SANITY BREAK This is one of the winners of the 2020 Audubon Photography Awards: A gorgeous American Dipper, caught just as it's ducking its head in water in search of prey. The rest of these beauties are .
HEADLINES THAT MATTER THE GREAT TWITTER ROBBERY Unknown persons to Twitter’s internal systems and tools. They sent out messages from some of the most famous handles: Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Kim Kardashian West and Bill Gates. The tweets asked followers to send them bitcoins (the cryptocurrency)—and promised to pay them double the price in return. They managed to make $118,000 via the scam. Why this matters: * This is the worst security breach in Twitter’s history. Previous breaches include: hacking of CEO last year. * Back then, he lost control for only 20 minutes. This time, the attack continued , and the platform had to shut down all its verified accounts (with those blue ticks). * The hackers managed to gain at least one mid-level employee’s admin privileges—which had system-wide access. reports that the employee was “convinced” to hand them over. * The : Did the hackers have access to private messages, which would be a massive breach of privacy? Also: Is this just the beginning of a campaign to spread chaos and disinformation ahead of the US presidential election? * Also: a pattern of rogue Twitter employees. Last year, US authorities two of spying for Saudi Arabia—one of whom is a close associate of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. THE TROUBLES OF TRUMP : 174 Indian citizens have filed a lawsuit challenging the suspension of H-1B visas. Many of them are stranded outside the United States—and some are minor dependents who pose no threat to an American’s job prospects. : The US President posted an with him at his White House desk surrounded by cookies, coconut milk, canned beans etc. made by a company called Goya. This came the day after his daughter Ivanka out a selfie with a Goya can of beans. It isn’t clear if Trump is getting ready for his next job come November—or if he’s trolling those who are calling for a boycott of the company (the Latino CEO is a big Trumper). But neither changes a key US law: government employees “shall not use or permit the use of his Government position or title or any authority associated with his public office to endorse any product.” INDIA GAGS GREEN GROUPS Government authorities have blocked the websites of at least three environmental groups—LetIndiabreathe.in, FridaysforFuture.in and ThereisnoEarthB.com. The reason: They have strongly criticized the government’s plan to significantly weaken environmental laws. has more on this new form of targeted ‘digital lockdown’. CHINESE COMPANIES HIT BACK Alibaba-owned UCWeb has sent termination letters to some of its staff—specifically citing the Indian ban as the reason. Club Factory has backed out of its contracts with sellers citing the ‘force majeure’ (or extraordinary event) clause. () A BINDI-SIZED CONFUSION Brand expert Karthik Srinivasan called out Scotch-Brite’s logo—noting that it featured a woman with a bindi. In his blog post, he noted: > “While a lint roller does not carry this, other products like scrub pad/sponge, sink brush, broom, bathroom wipe, stainless > steel scrub, toilet brush do carry it...In 2020, such gender markers seem awkward and out of place. I sure hope the good folks > at 3M take note of this legacy logo and update it." The company’s marketing head happily agreed, responding to Srinivasan’s post: “You have correctly surmised that this is a legacy vector and that it is undoubtedly time to move on from regressive beliefs”—and claimed that the brand plans to change its logo. Then everything went off-track. And Srinivasan’s observation instead sparked a #WearABindi campaign. Women tweeted out of themselves in bindis, accompanied by messages such as: “Do I look regressive to you @ScotchBriteIn?” Mercifully, the ladies soon realised they were victims of —specifically on the part of News InShorts. Lesson of this story: Getting your news from curation apps can be hazardous to your understanding. This shows why.
SANITY BREAK Did you know that opera legend Andrea Bocelli has a son named Matteo? Have you heard them sing Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect Symphony’ together? Well, you’re missing out… especially on Matteo! We prefer the , but Bocelli Jr looks even hotter in this . Just saying...
SMART & CURIOUS A LIST OF CURIOUS FACTS —the world’s heaviest bird—can fly for five hours without once flapping its wings. is using 35 balloons—as ‘floating cell towers’—to bring internet to remote parts of Kenya. The speed: 4.74 mbps uplink, and downlink speed of 18.9 mbps. That’s faster than our Airtel most of the time. in human years is: The natural logarithm of the dog’s age multiplied by 16 plus 31. So an 8-week-old puppy is the same age as a 9-month-old baby, but a 1-year-old dog is a thirty-one. to the British for a one-square-mile island in Indonesia back in 1677. The reason: at the time, they believed it was the world’s sole source of nutmeg. Less known fact: The Dutch East India Company slaughtered and enslaved the local population to ensure their monopoly. turn from green to bright yellow during the monsoon season to attract mates. And they look like this: —a desert rain frog native to South Africa—squeaks like a dog toy. No lies, our lab jumped up instantly when we played this video. Please feel free to similarly torture your dogs. mummy sounds like this. This is a slightly dated—January, 2020—but no less curious fact.
LIFE ADVISORY SO YOU WANNA WATCH SOMETHING... * For action lovers, we highly recommend Charlize Theron kicking high-adrenalin ass in ‘’ on Netflix. * Looking to recreate bygone feels? ‘’ has landed on Netflix. * And if you’re a sci-fi lover, you better not have missed out on ‘’ on Amazon Prime. It is the most ambitious and compelling space saga since ‘’. SO YOU’RE MISSING TIKTOK… Would it help to point out that many TikTokers in America are flocking to Byte? It is the number one downloaded app on the Apple Store in July. offers a detailed guide on how to use it. SO YOU WANNA READ SOMETHING... There is no shortage of reading recommendations. But we liked this list of novels from because it includes an excellent mix of the light and the cerebral, and spans a range of genres—perfect for those of us who may not always have time to deep-read.
THE FEEL GOOD PLACE Ok, we don’t know how to describe this gem from a 1970s Pakistani movie, but we remain eternally grateful to founding member Ruchika Chanana for passing it along. for a whole new spin on cricket! goes with everything. You probably have seen the ‘Chunari Chunari’ mashup. This one is for our dearly beloved Punjabis!
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