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Savers in Germany charged for Saving

Should we be worried?

A German co-operative Bank is charging retail customers interest on there savings reported The Financial Times on 19th November 2019

Reuters reported on 19th September 2019- German watchdog opposes ban on bank charges for customer deposits

European Central Bank has charged banks to store their cash since 2014, with the deposit rate currently at minus 0.4%.

Banks in Germany paid 2.4 billion euros to the central bank to hold cash in 2018, the German government said in response to a parliamentary enquiry on negative interest rates.

Some banks have passed on that cost to their corporate and wealthy clients, but banks had shied away from charging regular savers until now, Savers with as little as 1 Euro will be charged.

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Negative rates in Europe, Paypal censorship, Zimbabwean capital controls and Australian Bank defrauding customers, The Crypto Lark explains more:

by Tinda Anand. Openied

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Solar breakthough by startup backed by Bill Gates

Heliogen site California

A startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough aimed at saving the planet.

Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius.

Heliogen created a solar oven — one capable of reaching temperatures that are roughly a quarter of what you’d find on the surface of the sun.

The breakthrough means that concentrated solar energy can be used to create the extreme heat required to make cement, steel, glass and other industrial processes. In other words, carbon-free sunlight can replace fossil fuels in a heavy carbon emitting industry.

“We are rolling out technology that can beat the price of fossil fuels and also not make the CO2 emissions,” Bill Gross, Heliogen’s founder and CEO, told CNN Business. “And that’s really the holy grail.”

Heliogen, which is also backed by billionaire Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, believes the patented technology will be able to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry. Cement, for example, accounts for 7% of global CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.

“Bill and the team have truly now harnessed the sun,” Soon-Shiong, who also sits on the Heliogen board, told CNN Business. “The potential to humankind is enormous. … The potential to business is unfathomable.”

Heliogen, backed by Bill Gates, has achieved a breakthrough that could allow cement makers to transition away from fossil fuels. The company uses artifical intelligence and an array of mirrors to create vast amounts of heat, essentially harnessing the power of the sun.

Unlike traditional solar power, which uses rooftop panels to capture the energy from the sun, Heliogen is improving on what’s known as concentrated solar power. This technology, which uses mirrors to reflect the sun to a single point, is not new.

Concentrated solar has been used in the past to produce electricity and, in some limited fashion, to create heat for industry. It’s even used in Oman to provide the power needed to drill for oil.

The problem is that in the past concentrated solar couldn’t get temperatures hot enough to make cement and steel.

“You’ve ended up with technologies that can’t really deliver super-heated systems,” said Olav Junttila, a partner at Greentech Capital Advisors, a clean energy investment bank that has advised concentrated solar companies in the past.

Using artificial intelligence to solve the climate crisis

That means renewable energy has not yet disrupted industrial processes such as cement and steelmaking. And that’s a problem because the world has an insatiable appetite for those materials. Cement, for instance, is used to make the concrete required to build homes, hospitals and schools. These industries are responsible for more than a fifth of global emissions, according to the EPA.

That’s why the potential of Los Angeles-based Heliogen attracted investment from Gates, the Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder who recently surpassed Amazon(AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person. 

“I’m pleased to have been an early backer of Bill Gross’s novel solar concentration technology,” Gates said in a statement. “Its capacity to achieve the high temperatures required for these processes is a promising development in the quest to one day replace fossil fuel.”

Heliogen, founded by Bill Gross, must convince industrial companies it’s worth the investment to switch over to its solar technology.

While other concentrated solar companies attacked this temperature problem by adding steel to make the technology stiffer and sturdier, Heliogen and its team of scientists and engineers turned to artificial intelligence.

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Heliogen uses computer vision software, automatic edge detection and other sophisticated technology to train a field of mirrors to reflect solar beams to one single spot.

“If you take a thousand mirrors and have them align exactly to a single point, you can achieve extremely, extremely high temperatures,” Gross said, who added that Heliogen made its breakthrough on the first day it turned its plant on.

Heliogen said it is generating so much heat that its technology could eventually be used to create clean hydrogen at scale. That carbon-free hydrogen could then be turned into a fuel for trucks and airplanes.

“If you can make hydrogen that’s green, that’s a gamechanger,” said Gross. “Long term, we want to be the green hydrogen company.”

‘No-brainer’

For now, Heliogen is squarely focused on solar. One problem with solar is that the sun doesn’t always shine, yet industrial companies like cement makers have a constant need for heat. Heliogen said it would solve that issue by relying on storage systems that can hold the solar energy for rainy days.

Now that it has made this breakthrough, Heliogen will focus on demonstrating how the technology can be used in a large-scale application, such as making cement.

“We’re in a race. We just want to scale as fast as possible,” said Gross. 

After the large-scale application, Soon-Shiong said Heliogen would likely be ready to go public.‘Nervous and scared.’ Coal workers fear for pensions after Murray Energy bankruptcy

In the meantime, Heliogen will require a healthy dose of capital to scale and it’s working with investors on a private round of funding. Soon-Shiong signaled he plans to invest more in Heliogen. Heliogen declined to provide information on how much money it has raised so far.

“This is an existential issue for your children, for my children and our grandchildren,” Soon-Shiong said.

Heliogen’s biggest challenge will be convincing industrial companies using fossil fuels to make the investment required to switch over. Gross said the company has been talking to potential customers privately and plans to soon announce its first customers.

“If we go to a cement company and say we’ll give you green heat, no CO2, but we’ll also save you money, then it becomes a no-brainer,” said Gross.

Its biggest selling point is the fact that, unlike fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, sunlight is free. And Heliogen argues its technology is already economical against fossil fuels because of its reliance on AI.

“The only way to compete is to be extremely clever in how you use your materials. And by using software, we’re able to do that,” Gross said.

As reported by

Matt Egan, CNN Business
and Updated 11:04 AM EST, Tue November 19, 2019

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Climate change: ‘Clear and unequivocal’ emergency, say scientists

A global group of around 11,000 scientists have endorsed research that says the world is facing a climate emergency.

The study, based on 40 years of data on a range of measures, says governments are failing to address the crisis.

Without deep and lasting changes, the world is facing “untold human suffering” the study says.

The researchers say they have a moral obligation to warn of the scale of the threat.

Released on the day that satellite data shows that last month was the warmest October on record, the new study says that simply measuring global surface temperatures is an inadequate way of capturing the real dangers of an overheating world.

So the authors include a range of data which they believe represents a “suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the past 40 years”.

These indicators include the growth of human and animal populations, per capita meat production, global tree cover loss, as well as fossil fuel consumption.

Some progress has been seen in some areas. For example, renewable energy has grown significantly, with consumption of wind and solar increasing 373% per decade – but it was still 28 times smaller than fossil fuel use in 2018.

Taken together, the researchers say most of their vital signs indicators are going in the wrong direction and add up to a climate emergency.

“An emergency means that if we do not act or respond to the impacts of climate change by reducing our carbon emissions, reducing our livestock production, reducing our land clearing and fossil fuel consumption, the impacts will likely be more severe than we’ve experienced to date,” said lead author Dr Thomas Newsome, from the University of Sydney.

By Matt McGrath for BBC New

Read Full Article

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Landmark Environment Bill moves forwards

See the light…

Environmental principles will be enshrined in law and measures will be introduced to improve air and water quality, tackle plastic pollution and restore habitats so plants and wildlife can thrive.

Environment Bill passes second reading by MPs unopposed and will now progress to Committee stage.

The Government’s landmark Environment Bill to tackle the biggest environmental priorities of our time has moved a step closer to becoming law following its second reading by MPs (Monday 28 October).

After the debate, the Bill now progress to the Committee stage for further scrutiny and onto the next stages of the Parliamentary process for becoming law.

The transformative Environment Bill, introduced to Parliament two weeks ago, will help ensure that we maintain and improve our environmental protections as we leave the EU.

The Bill will build on the UK’s strong track record and sets out a comprehensive and world-leading vision to allow future generations to prosper. Environmental principles will be enshrined in law and measures will be introduced to improve air and water quality, tackle plastic pollution and restore habitats so plants and wildlife can thrive.

Legislation will also create legally-binding environmental improvement targets. A new independent Office for Environmental Protection will be established to scrutinise environmental policy and law, investigate complaints and take enforcement action against public authorities, if necessary, to uphold our environmental standards.

The office’s remit will include all climate change legislation, enabling the office to hold the government to account on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. By also championing nature-based solutions, the Bill demonstrates our commitment to tackle climate change.

The Bill also places the bold ambition of our flagship 25 Year Environment Plan on a statutory footing and grants powers to enhance nature and habitats and combat the devastating effects of plastics on our natural environment. Introducing charges for a number of single use plastic items will build on the success of the government’s 5p plastic bag charge, which has cut sales from the biggest supermarkets by 90% since 2015.

Opening the second reading, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said:

This Government recognises the profound importance of the great environmental challenges of our time.

We are the first government to set the goal that this generation should leave the natural environment in a better state than it was bequeathed to us. And this is the first government to make a legally binding commitment to become a net zero carbon economy.

This is a truly landmark piece of legislation, enshrining environmental principles in law, requiring this government and its successors to demanding and legally binding targets and creating a world-leading environmental watchdog to hold them to account.

During the debate, many MPs expressed support for the Bill but raised points about the Office for Environmental Protection’s independence and funding, as well as how the targets system will work. Air quality, water and plastics were also discussed.

Closing the debate, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:

The substance of this debate is the greatest issue of our time. The Environment Bill will make a much needed step change to protect and enhance our environment.

There are big ambitions in the Bill, and rightly so. We must talk about all the issues in Committee, and I hope that everyone will join in. This is a transformative Bill that will give a whole new approach to environmental protection and enhancement.

Extensive and continued collaboration with the Scottish and Welsh Governments and the Northern Ireland Civil Service has also enabled us to bring forward measures that we expect to see adopted outside of England, for example measures which aim to increase recycling rates. We will continue to work with them as the Bill progresses through Parliament.

Published 29 October 2019From:Department for Environment, Food & Rural AffairsRebecca Pow MP, and The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers

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Coinbase Earn and Learn

By Invitation Only

Coinbase Earn and Learn

Coinbase’s mission is to create an open financial system, where anyone in the world can participate on from their computer or smartphone. To bring this vision about, blockchain technology will need to be more accessible, both in the sense of making cryptocurrencies easier to obtain and easier to understand.

Coinbase Earn allows users to earn cryptocurrencies, while learning about them in a simple and engaging way. The idea is for users to understand more about an asset’s utility and its underlying technology, while getting a bit of the asset to try out. To manage demand, we’re launching Coinbase Earn today in invite-only mode with a single asset: ZRX. Over time, we plan to add more educational content as well as the ability to earn other cryptocurrencies.

If you’ve received an invite to Coinbase Earn by email, you can go to the Coinbase Earn ZRX page to earn small amounts of cryptocurrency by completing educational tasks like short video lessons and quizzes. But if you haven’t received an invite yet, don’t worry — you can still view all educational content on the Coinbase Earn page for free, and can sign up on the to be notified as more educational tasks are available.

Learn: simple and engaging cryptocurrency education

In a survey of Coinbase customers and non-customers alike, we found that one of the biggest barriers preventing people from exploring a new digital asset was a lack of knowledge about that asset. Many of the people we surveyed expressed a strong desire to begin learning about new and different crypto assets beyond Bitcoin, but didn’t know where to begin.

That’s why we’re launching Coinbase Earn with tasks related to asset education. The educational content will be publicly available for any curious party to learn more about an asset, even if they haven’t yet received an invite to begin earning.

Earn: a new way to access cryptocurrency

Traditionally, the two ways people have obtained cryptocurrency are through mining or buying. Mining cryptocurrency typically requires technical knowledge and high upfront costs, while buying cryptocurrency can require disposable income to exchange for cryptocurrencies.

Earning cryptocurrency is a third option. It has the potential to expand the blockchain user base from the tens of millions of people with the resources to mine or buy crypto to the billions of people who now have smartphones. This is because one can — in theory — earn crypto simply by clicking buttons on a phone or laptop.

If you dont’ already have an account, its free to sign up to look around here

Courtesy of coinbase blog

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Battery inventor Trevor Jackson signs a deal with Austin Motor Company

Battery inventor Trevor Jackson, has just signed a deal with Austin Motor Company to scale up production of his creation (Picture: John McLellan)

Ex-Navy engineer built a car battery with a 1,500 mile range, made from recyclable Aluminium cans.

British engineer Trevor Jackson has now signed a multi-million pound deal with Austin Electric, an engineering firm based in Essex, to start mass producing the battery.

According to Austin’s chief executive, Danny Corcoran, the new technology is a ‘game-changer’.

Métalectrique is a new way of powering transport and remote places. Metaltriques’ 21st century technology gives more mobility, costs less and is in harmony with the environment.

Metaltrique Fuel Cell

Métalectrique’s Aluminium-Air Technology

How it works

Aluminium-Air technology has long attracted attention due to its cheap, lightweight and high-energy nature. Aluminium is the most abundant metal on Earth and is easy to handle, store and is safe as a way of storing electrical energy.

A Métalectrique power cell is actually quite simple. A piece of Aluminium is in contact with a special electrolyte. This electrolyte reacts with the metal on the negative end and on the positive end, air reacts with the electrolyte. When those two reactions are combined, aluminium is transformed into hydrated alumina and electrons are transferred from the second layer, through the conductor, ready to power a device. After use, the hydrated alumina can be reprocessed by smelting it, recovering the water and oxygen as it forms fresh aluminium. This cycle can be used over and over again. 

Screenshot from 2019-05-20 14-10-24.png

These aluminium smelters are green, usually hydro powered. However smelters could also use solar power, wind power, etc. In effect, with this process, energy is transferred, through the aluminium cycle, from green sources of energy into mobile green energy. The whole cycle is green and since the aluminium is recycled, it can be used indefinitely. The ‘aluminium-air well’ never runs out.

diagram.png

How a cell is made

A cell in an Aluminium-Air system is built of three layers. The first layer is the aluminium plate, which reacts with the second layer, which is an electrolyte. The third layer is the cathode, allowing air to flow to the second layer. These cells are stacked together to form a battery of the required power output.

Understanding the technology on a small scale can help us understand the technology on a much larger scale. Below are two videos demonstrating the theory in reality. The first one, on the left, is one showcasing 10 cells powering a simple fan. The second video, on the right, is quite unique. Instead of a traditional cell, this version of the technology uses an aluminium can. We call it, the beer can battery! 

How it works

Aluminium-Air technology has long attracted attention due to its cheap, lightweight and high-energy nature. Aluminium is the most abundant metal on Earth and is easy to handle, store and is safe as a way of storing electrical energy. 

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A Métalectrique power cell is actually quite simple. A piece of Aluminium is in contact with a special electrolyte. This electrolyte reacts with the metal on the negative end and on the positive end, air reacts with the electrolyte. When those two reactions are combined, aluminium is transformed into hydrated alumina and electrons are transferred from the second layer, through the conductor, ready to power a device. After use, the hydrated alumina can be reprocessed by smelting it, recovering the water and oxygen as it forms fresh aluminium. This cycle can be used over and over again.

Read more at Metaltriquehttps://www.metalectrique.com/

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FORD PILOTS BLOCKCHAIN TECH TO PROMOTE CLEANER AIR IN CITY CENTRES; EXTENDS HYBRID ELECTRIC TRANSIT TRIALS TO COLOGNE

  • Ford pilots innovative geofencing and blockchain technology to ensure vehicles operate efficiently in city centre low-emission zones
  • Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid trials in Cologne, Germany, complement tests in London and Valencia, Spain, designed to optimise environmental benefits of such vehicles
  • New plug-in hybrids target electric-only zero-emission NEDC driving range of 56 km (35 miles); 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine charges battery when needed, extending range to more than 500 km (310 miles) NEDC
  • Ford Transit Custom is the first vehicle in its class to offer plug-in hybrid technology, and is available to order now with first deliveries by the end of the year; all-electric Transit anticipated in 2021

Ford today extends its European plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) trial to Cologne. The study, which is also testing Ford PHEVs on the streets of London and Valencia, Spain, aims to better analyse and show the real-world benefits of such vehicles for the environment and for commercial vehicle owners and operators.

Working with five municipal fleets and the City of Cologne, nine Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vans and one Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid people-mover will be put to the test in a variety of real‑world use cases. Ford will also investigate how innovative geofencing and blockchain technology could help to accurately track and increase the number of “green miles” driven by vehicles.

Blockchain is a data security technology that underpins some digital technologies. It creates permanent time-stamped records of data which are saved on multiple computers and which constantly grows as new records or “blocks” are added. Geofencing is creating a virtual geographic boundary defined by GPS technology.

“Ford is committed to delivering new, more environmentally sustainable vehicles that can help address the mobility challenges our cities face,” said Mark Harvey, director, Commercial Vehicle Mobility, Ford of Europe. “The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle trials with our partners in the City of Cologne build upon our ongoing electrification programmes elsewhere in Europe, and bring us all closer to meeting our combined urban air quality goals.”

In Cologne, as in cities across Europe, low-emission zones are being introduced to address air quality challenges by discouraging the most polluting vehicles from driving through them. However, these zones can present difficulties both to the cities implementing and administering them, and to drivers understanding where and when restrictions are in place. That’s where Ford’s geofencing and blockchain technology pilot could help.

Each of the 10 PHEVs in the 12-month Cologne trial features the FordPass Connect on-board cellular modem, and a plug-in device which enables the geofencing and blockchain capabilities. Whenever a trial vehicle enters a controlled zone, its electric-drive mode is triggered and the zero-emission driving green miles are documented. The emissions mode and time that vehicles enter or leave a controlled zone are recorded to a secure distributed ledger – a blockchain – ensuring emissions data is safely stored and shared among relevant parties including city authorities and the vehicle or fleet owners.

The dynamic geofencing technology also means the vehicles can adapt in real time to changes in emissions zones. For example, cities may choose in the future to adjust controlled areas or create new ones based upon local weather or environmental conditions. The connected PHEVs will then automatically switch to low-emission mode when they enter these updated zones.

Ford Test Geofencing and Blockchain
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CANNABINOIDS: CBDA

Living a sustainable life #PoZ #Openied

WHAT ARE CANNABINOIDS?

Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are partly responsible for the wide array of medicinal and psychoactive effects cannabis may provide. Currently there are over 110 known cannabinoids with more likely to be discovered as studies continue to reveal the complex molecular structures of the cannabis plant.

Cannabinoids interact with human physiology through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the set of receptors that function to regulate health and promote homeostasis throughout the body. The ECS has two primary receptors, the CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor binds primarily to the brain and nervous system, while the CB2 receptor interacts largely with the immune system. The cannabis plant relies on cannabinoids binding to these receptors to produce the array of potential benefits and effects. Each cannabinoid holds unique characteristics of their own that are worth noting in order to maximize desired effects from medicating with cannabis.

WHAT IS CBDA?

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and the acidic precursor to CBD. CBDA can be found in the live or raw form of cannabis, particularly in the hemp plant and strains bred to cultivate higher CBD levels. CBDA converts to CBD through decarboxylation, which occurs when cannabis is exposed to heat or sunlight.

CBDA can be consumed by juicing with raw cannabis, and may also be found in tinctures, topicals and capsules. CBDA shows promise as an anticonvulsant, anti-nausea and vomiting agent, analgesic and anti-inflammatory. CBDA may also have antibacterial, antioxidant and cancer preventing properties.

HOW DOES CBDA WORK?

CBDA isn’t known to bind directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors but interacts with the ECS as an inhibitor to the COX-2 enzyme, giving CBDA the potential to reduce inflammatory activity throughout the body. CBDA is also thought to enhance the serotonin producing 5-HT receptor. This particular interaction could possibly make CBDA a primary contributor to the antiemetic effects of cannabis.

CBDA is widely considered to be a key constituent in the medicinal spectrum of cannabis and the multitude of therapeutic applications it may offer. Feel free to ask any of our knowledgeable patient consultants with any questions you may have.

THE RESEARCH

A study from September 2008 examined CBDA’s potential anti-inflammatory properties through its selective inhibition of the COX-2 enzyme. A September 2012 study researched CBDA as a possible anti-cancer agent. The antiemetic effects of CBDA was the subject of a February 2013 study. A January 2017 study suggested CBDA may have application in the treatment of aggressive breast cancer.

Keep out of reach of children. For use only by adults 21 years of age or older.

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