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B. Lynn Ingram, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Berkeley:
We are on track for having the worst drought in 500 years.
Eighty-two percent of the world's almonds come from California.
Each almond requires 1.1 gallons of water to produce.
Despite the severe drought, as of June 30, California's Department of Agriculture projected that almond farmers will have their largest harvest to date.
Despite California's distress, about half of the homes in the capital, Sacramento, still don't have water meters, paying a flat fee no matter how much water they consume. Farmers in California's Imperial Irrigation District pay $20 per acre-foot, less than a tenth of what it can cost in San Diego. San Diego is building the nation's biggest desalination plant to produce fresh water at a cost of about $2,000 per acre-foot. But alfalfa growers in Southern California last year used hundreds of billions of gallons growing alfalfa that might fetch at best $340 a ton, or $920 per acre-foot of water.
"It's like they're coming in and saying to you, 'I'm going to drive my car off a cliff. Should I or should I not wear a seatbelt?' And you say, 'I don't think you should drive your car off the cliff.' And they say, 'No, no, that bit's already been decided -- the question is whether to wear a seatbelt.' And you say, 'Well, you might as well wear a seatbelt.' And then they say, 'We've consulted with policy expert Rory Stewart and he says ...'"
Sometimes the market drives off a cliff.
||gone are the burdens of ownership
The simplest way to avoid physical tracking of your cellphone by ad networks is to turn off your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when out walking around.
When, in 1975, Stafford Beer argued that "information is a national resource," he was ahead of his time in treating the question of ownership -- just who gets to own the means of data production, not to mention the data? -- as a political issue that cannot be reduced to its technological dimensions.
I have to stop myself from thinking about how many aspects of technology I don't understand.
Now any aspiring startup can rely on Verizon's infrastructure of ubiquitous connectivity and geolocational tracking to match supply and demand, with Verizon itself providing lucrative verification and locking services. Verizon hopes to eventually extend this model far beyond cars, making it possible to swap any other items fitted with an electronic lock: power drills, laptops, apartments. Verizon -- hardly a Silicon Valley pioneer -- thus joins many other champions of the "sharing economy" in insisting that "people today are embracing a sharing society -- the one that allows them to get what they want on demand". Gone are the burdens of ownership!
A federal investigation of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville found that Marriott employees had used "containment features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system" at the hotel to prevent people from accessing their own personal Wi-Fi networks.
If your strategy is to prevent your customer from leaving you, you probably shouldn't have had those customers in the first place.
||an irrepressible eagerness to combat the diffusion of false and misleading ideas
We have acquired an irrepressible eagerness to watch the lives of others. We pay to be the spectators of our own loss of privacy.
One must assume that all garbage is monitored by the state. Anything less would be a pre-9/11 mentality.
Paul Lewis and Dominic Rushe:
The trend toward anonymity in social media has some privacy experts concerned about security.
Hmm. A government-funded initiative is going to "assist in the preservation of open debate" by monitoring social media for "subversive propaganda" and combating what it considers to be "the diffusion of false and misleading ideas"?
The German voter-consumer will always trust the state more than he will any private company, no matter how ardently it insists on being a good guy.
If you've upgraded to Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) and you're using the default settings, each time you start typing in Spotlight (to open an application or search for a file on your computer), your local search terms and location are sent to Apple and third parties (including Microsoft).
Apple has chosen to not alert users when the [Yosemite] operating system itself transmits their locations, as Spotlight now does. Apple officials said that too many notifications could de-sensitize users.