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In Ecuador's Amazon, indigenous forest defense gains legal g…

Alexis Griffie 0 8 08.03 21:54
Because today, a Mail investigation reveals what happened after Black Friday last year, proving yet again that the number of genuine one-off deals worth sharpening your elbows for are, in truth, scarce.

Indigenous communities like the Cofan already carrying out patrols say policing their borders has been crucial in keeping large-scale mining out of their territory and protecting the surrounding forest in one of the world's most biodiverse ecosystems.

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"We know this territory is ours but we need a piece of paper to prove it," said Guaramag, as indigenous youth played volleyball in the village of 300, with its two-story aluminum-roofed stilt homes, fish pools and plain evangelical church.

Preserving the Amazon, the world's largest tropical rainforest, is vital to regulating the Earth's climate and curbing runway climate change because its trees absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide, the main driver of global warming.

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Speaking under a starry night sky filled with shooting stars, Nihua said the biggest challenge she faces as a leader is keeping her community united and Kindle resolute in the face of cash offered by miners and drillers, and by other outside promises of a better life.

Overall, the Frames' audio is middling, and if you're looking to use these as headphone replacements, it's best to look elsewhere. Amazon touts the Echo Frames as having "open-ear technology," which is marketing speak for having little downward-facing speakers next to your ears, as opposed to buds inside them. 

The plastic feels cheap and fragile. But while the frames look relatively nice, for $180 (or the $250 regular price after the invitation window has closed), Amazon needs to put more focus on the build quality. I could never get the glasses completely closed because the arms were so bulky, and it ended up looking awkward and unbalanced.

The president has said he aims in the next three years to double to $4 billion annual mining exports, mostly of gold and copper, and also double crude output, much of it pumped from oil wells in the Amazon.

At a small Cofan village high above a sandy riverbank and backed by forested mountains and active volcanoes, indigenous leader Wider Guaramag said the government's energy plans threaten the rainforest and his community's way of life.

But they do have a modern, polished look. Echo Frames look nice, but feel cheap With thick black lenses à la Tina Belcher, the Echo Frames aren't going to be for everyone. The plastic arms -- which house components including the speakers, microphones, battery and magnetic charging connector -- were light and comfortable, even after wearing them for hours on end. 

To others around me, it looked like I was just cross-eyed. A little red light will flash and Alexa will tell you it's muted, while a little charging light under the right arm will also turn red, Kindle not that you can see it while wearing the Echo Frames.  To mute Alexa, double-click the power button under the right arm. It also made for a few awkward encounters when my eyes were looking towards the Frames itself. At first, I found the blue light distracting but I got used to it over time.

A lack of clear laws and guidelines about how indigenous communities should participate in decisions made about what happens on their lands is often a key source of conflict between them, the government and extractive companies.

When I wanted to talk to someone I had to remember to unmute my glasses, which was a bit of a pain. Keep in mind that muting the mics on the glasses will mute them for everything, including for phone calls.

The glasses themselves feel like the cheapest thing in the package. The irony is that all the other pieces included in the box give off the impression of a premium product, including the leather glasses case and braided charging cable.

But the Echo Frames can be fitted with prescription lenses, with Amazon publishing a little guide (PDF) for you to take to a local optician. After initially launching without them, late last year Bose added the ability to purchase or update its Frames with prescription lenses in the US. Amazon gets points here as some other audio-focused smart glasses, such as Bose's $200 Frames Alto and Rondo sunglasses, haven't always made this as easy. Because the glasses I received didn't have prescription lenses, I wore mine with my contact lenses and Novel Books it worked out fine.

This essentially frees Alexa from the limitations of a home speaker or an app on your phone. Instead, the big appeal is the support for Alexa, which the Frames can summon anywhere. But in practice, the Day One Edition of Amazon's Echo Frames is very much a beta product. If Amazon wants to truly lead in smart glasses, it needs to make big improvements on the frames' sound quality, build and performance. 


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