Google to restrict targeted advertising based on gender, age, parental and marital status and zip code

To further improve access to housing, employment, and credit opportunities, we are introducing a new personalized advertising policy for certain types of ads. This policy will prohibit impacted employment, housing, and credit advertisers from targeting or excluding ads based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP Code, in addition to our longstanding policies prohibiting personalization based on sensitive categories like race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.

Source: Upcoming update to housing, employment, and credit advertising policies

Postal mail to about half of world’s countries is currently suspended

Some countries have suspended all inbound mail (such as Peru, Panama and more) – while about 80 countries currently lack inbound transportation for mail transport. The latter, presumably, because of the shut down of international air traffic.

Sending mail to about half of the world’s countries is currently and indefinitely suspended.

These shutdowns, and the effects on people were of course, fully modeled by the UW IHME and the Imperial College of London as part of their pandemic response models. Of course. /satire

Source: International Service Alerts – Newsroom –

Electric vehicles: Will take decades to overtake ICE vehicles

For obvious reasons, actually:

GM CEO Mary Barra believes it will take decades for EVs to become more common than cars with an internal-combustion engine under the hood

Source: GM sees an electric future, but it’ll take decades to get there – Roadshow

I while back I read the Green New Deal which proposes to replace the entire oil infrastructure of the United States in just ten years. A moment’s thought illustrates that is not physically possible.

Continue reading Electric vehicles: Will take decades to overtake ICE vehicles

Smartphone tracking apps lose favor: “What happened to all the coronavirus tracking apps? – CNN”

Last week, Singapore pulled the plug on its own Bluetooth-based smart phone contact tracing app:

Covid-19 tracking apps were hailed as a way to help countries out of lockdown. Instead many have been delayed, and those that are out are not being downloaded at the rates experts say are needed to have a major effect.

Source: What happened to all the coronavirus tracking apps? – CNN

The apps cannot work unless nearly everyone in the country has a smart phone and installs the app. Furthermore, they are incapable of tracking contacts across time (scenario: sit on bus, cough, get up, leave, next person sits in seat, contacts viral load – apps miss this completely).

Lots more here on why Bluetooth-based, smart phone tracking apps are very unlikely to work well.

The U.K. is testing their own Bluetooth-based app on the Isle of Wight and news reports suggest the test is not going well. The NHS is being secretive about what they are learning. The app was originally to have been rolled out nationwide about 3 weeks ago… but for now, there are no updates on the test. Another problem is the U.K.’s system is a privacy nightmare.

Economics: Employment forecasts for May were in a different planetary system

Source: Calculated Risk: Comments on May Employment Report

Economists had forecast an additional loss of 8.3 million jobs in May, and an increase in the official unemployment estimate to 19.5%.

Actual for May: an increase of 2.5 million jobs and unemployment falling to 13.3%. Same for Canada too.

Economists and their computer models were off in space. 

Since much of the country had not yet “re-opened” after public health sociopaths flattened the economy, this is a good number. By June, many more areas are re-opening – will be interesting to see the unemployment figures for June.

Continue reading Economics: Employment forecasts for May were in a different planetary system

Ham Radio ISS – How to Call Space Station Astronauts

It’s a great story—but here’s what NASA told us.

Source: Ham Radio ISS – How to Call Space Station Astronauts

Well written news report.  News reports suggested  a ham radio operator in India  contacted the SpaceX Dragon crew on board Dragon (one of the astronauts is a ham radio operator). The story notes many hams (including me) have, in fact contacted ISS (mailbox/APRS) or crew (two of the crew on board right now are ham radio operators) and that this is fairly common.

In this case it appears the original ham radio operator in India may have gotten confused with a press conference link.

YouTube reviewer Sean Cannell made $40,000 in April from Amazon

This is why there are numerous review channels, especially for high value items like cameras – affiliate marketing is lucrative:

Sean Cannell makes tens of thousands of dollars a month as a professional Amazon reviewer. As part of the Amazon Affiliate program, Cannell reviews camera gear on his Think Media YouTube channel and makes a cut of every sale those reviews generate on Amazon. Here’s what his life is like.

Source: YouTube reviewer Sean Cannell made $40,000 in April from Amazon

Continue reading YouTube reviewer Sean Cannell made $40,000 in April from Amazon

Interesting form of age discrimination

Many corporations moved large offices out of suburbs to downtown locations viewed as appealing to young millennials:

And with each of these moves, there were perks: Millennial talent was more plentiful in these bustling districts such as the Loop in Chicago, where the nightlife and bar scene were also strong. Some companies, including GE, found tax breaks from municipalities when they positioned their offices downtown.

Source: After flocking downtown to woo millennials, offices might move back to the burbs

In a post pandemic, post apocalyptic burned out downtown buildings world, the ‘burbs are looking good again.

Companies may have moved to downtown locations as a  subtle way to discourage older job applicants (who have families and homes),  making it simpler for companies to pursue young workers instead, who are often viewed, particularly in tech, as “hipper” , less expensive and more up on the latest tech fads.