How Hackers Can Use an Ordinary Light Bulb to Spy on Conversations

Government Spy Planes Monitored George Floyd Protests ; The Vultures Aren't Hovering Over Africa ; and More Picks

cybersecurity, hacking, light bulbs, privacy
The author writes, “Hackers have found a way to eavesdrop on conversations from as far as 80 feet away thanks, to a hanging light bulb.” Photo credit: Blueprint Homes / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

US Government Spy Planes Monitored George Floyd Protests (Russ)

The authors write, “A small Cessna Citation jet flying straight into Washington’s highly restricted airspace would typically be met with fighter jets on its wing. But when one flew over the nation’s capital on June 1 and circled the White House 20 times, it was hardly an accident. The plane was only one of several aircraft — both piloted and unpiloted — that CNN has been able to track flying over protests in Washington, Minneapolis and Las Vegas. Government watchdogs fear the planes were used to track protesters and perhaps capture cell phone data.”

Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police (Chris)

From the New York Times: “We can’t reform the police. The only way to diminish police violence is to reduce contact between the public and the police. There is not a single era in United States history in which the police were not a force of violence against black people. … Regardless of your view on police power — whether you want to get rid of the police or simply to make them less violent — here’s an immediate demand we can all make: Cut the number of police in half and cut their budget in half. Fewer police officers equals fewer opportunities for them to brutalize and kill people.”

Black Community Braces for Next Threat: Mass Evictions (Chris)

The author writes,The [federal moratorium] on evictions — which applies to rentals that are backed by the government — expires in a matter of weeks. On top of that, the federal boost to unemployment benefits that many laid-off workers have used to pay their rent is set to end July 31. Black and Latino people are twice as likely to rent as white people, so they would be most endangered if the protection from removal is ended. But there’s no relief in sight from Congress.”

Ithaca Proposes Canceling Rent During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A city in Central New York is first in America to officially propose canceling rent during the coronavirus pandemic. WSKG reports the Ithaca Common Council has passed a resolution asking the state and federal government to provide rent and mortgage assistance in Ithaca, N.Y., where 70 percent of residents are renters. If financial aid isn’t possible, the council is asking New York state to grant Mayor Svante Myrick the authority to cancel rent debt from the last three months, both for tenants and small businesses.”

COVID-19 May Trigger New Diabetes (Mili)

From Scienmag: Emerging evidence suggests that COVID-19 may actually trigger the onset of diabetes in healthy people. A letter published … in the New England Journal of Medicine and signed by an international group of 17 leading diabetes experts involved in the CoviDiab Registry project, a collaborative international research initiative, announces the establishment of a Global Registry of new cases of diabetes in patients with COVID-19.”

The Vultures Aren’t Hovering Over Africa, and That’s Bad News (Dana)

The author writes, “Vultures play a vital role as nature’s clean-up squad but are now one of the most threatened groups of birds on the planet.”

Discovery of Oldest Bow and Arrow Technology in Eurasia (Mili) 

The author writes, “The origins of human innovation have traditionally been sought in the grasslands and coasts of Africa or the temperate environments of Europe. More extreme environments, such as the tropical rainforests of Asia, have been largely overlooked, despite their deep history of human occupation. A new study provides the earliest evidence for bow-and-arrow use, and perhaps the making of clothes, outside of Africa ~48-45,000 years ago, in the tropics of Sri Lanka.”

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