Geeky Stuff

Vizio Makes Nearly As Much Money From Ads and Data As It Does From TVs

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 23:30
In Vizio's first public earnings report today, the company revealed that in the first three months of 2021, profits from its Platform+ business -- the part that sells viewer data and advertising space via the SmartCast platform -- were $38.4 million. Engadget reports: As execs said on the call, the company continues to court relationships with brands and agencies, following the same plan laid out six years ago with a business built on its Inscape Automated Content Recognition tech. Its device business (the part that sells TVs, sound bars and the like) had a gross profit of $48.2 million in the same period, up from $32.5 million last year. While the hardware business has significantly more revenue, profits from data and advertising spiked 152 percent from last year, and are quickly catching up. Vizio did say that hardware profits were affected by products getting stuck at ports due to a shipping glut that has impacted many companies over the last year, buts forecast is that Platform+ revenue and profit will continue to grow in Q2, as device profit margins "trend toward the single digits." Vizio said it now has 13.4 million active SmartCast accounts, with viewers spending 52 percent of their viewing time on SmartCast inputs (the built-in apps, or casting from another device). 34 percent of viewing time went to linear TV, with 7 percent for game consoles or over the top devices. If you have a Vizio TV, you can opt out of anonymized tracking by following these steps.

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328 Weaknesses Found By WA Auditor-General In 50 Local Government Systems

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 22:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: The Auditor-General of Western Australia on Wednesday tabled a report into the computer systems used at 50 local government entities, revealing 328 control weakness across the group. It was Auditor-General Caroline Spencer's intention to list the entities, but given the nature of her findings, all case studies included in Local Government General Computer Controls [PDF] omit entity, and system, names. The report states that none of the 11 entities that the Auditor-General performed capability maturity assessments on met minimum targets. For the remaining 39, general computer controls audits were conducted. The audit probed information security, business continuity, management of IT risks, IT operations, change control, and physical security. Of the 328 control weaknesses, 33 rated as significant and 236 as moderate. Like last year, nearly half of all issues were about information security. The capability assessment results, meanwhile, showed that none of the 11 audited entities met the auditor's expectations across the six control categories, with 79% of the audit results below the minimum benchmark. [...] The report provided six recommendations, one for each of the security types audited. These included implementing appropriate frameworks and management structures, identifying IT risks, and patching.

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Several Top Chinese Sellers Have Quietly Disappeared From Amazon

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 22:09
Rita Liao, reporting for TechCrunch: If you ever bought power banks, water bottles, toys, or other daily goods on Amazon, the chances are your suppliers are from China. Analysts have estimated that the share of Chinese merchants represented 75% of Amazon's new sellers in January, up from 47% the year before, according to Marketplace Pulse, an e-commerce research firm. Chinese sellers are swarming not just Amazon but also eBay, Wish, Shopee and Alibaba's AliExpress. The boom is in part a result of intense domestic competition in China's online retail world, which forces merchants to seek new markets. Traditional exporters are turning to e-commerce, cutting out excessive distributors. Businesses are enchanted by the tale that a swathe of the priciest property in Shenzhen, an expensive city known for its tech and manufacturing, is now owned by people who made a fortune from e-commerce export. But the get-rich-quick optimism among the cross-border community came to a halt when several top Chinese sellers disappeared from Amazon over the past few days. At least eleven accounts that originate from Greater China were suspended, according to Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of Marketplace Pulse. Several accounts belong to the same parent firms, as it's normal for big sellers, those with more than a million dollars in annual sales, to operate multiple brands on Amazon to optimize sales. TechCrunch has reached out to Mpower and Aukey, whose Amazon stores are gone and were two of the most successful brands native to the American marketplace. In total, the suspended accounts contribute over a billion dollars in gross merchandise value (GMV) to Amazon, said Kaziukenas.

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Ethereum Founder Regifts Unsolicited DOGE Knockoffs, Donates a Billion Dollars Worth of SHIB To an Indian COVID Relief Fund

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 21:20
Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, has signalled dog-themed memecoin creators to bark up another tree, reports CoinDesk. From the report: In a move that captivated the attention of Crypto Twitter on Wednesday, the Ethereum founder re-gifted tokens sent to his public wallet by the creators of Shiba Inu coin (SHIB), Dogelon (ELON) and Akita Inu (AKITA). Notably, Buterin donated 50 trillion SHIB tokens (worth a nominal $1.2 billion at press time) to the India Covid Relief Fund kicked off by Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal late last month. Memecoin creators started sending large amounts of their tokens to the Ethereum figurehead in recent days. Vitalik was sent trillions of SHIB tokens worth over $8 billion dollars at one point. The knockoff tokens are beginning to tank.

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Australia's Wright Launches Lawsuit Over $5.7 Billion Bitcoin Haul

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 20:46
An Australian computer scientist who alleges he created bitcoin has launched a London High Court lawsuit against 16 software developers in an effort to secure bitcoin worth around 4 billion pounds ($5.7 billion) he says he owns. From a report: In a case that was promptly labelled "bogus" by one defendant, Craig Wright is demanding that developers allow him to retrieve around 111,000 bitcoin held at two digital addresses that he does not have private keys for. In his second London lawsuit in three weeks, Wright alleges he lost the encrypted keys when his home computer network was hacked in February 2020. Police are investigating. Wright, who is bringing the case through his Seychelles-based Tulip Trading firm, concedes he is a controversial figure since alleging in 2016 that he wrote the bitcoin white paper -- which first outlined the technology behind the digital assets -- under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. The claim is hotly disputed. The Australian, who is autistic and lives in Britain with his wife and two of his three children, alleges in his latest lawsuit that developers have breached their duties to act in the best interests of the rightful owner of globally-traded assets.

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UK To Require Social Media To Protect 'Democratically Important' Content

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 20:15
Long-awaited proposals in the UK to regulate social media are a "recipe for censorship," campaigners have said, which fly in the face of the government's attempts to strengthen free speech elsewhere in Britain. From a report: The online safety bill, which was introduced to parliament on Wednesday, hands Ofcom the power to punish social networks which fail to remove "lawful but harmful" content. The proposals were welcomed by children's safety campaigns, but theyhave come under fire from civil liberties organisations. "Applying a health and safety approach to everybody's online speech combined with the threat of massive fines against the platforms is a recipe for censorship and removal of legal content," said Jim Killock, the director of the Open Rights Group. "Facebook does not operate prisons and is not the police. Trying to make platforms do the job of law enforcement through technical means is a recipe for failure." The centre-right CPS thinktank was similarly critical. "It is for parliament to determine what is sufficiently harmful that it should not be allowed, not for Ofcom or individual platforms to guess," it said. "If something is legal to say, it should be legal to type," CPS's director, Robert Colvile, added. In its update to the bill from the white paper first drafted by Theresa May's government in 2019, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport added sections intended to prevent harm to free expression. Social networks will now need to perform and publish "assessments of their impact on freedom of expression."

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Colonial Pipeline Sought Cyber Chief Months Before Criminal Hack

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 19:26
The company targeted in the biggest pipeline hack in history began searching for a cyber-security chief two months ago. From a report: Colonial Pipeline sought someone with a master's degree in computer science to develop and maintain "an incident response plan and processes to address potential threats," according to the company's website. The ad also was posted on LinkedIn and job-seeking sites. A criminal hack paralyzed North America's biggest fuel pipeline late last week choking off almost half of the gasoline and diesel burned on the U.S. East Coast. Gas stations across several states have run dry amid panic buying and soaring retail prices. "The cybersecurity position was not created as a result of the recent ransomware attack," the company said in an email.

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FBI Warns of Cybercriminals Abusing Search Ads To Promote Phishing Sites

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 18:53
The Federal Bureau of Investigation says that cybercrime gangs are using search results and search engine ads to lure victims on phishing sites for financial institutions in order to collect their login credentials. From a report: "The schemes resulted in illicit ACH transfers amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial losses," the FBI said in a private industry notification (PIN) send to the US private sector on Tuesday. The PIN alert, which The Record cannot share due to TLP sharing restrictions, describes a particular phishing campaign mimicking the brand of an unnamed US-based financial institution. "The cyber actors conducted two versions of the scheme," the FBI said. In the first version, the threat actor used search engine ads, while in the second version, they relied on the phishing site appearing in organic search results on its own.

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Google Says Docs Will Now Use Canvas Based Rendering, Warns Impact on Some Chrome Extensions

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 18:05
Google, making the announcement in a blog post: We're updating the way Google Docs renders documents. Over the course of the next several months, we'll be migrating the underlying technical implementation of Docs from the current HTML-based rendering approach to a canvas-based approach to improve performance and improve consistency in how content appears across different platforms. We don't expect this change to impact the functionality of the features in Docs. However, this may impact some Chrome extensions, where they may no longer work as intended. Some Chrome extensions rely on the way the backend of a Google Doc is structured or specific bits of HTML to function properly. By moving away from HTML-based rendering to a canvas-based rendering, some Chrome extensions may not function as intended on docs.google.com and may need to be updated. Admins should review the current extensions deployed in their organization. [...] If you are building your own integrations with Google Docs, we recommend using Google Workspace Add-ons framework, which uses the supported Workspace APIs and integration points. This will help ensure there will be less work in the future to support periodic UI implementation changes to Docs.

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NASA Webb Telescope Undergoes Final Tests

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 17:22
NASA engineers are getting one last look at the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST): a final test to show that its 18 gold-tinted mirror segments can unfold into a precise honeycomb configuration. From a report: After the test concludes this week, the giant instrument will be folded up, packed into a shipping container, and shipped off to French Guiana, where it will launch into space on 31 October. The 6.5-meter-wide JWST is the agency's next great observatory, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. In a NASA briefing this week, Program Scientist Eric Smith told reporters it was born out of a realization in the mid-1990s that, no matter how long it stared into deep space, Hubble would never be able to see the universe's very first stars and galaxies and learn how they formed and evolved. The expanding universe has "redshifted" the light of those primordial objects out of the visible spectrum; NASA needed a space telescope that worked in the infrared. "So the idea of Webb was born," Smith says. Since then, astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets. Smith says JWST will be able to probe their atmospheres for molecules such as carbon dioxide, water, methane, and others that could suggest the presence of life. Getting the $9 billion contraption to the point of departure has taken NASA much more time and money than it or Congress ever suspected. The construction of JWST proved to be the most complex and difficult science project in the agency's history. The process of testing the telescope's folding mirror, multilayered sunshield, and cryogenically cooled instruments has stretched years longer than planned. But come late August, all that will be over as JWST, in a protective cocoon, will be taken from Northrop Grumman's facility in Redondo Beach, California, and put onto a ship. The telescope will sail through the Panama Canal to Europe's spaceport near Kourou. Unlike the 2.4-meter-wide Hubble, which fit comfortably inside the bay of the Space Shuttle, JWST's mirror is much larger than the fairing on top of an Ariane 5 rocket, so it is elaborately folded to fit inside it.

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Amazon Managers Say They 'Hire To Fire' To Meet Annual Turnover Goals

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 16:40
A Slashdot reader shares a report: Amazon has a goal to get rid of a certain percentage of employees every year, and three managers told Insider they felt so much pressure to meet the goal that they hired people to fire them. "We might hire people that we know we're going to fire, just to protect the rest of the team," one manager told Insider. The practice is informally called "hire to fire," in which managers hire people, internally or externally, they intend to fire within a year, just to help meet their annual turnover target, called unregretted attrition (URA). A manager's URA target is the percentage of employees the company wouldn't regret seeing leave, one way or the other.

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US Agrees To Remove Xiaomi From Blacklist After Lawsuit

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 16:00
Xiaomi and the U.S. government have text to set aside a Trump administration blacklisting that could have restricted American investment in the Chinese smartphone maker. From a report: The Chinese smartphone giant had sued the government earlier this year, after the U.S. Defense Department under former President Donald Trump issued an order designating the firm as a Communist Chinese Military Company, which would have led to a de-listing from U.S. exchanges and deletion from global benchmark indexes. The U.S. Defense Department has now agreed that a final order vacating the designation "would be appropriate," according to a filing to the U.S. courts Tuesday. Xiaomi declined to comment. Pentagon representatives weren't immediately available for comment after normal hours. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing in Beijing she wasn't aware of any deal the firm may have reached with the U.S. "The Parties have agreed upon a path forward that would resolve this litigation without the need for contested briefing," according to the filing, which didn't state whether the agreement included any conditions for removal. The parties involved are negotiating over specific terms and will file a separate joint proposal before May 20.

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Tech Industry Quietly Patches FragAttacks Wi-Fi Flaws That Leak Data, Weaken Security

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: A dozen Wi-Fi design and implementation flaws make it possible for miscreants to steal transmitted data and bypass firewalls to attack devices on home networks, according to security researcher Mathy Vanhoef. On Tuesday, Vanhoef, a postdoctoral researcher in computer security at New York University Abu Dhabi, released a paper titled, "Fragment and Forge: Breaking Wi-Fi Through Frame Aggregation and Fragmentation" [PDF]. Scheduled to be presented later this year at the Usenix Security conference, the paper describes a set of wireless networking vulnerabilities, including three Wi-Fi design flaws and nine implementation flaws. Vanhoef, who in 2017 along with co-author Frank Piessens identified key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs) on the WPA2 protocol (used to secure Wi-Fi communication), has dubbed his latest research project FragAttacks, which stands for fragmentation and aggregation attacks. The dozen vulnerabilities affect all Wi-Fi security protocols since the wireless networking technology debuted in 1997, from WEP up through WPA3. [...] In total, 75 devices -- network card and operating system combinations (Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, and iOS) -- were tested and all were affected by one or more of the attacks. NetBSD and OpenBSD were not affected because they don't support the reception of A-MSDUs (aggregate MAC service data units). [...] Patches for many affected devices and software have already been deployed, thanks to a nine-month-long coordinated responsible disclosure overseen by the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Industry Consortium for Advancement of Security on the Internet (ICASI). Linux patches have been applied and the kernel mailing list note mentions that Intel has addressed the flaws in a recent firmware update without mentioning it. Microsoft released its patches on March 9, 2021 when disclosure was delayed tho Redmond had already committed to publication. Vanhoef advises checking with the vendor(s) of Wi-Fi devices about whether the FragAttacks have been addressed. "[F]or some devices the impact is minor, while for others it's disastrous," he said.

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NASA's OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Heads For Earth With Asteroid Sample

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 12:00
Obipale shares a press release from NASA: After nearly five years in space, NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft is on its way back to Earth with an abundance of rocks and dust from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. On Monday, May 10, at 4:23 p.m. EDT the spacecraft fired its main engines full throttle for seven minutes -- its most significant maneuver since it arrived at Bennu in 2018. This burn thrust the spacecraft away from the asteroid at 600 miles per hour (nearly 1,000 kilometers per hour), setting it on a 2.5-year cruise towards Earth. After releasing the sample capsule, OSIRIS-REx will have completed its primary mission. It will fire its engines to fly by Earth safely, putting it on a trajectory to circle the sun inside of Venus' orbit. After orbiting the Sun twice, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is due to reach Earth Sept. 24, 2023. Upon return, the capsule containing pieces of Bennu will separate from the rest of the spacecraft and enter Earth's atmosphere. The capsule will parachute to the Utah Test and Training Range in Utah's West Desert, where scientists will be waiting to retrieve it. "OSIRIS-REx's many accomplishments demonstrated the daring and innovate way in which exploration unfolds in real time," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters. "The team rose to the challenge, and now we have a primordial piece of our solar system headed back to Earth where many generations of researchers can unlock its secrets." To realize the mission's multi-year plan, a dozen navigation engineers made calculations and wrote computer code to instruct the spacecraft when and how to push itself away from Bennu. After departing from Bennu, getting the sample to Earth safely is the team's next critical goal. This includes planning future maneuvers to keep the spacecraft on course throughout its journey.

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Biden Administration Approves Nation's First Major Offshore Wind Farm

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 09:00
The Biden administration gave approval Tuesday to the nation's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, which is scheduled to begin construction this summer. The New York Times reports: he Vineyard Wind project calls for up to 84 turbines to be installed in the Atlantic Ocean about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, Mass. Together, they could generate about 800 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 400,000 homes. The administration estimates that the work will create about 3,600 jobs. The project would dwarf the scale of the country's two existing wind farms, off the coasts of Virginia and Rhode Island. Together, they produce just 42 megawatts of electricity. In addition to Vineyard Wind, a dozen other offshore wind projects along the East Coast are now under federal review. The Interior Department has estimated that by the end of the decade, some 2,000 turbines could be churning in the wind along the coast from Massachusetts to North Carolina. Electricity generated by the Vineyard Wind turbines will travel via cables buried six feet below the ocean floor to Cape Cod, where they would connect to a substation and feed into the New England grid. The company said that it expects to begin delivering wind-powered electricity in 2023. The Biden administration said that it intended to fast-track permits for other projects off the Atlantic Coast and that it would offer $3 billion in federal loan guarantees for offshore wind projects and invest in upgrades to ports across the United States to support wind turbine construction. [...] The administration has pledged to build 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2030. It's a target the White House has said would spark $12 billion in capital investments annually, supporting 77,000 direct and indirect jobs by the end of the decade. If Mr. Biden's offshore wind targets are met, it could avoid 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, while creating new jobs and even new industries along the way, the administration said.

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Ford Patents Tech That Could Scan Billboards and Show Associated In-Car Ads

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motor1: Roads are lined with unattractive billboards many of us ignore on our daily commutes, but Ford's new tech will make sure we don't miss them anymore. The system works by scanning the billboards, interpreting the information on the sign, and delivering the most useful bits right into the vehicle's display. It sounds invasive and distracting, with a side of Orwellian creepiness tossed on top for good measure. For now, though, this is just a patent application and may never see implementation, but it's not difficult to see how this could be useful to automakers and advertisers. Ford's application says the tech could display an advertiser's products or services, directions to the store, or the phone number. It's not a stretch to imagine a future where you're driving down the road, and your car sees a sign for your favorite restaurant, prompting you to place an order because the vehicle knows Thursday is take-out night. Cars are only getting infused with more technology designed to assist people in their day-to-day lives, and this would be another avenue to do just that, creating a tailored driving experience. It could also force advertisers to pay Ford to access to its fleet of billboard-scanning-equipped cars, expanding revenue streams beyond the car itself. In a comment to Motor1, Ford says the company submits "patents on new inventions as a normal course of business, but they aren't necessarily an indication of new business or product plans."

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Forests the Size of France Regrown Since 2000, Study Suggests

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 04:30
An area of forest the size of France has regrown naturally across the world in the last 20 years, a study suggests. The BBC reports: The restored forests have the potential to soak up the equivalent of 5.9 gigatons (Gt) of carbon dioxide - more than the annual emissions of the US, according to conservation groups. A team led by WWF used satellite data to build a map of regenerated forests. Forest regeneration involves restoring natural woodland through little or no intervention. This ranges from doing nothing at all to planting native trees, fencing off livestock or removing invasive plants. The Atlantic Forest in Brazil gives reason for hope, the study said, with an area roughly the size of the Netherlands having regrown since 2000. In the boreal forests of northern Mongolia, 1.2 million hectares of forest have regenerated in the last 20 years, while other regeneration hotspots include central Africa and the boreal forests of Canada. The researchers warned that forests across the world face "significant threats." "Despite 'encouraging signs' with forests along Brazil's Atlantic coast, deforestation is such that the forested area needs to more than double to reach the minimal threshold for conservation," the report says.

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Apple Faces UK Class Action for App Store Overcharging

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 03:50
Apple is facing a London lawsuit over claims it overcharged nearly 20 million U.K. customers for App Store purchases, yet another legal headache for the tech giant fighting lawsuits across the world. Bloomberg reports: Apple's 30% fee is "excessive" and "unlawful" the claimants said in a press release Tuesday. The claim, filed at London's Competition Appeal Tribunal on Monday, calls for the U.S. firm to compensate U.K. iPhone and iPad users for years of alleged overcharging. They estimate that Apple could face paying out in excess of 1.5 billion pounds ($2.1 billion). "Apple is abusing its dominance in the app store market, which in turn impacts U.K. consumers," Rachael Kent, the lead claimant in the case and a professor at King's College London. She teaches the ways in which consumers interact and depend upon digital platforms. The legal challenges come as Apple faces a backlash -- with billions of dollars in revenue on the line -- from global regulators and some developers who say its fees and other policies are unjust and self-serving. Last month, the European Commission sent a statement of objections to the firm, laying out how it thinks Apple abused its power as the "gatekeeper" for music-streaming apps on its store. The suit alleges that Apple deliberately shuts out potential competition and forces ordinary users to use its own payment processing system, generating unlawfully excessive levels of profit for the company. The claimants say any U.K. user of an iPhone or iPad who purchased paid apps, subscriptions or made other in-app purchases since October 2015 is entitled to compensation. "We believe this lawsuit is meritless and welcome the opportunity to discuss with the court our unwavering commitment to consumers and the many benefits the App Store has delivered to the U.K.'s innovation economy," Apple said in an emailed statement. "The commission charged by the App Store is very much in the mainstream of those charged by all other digital marketplaces," Apple said. "In fact, 84% of apps on the App Store are free and developers pay Apple nothing. And for the vast majority of developers who do pay Apple a commission because they are selling a digital good or service, they are eligible for a commission rate of 15%."

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Some Countries Have No COVID-19 Jabs At All

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 03:10
The World Health Organization says nearly a dozen countries -- many of them in Africa -- are still waiting to get vaccines. Those last in line on the continent along with Chad are Burkina Faso, Burundi, Eritrea and Tanzania. From a report: "Delays and shortages of vaccine supplies are driving African countries to slip further behind the rest of the world in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the continent now accounts for only 1% of the vaccines administered worldwide," WHO warned Thursday. And in places where there are no vaccines, there's also the chance that new and concerning variants could emerge, said Gian Gandhi, UNICEF's COVAX coordinator for Supply Division. "So we should all be concerned about any lack of coverage anywhere in the world," Gandhi said, urging higher-income countries to donate doses to the nations that are still waiting. While the total of confirmed COVID-19 cases among them is relatively low compared with the world's hot spots, health officials say that figure is likely a vast undercount: The countries in Africa still waiting for vaccines are among those least equipped to track infections because of their fragile health care systems. Chad has confirmed only 170 deaths since the pandemic began, but efforts to stop the virus entirely here have been elusive. Although the capital's international airport was closed briefly last year, its first case came via someone who crossed one of Chad's porous land borders illegally.

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California Ban On Gas-Powered Cars Would Rewrite Plug-In Hybrid Rules

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 02:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: As of now, California wants to implement an 80-20 mix where 80% of new cars sold will be totally electric or hydrogen-powered, and 20% may still feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Essentially, automakers will still be able to plop an engine under the hood come 2035. However, PHEVs will need to follow far more stringent definitions of the powertrain. California wants any plug-in hybrid to achieve 50 miles of all-electric range to meet the categorization -- a huge ask. Only two plug-in hybrids in recent years meet that criteria: the Chevrolet Volt (no longer on sale) and the Polestar 1 (soon to exit production). To achieve such a lofty range, automakers need to fit larger batteries, and when you're talking about a big battery and an internal-combustion engine, things get complex (and costly) quickly. But, that's not all the state will need. Future PHEVs to qualify under these regulations will need to be capable of driving under only electric power throughout their charged range. So, no software to flick on the engine for a few moments to recoup some lost energy. While these regulations would actually benefit drivers to shift PHEVs away from "compliance cars" to something far more usable, the complexities may just turn automakers to focus exclusively on EVs. It all remains to be seen, however since the plans remain open for public comment until June 11 of this year. After that, the board will vote and detail a full proposal later this year.

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