cybersecurity, hospital system attack, ransomware suspected
The author writes, “A major hospital chain has been hit by what appears to be one of the largest medical cyberattacks in US history. Computer systems for Universal Health Services — which has more than 400 locations, primarily in the US — began to fail over the weekend, and some hospitals had to resort to filing patient information using pen and paper, according to multiple people familiar with the situation.” Photo credit: Georgia National Guard / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A Radical Right-Wing Dream to Rewrite the Constitution Is Close to Coming True (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Six weeks before Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, more than 100 state lawmakers gathered in Williamsburg, Virginia, for a week of Founding Fathers cosplay. Their task, over three days in the town that bills itself as a living museum to America’s colonial period, was to approve a dramatic overhaul of the United States’ foundational text. The lawmakers, nearly all Republicans, ratified six new Constitutional amendments: They imposed term limits on members of Congress, abolished the federal income tax and placed severe limits on the federal government’s ability to levy taxes, implement new regulations or spend money. While the rest of the country focused on the presidential election, the Virginia gathering partied like it was 1787.”

At Supreme Court, Mean Girls Meet 1st Amendment (Bethany)

From NPR: “Even Supreme Court advocates can look at a case before the court with their own teenage years in mind. And lawyer Gregory Garre sums up Wednesday’s case this way: ‘Mean girls meet the First Amendment.’ More than a half-century ago, the court, in a 7-to-2 vote, ruled that students do have free speech rights at school, unless the speech is disruptive. Now, the justices are being asked to clarify whether, in the internet age, schools can punish students for off-campus speech.”

Amazon May Be Sued For Injuries Caused by Defective Products Sold on Its Website, Court Rules (Reader Steve)

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “Amazon.com may be sued for injuries caused by defects in products sold on its website, a state appeals court says, since the tech giant controls much of the sales process and can pressure manufacturers to make their products safer. California law already makes companies ‘strictly liable’ for injuries caused by defective products they make or sell, allowing victims to sue for damages without having to prove the manufacturer or retailer was negligent. Ruling Monday in a suit by a woman who suffered burns after a hoverboard sold on Amazon caught fire, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles said the same standard applies to a company that is a ‘direct link’ between buyers and sellers.”

Flushing a Public Toilet? Don’t Linger, Because Aerosolized Droplets Do (Mili)

The author writes, “Because COVID-19 has been detected in urine and stool samples, public restrooms can be cause for concern. Researchers measured droplets generated from flushing a toilet and a urinal in a public restroom and found a substantial increase in the measured aerosol levels in the ambient environment with the total number of droplets generated in each flushing test ranging up to the tens of thousands. Due to their small size, these droplets can remain suspended for a long time.”

Man Finds Christmas Wish List Tied to Balloon Over 600 Miles Away From Kids (Dana)

The author writes, “Twin sisters received a late Christmas gift from a stranger almost 650 miles away after he found a holiday wish list tied to a balloon. In December, Leticia Flores-Gonzalez had her 4-year-olds, Luna and Gianella Gonzalez, tie their lists to balloons and release them into the sky above their home in Liberal, Kansas. It was their way of reaching Santa Claus. ‘It was important doing something special for my girls because of the hard year we had during the coronavirus pandemic. I wanted them to feel like 2020 was another year spent with mom making beautiful memories,’ Flores-Gonzalez told CNN. ‘It was never with the purpose someone would find the balloon. I thought it would deflate and would just disappear somewhere in a tree nearby.’ But one of those balloons did make it to a man with white facial hair — and a big heart.”

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