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School Chromebooks create a huge amount of e-waste



Back in early 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic forced classes to go online, school districts were faced with the need to bulk buy low-cost laptops that they could ship home with their students. Quite a few have turned to Chromebooks.

Three years later, the U.S. Public Interest Group Education Foundation concludes in a new report titled Chromebook churn that many of these parties are already starting to break down. This potentially costs counties money; The PIRG estimates that “Doubling the life of a Chromebook could result in $1.8 billion in savings for taxpayers.” It also creates quite a lot of e-waste.

One of the big problems is maintainability. Chromebooks are, on average, more difficult to upgrade and repair than Windows laptops. PIRG found that this is partly because replacement parts are much more difficult to find, especially for items such as screens, hinges and keyboards, which are particularly vulnerable to drops, bumps, jolts and spills from school use.

For example, the researchers found that nearly half of the replacement keyboards listed for the Acer Chromebook were out of stock online, and more than a third cost “$89.99 or more, nearly half the price of a regular $200 Chromebook.” Some IT departments, PIRG reports, are resorting to purchasing extra batches of Chromebooks just because of their components.

“These high costs could force schools to reconsider using Chromebooks as a savings strategy,” the report said.

“These high costs could force schools to reconsider using Chromebooks as a savings strategy.”

Chromebook churn also discusses the Chromebook auto-update expiration date — something that users complains for years.

While Google currently guarantees eight years of automatic updates for Chromebooks, that period officially begins when Google certifies the Chromebook, not when the school actually receives the Chromebook, which can take much longer. The report says that by the time a school has successfully purchased, received, configured, and deployed a fleet of student Chromebooks, the expiration date is typically “four to five years.”

“When the software expires after just a few years of using the device, schools are left with boxes of computers with working components that end up as e-waste, and the need to buy even more Chromebooks,” the newspaper warns.

These short expiration dates also make it harder for schools to resell their devices, meaning some have to pay even more to recycle them.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Photo by Amelia Holovaty Krales / The Verge

The PIRG estimates that “doubling the lifespan of the 31.8 million Chromebooks sold in 2020 could reduce emissions by 4.6 million tons of CO2e, the equivalent of taking 900,000 vehicles out of service in a year.” The group recommends that Google eliminate the automatic update expiration system so that its OEMs produce a “minimum 10% surplus” of replacement parts and that components are better standardized across all Chromebook models.

It also suggests that Google make it easier to unregister Chromebooks from remote control and install remote operating systems (namely Linux), which would make post-AUE resale more attractive. “The choice of operating system is not only a consumer choice, but also increases the resale and reuse value of a laptop for years to come,” the authors write.

Upon receiving the comment, Google spokesman Peter Du issued the following statement: edge:

“We’ve been hard at work with our hardware partners to increase the number of years of warranty support Chromebooks receive, and as of 2020 we’re now providing eight years of automatic updates, up from five years in 2016. We also always work with our device manufacturing partners. Increasingly, devices in various segments are being manufactured using recycled and certified materials that are easier to repair and, over time, manufacturing processes that reduce emissions.

Regular Chromebook software updates add new features and improve device security every four weeks, allowing us to continually improve the software experience while keeping older devices safe and reliable until their hardware limitations make it extremely difficult to roll out updates. ”

The PIRG report is in line with what I’ve been pounding on “green” laptop reviews for years: the greenest gadgets are by far the ones that last the longest.

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Rare killer whale calf spotted off California coast | whales



A rare white killer whale calf has been sighted off the coast of southern California.

In a video filmed Monday by whale watching travel company Newport Coastal Adventures, a white calf was seen swimming with six other killer whales near Newport Harbor.

The 3-year-old was initially spotted by a whale watching company in Long Beach, who then reported the sighting to Newport Coastal Adventures, Fox 5. reported.

“In just a few hours, we loaded three boats for a special trip and drove 50 miles before we finally found the CA216 capsule,” Newport Coastal Adventures wrote in the caption alongside. footage calf.

The hatchling is completely white, except for a greyish dorsal fin and head. The tour group named him “Frosty” because of his “unusually fair skin…[the] the result of a rare genetic disease.”

Passengers on the whale-watching tour could watch the killer whales for more than two hours as they paddled along the coastline until sunset, boat captain Delaney Trowbridge told Fox 5. According to him, the flock approached the boat several times.

V statements Newsweek, whale and dolphin conservation spokesman Danny Groves explained that white killer whales are not driven out of their herds, as some people might think.

“They are completely accepted,” he said.

Mark Girardot, also of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, told the publication that this particular flock has been sighted as far south as Mexico and as far north as Canada.

According to experts, several well-known conditions make some animals, including killer whales, look white. One condition is leucism, in which skin pigmentation becomes paler. The other is Chediak-Higashi syndrome, an inherited immune deficiency that can cause partial albinism.

In the case of the California killer whale, the disease is leucism, which is rare in killer whales.

“There are many reasons why these patterns emerge, but genetics is an important factor,” Luke Rendell, professor of biology at the University of St. Andrews’ Department of Marine Mammal Research, told Newsweek.

“Albinism is the almost complete absence of pigment… There is also leucism, which Frosty suffers from, a partial loss of pigment due to a failure in the development of skin cells. Thus, leucism may have both genetic and developmental causes.”

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Solar eclipse stuns viewers in Australia and Indonesia



JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Under clear skies, 20,000 eclipse hunters gathered at a tiny outpost to watch a rare solar eclipse plunge part of Australia’s northwest coast into brief midday darkness on Thursday, temporarily cooling the tropical heat.

The remote tourist town of Exmouth, with a population of less than 3,000, has been touted as one of the best vantage points in Australia to see the eclipse, which has also crossed remote areas of Indonesia and East Timor.

The international crowd has been gathering for days, pitching tents and trailers on a red dusty plain on the outskirts of the city with cameras and other viewing equipment pointed skyward.

NASA astronomer Henry Throop was among those in Exmouth who cheered loudly in the dark. “Isn’t it incredible? It is fantastic. It was stunning. It was so sharp and so bright. You could see the corona around the sun there,” said the visibly agitated Washington resident.

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“It’s only a minute, but it really felt like a long time. You can’t see anything like it. It was amazing. Entertaining. And then you could see Jupiter and Mercury and be able to see them at the same time during the day – even seeing Mercury is quite rare at all. So it was just amazing,” Troup added.

Julie Copson, a first-time eclipse observer who traveled more than 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) north of the Australian west coast port city of Fremantle to Exmouth, said the phenomenon made her skin tingle.

“I feel so emotional, like I could cry. The color changed, and we saw the crown and sun glare…”, said Kopson.

“It was very strong and the temperature dropped so much,” she added, referring to the sudden drop in temperature of 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) from 29 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit) as the moon shadow shrouded the region . .

A woman wearing solar eclipse glasses watches a hybrid solar eclipse at the Jakarta Planetarium.

NurPhoto via Getty Images

It was the fifth eclipse for Detroit resident Shane Varrty, who began planning a trip to Exmouth a year ago.

“It’s very exciting. All these efforts have paid off,” Varrty said.

In the Indonesian capital, hundreds of people came to the Jakarta Planetarium to see a partial eclipse hidden by clouds.

Azka Azzara, 21, came with her sister and friends to get up close and personal with the telescopes along with hundreds of other visitors.

“I’m still happy to come even though it’s cloudy. It’s nice to see how enthusiastic people come here to see the eclipse because it’s rare,” Azzara said.

The call to prayer came from the city’s mosques as the eclipse phase began, with Muslims in the country with the world’s largest Muslim population saying eclipse prayers as a reminder of the greatness of God.

In East Timor, people gathered around a beach in the municipality of Lautem, waiting to see a rare solar eclipse through their eclipse glasses. Some of them came from other countries and gathered together with the locals to see the eclipse.

“East Timor is one of the unique countries where it is less humid and less cloudy, so we expect clear skies, which is why many international astronomers want to gather here. We hope the skies are clear,” said Zahri bin Ahmad, an astrophilist with the Southeast Asia Astronomy Network in Brunei, as they waited for Thursday.

People rejoiced when the sun and moon reached their maximum eclipse.

“This is a very new natural phenomenon for Timor-Leste. It is very important for us to be able to see and experience it with our own eyes,” said Martino Fatima, civil protection officer.

V hybrid solar eclipse traced from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and mostly passed over water. A few lucky ones along the way saw either the darkness of a total eclipse or a “ring of fire” as the sun peeked out from behind the young moon.

Such celestial events occur about once a decade: the last was in 2013, and the next not until 2031. They happen when the Earth is in the “golden zone,” so the Moon and Sun are nearly the same size in the sky, said NASA solar energy expert Michael Kirk.

At some points, the Moon is a little closer and covers the sun during a total eclipse. But when the Moon is a little further away, some of the sunlight peeks out during an annular eclipse.

“It’s a crazy thing,” Kirk said. “You actually watch the moon get bigger in the sky.”

Several other upcoming solar eclipses will be easier to catch. IN annular eclipse in mid-October and a total eclipse in April 2024 both will be crossed by millions of people in America.

This was reported by Burakov from New York. Associated Press journalist Rod McGuirk of Canberra, Australia contributed to this report.

The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science and Education Media Group. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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New sub-variant of COVID Arcturus coronavirus now in Los Angeles



Los Angeles County has identified its first cases of a new sub-variant of the Omicron coronavirus dubbed Arcturus, a strain closely monitored by global health authorities, as it has been linked to rising cases in India.

The sub-variant, officially designated XBB.1.16, has also gained attention following anecdotal reports linking it to what was a rare symptom of COVID-19: pink eye.

However, it remains unclear whether this symptom is more pronounced in Arcturus than in earlier strains of Omicron. The latter subvariant has not been shown to cause more severe disease.

However, it is possible that Arcturus is even more contagious than dominant strain of coronavirus in the US XBB.1.5. While this is likely not enough to cause a new spike in cases, any spike in transmission increases the risk to vulnerable individuals – and raises the value of protective measures, health officials say.

“When we hear reports that ‘the pandemic is over’ or that ‘COVID-19 has become endemic’, it seems that people no longer need to be aware of its impact or take any steps to protect themselves and others,” Los -Angeles. Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for the county, said at a briefing on Thursday. “The very fact that we are seeing new strains with possible other symptoms should remind us that COVID continues to evolve.”

It is unclear how many cases of Arcturus have appeared in California. At least three have been identified in Los Angeles County, Ferrer said.

Since Arcturus is a sub-variant of Omicron, Ferrer said it is likely that current vaccines and therapeutics will be effective against this strain.

However, she said in an interview: “With any new mutation that crowds out what is already there…they will probably be able to transmit the infection more easily. So you could see the bump.”

Unofficial nickname Arcturus is Latin and comes from the Greek word arcturos, what does a bear watcher or watcher mean. This is also the name fourth brightest star in the night sky.

It is now believed to be the second most common strain of coronavirus circulating in the country, accounting for approximately 7.2% of cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is well above its estimated share of 2.1% for the week ended April 1.

Meanwhile, XBB.1.5 accounted for roughly 78% of new cases nationwide in the week ending Saturday.

In the US Southwest, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Territories, Arcturus accounted for approximately 9.8% of cases, up from approximately 2.6% in the week ended April 1.

“This is worth looking at. It has been in circulation for several months now.” Maria van Kerkhovethe World Health Organization’s technical lead on COVID-19 said recently.

Indian authorities say Arcturus has begun replacing older versions of the coronavirus.

“Based on early reports in India and over 20 countries, it doesn’t look like more people are being proportionally sent to the hospital. But it causes an increase in cases,” the doctor said. Peter Chin-Hong, infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco. Since US incidence rates are at a relatively low level, “if you give a little more benefit to a particular sub-option, it will increase the number of cases.”

There are also unconfirmed reports of pink eyeor conjunctivitis in people infected with coronavirus in India, especially children.

Prior to Arcturus, pink eye was a symptom of 1% to 3% of coronavirus cases, according to Chin-Hong and Ferrer.

If left untreated, conjunctivitis can go beyond just pain and itching and damage the cornea, Ferrer says.

“It’s always been a side effect [of COVID-19]albeit very rarely,” she said. “If left untreated, it can lead to even more damage to people’s eyes. If you have conjunctivitis – for whatever reason – it needs to be treated.”

Pink eye can be caused by other viruses and bacteria. According to the National Eye Institute, “this is one of most common eye problems for both children and adults.”

“Just because you have conjunctivitis doesn’t necessarily mean you have COVID. You should go and get tested, especially if you have any other symptoms,” Ferrer said.

According to National Eye Institutepeople who are around a person with conjunctivitis should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Always wash your hands before touching your eyes and after touching a person with conjunctivitis or anything they have used.

“Do not share personal items that have been used by a person with conjunctivitis, including pillows, towels, cosmetics or glasses,” the institute said in a statement.

People with conjunctivitis who wear contact lenses should check with their eye doctor about how to clean, store, and change lenses. They should also throw away any lenses, solutions, and cases they used when they had conjunctivitis. The same goes for face or eye makeup, as well as makeup brushes or sponges.

Coronavirus cases are relatively stable at lower levels in California. As of Thursday, there were no signs of rising levels of coronavirus in Los Angeles County sewage or officially reported cases of coronavirus.

“But it’s always possible: I expect that if we do see an increase, I hope it will be relatively small,” Ferrer said.

Over the past week, Los Angeles County has reported 44 deaths from COVID-19.

“Compared to other periods of the pandemic, we are seeing a much lower number of deaths,” Ferrer said on Thursday. “However, these deaths are not insignificant. And COVID continues to be one of the leading causes of death in Los Angeles County and across the country.”

In general, people at higher risk of dying are older and not up to date on their COVID-19 immunizations and revaccinations or have not been treated with COVID drugs, experts say.

Only 42% of Los Angeles County seniors have received the updated vaccine since it became available in September.

While many believe that the time when hospitals were overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients is over, any spike in cases could still lead to more hospitalizations, highlighting the importance of keeping vaccines up to date (especially for the elderly) and seeking therapeutic services. COVID medicines, such as paxlovid and molnupiravir, which are provided free of charge if you become infected.

Evidence that the updated COVID-19 vaccine saves lives and reduces the risk of hospitalization continues to accumulate. According to data for the 90-day period ending March 27, Los Angeles County residents who received a refresher booster were half as likely to die compared to people who were vaccinated but did not receive a refresher booster.

The chance of death in people who received updated boosters was about one-tenth less than that of unvaccinated residents of Los Angeles County. Immunity from a past infection does not, by itself, provide as much protection as vaccines.

“This data illustrates the very real protection offered by a bivalent amplifier, even against the newer options that are circulating now,” Ferrer said.

She also urged infected residents to take anti-COVID medications such as Paxlovid when prescribed, even if they do not feel seriously ill.

“Paxlovid has a really good track record in reducing severe disease. And the only thing you don’t want to do is wait until you develop a severe illness before taking it if you’re in the high-risk category,” Ferrer said.

Research shows that vaccination another Paxlovid also reduce the risk of prolonged COVID.

Chin-Hong said he suspects the rise in cases of the latter sub-option was a factor in prompting federal officials this week to give another booster dose for the elderly and immunocompromised.

“I don’t think we’ll ever see something like ‘regular spike’ in quotes again. But we will see these little bumps. And I feel that XBB.1.16 can cause a small jump in our cases, a small jump in hospitalizations, ”he said. “But right now we’re so low that when you’re this low, you can only go one way, up.”

Los Angeles County COVID-19 vaccination clinics began offering additional updated doses on Thursday.

Americans who need help accessing an updated vaccine, COVID therapeutics, or other COVID-19 related resources can call (833) 540-0473 seven days a week from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm.

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