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Exclusive: California’s gas car ban will change how everyone drives –



California’s gas car ban will change how everyone drives

#Californias #gas #car #ban #change #drives

California, the state that buys the most cars and trucks in the United States, will ban the sale of fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2035. This represents the largest government move against gasoline and diesel to date, with the potential to ripple throughout the country and the global auto industry.

The California Air Resources Board, which regulates pollution in the state, voted unanimously on Thursday to approve a proposal that will require 100 percent of all cars sold in the state to produce zero greenhouse gas emissions in 13 years. The board is invoking its authority to protect air quality and deal with the impacts of climate change. Gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles worsen both.

Lauren Sanchez, senior climate adviser to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, told reporters Wednesday the vote marks “a huge day not only for California, but for the country and the entire world as we dive headfirst into the next chapter of the zero-emission vehicle revolution.”

On top of that, the new rule, called the CARB Advanced Clean Cars II rule, sets an interim milestone requiring 35 percent of new vehicles to produce zero emissions “that rapidly increases to nearly 70 percent of new vehicles sales by 2030, further increasing to 100 percent by the 2035 model year,” according to the text of the resolution.

California has long held the pole position in the auto industry. The state has close to 30 million registered cars and trucks, and in 2021, registered an additional 1.8 million new vehicles, of which roughly 8 percent were electric. CARB also has special permission from the federal government to set tougher air quality rules for all vehicles, rules that 17 other states have adopted as well. Automakers don’t like making different cars for different states, so California sets the de facto standard for the country and other parts of the world.

The open question now is whether the state can meet the targets set out by the new rule. “It is expected that EVs will dominate the new vehicle market nationwide in the future,” said said Kate Whitefoot, an associate professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, in an email. “The uncertainty is exactly when this will occur. This regulation by California would serve to accelerate that timeline.”

The challenge is not only getting carmakers to build zero-emissions vehicles but also convincing drivers to buy them. The 2035 deadline is far off from an environmental perspective, but very close when it comes to vehicle development timelines. It takes years for a car to go from the drawing board to the road, and meeting all the diverse needs of drivers will demand a new generation of zero-emissions vehicles. But in the meantime, most cars sold will still run on fossil fuels that heat up the planet.

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases in the US, so meeting domestic and international targets for cutting emissions demands rapid decarbonization in cars and trucks right away. By 2030, the US is aiming to cut its overall emissions at least 50 percent relative to 2005. But currently, only a tiny fraction of new vehicles in the US produce zero emissions. At the current rate of growth, just a quarter of new cars across the country will be electric by 2035, so sales have to pick up drastically.

And the CARB proposal doesn’t take gasoline cars off the road; it only stops dealers from selling them. Given that the average car stays on the road for more than 11 years, California will still be thirsty for gasoline and diesel for years past 2035.


As for automobile manufacturers, many have said that they are betting on a future powered by electrons, but California’s fossil fuel vehicle phaseout will test their commitments.

A spokesperson for General Motors said the company is still evaluating the CARB proposal, but said in an emailed statement that the company and California “have a shared vision of an all-electric future, eliminating tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035.”

Stellantis, the company formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot S.A. last year, said California’s gasoline and diesel phaseout is in line with their own ambitions. “Stellantis is committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2038, evidenced by our recent $35-billion investment in vehicle electrification and related software toward the introduction [of] 25 US-market battery-electric vehicles by 2030,” said Eric Mayne, a spokesperson for Stellantis, in an email.

Ford, however, was far more enthusiastic about the new rule. “The CARB Advanced Clean Cars II rule is a landmark standard that will define clean transportation and set an example for the United States,” said Bob Holycross, chief sustainability officer at Ford, in an email. (The company previously sided with California when a group of Republican state attorneys general sued this year to try to take away California’s special authority to set pollution rules for vehicles.)

But what about drivers? Cars in the US are only getting more expensive. On average, a new car costs more than $47,000. New and used car prices also reached a record high this year, adding to inflation worries. Meanwhile, the median annual income in the US is $41,000, and 85 percent of new car purchases require loans. The total Americans owe in automotive loan debt exceeds $1.4 trillion.

These constraints make EVs an even tougher sell right now. Many electric cars are currently more expensive than their gasoline-powered siblings. There are, however, federal and state credits and incentives to lower the cost of cleaner cars and trucks. The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act gives buyers $7,500 in credits per new electric vehicle, and roughly $4,000 for a used one. The law includes $100 billion to finance EV production, as well as $250 billion in loan guarantees. The federal government is also setting tougher fuel economy standards to prod companies into making cleaner cars.

But electric cars aren’t the only way to decarbonize transportation. Nearly three-quarters of vehicle trips in the US are less than 10 miles, so getting people out of cars and onto buses, bikes, scooters, and trains would take a bigger bite out of greenhouse gas emissions than just electrification. That, too, will require more incentives and investment in infrastructure.

Still, California’s deadline to get new fossil fuel cars off of its roads is an important signal for the auto industry to change direction. It could be the push needed for rumbling, carbon dioxide-spewing motors to find an exit and drive off into the sunset.

Update, August 25, 5:15 pm ET: This story was originally published August 24 and has been updated to reflect the passage of the measure to end the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars in California.



Exclusive: Proton VPN Review 2022: This Swiss-Based VPN Provider Delivers Top-Notch Security – CNET –




Proton VPN Review 2022: This Swiss-Based VPN Provider Delivers Top-Notch Security     - CNET

#Proton #VPN #Review #SwissBased #VPN #Provider #Delivers #TopNotch #Security #CNET

Proton AG, the Swiss-based internet privacy company behind Proton Mail and other products like Proton Calendar and Proton Drive launched Proton VPN in 2017. In a few short years, Proton VPN has quickly developed a reputation for being a VPN with a strong commitment to privacy, security and transparency.

Proton VPN is an excellent choice for techie VPN users who like to inspect the source code of the apps they use, as well as for anyone whose location or occupation requires an extra layer of security from their VPN. It features open-source apps, full-disk encryption, Secure Core servers and Tor over VPN. But Proton is also a solid choice for casual VPN users who only need general privacy on public Wi-Fi or just want to unblock streaming content online. Speeds are fast, and the VPN’s apps are intuitive and easy to use across platforms regardless of whether you’re a VPN pro or beginner.

We’re impressed with Proton VPN’s straightforward, transparent approach, especially in contrast to the general atmosphere of secrecy and shiftiness in the VPN industry. Proton VPN’s largely unlimited free plan is also remarkably impressive. If you’re in need of a well-rounded VPN service that puts its money where its mouth is, take a look at Proton VPN.


  • Highly transparent
  • Open-source
  • Secure
  • Unlimited free plan

Don’t Like

  • No live chat support
  • Split tunneling only available on Android and Windows
  • Occasional speed dips

Read more: How We Test VPNs

Speed: Third-fastest VPN we’ve tested

  • 17% speed loss in autumn 2022 tests
  • Number of servers: 1,891
  • Number of countries: 67

Proton VPN’s overall speed remains impressive, losing only 17% of its speed in our latest round of tests. Granted, that represents a decline from our summer 2020 tests, where we registered a mere 9% speed loss. But you can typically expect to lose about 50% of your regular internet speed when you connect to a VPN, so when we measured a 17% speed loss this time around, we were still satisfied with the results. 

Proton VPN’s speeds now rank third among our picks for best VPN, behind NordVPN’s 13% speed loss and just ahead of Surfshark’s 19% speed loss.

We tested Proton VPN’s speeds over the course of three days from Ohio to the provider’s VPN servers in New York, the UK, Australia, France, Germany and Singapore while connected via the OpenVPN protocol. Our regular internet speeds averaged 366.25 megabits per second during the test, while the average overall speeds we measured through Proton VPN’s servers came out to 303.71Mbps.

Speeds were mostly in line with what we expected based on the physical distance between our physical location and those of the servers we tested. However, we did on rare occasions experience a few unexpected and significant dips in speeds on certain servers in Europe and Singapore — even on servers showing a light load. Speeds were otherwise fairly consistent across the board.

As expected, the fastest speeds from the US were to Proton VPN’s servers in New York, where we averaged 332.72Mbps. European servers registered just a bit slower at 320.12Mbps, while speeds to the UK averaged 307.78Mbps. Speeds halfway around the world to Australia and Singapore were the slowest — but averaged an admirable 302.62Mbps and 255.25Mbps, respectively, despite the distance our data had to travel.

What we didn’t expect was the impressive speed from Proton VPN’s free servers. The provider says that its free servers offer “medium” VPN speeds, but we calculated only a 7.64% speed loss when we tested Proton VPN’s free servers — close to 10 percentage points faster than with the paid servers. These results are exceptional for any VPN, let alone a free VPN service, even if the sample size was smaller with servers in only three countries to test speeds on. 


We registered speeds of up to 360Mbps to the Netherlands, 349Mbps to Japan and 345Mbps to New York using free servers with loads ranging from 55% to 96%. That’s plenty of speed for pretty much anything you’d want to accomplish online, which is exceptionally hard to find with free VPNs.

Read more: How to Speed Up Your VPN Connection

Cost: Not the cheapest VPN, but pricing is straightforward and free tier is legit

  • $72 per year or $10 per month
  • Payment options: Credit/debit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, bank transfer, cash
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Unlimited free plan

Proton VPN’s pricing is straightforward and unambiguous at a time when it feels like you need to dust off your old TI-85 graphing calculator from high school just to make sense of most VPNs’ complex pricing schemes. Proton VPN avoids tricky introductory prices that later spike in dramatic fashion and two-year plans that later morph into annual plans while the price remains the same.

Sure, your $72 upfront cost for Proton VPN’s yearly plan is more expensive than the $48 you’ll pay for your first year with IPVanish. But over time, you’ll probably be happier paying $72 every year for Proton VPN rather than $90 for each additional year you spend with IPVanish. NordVPN and ExpressVPN go for $100 a year after their respective introductory subscription periods. Out of our top five VPN picks, only Surfshark is cheaper per year than Proton VPN, at $60 annually. However, Proton VPN’s monthly plan is the cheapest of the bunch at $10 per month. We don’t recommend committing to a VPN provider for longer than a year at a time given the perpetually shifting nature of the VPN industry.

With Proton VPN’s paid service, you’ll have access to more than 1,800 servers in 66 countries and up to 10 simultaneous connections. We were able to access content on Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video through the paid servers.

Proton VPN apps are available on MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Chromebook and Android TV devices. Settings are nicely laid out and easily accessible in the app, but if you’re looking for split tunneling, note that the feature is only available on the Windows and Android apps. Proton says it’s working on implementing split tunneling for other platforms, but did not specify a timeframe for that implementation. Though many VPNs these days offer browser extensions in addition to their dedicated VPN apps, Proton VPN does not yet offer any at this time. The company told us that browser extensions have been taken into consideration and will hopefully be available at some point in the future.

And while most of the top VPNs in the industry offer live chat customer support, Proton VPN does not. To get in touch with Proton VPN support, you’ll need to submit a support ticket via email or tweet it at @ProtonVPN. We submitted a support ticket and received a response in less than 24 hours. The website includes a pretty comprehensive help center with troubleshooting tips, setup tutorials and documentation related to general VPN issues. Proton VPN’s blog also includes a lot of helpful information about the company and the industry in general.

You can pay for your Proton VPN subscription using a credit or debit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, bank transfer or cash (US dollars, euros or Swiss francs). And if for any reason you’re not satisfied with your purchase, Proton VPN does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Can you get Proton VPN for free?

If you don’t want to pay to use Proton VPN, you don’t have to. That’s because Proton VPN offers a free plan that’s actually good. Most free VPNs are practically useless because they typically put heavy restrictions on things like speed, server availability, data allowance and features. They also often provide weak encryption, sell your data, serve ads and can even contain malware. Proton VPN’s free plan is secure and it doesn’t throttle speeds or put limits on usage, which is a big reason why it’s perhaps the only truly viable free VPN available.

While Proton VPN’s free plan isn’t set up to unblock streaming services and doesn’t include premium features like its malware and ad blocker, Tor over VPN functionality, Secure Core servers or P2P support, it does give you what you need to protect your privacy online. The free plan offers a single connection at a time to over 100 fast servers in three countries (US, Japan and the Netherlands) and the ability to connect through its stealth VPN protocol. 

Yes, there are a few limitations with Proton VPN’s free plan, but we found that it performed exceptionally well overall in our tests — we were even able to access US Netflix while connected to the free servers. So if you’re a casual VPN user who’s not into torrenting, only needs one connection at a time and doesn’t need the advanced features or access to more than three countries or streaming services other than Netflix, you’ll probably be just fine with Proton VPN’s free plan. 

Security and privacy: Excellent features for VPN users in need of heightened privacy

  • Jurisdiction: Switzerland
  • Encryption: AES 256-bit with OpenVPN and IKEv2, ChaCha20 with WireGuard
  • Secure Core servers
  • Open-source and transparent

With many players in the VPN industry operating in obscurity, governed by byzantine corporate structures, it’s nice to see Proton VPN putting such a heavy emphasis on transparency. For one, its VPN software is fully open-source, meaning its source code is publicly available online for anyone to scrutinize. If analyzing code isn’t your thing, Proton VPN routinely publicizes independent external security and no-logs audits as well, so you can see what professional cybersecurity researchers have to say about the software. 

Proton VPN’s most recent security audit was completed in September 2021 by Securitum, a security consulting firm based in Krakow, Poland, which identified “no important security issues.” The most recent no-logs audit was completed by Securitum in March. 


“As a result of the audit, it was confirmed that Proton VPN offers high privacy with its No-Logs approach, and the audit did not detect any issues that could make a negative effect on the user’s privacy,” Securitum said in its no-logs audit report. 

However, Securitum noted in its report that Proton VPN inspects network traffic on its free VPN servers in order to block BitTorrent traffic, as it may hinder performance for free users. If BitTorrent traffic is detected, the connection is automatically dropped. But Securitum said that this doesn’t affect user privacy because the process is done blindly, without logging any information related to the dropped connection or which user the BitTorrent traffic was originating from.

“The whole mechanism is working fully locally on the specific Proton VPN server serving the connection, without notifying any central database,” Securitum said. “There is no deep traffic inspection of such connections, just the type of traffic is detected.”

No-logs audits are important for VPN companies to undergo as a way to remain transparent with the public, but a VPN company’s no-logs claims are virtually impossible to verify with 100% certainty. Regular no-logs audits and actual court cases — like the 2019 court case Proton VPN mentions in its Transparency Report — where no-logs claims are challenged in a legal setting can offer effective testimony in favor of a VPN company’s claim that it doesn’t collect logs of users’ activity.

As CNET’s other top VPN picks do, Proton VPN employs industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption on OpenVPN and IKEv2 connections. WireGuard connections are secured using the ChaCha20 encryption cipher, which is generally faster while offering comparable security. The VPN’s Secure Core servers offer additional security as they route your traffic through hardened servers owned by Proton VPN prior to routing it further through exit servers at your selected location. Proton VPN’s Secure Core servers are physically protected with biometric security and located in Switzerland, Iceland (on a former military base) and Sweden (in an underground data center). 

Proton VPN also offers standard VPN security features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection and obfuscation, along with Tor over VPN and an ad/malware blocker. The kill switch worked as expected and we detected no leaks during our tests of both the free and paid tiers. Proton VPN tells CNET that all security standards like encryption, leak protection and obfuscation are the same with the free plan as they are with paid subscriptions. However, free users don’t have access to the Secure Core servers, Tor over VPN or the ad-blocker feature. The free tier is a great way to dip your toes in, but you’ll need to upgrade to Proton’s paid tier if you’re going to engage in any online activity that’s privacy-critical

In 2020, Proton VPN disclosed a vulnerability in Apple’s iOS, which claims that iOS devices fail to encrypt all traffic and leak data outside the VPN tunnel even when a VPN connection is engaged on the device. Years later, researchers reported that the issue still persists in later versions of iOS. It is a vulnerability that affects VPN apps on iOS devices in general and is not limited to Proton VPN. Until Apple issues an official fix for the vulnerability, Proton VPN recommends turning airplane mode on and then off again after connecting to a VPN server to effectively kill existing connections and reopen them within the VPN tunnel. 

Proton VPN’s Swiss jurisdiction is generally regarded as a safe jurisdiction for a VPN to reside in. Switzerland is not part of the 14-eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, and though the country does have mandatory data retention laws, those laws apply to large internet service providers and telecommunications companies. Proton VPN isn’t bound by Swiss data retention laws and is otherwise not obligated to store logs of user activity.

In 2021, Proton Mail — an encrypted email service developed by the folks behind Proton VPN — found itself the subject of criticism after TechCrunch reported that the company disclosed a user’s IP address and device ID number to Swiss authorities. The disclosure was part of an investigation involving a French climate activist who was part of a group protesting against gentrification in Paris that published information on police investigations and legal cases against individuals in the group. The protesters were using a Proton Mail address to communicate.

While Proton says it fights legal requests whenever possible, the company said it was obligated to cooperate with the legally binding order from Swiss authorities and that it wasn’t possible for the company to appeal the request. But since Proton Mail emails are encrypted, the company was unable to provide information on the actual contents of the emails sent by those using the account to communicate. After the news broke, Proton Mail removed wording on its website that stated “by default, we do not keep any IP logs which can be linked to your anonymous email account.” 

Proton Mail also updated its privacy policy after the incident.


“We will only disclose the limited user data we possess if we are legally obligated to do so by a binding request coming from the competent Swiss authorities,” Proton Mail’s Privacy Policy now reads. “We may comply with electronically delivered notices only when they are delivered in full compliance with the requirements of Swiss law.” 

However, under Swiss law, Proton Mail and Proton VPN are treated differently, a Proton spokesperson told CNET via email. While Proton Mail must comply with valid court orders from Swiss authorities, Proton VPN isn’t bound by the same obligations.

“Swiss law does not provide the legal basis to order Proton VPN to retain user data or activity data,” the spokesperson said. “We thus cannot be compelled to retain IP addresses of a VPN account.”

Proton VPN’s privacy policy states that the company would still be obligated to disclose the limited user data it may possess to Swiss authorities if compelled by law “for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offenses or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security.” 

User data Proton VPN collects includes a user’s username, email address, billing info and data users share with the company via support requests or bug reports, according to the Privacy Policy. If Proton VPN doesn’t log user activity, traffic, IP address, location or session length, there wouldn’t be much to hand over to authorities concerning what any particular user was doing while connected to Proton VPN’s servers.

Because of its commitment to transparency and its breadth of excellent privacy and security features, we recommend Proton VPN as a first-rate VPN for users with critical privacy needs like journalists, dissidents, lawyers, doctors and activists. Thanks to its stealth protocol and Secure Core servers, it’s also a worthy option for people in regions where VPNs are restricted. One caveat here is that Proton VPN has had issues working for users in China, but the company is working on solutions.

“Mainland China has very sophisticated and effective censorship systems, and we can’t guarantee Proton VPN works there,” a Proton spokesperson told CNET. “But we are investing heavily in developing anti-censorship capabilities that will allow us to bypass attempts to block VPNs.”

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Exclusive: Ex-Meta employees reveal that they are not getting the severance they were promised –




Ex-Meta employees reveal that they are not getting the severance they were promised

#ExMeta #employees #reveal #severance #promised

A few weeks ago, Meta terminated a large number of people across its workforce from all over the world. All in all, about 13 per cent or roughly 11,000 people were terminated as the company was preparing itself for some tough times ahead. While terminating, the social-media-turned-tech giant had promised a handsome severance package to all the employees it had terminated. However, a group of ex-Meta employees are now reporting that they are not getting the severance they were promised.

Meta employees were told that they will receive 16 weeks of base pay, plus two additional weeks for every year with the company, and 6 months of health insurance for family members. However, some employees are getting only 8 weeks of basic pay and 3 months of health insurance. Image Credit: AFP

When they were being terminated, Meta employees were told that they will receive 16 weeks of base pay, plus two additional weeks for every year with the company. Zuckerberg also said that health insurance for those employees and their families will continue for six months.

A group of Meta workers who joined the company via a corporate training program have revealed that they are receiving inferior severance packages as compared to other workers who were recently laid off.

The employees who are being shortchanged are members of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program, a program that was intended to help workers from diverse backgrounds obtain careers in corporate technology recruiting. The Sourcer Development Program is part of Meta’s Pathways program, which helps people with non-traditional professional backgrounds obtain apprenticeships at the social networking giant for various roles. Nearly every member of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program was let go from the company as part of its massive layoff.

Members of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program said they are only going to get 8 weeks of base pay and three months of health coverage. The workers said it’s unclear why they are receiving lower severance packages than their colleagues, considering they were full-time employees and not contractual staff.


On November 16, the group sent a letter to Zuckerberg and other Meta executives, including Meta’s head of people, Lori Goler and chief operating officer Javier Olivan, informing Meta management about their severance situation and asking for help resolving the issue.

“Even our former managers insisted we were confused and that all the information they were getting was that we were offered 16 weeks of pay and 6 months of health insurance,” the group wrote in the letter.

They later added, “Leadership may not have been aware that the last SDP class, which began in April 2022, was repeatedly assured by their leadership that any potential layoff would not impact their current employment but would likely impact the company’s ability to consider them for a full-time role.”

The impacted Meta workers have also said they have not received any replies from Meta’s human resources and management staff explaining their situation.

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Exclusive: London-based Chattermill, which analyzes customer feedback data across channels to give companies actionable insights, raised a $26M Series B led by Beringea (Paul Sawers/TechCrunch) –




London-based Chattermill, which analyzes customer feedback data across channels to give companies actionable insights, raised a $26M Series B led by Beringea (Paul Sawers/TechCrunch)

#Londonbased #Chattermill #analyzes #customer #feedback #data #channels #give #companies #actionable #insights #raised #26M #Series #led #Beringea #Paul #SawersTechCrunch

Paul Sawers / TechCrunch:

London-based Chattermill, which analyzes customer feedback data across channels to give companies actionable insights, raised a $26M Series B led by Beringea  —  Chattermill, a platform that helps companies unlock insights by analyzing customer feedback data from across myriad digital channels …

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