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Oct 29, 2022

The Semiconductor Industry Is Coming for Your Wallet -
DuckDuckGo Should Be Your Go-To Search Engine -
Which Messaging Apps Are Secure: Signal vs. WhatsApp -
The Upside-Down Logic of Electric SUVs -
Biden Goes Nuclear POWER!
Amazon might own your doctor's office after their latest acquisition.

The Semiconductor Industry Is Coming for Your Wallet. As Usual, Congress Is Complicit

In recent months, the auto and tech sectors have faced unprecedented delays and rising prices. Some used cars are even selling for more than their new counterparts because of the delays, a sure sign that production has slowed dramatically.

To address this, Congress is contemplating bipartisan legislation known as the Chips Act, which would provide $52 billion in grants and $24 billion in tax credits to the US semiconductor industry. Unfortunately, thanks to a last-minute bipartisan amendment, the bill will also put tens of billions of dollars toward various federal agencies, bringing the total price tag to $250 billion.


DuckDuckGo Should Be Your Go-To Search Engine. Here's Why

Since Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, people have become more aware of what information they give companies and advertisers, sometimes without their knowledge or consent. Unfortunately, the data breaches also rose to a record high of 1,862 in 2021. As a result, more people are taking steps to protect their information, and one way some folks do that is by using the search engine DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo has positioned itself as a privacy-focused alternative to search engines like Google. DuckDuckGo has rolled out Android and iOS mobile apps and browser extensions to help keep your information secure, no matter if you use it on your phone or computer.

  • Stop online trackers from spying on you
  • You'll see fewer ads
  • Websites should load faster
  • Your search history isn't stored
  • Your browsing history won't influence your search results.


Messaging Apps That Are Secure: Signal vs. WhatsApp

Two messaging apps, Signal and WhatsApp, have become commonplace for people to talk to each other instead of sending a text. The Signal is more secure since the app provides end-to-end encryption by default, and the company does not keep records of your communications. However, while messages on WhatsApp are specific, end-to-end encryption is not on by default, leaving the responsibility up to consumers.

One advantage of Signal is that "all of your messages are stored locally on your device and not Signal's servers," the spokesperson said. "Signal doesn't have access to what you send or with whom you communicate with and does not hinfluencethe content anyone receives. EIn addition, every call and message sent through Signal is encrypted by default."

A hiccup is that, based on the history of Meta, the company keeps data forever.


The Upside-Down Logic of Electric SUVs

The auto industry gambles its finances on big electric vehicles for the rich, like Ford's Mustang Mach-E and GM's Hummer EV, and second-rate cars for everybody else.

If consumers and businesses cared about the CO2 they emit, the last cars they might buy are hot-selling EVs like Ford's Mustang Mach-E or GM's Hummer EV.

These large-battery, long-range vehicles would have to be driven many tens of thousands of miles before they rack up enough mileage and save enough gasoline from compensating for the emissions created to produce their batteries. And that's according to their fans, whose calculations often smell of friendly assumptions about the source of the electricity consumed, whether gasoline driving is being displaced mile for mile, and a presumed lack of progress in reducing the carbon intensity of conventional motor fuels. The most problematic assumption is that EV use causes oil to stay in the ground.


Biden goes nuclear

Biden wants to turn to nuclear power in his zeal to end the burning of carbon-based fuels. As well, he should. Because nuclear is as carbon-friendly as windmills or solar parks and is a lot more reliable. 

President Biden has made several pro-nuclear statements within the past few weeks.


Amazon might own your doctor's office after the latest acquisition

When Amazon launched Amazon Care to its employees in 2019, the goal was to test the product before rolling it out nationwide. After that rollout happened earlier this year, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told Insider that the expansion would "fundamentally" change the healthcare game by dramatically enhancing the medical-care process. He predicted that patients in the future would be so used to telehealth and other new conveniences that they'll think that things like long wait times and delays between in-person visits commonly experienced today are actually "insane."

The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon has gone one step closer to that future by agreeing to a $3.9 billion deal to purchase One Medical, a company that operates a network of health clinics. With this move, Amazon will expand the number of patients it serves by gaining access to "a practice that operates more than 180 medical offices in 25 US markets and works with more than 8,000 companies to provide health benefits to employees, including in-person and virtual care."