Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Petition takes on harassment in tech

About 1,400 workers at Google parent Alphabet have signed a petition calling on the CEO to address a “long pattern where Alphabet protects the harasser instead of protecting the person harmed by the harassment.” The petition was launched by one of its former software engineers who detailed harassment she endured while working at Google from 2015 to 2019. She says her harasser was allowed to continue sitting next to her even after investigators corroborated her claims. More than 40% of female tech employees or founders say they’ve been targets of harassment from bosses or investors, according to the 2020 Women Who Tech survey. (Washington Post)


Bosses warm up to office pets

While people dread the prospect of leaving pets behind to return to the office, a recent survey shows bosses appear to be getting more pet-friendly. Research by Banfield Pet Hospital found that one in two C-suite executives plan to allow pets in the office post-pandemic, and 59% would be flexible about letting workers stay remote to be with pets. The survey also found that about one in two Gen Zers and one in three millennials said they might look for another job if their workplaces weren’t pet-friendly post-pandemic. (Banfield Pet Hospital)


Elon Musk’s The Boring Company reveals underground mile-long transportation tunnels underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center

The president and CEO of Las Vegas’ main tourism agency thinks naysayers need to stop questioning the viability of an underground “people mover” transportation loop beneath the city’s Convention Center campus. Recently, local and national media members got some of the first views of the completed $52.5 million dual tunnel system, which features three passenger stations. It will be open, and available at no charge, for World of Concrete show attendees at the Convention Center in June. System users will be transported through the tunnels, each runs for just under 1 mile, in electric Model 3 and Model X Tesla vehicles, which reach speeds up to 40 mph. The vehicles will be operated by Boring Company employees, but plans to eventually use only autonomous Tesla cars. Inside the twin tunnels, which are illuminated and change colors, there’s just enough room for one vehicle. Authority officials said there are no plans to sell advertising space inside the tunnels. When fully up and running, the system is designed to transport up to 4,400 people per hour in more than 60 cars under the 200-acre campus, authority officials said. The Central Station is the only one of the three passenger stations, which are about 2,400 feet apart to be underground. To get to Central Station, riders would take an elevator or an escalator 40 feet beneath the surface. (Vegas Inc)



Tesla hid a secret ‘Butthole’ Easter Egg that owners are discovering

Tesla owners may have discovered an Easter egg that the EV community could really get behind. As it turns out, Tesla has hidden a rather unique way to access its vehicles’ charge ports through a voice command, which proves that Tesla definitely has a clear idea of its vehicles’ anatomy. A Tesla enthusiast, with the handle @tesla_master, shared a discovery on Twitter. According to the post, using the voice command “Open Butthole” on a Tesla opens the charge port door. This, of course, resulted in numerous jokes from the EV community, some of whom opted to try out the Easter egg for themselves. And in true Tesla fashion, the “Open Butthole” Easter egg was confirmed. Later experiments from other Tesla owners revealed that the voice command “Close Butthole” actually closes the charging port. Considering the nature of this new Easter egg, it was only a matter of time before videos of the feature in action were shared online. Comments from other Tesla owners indicated that the “Open Butthole” voice command actually opens their vehicles’ rear trunk instead. This is quite interesting, as it shows that while the voice command is definitely linked to a Tesla feature, the company is yet to standardize which feature is activated with the command. Even before this recent Easter egg, after all, members of the Tesla community have already discovered that their vehicles respond to voice commands like “My balls are cold,” which turns on the driver’s seat heaters, or “Enable/Disable Life Support,” which turns the climate control on or off. (TeslaRati)


Study suggests relationship between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease, finding the element is colocated with tau proteins, molecules that interfere with neuronal function

 A new study published continues to support a growing body of evidence that aluminum contributes to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Researchers found aluminum co-located with phosphorylated tau protein, which is an early initiator of AD. The new data demonstrate that aluminum is co-located with phosphorylated tau protein, present as tangles within neurons in the brains of early-onset or familial Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers used a highly-selective method of immunolabelling in the current study, combined with aluminum-specific fluorescence microscopy. Phosphorylated tau in tangles co-located with aluminum in the brain tissue of the same cohort of Colombian donors with familial AD were identified. (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease)


To celebrate Maine’s 200 years of statehood, a couple has come up with a real-world treasure hunt with a $20,000 cash price

To produce the game, the couple spent three years traveling around Maine and photographing picturesque locations. Players need to identify the 52 locations in the game’s deck of cards and then visit the places to find clues that will help them guess a secret and solve a riddle and a puzzle. Although the cash price will probably attract a lot of people to the game, the real goal, is to get people “to explore the unique scenery of Maine, from its rushing rivers to green forests and towering mountains.” (The Lincoln County News)


Trucking hiring shortage could lead to teens being allowed to operate on interstate

Transportation companies are struggling to hire the truck drivers they need despite economic slowdowns associated with COVID-19. There’s a driver shortage worldwide, and local companies are feeling it too. Lawmakers are even considering letting teens drive trucks. The pandemic hit the trucking industry hard last year. Because of COVID-19, CDL school had to cut back training. There was a shortage before, but now it’s even worse, and fewer drivers are applying. The shortage right now is so severe, several lawmakers are looking at allowing CDL holders who are under 21, drive trucks across state lines. The American Trucking Association also said there are recruiting challenges because of an aging workforce, a lack of safe and secure truck parking, and struggles to attract youth and women. (WBMA)


Two different studies purport to have made promising new breakthroughs in the fight against brain cancer

One study, out of London, used a combination of chemotherapy, the immunotherapy drug atezolizumab, and the molecular inhibitor ipatasertib. Researchers say the combination proved surprisingly effective in a small trial; in one of the 10 patients analyzed, a brain tumor appeared to have entirely disappeared. Researchers believe their findings open the door to the further development of what could become a game changing treatment option for some patients with aggressive glioblastoma brain cancer. Patients with glioblastoma have very poor survival rates, and even fewer new treatment options coming through, so any advance in outcomes would be “extremely welcome”. (The Guardian)


In the other Cancer study

Scientists in Israel stopped tumors from growing in lab mice and a human cell model by blocking the production of a protein known as P-selectin. All the mice had brain tumor growth and died within weeks, unless they took a chemical compound to block production of the P-selectin protein. The mice that took the P-selectin blocker all recovered and lived. The treatment doesn’t involve any new drugs, as P-selectin blockers have already undergone clinical trials and have been used to treat other conditions. Human trials will be required, however, to see if the breakthrough is a legitimate treatment for glioblastoma. Glioblastoma only has a 40 percent survival rate after a year and 5% after five years, even with surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The scientists concluded that the tumor “corrupts and reeducates” the microglia, so that instead of defending the brain against cancer, they generate the P-selectin protein, which helps the tumor to grow. (Times Of Isreal)


Amazing images have been leaked from a secretive Pentagon investigation of UFOs

A Task Force has been gathering evidence for a comprehensive report for Congress which is due in June that includes photographs and videos of UFO encounters with U.S. military assets, including Navy destroyers off the southern California coast. Part of the report is to educate other military and intelligence officials about the nature of the UFO mystery. The new images were gathered by the Task Force and obtained by investigative filmmaker Jeremy Corbell, who confirmed their authenticity. One remarkable video was recorded in July 2019 by Naval officers using a night vision device, showing what appear to be pyramid shaped objects hovering 700 feet above a Navy destroyer. The video is one of several forms of visual evidence gathered by the UAP Task Force to document bizarre encounters reported by the U.S. Navy during the past two years, including photos of three stationary drones of unknown origin. A Pentagon spokesperson sent Mystery Wire the following statement: “I can confirm that the referenced photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel. The UAPTF has included these incidents in their ongoing examinations. As we have said before, to maintain operations security and to avoid disclosing information that may be useful to potential adversaries, DOD does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examinations of reported incursions into our training ranges or designated airspace, including those incursions initially designated as UAP.” (Mystery Wire)



Chinese authorities seize 7,221 human penises on cargo ship from Nigeria

A total of 7,221 penises of African origin have been seized by the Chinese customs officers in what has now been tagged the world’s biggest seizure of human organs in history. The organs which were hidden in a refrigerated freight container were seized when the ship harbored in the Shanghai Port following information from an anonymous informer who alerted the Chinese authorities. The organs were packed in 36 boxes labelled as ‘plantains’ inside the refrigerated container on a ship that transited from Lagos, Nigeria and the ship’s crew consisting of four Nigerians, two Malians and two Cameronese now being detained. The spokesman of the Chinese general administration of customs says an increasingly large number of armed groups in Africa use organ trafficking to finance themselves, making such seizures predictable. The organs were shipped from Lagos in Nigeria but may have only transited through that country and could possibly originate from elsewhere in Africa. The organ’s value as high as illegal drugs, he said that “specimens of this size” usually fetched around $160,000 each on the black market, and its total value was more than US$1.15 billion, adding that similar seizures may become more common over the next few years as armed groups in Africa turn to organ trafficking to finance their military operations. Human penises were seized in nine cases since 2002, but this recent find represents more than four times the amount seized by customs officers over the past 18 years. (The Street Journal


Domino’s to launch robotic pizza delivery service in Houston

Domino’s Pizza and Nuro, a Silicon Valley startup, said they will launch a robotic pizza delivery service in Houston this week as they seek to satisfy increasing online orders during the pandemic. With small, low-speed vehicles to carry packages instead of people, Nuro has been pulling ahead of other autonomous vehicle startups in gaining regulatory approvals. It won US clearance last year to start unmanned delivery services. The delivery service will begin at a Domino’s outlet in Houston before expanding to serve customers in many other locations as part of a long-term partnership. Houston, the fourth-largest US city, has one of the country’s highest road fatality rates. (The Guardian)


Two confess to killing man after cops tell them ‘crime was caught on NASA cameras’

In an unusual case, the Delhi Police made a duo confess to murdering a man by telling them that the crime took place under the surveillance of NASA’s cameras. As per reports, on April 5, the blood-soaked body of a man was found in a park area of the national capital. The victim’s face was crushed with a stone. Subsequently, a murder case was registered and an investigation was taken up. During the investigation, the police found that the victim was last seen with two men. The two were summoned for interrogation. The police, however, failed to get a breakthrough in the case as the duo did not provide straight responses. Later, the footage from CCTV cameras was examined in which the victim, before his murder, was spotted with two people. The police were unable to identify those two people because the footage was unclear, but it was suspected that they were the men seen in the footage. The cops decided to again call the duo for interrogation and during the second round of integration, the police team lied to the suspects that the crime occurred under the surveillance of satellite cameras of NASA. The suspects, on being told about NASA’s satellite cameras, confessed to having murdered the victim adding that the man had insulted them, and had also forced them to consume liquor. This provoked them to kill him. (Times Now News)


Wednesday Is Giddy With:

  • Children with Alopecia Day
  • Dolphin Day
  • Ex-Spouse Day
  • Gardening Day
  • International Moment of Laughter Day
  • Look Up at the Sky Day
  • Pecan Day
  • Perfume Day
  • Pan American Day
  • Pathologists’ Assistant Day
  • RAINN Day (Rape Abuse Incest National Network)
  • Reach as High as You Can Day
  • World Chagas Day