There’s Almost No Chance Of Meeting Paris Climate Goals, Says Grim New Study

Two degrees Celsius: That’s the global temperature increment scientists say the world must stay beneath to avoid the worst effects of climate change. But according to a study published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, the odds of us staying under this threshold are looking pretty grim. 

The study, which looked at carbon use, population trends and the projected economic growth of 150 countries, forecast only a 5 percent chance that warming would be limited to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels by the year 2100.

“We’re closer to the margin than we think,” lead author Adrian Raftery, a statistics professor at the University of Washington, told the Guardian this week. “If we want to avoid 2 degrees Celsius, we have very little time left. The public should be very concerned.”

Two degrees Celsius is the global temperature rise that the signatories of the Paris climate agreement have committed to staying under. They also set a loftier goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius ― but according to the new paper, there’s only a 1 percent chance of that happening. 

Instead, the “likely range” of global temperature increase by 2100 is 2 to 4.9 degrees Celsius, the researchers concluded ― with a median rise of 3.2 degrees Celsius.

Despite the depressing findings, however, experts warned that giving up is not an option. Emissions could still significantly decline if there was, for instance, a substantial rise in renewable energy use or other “breakthrough technologies” ― factors that were not considered in the scientists’ calculations. 

The study authors said they hope their research will remind people of the urgency to take action ― and to act immediately. “Even if the[ 2 degrees Celsius] target isn’t met, action is very important,” Raftery told the Guardian. “The more the temperature increases, the worse the impacts will be.”

The researchers also had a message for President Donald Trump, who shocked the world in June when he announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris accord.

The scientists said they did not adjust their calculations based on U.S. policy changes under Trump, but noted that his decision on the Paris pact would “certainly be a negative one.” 

“I would remind the Trump administration something about real estate … It’s really hard to make money on real estate that’s under the ocean,” study coauthor and economist Dick Startz told Wired this week. “That’s where a lot of American real estate is going to be (notably in Florida) if we don’t change course.”

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Live Blogging The Trump Speech – TPM (blog)

Live Blogging The Trump Speech
TPM (blog)
10:45 PM: Note that so far Trump has name-checked the victimization of Jeff Lord – who was fired for using a Nazi slog – but not Heather Heyer, the woman killed in Charlottesville. 10:40 PM: The media is “trying to take away our history and our heritage.”.

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Meet the Local Weed Crusader Who Helps Washingtonians Navigate the Marijuana Industry –

Meet the Local Weed Crusader Who Helps Washingtonians Navigate the Marijuana Industry
“I thought that I had spent my life, wasting it,” says Tierney of the days before he started his blog. “I'd do a … While Tierney recognizes that many weed entrepreneurs get into the industry to make big money, the blogger sees it as “the path to the

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Live practice updates from Dallas Cowboys training camp: August 21, 2017 – Blogging The Boys (blog)

Blogging The Boys (blog)

Live practice updates from Dallas Cowboys training camp: August 21, 2017
Blogging The Boys (blog)
Join us for our world famous live Twitter feed and our magnificent comments section as we keep track of what's going on at practice today. by One.Cool.Customer@OCC44 Aug 21, 2017, 3:15pm CDT. tweet · share · pin · Rec. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY …

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Can Microsoft’s Surface Laptop put some hurt on the Chromebook and MacBook?

Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop — a conventional clamshell — is aimed at Googles education-centric Chromebook and a longstanding student favorite, the MacBook. But the Surface Laptop may be a tough sell considering its design.

The pure laptop design is a first for Microsoft, which has been focused on selling its laptop-tablet hybrid, the Surface Pro. Sold as a standalone tablet, the Surface Pro was designed to convert to a laptop-like experience if buyers also purchase Microsofts $130 Type Cover detachable keyboard. The problem from day one has been that the Surface Pro never really worked very well as a laptop because of its tablet-first design that props the screen up on a stand.


Enter the Surface Laptop, which starts at $999 and is aimed squarely at the MacBook Air. Crafted to bring new form and function to the classic laptop design, Microsoft said in a statement.

The svelte 0.57-inch-thick Surface Laptop includes a 13.5-inch high-resolution (2,256-by-1,504) touch display that can be used with a stylus and has a built-in keyboard. Microsoft claims the battery life is a MacBook Air-beating 14 hours.

Below is a video of the laptop on Microsoft’s YouTube page:

It also comes standard with Microsofts stripped-down Windows 10 S, which only runs the limited number of apps you can get on the Microsoft Store. Consumers, however, can switch to the mainstream Windows 10 Pro for free until Dec 31, 2017.

Since 2015, Microsoft has also been selling the more user-friendly Surface Book, which includes a detachable keyboard in the price. But its expensive, starting at $1500, putting it out of reach for most consumers and especially students.

Will it convert buyers? 

The challenge for Microsoft is that schools and students have been flocking to cheap Chromebooks, which run Googles barebones Chrome operating system, while MacBooks have long been a student mainstay.

I dont believe these moves will impede Chrome OSs continued momentum in U.S. K-12 at least not for the immediate future, Linn Huang, an analyst at market researcher IDC, told Fox News. But it does give Microsoft a stronger arsenal to defend against Chrome building deeper inroads into non-U.S. education markets.”

And what about Apple strength in education? MacBooks tend to do better in higher education than in K-12. The iPad was once the darling of the U.S K-12 device market, but Chromebooks assumed that title a few years ago, Huang added.


The $999 version of the Surface Laptop might have an easier time against the MacBook these days. The aging MacBook Air starts at $999, while the more up-to-date 12-inch MacBook starts at $1,299.

Why is Microsoft building a laptop?

The Surface Laptop begs the question, why come out with a laptop when Hewlett-Packard, Dell and other Microsoft hardware partners already offer a raft of laptops running Windows. The new Surface bothers me because it [goes] after Microsofts partners’ business, Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, told Fox News.

It’s aimed directly at the sweet spot on the product spectrum, the place where OEMs [PC makers] can still make money. Meanwhile, Microsoft doesn’t really take care of end customers and still needs the OEMs to get to market, Kay said.

IDCs Huang agrees, noting this puts Microsoft squarely up against its partners. “Today, [Microsoft offers] a detachable, an AIO [all-in-one], and now a conventional notebook,” Huang said. “Theyre also sitting at the premium in each of these categories, content to let the partners fight over the lower price, high volume market downstream in the pricing spectrum.”

The Surface Laptop comes in four colors platinum, graphite gold, burgundy and cobalt blue and will be available starting June 15.

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Unions Spent A Record Amount On The Elections. But Not As Much As These 5 People.

WASHINGTON This election cycle, the political influence of labor unions seems greater than ever. Just consider the following numbers. The AFL-CIO union federation contributed $14.6 million to super PACs. The National Education Association has donated $18.1 million and spent an additional $1.4 million. And the Service Employees International Union has donated $19 million.

Those are eye-popping sums. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, organized labor on the whole has spent more money on this election steering its cash overwhelmingly to Democratic candidates than ever before. Overall, labor unions have donated more than $132 million to super PACs and spent an additional $35 million on federal elections.

There’s just one catch. Although they represent millions of dues-paying members, the most powerful unions are nonetheless being outspent by the country’s richest individuals, from both sides of the aisle.

The top five donors to super PACs in the 2016 election are all billionaires or, at least, worth nine figures. There’s the environmentalist former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer. He has donated $66.2 million to NextGen Climate Action, his super PAC supporting Democratic candidates who back action to counter climate change. Republican casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife have donated $52.9 million. S. Donald Sussman, the Democratic hedge fund billionaire, has given $37.2 million to an array of super PACs. Newsweb Corporation chairman Fred Eychaner has supported Democrats with $32.1 million in super PAC donations. Facebook billionaire Dustin Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna, have donated $22 million to super PACs supporting Democrats.

These donors combined to give more than $210 million more than all reported election spending by labor unions. In total, super PAC donations by rich people giving more than $500,000 topped $757 million by Oct. 19. That’s nearly six times the amount donated by labor.

Citizens United and other court cases have opened the door to unlimited spending by businesses and unions through super PACs, ushering in a golden age of money in politics. But even though unions can now pour unprecedented cash into candidates and causes, they have portrayed themselves as reluctant players in the post-Citizens United world.

And indeed they should be, judging from how they stack up with the richest individual donors. Unions may collectively be able to outspend someone like Sheldon Adelson, but no single union could go toe-to-toe with him.

“It’s so overshadowed by corporations and billionaire money. The labor stuff is pathetic in comparison,” said Larry Cohen, who was the longtime president of the Communications Workers of America union. “The billionaires are realizing this is a great return on their investments. They actually make money off theirs. For labor unions… they will never match the money.”

Labor unions now have 14.8 million members in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate of union membership in the private sector is 6.7 percent, hovering near an all-time low; in the 1950s, nearly a third of U.S. workers were unionized. As Cohen noted, much of the political energy and money spent by unions now goes to playing defense warding off Republican-led attacks on collective bargaining that further erode union density.

In some cases, labor unions have worked with super PAC mega-donors where their priorities overlap. For instance, the super PAC For Our Future pools money from labor unions with contributions from both Moskovitz and Steyer to get out Democratic voters in support of presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Senate candidates Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Deborah Ross (D-N.C.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Katie McGinty (D-Pa.).

For Our Future has deployed an army of door-knockers in presidential and Senate battleground states. Its latest get out the vote update, posted to its web site (likely to facilitate information sharing with campaigns and other outside groups), shows volunteers and paid staff had made 5 million door knocks as of Oct. 21.

Not all labor unions share the same goals as Democratic billionaires like Steyer, who want to enact more environmental regulations and block the construction of oil and gas pipelines. The Laborers International Union of North America and other building trades unions support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. But for the most part, these unions have still put their money into super PACs supporting Democrats.

The only deviation are their contributions to Defending Main Street SuperPAC, a group working to elect non-tea party Republicans to the House. This super PAC is funded by LIUNA and the carpenters and operating engineers unions.

Although many of them share GOP nominee Donald Trump’s antipathy toward trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, unions have not contributed to super PAC’s supporting the Republican nominee for president.

Organized labor has found plenty to dislike about Trump. The candidate has said he supports right-to-work laws, which are anathema to unions, and he’s currently fighting a union organizing drive at his Las Vegas hotel. The National Labor Relations Board ruled just last week that Trump’s hotel was breaking the law by refusing to bargain with the Culinary Workers Union, which won an election there last year.   

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Why Believing You’ll Succeed Will Always Be Half The Battle

My mom and I were driving home the other day, and she was telling me how she wanted to do so many things.

She wanted to go back to school and get a degree in something she loved. She wanted to travel around the world. She wanted to go see Disney World, even though shes in her 50s (proof that age is but a number).

It was exciting to watch her, actually.

My moms face was radiant. Her hands were moving in all different directions.

Shes always been animated, but it magnifies when she talks about the future and all the possibilities it holds.

Then, just as quickly as it had begun, the light drained out of my moms face, and her hands fell silently into her lap. She looked at me and quietly said, But we cant have it all, Chandni. Thats life.

She looked at me and quietly said, But we cant have it all, Chandni. Thats life.

Shes always saying that to me, as if to prepare me for the disappointment life brings, like I havent already experienced it. When I talk about traveling, helping a nonprofit or

When I talk about traveling, helping a nonprofit or changing at least some part of the world, she reminds me how unlikely that could be.

However, every time she protests with that dose of reality, my mind rebels.

How many people changed the world simply because they believed they could? Imagine if Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Mohandas Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., Mark Zuckerberg, JK Rowling, Malala Yousafzai and so many other influential people had given in to the idea that their ultimate dreams were not possible.

Imagine if Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Mohandas Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mark Zuckerberg, JK Rowling, Malala Yousafzai and so many other influential people had given in to the idea that their ultimate dreams were not possible.

Its a struggle to remain optimistic amongst odds that are not in your favor. (Yes, I just watched “The Hunger Games.”)

You have your parents to think about. You have to make money to survive. You want to be able to live your life at some point, and not be caged in by responsibilities.

The worst part may be you actually dont have any idea about anything at all anymore. Take some time and think about what it is you really want to be doing, and let the rest of the voices fade away.

I try not to be delusional. Not every single one of my dreams will come true. I know that.

But that doesnt mean the dreams I desire most will not come to fruition.

I want to become a world-renowned surgeon. I want to participate in Doctors Without Borders and save lives all over the world. I want to make a difference and be remembered as someone who gave it her all, even if she fails.

I want to make a difference and be remembered as someone who gave it her all, even if she fails.

I would also ideally like to have my own private plane, discover a new species and be able to eat as much ice cream as I want without getting fat.

Will I manage to do all of that? No, probably not. Am I still going to

Am I still going to try though?Hell yes.

Even when I attempt to accomplish any of the aforementioned dreams, I have to begin by thinking I can. You dont see the damage right away.

When you start thinking you cant achieve something without any attempts, you begin a vicious cycle. Your thoughts do not allow you to put forth the effort necessary to make a dream into reality.

This causes the dream to not come into fruition (obviously) because the respective actions were not taken to make it possible.

It starts with one, and then begins the domino effect for the death of other dreams.

We trick our minds into wanting less than we deserve because its less painful that way.

I won’t lie; it will be fulfilling for a little while.

But after the immediate gratification of giving up responsibility to a dream fades away, you will regret your lack of belief in yourself — especially if you wanted it enough.

I would sell myself short constantly while I was in college. Stuck in the cycle of depression — something many college students have experienced — I kept telling myself I would never get into medical school.

Stuck in the cycle of depression, something many college students have experienced, I kept telling myself I would never get into medical school.

So, I didnt. But not because I was rejected.

I didnt get in because I didnt even apply.

I set myself up for failure instantly because one cant achieve something without putting oneself out there.

Then, I started to think, “Well, if Im not good enough for medicine, am I really good enough for anything?”

If I thought I was made for that field, I guessed no other field would hire me.

Similar, useless thoughts kept cycling in my mind until I had that conversation with my mom in the car. For the first time in my life, I didnt want to be like my mom.

For the first time in my life, I didnt want to be like my mom.

Some say we are a generation that has an unhealthy sense of entitlement. I think we do, but its not directed toward jobs, internships or money.

I think we do, but its not directed toward jobs, internships or money.

Our (healthy) entitlement is our belief we can have it all.

We are the generation that wants a great job, but not one that hinders our ability to live.

We want money, but not so much that it clouds other important aspects of life.

We want to travel, but not constantly enough to forget what home feels like.

We want a life that we choose and that we get an active role in.

The idea that life happens does not appeal to us like it does to our parents.

Sure, our ideal lives will never be magnificent always, but we are bold enough to believe they will be quintessential more times than not.

We are that kind of generation, but we just forget sometimes.

We forget we can only build these lives by taking the necessary actions and risks. By putting yourself out there, you are declaring that you believe in yourself enough, regardless of the outcome.

You are aware you have what it takes to bask in the glory of success or pick yourself up to try again and dust off the ashes of failure.

With each step (right or wrong), you know youre winning the battle of having a life you want.

Soon, youll be winning the war.

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Instagram offers lucrative career path for teenage 'influencers' – iNews


Instagram offers lucrative career path for teenage 'influencers'
It has meant that the badge of being an online “Influencer”, once limited to an elite band of video bloggers with large followings on YouTube, is expanding to a much larger group, all with the capacity to make money from their social media accounts

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Seven quick observations from the Cowboys preseason game with the Colts – Blogging The Boys (blog)

Blogging The Boys (blog)

Seven quick observations from the Cowboys preseason game with the Colts
Blogging The Boys (blog)
The Cowboys defeated the Indianapolis Colts 24-19 and there were plenty of things to be excited about. Here are seven quick observations: 1. How'd that Jaylon fella do? It's been nearly 20 months since Jaylon Smith last saw live football action, but
Colts Cast: Sizing Up the Dallas Cowboys w/RJ Ochoa of Blogging the BoysStampede Blue

all 268 news articles »

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Otonomo raises $25M to help automakers make money from connected cars

Its no secret that data is thehot new revenue source for automakers, who are seeing additional profit opportunities bloom as vehicles become more connected and they can retrieve a ton of useful data thats incredibly valuable when deployed correctly. Israeli startup otonomo has been on top of that trend since its founding in 2015, with nine automakers worldwide using its platform to feed a marketplace that connects car makers and drivers with service providers, optimizing the monetization of that data.

Otonomo just raised a new $25 million Series B funding round, provided by strategic investors and led by leading automotive supplier Delphi. The round also included participation from existing investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, StageOne Ventures and Maniv Mobility, and will be used to help otonomo accelerate the pace of its global expansion plans.

The company now has $40 millionin total funding, including investment from leading VCs and former vice-chairman of GM Steve Girsky. The companys ability to land funding and partners, including Daimler, the only one of its nine automaker clients it can reveal publicly right now, is down to the growing appetite for driving data, according to otonomo CEO and co-founder Ben Volkow.

There are more and more connected cars out there, and those connected cars are sending a lot of data in the background all the time to big databases the car manufacturers have built, Volkow explained. They send the data between every minute to every three or four minutes depending on the model, and also when you start the car, when you park the car or when you have an event.

All this data is valuable to car makers, for their own use in developing new vehicles, services and technologies. But its also an additional cost load to bear.

It costs a lot of money for the OEs; putting the modem in the car is like $100, then you have to pay AT&T about $5 per month to get the data out, then its about $1 to store the data, Volkow said. So we started talking to the car companies and theyre telling us Connectivity, its a thing show us the money. Thats what we do: We want to move from the age of data mobilization, to the age of data monetization.

Otonomos platform is a cloud solution, with nothing additional required in the car, that connects on one side to the databases of the car manufacturers, and on the other to different services and applications that want this data. This group of customers including insurance companies, smart cities, workshops, dealerships, developers, and even hedge funds everybody wants car data, as Volkow puts it.

Basically, the startup is helping car companies build new business from the data, and thats become a very lucrative proposition. It helps that selling data is around 100 percent margin, Volkow notes, whileselling actual cars is a single digit margin game.

Some examples of how services can use car data to supplement their own businesses include insurance companies sending out tow trucks. If they can instead identify a problem in advance and send a message to the driver, theyll save the cost of that truck dispatch. Likewise, you can identify issues in the road early for maintenance by analyzing driving data in the aggregate, avoiding more costly infrastructure repairs.

But how does otonomo handle privacy? Volkow says there are a lot of regulations around use of this data coming, and otonomo is proactive about working with them. He says his company makes sure in advance that the automakers are in compliance with local regulations, and that they also factor in the rules set out by car makers, the rules set out by app makers and service providers, and the permissions agreed to by drivers and tell the OEMs what they can safely do.

Regulation and increased restrictions around use of data might be otonomos biggest prospective roadblock, but even with tighter controls it seems likely automotive data will remain a boom industry for the foreseeable future, on both sides of the marketplace. Key, longtime industry leaders like Delphi recognize this opportunity and its growing worth, which is why its participation in this round is a strong endorsement of otonomos model.

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