Links 10-3-22: A Flu Variant's Disappearance, All Platforms Become Malls, and Killing the Newsletter

Posted on Oct 3, 2022

Leading Seasonal Flu Variant on the Brink of Extinction

Around four prominent lineages of flu circulate the globe and since March 2020, influenza surveillance hasn’t detected any of the B/Yamagata sequence strain.

Considering public health measures have been all but abandoned in the Northern Hemisphere we are due for a brutal flu season, but the disappearance of this variant could be good news, but Beth Mole notes this could be a double-edged sword.

Having fewer flu viruses around means it could be easier to match future vaccines to circulating viruses, making seasonal shots more effective. On the other hand, a surprise re-emergence of B/Yamagata could become more dangerous as time passes and people lose immunity. But, before health experts can game out future influenza seasons, they’d like to know if B/Yamagata is truly gone.

All Platforms Become Shopping Malls

TikTok is keeping the dream of live shop, well, alive. Live shopping is meant to a QVC-style live stream of product sales. Instead of every three posts being book-ended by an image or a short ad, the future may hold a person, in real-time, hawking wares at you.

Instagram or Facebook those spaces have now long devolved into a place to sell things and bury content that isn’t explicitly meant to have you buy things. I’ve heard many people compliment the TikTok algorithm. For those using TikTok, I hope this feature doesn’t kill the algorithm and wreck the feeds they have curated for themselves.

We still live to see the days of shitposters abusing a Twitter marketplace feature.

Kill The Newsletter

For a while, I was using Hey Email’s ability to sort newsletters into a specific feed inbox, but I switched to kill the newsletter, which takes the emails and creates your own RSS feed.

I then piped this into my RSS reader, Feedly. While Feedly does have the independent ability to subscribe to newsletters, I wanted to prevent RSS reader lock in (should Google reader get resurrected) and be able to port my newsletter subscriptions easily.

Another bonus is that on top of being open-source, it’s free forever and the website claims they do not retain any information. If you want a weekend project, you can also host it yourself.

Linked Resources

“Kill the Newsletter!” Accessed October 3, 2022. kill-the-newsletter.com/.

Mole, Beth. “COVID May Have Pushed a Leading Seasonal Flu Strain to Extinction.” Ars Technica, September 30, 2022. arstechnica.com/science/2…

Roth, Emma. “TikTok’s Reportedly Still Planning to Launch Live Shopping in the US.” The Verge, October 1, 2022. www.theverge.com/2022/10/1…

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