Alfred Twu’s Map of State Level COVID-19 Pacts

Over on Twitter, Alfred Twu has been creating and updating a map of the United States, showing how the formation of various state-level COVID-19 pacts given the lack of federal leadership.

This looks like the sort of map you’d find next to an audio log in a post-apocalyptic video game.

Alfred Twu's Map of State Level COVID-19 Pacts
Alfred Twu’s Map of State Level COVID-19 Pacts

Android 11 Preview Introduces Option to Disable Permissions for Unused Apps

The third Developer Preview of Android 11 includes an option for users to automatically disable permissions for apps that are not used for a prolonged period of time.

According to’s article on the new feature,

The feature is named “Auto revoke permissions” and it is disabled by default. It is buried deep inside the App permissions menu in the Settings app at the bottom of every app listing. The feature needs to be enabled manually for apps that you have installed on your Android device and there’s no global toggle for it. Seemingly, the feature does not revoke all permissions from an app when it is not used in months. It is also unclear as to how long it takes for the feature to revoke permissions from an unused app.

Android 11 Developer Preview - Auto Revoke App Permissions
Android 11 Developer Preview – Auto Revoke App Permissions

Good idea, but this should a) be a system-level toggle, b) create a notification when an app’s permissions have been revoked, c) add a notification system that simply lets users know when an app they have installed hasn’t been used in X days (where X days would be user definable), and d) when such an app is accessed again, there needs to be a notice to users that permissions were disabled automatically along with the requisite screen for users to indicate whether they would like to re-enable those permissions.

2020 Is So Meta–Construction Crew Edition

A construction crew in Colorado apparently cut through some fiber optics lines, ironically causing an outage with the state’s 811 call-before-you-dig line.

It looks like someone may have forgotten to call before they started digging and now others are unable to do so due to an outage of the Colorado 811 hotline caused by a busted fiber line.

. . .

Anyone who’s digging deep or even just a few inches must contact Colorado 811 to have underground utilities marked for safety.

Colorado 811 will not be able to take any calls Tuesday afternoon or evening, but residents can utilize their online services to submit ticket requests. The non-profit said they would update their social media pages with the latest information.

1,000 Year Old Mill In England Begins Producing Flour Again to Meet Local Demand

The Sturminster Newton Mill sits on a site that has housed a mill for more than 1,000 years, but had been reduced to a tourist’s attraction for the last 50 years–until COVID-19. Now, the mill has returned to operation temporarily to meet local flour needs.

But with tourists in lockdown, millers Pete Loosmore and Imogen Bittner have turned it back into commercial production.

And in just 10 days they have already milled a tonne of wheat – which is usually a year’s supply for the facility.

The mill, which has been run by local charity the Sturminster Newton Heritage Trust since 1994, has already supplied 200 bags of flour weighing 3.3lbs to local grocers and bakers.

Mrs Bittner said: “We were due to open on March 28 and had already bought our grain for the season.

“Without visitors, we’ll be taking quite a hit but this will help to make up for a bit of the lost income.

“We’re only doing this while the crisis lasts and it’s not only helping us but the local community because there is a shortage of flour.

“In one way we have an advantage over the bigger mills, which are used to selling large sacks to the wholesale trade and don’t have the machinery or manpower to put the flour into small bags.”

A lot of reports about this refer to the mill as being more than 1,000 years old, which leads into more philosphical questions about at what point modifying or rebuilding an existing structure results in a “new” building.

According to the Sturminster Newton Heritage Trust,

Sturminster Newton Mill is one of a series of ancient flour mills built on the River Stour. It is thought that there may have been a mill on this site in Saxon times and there is evidence that a mill existed in 1016. The Mill is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 where four mills in the Sturminster area are mentioned.

The present L-shaped building consists of the south and north wings. The south wing, which sits firmly on the river bank, was last rebuilt c.1650 on a centuries-old site. The north wing, which juts out into the river, was originally a completely separate fulling mill built in 1611. It was demolished in the late 18th century and rebuilt in brick on its original stone base to join with and extend the grain mill.