In 1883, Krakatoa erupted, spewing volcanic ash and gas into the stratosphere, making clouds more reflective and cooling the entire planet by roughly 1° C that year. In 2018, the UN reported that human activity has already raised Earth’s temperature by 1°, and if we don’t do something drastic soon, the results will be catastrophic.
The optimal solution is staring us in the face, of course; reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately this optimal solution is politically untenable and extremely expensive. A decade ago McKinsey estimated it would cost $1 trillion just to halve the growth of carbon emissions … in India alone. That’s still less than the cost of doing nothing — estimated at $20 trillion by Nature, which doesn’t include its toll on human lives — but it’s a cost which seems to make the necessary political decisions impossible.
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking warns of genetically-enhanced “superhumans” in a book set to be published Tuesday.
The late Cambridge University professor, who passed away in March, argues that humans will soon become capable of editing their own genes, allowing them to enhance specific traits.
In an excerpt from the book, entitled “Brief Answers to the Big Questions,” Hawking predicted that “self-designed evolution” would allow certain individuals to quickly evolve beyond normal humans.
Facebook said Thursday it pulled down more than 800 pages and accounts that posted sensational political content for violating its rules against spam and “inauthentic behavior” ahead of the US midterm elections.
While Facebook has denied allegations it suppresses conservative voices, some users who got their pages pulled down accused the tech firm of political bias.
The social media giant said it removed 559 pages and 251 accounts for running afoul of its rules. Some of these accounts tried to drive traffic to their websites for ad dollars and misled users into thinking they were forums for political debate, according to the company. Others used fake likes and shares so their content showed up higher in the social network’s News Feed. Spammers would also create multiple pages and accounts to reach more users, the company said.
The FBI has asked Facebook not to reveal who may be behind a recent hack that exposed highly sensitive personal information of 14 million users, according to a Facebook security update Friday.
A hack on Facebook, which originally was reported to have affected 50 million users, now has been confirmed to have only affected 30 million. That said, the hack “appears to be the worst hack in Facebook’s 14-year history,” according to Business Insider’s Rob Price.
Hackers took advantage of an intersection of three different and distinct bugs in Facebook’s website to gain “access tokens” to users’ accounts, according to Guy Rosen, the vice president of product management at Facebook.
Google is closing the Google+ social network after an error exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users last spring, in an incident which the company never disclosed to those affected.
Google put the “final nail in the coffin” of the Google+ product by shutting down “all consumer functionality,” the Wall Street Journal reported citing an internal memo.
A senior editor of a leftist publication mocked House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) calls for civility in politics.
Scalise, who was shot and nearly killed last year by a deranged leftist during a congressional baseball practice, tweeted Monday that the left’s threats of violence against Republican politicians must stop.
“These vicious threats have to stop. This cannot be the new normal—there is absolutely no place for violence in our political discourse. Democratic leaders need to denounce this behavior,” he wrote.
With the push of a button and at the direction of President Donald Trump, a “Presidential Alert” was sent to all cellphones across America at 2:18 p.m. ET yesterday.
The message was the first test of what many are calling the “Presidential Alert” system, a new way to notify Americans across the country of national emergencies.
A 2015 law called the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act limits the scope of what can be considered a valid emergency alert:
Except to the extent necessary for testing the public alert and warning system, the public alert and warning system shall not be used to transmit a message that does not relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety.
In 2015, Amazon.com Inc. began quietly evaluating a startup called Elemental Technologies, a potential acquisition to help with a major expansion of its streaming video service, known today as Amazon Prime Video. Based in Portland, Ore., Elemental made software for compressing massive video files and formatting them for different devices. Its technology had helped stream the Olympic Games online, communicate with the International Space Station, and funnel drone footage to the Central Intelligence Agency. Elemental’s national security contracts weren’t the main reason for the proposed acquisition, but they fit nicely with Amazon’s government businesses, such as the highly secure cloud that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was building for the CIA.
To help with due diligence, AWS, which was overseeing the prospective acquisition, hired a third-party company to scrutinize Elemental’s security, according to one person familiar with the process. The first pass uncovered troubling issues, prompting AWS to take a closer look at Elemental’s main product: the expensive servers that customers installed in their networks to handle the video compression. These servers were assembled for Elemental by Super Micro Computer Inc., a San Jose-based company (commonly known as Supermicro) that’s also one of the world’s biggest suppliers of server motherboards, the fiberglass-mounted clusters of chips and capacitors that act as the neurons of data centers large and small. In late spring of 2015, Elemental’s staff boxed up several servers and sent them to Ontario, Canada, for the third-party security company to test, the person says.