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Feb 18 2013

A Few Good Reads (2/18/13): Mozambique Relocating Flood Victims, the Natomas Levee Upgrade Still Held Up

This week: Mozambique attempting to relocate flood victims away from the river, 24 miles of the needed Natomas Levee upgrades still held up, Brazil going dam crazy, the 50 states redrawn by population, and the impending death of the password.

Mozambique Pushing to Resettle Hesitant Flood Victims (Voice of America)

Adam Ridell says the relocation process will be difficult but there seems little alternative.
​​”How do you relocate 200,000 people? When it floods every five years? They did a great thing with early warning systems and people knew the water was coming,” he said. “Levies broke, the water came a lot faster than they thought. A lot of people even prepared for the floods but didn’t prepare enough because they didn’t think it would be that bad. And their houses are made of mud because that is what they have, so of course it is going to get washed way in a flood.”

18 miles of Natomas levees rebuilt — but 24 miles still need fixing(Sacramento Bee)

McClintock, whose district does not include the city of Sacramento, said he had not seen Matsui’s bill. But he said he would support stand-alone legislation to approve the project, under certain conditions.

One, he said, is a requirement that any federal money spent on Natomas levees be considered a loan that must be repaid by the beneficiaries – namely the people who directly benefit from the levees.

This is a notion that has never been applied to any Army Corps levee project.

“I’ve got a responsibility to protect people in my district who have chosen not to live in a floodplain,” McClintock said. “It’s not fair to force them to subsidize the flood protection of others.”

Power-hungry Brazil builds dams, and more dams, across the Amazon (Washington Post)

Between now and 2021, the energy ministry’s building schedule will be feverish: Brazilian companies and foreign conglomerates will put up 34 sizable dams in an effort to increase the country’s capacity to produce energy by more than 50 percent…

Environmentalists say the dams are a throwback, not the kind of projects a modern, democratic country should be aggressively pursuing. They say Brazil should focus instead on developing wind and solar energy while overhauling existing plants and instituting other reforms to reduce electrical demand.

“This is a sort of 1950s development mentality that often proceeds in a very authoritarian way, in terms of not respecting human rights, not respecting environmental law, not really looking at the alternatives,” said Brent Millikan, Amazon program director in Brazil for International Rivers.

The United States Redrawn as Fifty States with Equal Population

Fifty Equal States Redux (Fake is the New Real)

…the Electoral Reform Map redivides the fifty United States into 50 states of equal population. The 2010 Census records a population of 308,745,538 for the United States, which this map divides into 50 states, each with a population of about 6,175,000.

The Death of the Password (Social Media Today)

Now is a seminal time in online security. The last 18 months have brought a tremendous push to store more information in “the cloud,” and to leverage the convenience, usability, and collaborative benefits it brings. Meanwhile, every day passwords grow weaker, remote hackers grow more devious, and the criminal underground grows more brazen, selling the tools for their crimes in open-air markets. These two forces are on a collision course, and the early indications of are already manifold: Dropbox, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Gmail, and more have all suffered embarrassing, damaging breaches in recent months, and these are just the attacks that have made it to the headlines.

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