Long Covid is affecting millions of Americans and the consequences are devastating | Boing Boing:

If anyone wonders why I keep masking and avoiding indoor gatherings, it’s not because I think I’m going to die of COVID. It’s because of long COVID, and because I don’t want to be complicit in spreading COVID around to anyone else.

For me, it’s all about not killing anyone I care about, given that at least one or two of the VERY few people I do interact with are immunocompromosed or have co-morbidities which would make an infection more dangerous…

In-app browsers that act as keyloggers – Six Colors:

Krause’s tool lets anyone investigate what might be leaking through in-app browsers. Apps that use Apple’s SafariViewController are all pretty safe, but apps like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook are using their own in-app browsers that modify pages with JavaScript.

TikTok, in particular, is monitoring all keyboard inputs and taps. “From a technical perspective, this is the equivalent of installing a keylogger on third party websites,” Krause writes.

Any program that forces me to use the in-app browser gets deleted by me.

via Six Colors

What’s new in tabletop gaming | Boing Boing:

Dungeons & Dragons: Journeys Through The Radiant Citadel (Wizards of the Coast, $30)

If there’s one compelling reason to buy this book it’s because of the racist reactions it has inflamed. It was written by people of color (and marketed as such). And it contains cultures and ideas not commonly found in Western fantasy literature and games like D&D. So, of course, that’s enraged snowflakey conservative players. I, for one, embrace our inclusive gaming future and especially appreciate the introduction of different cultures and mythologies to the game. The adventures in this anthology draw from Asian, African, Native American, Arab, Hindu influences. But, all great intentions aside, buying the book wouldn’t be more than a vote for greater inclusiveness if the content wasn’t good. It is. It all hangs around the Radiant Citadel, a hub-world on the ethereal plane that’s a crossroads and melting pot for diverse cultures from throughout the multiverse. It acts as a jumping off point for the other adventures in the book. There are 13 adventures in all, for levels 1-14, that are designed to be dropped into any adventure, or as a campaign setting. “From glittering night markets to undersea cities, from curse-afflicted villages to angel-ruled city-states—each adventure in this anthology takes inspiration from the writer’s personal connection to real-world mythologies and cultures, creating a rich tapestry of never-before-seen lands and stories for you to explore.” I haven’t played any of it, but reading through the handsome book, it’s definitely an excellent anthology and collection of usable content worthy of your support. And, for every copy sold, a Proud Boy gamer fails all of his saving throws.

Good enough reason for me!

Really – I haven’t delved into D&D at all during it’s recent revival, or any tabletop gaming really given the whole

GLOBAL PANDEMIC

but Wizards seems to be holding a cultural stride that I can’t help but love.

CDC drops quarantine, distancing recommendations for COVID | AP News:

This reads to me like an admission of defeat – Like as a culture we’ve accepted a certain level of death and long-term repercussions because people couldn’t be bothered to follow guidelines when we still had a chance of controlling things.

What this means for me, and those around me, is that we have to remain hyper-vigilant pretty much forever because we can’t trust that anyone else will do even the barest preventative measures.

Reference CDC page: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7133e1.htm?s_cid=mm7133e1_w

New Google site begs Apple for mercy in messaging war | Ars Technica:

Google’s version of RCS—the one promoted on the website with Google-exclusive features like optional encryption—is definitely proprietary, by the way. If this is supposed to be a standard, there’s no way for a third-party to use Google’s RCS APIs right now. Some messaging apps, like Beeper, have asked Google about integrating RCS and were told there’s no public RCS API and no plans to build one. Google has an RCS API already, but only Samsung is allowed to use it because Samsung signed some kind of partnership deal.

If you want to implement RCS, you’ll need to run the messages through some kind of service, and who provides that server? It will probably be Google. Google bought Jibe, the leading RCS server provider, in 2015. Today it has a whole sales pitch about how Google Jibe can “help carriers quickly scale RCS services, iterate in short cycles, and benefit from improvements immediately.” So the pitch for Apple to adopt RCS isn’t just this public-good nonsense about making texts with Android users better; it’s also about running Apple’s messages through Google servers. Google profits in both server fees and data acquisition.

Finally, RCS as a messaging platform just isn’t that good. The end result of a 2008 standard with a bunch of extra features slapped onto it is still sub-par compared to platforms like iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram. Other than Google being desperate for one of the few messaging solutions it hasn’t exhausted with mismanagement, there’s no clear argument for why RCS is worth this effort. In the dreamworld utopia where Apple wants to work with Google and Samsung on a message standard, those three companies working together could do much better than a neglected carrier messaging standard.

Talented Couple Performs a Gracefully Alluring Tango Set to the Eminem Song ‘Lose Yourself’:

Dancers Sara Grdan and Ivan Terrazas of Feral Tango performed an incredibly alluring tango set to the unlikely soundtrack of the classic Eminem song “Lose Yourself”. The pair, who are married, combined their choreographic skill with a certain grace and seductiveness that sent the crowd

Dancers Sara Grdan and Ivan Terrazas of Feral Tango performed an incredibly alluring tango set to the unlikely soundtrack of the classic Eminem song “Lose Yourself”. The pair, who are married, combined their choreographic skill with a certain grace and seductiveness that sent the crowd wild at the 2016 Belgrade Tango Encuentro in Serbia.

Nova Open Infuriates Hobbyists With Their Policies:

tl;dr – Nova Open cares about it’s attendees more than the venue, and some people are really angry about it.

August 4, 2022

youtube.com/watch

This is gold…

Alex Jones may finally be the downfall of his boy band of traitors.

Monkeypox explained: How to protect yourself and what to watch out for | MPR News:

What exactly is monkeypox?
Besides the reference to wildlife, the only similarity between monkeypox and chickenpox is that they’re a virus. Instead, monkeypox is most similar to smallpox, which was eradicated through global vaccination efforts in 1980.

The two viruses are from the orthopoxvirus family. Monkeypox is not as transmissible or fatal as smallpox. However, some researchers worry that monkeypox could mutate and become a greater threat to humans.

One study published in 2008 warned that if monkeypox were to be introduced to an unvaccinated population, the virus could capitalize on the situation and become an epidemic.

Learn you some for great win… Though it’s not like we as a nation can be bothered to moderate ourselves if it might be an inconvenience.

Herd immunity was never going to end the covid pandemic:

In the early days of covid’s global march, when vaccines were still said to be well over a year away and social distancing was the only way to slow transmission, the country needed a goal, a way to conceptualize the pandemic’s end. Herd immunity became that finish line, as experts including Anthony Fauci, now President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, communicated a common refrain: Once enough people became immune — either via (catastrophic) mass infection or widespread vaccination — the virus would be starved of new hosts, its rampant spread would stop and normal life would resume.

The details of when and how this seemingly magical threshold would be crossed were fuzzy. Some scientists who study viruses thought only 20-some percent of the population needed to be immune; others estimated it’d be closer to 90. A minority of experts wanted to reach herd immunity as quickly as possible by letting the virus rip through the population rather than wait for vaccines to become available. But no matter the number or method, the concept of herd immunity represented a framework through which public officials and the media (including me) could understand what it would take for the threat to end.

It’s time to update that framework. For this virus, herd immunity was probably never a realistic end goal, said Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard University. “Frankly, I wish it had not entered the public consciousness in the way that it has,” he said. “It’s a lot more complicated than people make it out to be.”