Wednesday, June 30, 2021

How to Have a Good Meeting: Pulling Wool Over Emplyees Eyes

“The best way to get accurate information on Usenet is to post something wrong and wait for corrections.”

— Matthew Austern


Stakhanov: How a Soviet miner from the 1930s helped create today’s intense corporate workplace culture

Recreation and diversion are as necessary to our well-being as the more serious pursuits of life.

The ATO announced on Wednesday that all its offices in the greater Melbourne Metropolitan area: Dandenong, Box Hill, Docklands and Moonee Ponds will go to “level 2”  until close of business on Friday, 4 June 2021. Jacqui’s Curtis’ announcement of this is included below my signature block.

The ATO’s announcement is welcome. We have been calling for this, or the equivalent of allowing staff to work at home on an ad hoc basis since the Victorian Government announced that all Melbournians needed to wear facemasks while indoors (not at their own home).

The ATO’s initial response was that this was not necessary, it was following Victorian Government policy, or the old response of ‘Trust us, we know what we are doing’. The ASU kept pressing the Office over this issue and reported to you about our concerns and our correspondence with the Office. We now have an outcome that is workable for the Office and its staff in the Melbourne offices.

ATO officials to face unions in court over working from home dispute


The APS bargaining policy

 EXCLUSIVE: Trump laughed at Rudy for falling asleep on planes and ‘spitting during meetings’ and would tell him he ‘sucked’ and was ‘pathetic’ after TV appearances, new book claims Daily Mail

1. Ivo Maes, Robert Triffin: A Life.  There should be more biographies of economists, and while this one does not succeed in making Triffin exciting, it is thorough and informative and shows there was more to the man than his famous dilemma.  I hadn’t even known Triffin was from Belgium.

2. Elizabeth Bowen, The Last September.  A wonderfully subtle Irish novel about the Anglo-Irish elite in south Ireland right after WWI, how they self-deceive about the impending doom of their rule and way of life, and the diverse forms those self-deceptions take.  An underrated modernist classic.

3. Cynthia Saltzman, Plunder: Napoleon’s Theft of Veronese’s Feast.  Among other things, this book shows how clearly Napoleon understood the role of art in both reflecting and cementing power.  Nor had I known that Canova, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and Napoleon all had a single intersecting story, revolving around the theft and return of art.

Fabricating accusations

According to the report of the Icelandic magazine Stundin, "a major witness in the United States’ Department of Justice case against Julian Assange has admitted to fabricating key accusations in the indictment against the Wikileaks founder." [previouslypreviously]

How to Have a Good Meeting

Ransomware claims are roiling an entire segment of the insurance industry

Extreme Calorie Restriction Can Increase Dangerous Bacteria in The Gut, Study Shows. As a friend said once, the folks on the calorie-restriction email lists seem very grumpy and unhappy. 1200 calories a day will do that to you.

Subject: IT security company exec charged with cyberattack on Georgia hospital
Source: Becker’s Health IT

The COO of an Atlanta-based healthcare network security company has beenarraigned on charges related to a cyberattack on Gwinnett Medical Center in 2018, according to a June 10 Department of Justice news release. Vikas Singla, 45, was indicted June 8 for allegedly conducting a cyberattack on the Lawrenceville, Ga.-based hospital that included disrupting phone service, stealing information from a digital device and disrupting network printer services. He was COO at Atlanta-based Securolytics at the time of the Gwinnett Medical Center breach, according to Mr. Singla’s LinkedIn account.

Washington Post – “The recent surge of ransomware attacks is upending the cyber insurance industry, pushing up the requirements and cost of coverage just as more companies need it. 

Ransomware attacks — in which cybercriminals take over an organization’s computer network and demand a payment to hand back control — have increased in frequency and severity over the past two years. According to blockchain research firm Chainalysis, ransom payments from companies increased 341 percent to a total of $412 million during 2020. “This is a tipping point this year,” said John Kerns, an executive managing director at insurance brokerage Beecher Carlson, a division of Brown & Brown, which sells cyber insurance. “I’ve been in business for 32 years and haven’t seen a market quite like this.” That is pushing insurance carriers to reevaluate how much coverage they can afford to offer and how much they have to charge clients to do so. Underwriters are demanding to see detailed proof of clients’ cybersecurity measures in ways they never have. For example, not using multifactor authentication, which requires a user to verify themselves in multiple ways, might result in a rejection…”