Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% effective against symptomatic covid-19

Found on New Scientist on Wednesday, 10 February 2021
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Of the 14,964 people who received the vaccine, 16 developed symptomatic covid-19 compared with 62 out of 4902 in the placebo group. The results, published today in The Lancet, suggest efficacy was similar across all age groups, including among people over the age of 60.

“All our critics are sitting quiet at the moment,” Dmitriev said during a press conference on 2 February. “We have addressed all of the concerns […] Sputnik V has proven itself to be one of the most effective and safest vaccines of the world.” Sputnik V has already been approved in 15 countries, and this could increase to 25 countries by the end of this week, he said.

As long as it works and is safe, it does not matter who made it.

'I was scammed out of £17,000 on Instagram'

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 09 February 2021
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"I was following this guy on Instagram and he always posts with his car, a rose gold Maserati, saying that he's rich and self-made and really young, he's only 21," says Jonathan Reuben, 24, an accountant.

"People are sucked in and want to believe it and want that lifestyle, especially these days, with young people struggling to get jobs," he said. "You definitely see more people looking at different and newer ways to make more money."

Really now?

70% of top “civic” Facebook groups are toxic or violent, report finds

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 08 February 2021
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Of the top 100 most-active US civic groups, 70 percent "are considered non-recommendable for issues such as hate, misinfo, bullying, and harassment," the presentation said. "Our existing integrity systems aren't addressing these issues."

Although many Facebook groups are indeed small, relatively congenial, and beneficial to their users, both civil rights advocates and Facebook's own researchers have warned for years that the way groups are managed and recommended to users increases extremism and radicalization.

That was the business idea: bringing people with the same hate together.

Rocky Linux gets a new sponsor—Gregory Kurtzer’s startup, Ctrl IQ

Found on Ars Technica on Sunday, 07 February 2021
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Gregory Kurtzer, co-founder of the now-defunct CentOS Linux distribution, has founded a new startup company called Ctrl IQ, which will serve in part as a sponsoring company for the upcoming Rocky Linux distribution.

Ctrl IQ reached out due to confusion caused by the original headline of this article (since corrected). Ctrl IQ is only a sponsor of the Rocky Linux project, not a parent company.

Good luck, Rocky.

So, Jeff Bezos, You Really Want to Fix the Planet?

Found on Wired on Saturday, 06 February 2021
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On Tuesday, Bezos announced that he’s stepping down as Amazon’s boss, and will focus on The Washington Post, which he bought in 2013; exploring space with his rocket company Blue Origin; and trying to salvage our rapidly deteriorating planet with a $10 billion environmental checkbook called the Bezos Earth Fund, which seeks to support scientists, activists, and nongovernmental organizations in developing solutions for the planet’s various ills.

Perhaps he could start with Amazon?

RIAA Launches Brand New Front Group Pretending To Represent Independent Artists

Found on Techdirt on Friday, 05 February 2021
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A few days ago, a friend asked if I'd ever heard of the "Digital Creators Coalition," an apparently new group that claimed to be representing independent artists.

You've got basically all the copyright maximalist extremist groups there: the RIAA, the MPA, the Author's Guild, Creative Future, the Recording Academy, ASCAP, SoundExchange, NMPA, the IIPA. Not surprisingly, but incredibly disappointing is that the News Media Alliance is there. The News Media Alliance used to be the Newspaper Association of America, and, as such, you'd think would be supportive of free speech and the 1st Amendment.

With more and more people getting fed up with all their actions, they need some more PR.

Cable ISP warns “excessive” uploaders, says network can’t handle heavy usage

Found on Ars Technica on Thursday, 04 February 2021
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Mediacom's fastest Internet plan offers gigabit download speeds and 50Mbps upload speeds with a monthly data cap of 6TB. But as Stop the Cap wrote in a detailed report on Wednesday, the ISP is "reach[ing] out to a growing number of its heavy uploaders and telling them to reduce usage or face a speed throttle or the possible closure of their account."

Another gigabit user in Missouri named Cory told Stop the Cap that the 6TB monthly cap "is way more than I will ever use, but I still received a warning letter claiming I was uploading too much. I discovered I used about 900GB over the last two months, setting up a cloud backup of my computer.

We asked Mediacom why it hasn't upgraded its network enough to fully support the upload speeds and data allotments that its customers pay for, but we didn't receive an answer.

Mediacom should be kicked out of court if they dare to go there. If they sell a 6TB cap, then the user can use up to 6TB.

Robinhood Hit with Class Action After Blocking GameStop Trades

Found on Vice on Wednesday, 03 February 2021
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Robinhood is already facing a class action lawsuit after the microtrading platform deliberately blocked users from trading GameStop stock as the stock catapulted in value.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that "This is unacceptable. We now need to know more about [Robinhood's] decision to block retail investors from purchasing stock while hedge funds are freely able to trade the stock as they see fit. As a member of the Financial Services [Committee], I'd support a hearing if necessary."

Surprising that Robinhood did not see that one coming when they made their decision.

ProtonMail, Threema, Tresorit and Tutanota warn EU lawmakers over ‘anti-encryption’ push

Found on Techcrunch on Tuesday, 02 February 2021
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The European Commission has also talked about seeking “improved access” to encrypted information, writing in a wide-ranging counter-terrorism agenda also published in December that it will “work with Member States to identify possible legal, operational, and technical solutions for lawful access”.

Simultaneously, the Commission has said it will “promote an approach which both maintains the effectiveness of encryption in protecting privacy and security of communications, while providing an effective response to crime and terrorism”.

There is no way to have both. Either the encryption is secure, or it is broken. There it nothing in between.

Robinhood blocks purchases of GameStop, AMC, and others after days of Reddit-fueled rallies

Found on Business Insider on Monday, 01 February 2021
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Robinhood has restricted trading of highly volatile stocks including GameStop and AMC on its platform, leaving its users unable to buy the highly volatile stocks.

The phenomenon has already fueled massive losses for numerous hedge funds and caught the attention of regulators and the White House.

When a hedge fund does the same, it is okay. If a group of people online does the same, it's disruptive. Sounds fair. Not.