H.G. Wells' "World Brain" is now here—what have we learned since?

(arstechnica.com)

Between November 1936 and November 1937, H.G. Wells gave a series of lectures in Great Britain, France, and the US about the world's impending problems and how to solve them. The lectures were first published under the title World Brain in 1938, and they are sweeping in scope. […]

MIT Press has just issued a compendium of these lectures, along with related material Wells presented as magazine articles and radio addresses.

That’s about all one needs to read from the piece. The rest of it gets stupid pretty quick.

Review: Framework's lightweight modular laptop is a winner

(arstechnica.com)

To our surprise and delight, we feel that Framework made good on all of its promises—the Framework laptop is priced similarly to a Dell XPS 13, at nearly identical thickness, width, and weight. The modular bays operate well and strike us as likely to continue performing well over many years of use, and we've literally never seen an easier-to-repair laptop.

This would be a great next machine if a Japanese keyboard is available 🤐

Rex Murphy: Desecration of 48 churches is a national tragedy, yet government seems to care little about Christians

(nationalpost.com)

What I find rather inexplicable is that while our federal government is rightly attending to acts of discrimination targeting Jewish and Muslim worshippers, there is, as far as can be determined, no scheduled summit dealing with the current wave of destructive hostility directed at Christian worshippers.

This is something rather more than puzzling given that in a very concentrated period of about two weeks, Canada has seen a total of 48 incidents perpetrated against Christian churches, ranging from vandalism (paint on church doors, ugly graffiti) to their total destruction by fire. […] When there are nearly 50 Christian churches from coast to coast suffering everything from vandalism to full destruction, it is a huge national event that calls for extraordinary responses from both government and police forces. This is nothing less than a sustained, violent and hateful rampage targeting a particular faith. It is a bigotry of fire, not words.

With no aspersions whatsoever on the two faith summits dealing with prejudice against the Jewish and Muslim faiths, I suggest there is justification for a third one on the current wave of attacks against Christian churches, and how to deal with the affronts to their parishioners.

Amen.

The current crop of politicians in Canada’s federal government should all be fired and barred from running for public office ever again. It’s not just this issue that they’ve handled poorly, but just about everything since Justin Trudeau assumed power.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will need spectators, IOC says

(www.japantimes.co.jp)

The Beijing Winter Olympics, which start in less than 200 days, will need spectators to be successful, the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday, the day the Tokyo Games kicked off amid empty stands due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We would like to have the international community there," said Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., who heads the IOC's coordination commission, overseeing preparations for the Beijing Games.

"We need very successful Games next year in Beijing. We really need that success for the sake of everybody … for keeping that light of hope really bright and open."

I am willing to endure another 250 days of this COVID crap if it bankrupts the IOC and ends the stupid Olympics once and for all.

Matt Gurney: Sorry Neil Young, Canada needs fighter jets and suggesting we don't is absurd

(nationalpost.com)

After first reading a letter signed by 100 prominent Canadians — David Suzuki, Neil Young, Elizabeth May, etc. — urging the federal government to skip spending tens of billions on fighter jets, I confess to a somewhat petty instinct: I wanted to mock it. And there’s certainly some stuff in there worthy of a bit of fun-poking. There’s a part where they note that fighter jets are “largely useless in responding to natural disasters, providing international humanitarian relief or in peacekeeping operations” and that they also won’t “protect us from a pandemic or the climate and other ecological crises.” Never send these signatories out to buy you a hammer. They’ll refuse on the grounds that hammers make terrible ice-cream scoops. […]

I don’t blame the signatories for their sticker shock. It’s a punch in the gut for sure. If anything, it’s worse than they know. (Don’t tell Mr. Young that our submarines are also running out of service life.) Unfortunately, as these signatories have started to realize and the rest of Canada will figure out shortly, we squandered an entire generation of unprecedented peace and prosperity, so convinced it would last forever that we never bothered getting even core national competencies right, as we’ve seen during this long era of COVID. Reality, alas, has intruded upon our pleasant national daydreams. And it’s going to cost us a fortune to get caught up in a damned hurry with where we are to have been all along.

Yep. Canada is quite good at forfeiting the responsibilities of the future for some pleasant words today.

Biden's Afghan blunder

(www.japantimes.co.jp)

Afghanistan is on the brink of catastrophe and it is U.S. President Joe Biden’s fault. By overruling America’s top generals and ordering the hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops, Biden opened the way for Taliban terrorists to capture more than a quarter of Afghanistan’s districts.

Now, the Taliban is pushing toward Kabul and the United States is looking weaker than ever. […] In a sign of what is to come, U.S. forces quietly slipped out of the base overnight after shutting off the electricity. The resulting security lapse allowed looters to scavenge the facilities before Afghan troops arrived and gained control.

[…] Biden’s approach entails effectively admitting that a terrorist militia has defeated the world’s most powerful military, and then handing Afghanistan back to that militia. This undercuts global trust in the U.S., jeopardizes Afghan and regional security and threatens to trigger a resurgence of terror worldwide.

Yeah … once again, this will not end well. The US — or China — will be called in to police the area after the next series of completely preventable terrorist attacks …

Tokyo to host Olympics under fresh state of emergency

(www.japantimes.co.jp)

The government plans to declare a fresh COVID-19 state of emergency for Tokyo, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday. […] The state of emergency will be in place through Aug. 22, the sources said, adding that the government also plans to extend the emergency for Okinawa Prefecture until Aug. 22. […] The quasi-emergency for Osaka, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures is set to remain in place until the same date.

No surprise there.

The decision to put the capital under the state of emergency will have a dramatic effect on the Tokyo Olympics, set to kick off July 23, likely forcing the government and organizers’ hands to ban spectators from the event.

They should just throw in the towel. The vast majority of people who chose to answer many of the recent polls regarding the stupid Olympics have said the games need to be cancelled and forgotten about. All this event will accomplish is to make the Winter Olympics in China next year look like a bloody sensation compared to Tokyo’s ghost town.

I hope Paris and Los Angeles are paying close attention and reconsidering their host status …

"I'm totally screwed." WD My Book users wake up to find their data deleted

(arstechnica.com)

Western Digital, maker of the popular My Disk external hard drives, is recommending customers unplug My Disk Live devices from the Internet until further notice while company engineers investigate unexplained compromises that have completely wiped data from devices around the world.

The mass incidents of disk wiping came to light in this thread on Western Digital’s support forum. So far, there are no reports of deleted data later being restored.

Well … that’s going to ruin a lot of peoples day. I know of very few non-geeks who make backups, and fewer who backup external devices 😑

Second member of Uganda Olympic team tests positive for COVID-19 in Japan

(www.japantimes.co.jp)

A second virus case linked to the Ugandan Olympic team has been detected after a coach tested positive on arrival in Japan, a city official said Wednesday. […]

Uganda’s delegation arrived in Japan on Saturday and headed for a training camp in Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, but a coach who tested positive on arrival was put in isolation. […]

“Those nine people who have been identified as having had close contacts (with the coach) … have been isolated in individual rooms in order to avoid contact with others,” …

This whole thing is a farce. I really hope the IOC is disbanded and the Olympics go away, never again to be over-commercialized and put ahead of public interest and/or health.

I do feel bad for the athletes, though. Some chose not to attend. Some were told they could not attend. And some who do attend risk being quarantined and missing their event if anyone they’ve been in contact with tests positive …

John McAfee found dead by apparent suicide in Spanish prison cell

(arstechnica.com)

John McAfee—the antivirus tycoon whose eccentric and often illegal antics on yachts and in tropical rain forests came to define him in later years—took his own life in a Spanish prison cell shortly after suffering a major defeat in his fight against extradition to the US. He was 75.

Well this was unexpected …