Links 1/17/2021

‘Extraordinary’ research finds electric eels hunt in packs CNN

Google’s Revolving Door (US) Tech Transparency

A new and innovative way for Google to kill your SaaS startup GoMox, Medium. “We never properly established the cause of the issue, but we chalked it up to some AI tripping on acid at Google’s HQ.”

Amazon is filled with fake reviews and it’s getting harder to spot them CNBC

SPACs are a new part of the same market story Yahoo Finance. Musical interlude.

Credit card firm Capital One fined for violating U.S. anti-money laundering law Reuters

Big Meat: facing up to the demands for sustainability FT

Capitol Seizure

The American Far-Right Is Dangerous but Disorganized Foreign Policy and Capitol riots: Police describe a ‘medieval battle.’ BBC Tactics and weaponry.

Federal official walks back allegation rioters intended to ‘capture and assassinate’ NBC. Note the original URL: “strong-evidence-shows-rioters-intended-capture-assassinate-elected-officials-prosecutors.”


Why Has Israel Succeeded At COVID Vaccination? Elad Blog (Re Silc). “[I]t is more important to move fast to save lives than to create and enforce complex rules. However, it turns out these complex rules are not needed.” Whaddaya know, complex eligibility requirements. Hey, how about we incentivize vaccination uptake with tax credits?

Nearly 170,000 get 2nd COVID shot; initial study shows no major side effects Times of Israel. 13 cases of temporary facial paralysis is the worst side effect.

Thousands of Covid-19 vaccines wind up in the garbage because of fed, state guidelines NBC. The last mile problem, important thread:

Isolation of SARS-CoV-2 from the air in a car driven by a COVID patient with mild illness (preprint) medRviv. From the body of the paper: “Taken together, our data highlight the potential risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by minimally symptomatic persons in the closed space inside of a car (with closed windows and air conditioning running), and suggest that a substantial component of that risk is via aerosolized virus.” Here is a good thread on airborne transmission, starting with this article:

Badger Seal (Mask Fitter) UW Makerspace. With yet another thread on mask-hacking:

New coronavirus variants could cause more reinfections, require updated vaccines Science

The Future of the Coronavirus? An Annoying Childhood Infection NYT

Mysterious Wheat Deals Complicate Hunger Fight in Ethiopia Bloomberg

Coronavirus second wave surges across Africa FT


China builds 1,500-bed hospital in five days amid surge in Covid cases Independent

Coronavirus: China reports 96 new infections, links superspreader to 102 asymptomatic cases South China Morning Post. The deck: “Authorities in Jilin province say superspreader is a 45-year-old man who has been touring the region giving lectures on health.” More interesting detail in the text.

Hong Kong civil servants given four weeks to pledge loyalty to the government Reuters

COVID-19: Indonesia vaccine rollout bucks trend by targeting younger generations Sky News

A black market for illegal coronavirus vaccines is thriving in the Philippines WaPo

PM Muhyiddin and govt can’t be ousted while emergency is in effect, says Malaysian gazette Straits Times

Why is Laos building Mekong dams it doesn’t need? Deutsche Welle

Fire-Resistant Tropical Forest at Brink of Disappearance in Indonesian Regions Due to Human Modification (press release) Swansea University


U.S. Navy Ohio Class Submarine Filmed By Iranian Navy While Submerged Naval News

Israel to push Biden to take it easy on Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt Axios

How Israel Built a Nuclear Program Right Under the Americans’ Noses Haaretz


Falklands disappointed and frustrated with Brexit deal Penguin News


French prosecutors open probe into influence-peddling by ex-president Sarkozy France24

5 things to know about German CDU chief Armin Laschet Politico. Merkel’s replacement.

New Cold War

What Will 2021 Bring the Russian Regime and Society? Carnegie Moscow Center

General Madness Irrussianality

Trump Transition

Governors angrily accuse Trump administration of misleading states on vaccine supply ABC


6 questions about Trump’s 2nd impeachment trial answered, much still unknown ABC

Impeachment is more dangerous than Trump Michael Tracey, Unherd

Biden Transition

Biden plans dozens of executive orders for early days of presidency Politico

How Joe Biden’s team hopes to turn five vaccine doses into six Slow Boring

Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes The Week. It’s truly amazing what liberal Democrats will do to avoid appealing to voters with universal concrete material benefits. Of course, events may knock some sense into Biden. We’ll see.

Cynical Realism LRB. On the Supreme Court.

Rock Bottom for Democracy Should Focus Americans on Election Reforms Sightline Institute. Alaska just adopted RCV.

Democrats in Disarray

Dems Reject Bigger Survival Checks, Float Tax Breaks For The Rich David Sirota, Daily Poster. Too bad the Democrats campaigned on those $2,000 checks — yes, literal checks — while winning the Senate in Georgia:

Parsing Warnock, he did say — using the typical Democrat trope — that he would be “fighting for” the $2,000 checks. He didn’t say he’d deliver them. Harris tries to put the toothpaste back in the tube:

Biden’s toothpaste, as it happens:

Parsing Biden, he only said that we “need” $2,000 checks. He didn’t say he’d deliver them either. Next, I suppose, “access” to checks.

Well, I’m sure the Biden administration will be able to execute on complex challenges, even if they can’t get simple things right.

Republicans in Disarray

Post Trump, Republicans Are Headed for a Bitter Internal Showdown NYT. Frank Luntz focus group:

Health Care

Joe Biden to shore up Affordable Care Act after Trump assault on health law ABC

FTC to Study the Impact of Physician Group and Healthcare Facility Mergers (press release) FTC

‘Slippery slope territory’: Health officials propose waiving regulatory review of medical AI tools STAT


NASA’s Delayed Deep-Space Rocket Suffers Test Failure on the Ground WSJ. Oopsie. More oopsie:

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Everything We Know About The Mysterious Dark Helicopters That Have Been Circling Los Angeles The Drive

Here Are 4 Better Responses to the Capitol Riot Than Expanding “Domestic Terror” Crackdowns Jacobin

A New Film Details the FBI’s Relentless Pursuit of Martin Luther King Jr. Smithsonian

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Rise and Fall and Rise (and Fall) of the U.S. Financial Empire Adam Tooze, Foreign Policy

The Excellent Empire or the Prison of the Peoples? A review of Pieter Judson’s “The Habsburg Empire: A New History” global inequality

Guillotine Watch

Some wealthy Americans accused of getting vaccines before they’re eligible: “Really disturbing inequity” CBS

Class Warfare

Rebuilding Worker Power Lawrence Mishel, IMF (!). “[W]ages have been kept low in the United States because workers have been systematically disempowered as a result of corporate practices and economic policies that were adopted—or reforms that were blocked—at the behest of business and the wealthy.” Musical interlude.

GWU Worker Co-op Resource Game Workers Unite

Business Exit During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Non-Traditional Measures in Historical Context (PDF) Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. “Looking ahead, exit expectations appear historically elevated among small businesses in mining, transportation & warehousing, information, education, leisure & hospitality, and other services (this latter sector includes many ‘local’ businesses like beauty salons, auto mechanics, and churches). But some sectors appear set to do better than average, such as construction, finance & insurance, real estate, and professional, scientific, and technical services.”

Bill Gates: America’s Top Farmland Owner The Land Report

Ex-Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones ‘turning herself in’ to face new charge USA Today

Most Execrable and Abominable or Irreligious Lapham’s Quarterly. Testing and informed consent…

Antidote du jour (via):

See Yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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