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Comic for November 21, 2018

Dilbert - November 22, 2018 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

In China, replacing coal and biomass stoves has saved lives

Ars Technica - 27 min 53 sec ago

Enlarge / A vendor delivers coal briquettes which are mostly used to fuel small coal burners for heating and cooking for low-income homes and restaurants, in an old hutong neighborhood in Beijing, 26 December 2007. (credit: Teh Eng Koon/AFP/Getty Images)

In China, coal and biomass like wood chips and sawdust are burned for cooking and heating. The resulting household pollution has contributed significantly to China's poor air quality. But between 2005 and 2015, China's population moved to urban centers and grew wealthier. More and more people were able to switch their cooking and heating to natural gas- and electricity-powered appliances. Now, researchers from Tsinghua University in Beijing and the University of California Berkeley say that the shift likely saves about 400,000 lives annually.

Research published this week showed that population-weighted exposure to fine-particle pollution in Chinese households decreased by nearly half between 2005 and 2015. Ninety percent of that decrease came from changes in cookstove and heating technology. These changes avoided 400,000 premature deaths from particulate exposure annually, because fine-particle pollution is strongly linked to premature death in people with lung or heart disease, and it causes a host of other lung and heart problems.

Invisible hand of health

What's interesting is that these positive changes happened without any government intervention; they were unintended consequences of a booming economy. That means there's a lot of room left for further improvements. As of 2015, household fuels still accounted for 43 percent of the fine-particulate-related mortality in China, as solid fuels like coal and biomass haven't been completely eliminated. They're especially prevalent in low-income households and in rural areas where natural gas and electricity service is nonexistent.

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Sage CEO: £60m says we can convert more folk to Business Cloud

The Register - 30 min 2 sec ago
FY18 dogged by execution woes but, er, all sorted now

The latest CEO to take the controls at Brit accountancy software maker Sage is intending to convert the laggards in its customer base to the cloud by spending £60m on R&D and product improvements.…

It’s a fight against bubblegum pastels in trailer for The Lego Movie 2

Ars Technica - 39 min 52 sec ago

Enlarge / Elizabeth Banks as Lucy (aka Wyldstyle) and Chris Pratt as Emmett are back to take on LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. (credit: Warner Bros. Picture)

It has been five years in the making, but the defenders of the LEGO universe are back to fend off alien invaders in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. If you liked the smartly zany goofiness of the original, there's much to recommend in the sequel, judging by this latest trailer.

(Spoilers for first The LEGO Movie below.)

In the first LEGO movie, we met Emmet Brickowski (voiced by Chris Pratt), a lowly worker in the town of Bricksburg who cheerfully fulfills his role as a cog in Lord Business' (Will Ferrell) corporate machine. That includes merrily singing the corporate theme song, "Everything is Awesome." (It's a bona fide ear worm. Just try to get that tune out of your head.) Lord Business has discovered a super-weapon, the "Kragle"—basically a giant tube of Krazy Glue—that will freeze the LEGO world permanently in its present form.

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Black Friday 2018 kitchen and appliance deals starting now: $40 off Instant Pot, $100 off Vitamix products and more - CNET - News - 43 min 16 sec ago
Upgrade your cooking game or make laundry day more fun with our favorite deals on kitchen gadgets and large appliances.

Black Friday TV deals 2018: The best values and cheap sales - CNET - News - 49 min 28 sec ago
The lowest TV prices of the year start now. Here are our favorite deals so far.

McLaren 720S Spider pegged for Dec. 8 debut, which sounds cold - Roadshow - News - 50 min 18 sec ago
Expect everything that made the 720S great, but with more wind.

The 60 Best Black Friday deals of 2018 - CNET - News - 54 min 50 sec ago
Black Friday is Nov. 23, and that means the usual cornucopia of deals. Some are good, some are bad -- these are the best.

Black Friday 2018 smart home deals: Google Home Hub, Facebook Portal, Apple HomePod, Alexa gadgets and more - CNET - News - 57 min 4 sec ago
We're tracking the best smart-home bargains from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Fry's, Target and more. Here's our full list -- including the deals you can buy right now. Expect regular updates.

Facebook appeals Cambridge Analytica fine

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 1 min ago
The social network says the UK's data watchdog £500,000 penalty was unjustified.

You snooze, you lose: Insurers make the old adage literally true

Ars Technica - 1 hour 4 min ago

Enlarge / For millions of sleep apnea sufferers, CPAP machines are the only way to get a good night's sleep. (credit: Somsak Bumroongwong / EyeEm)

Last March, Tony Schmidt discovered something unsettling about the machine that helps him breathe at night. Without his knowledge, it was spying on him.

From his bedside, the device was tracking when he was using it and sending the information not just to his doctor, but to the maker of the machine, to the medical supply company that provided it, and to his health insurer.

Schmidt, an information technology specialist from Carrollton, Texas, was shocked. “I had no idea they were sending my information across the wire.”

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The 'Not Pink' Pixel 3 goes under the macro lens - CNET - News - 1 hour 8 min ago
The understated pale pink Pixel 3 XL looks great up close under a macro lens.

Robo-noses could help sniff out drugs, study says - CNET - News - 1 hour 9 min ago
A new kind of artificial nose made with living mouse cells can detect certain odors from drugs and explosives, just like police dogs can.

The best Black Friday 2018 deal on Apple AirPods: Free from Metro by T-Mobile - CNET - News - 1 hour 12 min ago
Switch to Metro (formerly MetroPCS) and score a pair of AirPods for free.

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