Smuggling cocaine in an iPhone box leads to death sentence

If you’re gonna smuggle cocaine, don’t use iPhone boxes. The United Arab Emirates have sentenced a man to death after he was recently caught in Abu Dhabi the country with iPhone boxes stuffed to the brim with blow. Video of the iPhone boxes of cocaine leaked online a few weeks ago. You can see in […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

For Coastal Communities, the 1.5C Climate Goal Is a Matter of Life or Death

A Clear Need

Coastal communities all over the world are already facing the double whammy of sea level rise and extreme weather events that in some cases are threatening the very existence of entire island states. Now a new study adds weight to the argument that for the sake of these communities we need to ramp up efforts and achieve what many think almost impossible, keeping global warming below 1.5° C (2.7° F).

A team from Tufts University, Rutgers University, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany found that if countries managed to stabilize global temperatures within this threshold by 2150, the impact of sea level rise would be significantly reduced. The global average sea level would be about 17.7 centimeters (7 inches) less than under a 2° C scenario (3.6° F), which is conventionally considered more achievable. The paper is published in the journal Environmental Research Letters and will be included in the landmark special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the 1.5° C goal, which will collate the available literature on the topic.

The Paris Agreement controversy

With ratification from over 170 countries, the historic Paris Climate Agreement has been in force since November 2016. Its goals are quite clear: to keep global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5.”

Our Warming World: The Future of Climate Change [INFOGRAPHIC]
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“Some people might argue there will be no sizable difference between the two targets, so we should aim for the higher one, because it’s easier,” lead author Klaus Bittermann, a postdoctoral student in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Tufts, said in a United Nations report.

“Those differences turn out to be significant,” Bittermann added. “For example, salt marshes and mangroves can be drowned if the local rate of relative sea-level rise exceeds their ecological ability” for adaptation.

Reaching the Goal

Limiting global average temperatures to well below 2° C — or, even better, to 1.5° C — requires a tremendous amount of effort on the part of the nations that signed the Paris deal. These include various programs that cut down on fossil fuel consumption in favor of renewable energy sources, as well as plans that favor more environmentally efficient means of transportation.

Already, a number of countries have put sweeping programs to this effect. Yet, some worry that reaching the Paris agreement’s goals would be impossible, with one study arguing that the probability is only 5 percent. In a comment piece published in Nature Geoscience, Kevin Anderson, chair of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester in the U.K., says that the 2° C goal is only achievable through mass deployment of negative emission technologies such as carbon capture and storage. These technologies are still in their infancy and nowhere near ready to be rolled out at scale.

Still, others remain hopeful, especially since global emissions have stabilized in the past three years and because carbon emissions have now “decoupled” from economic growth in some countries. That means that lowering carbon emissions no longer affects a country’s prosperity. It’s doable, but it won’t be easy.

Nevertheless, the survival of coastal communities depends on not only reaching but overshooting the Paris deal’s goals.

“To those who want to know what the difference from a global sea level point of view is if you lower the temperature by just another 0.5° C, I think that our paper provides a very clear answer, and I think it is a difference that is worth fighting for,” Bittermann said.

The post For Coastal Communities, the 1.5C Climate Goal Is a Matter of Life or Death appeared first on Futurism.


Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Rules of Survival’, ‘Death Road to Canada’, ‘Papa Pear Saga’, ‘Soccer Spirits’, and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It’s time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. Okay, so last week’s selection was a little light. It’s hard to believe, but this week’s bunch is even smaller. With the App Store freeze not really being that frozen anymore, the usual practice of everyone holding updates only to dump them in the New Year seems to have passed. Now, we’re seeing a drought that probably represents hard-working developers taking some well-earned time off. But hey, there are a couple of interesting things in here. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let’s dig in!

Soccer Spirits, Free Com2uS’s popular soccer-themed social RPG Soccer Spirits is still going strong. The latest version adds two new legendary players, along with some new dimension boss content, a new manager dispatch system, and some UI improvements. It’s a pretty usual update, in other words, but when the game you’ve already got features cute anime characters playing soccer in space, I’m not sure what you really need to add.

The Escapists, $ 3.99 For hundreds of years, the Tower of London was the site of one of the most feared prisons in England. Perhaps most famously, it was the prison where Guy Fawkes was tortured until he confessed to the Gunpowder Plot. It’s also where Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, was held and eventually beheaded. It’s said her ghost still wanders the grounds with her head under her arm. Its days as a prison ended not long after the end of the Second World War, but if you’re eager to be a prisoner there, The Escapists has your back with its latest update. London Tower probably isn’t entirely accurate to the real thing, but hey, it still makes for an interesting gaming scenario.

Dungeons of Chaos REVAMPED ED., $ 5.99 Dungeons of Chaos is more or less in a constant state of being updated. The latest new addition to this great homage to old-school CPRGs? Two words, friends: boss cat. Havoc the Boss Cat sits behind a special door in the warlock’s main hall, and should you decide you want to tackle it, you should be prepared for a flurry of claw attacks that deal critical damage with terrifying frequency. Best this kitty and you’ll get a special unique loot drop. So yes, a little challenge there for those of you who have played through the rest of the game.

Papa Pear Saga, Free This week is a little threadbare, to be honest. Even the usual suspects seem to be on a break after the New Year, so here’s Papa Pear Saga, the Hawkeye of the King line-up. As usual, this is just another pack of levels for the hardcore players to pick at. There are 15 in total, which should keep those dancing at the knife’s edge of the game busy for another few weeks. The update says something about a man made from celery and such, but I’m not about to encourage bearded pears and their dubious associates.

Rules of Survival, Free I’m not sure if I’m reading the field properly, but it feels to me like Rules of Survival is the more popular of the two NetEase PUBG homages. Well, all of its players were likely happy to see its latest update was packed full of goodies. You’ve got a new Speedboat vehicle, a new throwable in the form of a Molotov Cocktail, some new clothes to customize your character with, and a host of UI improvements and additions. There have also been some balance adjustments, bug fixes, and other tweaks. May the best player survive, I guess.

Death Road to Canada, $ 11.99 The TouchArcade 2017 Game of the Year was quite good from the start, but it has become even better thanks to the significant updates that have been added since then. And here’s another one! Imagine that. For those who can’t seem to get on with the original controls, there are now some options that you may find helpful. ZP skulls have been added that give you Zombo Points when you touch them. There are some new road events and city encounters, including one with a very groovy outcome. You can find some new characters and new weapons, and some tricky little bugs have been squashed. Let’s call this the winner of the coveted UMMSotW award and head out for today, shall we?

That about wraps it up for last week’s significant updates. I’m sure I’ve missed some, though, so please feel free to comment below and let everyone know if you think something should be mentioned. As usual, major updates will likely get their own news stories throughout this week, and I’ll be back next Monday to summarize and fill in the blanks. Have a great week!


Ajit Pai reportedly cancelled CES appearance due to death threats

Yesterday, CES announced that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai would no longer be appearing at the trade show where he was scheduled to take part in a conversation with FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen. No reasons were given by CES or the FCC at the time for the…
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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai canceled his appearance at CES because of death threats

The threats have intensified following an FCC vote to repeal net neutrality rules.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai canceled his scheduled appearance at a major upcoming tech industry trade show after receiving death threats, two agency sources told Recode on Thursday.

It’s the second known incident in which Pai’s safety may have been at risk, after a bomb threat abruptly forced the chairman to halt his controversial vote to scrap the U.S. government’s net neutrality rules in December 2017.

For both Pai and the whole of the FCC, the uptick in security concerns also presents a serious challenge to their ability to discuss critical tech policy issues in public view — without jeopardizing their safety or the safety of others in attendance.

In this case, the exact nature of the threat, made in advance of Pai’s fireside chat at the 2018 International CES, isn’t clear. A spokesman for Pai at the FCC, for its part, only said Thursday: “We do not comment on security measures or concerns.”

But sources at the agency said that federal law enforcement had intervened in the matter, and other FCC offices are expected to be briefed on the matter. The FBI did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

A spokeswoman for the Consumer Technology Association, which puts on the annual Las Vegas-based trade show, also declined to comment. Earlier, though, CTA’s leader, Gary Shapiro, told the publication Digital Trends that he did not know why Pai had canceled — but raised the fact that he had recently been “subject to vicious and direct attacks and threats.”

For months, Pai has been hounded by his critics, particularly online, who view his vote to repeal net neutrality rules as tantamount to destroying the internet. Pai has lamented in speeches and tweets that he and his family have been mocked, attacked and threatened, in public as well as on Twitter, where Pai himself is active.

By the nature of the job, the chairmanship of the FCC is an especially public role, and threats to its leaders and commissioners aren’t exactly new. In 2014, for example, protesters descended on the home of then-Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, and prevented him from leaving his driveway. Then, too, net neutrality had been the issue at hand.

In the most recent debate, though, tensions have been especially high, driven in no small part by broader frustrations among the public with the Trump administration writ large. If the death threats continue, it is unclear how Pai and his fellow commissioners will proceed.

For now, Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Republican Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr each plan to attend CES. So will Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting leader of their sister agency, the Federal Trade Commission. Ohlhausen had been slated to appear alongside Pai at the annual Vegas event.

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