Link list: Tuesday, June 16 2020

Cisco rolls out new solutions for remote work, learning, post-pandemic

For instance, one solution combines video collaboration hardware and software to offer virtual visitations for inmates in correctional facilities. Another solution uses Wi-Fi and analytics software to monitor social distancing in workplaces.”


Cory Doctorow’s Pluralistic: The technology of Uyghur oppression: How China uses technology to oppress Uyghurs and Kazakhs: While the concentration camps imprisoning 1M+ people are most visible, the entire region “has been turned into an open air prison where technology tracks and controls predominantly Muslim Turkic people while allowing Han people to go about their business largely unhindered.”

The people who are “free” – that is, not interred in a concentration camp – were nevertheless forced to provide blood, DNA, fingerprint, iris and facial biometrics to the security apparatus. The penalty for noncompliance was imprisonment.

Authorities set up a dense network of biometric scanning points throughout the region, points that Han people were typically waved through, while Turkic people had to stop and be scanned – more than 10 times/day.

And while Xinjiang is its own unique horror, it has its roots in the US post-911 counterinsurgency theory (COIN), pioneered by US Army General Petraeus, and in the EU’s “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) programs.

China’s motto: “teach like a school, be managed like the military, and be defended like a prison.”

American companies supply tools to China, and those companies sell consumer products in the US, provide funding to universities such as MIT, and collaborate with scientists.

The US can end complicity with the program and put pressure on the Chinese state and companies to end human rights abuses in the region.


Cory: How covid spreads: Research shows covid is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors, long-duration contacts are more dangerous, and “good air circulation is a powerful preventative.” Also, mysteriously, most positive cases won’t spread the disease, while “a small minority [of ‘superspreaders’] will spread it widely; the mechanism for that is unclear.


Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin has a cynical take on yesterday’s surprise pro-LGBTQ decision by the US Supreme Court: The court follows election returns. If the court had overturned LGBTQ protections yesterday, it would have fired up Democrats to win more elections, pass even broader civil rights protections, and encouraged Democrats’ belief that Gorsuch is an illegitimate right-wing hack. As it stands now, the court is free to make more decisions like Citizens United, which entrench Republican power.

Quiggins expects “hard neoliberals” on the right “to welcome the fact that this unwinnable fight is over,” but “culture warriors who back Trump will be furious.”

In other words, the court sees the country swinging to the left, and conservatives are shifting from seeking gains to protecting against losses.


Mo Rocca: Sammy Davis Jr. Death of the Entertainer: Sammy Davis Junior loved to perform so much that he once said he wanted to die on stage. He very nearly did, delivering a barnstorming performance just before his death from cancer in 1990.

From the age of three Sammy Davis, Jr. did it all better than anyone else – singing, dancing, acting, even gun spinning.


There Is No ‘Second Wave.’ The U.S. Is Still Stuck In The First One


Mo Rocca: Audrey Hepburn: Death of an Icon: Lithe and elegant, Audrey Hepburn survived girlhood malnutrition in Nazi-occupied Belgium. For the rest of her life, she wore her gratitude for surviving that experience.


Oracle BrandVoice: 4 Questions To Ask SAP During SAPPHIRE: IT teams need to focus on innovation, not deploying and managing on-premises systems. “Companies don’t want a driveway full of tools and car parts.”

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner