical write-up posted Monday.
Play-with-Docker is an open source free in-browser online playground designed to help developers learn how to use containers. While Play-with-Docker has the support of Docker, it was not created by nor is it maintained by the firm. The environment approximates having the Alpine Linux Virtual Machine in browser, allowing users to build and run Docker containers in various configurations. The vulnerability was reported to the developers of the platform on November 6. On January 7, the bug was patched. As for how many instances of Play-with-Docker may have been affected, "CyberArk estimated there were as many as 200 instances of containers running on the platform it analyzed," reports Threatpost. "It also estimates the domain receives 100,000 monthly site visitors."Read Replies (0)