Tag: viruses

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San Diego County Partly Reopens, But Not Soon Enough for Some Businesses

One year ago today, California bars, breweries, and eateries stopped serving customers indoors, shifting to delivery and take-out services only—as ordered by Governor Gavin Newsom. On March 19, 2020, he issued a “stay-at-home” order for all Californians that went into effect the next day. Restrictions would later lift only to be reimposednearly as harsh during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays as the pandemic‘s early-declaration days.

Today, after months of onerous prohibitions upon local businesses, San Diego County rose from the most restrictive tier, which permits malls and retailers to operate at 50-percent capacity; aquariums, churches, movie theaters, museums, restaurants, and zoos to allow customers indoors at 25-percent capacity; and gyms and hotels to operate at 10-percent capacity. Oh joy. Beat me with the stick, because it feels so good compared to the baseball bat you were whacking with.

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Why is Hollywood Obsessed with Viral Armageddon?

I really want to know. That sentence, the title, and a short list of TV Shows about viral epidemics is as far as this post proceeded when I started it on April 26, 2016. I meant to come back many times over the nearly five years since and really regret the failure following the World Health Organization’s declaration of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Still contemplating writing this essay, but not getting to it, I shot and edited the Featured Image on June 11, 2017. San Diego’s Museum of Man (since then renamed to “Us”) featured exhibit “Cannibals: Myth & Reality”. With so many of the virus movies or TV series focused on Zombie apocalypses, the exhibit artwork seemed so perfect illustration. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/1000 sec, 28mm; 2:07 p.m. PDT, Leica Q.

Half a decade later, I wonder: How much did pandemic feature films and TV shows create soil for COVID-19 to grow into a state of global fear—and, as I will opine in six days, far exceeds the real risk posed to the majority of people; whether or not they are infected? Surely, you can guess my answer.

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Microsoft’s Shadow Ecosystem

There are many measures of success, and some are less desirable than others. Windows is the standard by which cybercriminals measure their wares—eh, malware. Their devotion to Windows is testament to Microsoft’s success. The company should just accept the feint praise for what it is.

Microsoft claims that Windows is more widely attacked by malware than, say, Mac OS X because of volume; many, many more people use Windows PCs than Macs. The claim is great PR, because it kind of makes sense and is unprovable without Macs gaining lots more marketshare. But on closer examination, the claim is pure BS. Microsoft security experts know so, or they’re delusional.

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Vaccinate, Don’t Procrastinate

I am an advocate of anti-virus software. Before writing on technology, I was editor for an academic publication in Washington, DC. It was policy professors make submissions on diskette—which invariably were infected with computer bugs. And on a network this was a disaster. Idiot editors would copy files from unchecked disks to their PCs and infect every computer.

You might think you are safe from this kind of contamination, but, believe me, you are not. Of potentially disastrous consequences to small businesses is a new type of macro virus that targets word processing or spreadsheet documents, mainly Microsoft Word and Excel. Since most people use these programs, this is a big problem.