Monday, September 20, 2021

Prague: A Window To The World


Few cities combine history and contemporary culture like Prague. The so-called "Mother of all Cities" was spared from widespread destruction during World War II, and as a result, its diverse architecture dates back over a millennium. As a political, cultural and economic center of Europe, the city has become a significant metropolis balancing both its past and future as one of the world's most beautiful cities.

The vast revitalized riverfront area stretches along the three Prague embankments: Rašín, Hořejší, and Dvořák, almost 4 km in length. The completed first phase is Prague's largest investment in public space after the revolution in 1989, the first of this kind. It focused on the reconstruction of 20 vaults in the riverside wall (originally ice storage areas). Instead of creating classic interiors, the vaults are merged with the exterior to connect to the riverfront area and the river itself.

Archdaily: Prague: A Window To The World

At long last, the streaming platforms were triumphant at the Emmys, with Netflix and AppleTV+ taking major awards in drama, comedy and limited series as Television Academy voters acknowledged a profound shift in entertainment, from the channel-flipping days of traditional TV to the 21st century mode of click-and-watch binge viewing.

The Crown, the lush Netflix chronicle of the ups and downs of the British royal family, won the prize for best drama at the 73rd Emmy Awards on Sunday, propelling the tech giant to its first victory in one of television’s biggest prizes.

The drama won on the strength of its fourth season, which took viewers into the 1980s as it portrayed the relationship of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The Crown also dominated the acting categories. Olivia Colman, in the role of Queen Elizabeth II, took the award for best actress in a drama. She was the second actress to win for a portrayal of Queen Elizabeth on The Crown, with Claire Foy having taken the honour in 2018.

On Sunday (Monday AEST), Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Gillian Anderson (Margaret Thatcher) and Tobias Menzies (Prince Philip) also won Emmys for their performances on the period drama.

Hannah Waddingham accepts the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for Ted Lasso at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards. Television Academy via AP

“I’m very proud, I’m very grateful, we’re going to party,” said Peter Morgan, creator of The Crown, offering his remarks from a viewing party attended by the show’s cast in London, after winning for best writing.

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, September 12, 2021

Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: 8 Easy Ways to Stay Anonymous Online; Education Department Updates Rules and Criminal Penalties for Accessing Agency Data; ProtonMail Shares Activist’s IP Address With Authorities Despite Its “No Log” Claims; and As flood alerts lit up phones, did ‘warning fatigue’ set in?

eBooks vs Printed Books: Which are better?

leverage edu: “Books give us solace when the going gets hard. Opening up hundreds of worlds as the pages flip, books are a secret door to an undiscovered place. Do the pages flip or are swiped? With the advent of technology, printed books are both the only format available to readers worldwide. ebooks have taken the world by a storm since their inception and continue to enthrall readers with various advantages. But the debate over which is better, ebook vs printed books hasn’t come to an end and as days pass, becomes harder. Picking one over the other can be a nerve-wracking dilemma and the conflict of ebooks vs printed books seems nowhere near ending. This blog is an attempt to pitch one against the other and see the advantages and disadvantages of each. If you are one of those million readers facing the problem, join the club and read this blog to make a satisfactory pick…”

See also:

PCMag: “Antivirus software is critical for every PC. Without it, your personal information, your data, and even your bank account are all at risk. We’ve tested more than 40 utilities to help you pick the best antivirus protection…We call it antivirus, but in truth it’s unlikely you’ll get hit with an actual computer virus. Malware these days is about making money, and there’s no easy way to cash in on spreading a virus. Ransomware and data-stealing Trojans are much more common, as are bots that let the bot-herder rent out your computer for nefarious purposes. Modern antivirus utilities handle Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, ransomware, and more. As noted, PCMag has reviewed more than 40 different commercial antivirus utilities, and that’s not even counting the many free antivirus tools. Out of that extensive field we’ve named four Editors’ Choice products, honored others with a four-star rating, and bestowed 3.5 stars on several more. If you have malware, one of the products listed in this article should take care of the problem…”

TechRepublic: “…In recent months, hacking groups have brought critical aspects of U.S. infrastructure to a halt, and phishing is a popular tool in cybercriminal’s seemingly ever-expanding armamentarium of attack methods. On Wednesday, Expel released a report, highlighting the top keywords used in phishing attempt subject lines. Based on the findings, employees may need to be particularly wary of the seemingly innocuous emails in their inboxes. “Attackers are trying to trick people into giving them their credentials. The best way to do this is to make the email look legitimate, prompt one clear action and lace it with emotion – urgency or fear of loss are the most common,” said Ben Brigida, director, SOC Operations, at Expel. “The actions are as simple as ‘go to this site’ or ‘open this file,’ but the attacker wants you to be moving too fast to stop and question if it’s legitimate.”…

 Stanisław Lem at 100 | Happening - the movie 

When We Cease to Understand the World review

       Stanisław Lem at 100 

       The great Polish writer Stanisław Lem was born a hundred years ago today (more or less: as report: "According to his own account, he was born on 13 September, but the date was changed to the 12th on his birth certificate because of superstition regarding the 'unlucky' number 13"). 
       They're making an appropriately big deal about it in Poland -- see, for example, the Lem 2021 site -- but there's also been some attention even in English -- see, for example, Roisin Kiberd on A Century in Stanislaw Lem's Cosmos in The New York Times -- and MIT Press admirably continues to bring out many of his titles, including some not previously available in English. 

       As I've mentioned before, I read basically all of his work -- mostly in German -- before I started the site, which is why essentially none is under review at the complete review beyond A Stanislaw Lem Reader, but I am certainly a great, great admirer; if I get my hands on some of these MIT editions I might revisit the work (as I probably should).