Has Windows Become Spyware?
California’s electrical grid has an EV problem
California energy officials issued a sobering warning this month, telling residents to brace for potential blackouts as the state’s energy grid faces capacity constraints heading into the summer months.
In Sacramento, officials said California’s grid could face a potential shortfall of roughly 1,700 megawatts, which would affect the power supply of between 1 million and 4 million people this summer. That number would likely be exacerbated by an additional shortfall of 5,000 megawatts in the case of extreme heat and further fire damage to existing power lines.
And since the state has committed to phase out all new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 — well ahead of federal targets — the additional load from electric vehicle (EV) charging could add more strain to the electric grid.
“Let’s say we were to have a substantial number of [electric] vehicles charging at home as everybody dreams,” Ram Rajagopal, an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, who authored a recent study looking at the strain electric vehicle adoption is expected to place on the power grid, told Yahoo Finance. “Today’s grid may not be able to support it. It all boils down to: Are you charging during the time solar power is on?”https://flo.uri.sh/visualisation/10034135/embed?auto=1
EV charging in the race to net-zero emissions
The alert in the nation’s most populous state highlighted the delicate dance utility companies face in managing warming temperatures with tightening energy supply as the country moves rapidly away from fossil fuel generation to meet ambitious targets aimed at drastically reducing emissions.
California has set out to become a leader in the green transition, aiming to rid its electrical grid of all carbon sources by 2045. The state is already the nation’s top producer of solar, geothermal, and biomass energy, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, with renewables accounting for more than 30% of the energy generated in the state.
But as California creates a template for other states to follow, Rajagopal says it is also exposing some critical gaps that are likely to strain the power grid in the race to net-zero, especially in the transportation sector, where the acceleration of electric vehicle adoption is already underway.
“Business as usual will no longer be the case,” he said. “I really believe we need to balance our need for reliability and our desire for a clean grid.”
‘Like adding one or two air conditioners’
Globally, the number of electric vehicles is expected to swell from 7 million to 400 million by 2040. The transition to zero-emission cars is estimated to add 2,000 TWh to annual energy demand by 2050 — a 40% increase — according to a study by global advisory group ICF.
Rajagopal’s team of researchers at Stanford developed a model framework to help utility companies around the world calculate charging patterns to better manage electricity demand. In California, it found that peak charging demand would more than double by 2030 if EV owners opted to charge in the evening at home.
“The use of an electric vehicle is like adding one or two air conditioners to your residence in terms of its energy increase,” Mike Jacobs, Senior Energy Analyst at Union of Concerned Scientists, told Yahoo Finance. “So when the local utility engineer looks at this, he thinks of that air conditioning in the afternoon and the electric vehicle coming home at the same time.”
Jacobs said the transition will mark a dramatic adjustment in behavior. Utility companies and service operators, who have long grown accustomed to “a predictable shape” and schedule in energy usage, will be forced to more actively manage the grid to avoid surges. Likewise, drivers will be forced to adapt to new charging times, with some being asked to plug in at work during the day, while others commit to set hours at night to ensure even distribution of energy capacity.
In Concord, Massachusetts, where Jacobs lives, his local utility has already asked that he set a timer on his electric vehicle so he is not charging until after 10 pm at night in exchange for a discounted rate. Technology that allows the grid and cars to communicate directly is likely to follow, he said.
A study from Boston Consulting Group estimated utility companies with two to three million customers will need to invest between $1,700 and $5,800 in grid upgrades per EV through 2030 in order to reliably meet the surge in energy demand.
“If you can charge the vehicles in the middle of the day or in the middle of night, it is almost not a worry because our system is built to meet that evening demand, that peak,” he said. “So spreading it out a little bit more, especially shifting it to sunshine hours when the solar is strong, makes it less of a concern.
‘A 4-D puzzle’
The transition to reduce emissions is complicated by the existing energy mix: More than 60% of U.S. power generation still comes from fossil fuels. Without a clean electricity source for EVs to plug into, greenhouse gas reduction would be limited to 67% for vehicles, compared to 2020 levels, according to ICF.
Battery energy storage is expected to play a critical role in bridging the divide and would allow the grid to tap into full capacity in the hours when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.
Former Telecom Exec Reveals How ‘5G’ is Globalist Lynchpin for ‘Total Social Control’
How to Delete Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it’s with one of those oh-so-clingy social networks. Harder yet when there’s a deactivation period.
SOCIAL NETWORKS WALK a fine line between being a useful tool and an all-consuming addiction. They’re also fraught with critics, who say that they damage our personal privacy and can convey misinformation. Whether you want your free time back or don’t like your personal info scattered about on the internet, you may be considering deactivating some accounts.
Wanting to delete your account is one thing, but actually being able to hit the delete button is another story. Social media outlets make money off of you and your information, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they don’t want to let you go. Because of this, the biggest networks have made it overly complicated to delete your account. But if you are set on getting rid of them, here’s what you’ll have to do.
Speaking of privacy, now is as good a time as any to consider a VPN, which can shield your internet activity from corporations and would-be hackers. We’ve tested a bunch and compiled a list of favorites.
Updated in December 2021: We’ve updated this guide to reflect the most current methods for leaving major social media platforms. We’ve also added WhatsApp.Facebook
You’ve had your Facebook account for ages, and in that time maybe you’ve posted a little too much personal information. Maybe you feel confused by the company rebranding as Meta or you have some questions about the ethics of using the service at all. Either way, you’ve had enough.
If you’ve ever deactivated your account, you may have noticed that everything goes back to normal the next time you log in, as if nothing has happened. That’s because deactivating your Facebook account is not the same as deleting it. When you deactivate your account, you are just hiding your information from searches and your Facebook friends. Although nothing is visible on the site, your account information remains intact on Facebook’s servers, eagerly awaiting your return.
Even so, deactivating your account is still a complex process. Go into your settings and click Settings and Privacy. Then click Your Facebook Information. From there, click on Deactivation and Deletion and choose Deactivate Account. Finally, click Continue to Account Deactivation and follow the instructions onscreen.
Now, to permanently delete your account, you’ll need to learn where the delete option resides. From the same Deactivation and Deletion menu listed above, choose Delete Account, then click Continue to Account Deletion. Enter your password, click Continue, and then click Delete Account. It’s worth noting that the actual deletion of all your data and information will take a couple days.
Yes, you read that right—it’s just a request. Facebook delays the deletion process for a few days after you submit your request, and it will cancel your request if you log into your account during that time. You know, just in case you change your mind. It’s crucial that you don’t visit Facebook during this waiting period. Delete the app from your phone.
To download your account, go into Settings > Your Facebook Information > Download Your Information. When your download is ready, Facebook will send you an email with a link to download. For added security, this link will expire after a few days, so download it quickly.Instagram
Even though it’s such a mobile-first service, Instagram doesn’t let you delete your account through the app. Instead, you’ll have to log into your Instagram account via the web in order to delete it.
Navigating through Instagram’s settings will only give you the option to temporarily disable your account. Disabling your account will hide your profile, photos, likes, and comments from the platform. Find the disable option by clicking the person icon in the top right corner and selecting Settings. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see the option to temporarily disable your account.
To get rid of it for good, enter this URL into your browser’s address bar: https://instagram.com/accounts/remove/request/permanent. Once you’re on that page, enter your password and click Permanently Delete My Account.
In the past, Instagram users have reported that they are prompted to enter their phone number when deleting their account. Luckily, it seems like this is no longer necessary.
Thrown off by TikTok trying to connect you with IRL friends? Not vibing with the Stardew Valley cooks or everyone on WitchTok? Worried about your privacy and not convinced by the platform’s transparency report? It might be time to hang up your TikTok account. Doing so is actually very easy.
Just open the app, click on the Profile section on the bottom right. From there, click the three lines at the top right, then Manage account, followed by Delete account. A few onscreen messages will allow you to download your TikTok data and confirm your choice. Even though your account is now deactivated, your data is not deleted for 30 days.Twitter
It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain a well-curated Twitter account, but deleting your account doesn’t require as much work. Users who want to erase old tweets en masse, but not go as far as deleting their account, can use third-party apps like TweetDelete.
Before you delete your Twitter account, you may want to download your archive. This will include all your tweets in a chronological order, which is great if you want to relive your first tweet, or see all those unanswered tweets you sent to celebrities. To download your archive, click your profile icon, go to Settings and privacy, then click on Your account, followed by Download an archive of your data. From there, you can input your password to download all of your data.Most Popular
Maybe you’re sick of seeing who’s besties with who according to the app’s Friend Emoji guide. Maybe you’re one of many Snapchat users converting to Instagram or TikTok, despite Snapchat’s radically different function. In any case, if you decide to delete your Snapchat account, here’s how.
Outside of the mobile app, visit the company’s Accounts Portal using a web browser and type in the username and password of the account you want to delete. It will be deactivated for 30 days, then permanently deleted after that.WhatsApp
Deleting your WhatsApp in an attempt to escape the all-seeing eye of Meta? Tired of encountering the abundance of misinformation spread on the social media platform? Luckily, deleting your account on WhatsApp is easier than some of Meta’s other platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Open the app and click Settings in the bottom right corner. Select Account, then confirm your phone number and click Delete My Account. Users who choose to reactivate WhatsApp at a later date cannot retrieve their data.The Rest
While there are a lot of social media sites out there, few are as sticky as the ones mentioned above. If you are looking to delete any of your numerous accounts, the best places to start are in your user settings or on the company’s support/FAQ page. From there you’ll be able to find the necessary path to deleting your account. Shortcuts for these web forms can be found here for LinkedIn, Reddit, and Pinterest.
Triton Personal Submarines
Laddie John Dill was born in Long Beach, CA in 1943. He graduated from Chouinard Art Institute in 1968 with a BFA. He currently lives and works in Venice, CA where he maintains a studio.
More at: http://www.laddiejohndill.com/home
How to Install Any Linux Distro on a Chromebook
23 August 2018 by Nick Congleton
WARNING: This process will erase all information from the Chromebook hard drive. As with all firmware flashes, there is a chance of something going wrong, rendering the device useless. Proceed at your own risk.
Chromebooks are everywhere. Google’s little Linux based PCs have been booming since their introduction several years ago in everything from homes to businesses, and even educational settings. Many users, especially Linux users, can’t get past the fact that the devices are hopelessly hamstrung by their ChromeOS operating system which both cuts down on the number of apps the device can run and makes it dependent on an Internet connection to get anything done.
So, what does a Linux user believing in the potential of their little (sort of)Linux laptop do? Break everything Google did.
In many cases, Chromebooks are supported by the FOSS Coreboot project, meaning that there is a completely unlocked, free and open source version of the Chromebook BIOS just waiting to be installed. With a few relatively simple steps, that $300 Chromebook can become a full fledged Linux laptop running just about any distribution. It should be noted that you should check which type of processor your Chromebook is running first, this method only supports Intel based Chromebooks. Another thing to keep in mind before getting started is that there are a ton of different Chromebooks. This method was tested with the extremely common Acer 7XX series, but it should work(maybe with subtle differences) on other Chromebooks as well.
Make Sure It’ll Work
Before doing anything, make sure that this will work on your Chromebook. After all, it wouldn’t be too good to get halfway through this only to find out that your Chromebook isn’t supported. The developer who has been working on getting these Chromebook ROMs up and running as well as developing the script to install them easily has an excellent table on his website to check if your Chromebook is supported. Before doing anything else, go over to
https://johnlewis.ie/custom-chromebook-firmware/rom-download and check. The goal is to have full ROM support, but ‘BOOT_STUB’ should work, but really isn’t ideal, and isn’t recommended.
Getting the Chromebook Ready
The first step in getting the Chromebook ready to run full-fledged Linux is putting it into developer mode. On most Chromebooks, this can be done by holding down the ‘Escape’ and ‘Refresh’ keys and pressing the ‘Power’ button. This will cause the device to boot into recovery mode. It will display a message saying that ChromeOS is damaged or missing. It isn’t. That’s just the default message for recovery. Press ‘Ctrl’+’D’ on that screen. It will then display a screen informing you that OS verification is off. That’s a good thing when you’re trying to install an unsupported OS, so press ‘Enter,’ and let the device reboot. When it’s done, it will display another message screen saying that OS verification is in fact off. Press ‘Ctrl’+’D’ again. The Chromebook will take several minutes to clean off the hard drive and reboot again. Finally, it’ll be in developer mode. Some older Chromebooks have a physical developer switch. In that case, just flip the switch and turn the device on. Yes, it is that simple on the older ones.
There is a second step to making sure you have full developer access. Once the device reboots into ChromeOS again, press ‘Ctrl’+’Alt’+’F2’ to drop into the command line. If you see the warning that OS verification is off again, don’t worry. It’ll do that until the new BIOS is flashed and the hard drive is reformatted. Just wait 30 seconds or press ‘Ctrl’+’D’ to skip the message. From the command line, login as ‘chronos.’ It won’t prompt you for a password.
sudo bash followed by
chromeos-firmwareupdate –mode=todev this will ensure that all developer features are enabled:
$ chronos $ sudo bash # chromeos-firmwareupdate –mode=todev
Once the command finishes, reboot again if the Chromebook doesn’t do so automatically.
Flash the BIOS
When the Chromebook is done rebooting, drop once again into the shell with ‘Ctrl’+’Alt’+’F2.’ Login and enter Bash again.
$ chronos $ sudo bash
Now it’s time to get that new BIOS. Thankfully, there is a super convenient script for getting that downloaded and flashed. If for some reason, you want to do it manually, it can be done, but it’s not going to be covered here. When you’re ready, type the following into the console.
$ cd; rm -f flash_chromebook_rom.sh $ curl -O https://johnlewis.ie/flash_chromebook_rom.sh $ sudo -E bash flash_chromebook_rom.sh
The script will ask what you want it to do. The best option at the time of writing this is #5 Flash Full ROM. Of course, you can opt for one of the others if you know what you’re doing. Depending on your Chromebook, the script may prompt more information. Answer accordingly using the information on the table on the developer’s website as a reference as needed. When the script completes, everything should be ready for Linux.
Power down the Chromebook and get ready to install Linux. Get an install CD or USB and plug it into the Chromebook. Turn the Chromebook back on, and when the SeaBIOS screen is displayed, pres ‘Escape.’ This should display the boot menu. Select your install medium, and get started. If you don’t see it there, try booting into the “Payload” section. Let it boot up, and immediately reboot from the command line and try accessing the boot menu with ‘Escape’ again.
Once the Chromebook boots into the install medium, you should be able to install Linux like you normally would on any other computer. Of course, it would be a good idea to pick a a distribution that is new enough to have firmware support for the Chromebook’s devices, or be prepared to compile a custom kernel. Feel free to clear off the entire HDD in the install process, just make sure to have a BIOS boot partition on the drive if you’re going to leave it GPT. Most installers will handle that for you, though. Once the installation finishes, you will have a fully functional Linux laptop!
How ‘Right to Repair’ Gadgets Is a Climate Issue
August 28, 2021
Some of us are old enough to remember the days when you could easily swap out a dud battery in your flip phone. Nowadays, repairing a smartphone — or virtually any electronic device from a gaming console to a microwave oven to a fan — can cost more than buying a new one. Manufacturers make it hard for technicians to get inside their products, source parts, or update software. So devices are just thrown away, generating potentially hazardous waste and forcing consumers to buy new items whose production further taxes the environment. Now frustrated consumers are demanding a “right to repair” their stuff. Some governments are responding, while the tech industry is resisting efforts to give products longer lives.
1. What’s behind the right to repair movement?
Since the first electronic goods emerged in the 1950s, buyers have sought to keep them going by repairing or replacing broken parts. Today, it’s clear that many products are designed to be unfixable. Manufacturers use non-standard screws, seal devices with glue or solder parts together unnecessarily, making it virtually impossible to replace individual components. The growing complexity of gadgets means technicians need dedicated manuals and tools that are hard to access or unavailable to the public. Some manufacturers use software to ensure only their own parts work. They’ve even been accused of updating software in products to deliberately impair performance with age. Apple Inc., which says it engineers “each software release to make sure it runs beautifully on all supported devices,” nevertheless has been a particular focus of grievance.
2. What are the complaints about Apple?
Most smartphones have unique components, so the only way to get spares is via the manufacturer. Apple, like other tech companies, doesn’t usually share spare parts with repair shops it hasn’t approved. Critics say that keeps the cost of fixing its products artificially high. When other workshops do switch out batteries or screens, users are plagued by glitches and error messages. Apple says unverified parts can lead to poor performance or even serious safety issues. The company launched a program in 2019 to allow third parties to fix devices no longer under warranty. It said it’s now trained more than 265,000 repair technicians and made its newer products easier to fix. But some parts, such as iPad displays, aren’t covered by the program. And right-to-repair campaigners say Apple still refuses to do some repairs and misleads consumers by claiming to fix their phones while actually selling them refurbished devices. Apple said it always states clearly when it’s offering a refurbished unit, and only does so when a customer’s device cannot be mended.
3. What’s at stake?
Discarded electronic goods generated an estimated 53.6 million tons of waste in 2019, and only 17% of that was properly recycled. This trash contains heavy metals and compounds including arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium, which if not disposed of appropriately can expose communities to the risk of cancer, birth defects and mutations. Moreover, the production and shipment of new devices to replace unfixable ones, not to mention the mining of the necessary raw materials, burns energy, often resulting in the emission of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Researchers estimated in a 2017 study that the production of a smartphone, for example, emits from 40 to 80 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent, about the same as driving the typical passenger car as many as 200 miles (320 kilometers). As more people around the world purchase cellphones and other electronic devices, emissions from their production multiply. The authors of the 2017 study noted that in the previous 50 years, consumption of electronic devices grew sixfold though the world’s population only doubled.
4. How are tech companies resisting the right to repair?
Companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Tesla Inc. have spent heavily on lobbyists to make a case that right-to-repair laws would expose industry secrets, give third parties access to sensitive information, and put the safety and security of consumers at risk. When Apple representatives fought a right to repair bill in Nebraska in 2017, they told lawmakers it would turn the state into a “mecca” for hackers. Critics say the industry opposes a free market in repairs because it would lower prices for this work and encourage more people to get their gadgets fixed, hammering sales of new ones.
5. What are governments doing?
Laws enacted this year in the European Union and the U.K. are forcing makers of washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and TV monitors to ensure parts are replaceable with common tools that consumers can use easily. Now the EU is looking into regulating mobile phones, tablets and computers. In France, manufacturers must provide a “repairability score” for some electronic devices. Apple, for instance, gave its iPhone 12 Pro Max, released in late 2020, a six on a scale of zero to 10. In the U.S., President Joe Biden signed an executive order in July directing the Federal Trade Commission to introduce initiatives to boost competition, including measures limiting manufacturers from barring self- or third-party repairs of their products. Twenty-seven U.S. states considered right-to-repair bills this year, but more than half have already been voted down or dismissed, according to consumer groups tracking the proposals.
6. Are the new measures making a difference?
It’s early days. In the U.K., manufacturers have a two-year grace period to comply. The rules have limitations. Consumer rights advocates complain that they only benefit professional repairers as they don’t guarantee the right to repair for consumers and not-for-profit organizations. Also, the current legislative push focuses on physical components, not software. Replacing a faulty part may be of no use if your device also needs a software update. The regulations also skirt around a practice among manufacturers of selling some parts only as a bundled group, which keeps repair costs high. For example, a consumer looking to replace drum bearings in a washing machine may have to replace the whole drum, making the repair almost as expensive as a new machine.
The Case for Impressionism
August 24, 2021