The Right To Repair Movement Is Forcing Apple To Change

The executive director of Repair.org says Apple has “decided to be nicer to consumers in order to stop them from demanding their right to repair,” according to Motherboard. Slashdot reader Jason Koebler shared this article:

It’s increasingly looking like Apple can no longer ignore the repair insurgency that’s been brewing: The right to repair movement is winning, and Apple’s behavior is changing. In the last few months, Apple has made political, design, and customer service decisions that suggest the right to repair movement is having a real impact on the company’s operations…

Apple has repeatedly made small concessions to its customers on the issues that Repair.org and the larger repair community have decided to highlight. The question is whether these concessions are going to be enough to satiate customers who want their devices to be easily repairable and upgradable, and whether the right to repair movement can convince those people to continue demanding fair treatment.
The article notes that at least 12 U.S. states are still considering “fair repair” laws, which would force Apple to sell replacement parts to both independent repair shops and the general public.

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French Banks Offer Credit Card Numbers That Change Every Hour

Slashdot reader schwit1 quotes The Memo:
What if the numbers on your card changed every hour so that, even if a fraudster copied them, they’d quickly be out of date? That’s exactly what two French banks are starting to do with their new high-tech ebank cards… The three digits on the back of this card will change, every hour, for three years. And after they change, the previous three digits are essentially worthless, and that’s a huge blow for criminals… As most fraud happens a few hours or days after your card details are actually taken, this would leave criminals essentially with a bunch of useless numbers.

It’s just like credit cards you have now — other than the tiny digital screen that’s embedded into the back of the card.

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Statue of Liberty, other world sites threatened by climate change, says U.N.

Statue of Liberty, other world sites threatened by climate change, says U.N.The Statue of Liberty is seen in New York harbor. Climate change might dampen Lady Liberty’s glow, according to experts. The United Nations released a report Thursday saying 31 natural and cultural World Heritage sites in 29 countries are vulnerable to the effects of climate change: rising temperatures, rising sea levels, intensifying storms, longer droughts and so on.



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Does the Internet Spur Social Change, Or Lazy Activism?

An anonymous reader writes: If you participate in social media, you’ve probably noticed the flood of posts that happen any time a social issue becomes prominent in the news. Whether it’s sharing a supportive picture, changing their profile, or signing a petition, users flock to these causes. But are they really doing anything useful? An article from USC Dornsife debates whether this form of “lazy activism” is actually effective in pushing social change. It’s been long established that people are surrounded by a “filter bubble” online, where they’re only exposed to viewpoints they already agree with. There’s also the question of whether liking something on Facebook makes you less likely to contribute to a cause in more substantive ways. On the other hand, this type of internet activism does do what social networks are designed for: building a community. Strangers with the same views can more easily organize into groups, and groups of a certain size are heard by lawmakers, regardless of their origin. Plus, engaging in small, low-risk activism does make people more likely to engage in further activism with more impact. The real question we need to answer is whether the smaller and more ephemeral groups are doing more good than harm. For now, it’s clear that protesting face-to-face is far more effective than gathering in a chat room — but at the same time, hacktivism is growing in popularity as well. It may eventually have a similar effect to sit-ins and picket lines as our culture moves more and more online.

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Role Model Bhutan Takes Zen Approach To Climate Change

HughPickens.com writes: Matt McGrath writes at BBC that Bhutan, the strongly Buddhist country where up to three-quarters of the population follow the religion, is the only country in the world considered a role model by the Climate Action Tracking organization. Bhutan has put forward the concept of “Gross National Happiness”, that represents a commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s culture based on Buddhist spiritual values instead of western material development gauged by gross domestic product (GDP). Bhutan’s Constitution mandates its territory to be at least 60% covered by forest – the vast carbon sink a boon for its balancing of humanity and nature. Right now over 70% is under trees, and so great are the forests, that the country absorbs far more carbon than its 750,000 population can produce. As well as inhaling all that CO2, the Bhutanese are pushing out large amounts of electricity to India, generated by hydropower from their fast flowing rivers. The prime minister says that their waters hold the potential to offset 100 million tonnes of Indian emissions every year. That’s around a fifth of Britain’s current annual outpourings.

Bhutan has embraced electric vehicles and the government envisages the capital city Thimpu, as a “clean-electric” city with green taxis for its 100,000 citizens — Bold plans for a city that at present doesn’t have any traffic lights! “We see ourselves on the one hand being able to use electric cars for our own purposes, to protect our environment, to improve our economy, but also to show in a small measure that sustainable transport works and that electric vehicles are a reality,” says Tshering Tobgay. “”In Bhutan the distances are short, electricity is very cheap and because of the mountains you can’t drive exceedingly fast, so all these combined to provide us with the opportunity for the investment.”

According to Dr Marcia Rocha, it’s not just a question of Bhutan being spectacularly endowed with natural advantages. “I think they are a country that culturally are very connected to nature, in every document that they submit it’s there, it’s just a very important focus of their politics.” “We may be small, our impact not huge, but we always try many conservation projects,” says Kinlay Dorjee, mayor of capital Thimphu. However the modest Bhutanese Prime Minister rejects the idea that his country is the leader of the climate pack. “I feel that calling Bhutan a role model is not appropriate, every country has their own sets of challenges and their own sets opportunities.”

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New Tool Allows Scientists To Annotate Media Coverage of Climate Change

Layzej writes: Have you ever been skeptical of a climate change story presented by a major media outlet? A new tool holds journalists to account for the veracity of their stories. “Using the Climate Feedback tool, scientists have started to diligently add detailed annotations to online content and have those notes appear alongside the story as it originally appeared. If you’re the writer, then it’s a bit like getting your homework handed back to you with the margins littered with corrections and red pen. Or smiley faces and gold stars if you’ve been good.” The project has already prompted The Telegraph to publish major corrections to their story that suggested the Earth is headed for a “‘mini ice age’ within 15 years.” The article has been modified in such a way that there is no more statement supporting the original message of an “imminent mini ice age.”

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Could a Digital Pen Change How We Diagnose Brain Function?

An anonymous reader writes: By using custom tracking software to monitor the output from a digital pen, MIT researchers say they have found a way to better predict the onset of brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. according to MIT: “For several decades, doctors have screened for conditions including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s with the CDT, which asks subjects to draw an analog clock-face showing a specified time, and to copy a pre-drawn clock. But the test has limitations, because its benchmarks rely on doctors’ subjective judgments, such as determining whether a clock circle has ‘only minor distortion.’ CSAIL researchers were particularly struck by the fact that CDT analysis was typically based on the person’s final drawing rather than on the process as a whole. Enter the Anoto Live Pen, a digitizing ballpoint pen that measures its position on the paper upwards of 80 times a second, using a camera built into the pen. The pen provides data that are far more precise than can be measured on an ordinary drawing, and captures timing information that allows the system to analyze each and every one of a subject’s movements and hesitations.”

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Obama Unveils Major Climate Change Proposal

An anonymous reader writes: Two years in the making, President Obama formally unveiled his plan to cut power plant emissions today, calling it the “single most important step that America has ever made in the fight against global climate change.” The “Clean Power Plan” includes the first ever EPA standards on carbon pollution from power plants. CNN reports: “Under the plan, the administration will require states to meet specific carbon emission reduction standards, based on their individual energy consumption. The plan also includes an incentive program for states to get a head start on meeting standards on early deployment of renewable energy and low-income energy efficiency.”

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