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Daily Archives: December 20, 2020

What’s Behind the Pandemic Puzzle Craze?

JSTOR Daily – “Puzzles, or “dissected maps,” were invented in Georgian-era England, probably by a mapmaker named John Spilsbury in the early 1760s. Jigsaw puzzles have made a major comeback in 2020. In the spring, when the first shelter-in-place orders were issued in many regions of the country due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, there was a surge in demand for puzzles. Puzzle makers saw sales go up by 300 to 400%, and, due to the pandemic-related pause in production, quickly sold out of popular items. As this seemingly endless year has dragged on—with record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.—sheltering in place isn’t ending anytime soon…”

How Russian hackers infiltrated the US government for months without being spotted

MIT Technology Review – And why it could take months more to discover how many other governments and companies have been breached – “To carry out the breach, the hackers first broke into the systems of SolarWinds, an American software company. There, they inserted a back door into Orion, one of the company’s products, which… Continue Reading

These Are the States Where People Are Buying the Most Guns

24/7 Wall St: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation tracks gun sales and publishes a list of how many are handled as part of its National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Each month, the figures are reported by state. Nearly everyone put through this system qualifies as a buyer. People who are excluded usually have… Continue Reading

The Antitrust Case Against Big Tech, Shaped by Tech Industry Exiles

The New York Times – “Regulators are relying on insiders like Dina Srinivasan, who left her digital ad job after concluding that “Facebook and Google were going to win and everybody else is going to lose…With no background in academia but an insider’s understanding of the digital ad world and a stack of economics books,… Continue Reading

Schools and the Path to Zero

Brown School of Public Health – Pandemics Explained – “Translating the latest evidence into clear recommendations, a multi-disciplinary group of experts delivers guidance on how schools and districts can reduce in-school Covid-19 risks for both children and adults to near zero. The key to opening schools safely? High quality infection control.  During this year of… Continue Reading

The 89 Best Book Covers of 2020

LitHub –  Emily Temple: “…So for the fifth year in a row, I surveyed a group of professional book cover designers (this year it was 29 of them) about their favorite covers of the year. They came back with an astounding 89 different book covers that impressed, delighted, and inspired them, representing work by 54… Continue Reading

‘I’m Haunted by What I Did’ as a Lawyer in the Trump Justice Department

The New York Times Opinion by Erica Newland, counsel at Protect Democracy – she worked in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department from 2016-18. “I was an attorney at the Justice Department when Donald Trump was elected president. I worked in the Office of Legal Counsel, which is where presidents turn for… Continue Reading

The SolarWinds cyberattack: The hack, the victims, and what we know

Bleeping Computer: “Since the SolarWinds supply chain attack was disclosed last Sunday, there has been a whirlwind of news, technical details, and analysis released about the hack. Because the amount of information that was released in such a short time is definitely overwhelming, we have published this as a roundup of this week’s SolarWinds news.… Continue Reading

Google Faces Two Additional Antitrust Suits

EPIC – [week of December 14, 2020]: “Two antitrust lawsuits were filed against Google by state Attorneys General. On Wednesday, Texas and eight other states filed a suit alleging anticompetitive conduct, exclusionary practices and deceptive misrepresentations in connection with Google’s role in advertising technology. “Google’s entire business model is to collect comprehensive data about every… Continue Reading