PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Why You Should Stop Using This ‘Dangerous’ Wi-Fi Setting On Your iPhone (Maria)

The author writes, “So, Apple has fixed its dangerous and embarrassing Wi-Fi issue. iOS 14.7 has added ‘improved checks,’ Apple says, to stop its devices from ‘joining a malicious Wi-Fi network [that] may result in a denial of service or arbitrary code execution.’ But iOS 14.7 doesn’t keep you safe from Wi-Fi attacks. … You shouldn’t join public Wi-Fi networks even manually, but you should absolutely, categorically, stop your phone from auto-joining such networks — which it is very likely set up by default to do.”

How the Delta Variant Achieves Its Ultrafast Spread (Doug)

From Nature: “Since first appearing in India in late 2020, the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has become the predominant strain in much of the world. Researchers might now know why Delta has been so successful: people infected with it produce far more virus than do those infected with the original version of SARS-CoV-2, making it very easy to spread. According to current estimates, the Delta variant could be more than twice as transmissible as the original strain of SARS-CoV-2.”

Canada’s New COVID Border Rules Have Put Us in Our Place (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Don’t look now but our Canada problem is showing again. Our neighbors to the north are making us look bad one more time, and also shrewdly putting us in a bit of a political pickle. [Last] week the Canadian government announced, unilaterally, that it would open its border to Americans hoping to visit. Not to just any Americans, though. Starting Aug. 9, the crossing at Blaine and the entire 5,500-mile border will be open only to … vaccinated Americans. Meaning: About half of us. Canada’s doors are open halfway.”

Shoplifting Is Big News; Stealing Millions From Workers Is Not (Gerry)

From FAIR: “Urban crime is the golden child of local media, as recent FAIR coverage has shown. But as FAIR’s Julie Hollar recently noted, the amount of attention given to a topic does not always reflect the seriousness of the situation. An alleged ‘crime surge’ at Walgreens drugstores in San Francisco was a hot topic for Bay Area news outlets in the early months of 2021. When Lyanne Melendez, a reporter for the ABC-owned KGO-TV in San Francisco, tweeted out a cellphone video of a brazen shoplifter, it elevated this narrative into a nationwide story. The video purports to show a man apparently filling a garbage bag with items before riding a bicycle out of the store, as two people, one of whom seems to be a store security guard, record him. FAIR identified 309 published pieces on the 21-second video, using a combination of Nexis and Google advanced search to find every article published by a news outlet, from the video’s publication on June 14 to July 12—a 28-day timeframe.”

Why You’re So Anxious About Going Back to the Office (Sean)

From Harvard Business Review: “If you’re feeling social anxiety about returning to the office, you’re not alone. Many folks are feeling unsettled. After over a year of remote work — and seeing our coworkers only on screen — the idea of seeing everyone again in person can feel overwhelming. And, since the Covid landscape is still in flux, it’s hard to feel sure about how long the ‘return to normal’ will last. You might be wondering why getting back to the office is rattling you so much. After all, you coped with office-life before. Here’s why the transition back to our glass towers might feel surprisingly difficult, and how to ease your reentry.”

Harry Rosenfeld, Who Saw News in a ‘Third-Rate Burglary,’ Dies at 91 (Dan)

The author writes, “Harry M. Rosenfeld, who injected his brash brand of journalism into The Washington Post, where he oversaw the two reporters who transformed a local crime story into the national Watergate corruption scandal that toppled the Nixon administration, died on July 16 at his home in upstate Slingerlands, N.Y. He was 91. The cause was complications of Covid-19, his daughter Amy Rosenfeld Kaufman said.”

A Grizzly Bear Terrorized a Man for Days in Alaska. The Coast Guard Saw His SOS. (Nick)

The author writes, “He was sleep-deprived and nearly out of ammunition, alone in the wilderness of Alaska. Well, not really alone. For several nights in a row, the man had fended off the tenacious advances of a grizzly bear that had attacked him a few days earlier at a mining camp some 40 miles outside Nome. There was no way to phone for help. But then help found him.”

Archaeologists ‘Flabbergasted’ to Find Cerne Giant’s Origins Are Medieval (Mili)

The author writes, “The Cerne Abbas Giant is a 180-foot-tall figure of a naked man wielding a large club, carved with chalk into a hilltop in Dorset, England. The figure’s generously sized erect phallus has earned it the nickname ‘Rude Man’ and no doubt contributes to its popularity as a tourist attraction. Archaeologists have long speculated over exactly when, and why, the geoglyph was first created. Now, thanks to a new analysis of sediment samples, researchers have narrowed down the likely date for the Rude Man’s creation to the late Saxon period — a surprising result, since no other similar chalk figures in the region are known to date from that time period.”

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