The Ibuprofen Debate Reveals the Danger of Covid-19 Rumors


science_kxweb4

The letter was speculative. But, three days after it was published, the French Ministry of Health circulated a warning against using ibuprofen for Covid-19 fevers, citing “serious adverse events” occurring in “possible or confirmed cases.” The same day, the French minister of health, a physician, tweeted advice to avoid ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories because they could be “an aggravating factor” in Covid-19 infections. The minister, Olivier Véran, recommended that people with fevers take paracetamol, the European generic name for acetaminophen, and didn’t offer any evidence to back up the recommendation. Still, his advice whipped around the world: It was repeated in media outlets from the United States to the United Kingdom to Israel to Singapore to New Zealand.

The complete article

Mary McKenna — Wired

Image source

Silicon Valley Ruined Work Culture


img_6051-720x480-1

Offices used to be gulags, but at least they had a clear purpose. You wouldn’t hang out in a cubicle farm, let alone spend time there on the weekends. Then companies like Google came along and reinvented the rat race into something with purpose and, along the way, confused work with the rest of life. Now, your coworkers are supposed to feel like a family. Hierarchies have been flattened, conventional job titles replaced by ones like “wizard” and “ninja.” The vacation days are unlimited (not that you’d ever take them). And forget about work-life balance. It’s all about work-life integration. Why else would the office have on-site acupuncture, nap pods, and free dinner after 7 pm?

The complete article

Arielle Pardes — Wired

Image source

Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet


225px-wikipedia-logo-v2.svg_

I would have used Wiki countless times. I like the structure of the articles. You know what to find where. Wikipedia is also a proof that not for profit good intentions can work on a scale.

In its first decade of life, the website appeared in as many punch lines as headlines. The Office‘s Michael Scott called it “the best thing ever,” because “anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject—so you know you are getting the best possible information.” Praising Wikipedia, by restating its mission, meant self-identifying as an idiot.

That was in 2007. Today, Wikipedia is the eighth-most-visited site in the world. The English-language version recently surpassed 6 million articles and 3.5 billion words; edits materialize at a rate of 1.8 per second. But perhaps more remarkable than Wikipedia’s success is how little its reputation has changed. It was criticized as it rose, and now makes its final ascent to … muted criticism. To confess that you’ve just repeated a fact you learned on Wikipedia is still to admit something mildly shameful. It’s as though all those questions that used to pepper think pieces in the mid-2000s—Will it work? Can it be trusted? Is it better than Encyclopedia Britannica?—are still rhetorical, when they have already been answered, time and again, in the affirmative.

The complete article

Richard Cooke – Wired

Image source

THREE YEARS OF MISERY INSIDE GOOGLE, THE HAPPIEST COMPANY


yxbsgqux6mm2jmu6aiqw

A detailed account.

Google employees lit up the company’s internal social networks, once again contemplating galling facts about the status of women in Silicon Valley. But this time the discussion was less easily derailed, perhaps because some of the most important exchanges took place on an anonymous mailing list called Expectant New Moms. The group’s 4,000 members knew the stories about Rubin and Singhal—thanks in part to email threads on the list after each executive departed. But Rubin’s $90 million payout felt like a sucker punch. The fact that leaders’ misconduct had been an open secret made it worse. Why had they given so many years of their lives to make these men insanely rich?

The complete article

Nitasha Tiku — Wired

Image source

THE TRUTH-AFFIRMING POWERS OF A GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED NETFLIX BINGE


5b845820-308e-432d-aea6-a490e8822520-900x493

For people who need to justify their Netflix binges.

The Netflix Binge works on the theory that there’s nothing wrong with the web that can’t be fixed by what’s right with it. Close out the brain-cell-­bruising Facebook, and skip over to the neural luxury resort that is Netflix. With no mandate to sell ads, and because Netflix’s profit motive craves your love more than your data, the shows aim only to enthrall. Let yourself be enthralled, then, by shows that subdue consumerism—Netflix doesn’t want you bouncing to Amazon mid-binge—instead of amplifying it.

The complete article

Virginia Heffernan — Wired

Image source

A gang of teen hackers snatched the keys to Microsoft’s videogame empire. Then they went too far.


call-of-duty-750x375

Pokora reveled in the perks of his success. He still lived with his parents, but he paid his tuition as he entered the University of Toronto in the fall of 2010. He and his girlfriend dined at upscale restaurants every night and stayed at $400-a-night hotels as they traveled around Canada for metal shows. But he wasn’t really in it for the money or even the adulation of his peers; what he most coveted was the sense of glee and power he derived from making $60 million games behave however he wished.

The complete article

Brendan I. Koerner — Wired

Image source

AMAZON IS ABOUT TO TRANSFORM HOW YOU BUY GROCERIES


amazon-whole-foods-banner

Sharing this needull as anything Amazon does is going to have some impact in our lives. And this is the biggest acquisition by Amazon.

Of course, buying Whole Foods doesn’t help Amazon reach the rural areas where Walmart rules. “Amazon is stronger in bigger cities, and the map of Whole Foods locations shows it is closer to these cities,” says Goldberg. Still, you can see the Whole Foods deal being the first step in a larger plan. “If this strategy proves out for Amazon, you could well imagine it could be opening a bunch more stores or doing more acquisitions just to cover the US,” says Goldberg. “And you could imagine it might have similar plays that it’s evaluating in other markets.”

The complete story

Davey Alba — Wired

Image source