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Respite Open Thread: Ducks and Puppies and Kitties

Balloon Juice - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 22:01

I had some requests for photos of my critters. Zander and Emma are MIA, they did not want to be bothered with photos today. I did manage to get the ducks to play along. They were spread out all over the yard, a sure sign of spring.

Mabel asking, “Why the heck are you following me, stalker?”

Penelope Pearl and Maddie haven’t quite caught on that I’m snapping them next.

Maddie, feathers ruffled, which is her usual manner when I’m around. I’m not her favorite person.

And finally, fan-favorite, Penelope

Next up, my officemates unconcerned with the day’s happenings, knowing I’m stocked up on the important things: their food.

I had put Scout’s blanket away around Christmas time, tucked it in the ottoman before a party and then forgot about it. She kept stealing my blanket and in the middle of scolding her the other day, I realized she needed her blanket. Problem solved.

Gabe asking nicely to go outside. The cats are so great about going outside. They come in when I call, never jump the fence and play nice with the ducks. Here Gabe waits patiently for the temperature to be warm enough for the patio door to be opened.

And finally the big guy. This is going to be a difficult week for me. On Friday it will be a year (!!) since I almost lost him. It’s easy to forget these days he was paralyzed for ten days just a year ago. I went back and read your comments today and seriously, you guys were a lifeline, helping me get through those long sleepless nights and hard days. Today, you’d never know it ever happened.  Grateful for every day I can, without thinking about it, yell at him for being a stubborn pain in my ass. He’s the biggest love and most stubborn, good boy ever!

One final thought:

 Ducks and Puppies and Kitties 6

I’m on my second week of working for clients who cannot pay me, but they need my help and I’m sure that down the road, as things get better, they will be able. We are all navigating the new reality of SBA loans and grants and unemployment insurance for the self-employed. The dogs and I walk every day and I reach out and check on friends and family often. Other than that, coping here.

How are you doing? Thinking of the words of encouragement you all gave me a year ago, I hope this place offers you the same during these strange and stressful times.

Respite open thread.



The post Respite Open Thread: Ducks and Puppies and Kitties appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Tile claims Apple’s anticompetitive behavior has become ‘worse, not better’

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 21:46

Tile argued in front of a congressional hearing this week that Apple's anticompetitive behavior has "gotten worse, not better".
Categories: Geek

Early Meme Site YTMND Has Been Resurrected With the Help of Fans

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 21:30
The popular early internet meme machine is back online after shutting down last May due to declining ad revenue and the site creator's ill health. Motherboard reports: Launched in 2001, YTMND was one of the early internet's first sources of viral content. Users could attach a gif, often animated but not always, to a piece of looping sound. Users could vote on these animations, share, or remix them. Its death was sad, a piece of early internet, gone forever. But over the last year, [the site's creator Max Goldberg] said fans helped him test the new site, find bugs, and pushed him for regular updates. Goldberg said he rebuilt the site from the ground up, which is why it took the better part of a year. One of the biggest challenges was converting everything away from Flash, which Adobe is finally retiring this year. "That means YTMNDs play more reliably (and work on mobile phones!) and will also be future-compatible," Goldberg said. "The new player was written in a way that makes archiving a YTMND significantly easier, which opens up a lot of possibilities. I've also removed all social media and advertising from the site." He also replaced all the hardware that was running the site.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Roundup: Best kid focused apps and podcasts to help with social distancing

9to5Mac - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 21:28

If your kids are like my kids, they are stir crazy, ready to go back to school, and generally tired of being at home. Over the years, I’ve collected some of my favorite apps and podcasts that my kids have grown to love. So, I wanted to compile a list to help other parents in the same boat. more…

The post Roundup: Best kid focused apps and podcasts to help with social distancing appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Earned Snark Open Thread: The Masque Goes Ever On & On

Balloon Juice - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 21:04

(Paywalled, unfortunately, at The Information: Pandemic Spawns Escape Communities Promising Self-Isolation—in a Group)

If they had any sense (ha!), they’d claim it was all a big troll. Because, TBF, overconfident ‘Masters of the Universe’ will never achieve the capital-K KLASS of the true elites:

Switzerland, once again profitably neutral during a global conflict. Here’s another fine Alpine hostelry, per the Washington Post:

… “In beginning of March, revenues had dropped significantly,” said Alexander Hübner, co-founder and chief executive of Le Bijou Hotel & Resort Management AG, which operates properties in Basel, Geneva, Zurich and other cities around Switzerland. “We said, okay, we need to react immediately to that.”

Before the outbreak, Le Bijou catered to high-end clientele who could afford its rates, which ranged from around $800 to $2,000 per night. According to Hübner and the Le Bijou website, that guest list has included the royal family of Saudi Arabia, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and “The Wolf of Wall Street” author Jordan Belfort. Yet Le Bijou’s guest reservations and events bookings plummeted just the same after the disease reached Europe.

Hübner, though, was getting new requests: from people who wanted to stay somewhere upscale where they could cook their own food, or hire doctors who perform house calls, or who didn’t want to go to the hospital for their medical needs while the pandemic was making local facilities more risky.

In response, Le Bijou began marketing quarantine-friendly perks, such as automated check-in (so that guests don’t have to interact with strangers) and in-room medical services provided by Double Check, a private health clinic in Switzerland.

The in-room treatments can be purchased a la carte: Coronavirus testing is available for about $500, twice-daily nurse check-in for about $1,800, and the round-the-clock nurse care for about $4,800. The properties are still providing food delivery and personal chef services, but they’ve cut daily cleanings and only sanitize rooms before and after guest checkout. (Staff performing those cleanings are required to wear masks and gloves, per the Swiss government’s guidelines, Hübner said.)

Since the company promoted its new offerings on Facebook, demand has been increasing steadily…

Or, if that’s too spendy, you could self-lockdown in Botany Bay! (Assuming you could get there, of course.)

… Across Asia, hotels are promoting self-quarantine packages promising reduced rates for 14-day stays, room service delivered with special handling and transportation to local hospitals when necessary. And in Australia, the Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach is advertising a 14-day “Home Away from Home” package for self-quarantining guests that promises rooms with balconies…

The post Earned Snark Open Thread: The Masque Goes Ever On & On appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Slack Launches Call Integrations For Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and More

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 20:50
Slack is launching a new app to integrate Microsoft Teams calling features into its chat app today. "Slack is also launching VoIP phone integration with Zoom, Cisco Jabber, RingCentral, and Dialpad," reports The Verge. "This will allow Slack users to use these VoIP calling providers to call phone numbers directly within the Slack interface." From the report: Slack users will be able to set Microsoft Teams Calls as the default calling provider and get to see who's already on a call and when it kicked off before joining a meeting. Event reminders from the Outlook Slack app will also support the ability to join Microsoft Teams calls direct from Slack. The new calling features will be available for all Slack users today, and you can already enable the new Microsoft Teams app in Slack from the company's website.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Things Republicans Consider "Essential Services:" Churches and Guns

Little Green Footballs - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 20:15

A day after learning that we should probably expect to see 100,000 deaths (or more) in the US from the coronavirus pandemic, Florida's Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, finally stopped dragging his feet and issued a stay-home order for 30 days, limiting all activity to "essential services."

So what does Gov. DeSantis consider "essential," you ask? All religious services, for starters, because apparently houses of worship have a magical force field that prevents the entry of deadly viruses.

But what could be even more essential, so essential that Donald Trump would designate them as "critical infrastructure?" I'll bet you can guess...


Trump admin deems gun dealers and shooting ranges essential after lobbying push.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency added the firearms industry to the list of “essential” sectors on Saturday. That addition allows many gun stores and ammunition dealers to remain open as other businesses shut their doors. The advisory was issued as a guide after several states such as California, New Jersey and Massachusetts cited lack of a federal directive on what could be deemed as essential businesses. Since the list is advisory, states vary on how closely they follow the guidance.

Days earlier, a number of leading gun advocacy groups lobbied President Donald Trump’s administration. The advisory came a day after Gun Owners of America sent a letter to the DHS requesting that the firearms dealers be deemed essential critical infrastructure.

Categories: Politics

Teardown of Huawei Flagship Phone Finds US Parts Despite Blacklisting

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 20:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Huawei is still using components made by U.S. companies in its newest flagship smartphone, a Financial Times teardown has found, despite the U.S. all but blacklisting the Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer. The teardown was done by XYZone, a Shenzhen-based company that disassembles smartphones and identifies the suppliers of their components. The biggest surprise was that some parts from U.S. companies were still ending up in the newest Huawei smartphone, despite the U.S. all but banning its companies from selling to the Chinese tech company. The P40's radio-frequency front-end modules were, according to XYZone's teardown analysis, produced by Qualcomm, Skyworks, and Qorvo, three U.S. chip companies. RF front-end modules are critical parts of the phone that are attached to the antennas and required to make calls and connect to the Internet. The Qualcomm component is covered by a license from the U.S. Commerce Department, according to a person familiar with the company. [...] The "Entity List" designation means that U.S. companies have to apply for a license to export any U.S.-origin technologies to Huawei. The U.S. government has granted a "temporary general license" to its companies, allowing them to sell to Huawei to service existing products -- helping clients such as telecoms carriers that may need to replace parts of their wireless equipment. But the general license does not cover sales for the purpose of making new products, such as the P40 smartphone. For that, companies must seek individual licenses, and the Department of Commerce has not said which ones it has granted them to. A spokesperson for Huawei said the company has "always complied with any export control regulations of various countries, including the United States" and that "all the product materials are obtained legally from our global partners, and we insist on working with our partners to provide consumers with high quality products and services." Also missing from the P40 are parts from U.S. chipmaker Micron. "Micron made the storage devices called NAND flash memory chips for some batches of last year's P30 smartphone, and South Korea's Samsung made the same chips for other batches," reports Ars. "The FT's copy of this year's P40 Pro appears to have only Samsung NAND flash memory chips."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Don’t Forget the Census!

Balloon Juice - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 19:50

I just completed my participation in the census online. Don’t forget to do yours if you were mailed a packet!

The post Don’t Forget the Census! appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

COVID-19 news: Trump gaslights America, police close down reopened Hobby Lobby stores

Daily Kos - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 19:30

Donald Trump's delays in responding to the building wave of a COVID-19 pandemic have now created a "best case" scenario of between 100,000—240,000 American deaths, according to government experts. The result: A new push by Donald Trump to insist that he had never downplayed the virus, despite many weeks and videotaped speeches in which Trump did exactly that. Already supported by Mike Pence and other fawning officials, it will be the greatest test yet of the administration's gaslighting strategies—a new claim that the virus killing family members, neighbors and friends was being taken seriously all along, despite weeks of Fox News coverage directly showing, and arguing for, the opposite.

In today's other pandemic news:

Categories: Politics

Opera To Support Sites Using the<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.Crypto Top-Level Domain

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 19:30
Opera has updated its lightweight browser for Android so that it can access unofficial .crypto domains, primarily to exchange cryptocurrency. The Register reports: Support for .crypto in Opera will "bring the blockchain-browsing experience to a new level," the Norwegian software maker gushed on Monday. Crucially, dot-crypto simply doesn't exist in the global domain name system, and is not recognized by DNS overseer ICANN nor the world's DNS resolvers. It is a renegade generic top-level domain masterminded by Unstoppable Domains. By using a domain, such as sendmemoneee.crypto, linked to a blockchain, sending and receiving cryptocurrency becomes much easier as you only need to recall a domain name (ending in .crypto) rather than a long wallet ID. In its effort to carve a niche in the browser market, Opera has been embracing cryptocurrency. Back in December 2018, it added a built-in crypto wallet to its Android browser and then later to its desktop browser. It then extended that to allow for purchases with cryptocurrency. As such, adding a simple addressing system makes sense. It is also a vote of confidence in Unstoppable Domains and Ethereum's alternate root approach.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Trump Tells Fox & Friends ‘We’ll Do A Special’ On ‘Corrupt’ Media

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 19:16

In one Fox & Friends comment Monday, Donald Trump revealed he thinks Fox News is an extension of himself. Not one of the three lapdog hosts objected.

During his Fox Friends chat Monday, Trump dismissed Washington Post reports of coronavirus disinformation campaigns from Russia, China and Iran by attacking the Post:

TRUMP: They will do anything they can to hurt this presidency, and yet here we are with the best numbers we've ever had. I don't even understand it when you can get such fake news from so many – "The New York Times" is a totally dishonest paper. They're dishonest people. "The Washington Post," same thing. I'm trying to figure out for three and a half years who is more dishonest?

Then, because Trump had nothing more important on his mind, apparently, he continued daydreaming about how to undermine American media:

TRUMP: Who is more corrupt? "The Washington Post" or "The New York Times"? When I figure it out, I'll let you know. We'll have a special.

We’ll have a special???

And how did the three lapdogs react? Cohost Ainsley Earhardt, the Super Duper Christian who never seems to mind Trump’s malice and ill will, changed the subject as if he had said nothing noteworthy:

read more

Categories: Politics

Fantastical for iPad now enhanced for new iPadOS 13.4 trackpad feature

9to5Mac - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 19:05

The popular calendar app Fantastical has been updated today with cursor support for iPadOS 13.4 and a variety of other changes. This update comes after Fantastical was overhauled in January with a powerful new universal app and much more.


The post Fantastical for iPad now enhanced for new iPadOS 13.4 trackpad feature appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Hospitals Tell Doctors They'll Be Fired If They Speak Out About Lack of Gear

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:50
schwit1 shares a report from Bloomberg, commenting: "And the claim that this is about protecting 'patient privacy' is b***shit." From the report: Ming Lin, an emergency room physician in Washington state, said he was told Friday he was out of a job because he'd given an interview to a newspaper about a Facebook post detailing what he believed to be inadequate protective equipment and testing. In Chicago, a nurse was fired after emailing colleagues that she wanted to wear a more protective mask while on duty. In New York, the NYU Langone Health system has warned employees they could be terminated if they talk to the media without authorization." Doctors are a famously independent profession, where individual medical judgment on what's best for the patient is prized over administrative dictates. That's reared its head during the Covid-19 outbreak, with many physicians, nurses and other health-care workers taking to social media to express deep concerns about the lack of protective gear or much-needed patient-care equipment like respirators. Some posts have gone viral and are being shared hundreds of thousands of times, often tagged with #GetMePPE. Privacy laws prohibit disclosing specific patient information, but they don't bar discussing general working conditions. The report notes that not all hospitals are blocking staff from talking to the press. "New York's Mount Sinai has been scheduling media interviews for nurses, physicians and trainees to help the public understand the severity of the crisis," reports Bloomberg. "The University of California San Francisco Medical Center has gotten hundreds of such calls and encouraged workers to talk to reporters."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Fox Viewers Still Believe the Risk of Coronavirus Is Exaggerated

Kevin Drum - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:35

In a new survey from the Pew Research Center, 79 percent of Fox viewers say the media is exaggerating the risks of the coronavirus pandemic. And there’s more: 39 percent believe the virus was developed in a lab—presumably a Chinese bioweapons lab.

Fox viewers aren’t the only ones who are misinformed or prone to conspiracy theories, but they sure are the most likely. This is hardly a surprise from the network that brought you Benghazi and her emails, but it’s been astonishing to see just how far they’ll go to turn nearly anything into a partisan issue.

Categories: Politics

WSJ: Apple ‘scrambling’ to prevent iPhone delays amid COVID-19 pandemic

9to5Mac - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:32

Over the last several weeks, various reports have detailed how Apple is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the supply chain and product development. Now, a report from The Wall Street Journal adds more detail to the ongoing situation.


The post WSJ: Apple ‘scrambling’ to prevent iPhone delays amid COVID-19 pandemic appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

NURVV Run is a run tracking sensor that helps prevent injuries and works with Apple Watch

9to5Mac - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:18

Remember the old Nike+iPod Sensor that you snuck in your sneakers before a run in the mid-2000s? NURVV Run is like that, but in the age of the Apple Watch.

The modern run tracking sensor is way more sophisticated than the technology inside basic step trackers. NURVV Run even helps prevent running-related injuries from overtraining.


The post NURVV Run is a run tracking sensor that helps prevent injuries and works with Apple Watch appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Microsoft President Calls Washington State's New Facial Recognition Law 'a Significant Breakthrough'

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:10
Microsoft President Brad Smith took a break from responding to the COVID-19 outbreak this week to praise Washington state's landmark facial recognition regulations. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Tuesday that establishes rules specifically governing facial recognition software. From a report: Smith called the law an "early and important model" and "a significant breakthrough" in a blog post published Tuesday. Some cities have enacted their own facial recognition rules, but Washington is the first to establish statewide regulations. "This balanced approach ensures that facial recognition can be used as a tool to protect the public, but only in ways that respect fundamental rights and serve the public interest," Smith said. The new law requires public agencies to regularly report on their use of facial recognition technology and test the software for fairness and accuracy. Law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant before using facial recognition software in investigations unless there is an emergency. The bill also establishes a task force to study the use of facial recognition by government agencies. Under the bill, public entities using facial recognition software to make decisions that produce "legal effects" must ensure a human reviews the results. That category includes decisions that could affect a person's job, financial services, housing, insurance, and education.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

US Census Bureau teaming up with Apple to equip 500,000 canvassers with iPhone 8

9to5Mac - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:01

In October, Apple said that it was teaming up with the US Census Bureau for the 2020 census. Now, a report from CNET dives deeper into that partnership, including details on how Census Bureau employees will use iPhone 8 devices and a new app for this year’s national census.


The post US Census Bureau teaming up with Apple to equip 500,000 canvassers with iPhone 8 appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

'There’s no way to get out': Some 30,000 Americans abandoned abroad after countries close borders

Daily Kos - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 17:40

Trenton Thurber, an asthma sufferer and Arizona resident studying abroad in Russia, told BuzzFeed News he knew when government officials started to announce soon-closing borders as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that he would need to get home. He booked a flight and saw his luggage being taken onto a New York-bound plane on Monday at Moscow's airport, when all of a sudden the country closed its borders. His flight was canceled, also stranding 100 Russian citizens across the ocean in the epicenter for the virus that is New York, BuzzFeed reported. Thurber’s only advice from the U.S. Embassy was to get to the Finland border, which is about 700 miles away and far from a sure thing, the news website reported.

"They said, ‘If you can get to the land border with Finland, that might be OK,’” Thurber told BuzzFeed. He didn’t want to risk it. Now he’s facing circumstances that more than 30,000 Americans left pleading with the U.S. government for assistance are also struggling through as they hemorrhage money. “There’s no way to get out,” Thurber told Buzzfeed.

Categories: Politics