Hospital canteens will slash their amount of plastic as part of an NHS ecological drive to reduce waste being dumped in oceans and landfill. Health chiefs have vowed to scrap more than 100million single-use plastics by phasing the material out from its catering operation and on-site stores. But signing up to the pledge is voluntary and environmental campaign groups - while hailing the positive step - are urging more action. Boots, Greggs and M&S are among the retailers that have swung behind the campaign and pledged to remove 'avoidable plastic' from their hospital outlets. Straws and stirrers will be axed from their branches April 2020, with cutlery plates and cups phased out over the following 12 months. Hospital canteens will slash their amount of plastic as part of an NHS ecological drive to reduce waste being dumped in oceans and landfill (Springfields Medical Centre pictured) Straws and stirrers will be axed from retailer's branches April 2020, with cutlery … [Read more...] about NHS vows to cut back on the millions of single-use plastic cups, straws and cutlery used in hospitals as part of drive to reduce waste
Single sign on service provider
In every country of the world, the security of computers keeps the lights on, the shelves stocked, the dams closed, and transportation running. For more than half a decade, the vulnerability of our computers and computer networks has been ranked the number one risk in the US Intelligence Community’s Worldwide Threat Assessment – that’s higher than terrorism, higher than war. Your bank balance, the local hospital’s equipment, and the 2020 US presidential election, among many, many other things, all depend on computer safety. And yet, in the midst of the greatest computer security crisis in history, the US government, along with the governments of the UK and Australia, is attempting to undermine the only method that currently exists for reliably protecting the world’s information: encryption. Should they succeed in their quest to undermine encryption, our public infrastructure and private lives will be rendered permanently unsafe. In the simplest terms, … [Read more...] about Without encryption, we will lose all privacy. This is our new battleground
In 2010, the small community of specialists who pay attention to US road safety statistics picked up the first signs of a troubling trend: more and more pedestrians were being killed on American roads. That year, 4,302 American pedestrians died, an increase of almost 5% from 2009. The tally has increased almost every year since, with particularly sharp spikes in 2015 and 2016. Last year, 41% more US pedestrians were killed than in 2008. During this same period, overall non-pedestrian road fatalities moved in the opposite direction, decreasing by more than 7%. For drivers, roads are as safe as they have ever been; for people on foot, roads keep getting deadlier. Through the 90s and 00s, the pedestrian death count had declined almost every year. No one would have confused the US for a walkers’ paradise – at least part of the reason fewer pedestrians died in this period was that people were driving more and walking less, which meant that there were fewer opportunities to be … [Read more...] about Collision course: why are cars killing more and more pedestrians?
One day in 2017, Alexa went rogue. When Martin Josephson, who lives in London, came home from work, he heard his Amazon Echo Dot voice assistant spitting out fragmentary commands, seemingly based on his previous interactions with the device. It appeared to be regurgitating requests to book train tickets for journeys he had already taken and to record TV shows that he had already watched. Josephson had not said the wake word – “Alexa” – to activate it and nothing he said would stop it. It was, he says, “Kafkaesque”. This was especially interesting because Josephson (not his real name) was a former Amazon employee. Three years earlier, he had volunteered to sit in a room reciting a string of apparently meaningless phrases into a microphone for an undisclosed purpose. Only when Amazon released the Echo in the US in 2014 did he realise what he had been working on. He bought a Dot, the Echo’s cheaper, smaller model, after it launched in 2016, and … [Read more...] about ‘Alexa, are you invading my privacy?’ – the dark side of our voice assistants
Sajid Javid has overturned Lancashire council’s rejection of a fracking site, paving the way for shale company Cuadrilla to drill in the county next year and provoking outrage from local groups, environmentalists and politicians. The council cited visual impact and noise when it turned down the company’s two planning applications to frack on the Fylde last year, but a month later Cuadrilla submitted an appeal. On Thursday, the communities secretary, Javid, said he had accepted the appeal for one of the sites, at Preston New Road. The move marks a major step up in the scale of exploratory fracking in the UK, as it green lights four wells compared to the single well approved for fracking in North Yorkshire earlier this year. “Shale gas has the potential to power economic growth, support 64,000 jobs, and provide a new domestic energy source, making us less reliant on imports,” said Javid. “We will take the big decisions that matter to the future of our … [Read more...] about Fracking given UK go-ahead as Lancashire council rejection overturned