Uber destroys thousands of bikes and scooters

Found on BBC News on Saturday, 30 May 2020
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Uber said it had decided to destroy thousands of its older-model vehicles due to maintenance, liability and safety concerns.

Disappointed charities and organisations suggested the bikes could have been donated to community groups, or sold to individuals to boost the uptake of electric bikes.

"But given many significant issues - including maintenance, liability, safety concerns, and a lack of consumer-grade charging equipment - we decided the best approach was to responsibly recycle them."

"Responsibly recycle them". Given that they cannot recycle them irresponsibly, the statement basically says that they do not care and don't want any more competition to their own business model.

Chris Pratt accidentally deleted 51,000 emails

Found on BBC News on Saturday, 23 May 2020
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The Marvel star began sorting through his inbox after telling fans his son, Jack, had teased him for having 35,000 unread messages.

Unfortunately, Pratt pressed the wrong button and was forced to watch as 51,000 emails were erased.

"I'm one of those idiots who will do an IQ test and be like, 'Wanna take an IQ test? Give me your email'. And then I do, which proves my IQ is about seven, I just get junk from everyone and I just don't erase it."

That's one way to get rid of spam; and let the world know that you don't do backups.

Maryland reopens—and quickly sees its largest COVID-19 spike

Found on Ars Technica on Thursday, 21 May 2020
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Though state officials note that an increase in testing and a backlog of test results may partly explain the spike, the case counts overall suggest that disease transmission had not declined in the lead-up to re-opening—and transmission could very easily increase as residents begin venturing into public spaces more frequently.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan made the decision given that hospitalizations and hospital bed occupancy were either stable or in decline, as NPR noted. He also said the state had the means to perform contact tracing for up to 1,000 cases per day—a figure that was significantly surpassed on Tuesday.

That's how things turn out when you gamble with a virus.

Scoop: Facebook to buy Giphy for $400 million

Found on Axios on Saturday, 16 May 2020
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Giphy is expected to retain its own branding, with its primary integration to come via Facebook's Instagram platform.

Giphy is a massive video library, with hundreds of millions of daily users that share billions of GIFs, that generates revenue via branded content. Adding Facebook's ad sales and marketing firepower could be what transforms it from a popular service into a highly profitable one.

$400 million for a website where people share animated GIFs. In 2020. What's next? Buying a company that offers 320x240 black & white CRT-TVs without audio?

Age of Empires 2 is quietly having an incredible year

Found on PC Gamer on Thursday, 14 May 2020
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Nearly 21 years after release, Age of Empires 2 could well be having its best year ever. Since its HD re-release in 2013 the game has had a steady growth in average player count, but with the release of Age of Empires 2: Definitive edition last year and COVID-19 lockdowns inflating player counts across the industry, Age of Empires 2 is boasting totals that beat some very big-name games.

It is a fun game, but also has quite a few shortcomings. Maybe it should be merged with Settlers.

Musk reacts to continued shutdown order, announces intent to move HQ

Found on Ars Technica on Sunday, 10 May 2020
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Elon Musk's contentious relationship with Alameda County officials reached a tipping point on Saturday, when the Tesla CEO announced plans to relocate the company's headquarters and "future programs" away from Fremont, California, to facilities in Texas and Nevada "immediately." This came as a response to the continued forced closure of Tesla's Fremont manufacturing plant as per COVID-19 stay-in-place regulations.

Tesla announced a sweeping cost-cutting plan in early April, complete with staff-wide pay cuts and furloughs, which was followed weeks later by an unexpected announcement of profit. In an April 29 call to investors, Tesla confirmed that it had successfully turned a profit for three quarters in a row and was sitting on cash reserves of $8.1 billion.

Go on and move, who cares.

“Chickens**t” whistleblower firings are “poison,” resigning Amazon VP says

Found on Ars Technica on Wednesday, 06 May 2020
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Amazon VP Tim Bray, who had been with the company for more than five years, has resigned in protest of Amazon's treatment of warehouse workers and the firing of other employees who spoke out.

Firing the whistleblowers is "evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture," Bray said in a blog post explaining his departure. "I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison."

"I believe the worker testimony too. And at the end of the day, the big problem isn’t the specifics of Covid-19 response," he added. "It’s that Amazon treats the humans in the warehouses as fungible units of pick-and-pack potential." Only strong regulation, actively enforced, will change that, Bray said.

Looks like there are were a few good people at Amazon after all.

Amazon is cracking down on internal communication after a surge in worker activism

Found on Vox on Friday, 01 May 2020
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Amazon’s corporate employees have started to question the e-commerce giant’s business and labor practices more than ever before. In response, the company appears to be cracking down.

Some inside the company see the new communications rules as a way to muzzle corporate employees who are increasingly organizing on behalf of their lower-paid colleagues.

Last year, Amazon’s tech giant peer Google similarly limited employee speech on internal forums following a rise in worker activism. While the move was met with a fair share of criticism, the crackdown ultimately was not enough to stop workers from continuing to organize and publicly leak controversial company initiatives.

If you want to organize against your employer, do not use ways of communication they can control and censor; and remember that with every single order, you support this modern form of slavery.

Boeing will cut 10 percent of workforce, says federal support “critical”

Found on Ars Technica on Thursday, 30 April 2020
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Boeing released its financial results for the first quarter of 2020, and as one might expect for a company that manufactures aircraft amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the numbers were not good.

During his call, Calhoun noted that 26 countries have announced support packages worth more than $100 billion, specifically targeting the aerospace and airline industries. The aerospace industry, he said, supports 3.6 percent of the global GDP and 65 million jobs worldwide.

"We continue to evaluate options in the capital markets as well a funding options via the US Treasury and various Federal Reserve programs."

Funny how suddenly all the big players call for support from the government as soon as a crises threatens them.

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels

Found on The Register on Saturday, 18 April 2020
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For this price we thought that perhaps Apple has reinvented the wheel, but Apple has nothing to say about them other than: "The custom-designed stainless steel and rubber wheels make it easy to move your Mac Pro around, whether sliding it out from under your desk or across your studio."

Pretty sure there are enough sheep who will happy hand over the cash for something as stupid as this.