Tag Archives: hard

All passengers survive after plane makes hard landing in Siberia

Flight from the town of Kedrovy to the regional capital of Tomsk was carrying between 13 and 17 passengers.

All 19 people on board a Russian Antonov An-28 passenger plane that vanished from radars in Siberia survived after the aircraft made a hard landing on Friday, the emergencies ministry said.

The aircraft – operated by SiLA, a small airline offering regional flights in Siberia – went missing while flying from the town of Kedrovy to the city of Tomsk.

However, the aircraft was located after helicopters were dispatched to search for it.

The ministry said all 19 people on board had survived and were now being evacuated from the site.

The incident comes less than two weeks after a similar aircraft, an Antonov An-26, crashed into a cliff in poor visibility conditions on the remote Kamchatka peninsula in Russia’s far east, killing all 28 people on board.

An Antonov-28, the same type of plane that went missing over Tomsk, crashed in a Kamchatka forest in 2012, killing 10 people. Investigators said both pilots were drunk at the time of the crash.

Russian aviation safety standards have improved in recent years but accidents, especially involving ageing planes in far-flung regions, are not uncommon.

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This post originally posted here Al Jazeera – Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera

Post Office text scam is back! New message is so convincing it’s hard not to be tricked

Post Office scams aren’t anything new but this latest message arriving on phones is one of the most elaborate yet. iPhone and Android users are being targeted by the new threat via a simple text message which says, “Post Office: Your parcel has been redirected to your local branch due to an unpaid shipping fee.” This is followed by a clickable link that uses the post office address to make it appear like the real deal.

Of course, we’ve all seen these messages arrive in our inbox before but where this one is so clever is that the website embedded in the link takes you to something that looks so real it’s easy to be duped.

To see just how simple it is to be fooled, Express.co.uk visited the website and, using a fake name and address, we went through each step of the scam to see exactly what data the thieves are trying to gain from unsuspecting Post Office customers.

Right from the start, the whole scam looks totally genuine with the official Post Office logo appearing, slick animations popping up and even the font looking just like the real thing.

The first Window you’ll see features a very simple message asking for your postcode to check for the missed delivery.

Once you’ve handed over that information you’ll then be asked for your name and the full delivery address.

At this point, Express.co.uk added a completely fictional name and address and, guess what? The system revealed that a parcel had been found and was waiting to be delivered.

And here’s where things get serious as the next piece of the form starts asking some very personal questions including date of birth and mobile number.

Once that data is added, users are then asked to select a date for redelivery which, again, all looks incredibly genuine.

Finally, you’ll see a page asking for a charge of £2.39 to be paid to receive the parcel and a form wanting full banking details to be added including a card number, CVV security code, account number and sort code.

Anyone falling for this trick will have then, unwittingly, handed over everything a cyber criminal needs to make fraudulent purchases. It’s scary stuff.

The Post Office says that anyone receiving a suspicious email, text message, telephone call or discover a Royal Mail branded website which they think is fraudulent, should report it to [email protected]

If you have been the victim of a payment scam, you can get a crime reference number by reporting it to your local Police station.

And if you have clicked on a link, provided any personal data like your bank account details on a website or over the phone or you’re concerned that you’ve been compromised, you should also report the scam to Action FraudOpens in a new window, the national fraud reporting centre.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Tech

Virgin Media and BT eclipsed by hyperfast broadband at price that’s hard to believe

Virgin Media and BT are both bringing blisteringly quick broadband to more homes across the UK. These Internet Service Providers (ISPs) now offer ultimate 1Gbps downloads to millions of properties which allow users to whizz full HD movies to their TVs in a matter of seconds. It’s impressive stuff but this new technology does come at a price.

BT and Virgin both charge around £60 for their best broadband which makes it a very expensive option. As a comparison, you can get 100Mbps downloads for around £25 per month if you shop around. If that price has put you off making the jump to hyperfast broadband then help could be at hand thanks to one of Virgin and BT’s rivals.

Hyperoptic has been pumping speedy broadband into UK homes for over 10 years and the firm has just announced a sale that features prices that are pretty hard to believe. Right now, anyone who joins this ISP can get 1Gbps broadband for just £35 per month – that’s almost half the usual price.

That deal is for the first 12 months with things then switching back to the standard £60 per month cost. There’s also no activation fee to pay and installation is all free.

If 1Gbps sounds too fast for your needs then Hyperoptic is also offering 500Mbps speeds for £30 (usually £50) or there are 150Mbps speeds for £25 (usually £35).

The only thing to be aware of is that Hyperoptic isn’t in all areas of the UK just yet. The firm is growing but you’ll only find this connection in 43 towns and cities.

If you have Hyperoptic in your road then you can find the deals here.


1Gbps might sound like something everyone will want but do you really need it? That’s an interesting question and there’s no doubt that, in the future, these speeds will be a necessity of any house. The web is a bit like a motorway with the more traffic running through it the slower it will get. That means busy homes with a slow connection will find things grinding to halt as more people use it.

The hypersonic fibre broadband service offers blistering downloads with a full HD movie taking under a minute to download.

A PlayStation 5 game from the digital store – like Red Dead Redemption 2 (99GB) – will take 4 hours and 20 minutes on the average UK broadband connection. That drops to 14 minutes when connected to 1Gbps speeds.

That’s all very impressive but services such as Netflix only require a speed of 25Mbps to stream 4K Ultra HD content. So, it’ll take a small army regiment streaming The Haunting Of Hill House in your living room to get close to maxing out that Gig1 allowance.

Of course, if your house is full of connected gadgets and your kids are streaming games all day long whist you’re downloading 4K movies or trying to make the morning Zoom call this will be a welcomed addition.

If that’s not your home then anything around 100Mbps should do just fine.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Life and Style
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Ruth Langsford admits it’s ‘hard to help’ Eamonn Holmes with ‘difficult’ health battle

Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes are returning to This Morning today as they begin hosting the show for the summer. However, Ruth has also been opening up about Eamonn’s health struggles in a new interview.

Eamonn has been keeping fans updated with his chronic health condition over the past few months.

He was left in a great deal of pain after suffering a dislocated pelvis and three slipped discs.

The much-loved television presenter has been in hospital as well as undergoing physio to try and combat it.

His wife Ruth recently admitted it’s been “very difficult” to help her husband through his pain.

READ MORE: Eamonn and Ruth spark frenzy as they announce This Morning comeback

“Their pain is for the rest of their lives. I feel for them.

“For me, I’m in a race against time to strengthen my back before my steroid injections – which do ease the pain – run out.”

Ruth and Eamonn are back on screens presenting This Morning from today.

They announced they’ll be presenting for seven weeks as they take over for the summer.

They’ll be stepping in for the other presenting duos of Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield and Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary.

Antitrust Overhaul Passes Its First Tests. Now, the Hard Parts.

WASHINGTON — Capitol Hill politicians have groused for years about the power and influence of the country’s largest tech companies. But they took little action to match their rhetoric.

That started to change on Wednesday, when House lawmakers took their first votes on a suite of bills that are meant to weaken the dominance of Big Tech. The bills, six in all, would bulk up antitrust agencies, make it harder to acquire potential rivals, and prevent platforms from selling or promoting their own products to disadvantage competitors.

The votes by members of the Judiciary Committee to advance some of the bills showed the growing bipartisan agreement for taking on the tech companies. A handful of Republicans joined the widespread support among Democrats for the bills.

The committee members debated the bills through the night until adjourning shortly after 5 a.m. on Thursday. Discussions are expected to resume later in the morning.

But the outcome of the votes, and the debates before they took place, also exposed the fault lines among Republicans and Democrats — and underscored why final passage of all the bills is expected to be difficult.

Democrats, who have had the most say over the bills, are focused on the market power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Democratic chairman of the committee, said the votes “pave the way for a stronger economy and a stronger democracy for the American people by reining in anti-competitive abuses of the most dominant firms online.”

Some Republicans have united with them, arguing that the proposals would help address one of their main concerns: the power that social media companies have over speech, and what they argue is political bias and censorship of conservative voices. But many other Republicans say that the bills only add more government intervention into the economy while not directly addressing their concerns about free speech.

That debate within the Republican Party spilled out on Wednesday as soon as the first bill was brought up for a vote. The proposal, considered among the least contentious of the six, would increase the costs of fees associated with some mergers, to help raise more funding for the Federal Trade Commission, which helps regulate deals.

During a three-hour debate about the bill, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the committee, said the bill was a power grab for the Democratic-led antitrust agencies, making them bigger and more influential. He also said the proposals and the other antitrust bills failed to address the ability of Facebook and other social media companies to cut off political voices.

“Big tech censors conservatives,” Mr. Jordan said. “These bills don’t fix that problem, they make it worse.”

Representative Ken Buck of Colorado, a fellow Republican and a co-sponsor of the bills, agreed that the tech companies silence conservatives. But he implored his party for unity to take on the power of Big Tech through the proposals, which he said would limit the overall power of the companies.

“These bills are conservative,” Mr. Buck said.

While progressive lawmakers largely back the bills, the proposals have frustrated Democratic lawmakers from California, who say they go too far in regulating their state’s most prominent companies.

Representative Lou Correa, a Democrat from Southern California, said that the number of people in the state working for the big tech companies had grown substantially, helping the state fund services like public education and support for people affected by Covid.

“We want to make sure that we don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs,” he added later.

Mr. Correa also said: “These firms — high tech — are the reason California has a budget surplus, as opposed to a deficit, enabling the state of California to invest in public education, to help those affected by Covid, the middle class, those who are trying to get to the middle class.”

Other California Democrats who expressed concerns about the bills included Representative Zoe Lofgren, whose district includes part of San Jose, and Representative Eric Swalwell.

Ms. Lofgren worried during the hearing that the bills could ensnare companies that do not share the tech giants’ immense scale. Mr. Swalwell said before the hearing even began that he would oppose several of the bills.

“In my district alone, I represent thousands — likely in the five digits — of employees affected by the proposed laws,” he said. “It is these people whose jobs, families and livelihoods I was elected to protect — and must advocate for today.”

The committee’s passage of the bills kicks off a much harder process. Eight Democratic lawmakers have asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has tremendous sway over when bills are taken up in the full House, to slow the process. The lawmakers repeated arguments made by companies like Apple that say the bills could open up security and privacy vulnerabilities for customers.

The challenge is even stiffer in the Senate, where the bills will each require significant Republican support to reach the needed 60 votes. A few Republicans, including Josh Hawley of Missouri, have pressed for stiffer antitrust laws. But it is unclear whether many more will join him.

Some bills, like the one to generate more money for the Federal Trade Commission, could face less resistance than others. The most contentious is a bill that bans platforms from selling their own products, such as Amazon selling its own branded Amazon Basics toilet paper and putting rivals like Charmin at a disadvantage.

“We think it’s an uphill climb for the toughest bills,” said Paul Gallant, a research analyst at Cowen and Company. “The Senate filibuster is always the highest hurdle and I suspect it will hold back the toughest of these bills. But the House is going faster and farther against tech than anyone expected.”

The bills face fierce opposition from technology companies that have marshaled their considerable lobbying operations. Ahead of the votes on Wednesday, Apple sent a letter to committee leaders warning that the if the bills were passed, the company would not be able to offer certain privacy and security features for users. Think tanks and lobbying groups funded by tech companies issued critical statements before the votes.

The bills “single out a handful of America’s most innovative and globally competitive tech companies for divestiture and draconian regulation,” said Alec Stapp, a director of the Progressive Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank that received sponsorship from tech companies.

Chamber of Progress, a newly formed tech trade group representing Amazon and Google, said a recent Morning Consult Survey showed that voters didn’t see tech regulation as a top priority.

“Consumers want the government to scrutinize and regulate the tech industry, but don’t want Congress redesigning the apps and services that make their lives easier,” said its chief executive, Adam Kovacevich.

Alex Harman, a competition policy advocate at Public Citizen, which had been pushing for the bills, said Wednesday’s votes represented an important moment. Almost a decade ago, he said, there had been little Capitol Hill support for an investigation of Google’s practices by the Federal Trade Commission, which ultimately decided not to pursue a case against the company.

“Nine years later, we are in a world where a serious bipartisan effort in a committee is not just trying to push on an investigation, they’re trying to break them up,” he said. “That is a big deal.”

Author: Cecilia Kang and David McCabe
This post originally appeared on NYT > Top Stories

Dianne Buswell on travel & hotel quarantine in Australia – 'it's hard, not going to lie'

Australia has been on the UK’s green list for travel since May 17, however currently only Australian nationals and residents, as well as a select list of essential travellers, may enter the country. Heading to a foreign country may be top of the wish list for many people at the moment, but as Strictly Come Dancing star Dianne Buswell has shown, following the rules put in place isn’t always easy.

“Australia is on the UK green list so if you are an Australian citizen I believe you can get a flight,” she said.

“They are very few and far between so as soon as the Strictly Come Dancing Pro tour got cancelled I went online and booked my flight.

“You have to do PCR tests 72 hours prior to the flight, obviously that has to be negative. You have to do a health declaration form, for Western Australia you have to do a thing called a G2G pass. There’s just a lot of little bits and pieces you have to do to actually be able to fly.”

Dianne says this process left her feeling “stressed” right up until she was seated in the airport lounge.

“There are so many bits and pieces that you need to do and if you don’t do those bits and pieces it’s like you might not get on the flight,” she explained.

“I thought my PCR test was wrong, it wasn’t positive it was negative, but I thought I hadn’t done the right dates.

“It turns out I did do one thing wrong though. I’ve put the wrong date of arrival so [the check-in desk worker] has told me to come to the lounge, fix that, and then they will fix it at the gate. I feel a little bit uneasy only because I was so stressed.”

Luckily, the 32-year-old dancer managed to make it onto her first flight without a hitch and was surprised by how empty her business class aircraft cabin was.

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She filmed herself wearing her face mask while showing the deserted seats behind her.

“No one else is in here, it’s literally just me which is pretty crazy,” she said.

Once she arrived in Singapore, Dianne had a seven-hour layover, which she describes feeling as though she was “handcuffed”.

“Basically what happens is you get given a little wristband and you have to go into a waiting area which my waiting time is seven hours,” she explained.

“They give you a band. They put it on you, like full-on clamped to your wrist. It is like handcuffs almost except your hands are not cuffed together.”

Thankfully, during this time the dancer says she felt “safe” thanks to social distancing and sanitised seating.

She was also able to order food to be delivered to her via an app.

Throughout the whole process though, it was the 14-day quarantine that Dianne admits is, so far, the most “intense”.

“I have three Covid tests while I am here. I have to do 14 days here. They give you food, breakfast lunch and dinner,” she said.

During her stay, Dianna has been offered a diverse range of meals.

Some of her breakfasts have consisted of fruit and granola, lunches of chickpea salad and crisps, and on one evening she enjoyed a vegan sushi option.

However, she did note a yoghurt that was placed in her vegan meal.

Despite this, she says the experience “is not that bad”.

“I just want to point out they aren’t treating me bad,” she said.

“It is just a hard thing to have to do for anyone to stay in a hotel for 14 days. I think it’s sensible really. If I was to leave here, imagine, and then I went to see my Nan. I’d never forgiven myself.

“In many ways, I think 14 days is sensible. Yes it is hard, I am not going to lie.

“If you are going to do something like this you need to realise the 14 days in a room is intense.”

Luckily, the staff are very accommodating. Guests are able to order exercise equipment to their hotel rooms for rent, order food from a separate menu if they do not like the food included in the hotel quarantine package, and accept deliveries from friends and family.

Dianne added: “It is all good and I don’t want to make out that the hotel is bad because it’s not.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

In Many States, Flawed Data Make It Hard to Track Vaccine Equity

Throughout the covid-19 vaccination effort, public health officials and politicians have insisted that providing shots equitably across racial and ethnic groups is a top priority.

But it’s been left up to states to decide how to do that and to collect racial and ethnic data on vaccinated individuals so states can track how well they’re doing reaching all groups. The gaps and inconsistencies in the data have made it difficult to understand who’s actually getting shots.

Just as an uneven approach to containing the coronavirus led to a greater toll for Black and Latino communities, the inconsistent data guiding vaccination efforts may be leaving the same groups out on vaccines, said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist at the University of California-San Francisco.

“At the very least, we need the same uniform standards that every state is using, and every location that administers vaccine is using, so that we can have some comparisons and design better strategies to reach the populations we’re trying to reach,” Bibbins-Domingo said.

Now that federal, state and local governments are easing mask requirements and ending other measures to prevent the spread of the virus, efforts to boost vaccination rates in underserved communities are even more urgent.

At St. James United Methodist Church, a cornerstone for many in the Black community in Kansas City, Missouri, in-person services recently resumed after being online for more than a year. St. James has also been hosting vaccination events designed to reach people in the neighborhood.

“People are really grieving not only the loss of their loved ones, but the loss of a whole year, a loss of being lonely, a loss being at home, not being able to come to church. Not being able to go out into the community,” said Yvette Richards, St. James’ director of community connection.

Missouri’s population is 11% African American, but covid cases among African Americans accounted for 25% of the total cases for the state, according to an analysis by KFF.

Richards said St. James has lost many congregants to the coronavirus, and the empty pews where they once sat on Sundays serve as stark reminders of all this community has been through during the pandemic.

Missouri’s public covid data appears to show robust data on vaccination rates broken down by race and ethnicity. But several groups are seen lagging far behind on vaccinations, including African Americans, who appear to have a vaccination rate of just 17.6%, nearly half of the 33% rate for the state as a whole.

To Dr. Rex Archer, director of the Kansas City health department, one number is a giveaway that this data isn’t right. It shows a completed vaccination rate of 64% for “multiracial” Missourians. Such an exceptionally high rate for one group beggars belief, according to Archer.

“So, there’s some huge problem with the way the state is collecting race and ethnicity under covid vaccination,” Archer said.

Missouri state officials have acknowledged since February that this data is wrong, but they haven’t managed to fix it or explain exactly what’s causing it. Archer suggested the inflated multiracial rate is probably due to different racial data being reported when individuals receive first and second shots.

Other problems have been detected, including missing racial and ethnic data for many people who have been vaccinated, and the use of multiple categories such as “other” and “unknown.”

The state also noted it used national racial percentages in the state’s vaccination data rather than actual percentages based on the state’s population. For example, earlier in the vaccination effort, the state used national racial data, which shows nearly 6% of the population is Asian, even though Missouri’s population is 2.2% Asian.

Health officials are working to target vaccination campaigns in communities where rates are low, but Archer said the state’s data provides little help.

“I mean, we have to look at it, but it’s got too many variables to be something we can count on,” Archer said.

Though racial and ethnic categories are clearly defined in national U.S. Census data, the same data is not collected uniformly by states.

For example, South Carolina’s vaccination data lumps together Asians, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders in one category. In Utah, residents can pick more than one race. Wyoming doesn’t report racial or ethnic data for vaccinations at all.

Bibbins-Domingo said the missing or inconsistent data doesn’t necessarily mean tracking equity is a lost cause. Vaccination rates for census tracts where racial and ethnic data is known can be used as a proxy to estimate vaccine allocations.

However, Bibbins-Domingo argued that the pandemic has shined a light on racial data problems that have persisted far too long in U.S. public health.

“What my hope is, is that our lessons from covid really cause all of us to think about the infrastructure we need within our state and nationally to make sure we are prepared next time,” Bibbins-Domingo said. “Data is our friend.”

Local leaders and health officials in Missouri are scrambling to boost vaccination rates, especially among vulnerable communities, after Republican Gov. Mike Parson recently announced steps to urge residents back to working in person.

Parson ordered state workers back to the office in May and said he would end additional federal pandemic-related benefits for unemployed workers in June, despite vaccination rates across the state being well below what Missouri health experts had hoped to achieve.

Jackson County, Missouri, which includes most of Kansas City, authorized $ 5 million in federal CARES funding last month to increase vaccinations in six ZIP codes with large Black populations and low vaccination rates. The project will address problems of both access and hesitancy and focus on reaching out to individuals and neighborhoods.

Although many of the state’s vaccination efforts have involved large mass events, St. James Pastor Jackie McCall said she’s been talking with many in her church and community who need encouragement to have faith in the vaccines.

“So let’s go ahead and let’s trust,” McCall told congregants. “Let’s trust the process. Let’s trust God. Let’s trust the science.”

This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes KCUR, NPR and KHN.

This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

A 20-Foot Sea Wall? Miami Faces the Hard Choices of Climate Change.

MIAMI — Three years ago, not long after Hurricane Irma left parts of Miami underwater, the federal government embarked on a study to find a way to protect the vulnerable South Florida coast from deadly and destructive storm surge.

Already, no one likes the answer.

Build a wall, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed in its first draft of the study, now under review. Six miles of it, in fact, mostly inland, running parallel to the coast through neighborhoods — except for a one-mile stretch right on Biscayne Bay, past the gleaming sky-rises of Brickell, the city’s financial district.

The dramatic $ 6 billion proposal remains tentative and at least five years off. But the startling suggestion of a massive sea wall up to 20 feet high cutting across beautiful Biscayne Bay was enough to jolt some Miamians to attention: The hard choices that will be necessary to deal with the city’s many environmental challenges are here, and few people want to face them.

“You need to have a conversation about, culturally, what are our priorities?” said Benjamin Kirtman, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Miami. “Where do we want to invest? Where does it make sense?”

“Those are what I refer to as generational questions,” he added. “And there is a tremendous amount of reluctance to enter into that discussion.”

In Miami, the U.S. metropolitan area that is perhaps most exposed to sea-level rise, the problem is not climate change denialism. Not when hurricane season, which begins this week, returns each year with more intense and frequent storms. Not when finding flood insurance has become increasingly difficult and unaffordable. Not when the nights stay so hot that leaving home with a sweater to fend off the evening chill has become a thing of the past.

The trouble is that the magnitude of the interconnected obstacles the region faces can feel overwhelming, and none of the possible solutions are cheap, easy or pretty.

For its study, the corps focused on storm surge — the rising seas that often inundate the coastline during storms — made worse lately by stronger hurricanes and higher sea levels. But that is only one concern.

South Florida, flat and low-lying, sits on porous limestone, which allows the ocean to swell up through the ground. Even when there is no storm, rising seas contribute to more significant tidal flooding, where streets fill with water even on sunny days. The expanding saltwater threatens to spoil the underground aquifer that supplies the region’s drinking water, and to crack old sewer pipes and aging septic tanks. It leaves less space for the earth to absorb liquid, so floodwaters linger longer, their runoff polluting the bay and killing fish.

And that is just sea-level rise. Temperatures have gotten so sweltering over recent summers that Miami-Dade County has named a new interim “chief heat officer.”

“What you realize is each of these problems, which are totally intersecting, are handled by different parts of the government,” said Amy C. Clement, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Miami and the chairwoman of the city of Miami’s climate resilience committee. “It’s divided up in ways that make things really, really difficult to move forward. And the bottom line is it’s way more money than any local government has to spend.”

The state could help, to a point. Republican lawmakers, who have controlled the Florida Legislature for more than 20 years, acknowledged in late 2019 that they had ignored climate change for so long that the state had “lost a decade.” They have begun to take steps to fund solutions, directing more than $ 200 million in tax dollars, collected on real estate transactions, to sea-level rise and sewer projects. Legislators also designated $ 500 million in federal stimulus money for the fund.

The price tag for all that needs to be done, however, is in the billions. The estimate for Miami-Dade County alone to phase out some 120,000 septic tanks is about $ 4 billion, and that does not include the thousands of dollars that each homeowner would also have to pay.

Enter the corps, whose engineering projects, if funded by Congress, are covered 65 percent by the federal government and 35 percent by a local government sponsor.

No one wants to turn away a penny from Washington, but the proposal for a massive sea wall along one of Miami’s most scenic stretches has produced a rare moment of agreement between environmentalists and real estate developers, who fear harm to the bay’s delicate ecology and lower property values.

“We were, like, ruh-roh,” said Ken Russell, the Miami city commissioner whose district includes Brickell. “The $ 40 billion in assets you’re trying to protect will be diminished if you build a wall around downtown because you’re going to affect market values and quality of life.”

Other parts of the corps’s draft plan, which includes surge barriers at the mouth of the Miami River and several other waterways, are more appealing: fortifying sewer plants and fire and police stations to withstand a crush of seawater. Elevating or flood-proofing thousands of businesses and homes. Planting some mangroves, which can provide a first line of defense against flooding and erosion. Miami-Dade County wants all of those portions to take priority; a final draft of the plan is due this fall.

Sticking points remain. Among the homes proposed to be elevated on the taxpayer dime are multimillion-dollar waterfront mansions — a result of the corps’s mandate to efficiently protect as much life and property as possible, which critics say inevitably leads to more protection for the wealthy, whose properties are worth more.

And then there are the walls. The inland walls, some fairly small but others up to 13 feet high, would divide neighborhoods, leaving homes on the seaward side with less protection. The sea wall along Biscayne Bay, which could rise to 20 feet and look as formidable as the sound barriers along Interstate 95, would reverse decades of policies intended to avoid dredging and filling the bay.

To some critics, the plan harks back to more than a century of dredging and pumping of the Florida Everglades, which made way for intensive farming and sprawling development but disregarded the serious damage to the environment that the state is still wrestling with.

“It is my sense that most Floridians would live with the risk of water to preserve their lifestyle,” said Cynthia Barnett, a Gainesville-based environmental journalist who has published books about rain and the fate of the oceans. “This idea of working with water rather than always fighting against it is really the lesson of Florida history. If Florida history has taught us one thing, it’s that hardscaping this water that defines us will bring hardships to future generations.”

In fact, when local governments have asked the public how they would like to tackle climate change, residents by far prefer what is known as green infrastructure: layered coastal protection from a mix of dunes, sea grasses, coral reefs and mangroves, said Zelalem Adefris, vice president for policy and advocacy at Catalyst Miami, which works with low-income communities in the county.

“The Army Corps’s plan just looks so different,” she said. “It seemed to be really incongruous with the conversations that are being had locally.”

Officials with the corps, though, say — gently — that they see no way around what they call structural elements. The storm surge threat to Miami-Dade County is just too grave.

“It’s going to be a part of the solution,” said Niklas Hallberg, the study’s project manager.

He said the corps is committed to working with the community in the next phase of design for the project, so “maybe it doesn’t look like so much of a wall.”

That sounds like inching toward the vision that emerged from engineering consultants hired by Swire Properties, a big local developer, after the corps’s draft plan alarmed Miami’s Downtown Development Authority. The consultants suggested building a berm of earth and rock that could be further elevated over time. (A landscape architectural firm brought in by the Downtown Development Authority developed renderings of the corps’s plan showing dirty brown water in the bay and, yes, “Berlin” graffitied on the wall.)

On a recent afternoon along the stretch of Brickell Bay Drive where a wall might go, Rachel Silverstein, executive director of Miami Waterkeeper, an environmental research and activist group, stood next to high-rises built right up to the water, which she called “the fundamental problem with Miami” because they leave the storm surge with nowhere to go.

(Ms. Silverstein is in the camp of people who favor more natural structural elements to combat storm surge, such as bolstering coral reefs that would also provide an ecological benefit to the bay.)

She pointed over the shimmering blue-green bay.

“Instead of seeing this beautiful water, you would see a gross wall,” she said.

In front of her, a manatee came up for air.

Author: Patricia Mazzei
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Nightmare Windows 10 bug can fill your hard drive with thousands of files

Windows 10 users need to be aware of a nightmarish bug that can seriously eat away at any spare hard drive space they have. The bug, discovered by Bleeping Computer, can lead to literally hundreds of thousands of files being created on an affected Windows 10 machine. While these files are small in size, ranging from 600 bytes to 1KB, the huge volume can lead to gigabytes of storage space being taken up.
In one case an affected user said 30GB of their hard drive was taken up with almost one million small files.

The bug is an issue with Windows Defender, and it began with version 1.1.18100.5 of the antivirus software.

The files could be found in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Scans\History\Store.

Those impacted by the bug reported thousands of files appearing in this location.

READ MORE: Changing this one Windows 10 setting could seriously hurt your PC

Outlining this issue on a Microsoft forum one affected user said: “When Real-time protection is turned on, after about 20-30 minutes it creates hundreds/thousands of files.

“Most of these files are either 1kb or 2kb. Over a 24 hour period we ended up with roughly 950,000 files and it was taking 30 GB of space. This does not appear to be normal. There is no threats detected and no actively running scan or updates. These files appear to be encrypted, or at least we can’t open them in notepad and see any useful data. This is only happening on one server.”

While on Reddit another affected user wrote: “I think there is a big problem with Windows Defender eating up storage. This has started to happen over the past week and the folder in programData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Scans\History\Store is gigantic! Just a heads up. I first noticed when one of the veeam backups failed due to the VSS writer. I logged into the server and the c: drive had only 0.99GB on c: That was 30gb a few days ago!”

Thankfully, the frustrating bug has now reportedly been fixed with version 1.1.18100.6 of Windows Defender.

You can check which version of Windows Defender you have installed by going into the Windows Security page.

Then, click on the Settings cog icon in the bottom left of the screen and then choose About.

You will be able to see what version of Windows Defender you’re running on this screen.

If you’re running below version 1.1.18100.6 then go to Windows Update > Check for updates.

This should allow you to download the latest update for Microsoft’s Windows Defender antivirus programme.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Liverpool announce significant pre-tax losses as Covid hits Reds finances hard

Author: [email protected] (Darren Wells)
This post originally appeared on Mirror – Football

Liverpool have announced pre-tax losses of £46million for the financial year ending on May 31, 2020.

The Reds also revealed their overall revenue for the period stood at £490m – down £43m on the previous year.

Understandably the club’s matchday revenue took a hit of £13m due to having four home matches take place without the presence of fans, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Media revenue also fell by £59m with a club statement attributing the drop to the Premier League season finishing later than had been expected in July, which fell outside of the financial year.

One positive was a boost in commercial income to the tune of £29m, taking their total amount for that sector to £217m.

Liverpool's owners have announced a pre-tax loss of £46million for the previous financial year
Liverpool’s owners have announced a pre-tax loss of £46million for the previous financial year

Liverpool also retained long-term partnerships with the likes of Nivea and Carlsberg, while forging eight new ones, including with Cadbury and Iugis.

Andy Hughes, LFC’s managing director, told the club’s official website : “This financial reporting period was up to May 2020, so approaching a year ago now. It does, however, begin to demonstrate the initial financial impact of the pandemic and the significant reductions in key revenue streams.

“We were in a solid financial position prior to the pandemic and since this reporting period we have continued to manage our costs effectively and navigate our way through such an unprecedented period.”

Hughes praised the club’s work in helping the local community during the pandemic, as well as recently offering the use of Anfield as a “mass testing centre and now a vaccination hub”.

He added: “We can now look ahead to the conclusion of this season and hopefully a more normal start to next season. It’s no secret that supporters have been greatly missed at Anfield over the past year and we look forward to having them back.”

The announcement comes just a week after Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) confirmed plans to join a breakaway European Super League, before performing a U-turn just 48 hours later following a backlash from fans.

It is reported the move would have pocketed the club a share of £3.5billion split between the 15 founding members of the division.

Despite a difficult season in terms of on-field performance, Liverpool continue to make great strides away from the pitch.

Their social media following has grown by 22m new followers – a gain of 32% – and they have an impressive presence on YouTube.

In addition, the club have expanded the retail arm of the business, adding new stores in parts of Asia, while their Premier League-winning home kit achieved record sales.

Since then they have swapped kit manufacturers New Balance for sportswear giants Nike in a move which the owners feel will prove more lucrative in the long run.

FSG also announced a deal last month with investment firm RedBird Capital who have acquired a 10% stake in their business in exchange for $ 735m – a development which sees NBA basketball star Lebron James increase his own share in the company and become part of the ownership group.

It is hoped the deal will help ease the financial pressures resulting from the coronavirus and also provide funds for the club to press forward with their proposed upgrade of the Anfield Road stand, as well as to invest in transfers this summer.

Liverpool kept their spending to a minimum in the last transfer window despite recruiting three new players; structuring deals for Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara so there was a minimal initial outlay, while offsetting the cost of signing Kostas Tsimikas with the sale of Dejan Lovren.