Summary of “How to protect yourself against the rising threat of ransomware”

In case you’ve never heard about ransomware, it’s a kind of virus that encrypts the files on your computers and locks you out until you pay the attackers a certain amount, usually in bitcoin.
Keeping your operating system, browsers, antivirus and other software up to date with the latest patches is your first defense against ransomware, or any other malware for that matter.
Finally, be especially wary of macro-embedded MS Office files, executables, and compressed files because ransomware attackers use them to spread their malware.
No matter how well established your defenses are, you should prepare yourself for the “When” not the “If.” If you get infected by ransomware, the best way to recover your files short of forking over bitcoins to the attacker is to restore backups.
Keep offline backups of your files: Local or mapped network drives are not a safe place to put your backups, because ransomware trojans scan and encrypt all of them.
Don’t keep backups in shared folders: Some breeds of ransomware tend to scan the network and encrypt files you store in shared folders, even if they’re not mapped as network drives.
As ironic as it sounds, one of your defenses against file-encrypting ransomware is encryption itself.
It does provide an extra measure of protection against ransomware.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Steve Blank Why good people leave large tech companies”

I was visiting with an ex-student who’s now the CFO of a large public tech company.
The company is still one of the hottest places to work in tech.
While a significant part of the headcount of this tech company was in manufacturing, the director’s group was made up of experienced software engineers.
Given they could get new jobs by just showing up at the local coffee shop, I was stunned by the CFO’s reply: “Too bad, but we need the space. They’re lucky they work here. If they leave at least they’ll have ‘name of our company’ on their resume.”
After the director left, I must have looked pretty surprised as the CFO explained, “We have tens of thousands of employees, and at the rate we’re growing it’s almost impossible to keep up with our space needs in the Bay Area. You know for our CEO, ‘love us or leave us’ has been his policy from day one.” I asked, “Now that the company is public and has grown so large, has the policy changed?” The CFO replied, “No, our CEO believes we are on a mission to change the world, and you really have to want to work here or you ought to leave. And because we’re inundated with resumes from people who want to work for us, he sees no reason to change.”
Wakeup Call.The downside of founders running large companies is that there are no written best practices, no classes, no standard model at all.
Given that in the past, founders as a group were rarely in charge as startups became large companies, it’s no surprise.
Founders of great companies figure out how the keep their passion but put people before process.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to build an amazing board game collection for $10!”

That said, putting together an amazing board game collection can be cheap.
Monikers is the party game we’d recommend instead, though since it’s only a lovely edition of a popular public domain game, printing it is just one option available to you.
In a nutshell, the game starts with two rooms of people, all of whom are secretly on either the Red Team or the Blue Team, and the game is for the reds to get their Red Bomber player into the room with the Blue President via a hostage exchange by the end of 15 minutes, at which point the bomb explodes.
Funemployed is a game of terrible job interviews that requires a bit of improvisation from players, but it’s the most I’ve ever laughed playing a board game.
As a bonus, it’s the only drawing game where not being able to draw makes the game better.
Win, Lose or Banana is, on paper, a terrible game, but in practice it’s occasionally the best game ever? You can buy the official game for $1, but if you make your own version by scribbling on some cardboard the police are unlikely to investigate.
The bigger my board game collection gets, the more I appreciate the simplicity and cultural gravity of a cup full of dice, or an ordinary 54 card deck.
You could ask me “Quinns, do you want to play an expensive, lengthy board game from your collection, or do you want to drink and play Liar’s Dice with £5 on the line?” and I’d have to think about my answer for a long time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Millennials Should Lead the Next Labor Movement”

After years of studying our bathroom’s stack of union publications, I grew enthralled with the existence of union negotiator guys who looked just like my dad, dressed in the Midwestern anti-fashion of workboots and fleeces to guard against our seemingly eternal winters.
Belonging to a union is a form of education that the current national political regime opposes and that states have been working to weaken so that we are unable to be fairly compensated for our work.
The dangers of not being able to receive information about wages, hours and working conditions or the bargaining power that unions provide are legion.
As just one example, back in my native state of Wisconsin, after Gov. Scott Walker passed an anti-collective-bargaining law that sharply curtailed unions’ right to fight on behalf of their workers, he was able to pass another law a few months later that eliminated Wisconsin factory and retail workers’ right to weekends off.
At a time when the government wants to disembowel public and private health care and when wages are on the decline, our best recourse to these threats is to join existing unions or unionize ourselves.
The last big boom for American unions came during a period that resembles the present one: The Great Depression, like the ’08 recession, left workers deeply unsatisfied with wages and working conditions.
Thanks to the New Deal’s favorable collective bargaining legislation, Americans felt free to organize unions and petition their employers for labor rights; there were 12 million labor union members by the end of World War II. People like me, who have mental museums filled with memories of the stability that came with our parents’ union jobs, could be the perfect leaders of the next labor union renaissance.
The union newsletters my father kept in our bathroom magazine rack may have faded, but their message – about the value of jobs that provide a fair wage, reasonable conditions and the ability to care for a family – is as timely now as it ever was.

The orginal article.

Summary of “SoundCloud sinks as leaks say layoffs buy little time”

Instead, sources at SoundCloud tell TechCrunch that founders Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss confessed the layoffs only saved the company enough money to have runway “Until Q4” – which begins in just 80 days.
Another employee from a different office described the all-hands as “a shitshow” and said “I don’t believe that people will stay. The good people at SoundCloud will leave. Eric [Wahlforss] said something about the SoundCloud ‘family,’ and there were laughs. You just fired 173 people of the family, how the fuck are you going to talk about family?”.
At the same time, this content comes with copyright problems and SoundCloud has had trouble monetizing it.
Despite the startup’s financial troubles, Ljung told those in attendance at the all-hands meeting he was adamant about SoundCloud staying independent and there’s no intention to sell the company.
One of the facts that was most frustrating to SoundCloud staff was that the company continued hiring people into positions that would soon be eliminated, with some workers joining SoundCloud as little as two weeks before the layoffs.
Stavik is now exploring legal action against SoundCloud because he says his signed job offer included four weeks notice of dismissal, yet “SoundCloud claims they are not going to pay me my salary during those 4 weeks.”
The company hasn’t given employees any updates on the stats, either, with one telling TechCrunch “I think no one within SoundCloud believes the user number. I think they’ve been going down for a while now.”
One source said Ljung explained that SoundCloud is not a giant streaming company and didn’t want to directly compete with the $9.99 plans like Spotify.

The orginal article.

Summary of “43 Embarrassing Grammar Mistakes Even Smart People Make”

“Colin emigrated from Ireland to the United States” means the same as “Colin immigrated to the United States from Ireland.”
The first word should actually be “Bated,” which stems from the verb “Abate,” meaning to stop or lessen.
To pique means to arouse, so the correct phrase is “Piqued my interest,” meaning that my interest was stimulated.
The word “Chock” is an Old English word which means “Cheek” as well as “Full to the brim.” In other words, “Chock-full” means “Mouthful.”
Mute means silent, so would you really want to make a point that doesn’t say anything? A point that is “Moot” is debatable or doubtful.
Since “Jibe” means “To agree,” the correct phrase would be “Jibe with the facts.”
If you use the correct version you’ll sound intelligent to the grammarians of the world but you risk alienating a certain percentage of people who will not understand your meaning.
The correct word is “Peek,” which means a quick look.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Simpsons’ Planet of the Apes Musical: An Oral History”

What I do know is when you mention anything about Planet of the Apes to a fan of the show, their mind will instantly jump to the words “Dr. Zauis, Dr. Zauis.” Others will happily sing the whole dang score for you.
The memory of the show’s fictional Planet of the Apes musical has lasted the 21 years since it aired as part of the episode “A Fish Called Selma” in season seven.
The musical, officially titled Stop the Planet of the Apes.
“But once every few months, like the time we wrote the musical version of The Planet of the Apes, we really had a blast. I cried with laughter.” The bit has so many disparate parts – ’80s Austrian-pop parody, old-school-musical homage, Planet of the Apes, break-dancing, old vaudeville-style jokes – but in the hands of The Simpsons and its writers, it works.
Josh Weinstein: I’ll tell you something – I didn’t see Planet of the Apes until like five years ago.
Between the three of us, we constantly say things like, “Thank you, Amadeus.” After we came up with the idea of a Planet of the Apes musical, I said randomly, “Thank you, Dr. Zaius.” Maybe somebody else may have said it, so I don’t want to claim full credit for it, but somebody said it like the “Rock Me, Amadeus” song, and then it clicked in and people started pitching lyrics.
Weinstein: I’m not well-versed in musicals, but say, something with a love story like Oklahoma!, you’d expect the ending to be, “I love you, Laurie!” but it’s Planet of the Apes! So that’s partially the joke.
Ledesma: To bring it all the way forward now to last year, when we did our VR couch gag, which was an extended parody of Planet of the Apes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Legend of Phil Ivey, Poker’s Mystery Man”

Barring winning an event, they just hope they’ll get a chance to play across the table from Phil Ivey, maybe win a pot, maybe have a good tale to tell back home.
While the biggest games in casinos around the country were played in increments of $100 and $200, or sometimes as high as $400 and $800, the Flynt game was played as high as $4,000 and $8,000 per bet.
There were four players from the U.K., where Omaha was more popular than on the American West Coast, and Phil Hellmuth, the 1989 World Champion and the holder of six bracelets.
“If you’re coming into the game and you’re 21 years old now, you better be fundamentally sound. You better be theoretically solid. Because nowadays if you’re playing for 50 bucks, people, they care. They’re trying to beat you. They want to play their best game and beat you. Even at the smallest limits.”
According to Palansky, there were three events that sparked the boom in the mid-aughts: the advent of hole card cameras, which led to poker emerging as a compelling television property; the creation of software that allowed people to play for real money over the internet, which created global pools of players and fed thousands of new players into tournaments, pushing prize pools into the millions with tons of dead money; and an accountant from Tennessee entering the 2003 WSOP Main Event after winning a $40 online satellite and beating a field of 839 players to take home the World Championship and $2.5 million.
Phil Hellmuth, who currently leads the WSOP bracelet race with 14, is one of the most successful tournament players of all time.
Some players may be better at borrowing money than at playing poker, or they may be good at finding games full of weaker players or that otherwise suit their strengths.
One of those players was Phil Ivey.After three straight days of playing poker in the storied gambling hall, only seven players remained.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Greatest Movie Props of All Time: From Lightsabers to Wilson”

Perry Blake, co-production designer: “It was a totally fabricated prop. We started with the hockey stick, in terms of the size of it. The bottom part was, more or less, like a hockey stick, but we also wanted to make it flat and smooth. As far as I know, there wasn’t anything like this that existed – it’s not like you could go online and buy them, and I don’t remember anybody having them.”We mocked them up and would bring them to director Dennis Dugan, and, you know, Adam is very involved in his movies, so he was testing them out and looking at them and deciding which one he liked best.
We wanted to have one ‘prove-it’ shot that was like a 25ft putt, one where Adam actually made it.
“I remember the day we were shooting that scene, it was basically like, OK, we’re just gonna sit here, and Adam’s gonna shoot the ball from way back there until he makes it in. Everyone was betting on how many it would be: Is it gonna take him more than five shots? Is it gonna take him 10 shots? Finally, when he made it in, everybody went crazy. It was a lot of fun.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The most effective individual steps to tackle climate change aren’t being discussed”

Governments and schools are not communicating the most effective ways for individuals to reduce their carbon footprints, according to new research.
Published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the study from Lund University, found that the incremental changes advocated by governments may represent a missed opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beneath the levels needed to prevent 2°C of climate warming.
The four actions that most substantially decrease an individual’s carbon footprint are: eating a plant-based diet, avoiding air travel, living car-free, and having smaller families.
The research analysed 39 peer reviewed papers, carbon calculators, and government reports to calculate the potential of a range of individual lifestyle choices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Lead author Seth Wynes said:”There are so many factors that affect the climate impact of personal choices, but bringing all these studies side-by-side gives us confidence we’ve identified actions that make a big difference.
“We found there are four actions that could result in substantial decreases in an individual’s carbon footprint: eating a plant-based diet, avoiding air travel, living car free, and having smaller families. For example, living car-free saves about 2.4 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, while eating a plant-based diet saves 0.8 tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year.”
Study co-author Kimberly Nicholas said: “We recognize these are deeply personal choices. But we can’t ignore the climate effect our lifestyle actually has. Personally, I’ve found it really positive to make many of these changes. It’s especially important for young people establishing lifelong patterns to be aware which choices have the biggest impact. We hope this information sparks discussion and empowers individuals,” she concluded.
Explore further: Emphasizing individual solutions to big issues can reduce support for government efforts.

The orginal article.