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Venice is watching tourists’ every move

CNN Travel – “They’re watching you, wherever you walk. They know exactly where you pause, when you slow down and speed up, and they count you in and out of the city. What’s more, they’re tracking your phone, so they can tell exactly how many people from your country or region are in which area, at which time. And they’re doing it in a bid to change tourism for the better. Welcome to Venice in a post-Covid world. The canal city may have been known as La Serenissima, or The Most Serene, during its centuries ruling the waves as the powerful Republic of Venice. In the past few years, however, things have become rather less serene, thanks to the almost 30 million visitors who descend each year on the city of just 50,000 inhabitants. Before Covid-19 struck, tourists were arriving in often unmanageable numbers, choking the main streets and filling up the waterbuses. Authorities had tried various measures, from introducing separate residents’ lines at major vaporetto (waterbus) stops to bringing in turnstiles that would filter locals from tourists on busy days. A planned “entrance tax,” due to debut in 2020, has been postponed to January 2022, due to the pandemic. But as well as controlling footfall, the authorities wanted to track tourism itself — not just by registering overnight guests but, in a city where the vast majority of visitors are daytrippers, by counting exactly who is in the city — and where they go…”

I looked at all the ways Microsoft Teams tracks users and my head is spinning

ZDNet – “…a couple of weeks ago Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella declared, in an interview with the Financial Times, that Teams could soon be a digital platform as important as the internet browser. Yes, Microsoft Teams. This startled me a touch. The world seems to have moved rather quickly of late. I thought of all… Continue Reading

U.S. Secret Service: Threats to and Assaults on Presidents and Vice Presidents

CRS In Focus – U.S. Secret Service: Threats to and Assaults on Presidents and Vice Presidents, January 15, 2021: On January 6, 2021,Vice President Mike Pence was presiding over a joint session of Congress to certify the November 2020 presidential election electoral votes when a crowd breached the U.S. Capitol’s security. Due to these events,… Continue Reading

Misinformation dropped dramatically the week after Twitter banned Trump and some allies

Washington Post – Zignal Labs charts 73 percent decline on Twitter and beyond following historic action against the president -“Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods… Continue Reading

Institute breaks record in 2020, making laws easy to access

Cornell Chronicle – “As Congress prepared to certify the results of the November presidential election on Jan. 6, the law governing the counting of electoral votes was a trending topic on Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII), a pioneer in providing open access to U.S. legal information online. Those topics changed abruptly when a… Continue Reading

Biden Political Appointee Tracker

Washington Post – We’re tracking hundreds of positions here – “Presidents are required to fill roughly 4,000 politically appointed positions in the executive branch, including more than 1,250 that require Senate confirmation. The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service are tracking nominees for roughly 800 of those 1,250 positions, including Cabinet secretaries, chief… Continue Reading

A New Learning Product for Libraries

LinkedIn: “We know our world has changed dramatically over the past few weeks, with many libraries temporarily closing in response to the Coronavirus. We are committed to providing uninterrupted service of Lynda.com during this time to ensure patrons have access to learning courses to build and develop their skills. We also wanted to thank you… Continue Reading

Story Line is The New York Public Library’s new dial-a-story service

NYPL – “Starting Monday, January 11, you can call 917-ASK-NYPL (917-275-6975) and select option 6# to hear a children’s book performed by one of our talented librarians. A new story will be made available every week in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. Ways to Listen Call 917-ASK-NYPL (917-275-6975) and select option 6# Listen online or on… Continue Reading

The Gutted, ‘Unnerving’ State of the Agencies Supposed to Keep the U.S. Safe

Politico: “As the federal government girds against threatened riots in Washington this weekend and possible violence at the inauguration and state capitals across the country, it’s dealing with an unprecedented gap at the top: All of the nation’s top Cabinet departments overseeing the nation’s security are run by acting officials who have been in the… Continue Reading