I have to laugh at how life has changed since my girls when away to college. In the past, they loved to go out to dinner or get take out on the weekends. Now they want good old home cooking when they come to visit. It is a good thing that I adore cooking with passion and abandon, filling every dish I create with love! It warms my heart to know they enjoy my meals, and are coming to visit every weekend.
Let’s get this show on the road, so we can all go out and seize the day. This morning we start with some breaking news about hacking in the US, and then we move on from there.
US State Department website hacked.
In late October, officials announced that the US White House computer system had been hacked. In a related incident, that came to light this past week, the US State Department system was targeted as well.
Operations personnel have closed down the unclassified email programs so that they can contain the situation, make repairs, and increase security across the platform. The system should be back in operation by today. Personnel say that the classified system was not affected by the breach.
Previous US government hacking attacks have been blamed on Russian and Chinese cyber hackers, but no proof has been presented to the public related to any hacking incident.
Using seawater to resolve water shortages in Africa.
In 2008, Hyflux, a Singapore based water filtration company, was awarded a contract to create one of the world’s largest reverse-osmosis desalination and water filtration systems to date. The system was built to serve Algeria, using water harvested from the Mediterranean Sea on Africa’s north coast.
While the project suffered setbacks due to an on-site fire in 2011, the first plant opened this past week. It will process approximately 500,000 m3/day of drinking water for Oran, Algeria’s second largest city, and its provinces.
Sustainable energy for rural India.
It is hard to imagine that over a quarter of the world’s population does not have access to electricity. India is one of the most under-served nations, with approximately 400 million people living without electricity.
A start-up company called Husk Power Systems began servicing the most rural areas of India in 2010. The company provides small scale energy for rural villages, using the by-products of rice production as a sustainable fuel.
When rice is harvested, it is covered in a protective husk, which must be removed before human consumption. In the past, the husks were simply discarded, but now they are collected and used to fuel energy production, using an upgraded gasifier to create biofuel. After the husks are burned, the ash is removed and used as fertilizer for crops, so the sustainability circle is complete.
Families pay about $2US a month for electricity and Husk Power Systems projected they will have over 2,000 energy producing units in place by the end of 2014, servicing millions of customers who’ve never had electricity before.
For more information on India’s Husk Power Systems, or to view other sustainable energy projects being implemented in developing and under-served areas, check out Energy Map from the Center for Science. It is inspiring to see how many projects are tackling unique energy situations, and providing sustainable power, the world over.
Watch out for the Cloud. Apples upload sensitive data without users knowing.
Mac OS X Yosemite operating program has a default that automatically loads documents in edit and preview mode to iCloud services without user permission.
The default could cause potential security issues if a user is working with sensitive information, because they are not aware that the materials are silently being transferred to cloud services, which, by their very nature, are not as secure.
Users can disable this function by using the instructions provided in this article. While some users may like the function, because it allows them to seamlessly access documents from any Apple device, the default process has not been clearly explained to users, so they can make an educated decision about its function and use.
Gap clothes empowers women all over the world.
In our Golden Age of Gaia feature article on the Revival of Detroit, we shared the Empowerment Program, which employs local homeless women to create sleeping bag coats for those sleeping outdoors. That wonderful project was supported by Gap’s Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement program, that launched in 2007.
The “One Stitch Closer” video campaign, which was debuted this past March, in honor of International Women’s Day, focuses on a number of inspiring stories from among the 20,000 women they have helped in seven different nations.
The program is a benchmark for companies, in my view, to support and expand opportunities for the women around the world. Gap’s global marketing chief believes, “When one woman moves ahead, we all do,” and One Stitch Closer hopes to bring us all closer to a world that works for everyone, one woman at a time.
Gap also empowers women all over the world through its broader “Be What’s Possible” initiative. You can see everything they do to assist women, internationally, in their quest for gender equality, enhanced life skills, and sustainable living, at this website.
That’s the news for today. Have a sensational day. I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news.
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!