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Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Sci-Tech


Science and Technology section

The End of the End of Gasoline ?

The Navy has apparently succeeded in literally making gasoline from seawater. I know, I know, it sounds like making gold from lead.

Link here.

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Study Shows Drop In Searches For Certain Terms Post NSA Revelations

A new study points to a change in behavior among internet users since the NSA spying revelations. In it, the researchers say that U.S.-based search traffic fell 2.2% for terms perceived as likely to get one in trouble with the government. Internationally, there was a similar drop in terms that might be embarrassing to family or employers.

It doesn’t sound like much, but with the high volume of searches, the number is indeed quite large. (No wonder that tech companies are starting to push back against spying, at least in PR efforts. They see their numbers dropping more clearly than anyone, and that equates to lost profits.)

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Linking In To Metadata

Not being a mobile phone user, I haven’t felt particularly tied into the metadata flap, although I understand why that data is so useful to the powers that be.  This morning, however, I had a particularly graphic moment with the concept that gave me pause.  It all started when I received an invitation to “connect” with someone on LinkedIn.  

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Climate Woes

According to a recent New York Times report, the U.N. says that a lag in confronting climate woes will be costly. It suggests that nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising.

Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, the experts found.

But…there’s a solution! (Yay). The article goes on to say:

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GMP Surcharge.

I know that climate change is a myth, but somebody better tell Green Mountain Power. They have just announced that customers will be assessed a 1 ½% surcharge due to increased frequency of major storms.

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Joule Thieves

I recently read an article about the wasted energy resulting from charging electrical and electronic devices beyond the point where they have fully charged. The article used a play on words to call attention to this waste.

In this age of modern technology, more and more devices rely on electricity to function. Gadgets like cell phones, laptops, MP3 players, tablets and lately, cars, are plugged every day to have their batteries recharged. Most of the time, we allot recharging time whenever we sleep so we can make sure that these batteries are fully charged. But what we don’t always realize is by doing this, we consume much more energy than needed.

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Simple Survival Technology

The "4 Block" Rocket Stove! - DIY Rocket Stove - (Concrete/Cinder Block Rocket Stove)

- Simple DIY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmDYUrVHPWc

Lotsa lynx here.

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Notes From - "VY is Closing: Now What?" (Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast - September 20, 2013)

NOTES FROM: VY is Closing: Now what?

Presenter: Lissa Weinmann   lrweinmann@gmail.com 

Lissa Weinmann, a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute, has long specialized in US-Cuba relations and international trade laws and has worked on a variety of domestic and international policy initiatives.. She said she thought there would be nothing tougher and more polarized than dealing with US Cuba policy -- but that half-century imbroglio pales in comparison to the equally as long-lived and intractable problems surrounding nuclear waste policy.

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New Climate Change Report Says Your Kids Will Live a Hot Life

The new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate change report is out and the news isn't good.

According to the Guardian's interactive guide to how hot it could get, a child born today could see temperature rises of up to 6.3°C in its lifetime – enough to bring catastrophic impacts to the planet if he or she lives to be in their mid 90’s.

They report that we have major changes to go through, as "humans cannot burn all of the coal, oil and gas reserves that countries and companies possess" without causing significant damage to the habitability of the planet.

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Yankee, What Next?

When Yankee powers down, it will have to be “decommissioned”. However, that process only applies to those structures and appurtenances that were actually involved in nuclear production or otherwise affected. There are numerous other buildings that can remain. They should be put to useful service.

The spent fuel, of course, must be dealt with in an urgent manner. In reality, nothing useful can be developed there while the fuel remains.

One of the biggest assets at the site is the 345,000 volt transmission line network extending North, South and East. Although not owned by Yankee, it is located there and has been significantly upgraded recently. Any new development needs to take this into consideration.

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Sanders Says Southeastern Vermont at Cutting Edge on Broadband

WASHINGTON, July 17 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today that a region in southeastern Vermont is getting the fastest consumer connection to the Internet anywhere in the United States.

Springfield, Vt., and 13 neighboring towns – Saxons River, Chester, North Springfield, Grafton, Bridgewater, Cuttingsville, Wallingford, Hartland, Killington, Pawlet, Danby, Mt. Holly and Middletown Springs – are in the process of getting state-of-the-art Internet access at speeds 100 times faster than average and faster than anywhere else in the United States except a Kansas City, Mo., pilot project by Google.

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Funny Blue Stuff - Solar Power in Brattleboro

 

What’s all the blue stuff in this picture?

The picture is of the Bavarian town of Stadtsteinach in the Frankenwald, about a four-hour train ride from the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. The town is described by Thom Hartmann in his book Rebooting the American Dream.

Here’s how Thom describes it.

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Computer Suggestions Sought

Auggghhh.  I may have to get a new computer.  Mine is 6 years old, I think.  A very lovable iMac that I do not want to replace.  I have had macs my entire computer life.  Alas, I am at a point where I cannot afford, nor does it make sense for me to have a laptop and a desktop -- seems way too outdated, besides.  I am really wanting a new laptopish/ipad/iphone/ipod single product to be created so I don't have to buy 4 devices. 

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Smart Meter News

The following newsletter is being distributed by StopSmeters.org, a Vermont organization with a mission “to educate the general public about the adverse health effects of microwave radiation and the health and privacy impacts of wireless smart meters.”


StopSmeters: Nightmare in Maine, Electrosmog, WiFi

To follow up on the outrageous news from Maine; Central Maine Power's  (CMP) "Smart" Meter project calculations were a tad off. Instead of $25 million in projected savings, through "efficiencies" etc...  there's a deficit of approximately $80 million (that's the low estimate...) Maine's PUC is initiating an audit to get to the bottom of this debacle. CMP would like to pass the buck to customers with an 8% + hike in rates each year for the next five years. 

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Safe Surfing

A couple years ago, I became leery of the amount of tracking Google engages in when anyone types a search term into their search engine. The last meaningful Google search I did was to find a safe alternative to Google, which has turned out to be StartPage.com. Unlike Google, which uses your IP address to track your searches as well as your movements around the web, StartPage.com does not record your IP address and does not track users of their service.

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