Backpacker Unveils CarbonNeutral Project

first_imgBackpacker, the Boulder-basedmagazine for outdoor enthusiasts, has completed a six-month studyto calculate its carbon footprint. The magazine contracted with a firm calledCooler to measure how many pounds of CO2 its printing, production anddistribution operations create. Results indicate the magazine, with a 9-timesfrequency, produced about five million pounds of CO2, or 500,000 pounds perissue, in 2007. The two biggest contributors are paper and distribution, at 48percent and 26 percent respectively.”We wanted to pin down every single aspect of magazine operation,” says JonDorn, Backpacker’s editor, whocontracted with Cooler, a San Francisco-based firm that measures global warmingof consumer goods. “We knew we didn’t have the scientific or mathematicalskills to put reliable numbers on this. These guys popped up as being at thecenter of carbon footprinting for more than a decade.”Cooler worked with Backpacker toexamine the 2007 impacts of paper production and printing; distribution,including newsstand and subscription mailings; staff travel; and energy useacross the entire production cycle, including office use. “We went throughabout 10 generations of calculations until they were satisfied they had somethingthat was scientifically valid and statistically reliable,” says Dorn.The three biggest contributors, says Dorn, are paper, distribution and travel.”Paper is nearly 50 percent of it and distribution is a quarter. What was asurprise was how significant travel was, it’s the third biggest contributor.” SOURCE: Backpacker Indeed, staff travel nudged past printing and production for nine percent ofthe total. ‘Like UnderstandingWhat Goes into Sausage’Of the elements that were analyzed, distribution, says Dorn, was the mostdifficult to tally. “It’s probably the most Byzantine part of our business. Wehave more than 20,000 newsstand outlets and all the distribution companiesoverlap. It’s one of those things where you get an education, but then you’re notsure you really wanted to know-like understanding what goes into sausage.”Nevertheless, Dorn and AIM’s single-copy expert, Marcia Orovitz, had todetermine the mileage for the trucking routes for a proper measurement. “To behonest, we made some assumptions to make the calculations easier. We didn’tliterally come up with mileage for every leg of every trucking route for everyone of the 150,000 copies that goes to 20,000 newsstands,” says Dorn.Extra copies at newsstand were also measured, but Dorn says the majority ofthose are recycled. “We had information from the distributors about whatpercentage of unsold copies were being recycled versus landfilled. We foundthat almost all of the unsold copies are recycled.” Taking ActionNext is Backpacker’s actionplan. Dorn says the magazine will now work to decrease what it can of thecarbon footprint and offset the rest by investing in renewable energy projects,ultimately achieving a 100 percent carbon-neutral magazine operation. “Wedidn’t undertake this project just to understand what the impact of themagazine is, we did it so we could take action.” So far, a 12 percent reduction has been achieved through paper stock changesand moving pages from the magazine’s regional editions to the Web. A digitaledition was created with Zinio, and the Boulder office has been made azero-waste facility. Staff have also pledged to walk, bus or bike to work atleast 25,000 miles this year.”Our analysis gave us a carbon footprint of 1.12 pounds of CO2 equivalent percopy in 2007,” says Dorn. “After making these changes, we’re down to .9pounds.” The rest will be offset through renewable energy investments-a methane captureproject on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, for example. The cost of all this, says Dorn, has been very affordable. “The cuts that wemade in paper production and postage more than paid for not only the actualanalysis but also the offsets. For the offset investments, we’re looking atwell into the five figures. In fact, I was able to budget the offsets into myeditorial budget.” Now, says Dorn, the magazine industry can understand what kind of impactmagazine production has on the climate. “For the first time as magazine people,we understand the rough impact of a magazine versus another type of product. Iwould guess for most magazines, it would be in the 1-to-2 pound per copyrange.”A Comparison of Backpacker’sCarbon Footprintlast_img read more

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ABBA Hit Finds Remixed Life In Cher Covers Mashup With Madonna

first_img Email Cher + Madonna Mashup Has Fans Believing In Fate abba-hit-finds-remixed-life-cher-covers-mashup-madonna News https://www.instagram.com/p/BmRwsTVgEpn/?taken-by=alexsimpsononline Facebook “Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” began as a humble ABBA B-side and is the perfect fit for a “Hung Up” dance partyPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Aug 13, 2018 – 2:57 pm On Aug. 9 fans who pre-ordered Cher’s anticipated album of ABBA covers, due to be released on Sept. 28, received access to her cover of the band’s 1979 classic “Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight).” Now that it’s out there in the wild, a musical mashup with Madonna’s 2005 “Hung Up” has listeners admiring the combination of the GRAMMY-winning divas as an inevitable treat to be enjoyed while they impatiently wait for Sept. 28.”Hung Up” was the first track of Madonna’s Confessions On A Dance Floor, sampling “Gimme! Gimme! …” which started humbly as a B-side to a single released from ABBA’s 1979 album Voulez-Vous and then grew into an international hit. ABBA Hit Finds Remixed Life In Cher Cover’s Mashup With Madonna Twitter In the 2008 movie Mamma Mia!, Amanda Seyfried memorably performed “Gimme! Gimme! …” as a solo. Cher’s upcoming album is emerging from fans’ excitement surrounding this summer’s sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, in which Cher plays the supporting role of Ruby Sheridan. Kudos to Alex Simpson for having performed the delicate sonic surgery that has a growing audience of listeners convinced this was fate.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read morelast_img read more

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Chef IQ brings smart cooking guidance to Chefman appliances at CES 2019

first_imgChefman Chefman, maker of small kitchen appliances debuted its Chef IQ app at CES. The cooking app connects via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to Chefman’s line of smart appliances. Within the app you can view recipes, control appliances and monitor the cooking process. Select recipes also include step-by-step video guidance. In addition to recipes and cooking guides, Chef IQ has a calculator to provide you with the exact cooking values you need to achieve perfect results. Those values are calculated based on the appliance being used. The guided cooking feature directs users through a recipe by using detailed videos of each step, all while integrating a cooking timer and temperature monitor. Chef IQ is compatible with several Chefman kitchen appliances including the Smart Sous Vide, the Smart 6 Tray Dehydrator. It also works with two upcoming appliances that aren’t yet available — the Smart Pressure Cooker with Integrated Scale and Smart Toaster Oven Air Fryer. The Chef IQ app is currently in beta and will be available for iOS and Android devices summer 2019.  Here’s everything that works with Google Home and Home Mini 0 Tags CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show. CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. 58 Photos Post a comment CES Products Share your voice CES 2019 Smart Home Small Applianceslast_img read more

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Microsofts Xbox One S AllDigital Edition and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Everything

first_img Tags Originally published April 16, 12:32 p.m. PT.Updates, 3:08 p.m.: Adds details about announcements; May 9: Includes details from launch. Microsoft Sony Comment Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Share your voice It comes with three Microsoft gamesTo sweeten the deal, Microsoft is giving away three of its games along with the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition: the 2016 racing game Forza Horizon 3, the 2018 online multiplayer pirate game Sea of Thieves and the gaming phenomenon Minecraft.You can’t resell or share your ‘digital’ gamesOne reason people like game discs is that they can share them with friends or resell them. But you can’t do that as easily with “digital” games that are tied to your Xbox account.Incidentally, Microsoft originally planned a similar set of rules for disc games back when it first announced the Xbox One in 2013. But it eventually bowed to pressure from angry gamers, allowing them to trade and resell discs. That doesn’t change if you own a game disc, by the way. You just can’t trade or resell a game code.The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is basically the Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass mashed togetherThat means it’ll include features of Xbox Live Gold, like being able to play against friends, download free games given away by Microsoft and get occasional discounts. And it’ll include features of Xbox Game Pass, which gives access to more than 100 games, such as Minecraft and the epic action series Gears of War.This isn’t the big new XboxMicrosoft is still working on a brand new upgraded Xbox, which is said to be launching next year. We don’t know much about it, but we’re starting to hear about what the competing device from Sony will look like. In an interview with Wired published in April, Sony discussed the chips it plans to put in its new PlayStation, also expected sometime next year.Microsoft is also working on a streaming service, currently called Project xCloud, that’ll let you play games over the internet in a way that’s similar to how we stream movies on Netflix. That service is expected to launch within the next year or so.You can watch a replay of the livestream below: Now playing: Watch this:center_img Consoles Culture Video Games 1 Microsoft is expected to announce some changes to its Xbox lineup on Tuesday. CNET Microsoft is offering a cheaper Xbox and a new game service as it prepares to release an entirely new game console likely sometime next year.The tech and gaming giant on May 7 released a cheaper version of its Xbox video game console, called the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, for $249. That reduces the suggested retail price by $50, and the way the company did this was by removing the disc drive that’s been on every Xbox since the device first released in 2001.Order at WalmartThe company also plans to offer a new service called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which’ll combine its Xbox Live Gold social-networking service and Xbox Game Pass game download service for $14.99 per month when it’s released later this year.Here’s everything we know so far. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products or services featured on this page.The all-digital edition is an Xbox One S without a disc driveI know, duh. The rub is Microsoft said retailers will still sell games in their stores. Only now, if you want to buy a game for the all-digital edition, you’ll be buying a game download code instead.There are rumors Microsoft is planning to offer a trade-in service in which you’ll be able trade a game disc for a download code. But so far, the company hasn’t said anything publicly.Otherwise, the device is a standard Xbox One S with effectively the same design as its more expensive $299 cousin that works with the Xbox One S. 5:18 Livestream Xbox One S: All-Digital Edition drops discslast_img read more

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Oil Prices Pipeline Protests Top 2016 Energy Environment News

first_img Share Jerod FosterA digital sign outside the Chase Bank building in downtown Midland displays the latest per-barrel price of oil.Oil, water and weather dominated news about energy and the environment in 2016, a fitting mix for the Lone Star State. The continued slump in oil prices continued to send tremors through the state’s economy, but fracking — and its side effects — carried on albeit at a sluggish pace. Court rulings in two major legal cases pumped some money into state coffers, and Houstonians confronted the growing risk they face from storms and flooding. Here are the year’s highlights: 1. All eyes (still) on oil pricesAfter oil prices plunged in 2015, the outlook improved in the Texas oil patch throughout much of 2016, with West Texas Crude climbing from a rock-bottom $26-per-barrel range in mid-February to where it is today: hovering above $50. But even as rig counts climbed, particularly in parts of the Permian Basin, Texas felt plenty of oil patch pain, and prices remained far below the $60-$65 that many economists say is needed for a true recovery. The Tribune examined the reversal of fortunes in drilling towns that were booming not so long ago. (Producers are hopeful prices will rebound significantly in 2017 after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on voluntary production cuts last month.) Meanwhile, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar spent much of 2016 telling lawmakers that Texas was weathering low oil prices far better than other states — but warning that the conditions had stalled tax collections, setting up a 2017 legislative session that will be even more tightfisted than usual. And in June, lawmakers appeared to have dodged a budgetary bullet when the Texas Supreme Court sided with Hegar in a tax case that could have spurred $4.4 billion in state refunds to oil and gas drillers in 2017 alone.2. Texas gets big bucks in BP settlementSix years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 people and spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, a federal judge signed off on a $20.8 billion settlement between the energy giant and plaintiffs including the U.S. Department of Justice, Texas and four other Gulf Coast states and hundreds of local governments. Approved in May, the agreement was expected to send some $800 million to Texas for restoration projects — on top of $275 million that a series of agreements had already yielded. The settlement was considered the largest with a single entity in American history, and it included the biggest civil penalty in the history of environmental law.3. Texas stops helping poor families pay their electric billsLite-Up Texas, a program that offered discounts to hundreds of thousands of poor Texas families over the years, ran out of money at the end of August — ending a 17-year run. Consumer advocates expected that fate after lawmakers declined to extend the program’s funding source three years ago, but they were concerned that long-time beneficiaries would be blindsided when their assistance vanished. About 700,000 households relied on the program in 2015, with state subsidies reducing their electric bills by as much as 31 percent. Lawmakers created the program, funded by electric ratepayers across Texas, in 1999 to help poor Texans pay their utility bills in the state’s newly deregulated electricity market.4. Toxic aquifer injections not trackedIn August, a Tribune story revealed that the Texas Railroad Commission had permitted toxic injections into at least “a handful” of zones fitting the broad legal definition of drinking water sources. The agency did not know how many times that has happened over the past decades, even though it long ago agreed to track such injections. At issue were Class II injection wells, which plunge deep underground and hold often-hazardous industrial byproducts from oil and gas production. The commission acknowledged it has allowed injection into zones that could qualify for drinking water protections, but it had not tallied these instances. In 1982, state and federal regulators set up criteria for exempting certain aquifers from protections against injections. The Railroad Commission could not produce a map of which aquifers it exempted. Both the commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called the few injections they know of low risk, and said they have no evidence pointing to fouled water supplies, but environmental watchdogs said the revelations highlighted disorganization at the agency and raised questions about its ability to protect groundwater. The EPA has instructed the Railroad Commission to prioritize gathering the data.5. Texas vs. the Feds, continuedThe Obama administration unveiled a host of new environmental regulations in 2016 that Texas and other Republican-led states promptly sued to block. The most attention went to the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s most ambitious effort to fight climate change. (To the surprise of environmentalists, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the policy as legal challenges wind through the courts.) Texas’ first lawsuit of the year against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was over the agency’s rejection of parts of a seven-year-old state proposal to reduce haze in wilderness areas under the Regional Haze Rule. (Late last month, the EPA told the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals it was voluntarily withdrawing the rule for Texas, where it had targeted seven coal-fired power plants.) And then there was the hotly disputed Waters of the United States rule, which the EPA finalized in May. The stream of lawsuits the Texas Attorney General’s Office has filed against the federal government during Obama’s tenure — nearly 50 of them in all — is likely to dry up after President-Elect Donald Trump takes office. Trump, who has appointed a climate change skeptic to head the EPA, indicated on the campaign trail he would pull out of the Paris climate agreement.6. Texas is woefully underprepared for the next, big hurricane Texas was spared yet again during the 2016 hurricane season, marking eight consecutive years since a full-fledged tropical cyclone has made landfall in the state. Meanwhile, scientists are still fine-tuning plans to protect the coast — particularly the Houston area, with its massive, waterfront petrochemical complex — from a monster hurricane they say could kill hundreds, if not thousands, of people and cripple the economy and environment. The Texas Tribune and ProPublica explored those dramatic consequences in March in an interactive story, Hell and High Water. State lawmakers have asked scientists to settle on a plan to protect the coast, but they’re still in disagreement. 7. Houston hit with more floodingLess than a year after intense rainstorms led to widespread flooding in Houston and across the state, the Bayou City found itself underwater yet again. An unusual amount of rain fell on the city in April and again in May, inundating many areas outside any known floodplain. Residents are now suing the city of Houston and a local tax reinvestment zone over what they say are chronic and escalating flooding problems. Scientists agree that flooding in the Houston area is getting worse thanks to a combination of unchecked development and changing climate. But some key local officials disagree with those claims and say they have no plans to look into them. The Texas Tribune and ProPublica explored these trends in another interactive story that published this month, Boomtown, Flood Town.8. Pipelines approved, protestedIn May, a group of energy companies — including Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners — cleared its last regulatory hurdle before running a controversial pipeline beneath 143 miles of largely untouched West Texas land in the Big Bend area and into Mexico. Months later, Native American-led protests against another Energy Transfer Partners project, the 1,170-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, erupted in North Dakota. Since then, solidarity protests have been held in cities across the country, including in Austin, where hundreds of demonstrators last month rallied at the Capitol and stormed a Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting demanding Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren step down from his post. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed the prolific GOP political donor to the parks commission last year.9. Hunt loses Oncor bid, NextEra swoops inAfter months of wrangling at the Public Utility Commission, the Ray L. Hunt family’s $18 billion effort to purchase and reshape Oncor, the state’s largest electric transmission and distribution utility, died in May — setting the stage for Florida-based NextEra to swoop in. The Hunts led a consortium of investors that wanted to transform Oncor into a real estate investment trust, allowing investors to save millions of dollars each year in federal taxes. Consumer advocates, staff at the utility commission and a host of lawmakers ultimately pushed back, raising concerns about that and other aspects of the deal, suggesting that ratepayers should get a piece of the tax savings. The commission approved the transaction but added a litany of stipulations that caused the Hunt group to balk. Following that deal’s demise, NextEra bid on the coveted utility. In 2017, the utility commission appears more likely to approve that deal, which is more straightforward than the Hunt group’s was. Such a move would ultimately help Oncor’s parent — Energy Future Holdings — emerge from a mammoth bankruptcy.10. Texas’ highest civil court decides major water cases The Texas Supreme Court ruled on two water cases in 2016 with widespread implications for future water battles in fast-growing, drought-prone Texas. In February, it handed a victory to farmers, ranchers and other longstanding water rights holders by declining to take up a Brazos River case. Denying a state petition for review, the justices left in place a lower court’s ruling that said Texas cannot give special treatment to cities or power generators over more “senior” water rights holders on parched rivers — even if the state declares it necessary to protect the “public health, safety and welfare.” In June, the court sided with a South Plains ranch in a dispute with the city of Lubbock. While agriculture and landowner groups heralded the ruling as a major win for private property rights, some lawyers and conservationists painted the decision as more of a win for developers and water marketers.11. Volkswagen forks over millions to TexasFollowing in the footsteps of Harris County and the city of Dallas, the state last year sued Volkswagen in connection with the German automaker’s admitted use of software that allowed its vehicles to circumvent emissions limits. In 2016, VW agreed to pay the state $240 million — $150 million for environmental violations and another $50 million for breaking state consumer protection laws that ban deceptive advertising. A majority of the $50 million will go toward indigent legal services, according to the judgment. About 32,000 vehicles capable of emissions cheating were sold in the Lone Star State.This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2016/12/26/oil-prices-pipeline-protests-top-2016-energy-envir/.last_img read more

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The New Adjusters Coming To Your Home To Assess That Harvey Damage

first_img“There’s tens of thousands. I don’t know the exact number but the data-point continues to move on a daily basis.” Daga says. Share Jim Wucherpfennig, Vice President of property claim at Travelers Insurance thinks there are many benefits to the “eye in the sky.” Travelers say it has more than 600 adjusters currently working in Texas, 65 of which are trained to use drones when assessing damage. In an effort to quicken the recovery process following Hurricane Harvey, insurance companies are turning to technology. According to Allstate spokesman Justin Herndon there are many advantages to using drones, but perhaps the biggest is the ability to quickly move on to the next step in the recovery process. “After a natural disaster, contractors become pretty scarce because the demand is so high, so the sooner we can get that assessment done for our customers, the faster they get in line.” Herndon says. How many drone pilots are currently assisting in Texas? Eagle View Technologies of Seattle, WA works with 19 of the 20 largest property and casualty insurance companies nationally. They are supplying drone contractors to Allstate Insurance to inspect exterior damage from Harvey. Instead of waiting on an adjuster to come to your home to assess the damage, insurers are now using drones. With the insured’s permission and a high definition camera attached, a single drone can do the work of multiple adjusters.  “If you think of what we’ve built from a drone network standpoint, it’s like an Uber network. And when a catastrophe like Harvey or now Irma happens, we activate our drone pilots and right now there’s lots of pilots activated in both Florida and Houston.” Says Eagle View president Rashi Daga. “Drones enable the company to more rapidly handle claims. We think this enhances the customer experience. It definitely improves the safety for our personnel”,  Wucherpfennig says. Unfortunately, for those that suffered flood damage inside the home, which is covered by federal insurance, drones are not yet capable of expediting that claim process, yet.last_img read more

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