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Showing posts from November, 2011

Canada dismissed the Kyoto Protocol on climate change on Monday

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Canada dismissed the Kyoto Protocol on climate change on Monday as a thing of
the past, but declined to confirm a media report it will formally pull out of
the international treaty before the end of this year.
Although the right-of-centerConservative government walked away from its
Kyoto obligations years ago, a formal withdrawal would deal a symbolic blow to
global talks to save the agreement, which opened in South Africa on
Monday.
Canada says it backs a new international deal to cut global emissions of
greenhouses bases but insists it has to cover all nations, including China and India, which are not
bound by Kyoto's current targets.
Although Japan and Russia share Canada's
view, and the United States never ratified Kyoto, no nation has yet formally
renounced the treaty.
Related articlesCanada to withdraw from Kyoto Protocol (macleans.ca)Kyoto in rearview mirror as Canada enters climate talks (ctv.ca)

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Kenyan authorities have seized a container loaded with 87 elephant tusks

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Image via Wikipedia Kenyan authorities have seized a container loaded with 87 elephant tusks and
disguised as soapstone carvings destined for Hong Kong, a customs official
said.
The 20-foot container was impounded at a depot in Nairobi. As it was being
inspected for clearance for shipment, officials scanning its contents became
suspicious.
"It was declared as assorted handicrafts destined for Hong Kong. Upon
scanning, our customs officers discovered that the images were suspect and a
decision was made to subject the container to a 100 percent verification," said
Ezekiel Maru, communications and marketing officer at the Kenya
Revenue.
"We found 11 wooden crates containing 25 pieces of elephant tusks and 15
cartons containing 61 pieces of tusks. The other cartons that had been used to
camouflage had assorted soapstone and wood carvings. Some had tiles and other
stuffings," he said, as other officers unpacked the container in the
background.
Maru, speaking …

Water in the Northwest Territories is at risk of being contaminated by run-off from Alberta's

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Water in the Northwest Territories is at risk of being contaminated by run-off from Alberta's oilsands, according to a new report.
The report, "Canada's Great Basin: Presumed Abundance and Revealed Neglect in
the Mackenzie Watershed," by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, was
released Friday. It says the territory has no control over what's coming
downstream and there's not enough information to ensure the oilsands aren't
polluting northern waters.
Image via Wikipedia The report recommends that world-class water monitoring be set up in the
Mackenzie Basin, and that the federal government help the N.W.T. and aboriginal
governments implement the territory's Water Stewardship Strategy.
The Mackenzie Basin is a watershed one-fifth the size of Canada, and its
borders extend into three provinces —Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. — and the
three territories.
Related articlesN.W.T.'s water could be at risk from oilsands (cbc.ca)Alberta study disputes oi…

Brazil's government suspended Chevron Corp's drilling rights

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Image via WikipediaBrazil's government suspended Chevron Corp's drilling rights until Chevron
clarifies the causes of an offshore oil spill, the latest twist in a political
firestorm threatening the U.S. company's role in Brazil's oil
bonanza.
The decision on Wednesday came as the head of Chevron's Brazilian unit
testified before Brazil's Congress, where he apologized for the November 8 spill
that leaked about 2,400 barrels of oil into the ocean off the coast of Rio de
Janeiro.
Brazil's National Petroleum Agency said it decided to halt Chevron's drilling
rights after determining there was evidence that the company had been
"negligent" in its study of data needed to drill and in contingency planning for
abandoning the well in the event of accident.
The agency, known as ANP, also rejected a request from Chevron made before
the leak to drill wells in the deeper subsalt areas in the Frade field where the
spill occurred. The field is loc…

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Canada's energy industry cannot relax efforts to improve its environmental

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Image via Wikipedia The U.S.-imposed delay of TransCanada Corp's Keystone XLoil pipeline shows
Canada's energy industry cannot relax efforts to improve its environmental
record, a former top minister in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government said
on Monday.
The U.S. move has also helped build consensus that the oil industry must
lessen its near-total export reliance on the U.S. market, said Jim Prentice, who
left the Conservative government last year to become vice-chairman of Canadian
Imperial Bank of Commerce.
As environment minister in 2010, Prentice stirred some controversy in his
home base of Calgary by telling an industry audience that the national and
international perception of northern Alberta's oil sands was "profoundly
negative" and that companies developing the resource, the world's third-biggest
reserve of crude oil, must boost efforts to improve environmental
performance.
"I think there's been substantial progress made, but I th…

U.S. oil company Chevron promised to fully clean-up a spill off Brazil's coast

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Image via Wikipedia U.S. oil companyChevron promised to fully clean-up a spill off Brazil's coast,
the CEO of the local subsidiary, George Buck, said on Sunday, taking
responsibility for an accident that has become a major test for one of the
world's fastest-growing oil frontiers.
The leak from the undersea well, owned in partnership with Brazil's
state-controlled Petrobras and a Japanese consortium, has been plugged and the
residual oil flow from undersea rock is now "more than 10 barrels," but "less
than hundreds of barrels" per day, Buck said.
"Chevron takes full responsibility for this incident," Buck told reporters in
Rio de Janeiro. "We will share the lessons learned here in the hope that this
sort of incident won't happen again in Brazil or anywhere else in the
world."
The spill, one of the largest to hit Brazil's growing offshore oil industry
has raised questions about its safety and ability to respond to acci…

ship that could be the future flagship of the UK

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The design is as bold as it is breathtaking.
From a distance, this ship might resemble the spectacular square-rigged star of
a saltwater period drama like Hornblower or The Onedin Line.

But the closer you look, the more you realise
that this is quite unlike anything else that has ever graced the high seas before.

After all, how many square-riggers are
designed to accommodate a mini-submarine, a helicopter, two buses, 100 bicycles,
an underwater laboratory — and a sovereign?




Here, for the first time, is an artist's
impression of the ship that could be the future flagship of the UK. Following on
from where the beloved Britannia left off, this masterpiece — still unnamed —
would fulfil all the functions of the late Royal Yacht and many more besides.

Two weeks ago, the Daily Mail announced a new
campaign to build a 21st-century successor to Britannia — not only in
recognition of our magnificent monarch and her Diamond Jubilee, but also in
keeping with Britain's his…

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PayPal launched a new Facebook app called Send Money

PayPal launched a new Facebook app called Send Money that makes it easier to send payments to your Facebook friends. PayPal has been experimenting with all kinds of payment technologies recently, especially across mobile and social markets, and this recent one is no-brainer.
Facebook has more than 800 million active users and a large percentage of them likely have active PayPal accounts. It thus follows that PayPal should make it possible for let them to easily send cash to and from each other.
The app is as straightforward to use as its name implies. All you have to do is choose an ecard (optional), a friend to send it to, and then select how much money to send.
Because Send Money offers peer-to-peer payments, there is no transaction, although PayPal’s international fees and standard limitations still apply. We’ll see soon enough if Facebook users start sending money over the social network rather than by e-mail.
“The PayPal and Facebook infrastructure have now merged,” PayPal’s Anuj…

Major pornography companies have filed a lawsuit against ICANN over adult TLD .XXX.

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Major pornography companies have filed a lawsuit against ICANN over adult TLD.XXX.
The company behind major porn sites including YouPorn, PornHub, Brazzers, Xtube and Playboy.com have been joined by adult industry powerhouse Digital Playground to file an anti-monopoly lawsuit against ICANN over the dot-XXX TLD.
Luxembourg-based Manwin and Digital Playground are suing both ICANN and the company that created and manages dot-XXX, ICM Registry. ICANN is the non-profit that, among other things, oversees the management of the top-level domain name space.
Manwin and Digital Playground want an injunction to stop the .XXX TLD and require its re-opening with competition and “reasonable price constraints.”
Aside from that, if their allegations against ICANN are anywhere near true, I think this case could impact the entire domain name system and how it is run.
The lawsuit was filed yesterday, November 16 in the U.S. District Court of California stating that both ICANN and ICM Registry have engaged…

The Conservatives strongly back the pipeline.

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Image via Wikipedia In a sign of the strain the Canadian government is feeling over development of
the tar sands, Environment Minister Peter Kent said on Wednesday that opposition
legislators who campaigned in Washington against the idea were
treacherous.
The right-of-center Conservative government was taken aback last week when
the U.S. administration delayed approval of TransCanada Corp's proposed Keystone
XL pipeline designed to carry crude from the vast Alberta oil sands to
refineries in Texas.
The Conservatives strongly back the pipeline. Opponents say development tar
sands oil is particularly dirty, producing high amounts of greenhouse gases.
They also say the pipeline could cause an environmental catastrophe if it
ruptured.
Much to Kent's anger, two members of Parliament from the opposition New
Democrats went to Washington this week to argue the pipeline should not go ahead
until Canada has come up with a better plan to combat climate change.
Related articlesLooking at …

New Solar Hybrid Supertanker Impresses

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New Solar Hybrid Supertanker Impresses
We know this might not apply to us as sailors, but it is always great to see innovations that will make our oceans and world less polluted.
Sauter Carbon Offset Design presents Deliverance, a DynaWing solar hybrid supertanker that qualifies as the largest and by far the greenest post-Panamax vessel to be built, and as such the most economical form of crude oil transport to and from any part of the globe.
To reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions by up to 75%, the supertanker obtains half of her power from LNG and the other half from the latest advances in solar and wind power technology.
Deliverance is a 2 million barrel, 330,000DWT Supertanker designed specifically for the newly enlarged locks of the Panama Canal, which will accommodate vessels that have a maximum length of 1,395 ft, a beam of 176 ft, and a draft 59 ft.
Being longer, narrower and having less draft than previous 2 million barrelVLCC’s, the hull of Deliverance produc…

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Some iPhone users are still reporting battery-life issues

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Some iPhone users are still reporting battery-life issues, a day after Apple pushed through an iOS update designed to
fix “bugs” related to the issue.
A portion of those users are venting their
anger online, complaining that their iPhones with the new iOS 5.0.1 update
continue to drain battery power at a faster-than-expected rate.
“I’ve had the same problem on my iPhone
4S,” one commenter wrote on Apple’s discussion boards. “After updating to ios 5.0.1,
battery life is [worse] than ios 5.0.”
“Same here as with others,” wrote another.
“My 4S has worse battery life now with 5.0.1 than the original 5. Drains about 1
[percent] per 15 minutes without any use.”
Apple issued a Nov. 11 statement to AllThingsD, suggesting the matter was under
Image via CrunchBase examination. “The recent iOS software update addressed many of the battery
issues that some customers experienced on their iOS 5 devices,” it read. “We continue to investigate a few
remaining issues.”
The iOS 5.0.1 update was advertise…

EDF fined for hacking Greenpeace

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Image via WikipediaFrench nuclear giant EDF was fined 1.5 million euros by a Paris court on Thursday for hacking into the computers of environmental group Greenpeace in 2006.
Two of the group's security chiefs were also sentenced to prison for their role in the affair, which involved the theft of confidential documents from the computer of the former head of Greenpeace France, Yannick Jadot.

Greenpeace has consistently campaigned against nuclear power and is opposed to EDF's construction of a European Pressurized Reactor (EPR), a new generation of reactors, at Flamanville. State-controlled EDF is the world's biggest nuclear producer and operates 58 nuclear reactors in France.

"This is a triple zero for EDF. Nuclear energy is industrially bankrupt, financially bankrupt and clearly morally bankrupt," Jadot told Reuters following the announcement of the decision by a court in Nanterre, just outside Paris.

Jadot now works as spokesman for Eva Joly, presiden…

Logitech is halting production of its Google TV Revue set-top boxes

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Image via CrunchBaseLogitech is halting production of its Google TV Revue set-top boxes, acknowledging that the whole affair was a financial disaster for the company.
At an Analyst and Investor Day hosted by Logitech on Wednesday, CEO Guerrino De Luca confessed that the Revue was a "mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature." In his presentation, DeLuca in part pointed the finger at Google TV, referring to it as a "beta" product, according to The Verge.
De Luca told investors that Logitech lost more than $100 million in operating profits on the Revue after bringing it to the market almost a year ago. As a result, the company will simply let existing inventory of the Revue run out this quarter and will not make another set-top box to replace it.
The CEO intimated that Google TV simply wasn't ready to launch when it did and that Logitech mistakenly thought the search giant's product was revolutionary, The Verge reported. DeLuca also blamed his company…

reported oil leak located near Chevron's Frade field

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Image via WikipediaImage via WikipediaBrazil's oil regulator ANP and Chevron's local subsidiary said on Thursday they
would look into a reported oil leak located near Chevron's Frade field.
The ANP said the oil on the ocean's surface was located about one kilometer
from Chevron's Frade field.
Chevron spokesman Scott Walker said the company was aware of the oil sheen
between its Frade field and one of Brazil's biggest producing fields, the
Roncador, operated by the state-run oil companyPetrobras.
"Chevron is investigating the source of the oil sheen. All the appropriate
actions to respond are being taken. As soon as we have further information we
will notify," Walker told Reuters by email.
The spill is in the Campos Basin that accounts for the bulk of Brazil's oil
output off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.
Related articlesChevron Claims its Toxic Waste Dump in Ecuador's Amazon Did Not Harm Tribes (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)U.S. Cour…

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There were more than 49 million Americans living in poverty in 2010

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Image via WikipediaThere were more than 49 million Americans living in poverty in 2010, under an alternative measure released by the Census Bureau Monday.
That's 16% of the nation, higher than the official poverty rate of 15.2%. The official rate, released in September, showed 46.6 million people living in poverty.
The Census Bureau's first supplemental poverty measure includes various government benefits and expenses not captured by the official poverty rate, which will continue to be used to determine eligibility for public assistance and federal funding distribution. The alternative calculation also takes into account geographic differences in prices.
Acting on recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences, the Census Bureau designed the new measure tocapture the impact of many forms of non-cash public assistance, such as food stamps, housing subsidies and energy assistance.
"The main driving force behind this measure was to give policy makers a handle of the e…

China getting rid of incandescent light bulbs

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Image via WikipediaChina, following similar action by the United States and Europe, announced it will eliminate incandescent light bulbs over the next five years. It’s a move that will not only help cut greenhouse gas emissions in the polluted nation, but could have a dramatic effect on the global energy efficiency lighting market as well.
The government will ban imports and sales of 100-watt and higher incandescent bulbs beginning Oct. 1, 2012, the Associated Press reported. The ban will be extended to 60-watt and higher bulbs beginning Oct. 1, 2014 and to 15-watt and higher bulbs in 2016.
China is one of the largest producers of incandescent light bulbs in the world, one-third of which are used domestically. And lighting is estimated to account for some 12 percent of China’s total electricity use. Meaning, by the cutting out incandescent light bulbs, China will save 48 billion kilowatt hours of power a year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 48 million tons, according to the AP.

Gaopeng said on Monday it had sold counterfeit luxury watches

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Image via WikipediaGroupon's Chinese daily deals business Gaopeng said on Monday it had sold counterfeit luxury watches by accident and will compensate its irate buyers in its latest struggle in expanding in the potentially lucrative market.
The joint venture between Groupon and China's top Internet firm, Tencent Holdings, said counterfeit Tissot watches, a brand owned by the world's largest watch makerSwatch Group, were sold on its website last month for 690 yuan ($109), less than one-fourth of its original price of more than 3,000 yuan.

"After an investigation into the Tissot watch incident, Gaopeng found the merchant...had given us fake agent qualification documents," Gaopeng said in a statement.

"We are outraged and we have begun legal proceedings. We hope to protect the interests of consumers and Gaopeng through legal methods."

Hundreds of people had bought the watches through the deal, local media reported, but complaints soon arose whe…

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Exxon spill $135 million

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Image by misternaxal via FlickrExxon Mobil's response to a July oil spill into the Yellowstone River in
Montana will cost a total of $135 million, the company said on
Friday.
Exxon Mobil said it has reached compensation agreements with over 95 percent
of property owners who were affected by the spill, which released some 1,000
barrels of crude oil into the river.
The leak occurred on July 1 on the Silvertip pipeline, in a section that ran
under the Yellowstone River and carried crude oil to refineries in Billings,
Montana.
The spill was handled by the Exxon Mobil Corp division Exxon Mobil Pipeline
Co, which was responsible for the line.
Related articlesYellowstone River spill to cost Exxon Mobil $135M (content.usatoday.com)APNewsBreak: Yellowstone spill to cost Exxon $135M (seattletimes.nwsource.com)