Could Bio-Based Diesel Fuel Help You Curb Your Carbon Emissions?
Jun07

Could Bio-Based Diesel Fuel Help You Curb Your Carbon Emissions?

Although Americans tend to prioritize convenience over anything else, more residents are realizing that their bad habits are having an adverse effect on the planet. Relying on gas guzzlers to get us from point A to point B isn’t as socially as acceptable as it once was; instead, electric vehicles are “in,” predicted to make up 54% of all new car sales worldwide by 2040. But switching to an EV isn’t the only thing you can do to reduce greenhouse gases. A recent study shows that even diesel-powered vehicles could be considered eco-friendly, provided that they use bio-based diesel. Since one diesel engine car is sold for every 100 cars in the U.S., it’s clear that gasoline-powered vehicles are still in the majority. However, diesel is often viewed as a fuel of choice because it offers 12% more energy per gallon compared to gasoline. That said, diesel vehicles tend to cost more upfront (though they offer better fuel efficiency over time) and diesel fuel hasn’t traditionally been viewed as the most environmentally conscious option. …Until now, that is. According to the Biodiesel Technology Forum, data gathered by the California Air Resources Board’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard program has revealed that biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels are responsible for the state’s biggest reduction in transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. During 2018, California’s use of renewable diesel and biodiesel fuels eliminated an impressive 4.3 million tons of carbon dioxide. Since the Low Carbon Fuel Standard program started in 2011, these same fuels have eliminated upwards of 18 million tons of CO2. This news is extremely encouraging, according to experts. The latest diesel engine powered vehicles can be paired more easily with biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels, which means that carbon emission reductions can be more widespread. Bio-based diesel fuels don’t require extra fueling infrastructure, which makes adoption far easier. What’s more, biodiesel is actually more effective at reducing greenhouse gases than electric vehicle technology. “The pairing of biofuels with new-generation diesel engines is, hands down, one of the most effective — and underrated — ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty transportation sources,” explained Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, in a statement. “Even though battery electric technologies dominate the headlines, electric cars and trucks in California resulted in only 1.2 million tons of CO2 reductions in 2018 — one-third of the emissions reductions delivered by diesel biofuels.” Several California cities (such as Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Diego) are now using renewable diesel fuel on an exclusive basis for their municipal-owned buses, heavy duty trucks, and other equipment. By using renewable diesel fuel in 632 transit...

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Apple Introduces New Way to Block Frustrating Robocalls
Jun07

Apple Introduces New Way to Block Frustrating Robocalls

We all know the frustration of answering a phone call, only to discover a scammer or a spammer on the other end of the line. But our cries for change haven’t fallen on deaf ears; Apple has finally taken action to stop scammers in their tracks. At the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed that its newest iOS 13 software update will come with a feature designed to block robocallers from reaching your phone. “I think it reflects how frustrated people are,” Notes Jonathon Nelson, the director of project management for Hiya. “It’s gotten to this sad state of the world where we don’t want to answer the phone anymore because scammers have pretty much overrun it.” Hiya, a call-blocking app, notes that over 26 billion robocalls were made in the United States just last year. Apple’s update works by only allowing known numbers to make your phone ring. If an unknown caller tries to reach you, it will be automatically sent to voicemail. Should the caller leave a voicemail, you’ll get a transcription of the call from Apple and decide whether or not to call the number back. This is vital for residential and business phone users, alike. While new businesses can lower startup costs by 90% when they switch to a hosted VoIP, they may still have to cope with the occasional robocaller. Along with giving your employees more than a few headaches, this type of scam can also lower your business’ efficiency. After all, more than 46% of customers still prefer speaking to an actual business representative over automated responses. If customers are unable to reach staff because of business calls, this could seriously affect conversion rates or reflect poorly on your business. This new announcement comes on the heels of the FCC’s new rule that phone companies are permitted to block robocallers. In a vote of five to zero, the unanimous decision enables phone companies to enroll customers in default robo-blocking programs unless they specifically opt out. “If there is one thing in our country right now that unites Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, socialists and libertarians, vegetarians and carnivores, Ohio State and Michigan fans, it is that they are sick and tired of being bombarded by unwanted robocalls,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “We hear you and we are on your side.” But unlike Apple’s recent announcement, this doesn’t mean that all phone companies will offer this feature for free. A recent report notes that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile will all offer these features, but at a cost. T-Mobile’s Scam ID is free, but the Name ID feature can cost up to $4...

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