A picture of a pathway through a graveyard, lined either side with a row of trees and gravestones. At the end of the pathway is a wooden building.

Links of the week: Planting trees, hacker news & self-reflection

Some weeks you can feel like you can do a lot but have nothing to show for it. This week almost feels like one of those weeks. I have been busy, but I can’t tell you what I’ve done. And not because I am keeping it a secret.

This weekend is coming to a close. Amid meeting friends and volunteering at the Red Cross, we managed to clean the apartment, put up some picture frames and take a nice walk through Oslo.

Here’s a round up of things that have happened elsewhere:

A photo of a green tree

Planting trees in Australia

Ecosia, the search engine that promises to plant trees around the globe, is putting 100% of it’s profits from this Thursday towards planting native, subtropical trees in the Byron Bay area of Australia.

All the details of the initiative are on the Ecosia blog. If you needed an excuse to move away from Google, at least for a day, there isn’t a better reason. Try it now.

A screenshot of the website copychar.cc in Brave browser on Mac OS

℃opy ⅋ Ƥaste

Do you often need a special character in your writing, but you don’t know the secret keyboard shortcut? You need CopyChar. Just click or tap on a character and it will be copied to your clipboard.

I used to use CopyPasteCharacter for the same job, but they use Flash player and that’s dead wood.

A picture of Saudi Arabia's crown prince meeting Jeff Bezos. They both are sitting in what looks like a hotel room, dressed in suits and laughing together.

The crown prince of Saudi Arabia showcases elite hacking skills

Apparently, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, sent an infected WhatsApp video to the world’s richest book store owner, Jeff Bezos. You might also know him as the big boss man of Amazon or Washington Post owner.

After opening the seemingly innocent video, large amounts of data were exfiltrated from Bezos’s phone within hours, according to a person familiar with the matter. This was not too long after the crown prince toured the US meeting everyone from Donald Trump to Bill Gates to Oprah and The Rock.

Should you care? Probably not. But you should probably care about your own digital security and privacy. You can get some great tips and tricks from privacytools.io.

An image of a security camera attached to a blank wall

EU look to ban face-recognition technology

According to a white-paper draft obtained by Politico, the EU are looking to ban the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces for the next five years. This would allow time for the introduction of proper regulation.

In true Silicon Valley style, today’s facial recognition technology is not good at identifying women and people of colour and 46% of folk in the UK want to opt-out of being recognised. Another reason to have stuck with the EU membership.

Google and Microsoft representatives have slightly different opinions on the issue. Coincidentally, Microsoft sells such technology to government agencies.

An illustration of an office worker sat at a desk thinking about various things.

Pause before you begin

As we race towards the end of January, maybe it’s a good time for some reflection of the 11 months ahead. 99u have pulled together a guide based around 6 key areas of assessment based on a model published in 1976 by Dr. Bill Hettler.

Or for a different take, try these 13 prompts for planning creative resolutions which can be used as talking points when having a word with yourself.