Tag Archives: The Apocalypticon

The Apocalypticon ~ Trumps inspires fascists, world heat, world problems


Trump inspires searches for definitions of Fascism — Donald Trump held another neo-fascist rally Thursday in North Carolina USA where the crowd chanted things like “treason,” “traitor” and “send her back,” while Trump talked about Democratic members of US Congress. Online dictionary searches in the US from just after the rally show just how bad things have become in the country. [Hey, Donald, how about setting up the Trump Youth? Fun for all the kids, right? Well, fun for the white ones, anyway.]
Trump’s ‘go back’ rhetoric is sign of a racially divisive and turbulent year to come, writes the NPR.
New documents reveal how Trump, Cohen, aides worked to seal hush money deals — Trump took part in phone calls with his then-personal lawyer Michael Cohen as the attorney and other aides scrambled to arrange hush payments.
US tests killing robotised vehicles — The US Army has already been testing robotic squad vehicles such as the Multi-Utility Tactical Transport (MUTT) and semi-autonomous targeting systems such as the Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System (ATLAS). It will soon conduct live-fire testing of a new Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) built on M113 armoured personnel carrier chassis next year. [When a machine kills someone, where sits the moral conundrum? Squarely with the regime deploying them, rather than soldiers charged to carry out murder.]
A journalist has been digging into years of corruption and disfunction at the US Border Protection Agency. Customs and Border Protection is the largest law enforcement agency in the US, with 45,000 gun-carrying officers and agents. It’s larger than the NYPD and larger than the US Coast Guard.
Oakland also bans fail recognition — The Oakland City Council in California has voted unanimously to ban the use of facial recognition technology by the city, including its police force. It’s the third ban of the tech by a US city since May.
Marshall Islands still radioactive after US tests — An analysis of soil samples, ocean sediment, and fruits from the Marshall Islands, the site of nearly 70 nuclear weapons tests during the 1940s and 1950s, has revealed alarmingly high levels of radiation, with some regions at levels exceeding areas affected by the Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters.

Big Data — The European Union is planning an antitrust investigation into e-commerce giant Amazon over its treatment of third-party merchants that rely on the company’s marketplace to sell goods, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
US lawmakers want Amazon investigated — Over a dozen progressive US lawmakers have co-signed a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to request a “comprehensive investigation into the workplace conditions” in Amazon and its subsidiary businesses’ warehouses.
App boss is a terrible master — US same-day grocery service Instacart has a checkered past when it comes to fair and dignified labour practices, and now dozens of its contract workers are claiming that the company app torments them into accepting shitty jobs or suffering the consequences. [Keep that in mind when considering a robotised fighting vehicle, as above.]
Google yanks dogs apps — Google has yanked several apps from its Play Store after cybersecurity firm Avast identified them as “all likely designed by a Russian developer to allow people to stalk employees, romantic partners, or kids.”
Now you can find out which Facebook advertisers get your data — The next time you see Facebook ads for, say, erectile dysfunction pills or egg freezing, you can check to see why you were targeted by those brands and where the companies got your data. [I deleted Facebook a few months back and it’s like being able to breathe again. I also got big time benefits.]
Data on all Bulgarians —Someone has stolen the personal and financial information of millions of Bulgarian taxpayers, likely the majority of the adult population.

Climate fears — Arctic on fire: Vast stretches of Earth’s northern latitudes are on fire right now. Hot weather has engulfed a huge portion of the Arctic, from Alaska to Greenland to Siberia. That’s helped create conditions ripe for wildfires, including some truly massive fires burning in remote parts of the region that are being seen by satellites.
Coral and poop — It’s no secret corals are dying at an alarming rate. While climate change heating up the oceans is understood to be screwing over corals, a new study points fingers at a different culprit: human poop.
Chennai gets rain but has no water — This city of nearly 10 million — India’s sixth largest — has almost run out of water. But why? Industry is diverting the water for its own use before it reaches the reservoirs.
Heatwaves to further engulf America — As the globe warms in the years ahead, days with extreme heat are forecast to skyrocket across hundreds of US cities, a new study suggests, perhaps even breaking the “heat index.”
Rome is sweltering and has trash everywhere — Flocks of cawing seagulls have replaced traffic roar as the soundtrack of Roman life.

While we’re out in the world — Ebola a health emergency: The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced this week that it has elected to declare the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo a “public health emergency of international concern,” a decision that comes nearly a year after the outbreak was first declared and after the infection of thousands of people.
Dutch complicity in Srebrenica — The Netherlands’ Supreme Court has affirmed the country’s troops are partly to blame for the deaths of 350 Muslim men and boys after the fall of the Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica. But in a break with an earlier ruling, the court lowered the Dutch liability for the massacre to 10%, from 30%.
Insufficient fruit and vegetables — If everyone around the globe began to eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, there wouldn’t be enough to go around. That’s the conclusion of a new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health.

But there is some good news — The 20-50 metre asteroid 2006 QV8 will not hit the Earth on September 9th 2019.
Ace arsehole Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical CEO widely known as Pharma Bro, has lost his bid to overturn a seven-year prison sentence for fraud. Hurrah!

The Apocalypticon ~ Shit version of New Zealand, trolls and twits


Around the apocalyptical world — why is Australia the shit version of New Zealand? Or so asks Australian Tegan Jones.
Abandoned Russian sub leaking radiation — Using a robotic sub, a team of investigators has detected traces of radiation leaking from Komsomolets, a Soviet nuclear submarine that sank 30 years ago in the Norwegian Sea. The recorded radiation levels are unusually high, but scientists say it’s not threatening humans or marine life.
Massive seaweed bloom the ‘new normal’? Scientists in Florida have detected the largest seaweed bloom in the world. Extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the African coast, the unusually large bloom is threatening marine life and coastal regions, with the researchers warning it’s likely a sign of things to come.
A bloom of toxic algae has forced Mississippi to close 25 beaches along its Gulf Coast.
Beautiful Russian lake is actually toxic — The turquoise water of a lake in Siberia looks like a tropical paradise and it’s drawn in hundreds of Instagrammers who have posed in and around the ‘Novosibirsk Maldives.’ But it’s not white sands or microscopic plankton that give the water its unusual hue: the “lake” is actually a human-made ash dump, used to store toxic byproducts from a power plant’s burned coal.
Largest carbon sync is now leaching its carbon — Carbon that’s been locked up in the Congo Basin’s rainforest soils for hundreds to thousands of years is starting to seep out. This because the rainforest is being steamrolled for agriculture and charcoal production.
Turkey chooses Russian missiles — The first pieces of the S-400 missile defence system Turkey bought from Russia, against the wishes of the U.S. and NATO, has begun arriving, according to Turkey’s National Defense Ministry. In response, the Pentagon is expected to announce that Turkey will be barred from receiving the new F-35 fighter.
Streaming online porn and Netflix produces as much CO2 as Belgium — The transmission and viewing of online videos generates 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, or nearly 1% of global emissions. On-demand video services such as Netflix account for a third of this, with online pornographic videos generating another third.

Trolls and twits — Facebook’s Libra project getting criticised: Facebook’s already-troubled Libra cryptocurrency project, which has already run into significant opposition among the US House Committee on Financial Services and the Senate Banking Committee, is running headlong into further resistance from regulators.
President Trump has announced he is directing his administration to explore all regulatory and legislation solutions to “protect the free speech of all Americans.” [So wait, Americans do understand irony?]
US civil rights organisations were, somehow, both pleased and exasperated with Twitter after the social network announced the latest update to its rules against “hateful conduct.”
Cortez being sued — Representative. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat for New York, is being sued by two people who say they criticised her on Twitter and were then blocked from her account, which has more than 4.7 million followers.
Humans are listening to your questions to Google Assistant — Human contractors have been transcribing audio clips from Google Assistant devices, according to Belgium’s VRT NWS.

And the good news? If you’re reading this, you’re probably still breathing, too.

 

The Apocalypticon ~ Trash talking, data-harming and global warming


Trash talking — Americans create the most waste in the world, they’re among the worst at recycling it.
So why not add infamy to idiocy? That’s clearly what Trump figured when he hailed America’s military and declared the US “is stronger today than it ever was before” in a Fourth of July speech with patriotic themes underscored by flyovers from fighter jets and displays of tanks near the stage at the Lincoln Memorial. [At least now we know what he learnt from Kim Jong-Un in that quick visit to North Korea.]
That mighty US Air Force, which is really really powerful, dropped dummy bombs on Florida by mistake on July 1st. The public has been asked not to touch them. [Hoorah!]
Fewer than 40% of Americans have ever had an HIV test, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These rates are even lower in states with rural areas where the disease is disproportionately more common.
Frack that — A sweeping report that evolved from work that helped ban fracking in New York State has been released to help the American public fight the practice as it pops up elsewhere across the country.
Massive wiretap — A single court-authorised wiretap order resulted in authorities in the Southern District of Texas, USA, scooping up more than 9.2 million communications.
NSA improperly collected US phone call data even after saying problem was fixed.

Data wars — ‘Impartial’ Zuckerberg doesn’t want Facebook broken up: the US government shouldn’t break up Facebook because that wouldn’t address the real problems that people face in the age of social media, according to CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, a man who is currently worth an estimated $US71.5 billion ($102 billion) precisely because the social media company is so large.
Civil rights leaders unimpressed at Facebook’s attempts — Many civil rights leaders directly involved in discussions with Facebook say the company has only agreed so far to half-steps unlikely to effect substantive change.
Italy slaps Facebook … with wet bus ticket — Italy’s privacy watchdog announced its decision to fine world-swallowing social platform Facebook €1 million (about $NZ1.7 million) for the catastrophic mishandling of data associated with now-defunct Cambridge Analytica. [Wow, yeah, that’s only going to affect the lunch buffet for a few weeks.]
Alexa keeps your conversations — Next time you use Amazon Alexa to message a friend or order a pizza, know that the recording could be stored indefinitely, even if you ask to delete it.
Google’s toxic data mess — Google’s internet freedom moonshot has gotten glowing attention for its ambitious projects. But current and former employees, leaked documents, and internal messages reveal a grim reality. “The mission of the team is to save the day for the poor brown people.” Yikes!
Bitcoin uses as much energy as the whole of Switzerland — That’s according to a new online tool from the University of Cambridge.
Iranian authorities have seized about 1000 bitcoin mining machines in two abandoned factories, state television reported, after warnings that the activity had led to a spike in consumption of government-subsidised electricity.
New Zealand anger at Google — Government officials in New Zealand are angry and considering legal options after Google sent newsletter subscribers information about a murder case last year.
Mental health suffers with social media use — In a survey of over 22,000 people in Indonesia, researchers have found that heavy social media usage is linked to poor mental health there.

Heat — Hot world, hot France: The small, quaint town of Villevieille, southern France, the temperature soared to 45.11°C (113.2 degrees F). Météo-France, the national weather service, issued its highest warning level for four French regions.
Temperatures climbed to 32°C (90°F) in Anchorage, Alaska — This broke the all-time heat record for the northerly city. It was also the driest June on record.
Indian water apocalypse — A combination of climate change, bad policies and political apathy is steadily pushing India into a catastrophic water crisis that threatens stability in South Asia.
Less ice — Floating ice off the southern continent steadily increased from 1979 and hit a record high in 2014. But three years later, the annual average extent of Antarctic sea ice hit its lowest mark, wiping out three-and-a-half decades of gains — and then some, a NASA study of satellite data shows.
US wasps enjoy the extra heat — Typical yellow jacket nests might contain up to a few thousand workers in a cavity, but if the weather doesn’t get cold enough in the winter to kill off many of these insects, the nests can live on. This has produced car-sized nests containing 15,000 insects or more.
Cockroaches getting harder to kill — The cockroaches that plague our homes are even more indestructible than we thought, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Purdue in Indiana.

But planting more trees could really help with climate change — We’d need to add a US-sized chunk of trees, though. As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide emissions that are driving global heating. Tree planting is “a climate change solution that doesn’t require President Trump to immediately start believing in climate change, or scientists to come up with technological solutions to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere”, professor Tom Crowther said. “It is available now, it is the cheapest one possible and every one of us can get involved.”

The Apocalypticon ~ Trump hell-bent, exacerbating inequality, climate fears, tranche of idiots


Trump administration debates encryption … behind closed doors. Officials held a National Security Council meeting in the US focussed on the challenges and benefits of encryption.
Emails reveal how the Trump regime creates Twitter propaganda to excuse the migrant baby jails — On May 31, 2018, the Twitter account for Tyler Q Houlton, former press secretary for the US Department of Homeland Security sent out a tweet lecturing Senator Dianne Feinstein of California about the Trump regime’s immigration policies.
The bizarrely confrontational tweet starts with “News Flash @SenFeinstein: We don’t have a policy of separating families.” But as we now know, the Trump regime did, in fact, have a policy of separating children from their families at the border, and the policy never really stopped. But the tweet wasn’t just a hot-headed, spur-of-the-moment slip-up: the tweet went through revisions and was reviewed by numerous people before it was sent out into the world.
United States Homeland Security officials have attempted to downplay the impact of a security intrusion that reached deep into the network of a federal surveillance contractor, secret documents, handbooks, and slides concerning surveillance technology deployed along US borders are being widely and openly shared online. Reporters are digging through the dump and already expanding our understanding of the enormous surveillance apparatus being erected on the US border.
No toothpaste for camp kids — The US Justice Department argued in federal court that government agencies like Customs and Border Protection have no responsibility to provide toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap to migrant kids who are currently held in America’s vast network of concentration camps. [Well, did the Nazis provide toothbrushes and toothpaste for their concentration camp inmates? No, they did not.]
Star Wars convention impacted by Homeland Security — On the first day of Star Wars Celebration Chicago this April, it was suddenly announced that Riz Ahmed (he played Imperial courier-turned Rebel hero Bodhi Rook in Rogue One) had to cancel his appearance at the convention. Now, the actor’s revealed why: Homeland Security wouldn’t let him board his flight.
Facial recognition ban — Meanwhile, Massachusetts just became the second US city to ban the use of facial recognition in public space.
But companies can use employee smartphones to track them that’s thanks to PhoneAgent.

Away from the US — Trump’s impacts. Global commerce is “being hit by new trade restrictions on a historically high level,” World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in a report Monday that pointed to an increase in protectionist measures by G20 countries. “This will have consequences in increased uncertainty, lower investment and weaker trade growth.” [What an economic maestro.]
Following reports the US carried out cyberattacks against Iran, a senior US official has warned about hacking attempts from Iran directed at the United States.
Libra will concentrate economic power in Facebook — Hughes, who apparently still considers his university roommate Mark Zuckerberg a friend, has said Zuckerberg is too powerful and that the company should be broken up. Now Hughes has warned that Facebook’s new planned digital currency Libra would shift monetary power to corporate giants. The Switzerland-based Libra Association is a group composed of Facebook and its global corporate partners with an entry fee of $US10 million ($14 million). It will be making all the governance decisions surrounding this new global currency.
Robots are expected to take over some 20 million manufacturing jobs worldwide by 2030, extending a trend of worsening social inequality while boosting overall economic output, a new study shows.
Upwards of 90% of insects found in British hospitals carry potentially harmful bacteria, according to new research.

Climate fears — Greenland’s ice is doomed. Research published in Science Advances finds that if emissions continue to climb at their current rate, all Greenland’s ice could melt by the year 3000, causing sea levels to rise 7.01m and redrawing coastlines around the world.
Indias’ sixth-largest city is almost dry — The floor of the Chembarambakkam reservoir is cracked open, dry and sun-baked. About 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away, in Chennai, India’s sixth largest city, millions of people are running out of water.
Everglades ablaze — The US Democratic National Committee refuses to hold a climate change-focused debate despite calls for one from activists and candidates. And now, it would seem the Everglades are also helping to make their case: they’re on fire.
Jet contrails are adding to global warming — Under certain conditions these contrails can linger for hours, absorbing thermal radiation emitted by the Earth and adding to warming. By 2050, contrail-induced warming could be three times higher than it was in 2006.

Any good news? Not really. Even the US Democrats seems to attract its tranche of idiots.

The Apocalypticon ~ Climate woes, Trump’s fake war, data hypocrisy


Humans gleefully trash their only home — Photographer Edward Burtynsky and filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier were inspired by this ongoing debate over this new geological era called the Anthropocene, in which humans have created significant changes to Earth. Arctic coastlines are collapsing into the sea.
Don’t let the sea into the US! Estimates show that to defend every coastal city, town, and hamlet in the US with sea walls over the next 20 years could cost over $600 billion, and that’s under a fairly optimistic climate scenario. [And the Mexicans won’t pay for it.]
‘Never-ending barrage of rain’ in the US It has left the Midwest flooded, the Gulf of Mexico primed for a huge dead zone.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the agency’s final replacement for the Obama-era rule, which aimed to reduce carbon emissions from the energy sector to combat climate change. and yeah, it’s as bad as you’d imagine.
US military is killing the planet while it practices killing people — A new report from Brown’s Watson Institute examines the Pentagon’s day-to-day carbon footprint, oil use, and how much carbon the unending War on Terror has emitted. It shows that while the military is progressive in terms of acknowledging the threat climate change poses to the world, it’s also a huge part of the problem.
Glacial melts — Researchers are turning to a once-secret source: spy satellite imagery from the 1970s and 1980s, now declassified. The Himalayan glaciers lost 25 centimetres (10 inches) of ice per year from 1975 to 2000. This region contains the most ice in one region after the actual poles.
Bee worried — Beekeepers across the US lost four in 10 of their honeybee colonies over the past year, as the worst winter on record for tracked bee populations raised fresh concerns over the plight of the crucial pollinators.
Beautiful Chinese algae is a curse — Satellite imagery taken over the past two decades shows that the toxic bioluminescent microorganisms responsible for China’s sparkling blue seas are becoming increasingly abundant.
Canada’s empty climate words Canada’s Liberal Party voted en masse to declare a climate emergency in the House of Commons. Then the Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion that, when completed, will pump 590,000 barrels of highly-polluting tar sands oil from Alberta to British Columbia.

Trump ‘calls off’ fake war — President Trump says he called off a Thursday strike on Iran ordered as retaliation for Iran’s having shot down a US drone. Trump said he cancelled the attack shortly before it was to begin, after he was told 150 people would very likely be killed. [Honestly, does anybody believe any of this crap? Tell me, please, how you get video footage of ‘Iranian terrorists’ fitting mines to oil tankers yet you do nothing about it? Fake war!] 
Tens of millions displaced by violence — A record 70.8 million people had been forcibly displaced by war, persecution and other violence worldwide at the end of 2018, according to the latest annual Global Trends report by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. This is the highest number in UNHCR history.

Data hypocrisy — Moderating Facebook is an awful job. The details in the report are, at best, a grim account of the dirty and chaotic conditions of the workplace and at worst a disturbing insight into the psychological toll of the job.
Magic Leap info stolen for China — Magic Leap Inc, a US startup that makes a headset to project digital objects onto the real world, accused one of its former engineers of stealing its technology to create his own augmented reality device for China.
UK can’t control ‘horny teens’ — Sources now say the project is “indefinitely delayed” (after being previously delayed twice) and will not in fact be rolling out next month as planned.
Millions of Google Maps listings are fake, but lucrative — Google still can’t seem to stop the proliferation of fictional business listings and aggressive con artists on its search engine.
WeTransfer shared its users’ files with the wrong people — The company not only shared files with the intended recipients, but with random strangers.
Gmail confidential is not confidential — Without end-to-end encryption, Gmail confidential mode is little more than a marketing strategy. Learn why privacy experts call Google’s privacy features “misleading.”
Facebook’s creepy cryptocurrency ambitions — Facebook’s ambitions to create a quasi-nation state ruled by mostly corporate interests is a secret weapon, one the company hopes it can use to create another platform used by billions of people – and generate enormous new revenue streams along the way.

Any good news — The inhabitants of Çatalhöyük, an ancient city founded over 9000 years ago in what is now Turkey, were subject to many urban problems we’re familiar with today, including overcrowding, interpersonal violence and sanitation issues. [But presumably not device addiction.]
More people return wallets than you’d imagine — but having money in the wallet upped the odds.
The world’s population is slowing down and could stop growing, or even begin decreasing, by 2100, according to a United Nations report. [The universe requires us to put a break on all that procreation!]

The Apocalypticon ~ Let’s go to Siberia, Zuckerberg grabs, assorted catastrophes, assorted craziness


Moving to Siberia — Unchecked climate change could make Siberia an oasis capable of sustaining a up to nine times more people in some locations, according to new research. [Here, of course, we have Invercargill.]
So do we all owe Al Gore an apology? [I don’t, I always knew he was right.]
Canada to ban plastics — Canada will ban many single-use plastic items by 2021, including bags, straws, cutlery and stirring sticks, to cut harmful waste damaging the country’s ecosystems.
Americans may be ingesting thousands of microplastics every year — Americans consume between 74,000 and 121,000 plastic particles annually (and that’s likely an underestimate).
But Circulate Capital, the investment management firm that incubates and finances companies involved in plastic waste management in South and Southeast Asia (SSEA), has announced a blended finance partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to combat ocean plastic pollution.
Hydrogen explosion — A hydrogen refuelling station exploded in Norway and the company operating the station has suspended operation at its other locations following the explosion. Now, Toyota and Hyundai are both halting sales of fuel cell vehicles in the country.
Fix — But finally, there’s apparently a climate change documentary that will get you excited to fix it.

Zuckerberg up for grabs — After years of struggle, a man Mark Zuckerberg supports secured a series of disputed properties that lie within the bounds of Zuckerberg’s vast estate in the northeast corner of Kauai in Hawaii. [He’s rich so he gets what he wants.]
Emails dish dirt on Zuck — Facebook Inc. uncovered emails that appear to connect Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to potentially problematic privacy practices at the company, according to people familiar with the matter.
Deep Fake Zuckerberg — Mark Zuckerberg is famed for looking and acting like a (slightly damp) synthetic being trying to infiltrate human society … so the new Deep Fake of him is uncannily accurate.
Facebook shareholder revolt gets bloody — Powerless investors have voted overwhelmingly to oust Zuckerberg as chairman.
YouTube says it’s ‘too hard’ to ban LCBQT harassment — “I know that the decision that we made was very hurtful to the LGBTQ community,” Wojcicki said. “That was not our intention and we [are] really sorry about that.” Now YouTube’s LGBTQ and allied workers are mobilising to demand a satisfactory response.

Speaking of surveillance — As you shop, ‘beacons’ are watching you using hidden technology in your phone. InMarket tracks 50 million Americans per month.
Russia banning VPNs — Russia is getting closer to implementing the sort of internet regulations that exist under the Great Firewall of China.

In other assorted catastrophes — A 5-year-old has died in Uganda as Ebola spreads from the Democratic Republic Of The Congo.
Nowhere near as news-worthy, but measles is spreading in the US — The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday that 1001 cases of measles have been reported so far in the US throughout 2019.
Boeing wanted to wait three years before fixing the Max — Boeing Company planned to wait three years to fix a non-working safety alert on its 737 Max aircraft and sped up the process only after the first of two deadly crashes involving the planes.
A swarm of meteors is coming — A swarm of meteors heading towards Earth could have the potential to cause a catastrophic impact, a new study from Western Ontario University says.
The Gulf Of Mexico’s ‘Dead Zone’ could balloon to over 20,720 square kilometres (8000 square miles) this summer.
Trump wants to limit aid for low-income Americans — NPR takes a  look at his proposals.

Assorted craziness — Soccer spy app: Spain’s data protection agency has fined La Liga, the nation’s top professional soccer league, 250,000 Euros (US$406,633) for using the league’s phone app to spy on its fans.
Icelandic tap water is a national resource — Iceland is now touting its tap water as a delicacy for tourists and locals alike.
Trump’s most hated journalists speaks — As the most visible reporter to regularly spar with the president, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta is a disputed icon. Trump has called Acosta a “rude, terrible person” and “fake news.” To many on the right, he represents deep media bias; to some on the left, he represents media pushback against Trump’s frequent lies.
Acosta recounts in his new book, The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America.
InfoWars must pay Pepe The Frog creator $21,500 and never sell Pepe merch again.
Drunken Japanese drone-flyers beware — Operating a drone in Japan while drunk could lead to a year in prison thanks to new legislation.
No pizza for Queen Lizzy — An unnamed Domino’s employee was reportedly stopped by armed guards at Buckingham Palace and caused a bit of a security kerfuffle as he attempted to deliver four large cheeseburger pizzas for “Elizabeth.”

Good news! John Dean, the man whose cool, calm and controversial testimony in the Watergate investigation began the public demolition of President Richard Nixon, has now set his sights on Trump [finally!].
Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov is now free, after Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry said it would drop drug charges [which appear trumped up] against him.
iPhones to block robo-calls — A recently announced iPhone feature arriving with iOS 13, however, might help quiet some of those unknown callers by kicking them straight to voicemail.
Heathrow has got rid of two steps in  security checks! Yay!

The Apocalypticon ~ No more humans from 2050, Ladybuggeration, Dastardly data, evil unbound


High likelihood of human civilisation coming to an end starting in 2050 — A harrowing scenario-analysis of how human civilisation might collapse in coming decades due to climate change has been endorsed by a former Australian defence chief and senior royal navy commander.
Ladybuggeration — An 80 by 129km blob in the atmosphere, chugging toward San Diego in the US, turned out to be a massive ‘bloom’ of ladybugs . It was densest in a 16km mass in the middle and could be seen by people as flying specks from the ground.
Completely catastrophic’ flooding (and tariffs) causing chaos for US farmers — Weeks of rain across the Midwest and the Great Plains have kept many farmers from planting crops. Surging rivers have broken levees, flooded fields and brought barge traffic to a halt on some of the nation’s biggest waterways.
Training a single AI model can emit as much carbon as five cars in their lifetimes — With the artificial-intelligence industry often compared to the oil industry, now it seems the metaphor may extend even further. Like its fossil-fuel counterpart, the process of deep learning has an outsize environmental impact.
The gyre is terrible, but microplastics are through all the oceans to a much greater degree — And it’s throughout the maritime food chain right up to us. 

Dastardly data — You might expect Homer Simpson to hand over personal details in exchange for a donut, but not cybersecurity professionals. But they do.
The US House Intelligence Committee will next week examine the risks posed by deepfakes, artificial intelligence technology that can create realistic-looking fake videos, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said. [A deepfake is an artful, digitally constructed fake, by contrast to Donald Trump, who is just a shallow fake.]
Schiff: “And this may be the future we are heading into, and when you combine that with the fact that we already have a President of the United States who says the things that are real – like the Access Hollywood tape – are fake, and things that are fake – like the Pelosi tape – he pushes out as real; when he has a presidential lawyer saying truth isn’t truth, and a spokesperson, Kellyanne Conway, saying they are entitled to their own alternate facts.”
Police order phone unlocking, but … A Florida man was thrown in jail for 44 days for refusing to unlock two iPhones in his possession during a traffic stop!
The Russian government has added dating service Tinder to a government database that legally forces the company to hand over user data and private communications to the country’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
NSA recommends updating Microsoft software — A critical Windows security vulnerability known as BlueKeep was revealed and fixed a few weeks ago, with Microsoft repeatedly begging users of older Windows versions to make sure their machines were updated. The NSA agreed: “Although Microsoft has issued a patch, potentially millions of machines are still vulnerable,” the NSA wrote.

Evil abounds — Piracy is ethically acceptable, according to many Harvard lawyers. This is the conclusion of an intriguing new study conducted among Harvard lawyers by Professor Dariusz Jemielniak and Dr Jérôme Hergueux.
Tesla tries to stop its workers communicating — Blind is an anonymous social network that has been used by tech workers to speak freely about grievances related to the workplace, among other concerns. Thousands of Tesla employees have signed up for the service, but now the company is reportedly trying to suppress its workers from joining the network.
Drug company’s paltry fine for 1 billion dollar scandal — Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals has announced the company expects to pay $15.4 million in a settlement with the US. Justice Department after allegations that Questcor Pharmaceuticals, which Mallinckrodt acquired in 2014, had bribed doctors and their staff to prescribe an incredibly expensive drug.
Troubling study to monitor social media against suicide — Northumbria University in the UK has announced it will surveil student social media posts, among other data, to try and determine whether students are suicidal. The project is part of a pilot program and will reportedly be deployed across all British institutions if it works as intended.
YouTube bravely bans Nazis hours after throwing LGBT users under the bigot bus — That headline says it all, really …
Boeing reports up to 148 parts for its aircraft were ‘improperly manufactured‘ — But hey, the profits! Even the payouts to the families of 346 dead people won’t come close.

Image: izusek via Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little good news — Princess Cruise Lines fined — It and its parent company Carnival Corporation has agreed to pay a $20 million criminal penalty for environmental violations. Princess Cruise Lines has already paid $40 million over other deliberate acts of pollution including systematic dumping gf plastics and oil at sea.
And Microsoft has discreetly wiped its massive facial recognition database.

The Apocalypticon ~ New heights of rubbish


Tribal Climate Emergency — An indigenous community in Canada’s Yukon territory, where the planet is warming fastest, recently declared a climate emergency. In fact, they are the first indigenous peoples to do so — and that’s major.

Killing yourself eating — If you’re living somewhere that’s not warming as fast, you could be killing yourself by what you eat, instead. Heavily processed food like ready meals and ice-cream linked to early death. Obese seniors, by the way, have a higher risk of experiencing physical limitations in old age.

Speaking of rubbish — Malaysia is shipping thousands of tons of the world’s plastic rubbish back to where it came from, the food delivery trend in China is drowning the country in plastic and US parents are spending thousands on YouTube camps that teach kids how to be famous [a new height of vacuity].

Thought garbage — The San Francisco Police Officers’ Association is calling for the city’s police chief, William Scott, to resign over the raid of a freelance journalist’s home and office.
Uber posts massive losses while under-paying its drivers as its CEO takes home $75 million a year. Uber posted losses of $1 billion over the previous quarter, more or less matching investor expectations, because sending the GDP of Vanuatu off a cliff every three months is Uber’s current business model, more or less.
IBM has been flogging the latest facial recognition tech to a dictatorship, fake LinkedIn profiles are undetectable, Indian parents agonise over the radicalisation of their kids,

In good (?) news, single women are happier and live longer, London police officers were called to investigate a “possible unexploded device” washed onto the bank of the River Thames and found a giant Christmas decoration and New Zealand has introduced the Global Impact Visa which is as much about intellectual renewal and generating positive vibes as economic impact.

The Apocalypticon ~ The US, China, the word, the Persistence of Chaos, volunteers


America the Great — No relief: Texas House Republican Republican Chip Roy has blocked a $19.1 billion disaster aid bill because it didn’t include provisions for boosting border security. [So if you suffered in a disaster, tough.]
Outbreak suspends processing —US Customs and Border Protection temporarily suspended intake at the McAllen Central Processing Center, the largest migrant processing center in South Texas, after the outbreak of what the agency calls “a flu-related illness…” This is where hundreds of people are kept together in fenced pens, frigid holding cells or sleep outside in the parking lot.
Trump authorises evidence hiding — Trump has authorised Attorney General William Barr to “declassify, downgrade, or direct the declassification or downgrading of information or intelligence” related to the origins of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, according to an official order.
Democrats split on impeachment — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will convene a meeting Wednesday morning to hear from Democrats on whether to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
Inside Google’s ‘civil war‘ — 20,000 Google employees in 50 cities around the world had joined their colleagues to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment.
Amazon goes all Black Mirror on its worker drones — Amazon is currently experimenting with a pilot program that turns warehouse jobs into a sort of video game, a system the company claims is meant to break up the monotony of the day-to-day tasks required of its workers but has, conveniently, led to competition among employees to outperform their colleagues. [Mr Orwell, please come back.]
The man who oversaw the US nuclear industry now thinks it should be banned Gregory Jaczko served on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 2005 to 2009, and as its chairman from 2009 to 2012.
US birth rate hits 32-year low — Americans are continuing to have fewer and fewer children, according to a new government report released this week.
Baltimore hacked into services blackout — Anonymous hackers breached the city of Baltimore’s servers two weeks ago. Since then, those servers’ digital content has been locked away – and the online aspects of running the city are at an impasse.

The Persistence of Chaos — A computer infested with six of the word’s most infamous viruses is being sold as an art piece called ‘The Persistence of Chaos.’ The auction has already topped US$1 million.
Ukraine’s new president, former(?) comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy , has been sworn into office and immediately said one of his first actions will be to dissolve parliament.
“Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,” quoted Zelenskiy in his inauguration speech.

Around the whirled — Is Earth heading for overpopulation? If so, what does that mean? Gizmodo investigates.
More pile-ons for Huawei — A Huawei executive was involved in a plot to steal trade secrets, claims California-based electronics startup CNEX Labs.
Ford slashes — Ford is eliminating about 7000 white-collar jobs – or about 10% of its salaried workforce – as part of a previously announced companywide global restructuring.
Trumps amps Middle Eastern military presence — President Trump has ordered some 1500 troops to the Gulf region to serve a “mostly protective” purpose for American forces and interests.
Indonesian presidential opponents spit the dummy — Confirmation of Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo’s reelection win has set off violence in Jakarta, where at least six people died after protests morphed into riots in the capital. Widodo’s challenger, retired right-wing military general Prabowo Subianto, is refusing to concede the race. [Coz if you don’t get what you want, try and burn democracy down.]
Indonesia then became the latest nation to hit the hammer on social media after the government restricted the use of WhatsApp and Instagram following deadly riots.
China secretly boosts damaging emissions — Since 2013, annual emissions of a banned chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) have increased by around 7000 tonnes from eastern China, according to new research published in Nature.

Any good news? A solution to loneliness could be volunteering. New Zealand’s National Volunteer Week celebrates the collective contribution of the 1.2 million volunteers who enrich Aotearoa. This year it runs from June 16-22. Look for events near you (I know MOTAT has plans).

The Apocalypticon ~ Collapse of nature, the US, Trump and all that, food killing, suicides rising, sadder music, Tesla auto-death, ebola worsens, coal fail


How to prevent nature’s collapse — Scientists warned last week that a million species could go extinct, and it’s all our fault. ‘Our’ fault as in humanity’s. Gizmodo has some suggestions.
Carbon in the atmosphere hits record — Scientists recorded the first ever carbon dioxide reading above 415 parts per million (ppm) at the Mauna Loa Observatory. They’ve been measuring carbon dioxide levels continuously since 1958 at that location, but ice cores and other data show that it’s not just the highest carbon dioxide has been in 61 years of data. It’s the highest its ever been 800,000 years of data
Startling El Nino — Australian scientists have developed an innovative method using cores drilled from coral to produce a world first 400-year long seasonal record of El Niño events, a record that many in the field had described as impossible to extract. And clearly, Central Pacific El Niño activity increased in the late 20th Century.
Ice loss — a quarter of the ice sheets in West Antarctica, the most vulnerable part of the continent, have destabilised. Ice loss has sped up fivefold across the region’s most imperilled glaciers in just 25 years.
Remote islands strangled in plastic — a marine biologist from Australia traveled to a remote string of islands in the Indian Ocean to see how much plastic waste had washed up on the beaches, and found “373,000 toothbrushes and around 975,000 shoes, largely flip-flops,” says Jennifer Lavers of the University of Tasmania in Australia. And that’s not all: more than 414 million pieces of plastic debris are estimated to be currently sitting on the Cocos Keeling Islands, weighing a remarkable 238 tons.

US will not sign Christchurch call against online extremism — The US will not sign onto the Christchurch call to action against online extremism expected to be released Wednesday, citing concerns that the pact would violate free speech protections in the First Amendment, the Washington Post reports.
Is it because terrorists buy guns, and that’s profitable? A series of internal National Rifle Association documents leaked online have detailed lavish six-figure spending on clothing and travel expenses for CEO Wayne LaPierre. [Quick, right wing morons, donate more money!]
Mueller cover-up — If lawmakers eventually win, they — and potentially us — could learn more about what Mueller uncovered during his roughly 22-month investigation.
Trump welcomes hard-right Hungarian — President Trump has hosted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the White House , a gesture the past two US presidents avoided granting to the hard-right European leader.
Navy SEAL gets hacked and tracked — Military prosecutors in the case of a US navy Seal charged with killing an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq in 2017 installed tracking software in emails sent to defence lawyers and a reporter in an apparent attempt to discover who was leaking information to the media, according to lawyers who said they received the corrupted messages.

Ultra-processed foods is killing people — Over the past 70 years, ultra-processed foods have come to dominate the US diet. They are made from cheap industrial ingredients and engineered to be super-tasty and generally high in fat, sugar and salt. The rise of ultra-processed foods has coincided with growing rates of obesity, leading many to suspect that they’ve played a big role in our growing waistlines. A new study suggests yes, it is.

Girl suicides rising — The number of people dying by suicide in the US has been rising, and a new study shows that the suicide rate among young teenage girls has been increasing faster than it has for boys of the same age.

Music getting sadder — Today’s music expresses an even deeper unhappiness than the songs of the past is the conclusion of two recent analyses examining thousands of US and UK hits from the last few decades.

Another Tesla autopilots into a death — In March, a Tesla Model 3 crashed into a semi-truck turning onto a Florida highway, killing the driver. After a preliminary investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board has concluded Autopilot, Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving technology, was engaged at the time of the fatal crash.

Second worst Ebola outbreak kills higher percentage — The current outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has infected 1720 and killed 1136, giving the viral disease a whopping 66% fatality rate. The situation is making public health experts on the ground increasingly nervous.

Fourth-largest coal producer in the US files for bankruptcy Wasn’t Trump going to save coal? [Take. Make. Use. Lose.]

The Apocalypticon ~ Royal baby, traditions; fat farmers; Infowars, info and wars; Facebook; plague in Mongolia; USA; Climate change; anti-vaxxer pox


Aw, a baby! Even better, a royal baby, born into a family that doesn’t have to do anything apart from act like they deserve it to get loads of tax payers’ dollars. So as a breath of polluted air, Gizmodo ran a story called ‘Here’s How Screwed By Climate Change The UK Will Be When The Royal Baby Turns 18.’
Talking about hallowed old traditions — Eugenics and anti-immigration laws of the past still resonate today, according to journalist Daniel Okrent. He sees echos of the 1924 act in President Trump’s hard-line stance regarding immigration. [I just see recurring short-sighted stupidity, but what do I know?]
Here’s another: farmers are slimmer and fitter than city dwellers — Not so, though. Comprehensively not so: over 1000 researchers representing the Non-Communicable Disease Coalition analysed 2009 studies of more than 112 million adults from 200 countries. The study found that global averages are creeping up for everyone — but faster for rural residents. [I guess riding around all day in a ute or on a quad-bike is not quite the same as old-time farming.]

Sword-missile — Seriously, imagine a drone-fired missile that doesn’t explode, but slices you up instead. It’s real: the RX9 redefines ‘surgical strike‘.

Infowars, info and wars— When you check your Alexa dialogue history, you can see text next to the recordings like “How’s the Weather” and “Set an Alarm.” Amazon lets you delete those voice recordings, but this gives you a false sense of privacy because the company still has that data as text logs of the transcribed audio, with no option for you to delete them. [I love how Zuckerberg and his ilk are now trying to sell you privacy: first they take it away, and then they offer it back as a commodity you can purchase to make them even richer.]
Facebook co-founder says break Facebook up — Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes just published a lengthy and extremely convincing argument for breaking up Mark Zuckerberg’s empire. Hughes warned that Zuckerberg’s power to censor and control speech on the Facebook platform, where the vast majority of the social media activity takes place, along with WhatsApp and Instagram which he also controls (WhatsApp has 1.6 billion active monthly users; Instagram 1 billion), is something that lawmakers should take more seriously. [Jeeze, you reckon?]
Surprise! Uber systematically exploits workers — Studies have repeatedly found that after fees and expenses, Uber drivers make less than minimum wage in major markets. One found that half of all Uber drivers in Washington, DC lived below the poverty line. Meanwhile the CEO took in US$72 million last year. [In NZ, I seriously recommend you switch to Olla and /or Zoomy if you can, which at least keep the profits here.]
AI smart-locks locked people in — Five tenants in Hell’s Kitchen sued their landlord in March after the owners installed a Latch smart lock on the building last year. It is unlocked with a smartphone, and reportedly granted tenants access to the lobby, elevator, and mail room. But the group that sued their landlords saw this keyless entry as harassment, an invasion of privacy, and simply inconvenient. [Latch’s privacy policy indicates that the company collects and stores user information, including someone’s GPS location. In other words, Latch’s ‘privacy policy’ ensures you don’t have any.]
AI gun detection — Tech company Athena Security believes its smart security cameras can prevent attacks like the tragedy in Christchurch, and says it plans to install its AI-powered systems in mosques around the world. [I wish them good luck in Iraq.]

Thousand-year-old part drug kit — Archaeologists in the Bolivian Andes discovered a 1000-year-old ritual bundle that was basically a stash of drug paraphernalia. It contained traces of five different psychoactive substances, including cocaine and the active ingredients found in ayahuasca. [Party like it’s 999 …]

Bubonic plague strikes in Mongolia — In Mongolia, a couple died of bubonic plague on May 1 after reportedly hunting marmots. These are large rodents that can harbour the bacterium that causes the disease.

USA — Infamous Russian agents’ actions described: Newly obtained documents describe what happened when two now-infamous Russians took their outreach campaign into the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve in 2015.

(IImage from The Atlantic)

Climate change — Ice collapses, world quails, Trump regime cheers: A rational person looking at the collapse of the Arctic as we’ve known it for at least 115,000 years would see an ecological and humanitarian crisis. For the Trump administration, it’s just another business opportunity and chance to peddle climate denial. In sum, Pompeo said that climate change isn’t happenihappiness training happinessng, but also that it is but that’s actually good because it’s melting the Arctic, but also that the US has reduced emissions which is also good … yeah.
Renewable energy stalls — Installations of renewable energy plateaued in 2018 for the first time in nearly two decades of record keeping. Even if it’s just a temporary hiccup, a pause in installations is an extremely worrisome sign about the world’s ambition to address climate change.
But: Britain passed one week without coal power for first time since 1882. 

In good news: anti vaxxer twit gets chickenpox: 18-year-old Jerome Kunkel and his family filed a lawsuit against the health department that banned non-vaccinated kids from attending school. The suit claimed the vaccine violated his religious beliefs because the cell line used as the base of the chickenpox vaccine was derived from foetuses that had been aborted. Now he has chickenpox. [Well, I guess it can’t make him any dumber.]
Finally, you can train yourself 8 points to help you enjoy things: you can be taught to have a more positive attitude. And, if you work at it, a positive outlook can lead to less anxiety and depression.

The Apocalypticon ~ Asia, hunger, Facebook, privacy, Russian internet, measles, Mexico, Nazis, asteroid, military spending, real news, fake meat


Hungry brains — The brain consumes a disproportionately large percentage of a person’s daily energy intake, suggesting cognitive function is tied to nutrition. In countries such as India where many children live below the poverty line, food insecurity – limited access to sufficient safe and nutritious food at home – may reduce children’s learning ability. Scientists in India and the UK warn that food insecurity negatively impacts the learning ability of adolescents in India, with almost half of Indian teens suffering from hunger.
PepsiCo Inc has sued four Indian farmers for cultivating a potato variety that the snack food and drinks maker claims infringes its patent. [There’s your moral rectitude right there.]
Smoking is pervasive and on the rise in Asia, according to an investigation spanning 20 prospective cohort studies from mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India. [So if big corporations can’t help starve people to death, give them lung cancer?]

Facebook — Facebook has announced it is banning a number of far-right political figures on its platforms, including InfoWars founder Alex Jones, former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopolous, and InfoWars contributor Paul Joseph Watson, among a host of others. Leaked internal emails from Facebook had previously described Jones as a “hate figure,” which led users to wonder why he hadn’t been banned sooner. [Zuckerberg hasn’t been banned, though.]
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reckons privacy is now important. He says he’s committed to turning his company around. Onstage at Facebook’s F8 developer conference, the chief executive said that privacy will be the defining pillar of his social network’s sprawling empire going forward. [Entire world lols. Yeah we all totally trust you, Mark.]
So will he quit? If Zuckerberg wants to prove just how serious Facebook is about guarding user privacy, though, he should it prove it by announcing he’s quitting, says Phillip Michaels.
The dead may outnumber the living on Facebook within 50 years — New analysis by academics from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) [no, not Oxford Analytica] , part of the University of Oxford, predicts the dead may outnumber the living on Facebook within fifty years, a trend that will have grave implications for how we treat our digital heritage in the future. [So Zuck’s real challenge may be how to make a mint from dead people’s privacy.]

Around the world: Russia wants its own internet — Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law new measures that would enable the creation of a Russian national network, able to operate separately from the rest of the world. For now, the network remains largely theoretical though, with few practical details disclosed.
Measles leads to cruise ship quarantine — A cruise ship with nearly 300 passengers and crew was ordered quarantined in the Caribbean port of St. Lucia after a case of measles was confirmed on board, island health officials said Wednesday.
US/Mexican border DNA tests — The US Department of Homeland Security will start using Rapid DNA tests on some asylum seekers at the US–Mexico border next week. The tests are intended to determine whether adults and children who are travelling together are actually family members.
Meanwhile, giant tent structures have been erected in Texas to serve as short-term detention facilities to process a huge influx of families and unaccompanied minors from Central America arriving at the US-Mexico border.
Lost to Nazis — A Jewish family has lost a 15-year legal battle to recover a painting stolen by Nazis during World War II.

Global military spending is continuing to increase — It has grown for the second year in a row and reaching the highest levels since reliable global figures became available in 1988. That’s the finding of a new report out by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Total spending is up 76% from the post-Cold War low in 1998.

Asteroid threat — An asteroid slammed down and did away with all the dinosaurs, paving the way for such developments as the human race, capitalism, and posting on the internet: it’s the story we all know and love. Yet if things had shaken out differently – if the asteroid had stayed in its place, and the dinosaurs allowed to proceed with their business – what would things have looked like?Asteroid threat exercise — NASA, FEMA and other national and international agencies are once again gearing up for a hypothetical asteroid impact preparedness scenario. They hope to learn the best strategies for responding to a potential strike, starting from the moment a threatening asteroid is first detected by astronomers.

Biodegradeable plastic bags now biodegrading — Plastic bags that claim to be biodegradable were still intact and able to carry shopping three years after being exposed to the natural environment, a study has found. [‘Compostable’ bags were better, though.]

In good news — In the future, we were promised flying cars and fake meat. While the flying car part hasn’t panned out, fake meat appears poised to make inroads in even Americans’ lives, particularly through fast foods. And in the process, it could end up being a big deal for the planet. [If you honestly want to make a difference, why don’t you consider dropping one meat meal a week?]

The Apocalypticon ~ Stupidity unbound, climate costs, corruption and data wars


Stupidity unbound — Hundreds of students and faculty at two universities in Los Angeles have been asked to stay home unless they can prove they’ve been vaccinated against measles.
Car drivers think bike riders ‘subhuman’ — Researchers have an explanation for why many drivers act aggressively toward cyclists: they are actually dehumanising people who ride bikes, according to an April study by Australian researchers in the journal Transportation Research. And this dehumanisation – the belief that a group of people are less than human – correlates to drivers’ self-reported aggressive behaviour. [I ride a bike. Newsflash: like most bike riders, I also drive a car. The only cyclists I find annoying are those flocking cyclists in lycra.]
Apple CEO Tim Cook has called for more government regulation on the technology industry in order to protect privacy in an interview at the TIME 100 Summit in New York. [Yeah, right, how about regulating your profits then?]
Sitting bull — Time spent watching TV and videos has remained consistently high in the United States over the past 15 years, but time sitting at a computer has increased dramatically, new research finds.
Twitter can’t ban White Supemacists because this would also rule out Republicans — A Twitter employee who works on machine learning believes that a proactive, algorithmic solution to white supremacy would also catch Republican politicians. [Is anyone surprised?]
But apparently the Sri Lankan bombers were ‘smart‘ — They included a pair of brothers from a wealthy, upper-class family; a man with a law degree; and another who studied in the United Kingdom and did postgraduate work in Australia before coming home to settle down in his native Sri Lanka.

People are strange — The Japanese not having sex: Japan is home to one of the fastest aging populations in the world, exacerbated by a persistently low birth rate. As it turns out, these social changes can be explained by the lack of heterosexual intercourse among Japanese adults, say scientists led by Dr Peter Ueda at the University of Tokyo, Japan.
US retirees are blowing their savings on their kids — Financial independence, once a hallmark of adulthood, has gone by the wayside as adult children increasingly depend on their parents to help them cover the cost of rent, student loans, health insurance and more. But parents’ desire to give their children a financial assist could be misguided, and will backfire in the long run. [This is what you get when you collapse the middle class so the super rich can get super richer.]

Melting permafrost in Arctic will have $70 trillion climate impact — The release of methane and carbon dioxide from thawing permafrost will accelerate global warming and add up to US$70tn (£54tn) to the world’s climate bill, according to the most advanced study yet of the economic consequences of a melting Arctic.
Virgin Islands hurricane mental health impacts — More than a year and a half after two major hurricanes struck the US Virgin Islands, the effects of the storms are still obvious.  But the storms had another, less visible impact: on the mental health of island residents.

Data wars and corruption — The New York State attorney general’s office plans to open an investigation into Facebook’s unauthorised collection of more than 1.5 million users’ email address books.
A total of 50 malicious apps have managed to bypass Google’s security checks and land on the Google Play store, leading to millions of installs on Android devices.
It was only last week that researchers from Check Point uncovered a total of six apps laden with the PreAMo ad fraud malware on Google Play which had been installed 90 million times.
Companies that make tax preparation software, like Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, would rather you didn’t know you can file for free. Intuit and other tax software companies have spent millions lobbying to make sure that the IRS doesn’t offer its own tax preparation and filing service. In exchange, the companies have entered into an agreement with the IRS to offer a Free File product to most Americans — but good luck finding it.
Facial scans replacing boarding passes — Homeland Security in the US said it plans to scan the faces of over 97%” of departing international passengers by 2023. According to Buzzfeed, 17 US airports are currently part of the program.

Good news? A little. A major pharmaceutical distribution company and two of its former executives are facing criminal charges for their roles in advancing the nation’s opioid crisis and profiting from it.