Category Archives: Technology

Solar-powered school bags changing Cote d’Ivoire’s education

“No child should study in the dark”: Solar-powered school bags changing Cote d’Ivoire’s education
By  on November 1, 2018 — Evariste Akoumian, a 37-year-old Ivorian, invented the “Solarpak”, a schoolbag with a solar panel and a lamp, to improve the education of young schoolchildren from rural, non-electrified areas. Using the lamp, children can now comfortably study after dark.

Source: Solar-powered school bags changing Cote d’Ivoire’s education

Facebook says nearly 50m users compromised in huge security breach | Technology | The Guardian

Nearly 50m Facebook accounts were compromised by an attack that gave hackers the ability to take over users’ accounts, Facebook revealed on Friday.“

Today’s disclosure is a reminder about the dangers posed when a small number of companies like Facebook or the credit bureau Equifax are able to accumulate so much personal data about individual Americans without adequate security measures,” said the US senator Mark Warner in a statement. “This is another sobering indicator that Congress needs to step up and take action to protect the privacy and security of social media users.”

Facebook shares fell about 3% following the disclosure.

Source: Facebook says nearly 50m users compromised in huge security breach 

This solar-powered cart can charge 80 phones at once

Solar energy innovator Henri Nyakarundi with his portable mobile charging kiosk in Rwanda.

In Rwanda, industry analysis estimates that roughly 70% of the population have a cell phone, yet only 18% have access to electricity, according to the World Bank.
Sketching the first design on a piece of paper, the entrepreneur devised a solar-powered kiosk that can be towed by bicycle and provides simultaneous charging for up to 80 phones.

Source: This solar-powered cart can charge 80 phones at once – CNN

Will Next Einstein Forum Transform the Tech ecosystem in Africa?

The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) was launched back in 2013. The forum’s main goal is to empower scientific skills for human development. It works by linking science to society, African policymakers authorities and worldwide tech stakeholders.The platform is one of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) with Robert Bosch Stiftung as the co-partner. The 2018 NEF competition is taking place now in Kigali Rwanda starting from today 26th March.

The Next Einstein Forum, Global African Academia

NAACP Letter to Mayor Jackson – Water Crisis

Dear Honorable Mayor Jackson,

January 26, 2018

With a climate of uncertainty, fear, and mistrust, citizens are doubtful about how our city is
being governed and managed. The recent crisis at the Trenton Water Works (TWW) and
the subsequent mismanagement of them, as you no doubt know, have caused public health fears, and
mistrust among Trenton residents as to your administration’s ability to efficiently manage this,
and other pressing City issues. This letter is an attempt to bring clarity to the
public pronouncements made by you in your official press statement and the email addressed to me by
your Chief of Staff both dated January 18, 2018.

During the monthly NAACP Trenton Branch meeting members found the following to be
contradictory:

1). Paragraph 1 – “First let me be clear, TWW has operated according to state and federal
standards, supplying water to its customers that either meets or exceeds federal
standards.” There have been temporary operational issues, but the water quality and the public’s
health was never in danger, and we addressed each issue as we normally do, expeditiously,
professionally, in concert with our high-quality contract consultants, and with the engagement of
the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) every step of the way.”

2). Paragraph 2 – “For many months now, my administration has been communicating, holding meetings
and advising principals including outgoing Commissioner Bob Martin and his staff at the NJDEP
since the agency shared its concerns with us on the need to correct staffing and other issues at
the TWW.”

3). Paragraph 3 – “we are contracting with a water management company with the
expertise and know-how to run the water filtration plant. This expertise will be available to us
immediately.”

4). Paragraph 5 – “we will continue to advise and accept input from the NJDEP, a
regulatory body of Trenton Water Works, about our comprehensive effort to modernize Trenton Water
Works operations for our current base of customers and for future generations.

In regards to paragraph 1, your statement implies that the State has signed off on the quality of
water we are drinking. If that is a fact, we would like to have a copy of that letter, and also to
have it reprinted in both Trenton papers, as well as the African American and
Hispanic newspapers in Spanish and English.
In regards to paragraph 2, you indicated that the city has been working for many months with Former
Commissioner Martin, his staff, and “advising principals” on correcting staff and other issues.
Please direct your Chief of Staff to provide us with your staffing updates and changes within the
TWW to improve water quality and customer service.
Paragraph 3, implies that what was stated in paragraph 1 may be flawed. Paragraph 1 indicates that
the TWW is working with “high-quality” contract consultants to address temporary
operational issues and that NJDEP was engaged every step of the way. Paragraph 3 indicates that the
city will be contracting a water management company with expertise and the know-how to run the
filtration plant. The expertise will be available immediately. Clarity is certainly needed here:
please provide a detailed explanation of the “high-quality” contract consultants and what their
function is/was as it relates to water services for the customers of TWW. In addition, please
provide a detailed explanation as to what the expert water management company will provide that is
inclusive of or different than what the TWW employees or high-quality contract
consultants aren’t, can’t, won’t or don’t know how to do.
Paragraph 5, “the city will continue to advise and accept input from the NJDEP, a regulatory body
of TWW about our comprehensive effort to modernize TWW.” Commissioner Martin stated in a news
release, that TWW had acquired many violations over the nearly 4 years your
administration has been at the helm of the city, and if these issues are not addressed fines will
be imposed upon the city. Please provide under OPRA a chronological report of those violations and
the remedies taken to fix said violations. If violations have not been corrected,
please provide the reason why they haven’t been corrected and if the violation is pending
correction or if the correction is no longer, and remains logged as a violation why?
Also, what is your projected total cost to modernize TWW, timeline from start to finish, funding
source, and projected increase in property and other local taxes, expected source of Federal and
State funding.

 

In conclusion, please understand that most long term Trenton residents understand that
the structural, financial and political problems of the TWW, date back at least three
Administrations. And they have persisted, in PART, because of a lack of positive
communication, and Team planning between Trenton, surrounding municipalities, as well as most
State, County and local elected and appointed officials. This lack of mutually beneficial
leadership must stop, because all concerned are harmed. The NAACP Trenton Branch, as well as NJSC
NAACP stands willing to meet with you personally as soon as possible to finally address and resolve
the problems of TWW that can be traced back at least 30 years.
I thank you in advance for your quick reply to pressing issue.

Yours in Advocacy for Civil Rights,
Jonette C. Smart President

The death of the internal combustion engine

“HUMAN inventiveness…has still not found a mechanical process to replace horses as the propulsion for vehicles,” lamented Le Petit Journal, a French newspaper, in December 1893. Its answer was to organise the Paris-Rouen race for horseless carriages, held the following July. The 102 entrants included vehicles powered by steam, petrol, electricity, compressed air and hydraulics. Only 21 qualified for the 126km (78-mile) race, which attracted huge crowds. The clear winner was the internal combustion engine. Over the next century it would go on to power industry and change the world.

But its days are numbered. Rapid gains in battery technology favour electric motors instead (see Briefing). In Paris in 1894 not a single electric car made it to the starting line, partly because they needed battery-replacement stations every 30km or so. Today’s electric cars, powered by lithium-ion batteries, can do much better. The Chevy Bolt has a range of 383km; Tesla fans recently drove a Model S more than 1,000km on a single charge.

Source: The death of the internal combustion engine

Also See: https://www.thestar.com/business/2017/07/07/volvos-decision-to-go-electric-should-spark-industry-change-wells.html

https://www.thestar.com/business/2017/07/05/volvo-to-ditch-combustion-engines-switch-to-electric-by-2019.html

This Grocery Bag Won’t Hurt Animals — It Actually Feeds Them

I had no idea I was taking that much life. I will endeavor to use much less plastic from now on. This makes me so sad. KK

China, for example, banned bags thinner than .025 millimeters in 2008 and annual plastic bag use dropped by 40 billion. Ireland, meanwhile, imposed a 15 cent fee on retailers for each plastic bag and use fell by 94%.

Read More: France Is the First Country to Ban Plastic Cups, Plates, and Cutlery

But these bans are the exception. Plastic bags still reign without interference all around the world and the amount of plastic waste generated is only rising.

Source: This Grocery Bag Won’t Hurt Animals — It Actually Feeds Them

The Chinese Are Coming – C919 passenger jet takes maiden flight

Single-aisle plane can carry up to 168 passengers and is meant to rival Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

The first large Chinese-made passenger jet has taken off on its maiden flight, a key milestone for a country seeking a place in the global aviation market.

The C919 single-aisle jet, which can hold up to 168 passengers, soared over Pudong international airport in the commercial hub Shanghai as a crowd of thousands cheered.

China is one of the biggest aviation markets, but relies on foreign-made aircraft and has long sought to enter the lucrative global jet market, which is estimated to be worth $2 trillion over the next 20 years.

 

Source: ‘Made in China’ C919 passenger jet takes maiden flight | China News | Al Jazeera

Zuckerberg-Backed Data Trove Exposes the Injustices of Criminal Justice

“Better access to criminal justice data is important for informing efforts to make our communities safer and our criminal justice system fairer,” said Democratic strategist David Plouffe, who now serves as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s president of policy and advocacy, in a statement. “You can’t solve a problem if you don’t have the facts.”

 

Source: Zuckerberg-Backed Data Trove Exposes the Injustices of Criminal Justice

India Launches Record 104 Satellites at One Time

Who knew India had a space program? I’m glad they do. It seems as though China and India have caught up with the white world and in many instances have passed them by. This is great news.