Thursday, September 21, 2017

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in Mexico

The other day (9/19), a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the central part of Mexico. The quake hit the state of Puebla in the early afternoon, killing more than 200 people. Dozens of buildings collapsed, hospitals were damaged, and millions were left without power. Search and rescue operations are ongoing. This area near Mexico City is in a spot that’s especially vulnerable to potential earthquakes. And to make things more weirder, the quake actually happened on the anniversary of an earthquake that hit Mexico in 1985 and killed nearly 10,000 people. This also comes less than two weeks after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit off the country’s southern coast, killing at least 90 people. (NBC News)

 

Keeping Up With The Jones’

Hurricane Maria is bringing 160 mph winds, more than a foot of rain, and “potentially catastrophic” damage to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. It’s already killed at least one person in the Caribbean and cut power to tens of thousands of people. Earlier this week, it completely destroyed the small island of Dominica. It’s been fluctuating between a Category 5 to Category 4 storm. But Puerto Rican officials are warning residents to evacuate or risk death. Maria is expected to be the worst storm to hit Puerto Rico in nearly a century. And it comes after not one, but two devastating hurricanes hit the US in the past month. (ABC News)

 

What’s That A’boot?

Yesterday, Equifax revealed more than 100,000 Canadians may have also had their personal info exposed. Earlier this month, Equifax raised its hand and said it was hacked earlier this year. And 143 million Americans – aka more than one third of the country – may have been affected. Hackers got their hands on SSNs, addresses, birthdays, credit card numbers, etc. It’s one of the worst data breaches ever. And now, Canada’s stressing too. (ABC News)

 

Because It’s Congress….

GOP leaders in Congress set out to repeal Obamacare and they are not giving up. This time, it’s called the Graham-Cassidy bill. Here’s what’s in it: the bill would take federal funding that goes into Obamacare, and hand it to the states to run their own health care programs. It would get rid of the ‘individual mandate’ that requires people to buy insurance. And it would roll back funding for Medicaid, the government program that helps low-income people pay for healthcare. It’s unclear what this will cost, or how many people it might affect, because the Congressional Budget Office is still looking at the fine print. It won’t have all those numbers for a few weeks…but the Senate GOP is aiming to put this to a vote before Sept. 30. After that, they can’t pass it with a simple majority – which they have – because the rules will change. (NPR)

 

A bunch of Amazon customers were told about a purchase on their non-existent baby registries

It seems that Amazon is randomly telling some customers about purchases on their baby registry. The problem is these customers say they don’t have a baby registry — and some don’t even have a baby. Retailers regularly keep tabs on their purchases so they can target clients with ads and notifications based on that data in hopes the consumer will come back and buy again. You might remember the story about Target’s ability to predict a teenage girl was pregnant back in 2012 using her purchase data. But, in this instance with Amazon, something clearly went wrong. Others who had set up a baby registry were told someone purchased one of the items, only to go check it out and find the link to the purchased item Amazon sent in their email just sent them to a broken web page. Amazon has confirmed the email came from the company and that it was sent out by mistake. “We are notifying affected customers. A technical glitch caused us to inadvertently send a gift alert e-mail earlier today. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused,” said a spokesman from Amazon. (Tech Crunch)

 

Amazon working on ‘smart glasses’ as its first wearable device

Amazon.com Inc is working on its first wearable device – a pair of ‘smart glasses’. The device, designed like a regular pair of spectacles, will allow Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa to be summoned anytime at all places, the report said, citing people familiar with the plans. There would be a bone-conduction audio system in the device to allow the wearer to hear Alexa without inserting headphones into his or her ears. Earlier this year, Alphabet Inc re-introduced its own wearable glass headset, Google Glass, after discontinuing its production last year. (Reuters)

 

This Electric Bus Can Travel 1,100 Miles Without Recharging

A 40-foot electric bus from Proterra traveled 1,101.2 miles at low speed without recharging, cruising to a new electric vehicle range record, the California manufacturer said on earlier this week. Bus and truck companies are beginning to launch electric models, typically for light- and medium-duty tasks. The new technology often carries a high price, though, and a major challenge is creating vehicles with acceptable range at a competitive price. A typical Proterra bus costs around $750,000 compared with roughly $500,000 for a typical diesel bus, according to the chief commercial officer Matt Horton. Proterra has lower operating costs but must convince customers that the higher sticker price is worth paying. While battery weight is seen as a problem for heavy-duty trucks, eating into cargo capacity, their bus is much lighter than a loaded big rig, even with a full complement of passengers. Navistar Proving Ground confirmed the single-charge trip, at 15 miles per hour. Proterra set the record earlier this month and beat a previous record of 1,013 miles by a light-duty passenger vehicle. (Yahoo)

 

Thirsty Thursday is back with another round of:

*International Day of Peace 
*National Pecan Cookie Day
*National New York Day
*National Surgical Technologists Day 
*Islamic New Year 
*RAINN Day (Rape Abuse Incest National Network)  (3rd Thursday) 
*Rosh Hashanah 
*National Teach Ag Day  (Thursday of the 3rd Week)
*World’s Alzheimer’s Day

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