Koch Brothers horseshoes. Paris riots

Yellow Vest movement twet

Twitter is a valuable source for intelligent well-documented research using tweetstreams, as witness these two examples.

Were the Paris riots just homegrown leaderless discontent or did someone exploit and jack that discontent? Because the far right sure seems to be involved.

Spiked Online, which morphed out of a supposed Marxist group and which pretends to be edgy leftie but really isn’t, got $300k from from the Koch Brothers. How convenient. Got horseshoes?

Both of these tweet threads document what they are saying. Sure, there’s lots of babble and noise on Twitter. And plenty of gems too.

Sacramento Delta water deal backed by Sen. Feinstein, McCarthy

Sacramento Delta from the air.
Sacramento River Delta Credit: SacramentoRiverDelta.net

California’s biggest water problem has always been too many people, too much agriculture, and too little water to supply everyone. Ground Zero for this is the Sacramento Delta. Send too much water south and fish and fishing in the Delta suffer. Send too little water and Central Valley agriculture and southern California may have water shortages. There is no easy answer here. Allocating water for one area means other areas gets less water. 

The big news is Sen. Feinstein, House Majority Speaker McCarthy, and outgoing Governor Brown are supporting extension of a federal law to send more water south. The extension would need to be passed this month and is designed, at least in part, to block the State Water Resources Control Board from keeping more water in the Delta.

Yes, it’s convoluted. And environmentalists oppose it.

The WIIN Act also gives the federal government’s Central Valley Project and the State Water Project more operational flexibility to increase water deliveries at certain times of year to the south state through the massive pumps in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, leaving less water in the system for Chinook salmon and other endangered species.

The ability to pump more water has become a key demand of local water agencies that are in the midst of trying to negotiate a water flow agreement for the lower San Joaquin River watershed.

Doug Obegi, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the outgoing Democratic governor is cooperating with the Republicans in an effort to keep the Trump administration from backing away from his controversial Delta tunnels proposal. “This appears to be a quid pro quo where the governor trades away our salmon and thousands of fishing jobs for his stupid Delta tunnels,” Obegi said.

Smithfield Foods plans manure to energy.

Smithfield Foods. Manure to energy.

Smithfield Foods is the largest pig and pork producer in the world and has committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emission 25% by 2025. One way they are doing it is by turning manure into natural gas, a marketable product. Manure is carried from the pens underground to covered digesters, which create methane. The methane is then converted into natural gas. They plan to do this on all their pig farms and are contracting with other farmers to do it too.

Not only does this reduces emissions, it creates a new income stream and also saves money because there is much less pig poop leftover to dispose of.

[Renewable Natural Gas] RNG is produced from the methane generated from hog or dairy farms, landfills, wastewater treatment plants and food processing facilities. Capturing the methane from hog farms reduces the use of traditionally-sourced natural gas and keeps greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere. It can be stored and delivered to homes and businesses through existing natural gas infrastructure, making it a cost-effective, renewable option.

The new joint venture will leverage Smithfield’s relationships with contract farmers, who raise and care for its hogs, and the decades the company has spent studying and perfecting the commercial viability of “manure-to-energy” projects. Using a technology known as anaerobic digestion, the projects will capture and process methane from large clusters of Smithfield’s company-owned and contract hog farms. Once collected at the farms, the natural gas will then be transported to a central conditioning facility where it will be converted into RNG.

Smithfield is:

Setting the ambitious goal to implement “manure-to-energy” projects across 90 percent of Smithfield’s hog finishing spaces in North Carolina and Utah, and nearly all Smithfield’s hog finishing spaces in Missouri over the next ten years. This timeline will aid the company in achieving—and exceeding—its 25 by ’25 commitment.

Converting existing anaerobic treatment lagoons to covered digesters or constructing new covered digesters to capture biogas, which will be transported to central processing facilities to be converted into renewable natural gas (RNG) in North Carolina, Missouri, and Utah.

Speed up your WordPress site

Google uses speed (and other criteria) when ranking a website. The faster a site loads, the better. You can test sites at Google Page Speed Insights. It tests Mobile as well as the Desktop site, as Google considers Mobile at least as important as Desktop.

This  blog and my business site score a high 98 for Desktop and quite acceptable 76 for Mobile. They have separate themes for Mobile. Your site should too. Don’t rely on the Desktop theme for Mobile as it may be slow. Users will leave sites that load slowly.

Speeding up sites is done by optimizing the disk cache, Javascript, CSS, and HTML, adding a Mobile theme, and testing to see if plugins or the theme are slowing down the site. We handle the technical details. The process generally takes an hour or two. Contact me for more info.

Brits use extraordinary seldom-used power seize to Facebook docs

Eric Garland tweet about Britain seizing Facebook documents

The docs are explosive, alleging Facebook deliberately created loopholes in their software to be exploited by advertisers, enabling them to collect data they supposedly didn’t have access to.

The documents were seized from the CEO of a US software company while he was in London. He was told, turn them over or face prison. The UK is very definitely playing hardball now.

Several countries want Facebook to testify. Zuckerberg is sending someone else to do it and seems intent on provoking fights with multiple governments and intelligence agencies that he and Facebook cannot possibly win.

The cache of documents is alleged to contain significant revelations about Facebook decisions on data and privacy controls that led to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It is claimed they include confidential emails between senior executives, and correspondence with Zuckerberg.

Damian Collins, the chair of the culture, media and sport select committee, invoked a rare parliamentary mechanism to compel the founder of a US software company, Six4Three, to hand over the documents during a business trip to London.

The documents seized were obtained during a legal discovery process by Six4Three. It took action against the social media giant after investing $250,000 in an app. Six4Three alleges the cache shows Facebook was not only aware of the implications of its privacy policy, but actively exploited them, intentionally creating and effectively flagging up the loophole that Cambridge Analytica used to collect data. That raised the interest of Collins and his committee.