In meetings such as those of the cabinet, a lot of eyes look at you a bit too muchYou can’t look someone in the eye on Zoom. And yet at the same time, all eyes are continuously on you — arrayed in a gallery like a low resolution University Challenge team. Worse, among that gallery, delayed by the same millisecond lag, is a video of yourself. Is it any wonder, then, that people find telemeeting more socially exhausting than real meeting? Or, as Linda Kaye, senior lecturer in psychology at Edge Hill University in Lancashire, puts it, “The term ‘Zoom fatigue’ is the buzzword.”Of all the two-word phrases that have entered common usage since the pandemic arrived — from herd immunity to Barnard Castle — none sums up the peculiarly 21st-century nature of our quarantine better than “Zoom fatigue”.
Elon Musk said he was overcome with emotion at the launchAs a self-taught rocket engineer whose vision for space exploration was taken from a doodle on a napkin, Elon Musk’s path to the stars has been paved with both hardship and triumph. Multiple rocket failures and encounters with near financial ruin have dogged SpaceX’s path to success, leaving even Musk, 48, stuck for words after watching his Falcon 9 rocket ferry Crew Dragon and its two astronauts to orbit. “I’m quite overcome with emotion, so it’s hard to talk, frankly,” he said, in a faltering and emotional post-launch media teleconference from Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. “It’s been 18 years working towards this goal.”Asked about the extent to which the burden of responsibility weighs upon him, having promised the astronauts’ sons that
Hugh Pennington said if the transmission rate deos not fall there could be random testing in supermarket queuesRandom testing for Covid-19 in supermarket queues may be needed to drive down transmission, a leading microbiologists has warned. Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University, said that if the NHS test and trace system did not work well the only alternative was compulsory random testing. The new NHS system relied on significant voluntary compliance from people who show symptoms, he said. “Test and trace is only going to work if people sign up to it,” he said. “The only other way out would be massive random testing in places
A few weeks ago, I watched with awe and pleasure as a retired Glasgow GP, Andrew Townsley, made £500,000 in less than half an hour on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (Full disclosure — I know Andrew, and it’s difficult to think of someone who would make a smarter or more delightful winner.) Let’s spend a few lines analysing why he was so successful in an episode where the performance of another contestant was described by the host, Jeremy Clarkson, as “pathetic”. There were probably four components to this triumph. Recognising that Clarkson is well travelled, he used his “ask
If Victoria Pendleton were a man, you might say she was having a midlife crisis on an epic scale. In the last two years of her thirties she has divorced, had a serious life-threatening depression, recovered, got a new love, a few tattoos, purple hair, a surfboard and a taste for very fast motorbikes. But Pendleton is not a man, and nor does she feel much like a typical woman. She has been spending some time in lockdown clearing out old boxes of memorabilia, in preparation for a post-divorce house sale. Sifting through it has unearthed feelings about her past, pulling up not the usual sentimental tat, but the trappings of one
A lavishly illuminated prayer book once owned by Mary, Queen of Scots, is expected to sell for more than a quarter of a million pounds at Christie’s. The London auction house said the book was a new discovery and one of only a few manuscripts known to have been owned by the 16th-century monarch. It contains an inscription by the Catholic queen who was later executed for plotting against Elizabeth I, her Protestant cousin. The book was made for Mary’s great-aunt Louise de Bourbon-Vendôme, head of the royal abbey of Fontevraud in the 1530s, who gave it to Mary at about the time of the reign of her first husband, Francis II of France, in 1559-1560. It is believed that she took the book to
Investors have been urged to vote against the pay package of Sundar Pichai, chief executive of GoogleThe owner of Google is facing an investor backlash after handing its new chief executive more than a quarter of a billion dollars in cash and shares. Sundar Pichai received $281 million last year, with the bulk of the awards coming from the long-term bonus plan. Mr Pichai, 47, was installed as chief executive of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in December. ISS and Glass Lewis, the influential governance advisory firms, urged investors to vote against the pay package at the annual stockholder meeting. The Alphabet board had exercised “poor stewardship” over many years, said ISS, pointing to “recurring outsized awards that are not sufficiently performance-based”.
Silverstone is set to host two races this summer after Formula One got the green light from the Government, according to reports. The 2020 championship has, like all sports across the world, been immeasurably disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. But the truncated calendar is slowly taking shape and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden listed F1 alongside the likes of football and racing as sports that are “set to return to our screens shortly”. Two races are set to be held at Silverstone this summer (Bradley Collyer/PA)The BBC reports that the Government has given the go-ahead for Silverstone to host two races this summer, with elite sports events set to be exempt from the requirement of international travellers to self-isolate for a fortnight. All the initial races will be held behind closed doors and teams will operate with the minimum of personnel.
May 31, 2020 21:30 UTC
Search engine says economic benefit it gets from Australian news is ‘very small’ and publishers are using ‘inaccurate numbers’ in talks with ACCCGoogle rejects calls for it and Facebook to pay $600m a year for Australian newsGoogle Australia has rejected calls for the search engine giant and Facebook to pay Australian media companies $600m a year for using their news content, saying the figure is based on “unfounded assertions”. The managing director of Google Australia, Mel Silva, says the economic benefit Google gets from Australian news is “very small” and publishers are using “inaccurate numbers” in their talks with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Australian watchdog says media could ‘boycott’ Google and Facebook to force them to pay for news Read moreThe code would ensure the digital giants share advertising revenue with Australian media companies, including News Corp, Seven West Media and Nine Entertainment. Google is insistent that news publishers benefit financially from Google Search, claiming the search engine sent 3.44bn visits to publishers “for free” in 2018. A study by Deloitte in Europe estimated that Google Search sent $218m in value back to Australian publishers in 2018, Silva said.
May 31, 2020 21:14 UTC
Beacon has closed a funding round led by Jeff Bezos, pictured, and 8VC, an American venture capital firmThe billionaire founder of Amazon is among investors putting more than $15 million into a London-based technology start-up focused on the freight-forwarding industry. Beacon, set up by two former executives from Uber, the ride-hailing company, has closed a funding round led by Jeff Bezos, the Amazon boss, and 8VC, an American venture capital firm. The business will use the financing to help it expand by hiring more staff and investing in its technology. The latest funding is thought to value Beacon at $60 million. Beacon was set up two
May 31, 2020 19:31 UTC
Cultural organisations in Britain have received less and less public funding proportionate to their turnover. In 2010 the coalition government cut the Arts Council England budget by 30%, while local authority support has been shattered by Conservative austerity measures. British performing arts organisations tend to receive only around 20-30% of their funding from public sources. Arts organisations are usually publicly funded between 70% and 80%. Arts organisations cannot earn at the moment.
May 31, 2020 17:41 UTC
Misinformation about the origins of Covid-19 is far more likely to be spread by pro-Trump, QAnon or Republican bots on Twitter than any other source, according to a study commissioned by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. The researchers identified 10 prominent bot-like networks that were attempting to push political agendas, separate from those bot networks pushing commercial sites by hitching on to trending topics like coronavirus. The researchers found a coordinated effort to promote the conspiracy theory that Covid-19 was a bioweapon engineered by China. The researchers identified a co-retweet network of 2,903 accounts with 4,125 links between them. Within this network, the researchers found 28 to 30 clusters of accounts which identified themselves as pro-Trump, Republican or associated themselves with the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory.
May 31, 2020 17:26 UTC
Privacy campaigners are preparing a legal challenge to the NHS’s coronavirus test-and-trace programme as concerns grow about the amount of contact data that will be collected and retained by government. The privacy group is also unhappy that the government has failed to complete a legally mandated data protection impact assessment, which is supposed to be filed with the Information Commissioner’s Office before any “high-risk” activity is carried out. The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has argued that existing data protection law is sufficient, while last week Lady Dido Harding, the chair of NHS test-and-trace programme, said any data collected wold be part of “an NHS conversation, entirely confidential”. However, senior politicians have called for ministers to introduce legislation to safeguard data privacy, arguing that oral reassurances are insufficient. The report said there were “concerns around ‘surveillance creep’ where intrusive powers are expanded or data is used to prosecute for a range of crimes”.
May 31, 2020 16:29 UTC
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs claims Rio Ferdinand was one of the worst players in training when he first joined the club. Ferdinand became the world's most expensive defender when he left Leeds for United in 2002 for £30million. Why Man Utd turned down Mauro Icardi before PSG transferBut Giggs says the start to Ferdinand's time with the Red Devils was an eye-opener for the centre-back, especially in training sessions. "I've used the example of Rio Ferdinand," Giggs told beIN SPORTS. "Brilliant player when he came to United but all of a sudden he's one of the worst players in training, in the boxes that we used to play.
May 31, 2020 15:32 UTC
Exclusive: oil trading division of global commodities trader thought to be target of probeGlobal commodities trader Trafigura is under investigation by US authorities for alleged corruption and market manipulation relating to oil trading, the Guardian has learned. The subpoenas demand information going back at least four years relating to “manipulation and corruption involving oil products and trading”. The investigation is understood to relate to Trafigura’s oil trading division, which is based in Singapore but also has offices in London and Geneva. According to the documents, Luz discussed “a proposal from Trafigura” with state oil firm Petrobras, under which the trading firm would lend Petrobras money in exchange for discounted oil. Rival commodities trading firm Glencore, which was also named in connection with the Car Wash probe, last year became the focus of a CFTC investigation into alleged corrupt practices.
May 31, 2020 15:00 UTC