2013 blew apart our notions of privacy

2013 changed everything by demonstrating the extent and power of state — and commercial — surveillance.

2013 was an extraordinary year for those of us who are interested in privacy and data protection. What was previously seen as the domain of paranoid nitpickers has exploded into the public consciousness, shaking international ties and making many people re-evaluate how they live their lives online.

 

 

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Airbnb tops 10 million guest stays and 550,000 listed properties worldwide

Airbnb is a global marketplace where people can list space in their homes for rent.

How far has Airbnb come? More than 10 million people have stayed in Airbnb homes to date. This is a long way from the company’s early days when the founders hosted people on air mattresses in their apartment and basically went door-to-door to get traction.

 

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China to combat smog with artificial rain

Will cloud seeding work to wash the smog out of the air?

China has a severe air pollution problem. Smog has done everything from grounding planes at major airports to closing schools across the country. China’s smog is so dense that it’s even crept over to Japan and across other parts of Asia. China is working on putting measures into place to combat pollution, but they still need a more immediate solution for clearing up the heavy smog. According to the China Meteorological Administration, he country is putting its hopes on artificial rain.

 

 

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Volvo will introduce fleet of self-driving cars in Sweden by 2017

100 lucky customers will be given the opportunity to ride around in a car that does their driving for them.

Sweden has just announced that they will play host to self-driving cars in the next couple of years. England, Japan, Singapore and the U.S. have already announced that they will host fleets of self-driving automobiles, but Sweden’s 100-car strong automotive army will be the first manufactured by Volvo. (Video)

 

 

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Japan wants to supply the world’s energy from a giant solar power plant on the moon

The Japanese architectural and engineering firm, Shimizu, has a solution for the climate crisis: Simply build a band of solar panels 400 kilometers (249 miles) wide running all the way around the Moon’s 11,000-kilometer (6,835 mile) equator and beam the carbon-free energy back to Earth in the form of microwaves, which are converted into electricity at ground stations.

 

 

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7 things you didn’t know the world was running out of

Helium is a highly necessary commodity in the modern world.

Almost everyday we are told about the unsustainable pressure we’re putting on our natural resources. And while it prompts visions of oil, fresh water, and coal, you’d be surprised at how many of our creature comfort commodities are dwindling just as quickly.

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Global comparison of household internet speeds

U.S. comes in 31st place on internet speed.

How fast we can access the internet is very important. There is evidence that internet bandwidth is a key driver of economic growth and online participation, and there is plenty of other research to point to its role in social value creation.

 

 

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Natural gas is set to be the next big energy trend

Global consumption of natural gas will rival the use of coal and steal the market share from oil on the world market.

The “next defining energy trend” is poised to be natural gas as it increasingly becomes a primary global energy source, according to a report released today by GE.

 

 

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Most solar panels are facing in the wrong direction: Study

Homeowners who aimed their panels toward the west, instead of the south, generated 2% more electricity over the course of a day.

Solar panels should face in the general direction of the sun. You would think that would be easy to do. But most installers of solar panels, especially the ones for homes, follow conventional wisdom handed down from architects, which holds that in the northern hemisphere, windows and solar panels should face south.

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Fallout from NSA leaks hurting U.S. tech sales in China

Beijing has long mistrusted foreign technology companies and the Snowden revelations have exacerbated those concerns.

The fallout from the U.S. spying scandal is starting to take its toll as U.S. technology companies including Cisco Systems Inc and IBM Corp are facing unprecedented difficulties selling their goods and services in China.

 

 

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