Robert Vinet


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Top 10 books most often left behind at UK hotels

If you have finished a book and left it behind at the hotel, you are not along. In 2017 over 70,000 books were left behind in budget hotel chain Travelodge’s 550 hotels in the United Kingdom.

Apparently, the main reason for leaving a book behind is that the travellers had finished reading the book, and rather than carrying it back home, they recycled it and left it for someone else to read.

The top 10 in the Books Left Behind Index so far this year looks like this:

More at Daily Mail

World’s largest offshore wind farm just opened in the Irish Sea

The Walney Extension wind farm covers about 55 square miles (145 square kilometres), has a capacity of 659 megawatts, and can generate enough power for 600,000 homes.

More at The Guardian, BBC,  Global Citizen

Don’t want the police to find you through a DNA database? It may already be too late

More at the Toronto Star

Deleted Facebook

This morning I permanently deleted my Facebook account.

I’ve been thinking about doing it for some time. And I’ve encouraged others to delete their accounts as well. A few months back I went through the steps, but then nervously logged back in within 14 days. That canceled the deletion process.

Last time I left Facebook because of the company’s dodgy approach to privacy, data protection, personal information accumulation, and its two-faced denials of its intentions to shape society. That hasn’t changed and that matters to me. So I need to step away.

I’m staying on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Twitter because that’s where the news is — though that seems to be changing with ever more intrusive algorithms.

I love to learn and to see what others are doing. So I consume a lot of YouTube. It’s owned by Google, and they already know a lot about me. But somehow, perhaps foolishly, I feel more comfortable sharing with them than I do with FB. And I hope to start producing my own videos and give back on the YouTube platform some day.

I am a photographer and enjoy viewing fascinating photography, so I am keeping Instagram. I haven’t posted there much as it’s owned by Facebook. So while I’ll still be subjected to much of the same tracking, manipulating, and algorithms, Instagram seems less intrusive than the mothership.

Happy Labour Day

Canadians have recognized the contributions of organized labour to Canadian society since 1872 when parades and rallies were staged in Ottawa and Toronto.

Labour Day has been officially celebrated in Canada to honour working men and women since 1894 when Parliament proclaimed the first Monday in September as Labour Day.

September 3, 1783

Great Britain, France, Spain, and the United States of America sign the Treaty of Paris, ending the American Revolutionary War. It also set up the boundary between the U.S. and what is now Canada.

Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada

The beautiful Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada by the Royal Geographic Society of Canada/Canadian Geographic is now available for preorder from Amazon.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in partnership with Canada’s national Indigenous organizations, has created a groundbreaking four-volume atlas that shares the experiences, perspectives, and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. It’s an ambitious and unprecedented project inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Exploring themes of language, demographics, economy, environment and culture, with in-depth coverage of treaties and residential schools, these are stories of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, told in detailed maps and rich narratives.

This extraordinary project offers Canada a step on the path toward understanding.

The volumes contain more than 48 pages of reference maps, content from more than 50 Indigenous writers; hundreds of historical and contemporary photographs and a glossary of Indigenous terms, timelines, map of Indigenous languages, and frequently asked questions. All packaged together in a beautifully designed protective slipcase.

US President told Bloomberg News he is trying strongarm Canada into signing a NAFTA deal that would be bad for Canada

The US President made remarks to Bloomberg News reporters that he wanted to be “off the record,” that he is not making any compromises at all in the talks with Canada — but that he cannot say this publicly because “it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal.”

The remarks were leaked to the Toronto Star who published them as they were not bound by the agreement to speak off the record.

The US President confirmed Toronto Star’s reporting by tweeting:

Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED. Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!

Google’s Titan Security Key Is now available

Available from the U.S. Google Store.

Google isn’t one to shy away from bold claims.

“We have had no reported or confirmed account takeovers since implementing security keys at Google,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

And it’s probably true. Think of a security key as like a two-factor authentication code that’s sent to your phone — but instead a USB stick in your pocket. Two-factor authentication is stronger than just a username and password, but text message codes can be intercepted and many sites and services don’t yet support the stronger authenticator codes. Security keys are one of the strongest lines of defense against account breaches. That’s because a hacker on the other side of the world trying to break into your account needs not only your password but also your physical key — and that’s not something a hacker can easily or covertly steal.

More at TechCrunch

The International Trade Commission unanimously overturns U.S. President’s administration’s tariff on Canadian newsprint, citing US paper producers are not harmed by imports

The unanimous decision by the five-member body eliminates tariffs that have been in effect since January, handing a win to small and medium-size newspapers, which have struggled to absorb the cost of higher newsprint and have made cuts, including layoffs, as a result.

The Commerce Department imposed tariffs as high as 20 percent on newsprint from Canada after North Pacific Paper Company, a paper mill in Washington State, filed a complaint alleging that subsidies the Canadian government provides to its manufacturers put American paper companies at a disadvantage.

More at the New York Times (paywall)

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