Metaphotography: through an iPhone, darkly
I don’t think I’d make an Instagrammer, somehow.
Quote of the Day
As democracy is perfected, the office of the president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
- H.L. Mencken
Google, Amazon Funnel Money to Virus Conspiracy Sites
Digital advertising platforms run by Google, Amazon.com Inc. and other tech companies will funnel at least $25 million to websites spreading misinformation about Covid-19 this year, according to a study released Wednesday.
Google’s platforms will provide $19 million, or $3 out of every $4 that the misinformation sites get in ad revenue. OpenX, a smaller digital ad distributor, handles about 10% of the money, while Amazon’s technology delivers roughly $1.7 million, or 7%, of the digital marketing spending these sites will receive, according to a research group called the Global Disinformation Index.
GDI made the estimates in a study that analyzed ads running between January and June on 480 English language websites identified as publishers of virus misinformation. Some of the ads were for brands including cosmetics giant L’Oreal SA, furniture website Wayfair Inc. and imaging technology company Canon Inc. The data exclude social-media and online-video services, so the true total is likely much higher.
Google thinks that the research is “flawed”. But, having reviewed 10 articles highlighted by the study where Google ads ran. It demonetized five of the web pages, meaning it removed the ability to make money from ads.
Funny that: half of the examined pages were infringers.
Brooks Brothers, outfitters to the US elite, goes belly-up
Brooks Brothers, the 200-year-old company that dressed at least 40 American presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, who was wearing a Brooks Brothers coat when he was assassinated in 1865, is filing for bankruptcy protection. The company’s two-button suits were also a favourite of Jack Kennedy. Seems as though even Ivy League graduates nowadays don’t dress up for Zoom.
The letter is from Pierre Salinger, JFK’s Press Secretary, replying to someone who wanted the president to wear a double-breasted suit like a proper gent.
Gary Larson’s gone digital!
So a few years ago—finally fed up with my once-loyal but now reliably traitorous pen—I decided to try a digital tablet. I knew nothing about these devices but hoped it would just get me through my annual Christmas card ordeal. I got one, fired it up, and lo and behold, something totally unexpected happened: within moments, I was having fun drawing again. I was stunned at all the tools the thing offered, all the creative potential it contained. I simply had no idea how far these things had evolved. Perhaps fittingly, the first thing I drew was a caveman.
The “New Stuff” that you’ll see here is the result of my journey into the world of digital art.
Sometimes, there are good arguments for using an iPad.
Factors associated with COVID-19 death in 17 million patients
From a major study reported in Nature…
COVID-19 has rapidly affected mortality worldwide. There is unprecedented urgency to understand who is most at risk of severe outcomes, requiring new approaches for timely analysis of large datasets. Working on behalf of NHS England, here we created OpenSAFELY: a secure health analytics platform covering 40% of all patients in England, holding patient data within the existing data centre of a major primary care electronic health records vendor. Primary care records of 17,278,392 adults were pseudonymously linked to 10,926 COVID-19-related deaths. COVID-19-related death was associated with: being male (hazard ratio (HR) 1.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.53–1.65); older age and deprivation (both with a strong gradient); diabetes; severe asthma; and various other medical conditions. Compared with people with white ethnicity, Black and South Asian people were at higher risk even after adjustment for other factors (HR 1.48, 1.30–1.69 and 1.44, 1.32–1.58, respectively). We have quantified a range of clinical risk factors for COVID-19-related death in the largest cohort study conducted by any country to date. OpenSAFELY is rapidly adding further patients’ records; we will update and extend results regularly.
Confirms what we thought we knew. Also explains why so many people are (rightly) cautious about going out unless it’s absolutely necessary. Which is why any economic recovery will be slower than anticipated.
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