Saturday, October 25, 2014

What Is Regulatory Capture?

Humanitarian UAV Network

Link to the organization - time is everything in a disaster.  Drone technology will have a huge impact on disaster management.  Drones will rule the disaster space from 500 feet to ground level. Capabilities will grow from video to medical supply delivery supply systems.

Baywatch to Be Replaced by Drones

Ranking the Insurance Companies on Climate Change

A new report from Ceres:
"Amid growing evidence that climate change is having wide-ranging global impacts that will worsen in the years ahead, Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey Report & Scorecard: 2014 Findings & Recommendations, ranks the nation's 330 largest insurance companies on what they are saying and doing to respond to escalating climate risks. The report found strong leadership among fewer than a dozen companies but generally poor responses among the vast majority.
This report summarizes responses from insurance companies to a survey on climate change risks developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). In 2013, insurance regulators in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York and Washington required insurers writing in excess of $100 million in direct written premiums, and licensed to operate in any of the five states, to disclose their climate- related risks using this survey.
The aim of the survey, and Ceres’ analysis of the responses, is to  provide regulators, insurers, investors and other stakeholders with substantive information about the risks insurers face from climate change and the steps insurers are taking—or are not taking— to respond to those risks. Because virtually every large insurer operates in at least one of the mandatory climate risk disclosure states, this analysis effectively opens a window into the entire industry. The report distills key findings and industry trends, and includes company specific scores based on disclosed actions taken to manage climate risks. It also offers recommendations for insurers and regulators to improve the insurance sectors’ overall management of climate change risks."

The Tech Crowd is Thinking Tech Water

News from the Silicon Valley Water Purification Center:
"For the final step, the water flows through chambers that zap it with strong ultraviolet light. Like a powerful disinfectant, the UV rays scramble the DNA (and thus neutralize) any remaining viruses and other trace organic compounds, in a process similar to the sterilization of medicine, food and fruit juices. In all, the process removes 99.99 percent of all pathogens.
The resulting purified water has a TDS (total dissolved solids) content of 40 parts per million. For comparisons sake, drinking water in the county averages 215 parts per million, while the recommended maximum contaminant limit is 500 parts per million. In other words, water from the advanced purification center is clean enough to drink, as one enthusiastic county official did at the plant’s unveiling.
For now, the water is going toward improving the quality of the county’s recycled water, used for irrigating crops and watering golf courses, parks, school lawns, street medians and business park landscaping. It’s also used to cool buildings and data centers, which will eventually include Apple’s new campus in Cupertino, opening in mid-2016. The tech giant is working closely with the water district to expand local recycled water programs, and is contributing $4.8 million toward the construction of a similar advanced recycled water facility near the coming campus.
With the potable quality of the water, the plan all along has been to introduce it into local taps by 2025. But as California’s drought continues, the project may get fast-tracked, and residents may be drinking the recycled water in as little as two years. In that scenario, the recycled water is pumped into aquifers to recharge groundwater, then pumped up, retreated and piped to local homes."

No Stagnation in Toys

The Ebola virus is one of the many GIANTmicrobes sold online — stuffed animals that look like tiny microbes, only one million times their actual size.

The Ebola plush toy - -