Author: laku

Sidewalk Toronto’s master plan raises urgent concerns about data and privacy

On June 24th, Sidewalk Labs, the Google sister company proposing a smart city for Toronto’s eastern waterfront, released its mammoth 1,500-page Master Innovation and Development Plan
During Sidewalk Labs’ approximately two-year public consultations, privacy and control over data quickly emerged as flashpoints. A July 2019 survey by The Forum Poll found that while only 38 per cent of Torontonians were familiar with the smart-city project, 60 per cent of those people did not trust Sidewalk Labs to collect data on its residents.

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Pseudoscience is taking over social media – and putting us all at risk

Search for “climate change” on YouTube and before long you’ll likely find a video that denies it exists. In fact, when it comes to shaping the online conversation around climate change, a new study suggests that deniers and conspiracy theorists might hold an edge over those believing in science. Researchers found evidence that most YouTube videos relating to climate change oppose the scientific consensus that it’s primarily caused by human activities.

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Groundwater reserves in Africa may be more resilient to climate change than first thought

Groundwater reserves in Africa are estimated to be 20 times larger than the water stored in lakes and reservoirs above ground. These are the freshwater stores that flow in rocks and sediment beneath the Earth’s surface. They are a vital source of drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa, where groundwater is often the only year-round supply of fresh water in rural areas. Increasingly it is being used in towns and cities as well.

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India revokes Kashmir’s autonomy, risking yet another war with Pakistan

Tensions are on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir, an Indian state situated mostly in the Himalayas. For decades, it has had constitutional autonomy from India.
The region is an area of major territorial conflict between India and Pakistan. Parts of the Kashmir valley have been under Pakistan’s control since the 1948 Indo-Pakistani war and both India and Pakistan have since fought two more wars claiming title to Jammu and the whole of Kashmir.

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The conspicuous absence of women in India’s labour force

India’s rapid economic growth has been accompanied by falling fertility rates and higher educational attainment among women. These advances often lead to an increase in women entering the labour force, but there has been a surprising decline on this front in India. Less than 30% of working-age women are currently in work compared to nearly 80% of men in India.

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