CNN: Trump says he has approved a deal for purchase of TikTok

CNN: Trump says he has approved a deal for purchase of TikTok. “President Donald Trump said Saturday he has approved a deal between TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and Oracle (ORCL), temporarily averting a ban on TikTok in US app stores. The Commerce Department confirmed in a statement Saturday evening that it would delay — by one week — restrictions that were originally to take effect on Sunday.”

Slate: Hot Spots

Slate: Hot Spots. “Outdoor drinking and dining is currently the safest way for establishments to host guests during the pandemic. Accordingly, demand for heat lamps has risen sharply, even in the warm summer months. While July is typically the slowest month for the heat-lamp industry—yes, there’s an industry—this year it rivaled even the traditionally busiest months of the year, according to Alfresco Heating owner Eric Kahn, whose company is based in Novato, California. Some restaurants are purchasing heaters for the first time, suggesting that the new landscape of dining on sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and wherever else you can fit a table and a few feet of distance will be with us for a good while.”

Watching over whales: Online tool detects whales and ships in California’s Santa Barbara Channel in near real-time (University of Washington)

University of Washington: Watching over whales: Online tool detects whales and ships in California’s Santa Barbara Channel in near real-time. “Whale Safe combines several technologies: an underwater acoustic system that automatically detects whale calls; near real-time forecasts of whale feeding grounds; and whale sightings by scientists reported through a mobile app. These sources of information are combined into a daily ‘Whale Presence Rating’ on the Whale Safe website — an indicator that describes the likelihood of whales from ‘low’ to ‘very high.'”

BuzzFeed News: Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare”

BuzzFeed News: Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare”. “At its core, the QAnon collective delusion is a belief system that began in the innards of the social web before being vomited into the mainstream. Believers sign up for a slew of untruths. Most support Trump, oppose the ‘deep state,’ deny vaccination science, say many instances of gun violence were faked, and set off on quixotic crusades for supposedly trafficked children that hinder the real fight against the issue. Much of their wrath is centered on purported elites who either faked the coronavirus pandemic or spread the virus through 5G technology, a scientific impossibility. Satanism and drinking the blood of children are common points of discussion. Paranoia surrounding Black Lives Matter protests and anti-fascist activists is widespread.”

NBC News: Letter targets minorities on Long Island with coronavirus vaccine misinformation, state senator says

NBC News: Letter targets minorities on Long Island with coronavirus vaccine misinformation, state senator says. “A New York state senator issued a warning to residents of suburban Nassau County about a letter that falsely claims the government is looking for ‘minorities to experiment on’ with the coronavirus vaccines. The letter was taped to the doors of dozens of homes on the North Shore of Long Island on Saturday, state Sen. Anna Kaplan said in a press release that included a redacted copy of the full letter.”

Associated Press: 2 dead of virus at US prison where executions are scheduled

Associated Press: 2 dead of virus at US prison where executions are scheduled. “Two inmates have died in as many days from coronavirus at the federal prison complex where the U.S. government plans to carry out two executions next week. The virus deaths are likely to raise alarm with advocates and lawyers for the condemned men over the spread of coronavirus at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. As of Tuesday, more than 40 inmates had confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the agency’s statistics.”

VentureBeat: Will Facebook Horizon be the first step toward the metaverse?

VentureBeat: Will Facebook Horizon be the first step toward the metaverse?. “The excitement around a metaverse is growing, as it’s not just an idea from science fiction anymore. Facebook Horizon, a user-generated virtual reality world that is still in closed beta testing, might be one of the first steps toward creating one. The metaverse is the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One. Facebook is building its Horizon world in virtual reality, where people can immerse themselves in a virtual space with other friends and create their own social spaces akin to game worlds.”

The Elm (Washington College): Facebook’s removal of political ads prior to the 2020 election is too little too late

The Elm (Washington College): Facebook’s removal of political ads prior to the 2020 election is too little too late. “In October of 2019, multiple Facebook employees sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg detailing concerns about political ads. Since then numerous employees have expressed their concern about Facebook becoming an unreliable app. They recognized the mistakes made in 2016 and decided that the company needed to change its fact-checking policies. Although Facebook took some of the recommendations from the letter seriously, it’s too little, too late.”

Google Blog: Easier access to Search, Chrome and Gmail in iOS 14

Google Blog: Easier access to Search, Chrome and Gmail in iOS 14. “iOS 14 has launched, and with it comes new features that make it easier to access some of the Google apps you use most often. Starting today, you can add a Google Search Widget to your Home Screen to let you find information even faster. You can also set Chrome as your default browser app on your iPhone or iPad, and in the coming days, you’ll be able to set Gmail as your default email app.”

Bloomberg Law: Bankrupt Chuck E. Cheese Parent Wants to Shred 7 Billion Tickets

Bloomberg Law: Bankrupt Chuck E. Cheese Parent Wants to Shred 7 Billion Tickets. “Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company asked a bankruptcy court to approve settlements to destroy 7 billion paper Prize Tickets that have built up in the company’s supply chain as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. CEC Entertainment Inc.’s vendors now hold ‘enough tickets to fill approximately 65 forty-foot cargo shipping containers,’ according to CEC’s emergency motion filed Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.”

New York Times: Stop Expecting Life to Go Back to Normal Next Year

New York Times: Stop Expecting Life to Go Back to Normal Next Year. “Many Americans are resistant to this possibility. They’re hoping to restart postponed sports seasons, attend schools more easily, enjoy rescheduled vacations and participate in delayed parties and gatherings. It is completely understandable that many are tiring of restrictions due to Covid-19. Unfortunately, their resolve is weakening right when we need it to harden. This could cost us dearly.”

Sixth Tone: China to Build National Sex Offender Database for Use by Schools

Sixth Tone: China to Build National Sex Offender Database for Use by Schools . “In a landmark national policy aimed at protecting children, China has moved to bar people with histories of sex abuse from working in early childhood, primary, or secondary education. According to a new guideline issued Friday by three central government agencies — the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Public Security — the latter will build a database of sex offenders, including those who rape or molest children.”

BBC: Google and Facebook under pressure to ban children’s ads

BBC: Google and Facebook under pressure to ban children’s ads. “Tech firms have been urged to stop advertising to under-18s in an open letter signed by MPs, academics and children’s-rights advocates. Behavioural advertising not only undermines privacy but puts ‘susceptible’ youngsters under unfair marketing pressure, the letter says. It is addressed to Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft.”

Kim Komando: How to delete yourself from people search sites

Kim Komando: How to delete yourself from people search sites. “People search sites build profiles based on public info scraped from across the internet. These profiles often contain sensitive data like phone numbers and addresses — and scam callers and mail spammers rely on these websites to scout prospects. You might be thinking, ‘Is this legal?’ Data brokers get away with it by giving people a chance to opt-out. Unfortunately, this is usually easier said than done. Prepare to jump through some hoops.”

Horizon: Post-coronavirus, how can we achieve food justice?

Horizon: Post-coronavirus, how can we achieve food justice?. “The coronavirus pandemic disrupted the global food system and emphasised its structural inequity – from unequal food distribution to workers in the system going hungry. Experts are calling for a reimagining of the way we produce and distribute food so that everyone can access quality food. Despite producing more food by volume than humanity has to date, millions of people remain food insecure. Agriculture is also a major contributor to environmental degradation and climate change.”