Democracy’s Hackers, Trump’s Evangelicals & The Biggest Bomb Of All: Aug 31, 2015

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Foreigners Could Hack US Elections, Experts Say
By Jimmy Chin
When people think of election theft, many assume that means individuals taking measures up to and including the moment that votes are cast. However, experts agree that thanks to the increasing reliance on electronic voting and vote-counting, the very infrastructure itself is also vulnerable — to attacks from the outside. This could include foreign powers pursuing their own agenda.

WHO

Trump Hosts Televangelists Who Fleece Their Flocks
At a much-ballyhooed rally in Alabama — practically the buckle of the Bible Belt — Trump began integrating a pro-Evangelical message into his stump speech. The hook? Trump said the Bible is the best book ever written. In fact, it’s even better than his own book, “The Art Of The Deal.” Next up? He’ll host a bevy of televangelists for a media-friendly confab at the Trump Tower. They will focus on the reasons why God wants you to be rich and, therefore, why Trump is a-okay with the Almighty.

Obama Can Rename Mount McKinley Denali — But He Can’t Stop Its Loss of Ice
Amid charges of hypocrisy, President Obama is visiting Alaska in an effort to cement his legacy on climate change. The accusation of hypocrisy stems from his recent approval of Shell’s application to drill for oil in the Arctic. And now there is a dust-up around his re-christening of “Mount McKinley” as “Denali,” which what Alaska’s Native Americans have called it for centuries. But the biggest problem he faces is that Alaska’s glaciers are losing every year.

EU Declares Information War on Russia
Set against the backdrop of flaring violence in Ukraine and the scramble for the Arctic’s emerging riches, the EU has launched the European External Action Service (EEAS). It’s a “rapid reaction” force tasked with establishing counter-narratives among Russian-speaking communities. This may not be your father’s Cold War, but it sure is getting awfully chilly in here.

WHAT

Inside the Most Expensive Nuclear Bomb Ever Made
There is a certain irony to American politicians debating the Iran Nuclear Deal while the US is simultaneously building the most expensive and technologically advanced nuclear weapon in human history. Engineers working at Sandia National Laboratories have developed the B61-12 nuclear weapon. Unlike typical “free-fall” gravity bombs, it’s a guided nuclear bomb with “dial-a-yield” technology that allows its explosive force to be adjusted from anywhere between 50,000 tons of TNT to a low yield of “just” 300 tons. Thus far, no word on whether Iranian inspectors will be allowed “anytime, anywhere” access to the program.

WHY  

How a New Battery Revolution Will Change Your Life
Cheap and effective energy storage has been a missing link between renewable energy and its viability as a significant, if not deadly, challenge to hydrocarbon-fueled electricity. But that may be about to change. High efficiency batteries are moving out of the lab and into production at gigafactories. And the storage business has become a $33 billion global industry that generates nearly 100 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year. This rapid growth could fuel a “democratization” of power that allows anyone to capture wind and solar energy, store it for long periods and, eventually, unplug from the hydrocarbon monopoly.

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