Last year, after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown, the Japanese parliament requested an independent report on the causes of the disaster. The 10 members of the report committee were not connected with the nuclear industry or the government bureaucracy and included distinguished scientists, doctors, lawyers, and even a science journalist.
The resulting report, released this week, is damning. It was already more or less known that the disaster was at least in part caused by negligence on the part of the utility company TEPCO and the failure of government agents to enforce safety regulation, but the committee has had access to all of the documents and resources involved, and they write that even given the unusual force of the tsunami that struck the plant, had regulations been enforced, the nuclear meltdown would not have happened:
The TEPCO Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators, and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties. They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents. Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly “manmade.”
The savvy Web user knows that the Internet isn’t all fun and games. There are plenty of companies out there watching every move a user makes, with an aim to sending their way ads they will click on. But just how many companies are tracking you can be shocking, especially when you don’t know what they know about you, and you have never in your life heard of them before.
On Wednesday Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic published a piece he had been working on at least since January, when he first tweeted about Collusion, a plug-in built by a Mozilla engineer that keeps a record of all the sites you have been to in a browsing session and all of their ghostly, behind-the-scenes counterparts: the sites that keep track of what you do on each site. I installed Collusion when I saw his tweet, and I immediately saw that visiting a single site could pick me up more than 20 trackers.