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Category Archives: Economy

First comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19

The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (WHO): “Since September 2020, the Independent Panel has systematically, rigorously and comprehensively examined why COVID-19 became a global health and socio-economic crisis. In May 2021, the Independent Panel presented its findings and recommendations for action to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that any future infectious disease outbreak does not become another catastrophic pandemic…“For the Panel it is clear that the combination of poor strategic choices, unwillingness to tackle inequalities, and an uncoordinated system created a toxic cocktail which allowed the pandemic to turn into a catastrophic human crisis.”

  1. The main report presents the Panel’s findings and recommendations.
  2. Summary of the main report
  3. The companion evidence-based narrative describes 13 defining moments which have shaped the course of the pandemic
  4. Background documents represent the Panel’s in-depth research including an authoritative chronology of the early response. Additional background papers will be posted in the month of May 2021…”
  5. Via Science: “Their report, COVID-19: Make it the Last Pandemic, concludes that the world has failed to take pandemic threats seriously and build structures that can respond to fast-spreading pathogens. Countries relied on WHO to keep it safe but didn’t equip it with the resources to do so. “For many years, [WHO] has been given new tasks without sufficient authority or resources to undertake them fully,” the authors write. “In this pandemic, the efforts of its leadership and staff have been unstinting but structural problems have been exposed.”…

Colonial Pipeline: The DarkSide Strikes

CRS Insight – Colonial Pipeline: The DarkSide Strikes, May 11, 2021: “On May 8, 2021,the Colonial Pipeline Company announced that it had halted its pipeline operations due to a ransomware attack, disrupting critical supplies of gasoline and other refined products throughout the East Coast. This attack was similar to an earlier pipeline ransomware attack in… Continue Reading

How a ransomware attack shut down a major US fuel pipeline

Popular Science: “The network carries petroleum products like gasoline and aviation fuel. Here’s what to know. A surefire way to appreciate the importance of a key piece of infrastructure is to watch what happens when it unexpectedly stops working. For example, most people probably thought very little about the importance of the Suez Canal, but… Continue Reading

How copyright filters lead to wage-theft

Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow – “…content ID was created to mollify the entertainment industry after Google acquired Youtube. Google would spend $100m on filtering tech that would allow rightsholders to go beyond the simple “takedown” permitted by law, and instead share in revenues from creative uses. But it’s easy to see how this… Continue Reading

The Case for Letting People Work From Home Forever

Wired – “Do you want happier, productive, more engaged, and more fulfilled employees and coworkers? Well, you should campaign to let them work remotely. Here’s why. “In 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, almost 70 percent of full-time employees worked from home. Many employers that perhaps may never have considered offering a remote work option… Continue Reading

Work from Home & Productivity: Evidence from Personnel & Analytics Data on IT Professionals

Becker Friedman Institute Working Paper, May 6, 2021: Work from Home & Productivity: Evidence from Personnel & Analytics Data on IT Professionals , Michael Gibbs, Friederike Mengel, Christoph Siemrot. “Using personnel and analytics data from over 10,000 skilled professionals at a large Asian IT services company, we compare productivity before and during the work from… Continue Reading

Amazon blocks 10 billion—yes, billion—listings in massive counterfeit crackdown

AP via Fortune – “Amazon, which has been under pressure from shoppers, brands and lawmakers to crack down on counterfeits on its site, said [in its 2020 Brand Protection Report] Monday that it blocked more than 10 billion suspected phony listings last year before any of their offerings could be sold. The numbers were released… Continue Reading

Nearly 9 out of 10 employers in the US & UK will require or encourage vaccination for employees

The Rockefeller Foundation: Arizona State University Survey of Employers Shows Companies Doubling Down on Covid-19 Testing and Support Vaccinations to Achieve a Post-Pandemic Workplace – “A comprehensive business survey, conducted by Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, finds that nearly 9 out of 10 employers in the United… Continue Reading

Science and Technology Issues in the 117th Congress

CRS Report – Science and Technology Issues in the 117th Congress. May 5, 2021: “The federal government supports scientific and technological advancement directly by funding and performing research and development, and indirectly by creating and maintaining policies that encourage private sector efforts. Additionally, the federal government regulates many aspects of S&T activities. This report briefly… Continue Reading

US supports vaccine patent waiver proposal at World Trade Organization

CNN: “The Biden administration, in a major decision Wednesday, said it would support easing patent rules on Covid-19 vaccines after intense internal debate and strong pushback from American drugmakers, potentially expanding the global supply and narrowing the vaccination gap between rich and poor nations. The move is preliminary and will not guarantee the global patent… Continue Reading