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Friday, March 31, 2017

Oscar Wilde

 

 

 

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Good manners

 

 

 

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Richard Branson

 

 

 

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Integrity

 

 

 

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Albert Camus

 

 

 

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Plastic Straws

 

 

 

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Robert Louis Stevenson

 

 

 

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Climate change: ‘human fingerprint’ found on global extreme weather

Climate change: ‘human fingerprint’ found on global extreme weather

The fingerprint of human-caused climate change has been found on heatwaves, droughts and floods across the world, according to scientists.

The discovery indicates that the impacts of global warming are already being felt by society and adds further urgency to the need to cut carbon emissions. A key factor is the fast-melting Arctic, which is now strongly linked to extreme weatheracross Europe, Asia and north America.

Rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have long been expected to lead to increasing extreme weather events, as they trap extra energy in the atmosphere. But linking global warming to particular events is difficult because the climate is naturally variable.

The new work analysed a type of extreme weather event known to be caused by changes in “planetary waves” – such as California’s ongoing record drought, and recent heatwaves in the US and Russia, as well as severe floods in Pakistan in 2010.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2o2Sybz

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Bitcoin Unlimited vs. SegWit Debate Heats Up, Roger Ver Accusations Trigger Responses

Bitcoin Unlimited vs. SegWit Debate Heats Up, Roger Ver Accusations Trigger Responses

For many in the Bitcoin community, it is time to stand up and be counted. The divide between supporters of Segregated Witness, hereinafter SegWit and Bitcoin Unlimited, hereinafter BU, has never been this serious.

A common point that everyone agrees to, irrespective of their side of the divide is the fact that Bitcoin has a problem that needs to be solved sooner rather than later. What route is to be followed in solving this problem?

Roger Ver’s interview on March 20 where he expressed his open support for Bitcoin Unlimited while accusing Bitcoin Core of being slow and expensive, was followed by Antpool’s declaration of support for BU. Since then, there has been a litany of major industry participants who have expressed their support for SegWit on the other hand.

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A future after oil and gas? Norway's fossil-free energy start-ups

A future after oil and gas? Norway

√ėyvind Christian Rohn spent more than two decades in the oil and gas industry. But the 50-year-old from Skedsmo, near Oslo in Norway, has just set out on a new fossil-free career path: developing offshore solar power technology.

His alternative energy startup, Ocean Sun has developed technology that will mean solar farms can float on the ocean surface, with their power transmitted back to land. Since physical space is limited in population centres, especially in areas of high growth such as South East Asia, Rohn’s idea is to use the ocean’s surface around the world.

With a grant from Innovation Norway, a state-funded organisation supporting the development of Norwegian industry, the company is aiming to get a product to market within four years.

Rohn is one of a new brand of Norwegian entrepreneurs moving from oil to green energy in light of the oil-price decline and more pessimistic outlook for the sector.

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Can We Slow Global Warming and Still Grow?

Can We Slow Global Warming and Still Grow?

On March 17th, the International Energy Agency announced that 2016 marked the third year in a row that global carbon emissions had stayed at the same level while the world’s economy grew. This three-time repeat has put to rest any lingering suspicions of gremlins in the data. Something new is happening. The global economy has now grown nearly ten per cent without any increase in the annual CO2 emissions that are the principal human contribution to climate change. In the parlance of sustainability, growth and emissions appear to have “decoupled.”

Nearly as remarkable was the star of the latest announcement: the United States. Long decried as a climate-action laggard, America led the world in reducing carbon pollution in 2016, with a decline of three per cent. More important, this improvement was not tied primarily to the evolution of its economic system. Wealthy nations have long been moving toward economies anchored in finance and services, which produce less pollution, but, by continuing to consume, they effectively outsource carbon pollution from manufacturing to other countries. While the Global Carbon Project estimates that U.S. emissions should still be adjusted upward by about ten per cent to account for products consumed in America but made elsewhere, recent gains within the United States have been achieved by burning less coal and more natural gas, which is a cleaner fuel, and, to a lesser extent, through an increase in renewables. If that’s not news enough, G.C.P. scientists reported, in a paper published in January, that current trends in energy are “broadly consistent” with Paris Agreement targets for 2030, which aim to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius.

This is shout-it-from-the-rooftops stuff. Since 1972, and the publication of “The Limits to Growth,” there has been debate over whether economic growth and a sustainable environment are incompatible. Can humans live with the comforts to which we have become accustomed (or aspire to)—air-conditioning, cars, constantly updated wardrobes—without doing environmental harm? “The Limits to Growth” both warned against infinite growth on a finite planet and acknowledged that “it is success in overcoming limits that forms the cultural tradition of many dominant people in today’s world.” That dominant world view has not shifted. Decoupling economic activity from its ecological consequences is central to the goals of international sustainability and development. It’s the foundation of American faith that technology can resolve climate change without the need to substantially change our life styles. It’s the holy grail of “green growth.”

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Ethereum Price Going Dash Way, Network Consolidates After Series of Setbacks

Ethereum Price Going Dash Way, Network Consolidates After Series of Setbacks

March gets quite exciting for Ethereum seeing its breakthrough the $20 to $30 barrier.

It the second most valuable digital currency by market cap now set to go the Dash way?

When Dash broke a similar barrier in early March, it took off to as high as $100 within the same 15-day period.

Going by today’s market outlook, Ethereum price may rise to the point of catching up with Dash’s new spot though it is not clear if it will follow the same pace to climb higher because Dash’s over seven mln units of circulating supply played a key role in its spike.

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How off-grid solar energy could connect sub-Saharan Africa

How off-grid solar energy could connect sub-Saharan Africa

Businesses lining the rusty red dirt road of the commercial thoroughfare of Segbwema (pronounced shuh-BOY-ma) in Sierra Leone sell cold Coca-Cola and local ginger ale, their dry goods in the front of shops lit by pairs of large compact fluorescent bulbs. However, there is no grid to provide electricity here. Even in the neighboring city 25 miles away where the grid does reach, it provides only six hours of intermittent electricity during the six-month dry season. 

Until recently, these businesses were powered at a high cost by diesel generators, when they were powered at all. But for the past several months some commercial businesses have been receiving power from a local minigrid, an isolated distribution network powered by solar and battery storage. And it’s not just local businesses that are receiving power; residential customers are connecting to the minigrid, too, and hundreds more will connect over the next few years. This approach not only provides energy access, but also drives economic growth in rural areas, and is being replicated across sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia. 

Enthusiasm for the growth of minigrids in Africa and South Asia is shared by young companies looking to provide the hardware, software and services to build them. Commercial investors and energy majors are likewise eyeing the opportunity. Development partners such as the U.K.’s Department for International Development and Germany’s GIZ are committing hundreds of millions of dollars to explore the potential for minigrids and support their growth, and groups such as the Rockefeller Foundation are investing time and money with the goal of speeding economic development. Most promisingly, governments in countries as varied as Tanzania, Rwanda and Sierra Leone are beginning to think about how the off-grid energy provided by minigrids could help them achieve energy access and economic growth targets.

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Investor Interest in Bitcoin Grows Despite Hardfork Debate and Falling Price

Investor Interest in Bitcoin Grows Despite Hardfork Debate and Falling Price

Despite a recent drop in the price of bitcoin and the debate circulating the potential hardfork, interest in the currency is continuing to grow.

On March 10, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision to reject the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) saw the price of the currency drop below $1,000 from a high of $1,350 in the run-up to the verdict.

Since then the currency has been struggling to achieve its early March high.

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New record for renewable energy production in Finland

New record for renewable energy production in Finland

Finland’s renewable energy production is estimated to have reached over 130 terawatt-hours last year. The biggest increase was in the amount of energy produced from forest industry black liquor and by-products, which made up over 60 percent of total renewable energy.

According to estimates by the Finland’s Energy Authority, renewable energy sources produced more than 130 terawatt-hours of electricity, heat and biofuel for traffic in 2016. Irrespective of the calculation method used, the share of renewable energy of total end consumption is set to exceed 40 percent. This would be a new production record and about five percent more than in the previous year. The biggest increase in renewable energy production came from energy produced from forest industry black liquor and by-products, which made up over 60 percent of total renewable energy.

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Newsflash: Bitcoin Rises, US Dollar Sinks

Newsflash: Bitcoin Rises, US Dollar Sinks

Bitcoin prices have bounced back above $1,000 on Monday, registering a high of $1,032 on the Bitstamp Price Index.

Bitcoin is trading near the levels of the week past, finding its feet after a drop on Friday, March 24, when prices took a tumble amid the ongoing scaling issues with speculation of a hard fork.

As it stands, Bitcoin Unlimited miner signaling gains momentum, according to data om Coin.dance.

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Segwit vs. Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin’s Fork Explained Simply

Segwit vs. Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin’s Fork Explained Simply

There’s been a lot of talk in the Bitcoin community lately about stuff like a “fork”, “segwit” and “Bitcoin Unlimited”. Many people don’t understand what all of this is about but it’s creating a lot of stress due to misleading or partial information that is being spread.

In this post I will aim to clarify the uncertainty and give a better view of what’s going on mainly for newbies and non technical people. Hopefully, once you finish reading this post you will know what’s going on in the Bitcoin community these days and will be able to better prepare yourself for the different outcomes.

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Paris climate change agreement is a 'bad deal', says pro-fossil fuels EPA chief Scott Pruitt

Paris climate change agreement is a

The historic Paris Agreement on climate change – hailed by Barack Obama as perhaps “the moment that we finally decided to save our planet” – is “a bad deal”, the climate science-denying head of the US Environmental Protection Agency has said.

Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s Attorney-General repeatedly sued the organisation he now leads, told US broadcaster ABC that China and India had “got away scot-free” under the terms of the deal and said the US had “penalised ourselves through lost jobs”.

Donald Trump has previously said he is considering withdrawing the US from the Paris Agreement because, in his opinion, “nobody really knows” if climate change is real.

However the Trump administration appears to be split over taking this momentous step with Defence Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis among those who accept the established scientific view that climate change is indeed real.

Full story at http://ind.pn/2o2MfF0

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Why South Korea is Second Largest Ethereum Market, 17% of All Trading

Why South Korea is Second Largest Ethereum Market, 17% of All Trading

Over the past few weeks, Ethereum has experienced a truly exponential growth in terms of market cap and development community, reaching a market cap of $4.37 bln. According to various sources and market data, the South Korean exchange market has accounted for 17 percent of global Ethereum trading.

Companies within the South Korean digital currency and Blockchain industries are rapidly expanding their consumer base across the country. Interestingly, the majority of clients of Blockchain and digital currency-based startups in South Korea are composed of government-funded organizations, major financial institutions and multi-billion dollar corporations.

South Korean corporations and financial institutions are considering the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks as important technologies which are necessary for developing new infrastructures and internal systems to base their operations on.

Essentially, local corporations are visioning the creation of an autonomous, secure, transparent and efficient infrastructure which can handle the settlement of transactions, processing of complex data sets and secure sensitive information within a single network.

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