Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Airbnb will issue full refunds for trips starting on or before May 31 booked before March 14, will make a $250M fund to pay hosts 25% of regular cancelation fee  —  - Airbnb announced it will allow guests to receive full refunds for trips starting on or before May 31 that were booked prior …

Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
App Annie: videoconferencing apps saw a record 62M downloads during the week of March 14-21, up 45% from the prior week  —  Work-from-home policies, social distancing and government lockdowns have increased the demand for video conferencing apps, for both business and personal use.

Timothy B. Lee / Ars Technica:
A US federal court rules that simply breaking a site's terms of service does not constitute criminal hacking under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act  —  Courts have struggled to interpret the vague Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  —  A federal court in Washington, DC, has ruled that violating …

Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Huawei open sources MindSpore, an AI computing framework akin to TensorFlow and PyTorch, which it claims offers a 50% efficiency boost over rivals on average  —  Huawei this week announced that MindSpore, a framework for AI app development that the company detailed in August 2019, is now available in open source on GitHub and Gitee.

From Don Park. Unboxing video showing contents of the relief kit sent to South Koreans in self-isolation after testing positive.

"Shifty, scheming person that will do whatever they need to to escape whatever they fear in the moment." Yup that sounds like our president.

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: in early March, Apple started letting some engineers take home early versions of future devices to continue work during the lockdown period  —  With its 175-acre campus in Cupertino, California, and several dozen more offices across the rest of the world, Apple Inc. wasn't designed as a work-at-home company.

Alyssa Newcomb / Fortune:
WeWork is selling the social network Meetup to AlleyCorp and other private investors, sources say at a fraction of the $156M that WeWork paid for Meetup in 2017  —  WeWork is selling Meetup, the social network that encourages people to get together in person, to AlleyCorp and a team of private investors …

Sean Lyngaas / CyberScoop:
HackerOne expels mobile voting vendor Voatz from its security program over hostile interactions with researchers, the first time it's cut ties with an org  —  HackerOne, a company that pairs ethical hackers with organizations to fix software flaws, has kicked mobile voting vendor Voatz off its platform …

Gordon Mah Ung / PCWorld:
Review of AMD's 7nm, 8-core Ryzen 9 4900HS, which is now available in PCs like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, shows it crushing Intel's most powerful laptop CPUs  —  When AMD introduced its Ryzen 4000 mobile CPUs at CES, the company made bold claims of game-changing performance.

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Kabbage, a Softbank-backed small business loan platform, is furloughing a “significant number” of its 500 US staff, closing India office in the wake of pandemic  —  Another tech unicorn is feeling the pinch of doing business during the coronavirus pandemic.

Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
A hacker hijacked several of Microsoft's YouTube channels to broadcast a crypto Ponzi scam, which continued for over 14 hours  —  Several of Microsoft's YouTube accounts appear to have been hacked.  —  A hacker has hijacked all of Microsoft's official YouTube accounts and is broadcasting …

Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
Microsoft announces Teams for consumers, to help plan trips, share grocery lists, and more, Skype DAUs up 70% month-over-month to 40M, calling minutes up 220%  —  As part of its Microsoft 365 for consumers news today, Microsoft announced Microsoft Teams for consumers and new Skype metrics.

Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
Personal information of nearly 5M citizens of the country of Georgia leaked, including home addresses, dates of birth, ID numbers, and mobile phone numbers  —  A file containing personal information for 4,934,863 Georgians has been published on a hacker forum over the weekend.

Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
Microsoft says Chromium Edge is getting Vertical Tabs, Smart Copy to help you copy web content into docs, Password Monitor to alert users of stolen credentials  —  Microsoft today announced upcoming features for its Edge browser based on Google's Chromium open source project, the same browser Google's Chrome is based on.

Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
Microsoft debuts a Family Safety mobile app and AI-powered PowerPoint and Excel features as part of its 365 Family and Personal subscriptions, coming April 21  —  Microsoft today announced that on April 21, Office 365 will become Microsoft 365, or “the subscription for your life.”

Violet Blue / Engadget:
Before using the tools built by data harvesting companies to track the coronavirus pandemic, we must assume that the tools will be abused  —  Our worlds are so upside-down and backwards right now that Wired claims Surveillance Could Save Lives Amid a Public Health Crisis …

My NYC correspondent. "At least two co-workers sound like they have it, but both have been doing fine with mild symptoms (it's a young and healthy group, though). This is bad, but I think by June NYC is going to be the most resilient and functional city, with experience and infrastructure and also lots of people who are resistant because they've already gotten it. California is doing really well with distancing but I'm worried they'll face a bad second wave in the fall."

Why do reporters keep showing up for Trump pressers, and then spend endless hours talking about it. It's like the character in Harry Met Sally played by Carrie Fisher. You're right, you're right he's never going to leave her.

Me, with my stylin new mask.

I've privately encouraged a few reporter friends to look into what it's like to die from "CV", and report on it.

My imagination says it's very horrible. But maybe it isn't as bad as I imagine and maybe they knock you out for the most painful parts.

I know you can request a DNR, thinking of writing it on my body in Sharpie. But can you also request palliative treatment?

And btw, how are supplies of the palliatives?

This is a huge story, and as far as I can see no one is covering it. It would take a lot of courage.

Tom Watson: "Like with mass shootings or war zones, there's a media pact not to present the battlefield to the public." I respond: "This is different. The people they're reporting to are the battlefield."

I wish there were a fully networked SimCity where my friends' cities and mine could trade. And we could have lockdowns and shut down the airports, and have Covid-19 outbreaks. We could kill all the Sims, and then boom, reincarnate them.

One of the best things you can do to love the web again is decentralize. Start your own blog, and post links to social media sites. Then you're building on the resilience of the net, instead of concentrating on a potential single point of failure.

From a friend in NYC, a picture of the tents in the East Meadow of Central Park, across from Mount Sinai Hospital.

From Dave Carlick a link to a video from the Czech Republic minister of health saying it's time for everyone to wear a mask. I had mask-envy. People have such nice store-bought masks. I have some on order from Amazon, but who knows when they'll be here. Just got an email saying oops we're going to be late. Maybe May or June. In the meantime a neighbor made me a beautful denim mask (see below) which I will wear proudly when I go to town.

Every day I start with a blank slate here on Scripting News and I wonder if I'll find anything to put here. Maybe today it will be an empty page? Then I have breakfast, drink some coffee, catch up on what people are saying, and then comes the flood. 💥

On MSNBC they're talking about all the horrendous shit Trump did at the briefing where no news was made except what a POS he is. Come on. This is too easy and a waste of good news people. Trump being an asshole is not news. Just. Stop.

I'm buying stuff on Amazon that's scheduled to be delivered in June. I want to see if the world will still be here then. I can smile if the packages arrive. Oh I guess we made it, I'll snicker to myself loudly.

Dwight Eisenhower: "Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well."

Very interesting visual of the progression of the disease.

Two reasons:

  1. Increase your chance of survival when you get the virus.
  2. Slow the rate of transmission of the virus.

One reason for you, another for everyone else.

Scientists are working feverishly on treatments and a vaccine. The latter will prevent you from getting infected, but it's a long way off. But treatments could come about any day. The longer you hold on, the more likely you will survive.

If everyone stayed in, the transmission of the virus would almost halt. You could still get it from someone you live with. But that's it.

But we can't be perfect. We need doctors, food, electric, internet, etc. So the best we can do is slow the rate. The slower it gets, the more time we give the scientists to find a treatment or vaccine. And the better the chance you survive.

Think about ventilators.

Suppose you catch the virus today.

In two weeks you're so sick you can't breathe.

You need a ventilator.

The EMT driver won't take you to the hospital because there is no ventilator for you.

It's like planning ahead for TP but this matters more.

BTW, here's an example of a PagePark plug-in.

I must use this huge plate of crawfish as my header image.

Dev work: A few days ago I asked how to use regex to mash up paths for web requests. In the end I went another way, adding a long-wanted plug-in capability to PagePark, my labor-of-love Node-based web server. I found a really Nodey way to do it, much better imho than using eval or vm. I use modules. A lot of people don't know they can be in files, not just distributed through NPM. It's a really nice way to do plug-ins, and it's made something cool possible with Little Outliner. More on that later. In the meantime I've written up the use of modules as PagePark plug-ins in the thread about regex. Still diggin!

This is a must-read article. Summary. There won't be enough testing, probably for the rest of the year. Same with ventilators and gear to protect the medical people. What's missing is national leadership, to tell people the truth, let us know what we're needed to do. We can accept that. What is killing us is the constant chaos.

People who are worried, now, if Biden is electable. An analogy. You're married to a crazy man. He's got a gas can and matches. He's soaked your kids in gasoline, and is ready to light them up. You're thinking about your next husband. You're crazy.

The companies didn’t need bailouts. Take United Airlines for example. They would have gone bankrupt, their assets sold to pay creditors. There would still be a United Airlines. The planes would still fly. The shareholders would have lost everything. Owning stock is risky, or it should be -- especially when you don't save for a rainy day as United didn't. Same old shit. Upside is private. Downside is socialist. We need real health care, people need food, a place to live, a job. We had the opportunity now to ensure all that. We’re trying to prop up an old obsolete system. People are left to fend for themselves, but stockholders are made whole.

I bet Google knows where the hot spots are.

I always feel better when the sun rises. 🌞

Google, Apple, Facebook all know where people are moving around and where they’re locked down. People in pre-CV America would have freaked if they made the data public, in aggregate. Personally I’d love to see it.