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What Prop 24 Means for Your Data Privacy Strategy


California recently passed Proposition 24, a landmark data privacy referendum that expands privacy protections in the world’s fifth-largest economy. Starting in 2023, the nation’s most comprehensive privacy regulations will protect nearly 40 million people and govern $3.2 trillion in economic output.

Prop 24 will ripple across America, which still lacks a national privacy law. Most companies will choose to extend these privacy protections to all users — rather than address the privacy patchwork with state-specific solutions. That solution is easier and more economical.

So what does this mean for those of us working in technology and connected devices? We have a whole new set of rules to learn. Prop 24 replaces the CCPA with the CPRA, which stands for the California Privacy Rights Act. Here are a few action items to guide you as you reorient around the latest data privacy regulations.

#1: Prepare for data privacy enforcement

The passage of Prop 24 creates the Privacy Protection Agency, America’s first government watchdog for privacy and data protection. The statewide agency will have a budget of at least $10 million annually, finally putting enforcement muscle behind privacy protections, something that the previous privacy law (the CCPA) lacked.

Businesses that leak data (either knowingly, by sharing without permission, or unknowingly via a data breach) will pay $2,500 per violation. The per-violation fine triples fines for violating the privacy of minors, which means that each violation can cost your business $7,500! You’ll want to be very careful if any of your connected devices capture or otherwise interact with data from those under 15.

Also, know this: the threat of fines is blood in the water for hackers. In Europe, bad actors are forcing businesses to pay up using ransomware and the threat of GDPR fines. These attacks will likely shift to the US now that there’s a privacy enforcer. Now is the time to shore up your cybersecurity defenses and prepare staff!

TL; DR: Voluntary compliance is over. Get ready for America’s first privacy enforcer. Make a plan to verify your data tracking, collection and storage methods so that you have clear documentation and strong internal controls.

#2: Evolve for the end of cookies

Cookies — the small files used to track users across the internet — are on their way out. Good riddance! Cookies were intended to improve the user experience by remembering details about users between sessions. Instead, they became invasive trackers that enabled a massive industry to invade privacy, often without permission.

It’s long past time to rebalance the dynamic. Consumers have a right to privacy and the industry must catch up. We need to prepare for our cookieless future and create solutions that offer insights and anonymity simultaneously. We can no longer expect to know everything about consumers in a permissionless environment; rather, the marketing industry must evolve with innovations that aggregate data in useful ways while preserving privacy.

Most people are ok with this type of anonymized aggregation, also called “differential privacy.” It’s a data collection framework that collects data in aggregate without ever revealing the identity of individuals. It can even be used to automatically ensure that data sharing across borders conforms to local privacy laws.

TL; DR: Future-proof your data discipline. Preserve anonymity, avoid collecting unnecessary personal information and use pattern matching to build segments that give aggregated, actionable insights without compromising individual identity.

#3: Put AI to work for data privacy management

Artificial intelligence is at work in other areas of your business — why not put it to work for privacy too?

AI can detangle the complexities of privacy management by rapidly sorting and segmenting user data to conform to privacy regulations while still offering the benefits of personalization to both consumers and companies. AI can also make sure that you are only storing necessary information and thus minimize your data collection footprint — and privacy compliance exposure.

By using its capabilities to process massive data sets, you can both increase precision and reduce human intervention when it comes to privacy compliance. These two factors — precision and human intervention — are going to be key when the sheer volume of data that will soon be governed by Proposition 24 will accelerate investment and innovation. Companies will need to maintain data privacy while still preserving the reach, quality and precision that their advertising-based business models depend on.

TL; DR: When implemented strategically, AI can help you sort, segment and store data in ways that both preserve privacy and comply with CPRA. Use it!

#4: Monitor your thresholds

The CPRA changes the compliance thresholds in two key ways. First, sharing is now the same as selling. If your business shares data with third parties for commercial purposes (without necessarily selling that data), you’ll be on the hook for compliance.

Second, the CPRA doesn’t apply to businesses that bought, sold or shared data from fewer than 100,000 customers/households annually. That’s up from 50,000 customers/households, which is a good thing for startups seeking traction. But, in the trenches of startup life, it can be easy to cross this threshold and not even realize it.

However, you’re still on the hook if your company made more than $25 million in gross revenue in the previous calendar year. And, if you use sister brands, these thresholds still apply if it’s clear to consumers that your sister brands share common ownership. So don’t think about circumventing these rules by making subsidiaries — unless they truly are standalone brands.

TL; DR: If you buy, sell or share data from more than 100,000 customers or households, you must comply with CPRA. Monitor this threshold closely.

#5: Innovate now to leap ahead later

In a nod to increased control, Prop 24 adds a new right to limit data sharing, which isn’t covered by California’s prior law, the CCPA. This is a step in the right direction. However, consumers want more than just the right to limit how companies collect, use and share their data. The onus shouldn’t be on the consumer to navigate these complexities; brands should implement user-centric privacy tools that empower consumers, not companies.

First and foremost, they want more transparency. In one survey, four out of five consumers will share more data if brands are transparent about how it’s used. They also want more control. In the National Privacy Survey, which my company did in anticipation of Prop 24’s passage, we found that not only did the majority of Americans want a national privacy law, but they also want new tools: 83% of Americans want the right to set an expiration date for their personal data.

These types of privacy innovations may be complex to deliver at scale, but it is the true benchmark for control. Data expiration controls empower consumers to determine the ideal privacy parameters for their unique needs, all on a case-by-case basis. That’s true transparency and control — and a way to earn customer loyalty.

TL; DR: Now’s the time to consider privacy innovations that help you not just comply but also leap ahead. Data portability, transparency and control, can earn you the trust (and loyalty) of your customers.

Future proof your business against a national privacy law

Absent a national law, California’s robust privacy regulations will likely shape the conversation around federal privacy regulations. It remains to be seen whether politicians will react by prioritizing a national law or if California will set the pace for everyone else.

One thing’s for certain: It’s a new dawn for data privacy in America. And it’s about time! Everyone deserves privacy — and our digitally-connected ecosystem must evolve to accommodate both privacy and profit. This isn’t an idealistic pipe dream; rather, it’s the most exciting business challenge of the coming decade.

I see the new privacy framework as an accelerant to a more responsible and user-centric approach across the digital ecosystem. Ultimately, our business models will strengthen, as will our bonds with customers. It’s a win-win; we just have to put in the work now to be ready for our inevitable privacy-first future.

Image Credit: fernando arcos; pexels

Harry Maugans

Harry is the CEO of proactive privacy management platform Privacy Bee. His vision for the future of privacy is a world in which consumers have total transparency and control over their data footprints. It’s a tall order but we’ll get there!



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How to Visit Coron, Palawan Under the New Normal


Coron and Busuanga Palawan Travel Protocols, Tourist Requirements, and Guidelines

Tourist destinations around the Philippines are slowly opening their doors to tourists as travel restrictions are eased. However, it’s not the same as before–more requirements and stricter safety measures are being implemented to ensure the safety and wellbeing of locals and tourists who want to go on a quick getaway that we all dearly missed.

How to Visit Coron Under the New Normal photo via Depositphotos
How to Visit Coron Under the New Normal photo via Depositphotos

If you’re planning to go on a quick trip to the best summer destination in the Philippines that is Coron, Palawan, here are a few things you should take note of:

BEFORE THE TRIP

  • Secure Hotel and Tour bookings only on DOT-accredited accommodations and tour operators. Make sure to have a copy of your itinerary.
  • Undergo an RT-PCR test within 48-72 hours before your flight to Coron.
  • Register on CoronTourism.ph Health Declaration forms to get your personal QR code before departure.
Upon Arrival in Coron
Upon Arrival in Coron

UPON ARRIVAL

  • Scan the QR code located at the arrival area (Make sure to download the Traze.ph app prior to your arrival.
  • Undergo a health assessment at the triage at Francisco B. Reyes airport.
  • If symptomatic: tourists will be required to pay for an antigen test.
  • If positive: tourist will be sent to the hotel they booked
  • If negative: tourists may continue with their itinerary.

REQUIREMENTS TO BRING

  • Negative RT-PCR test with an official receipt
  • Confirmation letter from hotel and agency
  • Confirmed roundtrip tickets
  • Coron QR Code

Source: https://corontourism.ph/covid-19-travel-advisory/ (Requirements Retrieved January 21, 2021. Visit this page for updates)

After you’ve prepared and passed all the requirements, you can now enjoy your trip to Palawan–with social distancing and masks, of course! To make your trip hassle-free, here are some accommodation and spots that you might want to check out in Coron:

ACTIVITIES TO DO IN CORON

Relax at Maquinit Hot Springs

Maquinit Hot Springs photo via Depositphotos
Maquinit Hot Springs photo via Depositphotos

This natural saltwater hot spring is perfect for those looking for a healing and relaxing vacation, with its health benefits that you can get from their pools. Its natural charm complements the soothing experience one can get here. Tip: end your day with a dip in the pool to relax your tired muscles!

Hike at Mt. Tapyas

Girl looking over Coron Town and Bay from Mount Tapyas photo via Depositphotos
Girl looking over Coron Town and Bay from Mount Tapyas photo via Depositphotos

What better way to see the spectacular view of Coron but atop Mt. Tapyas? Best visited by sunset, Mt. Tapyas is a beginner-friendly hike to a 210-meter mountain that will give you a breathtaking nature view. Wear comfortable attire and shoes for a pleasurable experience!

Swim at the Kayangan Lake

Kayangan Lake in Coron
Kayangan Lake in Coron

If there’s a photo that would very much remind you of Coron, it would be the crystal clear lake called Kayangan.

To get here, you’ll need to ride a boat. Most island-hopping tours include Kayangan Lake in the itinerary, so don’t fret. Here, you can swim, snorkel, and take beautiful photos at the Kayangan view deck.

Snorkel at Twin Lagoon

Kayaking in Twin Lagoon, Coron Palawan photo via Depositphotos
Kayaking in Twin Lagoon, Coron Palawan photo via Depositphotos

If you were on an island-hopping tour, it would be impossible to miss Twin Lagoon. Aptly named so, these two huge rock towers are where cold freshwater meets hot seawater that’s a fun experience to try when swimming around the lagoon.

Boats dock on the first lagoon, and to get to the second one, you need to climb up a ladder during high tide or walk under a hole on a rock during low tide.

Have Lunch at Banol Beach

Banol Beach photo via Two Seasons Resort
Banol Beach photo via Two Seasons Resort

Banol Beach is the usual lunch spot of island hopping tours. It’s a small stretch of white sand beach surrounded by gigantic limestone cliffs to decorate the view.

There are a few huts there where fresh seafood and your choice of lunch is served. You may enjoy swimming by the beach too if you’d want to swim right after a sumptuous feast!

Enjoy the Underwater View at Siete Picados

Siete Picados in Coron photo by Eugene via Flickr CC
Siete Picados in Coron photo by Eugene via Flickr CC

This spot is where you can best see the underwater species that Coron has to offer. Here, you’ll see spectacular coral reefs, colorful fishes, turtles, and more!

Wear your snorkel and goggles to get a better view and say hello to the beautiful underwater creatures at Siete Picados!

Feed Animals at Calauit Island

Zebras in Calauit Island
Zebras in Calauit Island

They say Calauit ISland gives you a glimpse of Africa, and true enough, you’ll find most animals that you’ve only seen in a book in here.

Meet giraffes, zebras, deers and interact with them as you enjoy a fun visit to this safari park!

Discover Black Island

Black Island in Busuanga
Black Island in Busuanga

This mysterious island is known to be one of the best cliff-jumping spots in Coron. Aside from the beach and the crisp white strip of sand by the shore, you’ll be fascinated with the caves where you can explore rock formations best illuminated by natural light. If you’re an adventure seeker, go here, and you won’t regret it.

Sunbathe at North Cay Island

This small island has become a favorite among repeat tourists due to its peaceful and quiet setting. It’s not as crowded as other islands, plus you can still see underwater creatures and enjoy sunbathing at the beautiful white sand beach.

To top it off, sunset and sunrise are much more breathtaking when you’re at North Cay Island.

PLACES TO STAY IN CORON

Sunlight Guest Hotel Coron

Sunlight Guest Hotel Coron
Sunlight Guest Hotel Coron

Location: National Road, Barangay Tagumpay, Coron, Palawan

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

If you’re looking for hotels in Coron with a convenient location, this is one of your best choices. Aside from its stunning yellow building, this hotel is great because of its proximity to tourist attractions near the town center. It has a Southern Europe vibe, which will make your stay in this accommodation all the more memorable.

Funny Lion Coron

The Funny Lion in Coron Palawan
The Funny Lion in Coron Palawan

Location: Sitio Jolo, Poblacion 5, Coron, Palawan

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

For those who want a bit more privacy for their hideaway, Funny Lion would be the best option for you. Funny Lion Coron boasts of its overlooking view of the islands on their pool and bar area on the third floor.

They have three types of accommodation for every traveler. Hungry? They serve delicious meals too at their in-house restaurant called Hunt.

Bacau Bay Resort

Bacau Bay Poolside Sunset
Bacau Bay Poolside Sunset

Location: Governor’s Drive, Sitio Jolo, Poblacion 5, Coron, 5316 Palawan

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

Got a bit more budget for your Palawan trip? Bacau Bay Resort is perfect for those willing to splurge for their vacay.

This modern luxury resort offers comfort and convenience to tourists who would like to make the most out of their Coron trip. With 80 hotel rooms and an exclusive private pier, you’ll feel like a VIP in this upscale resort.

Darayonan Lodge Coron

Darayonan Lodge Coron Palawan
Darayonan Lodge Coron Palawan

Location: No. 132, National Highway, Barangay 1, Poblacion, Coron, Palawan, Philippines, 5316

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

Budget-friendly tourists can never go wrong with Darayonan Lodge. This rustic lodge offers a homey ambiance at the heart of Coron. They have 20 rooms, a cafe, a poolside bar, and an arts and crafts souvenir shop. They also offer tour packages for you to enjoy as you visit Coron.

*Please note that not all DOT accredited hotels and resorts are allowed to operate and accept guests.

List of Hotels and Resorts with Certificate of Authority to Operate in Coron and Busuanga

Where to book Coron Tour Packages?

One of the travel requirements before you travel to Coron is a confirmed booking or itinerary. This will be checked during airport check-in and upon arrival at Coron Airport. Please be reminded that you can only book with DOT accredited travel and tour operators. Here’s our recommended Coron tour company:

Blue Lagoon Adventure Travel and Tours
Email: coronbluelagoon@gmail.com / bluelagoonmila@gmail.com
Mobile: 09178581799 / 099999983421
www.bluelagoontraveltours.com

List of DOT Accredited Tour Operators in Coron and Busuanga

  • CALAMIAN TRAVEL AND TOURS
  • NATURE’S WAY TRAVEL AND TOURS
  • JY TRAVEL AND TOURS
  • BLUE LAGOON ADVENTURE TRAVEL AND TOURS

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I follow my own DIY Coron Tour Itinerary?

All leisure travelers are required to follow the itinerary provided by a DOT-Accredited Tour Operator in Coron. If there’s an emergency need to buy something from a grocery or drug store, you need to coordinate it with the hotel’s front desk.

Can we dine in local restaurants outside our hotel?

Tourists may dine in any operating local restaurants provided that they follow dining protocols. Travelers are required to coordinate with their hotel front desk and tour operator prior to visiting local restaurants. Guests are required to wear face masks, face shields and observe social distancing before they enter the restaurant’s facility. Please be reminded that most tourism establishments are operating at a limited capacity and operation hours is until 9pm only due to strict implementation of local curfew.

Are you ready to resume your travel goals this 2021? Make sure to always follow safety protocols while you enjoy your trip to Coron! Safe travels!

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Why the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace Matter Now More Than Ever


It’s undeniable that getting outside and exploring nature is good for your mind, body, and soul. But is it good for the natural world?

That depends. Are you going off trail when you hike? Have you ever stacked rocks in order to leave a marker? Do you like taking animal selfies to amaze your friends via social media?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your outdoor explorations may be doing more harm than good. In this story, we’ll explore why responsible travel is vital to protecting ecosystems.

The sad truth is that most people don’t actually know what environmental stewardship is, or the role we, as outdoor adventurers, play in it. That’s what the 7 principles of Leave Not Trace are for!

These principles attempt to prevent damaged trails and natural areas, destructive fires, overly crowded parks, and polluted water. This code for outdoor ethics also aspires to protect native wildlife, and to connect more young people to nature.

The Leave No Trace principles are ultimately designed to help us stay one step ahead in protecting ecosystems.

Here, we’ll explore the origins of the Leave No Trace ethos, explaining what they are, why they matter, and how they can guide each us to become environmental stewards for the places we explore.

READ MORE: What is Ecotourism? (History & Principles of Responsible Travel)

Leave No Trace Sign
Leave No Trace Sign on Trail by GCShutter via Canva

Origins of Leave No Trace

The original concepts behind the Leave No Trace ethos came from a push for increased environmental conservation after the mass destruction of WWII.

The Leave No Trace movement didn’t officially gain steam until the 1960s. This is around the same time that recreational camping became more common (mainly because things like tents, sleeping bags, and gas stoves became more widely available to consumers).

With the increase in visitors to US National Parks, National Forests, and National Wildlife Refuges, these parks began to educate visitors on how to have a minimal impact on the environment.

In 1987, the U.S. government created a pamphlet on “Leave No Trace Land Ethics.” Conservation-minded organizations such as the Sierra Club, National Outdoor Leadership School, and Outward Bound also encouraged low-impact behaviors.

In 1990, the U.S. Forest Service created the national Leave No Trace education program. The program went hand-in-hand with their other outdoor education programs, like Smokey Bear and Tread Lightly!

Since 1994, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has managed the national Leave No Trace program. They research current issues and constantly update information on their LNT website.

They have helpful infographics and information on the seven principles of Leave No Trace. And while the program originally started as a guide for backcountry camping, their principles have since been adapted for the “front-country,” too.

READ MORE: Top 20 National Forests in America for Camping and Hiking

 

The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace Principle of Plan Ahead and Prepare
Trail Map by Brandi Redd via Unsplash

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

The first principle of Leave No Trace is to plan ahead and prepare for your adventure. Although this is most important when exploring the backcountry, it’s also important for day trips into the woods.

Park rangers and outdoor educators created this principle to encourage preparation for issues regarding safety, food waste, and resource damage.

Hikers that don’t know enough about the area (or who are inexperienced) may risk getting injured, lost, or have inadequate resources for their adventure.

But if you plan ahead and prepare, you’re less likely to put yourself and others in danger.

This principle is adapted for the front-country as “Know Before You Go,” which is the same idea. It means to do proper research about the place you’re exploring, pack adequate food and water, wear appropriate clothing, and follow maps to stay on marked hiking trails.

READ MORE: 20 Camping Tips & Tricks for Responsible Travelers

Campsite
Camping Under the Stars by Josh Hild via Unsplash

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

Damage happens when people go off trail, or camp in unapproved spots. When plants or organisms are trampled under your feet or tents, the area loses flora growth and can experience soil erosion.

Hiking trails are there for a reason: They give people a specific route to travel on that is mapped, marked, safe, and uses a strategically small portion of the ecosystem.

When you do need to go off-trail during a backcountry hike, try to find durable surfaces such as rocks, sand, gravel, ice, and snow. Try to avoid walking on vegetation, or in standing water. Avoid making loud noises that will frighten wildlife.

Use these same guidelines for setting up your camp. Designated camping areas are always best. But if you’re going to camp in the backcountry, try to find durable surfaces to camp on.

This principle is almost exactly the same for front-country travel, encouraging people to “Stick to Trails and Camp Overnight Right.”

READ MORE:  Best Camping Tents for Families

Littering
Please Don’t Litter by Cam Bradford via Unsplash

3. Dispose of Waste Properly

Trash can be dangerous to animals, plants, water, and other people if not disposed of properly.

That’s why the third Leave No Trace principle encourages you to be mindful of how you get rid of things. This principle also outlines what you should do with different kinds of waste.

For example, it’s a bad idea to put food waste on the fire, because it may not completely burn. So it can attract animals who may be harmed by eating it.

If you wash your dishes and then dump the water in a stream, the chemicals in the soap can be very damaging for the water and the species living in it.

For the front-country, the principle is “Trash Your Trash and Pick Up Poop.”

Carry plastic bags for stowing waste to throw away at home. Use bathrooms or outhouses whenever possible. Pick up your pet’s poop. And don’t put any waste, food, or soap into waterways.

READ MORE: 15 Ways to Reduce Waste & Move Towards Waste-Free Living

Flowers in the Woods
Flowers in the Woods via Canva

4. Leave What You Find

When people take flowers, rocks, or other objects from nature, it damages ecosystems and also takes away from the experiences of the people that come after them.

The fourth principle of Leave No Trace asks that visitors try to make the most minimal impact possible.

This includes something as simple as moving pinecones to set up a tent, but moving them back where they were when you leave.

It’s also very important to avoid damaging trees and plants. Don’t cut down trees, even for firewood. Do NOT carve initials into trees. Try not to trample or pick plants and wildflowers.

Objects such as antlers, petrified wood, colored rocks, or cultural objects like Native American arrowheads should not be moved. It can not only affect animals, but it takes away from other peoples’ experiences of the place.

The front-country principle is the same, with it being called “Leave It As You Find It.”

READ MORE: Can the Maritime Forest Survive Climate Change?

fire ring
Using existing fire rings to minimize campfire impacts

5. Minimize Campfire Impacts

Campfires are almost synonymous with camping: It’s difficult to imagine one without the other. But campfires can be extremely damaging to nature, so you have to be careful.

First, take time to look up whether or not there are any fire restrictions in the area. You can also ask the rangers at the national or state parks you visit.

The least harmful option is a camp stove, because they’re easy to use and Leave No Trace. However, if you do want a campfire, the first thing to consider is where to put it.

Try to find an existing fire ring made out or rocks. Having fires limited to only one spot reduces the damage on the soil. Firepans are also a good option, since they protect the soil.

Next, you’ll need firewood. As mentioned, you should never harm a live, standing tree for firewood. Birds and insects make their homes here. The best option is always limbs that have already fallen.

You can always buy firewood, but it should be from a local source rather than from home. The wood you burn needs to be present within the local ecosystem.

It’s also important to make sure wood is burned all the way through and fires are put out with water. Always tend to a fire regularly, and try not to burn it too high or for longer than you need.

The front-country principle for this is “Be Careful with Fire,” and advises the same things.

READ MORE: The 15 Best State Parks in Georgia

respect wildlife
Bear in the Wild by Federico Di Dio via Unsplash

6. Respect Wildlife

In all of the above principles, the primary goal of the LNT principles is to have as little effect on surrounding nature as possible. This includes respecting the rights of wildlife.

Whether you’re on a wildlife safari in Africa or watching wildlife in US National Parks, it is always a bad idea to get too close or otherwise invade the space of wild animals.

Long story short, if your presence appears to alter their behavior in any way, you should back away. This goes for animals on land as well as those in the sea, if you’re snorkeling or SCUBA diving.

If you’re into wildlife photography, it is ALWAYS recommended to do so from afar. You should never touch or feed animals, and even loud noises can be damaging to them.

You must be careful to give wild animals their space, be quiet, and take measures to prevent them from getting into your food and garbage.

The front-country principle summarizes this perfectly with its title, “Keep Wildlife Wild.”

READ MORE: 70 Cool & Weird Animals Around the World

Hikers on Trail
Hikers on Trail by Maridav via Canva

7. Be Respectful of Other Visitors

The last Leave No Trace principle is to be respectful of other people you’re sharing the area with. Playing music, talking loudly, and not making space for others on trails are all disruptive.

Many people want peace and solitude to appreciate their surroundings, so try not to take away from the tranquility of nature.

Remember that you’re also sharing trails with other hikers, runners, cyclists, and/or equestrians, and  be mindful of those around you.

If you bring your pets with you, make sure they’re on leashes where required, and that you’re picking up their poop and aren’t allowing them to bother others.

At the time this article was written, the COVID pandemic was still prevalent. One important way to respect others is by wearing a mask and remaining socially distanced when you’re on the trail.

The front-country version of this mainly applies to popular hiking trails, urging everyone to “Share Our Trails and Manage Your Pet.”

READ MORE: 40 Green Travel Tips (Ultimate Guide to  Sustainable Travel)

Leave No Trace sign
Leave No Trace Sign in Acadia National Park, photo by sshepard via Canva

Examples of Bad Behavior vs. Leave No Trace

BAD BEHAVIORS  LEAVE NO TRACE

 Not following a path

 Phone not being charged

 Not paying attention to the time

Have Map and Follow Trail

Charged Phone or Battery Pack

Planning Your Hike

Going to close to an edge

Getting caught in a strong current

Travel on durable surfaces

 Stay on marked trails

Not storing food properly

Not disposing of trash properly

Do not leave food or trash out

Dispose of waste properly

Spray-painting rocks

Carving name into trees

 Stacking rocks

Picking flowers

Leave what you find

 Have minimal impact

Don’t take flowers or objects

Ignoring fire bans

Cutting down trees

Bringing firewood from home

Pay attention to restrictions

Only already fallen limbs

Only local firewood

Touching animals

Being too loud

Feeding animals

Respect wildlife

Do not get too close or be loud

Never feed animals

Store food correctly

 Not yielding to others

 Leaving pet feces

Not wearing a mask (during COVID-19)

 Yield to hikers, bikers, and equestrians

Always dispose of trash and pet feces

Wear mask and socially distance

–by Sonny Grace Bray, lead photo via Canva

 

 

 



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Multi-Cloud Cost Optimization – ReadWrite


The popularity and confidence in cloud computing platforms continues to grow unabated.  More and more businesses are moving mission-critical workloads to public clouds.  Forbes recently projected that by 2021, 32% of IT budgets will be spent on public cloud platforms.  Forbes also points out that cloud spending has grown 59% on average since 2018.

The Recent Trends of Multi-Cloud Optimization will Continue — Elevating the Importance of a Multi-Cloud Strategy.

The elasticity of cloud platforms provides great potential from an engineering perspective but great challenges from a cost-containment perspective. Traditional engineering teams using on-premises infrastructure are not accustomed to considering cost in a pay as you go environment. When migrating from limited on-premises hardware to the comparatively infinite expanse and variety of cloud, cost containment, tracking and optimization have to be considered.

Cost discipline, by necessity, becomes part of engineering awareness and vigilance — a requirement for businesses looking to exploit the new paradigm.

The Multi-Cloud Way

Many businesses already have a presence in multiple cloud platforms, either due to a strategy, or more likely, due to organic growth.  The benefits of cloud technology include the lack of a reliance on a single provider, agility, scalability, high availability, SaaS services, and PaaS platforms. These higher quality services, along with the pay as you go billing model, is very attractive.

Controlling the associated costs requires a well thought out multi-cloud strategy.

A multi-cloud cost strategy considers workload placement by factors.

  • Workload/platform optimization. Does the application utilize sufficient platform features to justify placement there?  Conversely, does the availability zone provide needed features for the workload?  How can inter-region bandwidth charges be balanced against fixed availability zone costs in a distributed deployment?
  • Performance. Can the workload be placed on a platform, region, or server-class with overall lower performance without impact?  Workloads that can tolerate lower average performance can benefit from right-sizing the computing environment.  Similarly, for storage; can the workload tolerate lower performance or even object storage to lower costs.
  • Availability. Are some workloads tolerant of low (or at least not high) availability?  Can they be placed on cloud excess capacity when available?  Most cloud platforms have far cheaper preemptible instances for workloads that can tolerate it ( e.g., ETL / batch jobs that can snapshot progress).
  • Serverless. Does the workload require a dedicated server?  Similar to shopping for excess capacity, serverless offerings have the potential for cost savings by not maintaining a running server and only incurring costs based on resource consumption on a highly granular basis.

Hybrid cloud strategies also can have an important impact on cost. Hybrid cloud, using on-premises capacity along with public cloud resources, should be considered when excess on-premise capacity exists — or where public cloud offerings aren’t cost-competitive.

For many businesses, compliance requirements will make a hybrid approach necessary. For others, hybrid cloud deployments are simply the result of a phased migration of workloads to the cloud, which may take many months or years.

The basic promise of the public cloud, the efficient consumption of resources on-demand as an operational expense vs. large capital plus operational expense, isn’t guaranteed to make sense under all circumstances.

Cloud Cost Assessment

If some workloads are already running on the public cloud, the first step is quantifying the costs of existing workloads and services over time as a baseline. Quantifying the cost-baseline is key to getting a detailed profile of consumption and waste beyond simple aggregation of spending.  Once this baseline is established, it can serve as a starting point for identifying problem areas and building an understanding of how cost relates to system usage.

It is critical to correlate current costs to internal teams or projects to enable accountability.

It is critical for cost control to correlate current costs to internal teams or projects to enable accountability and identify the “low hanging fruit.” The correlation can be very difficult without the assignment of tags/labels to cloud instances as a general policy for teams that are deploying cloud workloads.

One of the benefits of a high-level of cloud automation is the ability to tag workloads transparently so that cost traceability can be achieved consistently. The benefits of cloud workload orchestration in the context of day to day operations (CI/CD processes) are discussed later.

Cloud providers offer tools that can assist with cost analysis. For example, AWS has its “Cost Explorer” and its “Cost and Usage Report.”  These are particularly useful in combination with AWS cost allocation tagging.

Azure offers “Cost Management” from the Azure console, which can provide detailed reports. Azure also uses resource tagging to associate cloud resources with accounts (and other indicator-like “projects”).

Google Cloud has a similar service. In addition to the native tools, cloud management platform vendors such as Flexera, Cloudbolt, CloudApp and others provide cost analysis tools across multiple cloud platforms.

Cloud Cost Control

It is critical to raise awareness in teams that use cloud resources of the cost behavior of their workloads so the impact of design and operational decisions can be understood in context. Teams may be consuming large compute instances, retaining unneeded logs or other data on cloud storage, or not tearing down idle resources.

Even with all the benefits of a multi-cloud strategy, the tracking and forecasting associated with the operation of workloads hosted on multiple cloud platforms is a challenge. Add to that the unpredictability of workload scale, one of the major benefits of cloud architectures, and the complexity can become overwhelming.

A strategy for dealing with cost control is needed, potentially along with controls that can overlap with modern DevOps practices.

A casual survey of cloud billing models may lead to the impression that they are the same — but actual costs can be highly workload-dependent.  Using the baseline measurement to identify cost hot spots, compare public cloud billing models to identify significant savings.

The complexity and effort to migrate and maintain services on multiple cloud platforms is significant and requires a significant benefit. The costs and benefits are highly workload-dependent. Because of this dependency, any multi-cloud strategy will benefit from a multi-cloud orchestration layer.

The orchestration layer will provide a degree of portability and make it easier to exploit new cloud providers and changing cost advantages. In addition, discounts provided by cloud providers can provide significant savings for organizations.

Flexera reports that less than half, much less in some cases, of customers, exploit cloud discounts such as AWS spot instances — meaning Azure low priority instances and Google ad hoc negotiated discounts.

Besides operational automation, the adoption of a multi-cloud orchestrator that integrates with modern DevOps practices can provide cost containment benefits.

An orchestrator with a declarative “infrastructure as code” approach makes templates a reviewable part of the release process. Cost containment policies can be applied to the template during review to effectively deny the deployment of problematic workloads. Labels or tags are then applied automatically for cost tracking.

For example, the attempted use of inappropriate-instance-types can be denied far in advance of any damage being done. Furthermore, a competent orchestrator will be capable of applying user/group or even time-specific barriers to workload deployment.

In addition, an orchestrator can limit scaling behavior — thus ensuring that complex deployments are completely cleaned up. Cleaned up deployments are critical to avoid zombie-cost-sources like abandoned unattached storage.

Summary

The journey to an optimal, cost-efficient multi/hybrid cloud strategy is a complex one. It is important to understand current costs, including on-premise workloads. Understanding the current costs will be your foundation for advancement and growth. You’ll understand which of the various platforms have provided the tools you require.

Automation will play a key role in standardizing and controlling the approved interactions and workload placement on various platforms and provide a degree of workload portability.

Portability is key because the world of cloud providers never stands still — and cloud billing models vary over time — requiring adaptability.

Finally, besides ongoing cost auditing, a practice of manual and automated orchestration-template-review must be in place to avoid unpleasant billing surprises.

Nati Shalom

Founder and CTO of Cloudify

Nati Shalom is the founder and CTO of Cloudify, a serial entrepreneur and thought leader in open-source, multi-cloud orchestration, network virtualization, DevOps and more. Nati has received multiple recognitions from publications such as The CIO Magazine and YCombinator and is one of the leaders of Cloud Native and DevOps Israel groups. Nati is also a frequent presenter at industry conferences.



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10 beautiful livestreams to brighten your day


​The pandemic may have put a pause to many a vacation, but there’s still a creative way to get your travel fix. All it takes is an internet connection.

Enter the live stream. These videos provide a real time glimpse into a destination. And while they may not be a perfect cure for wanderlust, they do provide an instant portal to somewhere new and exciting – all without costing a penny or requiring a quarantine period!

 Ahead, ten live streams to enjoy while you daydream about packing your bags for real.

 Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Visit skiers paradise from the comfort of home. Watch as visitors snap pictures under one of Jackson Town Square’s famed elk antler arches and pop in and out of shops like Jackson Trading Company. Ready to explore even more of the region? See Jackson Hole has over 50 streams featuring an elk refuge, ski slopes, an alpine slide, and more.

 Deerfield Beach, Florida

Tranquility is transmitted via WiFi thanks to this stream of Deerfield Beach. While the view rotates among scenes of the beach, boardwalk, and skyline, the vibe captured is mostly sunny and always soothing. Listening to ocean sounds as birds call in the distance is so peaceful, it doesn’t take much imagination to convince yourself you’re actually in Florida. It is a bit like having a mini vacation in your pocket at all times.

 Brooks Falls, Alaska

Need a boost of excitement? Try the Brooks Falls stream. You’ll be gasping at your screen as brown bears in Katmai National Park swipe their next meal out of the water. And with some bears consuming upwards of 30 fish per day, the action is endless. This stream isn’t always live, but even in the off-season, it plays highlights from past broadcasts that are well worth the watch. For your best chance to catch the action as it happens, tune in during the summer months when bears hunt from the large groups of salmon heading upstream.

 Banzai Pipeline, Hawaii

Don’t let the sound of waves breaking on the shore fool you; this isn’t your grandma’s sound machine! The Pipeline Cam shows adrenaline-seeking surfers hanging ten on some of O’ahu’s best – and gnarliest – waves (some towering up to 30 feet!) The Pipeline’s Ehukai Beach also hosts some of the world’s most prestigious surfing competitions including the Billabong Pipe Masters.

 New York City

It may be awhile before you get your hands on your next Levain chocolate chip walnut cookie or feel fully comfortable exploring the city by subway, but that doesn’t have to mean foregoing the excitement of New York City completely. This broadcast from St. George Tower captures The Big Apple’s iconic skyline between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Need even more NYC? This Times Square stream delivers the hustle and bustle straight to your screen – no dodging of those photo-loving mascots required.

 Duluth, Minnesota

You don’t need to be a maritime enthusiast to appreciate this live stream, but stick around long enough and you just might become one. There’s something inexplicably magical about watching massive freighters – often loaded with coal and iron ore – pass through the Duluth Ship Canal as they traverse Lake Superior, serenading spectators with their horns as they go. (And shocking online viewers out of a midday slump!)

 Redondo Beach, California

Next time you’re California dreamin,’ start streaming the City of Redondo Beach Pier camera. The view of the Pacific and lucky beachgoers will no doubt add a bit of sunshine to your day. For a different view of the town, check out the City of Redondo Beach Harbor Camera which often captures a glimpse of recreationists hitting the water by paddle board, kayak and boat.

 Las Vegas, Nevada

Nowhere in the United States delivers on that promise of excitement (and excellent people watching!) quite like the Las Vegas Strip. This camera swivels up and down the street from its perch at the American Eagle storefront providing a birds-eye-view of the action. You’ll catch glimpses of Vegas hotels including Excalibur with its colorful medieval facade, New York-New York and its on-site roller coaster, and Paris Las Vegas with its replica Eiffel Tower.

 Leavenworth, Washington

With panoramic mountains and charming Bavarian-inspired architecture, Leavenworth not only looks like it is in Europe, it looks straight out of a storybook! During the day, shoppers fill the streets, and in the winter, sledders fly down the hill at Front Street Park. Tune in between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day to catch a glimpse of the town all lit up for the holidays – the scene is almost as breathtaking as those mountain views.

 Yellowstone

Gone are the days of loading up the minivan, hitting the road, paying an entrance fee, and hoping you make it to a viewing area at just the right time to see Old Faithful erupt. Now all it takes is a few clicks. Watch Old Faithful and a dozen other geysers in Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin area in real time on the National Park Service website. The site also provides a handy estimate of when Old Faithful is set to erupt next so you never miss the excitement. Another perk? The park’s yummy sulfur smell can’t be transferred over WiFi… yet!





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