Eggs, fat, masks & step counts; Apple & Google promise they’ll turn of tracking, someday, maybe; Amazon is essential, essentially horrible; JEDI silence; the end of the office as we know it; drone scolding; Peacock launches, not really; coronavirus should make us grateful for big tech; security is back, change those passwords; wear your pants; podcast profiteering; last names; stinky ride hails; selfie-sticks for guns.

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Show Notes


Apple and Google answer our questions

Venice Skate Park Filled With Sand

This epidemiologist proved 10,000 steps is a lie

Art of Coop face masks


Amazon fires two more employees who were openly critical of working conditions during pandemic

Amazon’s Woodland Hills Grocery Store Temporarily Opens For Online Orders Only

Amazon’s Woodland Hills supermarket is now a dark store

Amazon slashes commission rates for program that gives publishers a cut of sales

Pentagon barred from discussing Trump in JEDI contract probe

This is the end of the office as we know it

Can You Get Food and Groceries Delivered by Drone Yet?

NBCUniversal’s Peacock launches today: Here’s what you need to know

Google’s former CEO hopes the coronavirus makes people more “grateful” for Big Tech


The CyberWire

Dave Bittner

Hacking Humans


Over 500,000 Zoom accounts sold on hacker forums, the dark web

Security lapse exposed Clearview AI source code

Police department warns public to not click links in scam COVID-19 text messages

Bug Bounty Programs Are Being Used to Buy Silence

Maryland police remind residents to wear pants to mailbox: ‘This is your final warning’

Someone on Quora asked “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?” Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote the following response:

A few things spring to mind…

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.

I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll.
And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.

Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think

‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’

is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:

Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.

You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form;

He is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit.
His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

‘My God… what… have… I… created?

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.”


The Origins of 62 Last Names

Ford files a patent application to help sniff out stinky ride-hailing cars

New Earth-sized planet found in habitable sweet-spot orbit around a distant star

Guns In Movies Replaced With Selfie Sticks


Steve Lappin at the first Spew BBQ in the Hollywood Hills 1997.

John Conway, inventor of the Game of Life, has died of COVID-19

Brian Dennehy

TWiT Turns 15!