ethereal3xp OP t1_jec2tcd wrote

>More companies are backtracking on earlier pledges to let employees work from home on a full or part-time basis. 

Across industries, major corporations including Disney, Twitter and Starbucks are requiring employees to spend more time at the office. 

While half of employers say flexible work arrangements have worked well for their companies, 33% who planned to adopt a permanent virtual or hybrid model have changed their minds from a year ago, according to a January 2023 report from Monster. 

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, is the latest leader to appear to reverse course after embracing remote work and criticizing return-to-office mandates. 

Salesforce was among the first tech companies to tell employees they didn’t have to come back to the office, declaring that “the 9-to-5 workday is dead” when it announced a permanent flexible working model in 2021.

Earlier this month, however, Benioff said that he “knows empirically” that new hires perform better “if they’re in the office, meeting people, being onboarded, being trained” on the “On With Kara Swisher” podcast. 

Benioff’s comments come amid new reports that Salesforce will require employees to up their in-office time. 

“Our hybrid approach empowers leaders to make decisions for their teams about how and where they work,” a Salesforce spokesperson said in a statement.

As recession fears loom and layoffs mount, the power pendulum is swinging back towards bosses — and more companies could seize on the moment to get their employees back to the office. 

>‘The bosses are back in charge’

Anxious about high inflation and mass job cuts, workers’ confidence is wavering — even though the labor market remains incredibly tight, with almost 1.9 unfilled positions for every jobseeker.

Meanwhile, managers who felt they had less leverage during the prolonged hiring shortage now feel they have more power in negotiations with employees, especially when it comes to office attendance, says Kathy Kacher, president of Career/Life Alliance Services. Kacher has been advising companies on their return-to-office plans. 

“When executives were scrambling to retain workers, they were afraid to ask workers to come back to the office and lose even more talent, because many workers have made their distaste for the office very clear,” she explains.

Kacher continues: “Now, faced with this shaky economy, I think organizations are going, ‘Okay, good. The bosses are back in charge. Now we can say what we really want.’” 

For some companies, remote work accommodations offered at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic were emergency measures that executives don’t believe are sustainable for the long term, says Susan Vroman, a lecturer in management at Bentley University. 

Now that the pandemic is entering its endemic phase, more managers are comfortable asking people to resume their pre-pandemic commutes.

“If executives like having people in the office, it feels like the safest time in three years to communicate that,” Vroman adds. “And if leaders at big companies are adjusting their return to office policies, others will see that and think, ‘I can do the same.’”


ethereal3xp OP t1_jebodig wrote

Yeah... its almost futuristic imo

And could be a model to copy... in the event outdoor living is not feasable?

Example... need to conserve water/utilize rain water in a very efficient way

Utilize rainfall to assist with electricity/create a man made indoor river.... for drinking water.

Build with window solar panels to assist with electricity.

Indoor rainforest to provide oxygen/oxygen cycle


ethereal3xp OP t1_je9oeve wrote

>Bakery is first restaurant chain to use Amazon One biometric technology, which faces scrutiny from lawmakers and activists

>The US bakery and cafe chain Panera will soon allow customers to pay with the swipe of a palm, marking the first restaurant chain to implement the new technology and raising alarm among privacy advocates.

The company announced last week it would roll out biometric readers in coming months that will allow customers to access credit card and loyalty account information by scanning their palms. Called Amazon One, the system was developed by Amazon and is in use at some airports, stadiums and Whole Foods grocery stores.

Panera, which has more than 2,000 locations across the country, is the first nationwide restaurant chain to use the tool. Through the new program, visitors will scan their palms to be greeted by name and receive customized order recommendations based on past preferences. They will also be able to pay with the palm-scanning tech.

Amazon One’s expansion into non-Amazon facilities has faced widespread scrutiny. In 2021, Denver Arts & Venues dropped plans to use palm-scanning technology for ticketless entry at concerts in Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver after opposition from the digital rights group Fight for the Future.

“The marginal-at-best convenience of scanning a hand instead of a ticket is no excuse for implementing technology that will exacerbate violent systems and cause immeasurable harm,” the group said.

Panera did not specify where the technology would be available but said it had already been deployed at a number of bakery-cafes in St Louis, Missouri, where the company is based. Panera’s loyalty program includes about 52 million members.

Amazon launched its palm-reading technology at Amazon Go locations in late 2020, and is now facing a lawsuit relating to privacy violations after a shopper in New York City claimed customers were not properly notified such data would be collected.

Privacy advocates say this data is at high risk of being hacked and stolen, and, unlike passwords, cannot be changed after it is compromised. Lawmakers have raised these concerns with Amazon One in the past. In 2021, Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Jon Ossoff of Georgia demanded additional information about the program.

“Amazon’s expansion of biometric data collection through Amazon One raises serious questions about Amazon’s plans for this data and its respect for user privacy, including about how Amazon may use the data for advertising and tracking purposes,” the senators wrote at the time.

Amazon and Panera did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


ethereal3xp OP t1_je7vn0s wrote

>Singapore’s Changi has regained its title as the world’s best airport, after losing its long-held crown to Qatar for two years running during the height of pandemic travel restrictions.

The Asian hub edged Doha’s Hamad International Airport into second place, with Tokyo’s Haneda Airport bagging third, in the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2023. The U.S. was conspicuous by its absence in the top 10.

“Changi Airport is honored to be named World’s Best Airport for the twelfth time,” said Lee Seow Hiang, Chief Executive Officer for Changi Airport Group. “This recognition is great encouragement to our airport community, who stood firmly together to battle the challenges of Covid-19 over the past two years.”

The Skytrax World Airport Awards are determined by customer satisfaction survey.

These are the World’s Best Airports of 2023, along with their 2022 rankings:

Singapore Changi (3)

Doha Hamad (1)

Tokyo Haneda (2)

Seoul Incheon (5)

Paris Charles de Galle (6)

Istanbul (8)

Munich (7)

Zurich (9)

Tokyo Narita (4)

Madrid Barajas (16)

Vienna (19)

Helsinki-Vantaa (11)

Rome Fiumicino (24)

Copenhagen (17)

Kansai (10)

Centrair Nagoya (12)

Dubai (14)

Seattle-Tacoma (27)

Melbourne (26)

Vancouver (28)


ethereal3xp OP t1_je7tfy8 wrote

>Shamsuzzaman Shams, a correspondent for Prothom Alo, detained under the controversial Digital Security Act.

Dhaka, Bangladesh – Bangladeshi police have arrested a journalist of a leading daily under a controversial media law following the publishing of a story that criticised rising food prices in the country.

Shamsuzzaman Shams, a correspondent for Prothom Alo, was detained in the early hours of Wednesday at his home in the industrial town of Savar near the capital, Dhaka.

Bangladesh’s Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan later told reporters in his office that Shams was arrested under the Digital Security Act (DSA) as his report was “false, fabricated and ill-motivated”. The newspaper has denied the allegations.

Denounced by critics as “flawed” and “draconian”, the DSA allows for jail sentences of up to 14 years.

According to the Center for Governance Studies, a total of 138 cases were filed against journalists under the DSA between January 2019 and August 2022, in which a total of 280 people were accused and 84 were arrested.

The latest data in February by the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, the prices of almost all essential items have increased by between 1 percent and 151 percent year-on-year on average in the country. The price of meat price has risen by an average of 39 percent, while rice was up by 30 percent.

According to research published on Wednesday by the South Asian Network of Economic Modeling, a Bangladeshi think tank, some 96 percent and 89 percent of poor people in the country have reduced their meat and fish consumption respectively in the last six months due to high inflation and rising food prices.


ethereal3xp OP t1_jdtk3lq wrote

While Gates acknowledges that AI has the potential to do great good, depending on government intervention, he is equally concerned by the potential harms.

In his blog post, Gates drew attention to an interaction he had with AI in September. He wrote that, to his astonishment, the AI received the highest possible score on an AP Bio exam.

The AI was asked, “what do you say to a father with a sick child?” It then provided an answer which, Gates claims, was better than one anyone in the room could have provided. The billionaire did not include the answer in his blog post.

This interaction, Gates said, inspired a deep reflection on the way that AI will impact industry and the Gates Foundation for the next 10 years.

He explained that “the amount of data in biology is very large, and it’s hard for humans to keep track of all the ways that complex biological systems work. There is already software that can look at this data, infer what the pathways are, search for targets on pathogens, and design drugs accordingly.”

He predicted that AI will eventually be able to predict side effects and the correct dosages for individual patients.

In the field of agriculture, Gates insisted that “AIs can help develop better seeds based on local conditions, advise farmers on the best seeds to plant based on the soil and weather in their area, and help develop drugs and vaccines for livestock.”

>The negative potential for AI

Despite all the potential good that AI can do, Gates warned that it can have negative effects on society.

“Governments and philanthropy will need to play a major role in ensuring that it reduces inequity and doesn’t contribute to it. This is the priority for my own work related to AI," he wrote.

Gates acknowledged that AI will likely be “so disruptive [that it] is bound to make people uneasy” because it “raises hard questions about the workforce, the legal system, privacy, bias, and more.”

AI is also not a flawless system, he explained, because “AIs also make factual mistakes and experience hallucinations.”

Gates emphasized that there is a “threat posed by humans armed with AI” and the potential that AI “decide that humans are a threat, conclude that its interests are different from ours, or simply stop caring about us?”


ethereal3xp OP t1_jdmllr8 wrote

>At first glance it looks like a video game, but this device allows hacking, stealing and tampering with information, like a Swiss army knife for hackers

Law enforcement agencies are concerned about the Flipper, which is supposed to be used for convenience and research purposes, and to store personal data. 

Yet this device with hacking capabilities is like a Swiss army knife for hackers and has developed an international fan community that shares information and develops additional capabilities for the device.

Many Israelis who buy the Flipper are information security researchers and tech experts who want to examine the device and understand its capabilities, but the product often ends up being used illegally by people who want to harm and terrorize others. In some cases, these nefarious hackers are actually breaking the law.

What cab the Flipper do?

The Flipper can be used to break into cars and hotels, as well as to steal information from credit cards, the rav-kav card which is used for public transport, and similar cards that contain private information. 

It can jam radio frequencies; take remote control of electronic products including turning off, starting or disrupting them; duplicate employee cards and subscription cards of various kinds (for example to a gym); activate parking gates by remote and more.

Cyber expert Osher Asor, director of the cyber department at Auren Israel and a cyber consultant to the Defense Ministry, promotes ethical hacking, i.e. using certain cyber capabilities and tech for the benefit of the public. 

In this context, he warns various private and public entities against cyber threats. He recently warned the authorities about the danger posed by the Flipper if it gets into the wrong hands.

Asor stated that the Flipper is an excellent device for people with good intentions. Yet, the disruptive uses of the device are diverse and destructive. Asor thinks that we only know the tip of the iceberg about these capabilities. As an ethical hacker it's important for him to clarify that the use of hacking equipment should be controlled and supervised.