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Carbon-cutting app aims to help Londoners ease into net zero future | London

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For those who want to be part of a zero carbon future but find the prospect of giving up flying, ditching the car and turning vegan daunting, help may be at hand. A Finnish-made online tool that promises to give users the key to their own “sustainable good life” by taking control of their carbon footprint is set to be launched in the UK.

London Councils, the body that represents all London boroughs, is looking at developing a version of the tool, which aims to be helpful rather than hectoring, letting people create their own tailor-made path to reducing their CO2 output rather than giving out blanket prescriptions such as stopping flying or eating meat.

Its developers say users in Finland who answer the tool’s 20-odd questions and commit to change commonly reduce their carbon footprint by 30% in 12 months, through simple steps such as buying secondhand clothes, cycling more and eating locally produced food.

Philip Glanville, the mayor of Hackney and chair of London Councils’ transport and environment committee, said the tool could help show citizens that “even small tweaks to their daily lives” could contribute to tackling the climate crisis.

“The vast majority of our residents are motivated to help prevent climate change – our recent polling suggests 87% feel this way,” he said. “But Londoners can only make the choices they are given, and how important government and businesses are in enabling real sustainable choices that fit into their lives.”

Finland has agreed to reduce its CO2 emissions by 15 megatonnes by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. According to calculations by Sitra,the Finnish innovation fund that developed the tool, if every household has two people reducing their carbon footprint by 20%, that reduction alone would result in 73% of the national reduction required.

“There’s a misconception that it doesn’t really matter what you do as an individual, how you eat, how you live, how you move or what type of products and services that you buy,” said Markus Terho, from Sitra. “Studies show that individual action has a significant potential to lower CO2 impact on a global level.”

The average annual carbon footprint of a Londoner is 8,345kg of CO2 emissions, according to the Global Carbon Atlas, so if two people in every one of its 3.6m households reduced their carbon footprint by 20%, this would mean an emission reduction of 12 megatonnes.

Terhosaid achieving a carbon footprint reduction of as much as 20% “is easy to do, anyone can do it and it’s very fast”.

The tool, which launched in Finland in 2018, has gone viral in the Nordic nation of 5.5 million people, with 1.2m tests taken. While only about 24% of its population are motivated enough by climate fears to change the way they live, the majority think other things such as wellbeing, health, saving money and time, and fun are more important, says Terho.

“The beauty of this is that everyone can find their own way to live a good life that is sustainable,” said Terho. “You can find your own unique combination of actions that create meaningful reduction.”

Sitra is an independent body that has a mission to future-proof the Nordic nation, funded by an €84m endowment gifted by the Finnish government to mark 50 years of independence in 1967. Terho said another 17 countries were looking to adapt the approach, and the organisation estimated this had the potential to take as much as a gigatonne of carbon out of the atmosphere by 2030.

Terho stressed that engaging citizens was only a small part of the solution. “Activating citizens on a large scale will bring CO2 reductions and push governments, cities, municipalities and companies to move quicker,” he said. “​​Mitigating climate change is such a huge global societal challenge that everyone’s contribution is needed.”

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Most IPv6 DNS queries sent to Chinese resolvers fail • The Register

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China’s DNS resolvers fail two thirds of the time when handling queries for IPv6 addresses, and botch one in eight queries for IPv4, according to a group of Chinese academics.

As explained in a paper titled “A deep dive into DNS behavior and query failures” and summarized in a blog post at APNIC (the Asia Pacific’s regional internet address registry), the authors worked with log files describing 2.8 billion anonymized DNS queries processed at Chinese ISPs.

Among the paper’s findings:

  • 86.2 percent of queries were for A records – the record for a resource with an IPv4 address;
  • 10.4 percent were for AAAA records that point to resources with an IPv6 address;
  • 93.1 percent of queries for A records succeeded;
  • 35.8 percent of requests for AAAA records succeeded.

The researchers – led by professor Zhenyu Li and Donghui Yang, both from the Institute of Computing Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences – suggest the reason for the low success rate of AAAA record queries is poor performance by some Chinese players.

One outfit, 114DNS, succeeded with just 14.5 percent of AAAA queries. Alibaba Group’s AliDNS succeeded 54.3 percent of the time – more than Google or Cisco’s OpenDNS, which were found to resolve 43.4 percent and 49.2 percent of AAAA queries respectively.

A fifth of DNS resolvers never succeed at handling IPv6 AAAA queries.

“Overall, A and MX queries are successfully resolved most frequently, while AAAA and PTR manifest lower success rates,” the summary reads. “Specifically, the failure rate of AAAA queries is surprisingly over 64.2 percent — two out of three AAAA queries failed.”

“We also found the success rates for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) and Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) were lower than that of well-established domains, primarily because of the prevalence of malicious domains,” wrote professor Li.

However the researchers did not identity why DNS resolution rates are so low, especially for AAAA queries. Nor do they mention what the poor IPv6 resolution rates mean for China’s plans for mass adoption of IPv6 by 2030.

The blog post recommends users adopt “a larger negative caching time-to-live for AAAA records associated with domains that only map to IPv4 addresses reliably.” Checking DNS resolvers’ success rates is also suggested ahead of making a choice of DNS provider. ®

OpenDNS mess

In other DNS-related news, Cisco’s OpenDNS service today wobbled for a few hours in North America.

WeWork offices, wherein some of our vultures toil, experienced network problems, as did at least one university. We’ve also heard reports that the incident impacted email security guardian Spamhaus.

The issue was resolved without Cisco offering any explanation for the incident.



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Wayflyer co-founder backs US fintech start-up Arc

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Jack Pierse, co-founder of Dublin-based unicorn Wayflyer, was one of the many backers of Arc’s $20m Series A round.

The co-founder of one of Ireland’s tech unicorns has invested in a US company developing tools for start-up financing.

Wayflyer’s Jack Pierse was one of several investors who joined Arc’s $20m Series A funding round. The round was led by Left Lane Capital, which is also an investor in Wayflyer.

Other investors included Clocktower Technology Ventures, Torch Capital, Atalaya, Bain Capital Ventures, Soma, Alumni Ventures, Dreamers VC, NFX, Y Combinator and the founders of Plaid, Column, Chargebee, Vouch and Jeeves.

Like Dublin-headquartered Wayflyer, which reached unicorn status earlier this year following a $150m Series B round that valued the company at $1.6bn, Arc is merging technology and finance together.

Wayflyer’s platform provides e-commerce merchants with financing and marketing analytics tools to help them access working capital, improve cash flow and drive sales. It was founded in 2019 by Pierse and Aidan Corbett.

Arc, meanwhile, is focused on providing software start-ups with financial products and tools. It was launched in January 2022 and graduated from the Y Combinator start-up accelerator programme in March.

“We are building the number one digital bank for software start-ups,” said co-founder and CEO Don Muir.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with this talented group of investors who bring relevant experience transforming fintech and SaaS start-ups into market-leading platforms,” he said.

He added that the capital from this funding round will enable the company to build and scale its products “to meet the digital banking needs of a new generation of software-driven businesses”.

The San Francisco-based start-up now supports more than 1,000 high-growth software start-ups, providing them with funding options and financial tools to scale faster. It offers a cash management account and financial analytics to drive growth.

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Simon Taylor: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet) | Comedy

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Asking someone to list the funniest things they’ve ever seen on the internet should be an official tool for psychological evaluation. I imagine a therapist could determine their client is severely sociopathic just by knowing that they don’t erupt into spasms of unstoppable laughter when watching videos of squirrels riding tiny jet skis. I mean, come on.

So below is a rather intimate insight into my psyche in the form of viral videos. Let’s put me in the therapist’s chair, shall we?

1. I Smell Like Beef

What were your first words? I think what gets me about this video is the repetition. It’s as if this toddler is trying to communicate a whole range of emotions and human experiences with the one sentence she knows. Bellissimo.

2. This animal documentary narration

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Let’s get away from narrators who sound like they are reading a textbook. This clip features the kind of enthusiasm I want in a nature documentary. The woman here is legitimately enthralled by the bird mating ritual and I desperately want her to have her own series on the Discovery Channel.

3. Game Changer

This is my favourite gameshow of all time. The game changes every episode, but in this one, they require the players to improvise a scene given to them in the moment. I’ll say no more other than the comedic timing of these actors is impeccable.

4. Off to school

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Get this kid a comedy special. She has more character than a Disney movie. I wish I was this excited to go to school when I was a kid. Plus, she has quite a repertoire of dance moves.

5. This TikTok duet

I’m not one for cringe comedy and I’m certainly not into teasing people. However, the comedic enginuity of this video is just so impressive you can’t help but cackle. Keep in mind when watching that each new video is a completely independent person adding their own idea to the gag. I’m in awe of this global collaboration.

6. Nathan Fielder: the best burger in Los Angeles

Nathan Fielder’s new show The Rehearsal is big right now, but his first show, Nathan For You, was on Comedy Central a few years back. Fielder is brilliant at staying deadpan during the ridiculous scenarios he creates. This is just a part of one episode, but damn it is hilariously awkward.

7. A dad impersonates his daughter

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I don’t use TikTok. I like to wait three months to see which videos are so funny they make their way on to my Instagram feed. I’m glad this one did. The father’s performance in this video is Oscar-worthy, in my opinion, and the daughter is a great sport for posting it.

8. Trying to be quiet at 2am

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By the time I get home from doing gigs, my wife is already asleep. This video demonstrates exactly why I’ve given up on trying to have a snack before bed or even get a glass of water. Ridiculous and yet relatable.

9. Gambler cat

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I love a friendly game of poker, but damn, I would lose to this cat.

10. Am I pregnant?

For someone who has had books published, I’m a terrible speller. If it weren’t for autocorrect and a team of underpaid editors, this article wouldn’t be about the “internet” but probably the “interest”. Hearing how so many people tried to spell the word pregnant is cathartic and gut-bustingly funny.



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