Top Stories for the Week of July 11, 2018

  • Episode 564
  • July 11, 2018
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday July 11, 2018

Under a government proposal to cut emissions, new homes in suburban England will need to be fitted with electric car charging points.

New homes in suburban England will need to be fitted with electric car charging points under a government proposal to cut emissions.

Also, wherever there’s on-street parking, ministers want new street lights to come with charge points.

Details of a sales ban on new conventional gas and diesel powered cars by 2040 are also expected to be set out.

The strategy comes at a time when the government is facing criticism for failing to reduce carbon emissions.

The government's target is to reduce the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by the year 2050.

The proposals, announced by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, aim to make it easier to recharge an electric car.

Grayling said that the proposed measures would mean the UK having "one of the most comprehensive support packages for zero-emission vehicles in the world."

He said, "The prize is not just a cleaner and healthier environment but a UK economy fit for the future and the chance to win a substantial slice of a market estimated to be worth up to £7.6 trillion by 2050."


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

A migrating, tagged, male stork blipped out of contact on April 26, only to run up a $2,700 phone bill a few weeks later.

A migrating, tagged, male white stork—known to the Polish environmentalists who were tracking him as “Kajtek”—blipped out of contact on April 26.

That, however, did not stop him from making good use of the SIM card in his GPS tracker—with which the bird, or somebody who found the GPS device and picked it apart in order to get at the card—racked up a $2,700 phone bill.

Kajtek was last located at the Blue Nile valley in Sudan, on his way back home to Poland after successfully making his annual 6,000-kilometer (3,700-mile) trip to Africa, when his GPS tracker showed that he had stopped moving.

Then, when his GPS tracker showed that Kajtek had stopped moving, researchers at the environmental group Grupa EkoLogiczna—EcoLogic—assumed that the bird was dead. They had placed the tracker on him in April of last year (a “fairly routine” practice).

It was April 26 when things got weird. That’s when the scientists who were monitoring Kajtek’s tracker noticed that the bird’s signal started moving again—taking a roundabout, 25-kilometer trip before it went dead.

Then, a number of weeks later, on June 7, EcoLogic got the giant bill from its phone company. The group believes that in June, someone pulled apart the tracker to get at the SIM card, then used it for a marathon call-everywhere-and-everyone spree, running up the $2,700 bill.

EcoLogic said that it doesn’t know who made the calls, and they expect they’ll have to fork over the money for the phone bill out of their own pockets.


Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson

Amazon wants to fill the gap left by the closure of stores like Toys 'R Us... by sending out printed catalogs!

Amazon's move into retail has largely hinged around opening or acquiring brick-and-mortar stores. But this holiday season, the online retailer will reportedly try something different: printed catalogs.

We're talking about a massive, holiday-themed catalog dedicated entirely to toys—to conveniently fill the void left behind by the recently shuttered Toys 'R Us chain in the United States.

Amazon's toy-specific catalog will be mailed to "millions" of Amazon shoppers' homes and will also be given away for free at Whole Foods locations. While the report compared this catalog to similar Christmas season toy catalogs from Toys 'R Us, Target, and other big-box retailers, it did not confirm whether Amazon's planned book will be as big as those 100-plus-page catalogs. The report also didn't clarify if or how the book will include price information, since the site hinges so largely on dynamic pricing and Prime-exclusive deals.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

A friendly reminder in case you haven't already upgraded your web hosting to use SSL: Effective this month, Google is warning users that their web sites aren’t secure.

For the past several years, Google has moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. And within the last year, they've helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as “not secure.” Effective this month with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure.”

Developers have been transitioning their sites to HTTPS and making the web safer for everyone. Progress last year was incredible, and it’s continued since then:

Over 68% of Chrome traffic on both Android and Windows is now protected, over 78% of Chrome traffic on both Chrome OS and Mac is now protected, and 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default.

Chrome’s new interface will help users understand that all HTTP sites are not secure, and continue to move the web towards a secure HTTPS web by default. HTTPS is easier and cheaper than ever before, and it unlocks both performance improvements and powerful new features that are too sensitive for HTTP.


Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


Season 14 starts soon!

Episode 664 will be live October 14! See you then.

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