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Bird Is Scrapping Thousands of Electric Scooters In the Middle East

Slashdot.org - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 05:00
Hot on the heels of Uber scrapping thousands of e-bikes and e-scooters, Bird is taking similar action. The micromobility company is reportedly disposing of thousands of e-scooters in the Middle East and shutting down its operations in the majority of the region as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. CNBC reports: The e-scooters being scrapped belong to Circ, which was acquired by Bird for an undisclosed sum in January. There are between 8,000 and 10,000 Circ scooters across cities in Qatar, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, according to one former employee and one company source who asked to be kept anonymous as they've signed a confidentiality agreement. Bird is paying around $300,000 to have all of Circ's scooters in the Middle East scrapped, the former employee told CNBC. Bird said it has "temporarily paused operations" in the Middle East because of the hot weather, adding that it is using the break to "recycle" some vehicles. Bird will continue to operate its own scooters in Tel Aviv. "During this pause, we are taking the opportunity to responsibly recycle parts of the old Circ fleet that were previously used in the region," a Bird spokesperson said. "Following extreme wear and tear, the Circ vehicles no longer met our rigorous quality standards. Selling or re-use of these vehicles would potentially result in safety and reliability issues, which would not have been fair or ethical to the purchasers or potential riders. We look forward to resuming our service throughout more parts of the region later this year."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

William Bernstein and Safe Withdrawal Rates

MyMoneyBlog.com - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 03:50

A recurring theme in investing is that you start out learning the simple basics, then you feel like you can optimize things and spend a lot of effort trying to do so, and eventually you realize that simple is probably just fine. No matter how closely you mine the past, you can’t predict the future. As the Buffett quote goes, “If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.” That’s what came to mind when I read William Bernstein on safe withdrawal rates in retirement:

Even the most sophisticated retirement projections contain so much uncertainty that the entire process can be summarized as follows: Below the age of 65, a 2% spending rate is bulletproof, 3% is probably safe, and 4% is taking chances. Above 5%, you’re taking an increasingly serious risk of dying poor. (For each five years above 65, add perhaps half of a percentage point to those numbers.)

Source: The Ages of the Investor: A Critical Look at Life-cycle Investing.

Something to keep in mind when you become obsessed about getting from a 98% success rate to a 99% success rate on a simple retirement calculator from Vanguard or a fancy one like FIRECalc. (Not that I’ve done that, ever, of course…)

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William Bernstein and Safe Withdrawal Rates from My Money Blog.

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Categories: Finance

How to delete a single command from history on a Linux/Unix Bash shell

nixCraft - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 03:21

{Updated} I am working in Ubuntu bash terminal application and remotely on a RHEL server in cloud platform. I typed the wrong and dangerous command which I no longer wish to remember. How do I get rid of dangerous command in the history file? How can I remove or delete a single command from bash history file?

The post How to delete a single command from history on a Linux/Unix Bash shell appeared first on nixCraft.

Defund police and schools. Redirect the money to black families and communities.

PenelopeTrunk.com - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 02:20

I understand that part of Black Lives Matter means White Privilege Matters. Which is to say that justice requires white people to face our fears about giving up institutionalized advantages. If you are white and you’re not scared then you have no idea how much has to change the U.S. to function like black lives really matter. Maybe you’ve read one of those lists of things white people can do to be an ally of black people. But alliances won’t matter unless we make fundamental changes. Here are three things that need to change:

Defund police and channel money to community groups.

Philip V. McHarris and Thenjiwe McHarris wrote an op-ed titled No More Money for the Police. Mr. McHarris is a doctoral candidate focusing on race, housing, and policing. Ms. McHarris is a strategist with the Movement for Black Lives. I am their fangirl. This recent op-ed says that instead of trying to abolish the police we can redirect city police budgets to underfunded city programs like housing, healthcare, and job training.

The police are likely to kill a black person no matter what sort of emergency response they are making. We have tried re-education, body cameras, community outreach, nothing changes the fact that police kill black people.

In the proposed scenario, police respond to calls that are already violent. I envision the police sitting at the desks all day long, waiting for an emergency call no one in the community is willing to attend to without a gun. Meanwhile, cities will redirect police funding to social workers and community groups who don’t carry guns. And instead of arguing for gun control, it’s an argument for controlling the amount we rely on people who carry guns.

Improve healthcare services by studying black culture, behavior, and personal beliefs.

The medical field has already implemented similar tactics. In the 1990s, Dr. William Cunningham pioneered community-based models to treat disparities in medical care between white people and people of color. For example, his research found that after hundreds of years of white doctors purposefully harming black patients, many black people trust their pastor more than their doctor. Black women die from pregnancy-related issues three times more often than white women. Cunningham found that black women want medical information rooted in values. And he convinced Congress to redirect medical spending to black community groups.

By the time Cunningham died in 2019, he had established that what works for white people should not be the default. The medical community has a long way to go to close racial disparities, but Cunningham showed us that to address disparities in health outcomes we need explore culture, traditions and personal beliefs that contribute to black people’s experience with health care.

Turn schools into social services centers and turn white privilege on its head.

Like healthcare services, public schools are built on research that excludes black children. And like the field of medicine, you can account for education and income, and still, white kids come out on top. Recently the Brookings Institute showed that disparities among test scores between black and white kids are from culture rather than income or intelligence. So teaching black kids to take white tests is never going to work.

Schools are obsessed with teaching kids self-control because of the Stanford marshmallow experiment in 1960: If the kid refrains from eating a marshmallow in order to get something better later then the kid will do better in school and career than the kid who eats the marshmallow. The test is has been reproduced many times with white kids and has found to be true regardless of income, intelligence, etc.

However recently Columbia University psychology professor Tyler Watts replicated the marshmallow test with a diverse group of children and he found benefits for some kids to eat the marshmallow. That is a revolutionary finding that should be completely shaking up this country. It means that schools focus on teaching kids self-control when it is actually only proven to be great for the children of Stanford professors in 1960.

Additionally, when black kids don’t do what teachers want, black kids receive more harsh discipline than white kids. We know it’s impossible to train police or doctors to stop acting on racism — even if it’s inadvertent. And the same is true in education. Teachers discriminate against black kids even when the teachers don’t mean to.

So it occurred to me that the elegant proposal for defunding police would also work for schools. Like policing with guns, educating with schools is mostly unnecessary. Kids teach themselves to read when they are ready. Kids learn fundamental math on their own. Kids don’t need school to learn to write. Kids don’t need teachers they need parents. Homeschoolers have a higher acceptance rate to the Ivy League. School is unnecessary for black kids and for all kids.

But when it comes to what is good for black kids, the one thing we do know is that the type of learning that makes the biggest difference is learning you cannot get from school: Self-directed, project-based learning is the only kind of education that gives economic mobility to black kids. And, most importantly, hundreds of studies show that more funding to schools does not help black kids, but more funding for black families and black communities does.

So we should have school teachers educate only the most difficult children: if a parent says they need help, the schools should give help. But otherwise, we should provide families with enough money to ensure one parent stays home with children, and we should turn schools into social services organizations for anyone who needs them.

This is the sort of radical thinking that is going to change the plight of black people in the US. If black lives matter then institutions aimed to prop up white children must be defunded by local, city governments or national government. And each of us needs to do our part to make that happen.

The post Defund police and schools. Redirect the money to black families and communities. appeared first on Penelope Trunk Careers.

Categories: Life

Australian Researchers Set Record For Carbon Dioxide Capture

Slashdot.org - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 02:00
Researchers from Monash University and the CSIRO have set a record for carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) using technology that resembles a sponge filled with tiny magnets. Phys.Org reports: Using a Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) nanocomposite that can be regenerated with remarkable speed and low energy cost, researchers have developed sponge-like technology that can capture carbon dioxide from a number of sources, even directly from air. The magnetic sponge is used to remove carbon dioxide using the same techniques as induction cooktops using one-third of the energy than any other reported method. In the study, published in Cell Reports Physical Science, researchers designed a unique adsorbent material called M-74 CPT@PTMSP that delivered a record low energy cost of just 1.29 MJ kg-1CO2 , 45 per cent below commercially deployed materials, and the best CCS efficiency recorded. MOFs are a class of compounds consisting of metal ions that form a crystalline material with the largest surface area of any material known. In fact, MOFs are so porous that they can fit the entire surface of a football field in a teaspoon. This technology makes it possible to store, separate, release or protect valuable commodities, enabling companies to develop high value products. The stability of M-74 CPT@PTMSP was evaluated by estimating the amount of CO2 and H2O captured and released via the researchers' magnetic induction swing adsorption (MISA) process over 20 consecutive cycles. The regeneration energy calculated for M-74 CPT@PTMSP is the lowest reported for any solid porous adsorbent. At magnetic fields of 14 and 15 mT, the regeneration energy calculated for M-74 CPT was 1.29 and 1.44 MJ kg CO2-1.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Could Granite Solve the Hard Problem of Nuclear Waste Storage?

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 22:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: A new study published in Scientific Reports reveals that crystalline rocks, such as granite, have a natural self-sealing mechanism, capable of keeping fluids locked away for millions of years. Careful analysis of the chemistry and structure of granites from Japan and the UK revealed that when fluid did enter the rock (via fractures), it travelled a few centimeters at most. The scientists believe that calcium in the rock reacted with carbonate in the fluid to create tiny crystals of calcite that plugged all the gaps and prevented further flow. "This amount of calcite would never be expected in a granite, and the distribution of it indicates it almost certainly formed from small quantities of fluid trying to move through the rock," says Roy Wogelius from the University of Manchester. Greater understanding is needed before we finalize our radioactive waste disposal strategies, but this is a promising step forward.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

UK Willing To Admit Nearly 3 Million From Hong Kong If China Adopts Security Law

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 21:02
schwit1 shares news that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would be willing to allow more than 2.8 million people from Hong Kong to live and work in the country if China implements a controversial proposed national security law on the former British colony. The law could take effect as soon as this month, and would expand mainland China's control over Hong Kong. NPR reports: Johnson wrote in a column that appeared in The Times of London that the law would infringe on the "one country, two systems" agreement China reached with Britain in 1997 when Britain ceded control of the territory. He added that the law "would curtail [Hong Kong's] freedoms and dramatically erode its autonomy." If China were to implement the law, Johnson wrote, Britain is prepared to take in around 350,000 people from Hong Kong who already have British National (Overseas) passports and 2.5 million who would be eligible to apply for them. He also noted that the U.K. would be making "one of the biggest changes in our visa system in history." It would allow Hong Kongers with these passports to come to the U.K. for a renewable period of a year. The current system allows them to come without a visa for up to six months. The potential new system would include a right to work and, potentially, a path to citizenship. Johnson did not elaborate in the column about how the 2.5 million people eligible for a British passport would be able to attain one, or how arrivals from Hong Kong would attain citizenship. "Many people in Hong Kong fear that their way of life -- which China pledged to uphold -- is under threat," Johnson wrote. "If China proceeds to justify their fears, then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulders and walk away... I still hope that China will remember that responsibilities go hand in glove with strength and leadership." The law would authorize mainland China to prevent "secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference" in the semi-autonomous city. "One part that has got people worried is the suggestion that China could set up its own institutions in Hong Kong responsible for security," reports the BBC. "Hong Kong was handed back to China from British control in 1997, but under a unique agreement -- a mini-constitution called the Basic Law and a so-called 'one country, two systems' principle," the report adds. "They are supposed to protect certain freedoms for Hong Kong: freedom of assembly and speech, an independent judiciary and some democratic rights -- freedoms that no other part of mainland China has." People in Hong Kong believe the law will result in a loss of these freedoms and could see Beijing punish people for criticizing the country, as happens in mainland China.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Germany Bans Digital Doppelganger Passport Photos

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 20:25
Germany will outlaw the morphing of passport photos, in which pictures of two people are digitally combined, making it possible to assign multiple identities to a single document. Reuters reports: Morphing can trick artificial intelligence used at passport control into recognizing different individuals. The government on Wednesday backed a law requiring people to either have their photo taken at a passport office or, if they use a photographer, have it submitted in digital form over a secure connection, spokesman Steffen Seibert said. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics have found that it is possible to morph photos of the faces of different people who are not even related. A certain degree of similarity is sufficient, such as the eyes being aligned. Such manipulation of photos is typically invisible to the human eye, the researchers found.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Dyson Shares New Photos and Videos of Its Canceled Electric SUV

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 19:45
Dyson has revealed new photos and information about their failed electric SUV, which the company canceled last October due to high costs. The Verge reports: In a new blog post on his company's website, Dyson shows off some of the first images and videos of the real prototype it made before the project was killed last October, as well as a few more computer renderings. He describes the SUV as "a radical car which was loaded with technology," and says his company "solved lots of problems that are traditionally associated with electric vehicles," though the project was ultimately abandoned for not being "commercially viable." Missing from the post is any substantive explanation of what those problems were, though, or how the company was going to solve them. Dyson touts a "spoke, integrated and highly efficient Electric Drive Unit (EDU) comprising Dyson digital electric motor, single speed transmission and state of the art power inverter," though there's no explanation about what sets those technologies apart from the ones developed by other companies in the electric vehicle space. Other listed design benefits (like a flexible battery pack design, improved interior space, longer wheelbase) and features (like a heads-up display or handle-free doors) are also far from unique. And while Autocar reports that the SUV was supposed to offer somewhere around 600 miles of range using a 150kWh battery, Dyson never got close enough to put that claim to the test. One of the few standout parts of the SUV is the steering wheel, which looks more like a video game controller than anything.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Frontier Users Must Pay 'Rental' Fee For Equipment They Own Until December

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 19:02
An anonymous reader writes: Broadband and TV providers can keep charging "rental" fees for equipment that customers own themselves until December 2020, thanks to a Federal Communications Commission ruling that delays implementation of a new law. A law approved by Congress and signed by President Trump in December 2019 prohibits providers from charging device-rental fees when customers use their own equipment, and it was originally scheduled to take effect on June 20. As we've written, this law will help Frontier customers who have been forced to pay $10 monthly fees for equipment they don't use and, in some cases, have never even received. But the law gave the FCC discretion to extend the deadline by six months if the commission "finds that good cause exists for such an additional extension," and the FCC has done just that. The FCC ruling on April 3 (PDF), which we didn't notice at the time, extends the deadline to December 20 and says that providers need more time to comply because of the coronavirus pandemic: "As the nation tackles the COVID-19 pandemic, multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and providers of fixed broadband Internet access service are among the entities that are integral to the Commission's ongoing, nationwide effort to keep Americans informed and connected during this national emergency. So that these service providers may focus their resources on this critical effort, we provide appropriate flexibility for MVPDs and providers of fixed broadband Internet access service to fulfill their obligations under the Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019 (TVPA)... we find that good cause exists for granting a blanket extension of section 642's effective date until December 20, 2020."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Canadian Major Telcos Effectively Lock Huawei Out of 5G Build

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 18:20
Canadian carriers Bell and Telus announced on Tuesday that each of them would not be continuing the use of Huawei equipment in their respective 5G networks, having signed deals with the Chinese giant's rivals instead. ZDNet reports: For Bell, it announced Ericsson would be supplying its radio access network. It added that it was looking to launch 5G services as the Canadian economy exited lockdown. Bell, which in Febraury announced it had signed an agreement with Nokia, said it was maintaining the use of multiple vendors in its upcoming network, as it had for 4G. "Ericsson plays an important role in enabling Bell's award-winning LTE network and we're pleased to grow our partnership into 5G mobile and fixed wireless technology," said Bell chief technology officer Stephen Howe. Meanwhile, the British Columbia-based Telus also chose to go with a combination of Ericsson and Nokia. The company said it had spent CA$200 billion on its network since the turn of the century, and would part with a further CA$40 billion over the next three years to deploy its 5G network. Both Bell and Telus had previously used Huawei equipment in their networks. In February, Telus told the Financial Post it would be using Huawei in its 5G network. The third member of the Canadian major telco triumvirate -- Rogers -- said in January it would be using Ericsson equipment for its 5G rollout. The decisions from Canada's three major carriers now mean Huawei is increasingly isolated from 5G builds within the Five Eyes nations.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Governments and WHO Changed COVID-19 Policy Based On Suspect Data From Tiny US Company

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 17:40
AmiMoJo shares a report from The Guardian The World Health Organization and a number of national governments have changed their Covid-19 policies and treatments on the basis of flawed data from a little-known U.S. healthcare analytics company, also calling into question the integrity of key studies published in some of the world's most prestigious medical journals. Surgisphere, whose employees appear to include a sci-fi writer and adult content model, provided the database behind Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine hydroxychloroquine studies. Data it claims to have legitimately obtained from more than a thousand hospitals worldwide formed the basis of scientific articles that have led to changes in Covid-19 treatment policies in Latin American counties. It was also behind a decision by the WHO and research institutes around the world to halt trials of the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine. Late on Tuesday, the Lancet released an "expression of concern" about its published study. The New England Journal of Medicine has also issued a similar notice. According to an independent audit by authors not affiliated with Surgisphere, the article includes a list of "concerns that have been raised about the reliability of the database." Some of the main points include: Surgisphere's employees have little or no data or scientific background; While Surgisphere claims to run one of the largest and fastest growing hospital databases in the world, it has almost no online presence; and The firm's chief executive, Sapan Desai, has been named in three medical malpractice suits.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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