Primer: The Paris Climate Summit – By Alan Neuhauser Nov. 30, 2015 | 12:01 a.m. EST


Close to 200 nations will be gathering in France to finalize a major international agreement on global warming.

A fake iceberg inflated by Greenpeace floats on the river Seine near the Eiffel Tower on July 7, 2009, in Paris. The city will be hosting a major UN climate summit starting Nov. 30, 2015.A fake iceberg inflated by Greenpeace floats on the river Seine near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. A major UN climate summit was scheduled to open in the city Monday.

Tens of thousands of delegates and world leaders from nearly 200 nations will be descending on Paris on Monday where, for the next 12 days to two weeks, they’ll be hammering out an international climate agreement – one experts believe could be a major turning point in the fight to stop global warming.

The accord – expected but far from assured – will not be enough to stop temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels, which scientists say is the rough benchmark for avoiding global warming’s worst effects.

But after the misfires and mixed messages of the past two decades, last-minute withdrawals and heartbreaking collapses of prior summits, the anticipated agreement – if achieved – would enshrine serious commitments by nearly all nations to reduce their heat-trapping carbon emissions – finally, perhaps for the first time, capturing the political will for nations to work together to stop climate change.

“It’s putting in place this framework that builds trust over time,” says Nathaniel Keohane, vice president for global climate at the Environmental Defense Fund. “A framework to keep increasing their ambition going forward.”

There’s much that still has to happen between here and there. For those following from afar, read on to learn what to expect from the negotiations – and the long nights – ahead:

Delegates attend the opening ceremony of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, on June 1, 2015. More than 40,000 delegates were registered for the Paris summit.

Delegates attend the opening ceremony of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, in June. More than 40,000 delegates were registered for the Paris summit.

So what’s this all going to look like?

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On July 25th Barnaby Jack was found dead in San Francisco, where he lived. He was only 35. An extremely popular “white hat”—a hacker who specialises in finding security flaws before nefarious “black hats” discover them—he had been due to give a presentation entitled “Implantable Medical Devices: Hacking Humans”.


Hats off
20130804-112324.jpg Barnaby Jack ensured what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas

Cyber-security

Hackers gather—and mourn a big loss
Aug 3rd 2013 | LAS VEGAS |From the print edition
Barnaby Jack ensured what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas
EVERY summer Las Vegas plays host to Black Hat, a security shindig where spooks, businesspeople and academics rub shoulders with some of the world’s most talented hackers. The event briefly overlaps with DEFCON, a more informal affair where hackers try to impress one another with their exploits. Both events offer a mix of partying and presentations with disconcerting titles such as “Stalking a City for Fun and Frivolity”, “Home Invasion 2.0” and “Dude, WTF in my car?”

But one of hackerdom’s stars did not make it to this year’s jamborees. On July 25th Barnaby Jack was found dead in San Francisco, where he lived. He was only 35. An extremely popular “white hat”—a hacker who specialises in finding security flaws before nefarious “black hats” discover them—he had been due to give a presentation entitled “Implantable Medical Devices: Hacking Humans”.

Mr Jack had said previously that he had found a flaw in medical devices, such as heart pacemakers and defibrillators, made by an unnamed manufacturer, which could allow an outsider to communicate with them wirelessly. He was planning to show how this could be exploited to make the device malfunction or shut down, using a signal sent from up to 30 feet (9 metres) away. In a blog post earlier this year, he noted that an episode of “Homeland”, a popular American television show, in which a terrorist kills one of the characters by gaining control of his pacemaker, was not as far-fetched as it may have seemed.

The San Francisco police have ruled out foul play, but local medical authorities say it could be some time before the cause of death is established. What is clear is Mr Jack’s immense contribution in the field of “embedded” computers, which work inside other single-purpose appliances. Among his other headline-grabbing feats, he showed how some ATMs could be hacked so that they spewed out banknotes—an exploit dubbed “Jackpotting”. He had also highlighted vulnerabilities in insulin pumps, similar to the flaws in other implanted devices that he was planning to expose this year. In all these cases he shared his findings with the manufacturers before publicising them.

Even so, some worry that by trumpeting their findings at events such as Black Hat and DEFCON, white hats give clues which their shady counterparts could exploit in crime, terrorism or espionage. But the hackers’ defenders say the publicity alerts regulators, and ensures that as many companies as possible learn of the risks quickly. They also point out that the presentations typically leave out important steps so others cannot reproduce hacks. Nico Sell, who has been helping organise DEFCON for over a decade, notes, for example, that Mr Jack agreed to delay presenting his Jackpotting findings for a year, when a manufacturer of ATMs said it needed longer to deal with the bug that he had uncovered.

http://www.economist.com/news/international/21582577-hackers-gatherand-mourn-big-loss-hats