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Community Articles from 2016

This is how toxic Flint’s water really is

This is how toxic Flint’s water really is
By Christopher Ingraham
Posted January 17, 2016

Unelected manager poisons Flint waterThe city of Flint, Mich., is in the midst of a water crisis several years in the making.

With lead at 27 parts per billion, it’s five times as high as the level of concern, and nearly twice as high as the EPA’s already-generous guidelines. According to the researchers who ran these tests, the health effects of lead levels this high “can include high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, kidney damage and memory and neurological problems.”

Virginia Tech researchers took 30 different readings at various flow levels. What they found shocked them: The lowest reading they obtained was around 200 ppb, already ridiculously high. But more than half of the readings came in at more than 1,000 ppb. Some came in above 5,000 — the level at which EPA considers the water to be “toxic waste.” The highest reading registered at 13,000 ppb. More…

Aaron Swartz Died 3 Years Ago Today – In Remembrance of This Special Soul

Aaron Swartz Died 3 Years Ago Today – In Remembrance of This Special Soul
by Michael Krieger
Posted January 14, 2016

Arron Swartz - a gift to humanityThree years ago humanity lost a brave, brilliant and kindhearted individual named Aaron Swartz. On that day, I composed a post expressing my outrage and sadness. Once again, I have decided to repost that piece on the anniversary of his death.

I would like to add that if you haven’t seen the Aaron Swartz documentary, The Internet’s Own Boy, I highly recommend you do. It takes a person like Aaron Swartz to remind you how little you are actually doing to bring forth social, political and economic justice in this increasingly insane and sick world. I’m not exaggerating when I say his life was an inspiration. More…

Aaron Swartz was a gift to humanity who was unfortunately brought down by a system dominated by immoral people with small minds who were willing to sacrifice him for their own self-serving craving for power.

Recently Bought a Windows Computer? Microsoft Probably Has Your Encryption Key

Recently Bought a Windows Computer? Microsoft Probably Has Your Encryption Key
by Micah Lee
Posted January 6, 2016

Microsoft has your encryption keysOne of the excellent features of new Windows devices is that disk encryption is built-in and turned on by default, protecting your data in case your device is lost or stolen. But what is less well-known is that, if you are like most users and login to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, your computer automatically uploaded a copy of your recovery key — which can be used to unlock your encrypted disk — to Microsoft’s servers, probably without your knowledge and without an option to opt out.

If you’re using a recent version of Windows, and your computer has the encryption chip, and if you have a Microsoft account, your disk will automatically get encrypted, and your recovery key will get sent to Microsoft. If you login to Windows using your company’s or university’s Windows domain, then your recovery key will get sent to a server controlled by your company or university instead of Microsoft — but still, you can’t prevent device encryption from sending your recovery key. More…

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