Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Worst of Both Worlds: Zooming From the Office

The 2021 ‘Go Home on Time Day’ report, run by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, highlights time theft and increasing use by managers of surveillance software to monitor staff working from home.

Call for working-from-home protections in APS agreements as report highlights flexibility pitfalls

It is time that tax justice campaigners realised that tax havens have changed and that they are not mainly in the business of facilitating income and corporate tax abuses now

In a recent series of videos that I posted on this blog I looked at the way in which tax havens have changed their activities
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What is the Tax Justice Network playing at by demanding that the UN take over responsibility for international tax deals?

I noted the concerns I have with the credibility of the calculations within the Tax Justice Network’s State of Tax Justice report for 2021 yesterday.
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Tax and benefit fraud – and securing the resources needed to tackle them – are amongst the biggest issues tax justice campaigners should now be talking about

There are two reports out today that indicate that fraud and official error are major contributors to the UK tax gap. The first is from
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 Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, November 14, 202 – 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: Report: 51% of IT leaders don’t think they could mitigate a data breach; US Education Dept urged to boost K-12 schools’ ransomware defenses; Digital driver’s licenses: Are they secure enough for us to trust?; and Allow App To Track On Your iPhone—Here’s What It Means.

PCWorld: “Replacing an old device is straightforward—you just pick out a new one and hand over some cash. Getting money for your moderately older or unused tech can be that easy, too. Instead of using online marketplaces to sell your tech, you can turn to a buyback service instead. They provide a quote based on the item’s age, specs, and condition, then you ship it to them on their dime and wait for the payout. You’ll earn less than if you sell it yourself, but you’ll deal with far less hassle. The best of the bunch stand out from the rest both for the types of devices they’ll take and how much they pay out. You’ll find them below, along with tips for having a good experience…”

Over 100 Activision Blizzard employees stage walkout, demand CEO step down WaPo. Oddly. not hash-tagged #MeToo.

60 Minutes Australia has churned out yet another fearmongering war propaganda pieceon China, this one so ham-fisted in its call to beef up military spending that it goes so far as to run a brazen advertisement for an actual Australian weapons manufacturer disguised as news reporting.
Australian War Propaganda Keeps Getting Crazier

Dissecting the early COVID-19 cases in WuhanScience. Important. The Abstract: “Elucidating the origin of the pandemic requires understanding of the Wuhan outbreak.” Read carefully, because the conventional timeline is said to be wrong (including on the index case). Handy map:

The Internet’s Unkillable App

The Atlantic, by Dave Pell: “The noisier our digital lives get, the more popular the humble newsletter becomes. The Romans brought the newsletter into existence. Later, in the Middle Ages, newsletters became common forms of communication among extended families, traders, and those looking to share information in a format that eventually led to what we know (knew?) as the newspaper. After reviewing the history of this medium, of which I’m a frequent practitioner, I’m now convinced that when Caesar said “Et tu, Brute?” he was actually asking Brutus if he wanted to subscribe. 

Cut to 2020, when the 14 million customers of a single email platform called Mailchimp sent out 333,635,013,035 newsletters that, among other things, drove more than $64 billion in revenue. Extremely long story short: Rome fell. The newsletter didn’t. How did the unpretentious and simple newsletter outlive empires and technological transformation, not only displaying the survivability of the tardigrade but also somehow becoming the cool new thing without much reinvention at all? 

The typically digestible length, coupled with the simple, minimalist format—an easily shareable, single page of content written on papyrus, pecked out on a typewriter, or thumbed on an iPhone—helps explain the longevity. But the solid fuel-thruster that rocketed the newsletter format to the edge of the atmosphere during the decades since your 14.4K modem first connected to the web, and that has pushed it into the stratosphere in 2021, is the newsletter’s inseparability from its ancient-by-internet-standards delivery mechanism: email…”

The Worst of Both Worlds: Zooming From the Office

The New York Times: “Work life for many is in a mushy middle ground, and what’s at stake isn’t just who is getting talked over in meetings. It’s whether flexibility is sustainable, even with all the benefits it confers…A closer look at the New York work force, from a November survey of 188 major employers, showed that 8 percent of Manhattan office workers are back in the office full time, 54 percent are fully remote and everyone else — nearly 40 percent — is hybrid. Few are finding it a smooth transition period. Some companies used their tentative R.T.O. dates as an unwitting excuse to avoid questions about how to balance the needs of their remote and in-person employees, according to Edward Sullivan, an executive coach. That has resulted in a mushy middle ground: video calls where remote workers have trouble hearing, a sense that people at home are missing out on perks (teammates), while those in the office are, too (pajamas). And the stakes aren’t just who is getting talked over in meetings. It’s whether flexibility is sustainable, even with all the benefits it confers. “We’re going to see a lot of companies get this wrong,” said Chris Herd, an entrepreneur and expert on hybrid work…Last summer, LinkedIn told its 16,000 employees worldwide that its return-to-office plan announced in October 2020 had been scrapped, and that individual departments would decide where their people could work, becoming one of more than 60 major companies that have promised some permanent form of flexibility…”