ReHacked #167: World's first large-scale 'sand battery' in Finland, FedEx to close data centers by 2024, Meta Taking Action Against Scraping for Hire and more

ReHacked #167: World's first large-scale 'sand battery' in Finland, FedEx to close data centers by 2024, Meta Taking Action Against Scraping for Hire and more
Shinzo Abe, Japan's former Prime Minister, succumbs to gun shot injuries

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July 8, 2022 Shinzo Abe shot dead in Nara, Japan #promemoria #politics

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died after being shot on the street in the city of Nara on Friday — a shocking act of violence in a country with one of the world's lowest rates of gun crime. The shooting suspect was arrested by police, who said he admitted to shooting Abe.

World's first large-scale 'sand battery' goes online in Finland #technology #energy #futurism

The first commercial sand-based thermal energy storage system in the world has started operating in Finland, developed by Polar Night Energy.

Polar Night Energy’s system, based on its patented technology, has gone online on the site of a power plant operated by utility Vatajankoski.

The 4×7 metre steel container contains hundreds of tonnes of sand which can be heated to a temperature of 500-600 degrees Celsius. The sand is heated with renewable electricity and stored for use in the local district heating system.

It has a particularly strong use case in Finland which sees long and very cold winters, and was recently cut off from Russian gas supplies over a payments dispute. The storage system’s developers say it is cheap and easy to build.

FedEx to close data centers, retire all mainframes by 2024, saving $400m - DCD #economy

FedEx is to close its data centers and retire all of its remaining mainframes within the next two years.

Speaking during the FedEx investor day, FedEx CIO Rob Carter said the company is aiming for a ‘zero data center, zero mainframe’ environment based in the cloud, which will result in $400 million in savings annually.

“We’ve been working across this decade to streamline and simplify our technology and systems,” he said. “We’ve shifted to cloud...we’ve been eliminating monolithic applications one after the other after the other...we’re moving to a zero data center, zero mainframe environment that’s more flexible, secure, and cost-effective.”

Gas and Nuclear Turn Green as EU Parliament Approves New Taxonomy | Earth.Org #energy #ecology

Set to enter into force on 1 January 2023, the Taxonomy Delegated Act will allow nuclear and natural gas-fired power plants to be marketed as green investments on financial markets.

On Wednesday, the EU Parliament voted to designate natural gas and nuclear as environmentally sustainable energy sources. 278 MEPs voted against giving green labels to nuclear and gas – falling short of the absolute majority of 353 MEPs needed to veto the Commission’s proposal.

Under the newly approved EU taxonomy, new nuclear and gas-fired plants built through 2030 will be recognised as a transitional energy source as long as they are used to replace dirtier fossil fuels such as oil and coal.

Taking Action Against Scraping for Hire | Meta #copyrights

Meta filed separate actions in federal court against a company and an individual for scraping data from Facebook and Instagram.

This Is the Code the FBI Used to Wiretap the World #software #privacy

The FBI operation in which the agency intercepted messages from thousands of encrypted phones around the world was powered by cobbled together code. Motherboard has obtained that code and is now publishing sections of it that show how the FBI was able to create its honeypot. The code shows that the messages were secretly duplicated and sent to a “ghost” contact that was hidden from the users’ contact lists. This ghost user, in a way, was the FBI and its law enforcement partners, reading over the shoulder of organized criminals as they talked to each other.

Modern city dwellers have lost about half their gut microbes | Science | AAAS #nature #history #health

Deep in the human gut, myriad “good” bacteria and other microbes help us digest our food, as well as keep us healthy by affecting our immune, metabolic, and nervous systems. Some of these humble microbial assistants have been in our guts since before humans became human—certain gut microbes are found in almost all primates, suggesting they first colonized a common ancestor. But humans have also lost many of these helpers found in other primates and may be losing even more as people around the world continue to flock to cities, a researcher reported last week at a microbiology meeting in Washington, D.C. Those absent gut microbes could affect human health, he says.

‘Disturbing’: weedkiller ingredient tied to cancer found in 80% of US urine samples | US news | The Guardian #ecology #health

More than 80% of urine samples drawn from children and adults in a US health study contained a weedkilling chemical linked to cancer, a finding scientists have called “disturbing” and “concerning”.

The report by a unit of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that out of 2,310 urine samples, taken from a group of Americans intended to be representative of the US population, 1,885 were laced with detectable traces of glyphosate. This is the active ingredient in herbicides sold around the world, including the widely used Roundup brand. Almost a third of the participants were children ranging from six to 18.

Arizona makes it illegal for bystanders to record cops at close range | Ars Technica #freespeech

The same week that a federal judge sentenced ex-cop Derek Chauvin to more prison time for killing George Floyd, Arizona passed a law making it harder to record police by limiting how close bystanders can be while recording specified law enforcement activity. Chauvin was convicted in part because a recording showing his attack on Floyd at close proximity went viral. It was filmed by a teenager named Darnella Frazier while she was standing “a few feet away.”

The new Arizona law requires any bystanders recording police activity in the state to stand at a minimum of 8 feet away from the action. If bystanders move closer after police have warned them to back off, they risk being charged with a misdemeanor and incurring fines of up to $500, jail time of up to 30 days, or probation of up to a year.

Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" Synth Sounds | Reverb Machine #culture #art #history

Kate Bush has had an enormous impact on modern music, as a musician her adoption of the Yamaha CS-80 synth and CMI Fairlight sampler empowered her to be more creative. Bush released four albums before finally building her own studio in 1985, and subsequently released her fifth album, Hounds of Love which featured Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God). The album was an art-rock masterpiece with heavy synthpop overtones; it topped charts and is regarded as her finest album.

Russian gas flows to Europe, storage rates #economy #energy

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