Today on Cory Doctorow's

  • The Internet Archive is supporting unlimited book-lending during the crisis. “… they buy and scan one copy of every book (pretty much every book, ever) and lend it out to one person at a time. They’ve just announced that during the crisis, they are lifting the one-borrower-at-a-time restriction and allowing unlimited borrowing, ‘to meet the needs of a global community of displaced learners’. They call it the ‘National Emergency Library.’”

  • Kaiser threatens to fire Oakland nurses who wear their own masks. “Nurses who report for work wearing their own N95 masks have been threatened with immediate dismissal for ‘insubordination.’” Those masks don’t just protect nurses; they protect patients too.

  • O’Reilly is getting out of the conference business. Not just now – forever. Can’t plan for the future when they don’t know when the emergency will end.

  • Trump’s bible study teacher, Ralph Drollinger, thinks coronavirus is God’s wrath for Chinese excess, women working outside the workplace, American tolerance for homosexuality, and environmentalism. (I’m a Jewish nonbeliever, but I had the distinct impression that Christ preached loving your neighbor, charity toward the least of us, and not judging others.)

  • The $3/month DoNot Pay service uses an chatbot to automatically petition companies for relief during the coronavirus crisis. “Using a chatbot, you determine which of your bills are eligible for relief. Then it generates a ‘compassionate and polite request’ seeking help. If the company does not comply, it follows up with a firmer letter citing relevant state/federal laws.”

  • “Xi’s enemies sense weakness: Autocracies are only as good as their last crisis-response.

  • Immigrants face infection in ICE lockups.

  • Doctors and dentists are hoarding chloroquine in case it turns out to be an effective Covid-19 treatment, thus depriving people who rely on the drug for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

  • The Toilet Paper Splitter is “a DIY project to separate a single two-ply roll into two single-ply rolls.”

  • This year’s science fiction Worldcon has been cancelled. WorldCons began in 1939, and have been held every year since other than 1942-45 during World War II.

  • The United States Postal Service is crucial to emergency response; it’s the only federal agency that can knock on every door in America in a single day. “When (if?) effective covid meds are available, it’s likely a postal worker will deliver them to you. Now is a good time to remember that the GOP have been trying to dismantle the universal, self-funding, vital USPS for decades, so that private carriers like UPS and Fedex can cream off the most profitable parts of its business and leave rural Americans in the cold.”

  • Volante Design is making stylish masks for covid responders – they can protect N95 masks from contamination, prevent you from touching your face, and partly contain coughs when medical masks are unavailable. They’re looking for donations to make and shop more.……

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner