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Daily Archives: February 26, 2024

You Don’t Need to Use Airplane Mode on Airplanes

Gizmodo: “Putting your phone in airplane mode when boarding a flight feels like common sense. You wouldn’t be crazy for thinking your phone signal could interfere with an airplane’s navigation systems, potentially causing a disaster. However, the necessity of airplane mode is largely a myth, and there’s another reason airlines are asking you to turn your phone off. Europe decided to allow phone calls and data usage on flights in 2022. They’re requiring all planes to install “pico-cells,” which is essentially a traffic controller that ensures phone signals don’t cross with a plane’s communication systems. Pico-cells are not new, however; they’ve been around for over two decades. Even without a pico-cell, there’s limited evidence that a phone has ever interfered with a plane’s electrical systems. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducted a study in 2012 that found nearly zero conclusive instances of aircraft disturbances from cell phone usage. Most of the evidence on this seems to be anecdotal or severely outdated.

The real reason is this: Airlines think people won’t stop yapping on their cell phones during flights, leading to more instances of “air rage.” That’s why regulators continue to ban phone calls and data usage on planes: it’s just plain annoying…”

How to Keep Your Loved Ones Safe From Financial Scams

Wired: “…So what can we do to help our elderly and vulnerable, who are the targets of scams and morally dubious business practices? I spoke with Genevieve Waterman from the National Council on Aging (NCOA), an expert on financial education among older adults. She was quick to point out that pushy salespeople often use the… Continue Reading

10 Reasons You Should Switch From Chrome to Firefox

How To Geek: “Key Takeaways Firefox provides many advantages over Chrome, including being more efficient, so your laptop battery lasts longer. Firefox doesn’t track your internet activity for advertising purposes. Firefox has better privacy controls, including container functionality and VPN, enhancing your privacy and security online. Google Chrome is the most popular web browser by… Continue Reading

When Media Outlets Shutter, Why Are the Websites Wiped, Too?

Slate: “On Thursday morning, a rumor started to circulate among media workers. Vice senior editor Janus Rose disclosed that staffers were in possession of an anonymous tip that management planned to shutter Vice—and delete the entire website. Employees had noticed the company disabled a Google feature that allowed them to download their emails. “Fun times… Continue Reading

AI Is Like Water

NfX: “Water is three things. Necessary. Ubiquitous. And the same. f##king. thing. inside every bottle. AI is like water. Or more specifically, generative AI applications are like bottled water. Over the last year and a half, we’ve looked at hundreds of generative AI companies on the application layer. Many of them are the exact same… Continue Reading

OpenAI’s Sora Explained

YouTube / WSJ – “OpenAI just revealed Sora – an AI video generator that creates hyper-realistic scenes and animated worlds in moments. But the tech isn’t perfect. There are also concerns over misinformation, with OpenAI saying it’s taking actions to get ready for the 2024 presidential election, including prohibiting the use of its tools for… Continue Reading

Report: The Dollar Store Invasion

ILSR – Communities are in Revolt, But the Chains’ Predatory Tactics Also Demand Federal Action. Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar are targeting vulnerable communities, opening stores at a breakneck pace in urban and rural areas alike. It’s tempting to assume that these chains simply fill a need in cash-strapped places. But the evidence… Continue Reading

Libraries are on the front lines of America’s problems

Axios: “…Zoom out: At the same time, libraries are grappling with everything from the high cost of e-books to the need to provide free outdoor Wi-Fi so people without broadband can have off-hours access. Many libraries are trying to ease food insecurity by adding gardens, nutrition classes, food pantries and cooking lessons. “During the pandemic,… Continue Reading