SCS-C01 study help - AWS Certified Security - Specialty (SCS-C01) Updated: 2023
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AWS Certified Security - Specialty (SCS-C01)
A company?s security officer is concerned about the risk of AWS account root user logins and has assigned a security engineer to implement a
notification solution for near-real-time alerts upon account root user logins.
How should the security engineer meet these requirements?
A. Create a cron job that runs a script to download the AWS IAM security credentials file, parse the file for account root user logins, and email
the security team?s distribution list.
B. Run AWS CloudTrail logs through Amazon CloudWatch Events to detect account root user logins and trigger an AWS Lambda function to
send an Amazon SNS notification to the security team?s distribution list.
C. Save AWS CloudTrail logs to an Amazon S3 bucket in the security team?s account. Process the CloudTrail logs with the security
engineer?s logging solution for account root user logins. Send an Amazon SNS notification to the security team upon encountering the account
root user login events.
D. Save VPC Flow Logs to an Amazon S3 bucket in the security team?s account, and process the VPC Flow Logs with their logging solutions
for account root user logins. Send an Amazon SNS notification to the security team upon encountering the account root user login events.
A company wants to encrypt data locally while meeting regulatory requirements related to key exhaustion. The encryption key can be no more than 10
days old or encrypt more than 2^16 objects. Any encryption key must be generated on a FIPS-validated hardware security module (HSM). The company
is cost-conscious, as it plans to upload an average of 100 objects to Amazon S3 each second for sustained operations across 5 data producers.
Which approach MOST efficiently meets the company?s needs?
A. Use the AWS Encryption SDK and set the maximum age to 10 days and the maximum number of messages encrypted to 2^16. Use AWS Key
Management Service (AWS KMS) to generate the master key and data key. Use data key caching with the Encryption SDK during the encryption
B. Use AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) to generate an AWS managed CMK. Then use Amazon S3 client-side encryption configured
to automatically rotate with every object.
C. Use AWS CloudHSM to generate the master key and data keys. Then use Boto 3 and Python to locally encrypt data before uploading the
object. Rotate the data key every 10 days or after 2^16 objects have been uploaded to Amazon S3.
D. Use server-side encryption with Amazon S3 managed encryption keys (SSE-S3) and set the master key to automatically rotate.
A company is setting up products to deploy in AWS Service Catalog. Management is concerned that when users launch products, elevated IAM
privileges will be required to create resources.
How should the company mitigate this concern?
A. Add a template constraint to each product in the portfolio.
B. Add a launch constraint to each product in the portfolio.
C. Define resource update constraints for each product in the portfolio.
D. Update the AWS CloudFormation template backing the product to include a service role configuration.
A company is implementing a new application in a new AWS account. A VPC and subnets have been created for the application. The application has
been peered to an existing VPC in another account in the same AWS Region for database access. Amazon EC2 instances will regularly be created and
terminated in the application VPC, but only some of them will need access to the databases in the peered VPC over TCP port 1521. A security engineer
must ensure that only the
EC2 instances than need access to the databases can access them through the network.
How can the security engineer implement this solution?
A. Create a new security group in the database VPC and create an inbound rule that allows all traffic from the IP address range of the application
VPC. Add a new network ACL rule on the database subnets. Configure the rule to TCP port 1521 from the IP address range of the application
VPC. Attach the new security group to the database instances that the application instances need to access.
B. Create a new security group in the application VPC with an inbound rule that allows the IP address range of the database VPC over TCP port
1521. Create a new security group in the database VPC with an inbound rule that allows the IP address range of the application VPC over port
1521. Attach the new security group to the database instances and the application instances that need database access.
C. Create a new security group in the application VPC with no inbound rules. Create a new security group in the database VPC with an inbound
rule that allows TCP port 1521 from the new application security group in the application VPC. Attach the application security group to the
application instances that need database access, and attach the database security group to the database instances.
D. Create a new security group in the application VPC with an inbound rule that allows the IP address range of the database VPC over TCP port
1521. Add a new network ACL rule on the database subnets. Configure the rule to allow all traffic from the IP address range of the application
VPC. Attach the new security group to the application instances that need database access.
A company is running an application on Amazon EC2 instances in an Auto Scaling group. The application stores logs locally. A security engineer
noticed that logs were lost after a scale-in event. The security engineer needs to recommend a solution to ensure the durability and availability of log
data. All logs must be kept for a minimum of 1 year for auditing purposes.
What should the security engineer recommend?
A. Within the Auto Scaling lifecycle, add a hook to create an attach an Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) log volume each time an EC2
instance is created. When the instance is terminated, the EBS volume can be reattached to another instance for log review.
B. Create an Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) file system and add a command in the user data section of the Auto Scaling launch
template to mount the EFS file system during EC2 instance creation. Configure a process on the instance to copy the logs once a day from an
instance Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume to a directory in the EFS file system.
C. Build the Amazon CloudWatch agent into the AMI used in the Auto Scaling group. Configure the CloudWatch agent to send the logs to
Amazon CloudWatch Logs for review.
D. Within the Auto Scaling lifecycle, add a lifecycle hook at the terminating state transition and alert the engineering team by using a lifecycle
notification to Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS). Configure the hook to remain in the Terminating:Wait state for 1 hour to
allow manual review of the security logs prior to instance termination.
A company needs to retain log data archives for several years to be compliant with regulations. The log data is no longer used, but it must be retained.
What is the MOST secure and cost-effective solution to meet these requirements?
A. Archive the data to Amazon S3 and apply a restrictive bucket policy to deny the s3:DeleteObject API.
B. Archive the data to Amazon S3 Glacier and apply a Vault Lock policy.
C. Archive the data to Amazon S3 and replicated it to a second bucket in a second AWS Region. Choose the S3 Standard-Infrequent Access (S3
Standard-IA) storage class and apply a restrictive bucket policy to deny the s3:DeleteObject API.
D. Migrate the log data to a 16 TB Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume. Create a snapshot of the EBS volume.
A company uses an Amazon S3 bucket to store reports. Management has mandated that all new objects stored in this bucket must be encrypted at rest
using server-side encryption with a client specified AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) CMK owned by the same account as the S3 bucket.
The AWS account number is 111122223333, and the bucket name is reportbucket. The company?s security specialist must write the S3 bucket policy
to ensure the mandate can be implemented.
Which statement should the security specialist include in the policy?
A company website runs on Amazon EC2 instances behind an Application Load Balancer (ALB). The instances run in an Auto Scaling group across
Availability Zones. There is an Amazon CloudFront distribution in front of the ALB. Users are reporting performance problems. A security engineer
discovers that the website is receiving a high rate of unwanted requests to the CloudFront distribution originating from a series of source IP addresses.
How should the security engineer address this problem?
A. Using AWS Shield, configure a deny rule with an IP match condition containing the source IPs of the unwanted requests.
B. Using Auto Scaling, configure the maximum an instance value to an increased count that will absorb the unwanted requests.
C. Using an Amazon VPC NACL, configure an inbound deny rule for each source IP CIDR address of the unwanted requests.
D. Using AWS WAF, configure a web ACL rate-based rule on the CloudFront distribution with a rate limit below that of the unwanted requests.
A developer is building a serverless application hosted on AWS that uses Amazon Redshift as a data store. The application has separate module for
read/write and read-only functionality. The modules need their own database users for compliance reasons.
Which combination of steps should a security engineer implement to grant appropriate access? (Choose two.)
A. Configure cluster security groups for each application module to control access to database users that are required for read-only and read-write.
B. Configure a VPC endpoint for Amazon Redshift. Configure an endpoint policy that maps database users to each application module, and allow
access to the tables that are required for read-only and read/write.
C. Configure an IAM policy for each module. Specify the ARN of an Amazon Redshift database user that allows the GetClusterCredentials API
D. Create local database users for each module.
E. Configure an IAM policy for each module. Specify the ARN of an IAM user that allows the GetClusterCredentials API call.
A company uses an external identity provider to allow federation into different AWS accounts. A security engineer for the company needs to identify the
federated user that terminated a production Amazon EC2 instance a week ago.
What is the FASTEST way for the security engineer to identify the federated user?
A. Review the AWS CloudTrail event history logs in an Amazon S3 bucket and look for the TerminateInstances event to identify the federated
user from the role session name.
B. Filter the AWS CloudTrail event history for the TerminateInstances event and identify the assumed IAM role. Review the
AssumeRoleWithSAML event call in CloudTrail to identify the corresponding username.
C. Search the AWS CloudTrail logs for the TerminateInstances event and note the event time. Review the IAM Access Advisor tab for all
federated roles. The last accessed time should match the time when the instance was terminated.
D. Use Amazon Athena to run a SQL query on the AWS CloudTrail logs stored in an Amazon S3 bucket and filter on the TerminateInstances
event. Identify the corresponding role and run another query to filter the AssumeRoleWithWebIdentity event for the user name.
A company has two software development teams that are creating applications that store sensitive data in Amazon S3. Each team?s data must always
be separate. The company?s security team must design a data encryption strategy for both teams that provides the ability to audit key usage. The
solution must also minimize operational overhead.
What should the security team recommend?
A. Tell the application teams to use two different S3 buckets with separate AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) AWS managed CMKs.
Limit the key policies to allow encryption and decryption of the CMKs to their respective teams only. Force the teams to use encryption context
to encrypt and decrypt.
B. Tell the application teams to use two different S3 buckets with a single AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) AWS managed CMK.
Limit the key policy to allow encryption and decryption of the CMK only. Do not allow the teams to use encryption context to encrypt and
C. Tell the application teams to use two different S3 buckets with separate AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) customer managed
CMKs. Limit the key policies to allow encryption and decryption of the CMKs to their respective teams only. Force the teams to use encryption
context to encrypt and decrypt.
D. Tell the application teams to use two different S3 buckets with a single AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) customer managed CMK.
Limit the key policy to allow encryption and decryption of the CMK only. Do not allow the teams to use encryption context to encrypt and
A security engineer is designing a solution that will provide end-to-end encryption between clients and Docker containers running in Amazon Elastic
Service (Amazon ECS). This solution will also handle volatile traffic patterns.
Which solution would have the MOST scalability and LOWEST latency?
A. Configure a Network Load Balancer to terminate the TLS traffic and then re-encrypt the traffic to the containers.
B. Configure an Application Load Balancer to terminate the TLS traffic and then re-encrypt the traffic to the containers.
C. Configure a Network Load Balancer with a TCP listener to pass through TLS traffic to the containers.
D. Configure Amazon Route to use multivalue answer routing to send traffic to the containers.
A company uses an AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) CMK to encrypt application data before it is stored. The company?s security
policy was recently modified to require encryption key rotation annually. A security engineer must ensure that annual global key rotation is enabled for
the key without making changes to the application.
What should the security engineer do to accomplish this requirement?
A. Create new AWS managed keys. Configure the key schedule for the annual rotation. Create an alias to point to the new keys.
B. Enable automatic annual key rotation for the existing customer managed CMKs. Update the application encryption library to use a new key ID
for all encryption operations. Fall back to the old key ID to decrypt data that was encrypted with previous versions of the key.
C. Create new AWS managed CMKs. Configure the key schedule for annual rotation. Create an alias to point to the new CMKs.
D. Enable automatic annual key rotation for the existing customer managed CMKs. Update the application encryption library to use a new key ID
for all encryption operations. Create a key grant for the old CMKs and update the code to point to the ARN of the grants.
A company is collecting AWS CloudTrail log data from multiple AWS accounts by managing individual trails in each account and forwarding log data
to a centralized Amazon S3 bucket residing in a log archive account. After CloudTrail introduced support for AWS Organizations trails, the company
decided to further centralize management and automate deployment of the CloudTrail logging capability across all of its AWS accounts.
The company?s security engineer created an AWS Organizations trail in the master account, enabled server-side encryption with AWS KMS
managed keys (SSE-
KMS) for the log files, and specified the same bucket as the storage location. However, the engineer noticed that logs recorded by the new trail were not
delivered to the bucket.
Which factors could cause this issue? (Choose two.)
A. The CMK key policy does not allow CloudTrail to make encrypt and decrypt API calls against the key.
B. The CMK key policy does not allow CloudTrail to make GenerateDatakey API calls against the key.
C. The IAM role used by the CloudTrail trail does not have permissions to make PutObject API calls against a folder created for the Organizations
D. The S3 bucket policy does not allow CloudTrail to make PutObject API calls against a folder created for the Organizations trail.
E. The CMK key policy does not allow the IAM role used by the CloudTrail trail to use the key for cryptographical operations.
A company?s AWS CloudTrail logs are all centrally stored in an Amazon S3 bucket. The security team controls the company?s AWS account.
The security team must prevent unauthorized access and tampering of the CloudTrail logs.
Which combination of steps should the security team take? (Choose three.)
A. Configure server-side encryption with AWS KMS managed encryption keys (SSE-KMS)
B. Compress log file with secure gzip.
C. Create an Amazon EventBridge (Amazon CloudWatch Events) rule to notify the security team of any modifications on CloudTrail log files.
D. Implement least privilege access to the S3 bucket by configuring a bucket policy.
E. Configure CloudTrail log file integrity validation.
F. Configure Access Analyzer for S3.
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Mention automation and someone will invariably (and understandably) mention its impact on jobs. There are a lot of opposing views on the subject, of course, but the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that robotics and AI will have a profound impact on human jobs, going forward.
At todayâs Delivering the Future event at a fulfillment center south of Seattle, the company announced that it will be teaming with MIT and the Ipsos research firm to determine how these systems will impact work.
The subject is obviously an important one for Amazon. Not only is the retail giant a massive employer, itâs been deploying robotics in its fulfillment centers for over a decade. The direct impact theyâve had on human workers has been the subject of debate ever since. Amazon, naturally, argues that the machines have the effect of removing physical labor burden from human employees.
Critics, on the other hand, have suggested that robots make human jobs more robotic â a potential issue for work that is highly repetitive. Thereâs also the big question of job numbers. Proponents of automation suggest the technology will create more and better jobs. The opposing view holds that many existing blue collar-jobs will be displaced, and upskilling humans to work with robots is easier said than done.
The study seems less concerned with actual job numbers, and more with how human employees and the public feel about the inevitable increase of robotics and AI in warehouses, manufacturing facilities and other industrial settings.
Amazon Roboticsâ Chief Technologist Tye Brady did, however, address the question of job numbers ahead of todayâs event, noting:
The study will applied to key facets of robotic developments, including the discipline of human-robot interaction (HRI), a field that pretty much does what it says on the tin.
âThe key to effective teamwork is building a shared understanding of what our partners will do and what they will need to be successful,â says MITâs Julie Shah âOur research shows that the best way to optimize human-robot team performance is to develop robots that are active collaborators in helping a human to learn about their capabilities, limitations and behaviors.â
Nearly half of Amazon's employees in the U.S. have reported sustaining injuries at the company's famously fast-paced warehouses, with some workers reporting they have to take unpaid time off from their jobs to recover, a new survey shows.
According to a national study from the University of Illinois Chicago's Center for Urban Economic Development (CUED), 41% of the e-commerce giant's workers have gotten hurt on the job. Of those employees, 69% had to take unpaid time off to recover from pain or exhaustion in the past month, researchers found.
Amazon workers' self-reported injury rate is nearly six times higher than what some previous reports have found, according to the survey.Â
"The survey data indicate that how Amazon designs its processes â including extensive monitoring and the rapid pace of work â are contributing to a considerable physical and mental health toll, including injuries, burnout and exhaustion," Beth Gutelius, research director at CUED and a co-author of the study, said in a statement.Â
The survey, which was taken between April and August of this year, includes responses from more than 1,400 current Amazon workers across 451 facilities in 42 states. Those respondents answered nearly 100 questions on a range of topics, including work intensity, their workplace's health and safety protocols, and Amazon's monitoring practices.
Amazon uses an electronic system to track its warehouse workers' productivity, using specialized software, handheld scanning devices and other tools to track the time it takes employees to complete their duties. Â
According to the survey, that system contributes to the pressure some workers feel to work faster, making them more likely to suffer injuries or experience burnout, the researchers said.
Previously collected data has also shown that the rate of injuries at Amazon's warehouses is higher than industry averages. In 2022, one report found that there were, according to data Amazon submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That number is more than double the injury rate at all non-Amazon warehouses, which reported 3.2 serious injuries for every 100 workers.Â
Amazon said CUED's findings provide an incomplete picture of the company's commitment to worker safety.Â
"This is not a 'study' â it's a survey done on social media by groups with an ulterior motive," Amazon spokesperson Maureen Lynch Vogel said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch. "The data that we publish each year and submit to OSHAâŠ shows that rates in our buildings have improved significantly, and we're slightly above the average in some areas and slightly below the average in others."
Among other steps Amazon has taken to reduce worker injuries, the company teamed with the National Safety Council to help develop best practices; added adjustable tables in warehouses to minimize bending; and redesigned conveyors so workers don't have to reach as far to pick up items. The company is also implementing robotic technologies that help workers handle packages, cutting down on repetitive tasks.
In the study, Gutelius and co-author Sanjay Pinto note that Amazon has taken measures to prioritize the safety of its workers. Still, many workers suffer injuries anyway, according to Gutelius, with those who struggle to keep up with the company's fast pace of operations more likely to be hurt on the job.Â
An employee looks for items in one of the corridors at an Amazon warehouse.
Carlos Jasso | Reuters
The study, released Wednesday by the University of Illinois Chicago's Center for Urban Economic Development, includes responses from 1,484 current Amazon workers across 42 states and 451 facilities, in what the authors are calling the largest nationwide survey of Amazon workers to date.
Nearly 70% of Amazon employees who participated in the survey said they've had to take unpaid time off due to pain or exhaustion suffered on the job in the past month, while 34% have had to do so three or more times. The most common injury reported by workers was sprains, strains or tears, and nearly half of respondents said they had moderate or severe pain in the leg, knee or foot in the last three months on the job. More than half of workers said they're burned out from their work at the company, and that response rate intensified the longer the employee had worked at Amazon.
The data adds to a drumbeat of scrutiny around Amazon's workplace safety and treatment of warehouse employees. Regulators, lawmakers, rights groups and employees have criticized Amazon â which is the second-largest employer in the U.S., behind Walmart â over its labor record. The researchers estimate Amazon is the largest warehouse employer in the country, accounting for an estimated 29% of workers in the industry.
Amazon had roughly 1.46 million employees globally, as of the quarter ended June 30, and the majority are warehouse and delivery workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Attorney's Office are investigating conditions at several warehouses, while the U.S. Department of Justice is examining whether Amazon underreports injuries. In June, a Senate committee led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., also launched a probe into Amazon's warehouse safety.
Amazon has said it has made progress on lowering injury rates and that the company has made adjustments to working environments in order to reduce strain and repetitive movements. It has begun to automate some tasks and is also rolling out more robotic systems in warehouse facilities that the company claims can Improve safety, although that prospect has been debated.
Workers fulfill orders at an Amazon fulfillment center on Prime Day in Melville, New York, US, on Tuesday, July 11, 2023.Â
Johnny Milano | Bloomberg | Getty Images
About 64% of workers who participated in the survey said they feel the safety of workers is a high priority at Amazon, but that sentiment is lower among those who reported negative impacts to their physical health from the job.
The survey was funded by Oxfam America, and advocacy groups the Ford Foundation and the National Employment Law Project.
Amazon spokesperson Maureen Lynch Vogel disputed the study findings in a statement and said "there's nothing more important" than employees' health and safety.
"This is not a 'study' â it's a survey done on social media, by groups with an ulterior motive," Vogel said. "If anyone actually wants to know the facts, they can read the data that we publish each year and submit to OSHA, which shows that rates in our buildings have improved significantly and we're slightly above the average in some areas and slightly below the average in others."
Amazon said musculoskeletal disorders, or problems like sprains and strains are the most common type of workplace injury across all industries, adding that employees get adequate breaks and that the company provides mental health resources for staffers. Amazon also said it informs managers that productivity or speed shouldn't be pressed at the expense of worker safety.
Safety critics have increasingly zeroed in on Amazon's speedy pace of work and close monitoring of employee productivity as factors that lead to a heightened risk of injuries.
The survey results underscored that point, finding that those who reported injuries on the job while working at Amazon are more likely to say that keeping up is hard than workers who have not been injured.
Approximately 44% of workers surveyed said they couldn't take breaks when they need to, according to the study. "A key mechanism for workers to maintain a fast pace of work without injury is the ability to take breaks and recover from periods of intense work," the researchers said.
Amazon packages move on a conveyer belt at a fulfillment center in England.
Nathan Stirk | Getty Images
Employees pointed to "technology-enabled workplace monitoring" as something that reinforces the pace of work, while 53% of respondents said they always or most of the time "feel a sense of being watched or monitored in their work at the company."
"We see clear evidence in our data that work intensity and monitoring contribute to negative health outcomes," the researchers said.
Amazon uses a variety of metrics to measure warehouse workers' activity on the job, the researchers said, including rate, or the number of tasks they're expected to complete per hour; task time, which measures the average time between scans with a barcode scanner; and idle time, or "time off task," which measures time a worker isn't scanning items while on the clock.
Workers have argued that the time off task policy makes working conditions more strenuous and that it's used as a tool to surveil workers. Amazon in 2021 adjusted its time off task policy so that it averages data over a longer period.
TEKOHAW, Brazil (AP) â At dawn in this small Amazonian village in Brazil's Para state, flocks of noisy green parrots soar overhead as children run and play between wooden homes, kicking up sandy soil â in places white and bare as a beach.
The ground reveals one of the paradoxes of the rainforest.
Renowned for its beauty and biodiversity, the life-giving nutrients of the forest are mostly stored in the trees and other plants, not the soil.
When the forest is cleared â for a cattle ranch, soybean field or even a small cluster of village homes â the combination of scorching Amazonian sun and intense rainfall combine to leach scarce nutrients from the soil in just a few years, leaving behind surprisingly barren ground. Soil rich in organic matter is black, but here itâs sometimes the color of bone. Some ecologists call it a âwet desert.â
This impoverished dirt makes it difficult to sustain agriculture in one place.
And in a region with some of the highest poverty levels in Brazil, people with few options have often just abandoned degraded fields and cleared more forest â hastening the cycle of deforestation that threatens the planetâs climate and the millions of species unique to the Amazon.
âThe biodiversity is rich, but so many people are very poor,â said Judson Ferreira Valentim, a soil scientist for the governmentâs agricultural research agency, Embrapa. âWe canât protect the rainforest without addressing the poverty of the Amazon.â
EDITORSâ NOTE â This story is part of The Protein Problem, an AP series that examines the question: Can we feed this growing world without starving the planet? To see the full project, visit https://projects.apnews.com/features/2023/the-protein-problem/index.html
The only way to meet both goals is to find more paths for people to make a living in the Amazon without further destroying the rainforest, say experts who have long worked in the region. That means using already deforested land more efficiently â to reduce pressure to clear more forest â as well as supporting businesses that sustainably harvest native products such as aĂ§aĂ and cacao.
Valentim, who works in the northern state of Acre, where heâs lived for four decades, points from the window of his truck to areas of abandoned farmland: some are patches of bare soil or red clay; some are overgrown with dark shrubby weeds.
The scale of abandoned farm and pastureland across the Brazilian Amazon is massive â covering an area larger than Portugal, according to an AP analysis of data derived from satellite imagery by the Brazilian research collaboration Mapbiomas.
Other researchers estimate that ranching, which accounts for between 60% and 80% of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, is only a third as productive as it should be, and that increasing the efficiency on the same land area would more than meet increasing demands for meat through 2040. Brazil is a major exporter of beef to global markets, and currently 43% of Brazilâs cattle are raised within the Amazon region, according to an AP analysis of government data.
âYou have to enforce laws against deforestation, but thatâs only part of the solution. You also have to deliver people alternativesâ to Improve their livelihoods, said Rachael Garrett, a researcher at Cambridge University whoâs conducted fieldwork in the Amazon since 2006.
There are 28 million people living in just Brazilâs portion of the Amazon â including Indigenous farmers, ranchers who migrated from other parts of the country, and settlers forcibly relocated decades ago when the government took their old land for infrastructure projects like the ItaipĂș Dam.
âYou canât ignore that millions of people are living there,â Garrett said. âThe more their needs are ignored, the worse some problems get.â
SUPERCHARGING THE SOIL
Nearly everyone in the Amazon starts work early, aiming to finish before the worst of the midday sun. Valentim is on the road at dawn to visit families whoâve tried new techniques to squeeze more production out of the soil.
Dairy farmer Edson Cesar de Oliveira waves from his porch. The son of a subsistence rubber tapper from Acre, his family lives in a small wooden home that he built himself.
Chickens cluck in the yard, and clothes flap on a laundry line. Cleonice Farina de Oliveira, his wife, offers black espresso and slices of homemade cheese to visitors.
For the past few years, the family has been experimenting with planting a native legume called forage peanuts alongside grass in their pastures. This plant attracts bacteria to its roots that can pull nitrogen from the air into the ground, essentially acting as a low-cost natural fertilizer.
While grass-only pastures may degrade in just two or three years, adding legumes may extend the soilâs fertility to ten or more years. Itâs also higher in protein than grass alone, which helps livestock grow faster. And itâs easier than grass alone on the cattleâs digestive system, reducing their methane emissions.
De Oliveria, who said he canât afford chemical fertilizers, has noticed that pastures with forage peanuts donât turn as yellow during the dry season. And cows that graze there for at least two nights produce about 20% more milk, he said.
That increases the amount of cheese that the family can make to sell in local markets.
âWe always sell out of our cheese,â said Cleonice, as she pulled on rubber boots to go milk the cows.
After coaxing the first three animals into wooden pens, she, her husband and their 22-year-old son Thalisson each took a milking station. The family provides all the labor on their small farm.
On another day, Valentim visits a larger family ranch owned by Luiz Augusto Ribeiro do Valle. Do Valle said the last year he cleared new forest to expand the ranch was 2007. Now heâs focused on improving productivity. In addition to planting forage peanuts in his pastures, he has changed the way he grazes cattle.
Holding up a detailed map of his ranch, he said, âYou take a large pasture, divide it into smaller areas and rotate where the cattle graze.â The goal is to keep cattle always feeding on new grass, while other areas regrow â the new growth is more nutritious and easier to digest.
Cows bray in the distance and dragonflies buzz at his feet as he strolls up a hill, periodically bending to inspect the grass. âYou have to keep checking the plan against the reality on the ground,â he said. By combining rotational grazing and forage peanuts, he said he can keep between 20% and 40% more cattle on the same amount of land.
HARD REALITIES OF THE RAINFOREST
But even these simple innovations can be hard for some poor ranchers in the Amazon to implement.
In a region with poor roads and spotty internet and cell-phone service, itâs hard to spread information about better farming practices.
Many small ranchers canât afford fertilizers, tractors and other modern farming supplies. And drug trafficking, illegal mining and violence also make it difficult to work on the Amazon frontier.
Of the nearly 1 million farms in Brazilâs Amazon region, 83% are small family farms and ranches, according to government figures. Many operate on shoestring budgets.
As President Luiz InĂĄcio Lula da Silvaâs government ramps up enforcement of environmental laws â reversing the policies of Jair Bolsonaro and so far curbing overall deforestation by 22%, according to Brazil's national space agency â some experts say itâs small-scale ranchers and farmers that are still most at risk for clearing rainforest.
âWhen you have fewer choices, you take bigger risks,â said RenĂ© Poccard-Chapuis, an agronomist at the French agricultural research agency CIRAD who has worked in the region for three decades.
Like Valentim, heâs focused on helping farmers and ranchers â especially small operators â find low-cost solutions to Improve their livelihoods.
In Para state, in the eastern Amazon, Lucas dos Santos has a very modest ranch. He canât afford a horse to ride or hired labor, but moves the cattle between pastures himself, holding a cattle prod in one hand.
He said he was unable to afford the price of new fencing to start rotational grazing for his small herd of 22 cattle. Then CIRAD researchers showed him how to use branch clippings from native trees in place of commercial fence posts.
The clippings, taken from trees on his property, put out new roots quickly, so he only had to pay for wires â and can now rotate his cattle.
TASTES OF THE RAINFOREST: AĂAĂ AND CACAO
CĂ©sar De Mendes is trying to grow a business in the rainforest without cutting any trees at all.
Walking through the forest along a tributary of the Amazon in ParĂĄ, he points out bright yellow fruits that sprout, sometimes in pairs, from the middle of tree trunks.
Itâs cacao, the plant responsible for one of the worldâs great joys: chocolate.
His company, De Mendes Chocolates, uses cacao harvested from virgin rainforest.
Heâs hoping customers will appreciate how different microclimates and soil conditions across the region subtly impact the flavor of the chocolate.
âYou can taste the different environments,â he said.
His small business sells mostly to upscale groceries and tourist shops. One of six employees at this location, Neilanny Maia, fulfills online orders by hand, devoting a room of her home to storing seed bags and finished chocolate bars.
The idea of harvesting rainforest fruits is simple, but scaling up a sustainable business isnât always easy.
Just getting fruit to market before it spoils can be a huge challenge. Last year during the rainy season, one road was closed for 90 days. One solution is to build small processing factories near the forest, as the longstanding agricultural collective Projeto RECA has done in Brazilâs northern state of RondĂŽnia.
One afternoon, light breaks through the canopy of virgin rainforest as 37-year-old aĂ§aĂ picker Edson Polinario tilts his head backward, squinting, looking for promising trees.
Once heâs chosen his target, he propels himself up the narrow palm trunk, using bands to grip the trunk securely.
With a stroke of his machete, he slices off a rack of aĂ§aĂ berries that resemble dark beads on a chandelier.
Then he slides down the trunk like itâs a firepole.
Every day a worker comes to Polinarioâs house to collect bags of aĂ§aĂ, then hauls them back to Projeto RECAâs campus on the back of a motorcycle.
AĂ§aĂ berries spoil quickly and are practically worthless if not processed and frozen within two days.
At the factory, theyâre transformed into jams, syrups and frozen fruit pulp, ready to be shipped to supermarkets.
But there are other challenges to locating the business on the Amazon frontier. If factory equipment breaks, the team must dissemble it and drive parts several hours for repair. âWe are too far from the big citiesâ for on-site maintenance, said Hamilton Condack de Oliveira, the president of the collective of about 200 households.
But still, theyâve managed to survive since the collective was founded in 1989.
They harvest from both virgin rainforest and agroforests planted on abandoned pastureland. Planting an agroforest â essentially a large orchard of mixed native tree species â doesnât aid biodiversity and climate as much as simply retaining old-growth forest, but itâs much better than tending pasture or monoculture row crops.
âPeople will visit and say, âOh thatâs beautiful,â but itâs a lot of work,â he said.
âTHE FOREST SUSTAINS USâ
The impacts of climate change are already being felt locally in the Amazon region, forcing other adaptations.
For as long as their stories tell, the Indigenous TembĂ© people of Tekohaw village have used fire to clear small plots of land to grow cassava, beans and other subsistence crops. After farming for three years, theyâd clear new land.
Because their plots were small, the overall impact on the forest was minimal. But now the village chief wants to find other ways to manage the soilâs fertility.
âWe donât want to use fire anymore in the forest because we can lose control of the fire, and it can burn the forest,â said KaparaĂ TembĂ©. This wasnât always as much of a risk, he said. But deforestation from ranching and soy farming for animal feed across the state of ParĂĄ has removed moisture from the air, and now the dry season has become longer and drier â heightening the risk of uncontrolled wildfires.
âWe want to Improve agriculture here, in one specific place, not keep burning fields and pushing nature back,â he said, setting his hoe on the ground and mopping the sweat from his brow. âWe need to nurture the soil.â
Earlier this year, the villagers treated the field with a powder made from grinding up limestone . Itâs a technique to reduce the natural acidity of the Amazonian soil. Today TembĂ© and two other men are planting a different legume, called the pigeon pea, to add nitrogen to the soil.
Later, as he walked back to the village, TembĂ© heard the raucous shriek of a scarlet macaw.
âItâs a reminder of where I am,â he said. âThe forest sustains us, the animals, the plants â we want to protect it.â
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Instituteâs Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Tech giant Amazon is giving an undisclosed amount of money to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study the use and impact of robotics.
The effort will include new studies of how employees can interact with robots safely and efficiently in the workplace and a poll of public attitudes towards automation to be conducted by research firm Ipsos, Amazon and MIT said on Wednesday.
The goal is to expand on the three-year âWork of the Futureâ initiative that resulted in a 2020 report on how automation technologies could create better jobs for people, MIT professor Julie Shah, who leads the Interactive Robotics Group of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, said in an interview.
âWhat came out of that task force was a more nuanced understanding that the increasing role of automation is not wholesale supplanting humansâ role, but itâs changing the nature of our jobs,â Shah said. The new research aims âto understand how we can more reliably steer towards a positive vision for the increasing role of this technology.â
MIT researchers will study how robotics are being used at Amazon and other companies, what kinds of implementations have the best return on investment, and how to add automation to enhance worker safety, among other areas, Shah said. MIT has also set up a working group focused on generative artificial intelligence, which powers ChatGPT and other creative AI apps, to study how the technology will impact the workplace, Shah said.
Amazon, which bought Massachusetts-based Kiva Systems in 2012 to kickstart its automation efforts, has installed more than 750,000 robots in its vast warehouse operations. On Wednesday, the company said it was further expanding in robotics by deploying new systems including an automated arm called Sparrow that can select and sort items in its warehouses. Amazon also said it would begin testing a human-like bipedal robot called Digit made by Oregon startup Agility Robotics in its warehouses to collect empty plastic bins.
The goal of the MIT research from Amazonâs perspective is to help companies integrate robots into workplaces to collaborate with human workers, according to Tye Brady, chief technologist at Amazon Robotics, who joined the company in 2015, after the Kiva acquisition.
The research is about âlearning how people perceive automation which really helps us ensure that us, as the designers of the machines, are mindful of those perceptions,â Brady said in an interview. âItâs humans and machines working together in order to fulfill a task.â
For example, Amazon added a face of sorts to its mobile robot Proteus. In warehouses, the robotâs electronic âeyesâ and a âmouthâ turn different colors to signal to human workers where the robot is trying to go and what itâs trying to do.
âWe design our machines such that people donât have to adapt to a machine environment,â Brady said. âWe design our machines to work in the human environment.â
Adding robots has also made Amazonâs operations safer, Brady said. The rate of ârecordable incidentsâ that involve potential injuries was 15 percent lower at Amazon sites that had robots, and âlost-time incidentsâ were 18 percent lower, he said.
Amazon turned to MIT for an âindependent point of view,â Brady said. âWe engaged with MIT because they were a leader in this field when it comes to understanding the nature of work.â
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. â You wonât want to wait to start holiday shopping â Amazon has several early Black Friday deals on tech items ranked tops by reviewers.
The giant retailer is offering tons of early deals ahead of one of the biggest shopping days of the year in several categories, including items like headphones, speakers, smart home items, laptops, televisions and more.
Hereâs a look at eight highly ranked tech items on sale you should consider purchasing this holiday season.
50% off for a low price of $109.99
A Certified Refurbished Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is refurbished, tested and certified to look and work like new, and it comes with the same limited warranty as a new device. This premium wired video doorbell comes equipped with Head-to-Toe HD+ Video, Two-Way Talk with Audio+, 3D Motion Detection, built-in Alexa Greetings (an exclusive Ring Protect Plan subscription feature) and customizable privacy settings.
With a 4.4-star rating, customers are happy with the refurbished Ring doorbells â noting they are âvery happyâ with the upgrade.
âI really enjoy that I will now be able to see packages left on my porch. The original Ring pro only showed from the waist up. Also, this one shows the live view much quicker than the org. Ring Pro,â said a five-star reviewer.
73% off for a low price of $329.99
The ApoloSign 15.6-inch laptop uses powerful Intel Celeron N5095 processor, frequency up to 2.8GHz, no latency, and is powerful and faster than normal processors on the basic frequency. Many reviewers say this is easy to use and a âsolid laptop for the value.â
One reviewer who gave this product five stars stated: âThe ApoloSign 15.6âČâ Laptop has truly impressed me with its exceptional performance, stunning display, sleek design and comprehensive connectivity options. Itâs a powerhouse that can handle all my computing needs while being incredibly portable. Whether youâre a professional, a student, or simply looking for a reliable laptop for everyday use this Windows 11 laptop is a fantastic choice. I highly recommend it without hesitation.â
31% off for a low price of $309.99
With this television, you can bring movies and shows to life with support for vivid 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, HLG and Dolby Digital Plus. Many customers who purchased this TV say itâs a great smart TV for the price â especially when it goes on sale. Other reviewers state that the TV works great as a computer monitor if you purchase the smaller-sized flat screen.
âCouldnât be happier at this price point,â a five-star reviewer stated. âPicture looks great to me, though surely pales when compared to sets that cost twice as much. And, as expected, built-in speakers are not great, but soundbar support is rumored to be very good with this model (unlike some previous Amazon-branded TVs that Iâve owned).â
10% off for a low price of $899.99
The Galaxy S23+ is the phone that takes you out of the everyday and into the epic. Life doesnât wait for the perfect lighting, but with Nightography, you are always ready to seize the moment and snap memories like a pro. See your content no matter the time of day on a display with a refresh rate up to 120Hz and Adaptive Vision Booster.
A 4.6-star rating puts this cell phone as a top option to consider this holiday season. Many reviewers note the great battery life and camera quality, and the speed of using the food.
âThis phone leaves the iPhone in the dust... This is by far the best Samsung Android phone I ever owned,â said one customer. âThe price is heavy but once you start using this youâll realize this definitely launches space shuttles in comparison to the older Samsung models of yesteryear.â
27% off for a low price of $1,096.99
This LG QNED combines cutting-edge Quantum Dots with LGâs NanoCell technology to create uniquely bright, colorful images. Dimming Pro dynamically adjusts the back lights to maintain deep black levels, allowing you to be immersed. With a native 120Hz refresh rate, you will keep up with the action when watching sports and gaming.
One five-star reviewer put it simply: âQuality is amazing. Bright, colorful and clear quality. Every bit of the performance LG is known for. Worth every penny.â
20% off for a low price of $598
This camera claims to have the worldâs fastest AF at 0.02 seconds with real-time AF and object tracking. Some reviewers stated this camera is lightweight with beautiful quality photos: âItâs a great way for an intermediate photographer to learn manual and dealing with different lighting in photos.â
Another amateur photographer left a similar review: âIâm by no means a professional photographer, Iâve always been interested in it, and have always wanted a digital camera to get to that next level after smart phone photography. The A6100 is a great entry into that space. You can start off by using it like a point and shoot, and as you learn more about the manual controls, you can use the camera in a way that gives you practice for something even better.â
33% off for a low price of $39.99
This bundle is a starter kit to help automate lighting in your study, living room or overall home. You can play music, control your smart lighting, ask Alexa for weather updates and more.
According to customers, the Pop âworked flawlessly right out of the box.â
âIâd chosen to have it connected to my Amazon account at the time of purchase, so all I had to do was plug it in and open the Alexa app on my phone. The total set-up time was under a minute. Alexa is fast and responsive, just like with the Dot,â according to the five-star reviewer.
50% off for a low price of $64.95
JBL has engineered the precise, impressive sound found in big venues around the world â and these headphones reproduce that same JBL sound, punching out bass thatâs both deep and powerful. Many customers call these solid headphones at a great price.
âThese JBL headphones offer exceptional value, impressive sound quality, and effective noise control. An intangible benefit of these headphones is that you wonât be as nervous losing them knowing that you can buy three of these for less than the price of the competing Bose and Sony brands. They are a solid set of headphones you can use and abuse, and not worry about!â stated a five-star customer review.
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SheKnows may receive an affiliate commission.
Transform your home for the holidays with 37 Amazon finds that will help you âcandycoreâ your space. Embrace the festive spirit with sweet and colorful decor.
More from SheKnows
These stocking holders look good enough to eat and can hold up to 10lbs of gifts, meaning you can really go all out and spoil your loved ones!
Spread holiday joy from the second guests step foot inside your home with this adorable doormat adorned with festive gingerbread men, peppermint candy and candy canes. The set also includes a runner that you can place in your hallway or in the kitchen.
Light up your front yard with these candy cane LED decorations. The durable metal framework makes them freestanding and the design is ac powered.
If subtlety isnât your vibe, these outdoor Christmas decorations really pack a punch. The bold and bright design features a big mug of hot chocolate with winking marshmallows and smiling gingerbread men. Go big or go home, right?
For a show-stopping Christmas decoration, look no further than this light-up gingerbread house. Itâs 16 inches in height and has LED lights to create the perfect festive ambience for your home.
The decorating options with this wooden garland are endless. Itâs 9ft in length, so you can drape it around your tree, use as decoration for your dining table or even drape across your doorway.
Looking for a centerpiece for your Christmas dinner? These candy cane ribbon trees are such a unique design and come in a choice of festive colors.
An easy way to update your furniture for the holidays is with some seasonal pillows and this candy cane design is ideal for snuggling up with.
The soft bendable copper wire of these string lights make them easy to twist and mould to your desired shape. They drape well around the tree but can also be used for decoration in any room. Plus, theyâre battery-powered so you donât need to worry about concealing ugly wiring.
If you want to adorn your tree with some magical sparkle, these glittery ornaments have some real festive flair. For less than ten dollars, you get ten pieces â which is an absolute steal!
If you have a guest staying this holiday season, why not treat the guest room to some festive curtains? These candy cane curtains are guaranteed to offer festive cheer from the moment they wake up on Christmas morning.
This cute bedding set features two pillow cases, a flat sheet and top sheet and is available from a twin to a split king. Plus, reviewers say the set washes really well.
Transform your kidsâ bedrooms for the festive season with this adorable bedding. Guaranteed to get them into the spirit and reviewers say that the quality is so soft.
Like Rudolphâs nose, use candy cane lights to lead the way to your home this holiday season. The set includes 12 lights, with each cane at 20 inches tall.
Screw the traditional, weâre all about decorations that look good enough to eat. These macaroon ornaments will look delicious on your tree and reviewers reassure that they are so well-made and realistic.
For the chocolate fan in your life, this Hersheyâs bar ornament is a real retro find. It really does look so realistic, just donât get confused and mix it up with the real thing. They say candy is bad for our teeth but biting into glass ornaments is definitely worse!
When it comes to cute candy ornaments, we say deliver us sâmore, sâmore, sâmore! This tasty-looking decoration has such attention to detail and is also soft and squishy in design. Ideal for kids who like to play with the decor.
This cookie pillow is not just delicious looking but also chocolate scented. Yes, breathe deeply and youâll feel a rumbling in your tummy. Reviewers confirm the smell is just divine. Ideal for the holidays.
Christmas is a time for indulging your sweet tooth so your home will definitely need a candy bowl to display all the delicious treats. This santa design is so cute, plus reviewers say you can also use it as a festive place for your keys or jewelry.
These soaps are such a cute surprise for your guests. Theyâre hand-poured and include essential oils to keep your hands moisturized. Plus, they have a delicious cinnamon scent.
Filled with Christmas candy and festive baubles, this Christmas wreath will really add some festive sparkle to your front door.
Nobody likes water marks on their coffee table and your guests will only be too happy to place their drinks down on these adorable gingerbread men coasters.
For less than six dollars, you get 25 festive straws â including red and white candy cane design. Theyâre made from high-quality paper, which is also biodegradable.
Or for the gingerbread fans in your life, these cute straws will certainly make them smile. Theyâre also disposable and you get 200 in a pack.
Add some festive retro cool to your kitchen with this vintage-style wooden hanging. Itâll brighten up a blank wall or add some cheer when placed on top of your mantlepiece.
Erm, how adorable are these mugs? Plus, theyâre the perfect excuse to make some delicious hot chocolate. Not that you need an excuse, of course. Theyâre also dishwasher-safe and assure that the cute design wonât fade over time.
These edible candy spoons are the perfect addition to your marshmallow and hot chocolate. Reviewers say theyâre a sturdy design and so deliciously minty.
This stoneware bowl is such great quality and not only does it feature a candy cane striped design on the outside but the inside has festive mistletoe.
These decorations are so beautifully crafted and can be placed in a candy dish or scattered in the center of your dining table. The bold colors are so bright and eye-catching.
This realistic crinkled glass bag is such a fun and unique way to display your holiday candy. Reviewers say it also works for jewelry display or even flowers.
Not only are these kitchen dish towels festive-themed but the set of three are made from premium cotton, which makes them so absorbent and quick drying. Plus, theyâre pre-washed so you can use as soon as they arrive.
For the Christmas cook, this gingerbread apron is the perfect gift. Not only is it waterproof but also oil-resistant and itâs machine-washable for easy cleaning. The tie-waist back means you can adjust to fit and thereâs a choice of colors to pick from.
If you feel in the baking mood this festive season, these stainless steel cookie cutters will ensure you serve up the cutest baked treats.
These pajamas are so soft as they are made from 100% cotton which is also lightweight and breathable when you sleep. Reviewers say theyâre the ideal way to get the whole family feeling festive.
You canât forget your pet pooch during the holidays. This candy cane chew toy great for their teeth and comes in a set of two.
Speaking of dogs, get them looking festive with this candy cane striped bow tie. It comes in an extra large option for bigger dogs but the X small and even XX small can work for your cat.
Make your home look like a candycore Christmas dream with these Christmas candy hanging banners. They come with four holes and string for easy hanging and you can use rope to tie the bottom in place to avoid any movement in the wind. Satisfied customers say these are the perfect accent to any festive front door.
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