November 28, 2020

Future Technology

Lisa Long is immunosuppressed and suffers from chronic pain. That means that since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the US in March, she and her family, which includes her two daughters, 11 and 14, have been isolating at home outside St. Louis, save for the occasional doctor’s visit. Visiting family is out of the question for Thanksgiving.

But Long will get to be with her nieces and nephews in Utah and Colorado on Thursday. She’ll sit down to dinner with them on Bloxburg, a simulation game on the popular children’s video-gaming platform Roblox. For months, Long has been working with her daughters and their cousins to build a house on Bloxburg, and those efforts will lead to a “Bloxburg Thanksgiving,” as Long puts it.

“We’re going to try to get together to make turkeys and set big tables,” she says. “We’re going to try to get as many … Read the rest

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Parler is attracting the posts that Twitter and Facebook don’t allow, like hate speech and conspiracy theories about the US election. | Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Conservatives are flocking to a site where they can post things that Facebook and Twitter don’t allow.

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In recent weeks, you may have been hearing more about a site called Parler, which conservatives are touting as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook. From Ivanka Trump to the governor of Nebraska, right-wing influencers are asking those frustrated with alleged Big Tech censorship to join them on Parler, a two-year-old app and website that promises free speech online. It’s social media — minus the curation algorithms and content moderation.

Parler, which has been around since 2018, looks at first glance a lot like Twitter and Facebook. Open the app, there are profiles pushing doubt about the 2020 election’s results and declarations that the mainstream … Read the rest

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Angela Ahrendts has found her new role.

What you need to know

  • Angela Ahrendts has been appointed as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Save the Children International.
  • Ahrendts was the former CEO of Burberry and Senior Vice President of Retail and People for Apple.

In a press release, Save the Children International has announced that Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s former Senior Vice President of Retail and People, has been appointed as the organization’s chair of its Board of Trustees.

In a statement, Ahrendts said that she is looking to helping the organization continue its work to “champion the basic rights and needs of children worldwide.”

“I am truly honored to step in as Board Chair of Save the Children International. I’ve always been passionate about serving children and look forward to leveraging my experience with the remarkable Save the Children global partners and team to continue to

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  • Comcast is expanding its data cap in 2021 to all of the territories that it covers.
  • Starting next year, Comcast subscribers in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington D.C., and West Virginia will all be subject to a 1.2TB data cap.
  • You can pay an additional $30 per month for an unlimited plan without a data cap.

The degree to which cable and internet companies receive constant and passionate scorn from virtually everyone on the planet might seem like overkill until you read about their policies and practices. Few are more detestable than the data cap, which Comcast introduced for millions of its internet customers in 2016. As Ars Technica reports, 27 of the 39 states that Comcast services have had 1.2 terabyte data caps for the last four years, and starting next year, the remaining 12 states which … Read the rest

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Turbulent times can expose weaknesses in distribution chains, putting stress on chokepoints and reducing access to critical components, suppliers, and capital. The ability to respond to changes rapidly and effectively depends on a variety of assets and business capabilities: replacing or augmenting supply sources in response to partner inventory issues or trade war-induced tariffs or restrictions, and having agile manufacturing processes that reduce redundancies and streamline product inputs.

Download the report here.

Each thread of this complex web of factors that affects supply chain resilience must be examined and assessed separately to identify potential vulnerabilities and mitigate them. At the same time, most of this web simplifies down to two primary strands, common capabilities that run through every resilient business: increasing visibility and maintaining sufficient diversity in the supply chain.

Capability 1—Insight
Developing data capabilities and analysis tools that reach from suppliers and partners all across the value chain through … Read the rest

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A Biden campaign worker checks their phone while canvassing in Pennsylvania in early November. | Mark Makela/Getty Images

It was Silicon Valley’s attempt to fix the party’s infrastructure.

One of the most expensive, highest-profile efforts to fix the Democratic Party’s data woes is shutting down.

Alloy, a group started with $35 million in part from Silicon Valley billionaire Reid Hoffman, said on Monday that it would begin to “wind down its operations” next year after it completes its work for the January runoff elections in Georgia. The decision is a huge reversal in fortunes for Alloy, which had massive hype when announced but has failed to live up to its original promise, many Democratic data operatives have said over the course of the year.

Alloy was originally seen as a tech solution that the party establishment — the Democratic National Committee — couldn’t provide. Plotted in the aftermath of the … Read the rest

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Despite being Apple’s latest smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 6 is already seeing some huge discounts ahead of Black Friday. Various styles and configurations are discounted as low as $329.98 with as much as $120 off some of the higher-end models. With so many new all-time low prices across the board, there’s lot sort through so we’ve done the hard work for you and listed all of the best discounts below. Don’t miss these deals.

Black Friday Apple Watch Series 6 Sales

40mm

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  • Pfizer and BioNTech confirmed they will file with the FDA for emergency use authorization on Friday, after announcing the final Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine results a few days ago.
  • The experimental drug proved to be highly effective in the final testing stage, and it had minimal side effects.
  • The FDA will inspect the full data and should issue an Emergency Use Authorization quickly.
  • Immunizations in the US could start within the next few weeks.

Pfizer and BioNTech shared the final efficacy results from their Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial a few days ago, revealing that the drug might be even better than what interim data showed. The two companies announced the vaccine is 95% effective and doesn’t have any severe side effects. They also said they would seek regulatory approval within days. It turns out they meant it, as Pfizer and BioNtech confirmed they plan to file with the FDA … Read the rest

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Pfizer will apply for emergency permission to distribute its covid-19 vaccine in the US and is ready to start shipping the shots within “hours” of getting a government green light, the firm said today. It is the first such application from any of the makers of covid-19 vaccines that are currently in development.

If it is approved, the first people to get the shot are likely to be doctors, nurses, and other front-line workers, and that could happen before Christmas, according to the drug giant. Pfizer is also sharing information with regulators in Canada, the European Union, and Japan.

In a statement, Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, said the vaccine’s development took “248 long days and nights,” involving 43,661 volunteers at 150 locations in the US, Turkey, and South Africa. Pfizer claims its vaccine has proved to be 95% effective in its final trials.

Pfizer and its partner, German firm … Read the rest

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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris met with Gov. Gavin Newsom over the Creek fire in California on September 15. | Carlos Avila Gonzalez/San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Images

Will Gov. Gavin Newsom listen?

Some of California’s biggest political donors are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to choose a woman of color to fill the seat of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Given how rare it has been for a Senate seat in the country’s largest state to become vacant, California leaders have been hard at work trying to lobby Newsom ever since Harris was chosen for the Democratic ticket this summer. And now the lobbying is becoming more public.

On Monday, about 150 of the state’s biggest women donors will ratchet up the pressure with a public letter to Newsom saying that he should not replace Harris with a white woman, never mind a man.

“We urge you to continue this Californian tradition by appointing … Read the rest

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