Google will keep 200,000 workers home through next summer

Found on Ars Technica on Wednesday, 29 July 2020
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The long timeline gives more certainty for Googlers who are making school and housing decisions for the coming academic year. Previously Google workers were due back in the office in January.

All Facebook workers are encouraged to work from home through the end of the year.

Amazon is encouraging employees to work from home through the end of the year. Twitter said in May that employees could work from home indefinitely.

Of course that's only because of Corona, not because beancounters realized that they can save money by closing offices.

“Zuck off”: Doctors, nurses, scientists rail against Zuckerberg

Found on Ars Technica on Saturday, 25 July 2020
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San Francisco city officials are considering condemning the decision to name a local public hospital after Mark Zuckerberg—a move backed by nurses and doctors at the hospital, who have been railing against the Facebook co-founder and CEO since the hospital changed its name in 2015.

Over the years, hospital staff have expressed concern that the hospital is associated with Facebook and all of its problems and controversies—including, but not limited to, those related to privacy, unethical research, the dissemination of misinformation, hate speech, and disinformation.

Something essential for a hospital is trust. There is no trust when Zuckerberg is in play.

Grant Imahara: Mythbusters TV host dies suddenly at 49

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 14 July 2020
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Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage wrote that he was "such a generous, easygoing, and gentle person".

Fellow Mythbusters and White Rabbit Project presenter Kari Bryon responded to the news by writing: "Somedays I wish I had a time machine."

Another of the shows' stars, Tory Belleci, said: "I just cannot believe it. I don't even know what to say. My heart is broken."

He did really good at Mythbusters and seemed to know what he is talking about.

Cereal Killer Cafe enters hipster heaven, heads online

Found on The Register on Thursday, 09 July 2020
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The hipster entrepreneur in all of us died a little bit today with confirmation that Cereal Killer Cafe, the best place in London Town for overpriced bowls of breakfast foodstuffs and milk, is not going to re-open its doors.

Cereal Killer Cafe was seen as epitomising the changing face of the East End in London: the price for a small helping of sugar, corn and milk was said be “mostly under £6”.

Don't worry, hipsters will find something else to throw money at.

One out of every 142 passwords is '123456'

Found on ZD Net on Sunday, 05 July 2020
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The main discovery was that the 1,000,000,000+ credentials dataset included only 168,919,919 unique passwords, of which more than 7 million were the "123456" string.

In most cases, users chose simplistic passwords such as using only letters (29%) or numbers (13%). This meant that around 42% of all the passwords included in the 1 billion dataset were vulnerable to quick dictionary attacks that would allow threat actors to gain access to accounts without any effort or technical difficulty.

Some things never change.

Have we become too reliant on Big Tech firms?

Found on BBC News on Saturday, 20 June 2020
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It's not just Amazon that has been used more during the pandemic. Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, Facebook's apps and Microsoft tools have provided crucial links with friends, family and colleagues.

Before the pandemic, there had been scrutiny on Big Tech. The US House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee sent requests for information to Amazon, Apple, Google owner Alphabet and Facebook in September 2019, with the government concerned that only a small number of companies hold such a big share of the digital market.

People are too reliant on them for years already. Worse, people know that they are basically abused in exchange for services that work like drugs.

Coronavirus second waves emerge in several US states as they reopen

Found on New Scientist on Wednesday, 17 June 2020
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More than a dozen US states have seen a surge in covid-19 cases in recent weeks. Many of them, including Arizona, North Carolina, Oregon and Florida, are experiencing spikes in confirmed cases as they lift stay-at-home orders – so is reopening to blame? Yes, among other factors, say experts.

What a surprise! Not.

A Roman city’s splendours emerge while it’s still underground

Found on Nature on Saturday, 13 June 2020
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Instead of relying on excavation, Martin Millett at the University of Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues used ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to scan and map the buried city of Falerii Novi north of Rome.

When combined with other tools, the authors say, GPR has the potential to “revolutionise” urban archaeology.

That will be a big help for archaelogy as it shows where to dig.

Face masks don’t even have to work especially well to be effective

Found on Ars Technica on Friday, 12 June 2020
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The group's model indicates that face masks don't have to be especially effective to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2—as long as they limit the spread of the virus from infected people, they can limit the pandemic even if they make mask wearers more susceptible to infection.

The researchers also considered a scenario where wearing masks makes people more susceptible to infection, as they touch their face more often because of the mask's presence. While mask wearers suffer in this scenario, the population overall still benefits under most conditions in which at least two-thirds of the population is wearing masks.

That of course implies that you wear the mask correctly and cover your nose too. Quite a few don't seem to know that.

$1m treasure in Rocky Mountains has been found, says Forrest Fenn

Found on The Guardian on Monday, 08 June 2020
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Hundreds of thousands have hunted in vain across remote corners of the US west for the bronze chest believed to be filled with gold coins, jewelry and other valuable items.

Many quit their jobs to dedicate themselves to the search and others depleted their life savings. At least four people are believed to have died searching for it.

Asked how he felt now, Fenn said: “I don’t know, I feel halfway kind of glad, halfway kind of sad because the chase is over.”

At least he gave a lot of people something to do.