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How well has China’s ultra low-emissions policy worked? Well by drops of 65% to 72% in just three years!

Date Published: Mon, 14 Oct 2019 22:44:11 +0200

Air pollution is a global health crisis, and China's pollution problem is particularly severe: in 2017 alone, nearly a million deaths were attributed to pollution.

China's "ultra-low emissions" policy targeted the sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and particulate matter (fine airborne particles) that have been driving the country's air pollution crisis. The policy set new, stringent standards for coal-fired power plants, and it had an ambitious timeline: 71% of existing plants needed to meet the new standards by 2020.

To figure out how much difference the policy has made, a group of economists and environmental scientists in China and the UK built and analyzed a massive database of emissions measurements. They drew on an official Chinese government network of monitoring systems that track emissions across the country. Power plants above a certain size in China are required to install emissions monitoring equipment for the network. This meant the researchers could access hourly measurements from thousands of power plants between 2014 and 2017.

These measurements showed a dramatic decrease in all three pollutants at coal power plants: sulphur dioxide emissions had dropped by 75%, nitrous oxides by 76%, and particulates by a dramatic 83%.

It shows what can be done if the right incentives are in place. Air pollution is a massive global problem, especially for large cities. It's not just deaths but also astronomical health bills and unemployment that have to be dealt with before people die. In many countries, the taxpayers have to foot the bill for this.

See https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/10/how-well-has-chinas-ultra-low-emissions-policy-worked/

#airpollution #environment #china
#^How well has China’s ultra low-emissions policy worked?

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Drops of over 70% in just three years leaves the country with much cleaner air.

Backup and Restore Your Android Data with CoolMuster - It's not free but is pretty complete

Date Published: Mon, 14 Oct 2019 22:35:42 +0200

CoolMuster is an excellent choice if you’re looking to back up our Android phone. It covers the basics, and then some. The app can reliably back up any and all data on a phone, and put it back so that restoring a phone is as easy as copying a bunch of files. The app works in pairs; you have to install its desktop client on your Windows PC or Mac, and it will install or ask you to install a companion app on your Android phone. Together, these apps will be able to back up everything.

Yep $39.95 lifetime license is not that cheap but if it backs up and restores more than just messages and contacts it could be useful for those migrating between different Android phones. It also has a screenshot and normal file copy operations too and I like that it can work across local Wifi and not only via a USB cable.

See a review of it at https://www.addictivetips.com/android/coolmuster-review/

#coolmuster #android #utility
#^Backup and Restore Your Android Data with CoolMuster (Review)

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Android OS runs on a variety of devices, both phones and tablets. At any given time, there will be several different versions of the OS running on a myriad

I will use buses, carpool during Odd-Even: Delhi Transport Minister - Good to see a politician Walking his own Talk

Date Published: Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:52:55 +0200

The Odd-Even scheme is set to return to Delhi for third time from November 4 to 15, and state Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has promised that the state government will make no exceptions for its ministers and he himself will be seen travelling by the Metro, buses or carpool during the period. "We will follow the same rules as the people. You will find me in buses and metros. I will also use carpool. There will be no exceptions," he said.

Gahlot said the government is fully prepared for the scheme, which it hopes will result in a drop in the city's level of air pollution.

Usually, politicians are just more important than business leaders or voters and justify their flashing lights brigades...

See https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay.aspx

#airpollution #india #environment

#^https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay.aspx

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This Website Lets You Test Over 800 Linux Distros Right from Your Browser

Date Published: Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:38:06 +0200

If you are an avid Linux user who hops distros every weekend, it can be confusing at times to pick a distro to install. Well, not anymore. There exists a website named DistroTest that lets you test Linux operating systems from your web browser without requiring any sort of installation so that you can get a better idea regarding what to expect from the operating system without even downloading it.

The website offers 807 versions of Linux distros across 244 operating systems and hence, it is more likely that the distro you’re planning to check out will have its version on DistroTest. The best part is, it won’t ask any of your personal information and will not require you to create an account on the website.

But because of previous abuse there is no Internet access from these distros. It is basically firing up the Live CD's in a VNC Viewer. But still useful if you are tossing up between two or three distros to take a dive into.

See https://beebom.com/test-linux-distros-browser/

#linux #distros
#^This Website Lets You Test Linux Distros from Your Browser | Beebom

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Are you tired of distro hopping every other day? Well, check out this website that lets you test linux distros right from your web browser.

7 Tips for Planning Your Funeral, and Why You Should - Especially if you wish to be Cremated within a Traditional Family

Date Published: Sun, 13 Oct 2019 20:44:45 +0200

Let's face it -- unless you're a fictional character, you're going to die. And if you care about your money and your family, it will save a lot of grief if you create a funeral plan before the grieving starts. But according to a 2017 report by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), only 21% of Americans discuss details about their funeral with loved ones.

Sure, when you're gone, you're gone, so it may not seem necessary to create a funeral plan. But it is -- mostly because if you don't, your loved ones will be making plans upon your passing while simultaneously mourning your loss. Do you really want them coping with decisions about casket types and music selections while their hearts are breaking?

I was thinking about this the other day when speaking to someone whose brother had died, and they had to transport his body a long distance for burial according to "family tradition". The interesting part was the brother did not wish all this expense and trouble and would have been happy with cremation and having his ashes scattered later on at that other location. The younger family members though could not express this within the "traditional family views". If the deceased had just expressed his wishes before the time it could have been a lot simpler.

See some useful tips to consider at https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/08/25/7-tips-for-planning-your-funeral-and-why-you-shoul.aspx

#death #funeral
#^7 Tips for Planning Your Funeral, and Why You Should | The Motley Fool

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When the end comes, have it your way. By preparing your funeral before it's necessary, you'll help your family and ensure your final wishes are fulfilled.

You’re Missing Out on the Best Kind of Podcasts - Audio Drama Podcasts

Date Published: Sun, 13 Oct 2019 17:28:19 +0200

Everyone should be listening to an audio drama podcast—the kind of podcast that plays out like theater or movies or TV. Listening to podcasts without any audio dramas like watching TV without ever trying Game of Thrones or Arrested Development or Orange Is the New Black. And while the medium is about to explode with spinoffs of existing franchises, there are already dozens of great original shows to try.

Podcasts are great at filling the gaps in activities such as waiting in queues, sitting in the traffic or on a bus, whilst gardening, sitting on a plane, and many more. They can educate or entertain, they usually cost nothing, and they bring back memories of listening to old time radio shows (many of which are also now on podcasts themselves like Boxcars).

Here are some of the best ideas at https://lifehacker.com/you-re-missing-out-on-the-best-kind-of-podcast-1837940832

#podcasts #audio #technology
#^You’re Missing Out on the Best Kind of Podcast

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Everyone should be listening to an audio drama podcast—the kind of podcast that plays out like theater or movies or TV. Listening to podcasts without any audio dramas like watching TV without ever trying Game of Thrones or Arrested Development or Orange Is the New Black. And while the medium is about to explode with spinoffs of existing franchises, there are already dozens of great original shows to try. Here are some of the best.

Will South Africa Build Electric Vehicles? EV usage should have given Eskom a big boost in electricity revenue!

Date Published: Sun, 13 Oct 2019 09:02:26 +0200

Production of vehicles increased only a little more than 1% last year, and at best another 1% this year. The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has noted the decline of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle sales in Europe, China, the United States, and elsewhere and has become concerned the EV revolution could leave South Africa “behind in the global switch to greener vehicles.”

Currently, South Africa has imported fewer than 1,000 electric vehicles, and these are very expensive models which are unaffordable to the average driver. It is a dismal situation as the existing ICE manufacturing is going to start fading away (important to retain existing manufacturing jobs). Eskom is also faced with dwindling electricity usage as all consumers have drastically cut back on their electricity consumption in response to the rolling blackouts. All things being good, the advent of EV's should have been a boost to fresh manufacturing sales as well as rising demand in electricity sales for Eskom to make up their sales decline (but they do not have the capacity).

So with South Africa not yet being ready on both fronts we are losing out dramatically on the rising wave which is EVs. The big question is whether South Africa will catch up in time or will another African country take the lead?

What we do know s the World is not on pause waiting for South Africa. The supply and demand of economics dictates that someone else will fill the void if the demand grows.

See https://cleantechnica.com/2019/10/12/will-south-africa-build-electric-vehicles/

#southafrica #EV
#^Will South Africa Build Electric Vehicles?

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Like Germany is to Europe, South Africa is the manufacturing powerhouse of sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, it has 8 automobile assembly plants. The companies are BMW, Ford, Isuzu, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, and Volkswagen. In 2018, South Africa produced 610,854 vehicles.

Political ads can lie if they want, Facebook confirms - This is unbelievable and effectively allows misinformation to voters

Date Published: Sat, 12 Oct 2019 20:56:21 +0200

A few weeks ago, Facebook made it clear that posts shared by politicians are exempt from Facebook's community standards and also from fact-checking. The company did, however, indicate one area where posts made by politicians' accounts could be subject to scrutiny: in paid advertising. Faced with a stark real-world test, though, Facebook appears once again to be erring on the side of letting misinformation circulate far and wide if a politician promotes it.

And other publishers like CNN won't air the same adverts. A private individual expressing fake news can be taken down but not a political party providing fake news. That is basically called propaganda and can certainly influence voters negatively. This can certainly be exploited by devious politicians and shows the depths that Facebook is sinking to with regards to protecting its users. I can see why Facebook is gaining a more and more negative perception because it seems to have lost anymore compass that it had.

There is no perfect social network (except the one you run yourself on Hubzilla, Friendica, Mastodon, etc) but one that has been gaining a lot of followers based around interests and groups is MeWe. MeWe has a plain policy about trust, no adverts, no targeting and your data is #Not4Sale.

See https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/10/political-ads-can-lie-if-they-want-facebook-confirms/

#deletefacebook #politics #fakenews
#^Political ads can lie if they want, Facebook confirms

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Last month, the company said paid speech was different. This month, not so much.

Usually, technological advances are better but no so for shaving as the safety razor is still cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and better for preventing ingrown hairs

Date Published: Sat, 12 Oct 2019 20:39:28 +0200

The safety razor was first patented in 1880 and quickly became the tool that all men (at least, those who weren’t brave enough to stick with a straight razor) shaved with. Some 50 years later the electric razor was introduced to great fanfare and remains extremely popular.

Yet safety razors are still very much with us, as the shaving implement of choice for hundreds of millions of men.

Some choose safety razors for their convenience (with no cords or batteries, they can be taken and used anywhere) or their price (many lesser models are inexpensive and use replaceable blades which cost well under a dollar). But the number-one attraction for most men is the superior, close, safe shave that the best safety razors can deliver.

See more about factors to consider and a selection of some of the different types to choose from at https://groomandstyle.com/art-of-shaving/5-top-safety-razors/

#shaving #safetyrazor #traditionalshaving
#^Top 5 Best Safety Razor Reviews

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Best Safety Razor Review - Top 5 Sharpest List for [insert_php]echo date('M. Y');[/insert_php] - Explored

Google Maps gets in-depth walking directions with detailed voice guidance - Only in the U.S. and Japan for now

Date Published: Sat, 12 Oct 2019 16:36:37 +0200

When using detailed voice guidance, Google Maps will announce the distance to your next turn, warn you of busy intersections, or notify you when you're going off route. It's these kinds of frequent updates that can help reassure someone when they are visiting a new location.

Not only can detailed voice guidance help those with visual impairments, but it can also be a useful tool for anyone who frequently uses Google Maps to get around. By using the audio-only directions, you'll be able to keep your eyes on your surroundings and get your head out of your phone.

See https://www.androidcentral.com/google-maps-gets-depth-walking-directions-detailed-voice-guidance

#googlemaps #navigation #accessibility
#^Google Maps gets in-depth walking directions with detailed voice guidance

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On World Sight Day, Google began rolling out a new feature to Google Maps that gives in-depth navigation instructions called detailed voice guidance. The feature will help those with vision impairment get around with more confidence and freedom.

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