Monday, September 27

Covid: Most popular Facebook link in US spread vaccine doubt
Interesting

Covid: Most popular Facebook link in US spread vaccine doubt

A news article about a doctor who died after receiving a Covid-19 vaccination was Facebook's most viewed link in the US in the first quarter of 2021, a previously shelved report shows. The piece - updated after a report said there was no proven link to the vaccine - was popular with vaccine sceptics. The New York Times claimed that Facebook initially held back its report because it would "look bad". Facebook said the delay was in order to make "key fixes". The company had already published its "Widely Viewed Content" report for the second quarter of 2021, in which it found a word search promising to reveal "your reality" was the most popular post. Similarly frivolous "question posts" formed most of the top 20. View original tweet on Twitter ...
Virgin Hyperloop unveils new pod concept video
Interesting

Virgin Hyperloop unveils new pod concept video

Virgin Hyperloop has released a video illustrating its plans for passenger pods using magnetic levitation to travel above 1,000km/h (600mph) through tubes containing a near-vacuum. Rather than connecting to form a train, the pods will travel in convoy, able to leave and join a static track individually, like cars on a motorway. Last year, Virgin Hyperloop completed its first crewed test-track journey, reaching speeds of 170km/h. View original tweet on Twitter Railway engineer and writer Gareth Dennis tweeted it was "a glossy video that says, 'Everything works and is great,' with nothing more than some CGI [computer-generated imagery] and a giant winky face". He questioned the vision of carrying "tens of thousands of passengers per hour per direction", which "would require a th...
Can the US crack down on fake vaccination cards?
World

Can the US crack down on fake vaccination cards?

As more people in the US are asked to prove they have been vaccinated in order to work, study or socialise, a flourishing black market in fake vaccination cards has sprung up. But what can be done to tackle it? The operator behind "Covid19vaccinecardsss" took just seconds to reply. One of a slew of Instagram accounts hawking fake proof of Covid-19 vaccination cards, whoever was running the page was eager to sell, inviting the BBC to move over to an encrypted messaging app to make a deal. For $100 (£70), the vendor would deliver a "registered" card, with either the logo of the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) or Britain's National Health Service. Payment could be made in Apple Pay or Bitcoin and delivery would be "discrete" and within 24 hours, they promised. ...
UK companies ‘perform better’ with overseas owners
World

UK companies ‘perform better’ with overseas owners

Many companies perform better with overseas ownership according to business minister Lord Grimstone, who said the UK had nothing to fear from a recent flood of private foreign takeover bids for UK-listed companies. "It would be a sad day for Britain if we pulled down the shutters so that we weren't a mercantile entrepreneurial country," he said. His comments came as the government announced that the UK will hold a major international investment summit in October to attract more overseas investment in post-Brexit Britain. "All our research shows that overseas invested companies are more productive and produce more jobs," added Lord Grimstone. "It's an extraordinary finding but what it shows is the importance of attracting overseas investment into the UK." Recent figures show...
Afghanistan: World Bank halts aid after Taliban takeover
World

Afghanistan: World Bank halts aid after Taliban takeover

The World Bank has halted funding for projects in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of the country. It cited concerns over how the Taliban's takeover will impact "the country's development prospects, especially for women". The move comes just days after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suspended payments to Afghanistan. The Biden administration has also frozen the assets of Afghanistan's central bank that are held in the US. Since 2002 the Washington-based financial institution has committed more than $5.3bn (£3.9bn) to reconstruction and development projects in Afghanistan. "We have paused disbursements in our operations in Afghanistan and we are closely monitoring and assessing the situation in line with our internal policies and procedures," a World Bank ...