A World Cup Of Waste

It’s likely to follow in the soccer tournament’s wake:

The host country has been producing 30% more TV sets than last year, according to the Asociação Nacional de Fabricantes de Produtos Eletrônicos (National Association of Electronics Producers)—which means that, by the end of this year, Brazil will have between 18-20 million more TVs than when it started. By May, over half of them had been sold to giddy Brazilians in anticipation of seeing their team, the big favorites, win the sixth World Cup of its history in high definition.

The paixão pelo futebol, as they say in Brazil of their passion for soccer, might have unexpected effects. For every new TV set that comes into a Brazilian home, an old one usually goes out. A study by the World Bank pointed out that Brazil currently produces 14 lbs. of electronic waste per person every year, which makes it the leader in this type of garbage in Latin America. And it is rising: the government expects the amount will go up to 17.5 lbs per person by 2015. Television sets account for the largest type of e-waste in Brazil.

Meanwhile, the strain on Brazil’s power grid is requiring it to burn more fossil fuels:

According to Ildo Luís Sauer, director of the Institute for Energy and the Environment at the University of São Paulo, there’s “a chance” a blackout could occur in the country during the World Cup due to a “critical situation of excess demand” on the national electricity grid. “Usually, in Brazil, during World Cup hours — especially during evening games — you have a composition of huge demand because everyone is at home watching them,” he said.

But it is a risk that the sprawling country seems unwilling to take. Javier Diaz, a senior energy analyst at Bentek, said Brazil is attempting to preserve hydro inventory levels by importing and burning more liquefied natural gas, “especially with the [arrival of the] World Cup.” “Brazil’s monthly LNG imports broke new records in February and March, importing 95 percent and 76 percent more than in 2013,” he said in an email. In fact, the country is currently firing all of its thermal power plants — LNG, coal, diesel and fuel oil — said Sauer, who added that it’s “quite unusual.”

Finally, Thomas Brewster reports that Anonymous hackers are launching an all-out assault on FIFA, World Cup sponsors, and the Brazilian government:

Anonymous is irate at the Brazilian government for spending hundreds of millions on stadiums and infrastructure for the World Cup, rather than funnelling funds into the poorest parts of the country. It’s launching digital attacks to coincide with the street protests that erupted across the South American country this week, which have highlighted the abject poverty and governmental abuse of citizens in Brazilian cities and favelas.

A representative of the collective told Reuters they planned to launch attacks on other big-name sponsors, including Adidas, Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Sony, yet they seem to have had limited success with those large organisations so far. That’s likely because they’re used to DDoS attacks and have the resources to fend them off. DDoS threats can be dealt with by various techniques. One method is to use “scrubbing,” where massive influxes of data are split between data centres to ease the pain. Another is to use DDoS detection technology, which picks up on huge surges of traffic and allows the user to quickly block connections from offending IP addresses.

Previous Dish on Brazil’s World Cup woes here.