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Cybersecurity: The Age of the Megabreach

We haven’t stopped huge breaches. The focus now is on resilience, with smarter ways to detect attacks and faster ways to respond to them.

Technologyreview – In November 2014, an especially chilling cyberattack shook the corporate world—something that went far beyond garden-variety theft of credit card numbers from a big-box store. Hackers, having explored the internal servers of Sony Pictures Entertainment, captured internal financial reports, top executives’ embarrassing e-mails, private employee health data, and even unreleased movies and scripts and dumped them on the open Web. The offenders were said by U.S. law enforcement to be working at the behest of the North Korean regime, offended by a farcical movie the company had made in which a TV producer is caught up in a scheme to kill the country’s dictator.

Cyber Survival
With cyberattacks getting worse, the urgent need today is for faster responses, smarter technologies, and wider encryption.

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Who’s afraid of cheap oil?

Low energy prices ought to be a shot in the arm for the economy. Think again Jan 23rd 2016 | From the print edition Timekeeper

economist – ALONG with bank runs and market crashes, oil shocks have rare power to set monsters loose. Starting with the Arab oil embargo of 1973, people have learnt that sudden surges in the price of oil cause economic havoc. Conversely, when the price slumps because of a glut, as in 1986, it has done the world a power of good. The rule of thumb is that a 10% fall in oil prices boosts growth by 0.1-0.5 percentage points.

In the past 18 months the price has fallen by 75%, from $110 a barrel to below $27. Yet this time the benefits are less certain. Although consumers have gained, producers are suffering grievously. The effects are spilling into financial markets, and could yet depress consumer confidence. Perhaps the benefits of such ultra-cheap oil still outweigh the costs, but markets have fallen so far so fast that even this is no longer clear.

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IFC finances Canadian Solar Vietnam, Brazil fab projects to tune of $70m

Canadian Solar CEO Shawn Qu welcomed the partnership with the IFC: "With IFC's commitment, we are able to expand our production capacity to meet the increasing demand for solar energy worldwide."

Canadian Solar CEO Shawn Qu welcomed the partnership with the IFC: “With IFC’s commitment, we are able to expand our production capacity to meet the increasing demand for solar energy worldwide.”

pv-magazine: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has entered into an agreement with Chinese Tier-1 solar power company Canadian Solar to deliver a finance package worth $70 million to aid the company’s overseas expansion plans.

The terms of the deal include a $60 million loan and a $10 million subscription in Canadian Solar common shares.

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How Can We Create a World Where Plastic Never Becomes Waste?

01/23/2016 09:00 am ET | Updated 4 days ago

Christophe Launay via Getty Images

Today nearly everyone, everywhere, every day, comes into contact with plastics. Plastics have become the ubiquitous workhorse material of the modern economy — combining unrivalled functional properties with low cost. And yet, while delivering many benefits, the current plastics economy has drawbacks that are becoming more apparent by the day.

Significant economic value is lost after each use, along with wide-ranging negative impacts to natural systems. How can we turn the challenges of our current plastics economy into a global opportunity for innovation and value capture, resulting in stronger economies and better environmental outcomes?

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Vietnam Plans Move Away From Coal

January 28th, 2016 by

cleantecnica – Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has announced his government’s intention to “review development plans of all new coal plants and halt any new coal power development.”

Vietnam prime minister

According to Solarplaza, the Premier stated that Vietnam needs to “responsibly implement all international commitments in cutting down greenhouse gas emissions; and to accelerate investment in renewable energy.”

The announcement comes in advance of the Solar PV Trade Mission, scheduled April 18 – 22 in Hanoi and Bangkok. It is hoped the trade missions will assemble diverse high-level delegations of stakeholders from around the world into emerging markets to jointly explore and create business development opportunities.

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The Great Civil Society Choke-out

Around the world, governments are doing their best to strangle funding for the civilian groups that dare to challenge their power and hold them to account.

The Great Civil Society Choke-out

Civil society is under more aggressive attack than at any time in recent memory. Facing independent civic groups that have further reach, and more outlets to publish their findings and make their case, governments around the world have begun working to silence them by depriving them of their right to seek funding abroad, even when domestic funds are unavailable. From Africa to Eastern Europe to Asia, autocrats have claimed that they are fighting foreign interference to brush aside domestic and international protest over these restrictions.

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Kids expecting aggression from others become aggressive themselves

Children taught to be vigilant for hostility from others are prone to aggressive behavior

Date: July 14, 2015
Source: Duke University
Hypervigilance to hostility in others triggers aggressive behavior in children, says a new study. The four-year longitudinal study, the largest of its kind involving 1,299 children and their parents, finds the pattern holds true in 12 different cultural groups from nine different counties across the globe.
Young people fighting.
Credit: © Monkey Business / Fotolia
Sciencedaily – Hypervigilance to hostility in others triggers aggressive behavior in children, says a new Duke University-led study.

Jan. 28, 2016

Jan. 28, 2016

My guardian angel has another year
Happiness to your wonderful age
Long ago God sent you to my stage
You’ve done well your job with sweat and tears

Thank you God for giving her to me
I pray that you will hold her high up
And let her drink from your sacred cup
The girl I love till eternity

For my wife Tran Le Tuy-Phuong’s Birthday
January 28, 2016
Stafford, VA, USA

P birthday 2016

Ministry to issue incinerator criteria

Updated  September, 07 2015 08:52:00
A small-scale incinerator in Central Ha Tinh Province. he Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will issue a set of criteria for small-scale incinerators burning daily household waste in October. — Photo tinmoitruong.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will issue a set of criteria for small-scale incinerators burning daily household waste in October, an official said.

Hoang Duong Tung, deputy head of the ministry’s Viet Nam Environment Administration, made the announcement at the ministry’s monthly press conference. Under the criteria, an incinerator could be run if the fumes it discharged were treated and safe for the environment.

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In Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, farmers fertilize rice with cement


UPDATED : 01/15/2016 10:30 GMT + 7

Farmers in the southern province of Dong Thap in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta are nurturing their paddy fields with an unusual kind of fertilizer: cement. They do seem to work amid expert warnings.

The other day Le Van Nuoi, a farmer in Long Hau Commune, Lai Vung District, realized that the vegetable crops around his house grew healthier than usual, after they had been accidentally sprinkled with wastewater mixed with cement.

Nuoi had had his house repaired and the water used to mix cement was dumped to the small canals where the vegetables were grown, he explained.

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This Buddhist Monk Is An Unsung Hero In The World’s Climate Fight

 01/22/2016 04:04 pm ET
  • Jo Confino – Executive Editor, Impact & Innovation, The Huffington Post

The architect of the historic Paris climate negotiations credits the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh with helping broker the deal.


Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.

huffingtonpost – DAVOS, SWITZERLAND — One of the guiding forces behind the scenes of theParis climate agreement is an 89-year-old Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk.

Christiana Figueres, who led the climate talks, has credited Thich Nhat Hanh with having played a pivotal role in helping her to develop the strength, wisdom and compassion needed to forge the unprecedented deal backed by 196 countries.

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Can education beat inequality?

weforum – This year’s World Economic Forum challenges participants to consider and assess the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” an era of sweeping and rapid technological advances that will disrupt industries and change the future in ways that none of us can predict. What is predictable, however, is that inequality will continue to cast a long shadow on humanity’s progress unless we choose to act.

What role does higher education have to play in ensuring that more individuals are prepared to reap the benefits of the coming age? Knowledge is — and will remain — the most powerful currency, and economic mobility continues to be contingent, in large part, on access to quality education.

In Asia, supporting women farmers crucial to fighting poverty, hunger and climate change

Oxfam International – Tue, 12 Jan 2016 11:35 GMT

Thomsonreutersfoundation – At the first Asia Women Farmer Forum, women farmers from 14 developing countries came together to exchange experiences on securing their right to land and enhancing their resilience in the face of climate change. Diah Dwiandani/Oxfam

On that same evening, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, women farmers from 14 developing countries – leaders and climate experts in their own right – were getting ready to head back home. They had just attended the first Asia Women Farmer Forum organized by Oxfam as part of its Asia GROW Campaign to bring women together to discuss the challenges they have faced in securing their rights and enhancing their resilience in a changing climate.

“A woman farmer who goes to bed hungry is just wrong,” said Janice Ian Manlutac, Resilience lead for Oxfam in Asia, “But this is a daily reality in many Asian countries, where women make up 50 per cent of the total agricultural workforce.”

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Let China win. It’s good for America.

January 15

Joshua Kurlantzick is a senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations.

When Chinese officials announced in 2013 that they would open an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to primarily fund big construction projects across the Pacific, they launched a slow-motion freak-out in Washington. As they went around the world inviting governments to join, Obama administration officials pressured their allies in Asia, Europe and elsewherenot to. The AIIB, headquartered in Beijing, would allow China to expand its influence throughout Asia, the White House fretted. “We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China,” one Obama aidecomplained to the Financial Times after Britain joined 56 other nations in signing up to fund power plants, roads, telecommunications infrastructure and other ventures. It was a rare public critique of a U.S. ally.

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Vietnam’s ‘Putin’ Steers Country Away From China, Toward U.S.

nbcnews.com – 

BEIJING — Vietnam’s prime minister, a former child messenger for the Viet Cong, has spent his 10 years in power standing up to the Chinese and steering his country closer to the U.S.

Tipped as a strong candidate to become the head of Vietnam’s Communist Party at next week’s National Congress, Nguyen Tan Dung has already been dubbed his country’s “Putin.”

Image: Folks singers and dancers perform

Folks singers and dancers perform at a reception commemorating 60 years diplomatic relations between China and Vietnam in a hotel in Beijing on Tuesday. Eric Baculinao / NBC News

“No one in Vietnam has done a Vladimir Putin, who has served as prime minister and then president,” said Professor Carl Thayer, an expert on Vietnam affairs at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defense Force Academy.

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