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T-Mobile 2021 Data Breach

In August of 2021, T-Mobile announced a breach in the system that affected over 50 million customers. Unfortunately, a hacker got in, stealing customers’ personal data. Thankfully, no financial information was compromised.

T-Mobile Security Breach

A few months ago, 21-year-old American John Brinns was able to gain access to customers’ personal files.  This includes information such as Social Security numbers, addresses, and whatnot. Using an unprotected router, Brinns found a few weak spots in their security system. His goal was to make personal information available on the dark web. Since then, Brinns is now dealing with legal consequences. Thankfully, the company was able to confirm that he did not obtain any credit card numbers. Additionally, usernames and passwords also remain safe. Since then, the company has apologized. Also, they are now partnering with McAfee for better online security. To extend their apology, they are offering a free 2-year McAfee ID Theft Protection program. You can read more about the incident and their solution in their official statement.

So, now is a good time to check your e-mail addresses and passwords to make sure they are safe. You can do so with Google Password Check-Up or Mozilla Firefox Monitor. Remember to stay safe on the Internet!

 

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Longer Lasting Solar Panels In The Works

Currently, solar panels can last up to 20 years with proper care. However, engineers are developing longer-lasting panels. This idea will reduce buyer’s costs and dead panels, which can only be partially recycled. Read on to find out more about the life span of solar panels and how they plan on extending them.

Solar Panels Life Span

Panels are efficient because their long life span eventually results in being cheaper than traditional electric bills. So, to make things even more sustainable, developers are hoping to make panels last a few more years. As far as how many years, we aren’t sure of yet. But, for starters, they are working to improve the quality of their materials, especially the protective glass. By strengthening the panels’ protective design, it will be able to withstand the test of time longer. Dirt, rain, bugs, water, and ironically the sun itself wears down on panels over the years. Just like with any technology, there are only so many years of use it can go through. So, to encourage more solar panel sales, the promise of a 25 or even 30-year warranty gives more of an incentive for people to go solar. Because people move all the time, there’s no need for lifetime panels.

Most panels only last about 15 years due to poor care. Make sure you get your solar panels cleaned routinely, according to manufacturing. Hopefully, the designs on these new panels will be more forgiving for not keeping up with routine maintenance. Panels also need regular inspections, just like cars- to make sure everything is working well. Quality includes no severe cracks or damages, wiring is in place, and no fire hazards. Newer panels are hoping to be able to prevent these problems. We are excited to see how these new panels turn out!

 

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The New Cannabis Rage- Delta 8

You’ve heard of Delta Airlines, the Delta variant of COVID, but have you heard of Delta 8? Delta 8 is a type of cannabis that’s socially deemed as “legal weed.” Like its cannabis cousins, it comes in flower, vape, and edible form. See how it differs from traditional marijuana and why everyone is getting on board with it.Delta 8 Strain

First, D8 is a THC (the psychoactive component) compound. It is naturally found in hemp. Its cousin, Delta 9, is the THC component that achieves the “high” feeling. D8 is a step below, so the structure is similar but not as potent. So does D8 get you “high”? Not really, certainly not like Delta 9. Of course, it does affect everyone differently, but overall it’s a low-grade, subtle high. Some describe it to be indica-like. Since it’s still a relatively new concept, researchers are unsure of the benefits and risks. However, they know that the side effects are pretty much the same as Delta 9 THC: dry mouth (also called cotton-mouth), red eyes, increased heart rate, and slowness.

Additionally, D8 products are synthetically made- so they may contain D9, and D10, which is still little known. Nevertheless, medical experts advocate for it, claiming it helps with sleep & PTSD. But, legally speaking, D8 is a loophole for more conservative states where cannabis is still recreationally illegal.

D8 and the Law

Delta 8 is legal, thanks to the Hemp Farm Bill. Because hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, D8 falls under that legal limitation. Wherever cannabis is recreationally legal, Delta 8 is an easy find. It may be harder to find in more conservative states. In Texas, it is legal. In fact, there was a bill motioning to outlaw D8, but thankfully it did not go through. As mentioned above, D8 may contain D9 and D10, so it may cause users to fail a drug test. If you decide to try it out for yourself, proceed at your own risk, because again, it’s not as well-understood as Delta 9 THC.

You can find it at most smoke shops. If you’re in the Austin area, you can learn more about it at Delta 8 THC Austin. They are located on West Parmer Lane. We are still researching Delta 8, so any feedback and insight would be super helpful and appreciated. Thank you for reading!

 

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Everything to Know About Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is rapidly gaining popularity this year. It is a form of digital currency that can be exchanged between shareholders, with no fee. It’s like a mix between the stock market and your wallet. Read on to see why millennials rave about it.

Cryptocurrency: All The Coins

The official definition is “a digital currency in which transactions are verified and records maintained by a decentralized system using cryptography, rather than by a centralized authority.” At first, the digital currency exchange system was born from the dark web. It was used for illegal purchases and trading up until around 2013. Bitcoin allowed for crypto to become legal/legit. Legit crypto came around in the early 2010’s, but didn’t gain popularity until the 2017 Bitcoin craze. Then, the trend died down until 2020, when the pandemic pushed people to re-evaluate their finances. Dogecoin also found its way into memes and Internet circulation. So, with Dogecoin and Bitcoin becoming more popular, by 2021 almost everyone knows about digital currency.

Today, the digital currency system is making its way into everyday life. To buy or sell cryptocurrency, users will download a broker app, such as Robinhood or Coinwallet. So, you don’t have to go through a person to trade crypto. Then, you buy/sell as you would with stocks. One difference is that the crypto market doesn’t have an open/close time. You can buy Dogecoin at 2 AM if you want. Because of this, cryptocurrency tends to be more turbulent. Each coin is worth as much as people hype it up to be. More importantly, all crypto coins follow Bitcoin’s pattern.

As Wall Street moguls and legendary investors battle with novice crypto investors, cryptocurrency is still finding its place in society. Now, crypto holders are waiting to see if they can legally purchase items with Bitcoins and Dogecoin. Elon Musk, self-proclaimed ‘Dogefather’, reported that he is making way for people to buy Teslas with Dogecoin. It looks like cryptocurrency will slowly but surely make its way into investors’ portfolios, and everyday citizens’ lives.

Do you have any crypto investments? Are you happy with it, or was it an L? Let us know!

 

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Psychedelics Therapy is Becoming More Popular

In our last article, we discussed how psychedelics therapy is on the move towards legalization. Here in the United States, it is still federally illegal. But, psychedelics are gaining attention across the globe. Other countries, such as Isreal, are making way for psychedelic therapy to be more legal and accessible. Read on about psychedelics’ trip across the globe.

Psychedelics Therapy Gaining Global Attention

Now that marijuana legalization is gaining more momentum and on a roll, the legalization movement shifts its focus onto psychedelics. This includes mushrooms, LSD, acid, and ecstasy/molly. As mentioned before, researchers are discovering how to use these drugs for medicinal purposes. Because of this, some countries have legalized mushroom possession and/or culvation. Brazil, Austria, Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Nepal, and Samoa all legalized mushrooms.  In the Netherlands, they are legal as long as they are in the form of a truffle. In the Philippines, the legal status is ambiguous. Decriminalized in Portugal. Legal to grow in South Africa and Sri Lanka. In other areas, it can be illegal but either not enforced or grey areas of legalization, and exceptions. In some areas where it’s legal, it’s still illegal to sell or distribute it.

 

Nextal Therapeutics

Even in areas where it’s still federally illegal, approved research can still take place as countries start to open up to the idea of psychedelics therapy. In Isreal, Nextal Therapeutics is aiming to treat depression and other clinical disorders with psilocybin mushrooms. They will use technology to better control hallucinogens (the “trippy” chemical). Therefore, the state of mind will be better monitored and controlled, even when altered. Established in 1982, they are a global company, so hopefully, they can knock down the stigma that psychedelics are bad around the world.

Australia just kicked off their trippy journey by launching their psychedelics research institute, The Psychae Institute. Scientists and researchers from around the world will get together and get those mushrooms growing in the land down under. Apparently, while headquartered in Melbourne, this is the first global institute to focus on using psychedelics to cure mental illness. We will be keeping up with them and their discoveries!

 

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Psychedelics’ Big Breakthrough

Globally, we are experiencing a shift to all-natural products. This includes food, soap, cleaning products, and much more. Now, we are picking up on all-natural medicine. Starting with CBD and THC, we are also seeing psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics as a replacement for pharma drugs. Read on to see how.

Psychedelics Medicine

Psychedelic research has been around since the 1960s, but only in top government facilities. Now, western medicine is looking into it. John Hopkins is currently leading psychedelic medicine research right now. MAPS is another major research group. They are both looking into psilocybin (magic) mushrooms (also called “shrooms”), LSD, acid, and ecstasy. While all of these are still federally illegal, these drugs will probably follow the same law trend as marijuana. Right now, mushrooms are decriminalized in Denver, CO, and Portland, OR.

The focus is to treat mental problems. Psychedelics can cause an increase in happiness, so it can kill a depression spell. In more serious sessions, they will use them to help the patient face personal issues and resolve them. Thus, it can create true inner peace and contentment. Hopefully, it can be used to help our soldiers recover from PTSD, and help others who have gone through traumatic moments. These treatments have no lasting negative side effects and likely do not affect other medications, unlike pharmaceutical drugs. John Hopkins and MAPS are also studying other uses and treatments, such as cancer and pain relief.

The movement is picking up and spreading! In 2019, Johnson & Johnson released a ketamine-derived nasal spray. There are conferences all over the world discussing it and giving psychedelics more momentum. There will be a major conference in Colorado in 2023. Let us know what you think about the psychedelic medicine movement! Are you ready to ditch harmful pharmaceutical drugs?

 

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Introducing “Don’t Break Your Diet”

To our readers with busy lives and a sweet tooth: We know it can be a struggle to balance work, family, and our health. At the end of a long day, it can be tempting to throw whatever dessert together. Thankfully, we partnered with Don’t Break Your Diet, so you can enjoy dessert quickly and guilt-free.

We love cake and cookie mixes. They’re easier than baking from scratch and fresher than store-bought already made goods. However, mixes tend to be high in sugar. Whether you are on a diet or just trying to avoid excess sugar, Don’t Break Your Diet is here for you. Their products have only a minuscule amount of sugar in them. We know completely sugar-free is just too icky. So, these desserts have just a tiny amount so it’s still just as good. They use plant-based ingredients to add sweetness and flavor, so these items aren’t filled with questionable chemicals. Each product yields about 1 or 2 grams of sugar per serving.

Ready for you and your family to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your health? Check them out on their website, on Amazon, or run over to your local Walmart and treat yourself, guilt-free! They have cake, cookies, brownies, and cornbread mix. Each box contains 3 mix packs so you don’t have to go back to the store for more.

Let us know what you think! We are working on adding more flavors and variety.

 

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Apple and the Global Chip Shortage

Apple announced that manufacturing their products is a little bit more challenging this year. This is due to the global chip shortage that is affecting Apple, car companies, and PlayStation. Read on to see how this will affect Apple’s iPhone/iPad releases that normally debut in the fall season.

Apple and the Chip Shortage

At the beginning of this year, Apple was able to order the number of chips needed for their devices. However, fulfilling that order could not be complete. Thankfully, they are better off than other manufacturing companies. In fact, the smartphone-making giant just reported that their Q3 earnings are the highest ever yet. So, those earnings are going to have to tide them over until A15 chip production is back in full swing. According to Forbes, chief financial officer Luca Maestri says that iPhones and iPad will be hit the hardest. They are re-designing the iPad mini, but now it’s put temporarily on hold. Here’s what Maestri has to say: “We expect supply constraints during the September quarter to be greater than what we experienced during the June quarter. The constraints will primarily impact iPhone and iPad.” The A15 chip is the most important feature for the re-designed iPad, the iPhone 13, and MacBook. Now, it looks like Apple will not be able to release the iPhone 13 in September, and this may affect supply for next year as well.

Other Apple products sales are soaring, though. Especially Apple Watches, which are really picking up since their initial debut in April 2015. So, customers shouldn’t have a problem obtaining AirPods, Watches, and Apple TV, which use an M1 chip processor. Hang on to your current Apple products for now, or go to the 2020 products. We will keep a close watch on Apple’s production and supply, as well as the chip shortage, and keep you informed.

How are you affected by the chip shortage? Let us know in the comments!

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Featured image via Dreamstime Stock Photos

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Pros and Cons of Wind Power

As the U.S. plans to move from fossil fuels, we look towards wind and solar energy. Wind energy tends to be used on a larger scale, hence the fields of turbines throughout the western half of Texas. There are perks of wind energy, but also nothing can be perfect. Let’s look at the pros and cons of wind power.

Wind Power Pros

The most obvious advantage of wind energy is that the source is free and comes naturally, and is endless.  Therefore, this method doesn’t require electricity to make electricity. Because of this, wind turbines are more cost-efficient. Also, they’re a good source for backup power in case power plants fail. As mentioned, wind turbines usually are situated in large groups to light up a town. One turbine can power about 2,000 homes! However, farmers and ranchers can have their own turbine(s). If taken care of properly, a wind turbine can last 20-25 years. After, the shaft is taken apart and 90% of the components are recycled. The wind energy industry also provides jobs and opportunities for renewable energy research & development.

Wind Cons

Well… They’re big, so they’re not the most convenient tools. And, even windy climates have their still, heavy air days, so they may not always be spinning. When they are, sometimes birds fly into them. So, they can affect air-borne creatures’ population. They take up a lot of land space, but I think we can agree that we’d rather see wind turbines while driving into Port Aransas rather than urban development. After the turbine reaches the end of its life, the blades get sent to the landfill. However, GE is developing a plan to recycle the blades.

Did you know? A wind turbine is 262 feet high, and the blades are 120 feet long. Hopefully wind engineering only improves, and that GE finds a way to recycle blades. We support green energy!

 

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Pharmaceutical vs. Psychedelic Drugs

Whenever we get a headache, we take aspirin. Or, whenever we’re stressed and overwhelmed, we down an adult beverage or pop a Xanax. But, what if I told you that there’s a better way? An alternative that is better for you? Recently, it’s come to light that psychedelic and plant-based medicines are rising above pharmaceutical drugs. Read on to see how and why.

 

The Transition from Big Pharma to Psychedelic Healing

First, plant-based medicine, such as peyote and ayahuasca, have been around for thousands of years. Native Americans and other indigenous peoples use it for healing and mental wellness. However, then pharmaceutical drugs took over. Because of this, natural medicine became outlawed. But, now the truth is starting to come to light, and people are fighting back. We believe that prescription and over-the-counter pills do not resolve the problem. Rather, the problem stays at bay. Meaning, the problem is merely numbed until the pills wears off. Then, as the patient takes more, they build an unhealthy dependence on the pills. Plant medicine isn’t like that. These “Schedule 1” drugs are more beneficial than OxyContin. Cannabis is an important bridge towards legalizing plant medicine. Since we can be sure that cannabis will be legal on a federal level one day, we can start looking at other alternatives.

 

Psychedelics aren’t all about turn on, tune in, and drop out. There are actually medical benefits, mainly mental health. With mental health awareness on the rise, psychedelics need to be as well. Mushrooms are legal in Denver, CO, and decriminalized in Portland, OR. According to scientific research, psilocybin mushrooms can help cure depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Scientists are still conducting research about dosage, long-term effects, and so on. After the trippy years of the 60’s, the government tried to suppress it. But today, psychedelic drugs are fighting back against pharmaceutical companies. John Hopkins is currently conducting research on these special mushrooms.

For our next blog, we’ll go into more detail about the benefits of plant medicine. Stay tuned!

 

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