ReHacked #30: encryption, vaccines and building log house solo in the forest.

ReHacked #30: encryption, vaccines and building log house solo in the forest.
The analogue Google, working by hand to respond to any and every question

Hello, it’s Thursday again and here is another newsletter. Today inside you will find some news about encryption, copyrights and Microsoft try to implement 4 day work week in Japan and one long-read about failed biographies to show the importance of persistence. Enjoy!

The FBI Should Stop Attacking Encryption and Tell Congress About All the Encrypted Phones It’s Already Hacking Into | Electronic Frontier Foundation #privacy #security

The FBI wants these terms to sound scary, but they actually describe security best practices. End-to-end encryption is what allows users to exchange messages without having them intercepted and read by repressive governments, corporations, and other bad actors. And “user-only access” is actually a perfect encapsulation of how device encryption should work; otherwise, anyone who got their hands on your phone or laptop—a thief, an abusive partner, or an employer—could access its most sensitive data. When you intentionally weaken these systems, it hurts our security and privacy, because there’s no magical kind of access that only works for the good guys. If Wray gets his special pass to listen in on our conversations and access our devices, corporations, criminals, and authoritarians will be able to get the same access.

Stockton, California, gave people a basic income. It boosted employment. #society #economy

It’s worth noting a wrinkle in the Stockton trial: Each participant was given $500 per month on a debit card so that researchers would be able to see how they were using the money. However, 40 percent of it was either withdrawn as cash or transferred to an existing bank account, so researchers had to rely on participants to tell them where the money went.

Of the money tracked on the debit cards, recipients spent most on necessities like food (37 percent), home goods and clothes (22 percent), utilities (11 percent), and car costs (10 percent). They spent less than 1 percent on alcohol or cigarettes.

“Nothing is impossible with time”.

TikTok wants to keep tracking iPhone users with state-backed workaround #privacy

In response, the state-backed China Advertising Association, which has 2,000 members, has launched a new way to track and identify iPhone users called CAID, which is being widely tested by tech companies and advertisers in the country.

Adobe Goes After 27-Year Old 'Pirated' Copy of Acrobat Reader 1.0 for MS-DOS * TorrentFreak #copyrights

Adobe regularly sends takedown notices targeting pirated copies of its flagship software products but the company doesn't limit itself to newer releases. F-Secure researcher Mikko Hyppönen has had one of his tweets taken down because it linked to an 'unauthorized' copy of a 27-year-old release of Acrobat Reader 1.0 for MS-DOS.

Microsoft tried a 4-day work-week in Japan. Productivity jumped 40% #economy

A growing number of smaller companies are adopting a four-day workweek. Now the results of a recent trial at Microsoft (MSFT) suggest it could work even for the biggest businesses.

The company introduced a program this summer in Japan called the "Work Life Choice Challenge," which shut down its offices every Friday in August and gave all employees an extra day off each week.

The results were promising: While the amount of time spent at work was cut dramatically, productivity — measured by sales per employee — went up by almost 40% compared to the same period the previous year, the company said in a statement last week.

Let there be more biographies of failures - The Common Reader #history #longread

Let there be more biographies of failures, people who were ignored by the world, whose ideas came before their time, whose great work was left in ruins.

The point of biography is to set an example, to teach us how other people did the things we want to do. That might be something grand like live a good life, or it might be something more mundane like manage a small company. Whatever it is, the genre suffers from selection bias. Only the successful get biographies.

But we will not all be successful, and if that is our main criteria we won’t learn as much from biography as we could. There’s a lot of fascinating information in Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age, by Alex Wright, but some of the most interesting is about how Otlet was repeatedly let down by the world.

AstraZeneca vaccine doesn't prevent B1351 COVID in early trial #health

Two doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine were ineffective against mild-to-moderate infections with the B1351 variant first identified in South Africa, according to a phase 1b-2 clinical trial published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The double-blind multicenter study, led by scientists at the South African Medical Research Council Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit, studied the safety and the efficacy of the AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in HIV-negative adults aged 18 to 64 who received either two standard doses of the vaccine or a placebo in a 1:1 ratio 21 to 35 days apart from Jun 24 to Nov 9, 2020. Median follow-up after the second dose was 121 days.

Visa Plans to Enable Bitcoin Payments at 70 Million Merchants #blockchain #economy

We’re trying to do two things. One is to enable the purchase of Bitcoin on Visa credentials. And secondly, working with Bitcoin wallets to allow the Bitcoin to be translated into a fiat currency and therefore immediately be able to be used at any of the 70 million places around the world where Visa is accepted.

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