Google to Ban Controversial Stalkerware Apps

2020 Hurricane Season Just Ran Out of Storm Names ; Sheriff’s Race Pitting Trump Against Black Lives Matter; and More Picks

Google, stalkerware, ban, domestic abuse
The author writes, “Tracking apps have, understandably, taken on new relevance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. ... However, for many, it wasn’t the specter of government-approved contact tracing apps that worried them most. Instead, it’s the genuine threat from so-called stalkerware apps to survivors of domestic abuse that concerns them. Now Google is taking the ban hammer to certain tracking apps by correcting what it calls a typo in its stalkerware policy.” Photo credit: Patrik Nygren / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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The 2020 Hurricane Season Just Ran Out of Storm Names — and Then Two More Storms Formed (Dana)

The author writes, “Here’s how active this year’s Atlantic hurricane season has been: When Tropical Storm Wilfred formed on Sept. 18, the National Hurricane Center exhausted its list of storm names for only the second time since naming began in 1950. Within hours, two more storms had formed — now known as Alpha and Beta. Even more surprising is that we reached the 23rd tropical storm of the year, Beta, more than a month earlier than in 2005, the only other year on record with so many named storms.”

The Sheriff’s Race Pitting Trump Against Black Lives Matter (Dan)

From the Marshall Project: “The race for sheriff of Brevard County … has become a political test case for competing visions of American law enforcement. The Republican incumbent, Wayne Ivey, is known nationally for tough-on-crime viral videos, in which he spins through mugshots on a ‘Wheel of Fugitive’ and encourages citizens to arm themselves and confront the ‘bad guys’ before his deputies arrive. … This November, Ivey will face Alton Edmond, a Black former public defender running as a Democrat, who promises to buy body cameras for deputies, increase diversity among top staff, ban the neck restraint tactic used by the police who killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, and stop making viral videos about suspects, which he calls ‘dehumanizing.’”

Carrier Captain Justifies ‘Red Flare’ (Reader Steve)

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “Faced with a ‘bureaucratic logjam’ above him and a spiraling coronavirus outbreak aboard his aircraft carrier, Navy Capt. Brett Crozier told investigators he knew sending up a ‘red flare’ would jeopardize his military career, but he did it to avoid catastrophe. ‘My intent in sending the email … was to bring a sense of urgency to a rapidly deteriorating and potentially deadly situation onboard the (Theodore Roosevelt) and avoid a larger catastrophe and loss of life, Crozier said in a witness statement.”

States Are Closing Oil Rigs at an Alarming Rate (Mili)

The author writes, “The pandemic has dramatically decreased demand for oil and gas, and a new analysis shows producers are responding to the dip. … The number of operational rigs in the country dropped from 876 to 241 between August 2019 and August 2020. … Though it’s tempting to dance on the fossil fuel industry’s grave, there’s nothing to celebrate about the way these rigs are being shut down. While the industry is winding some down, officials are merely abandoning others and letting them fall into disrepair, which can be environmentally devastating.”

Return of Myanmar’s Smiling Turtle Is Reason to be Cheerful (Dana)

The author writes, “If you want to turn your frown upside down this morning, a story about smiling turtles saved from extinction in Myanmar might just do the trick. The Burmese roofed hatchling, whose upturned mouth makes it appear to have a constant smile on its face, was once the second-most critically endangered turtle in the world. Only five or six adult females and two adult males are known to exist in the wild. But last week, conservationists … announced they had successfully raised 1,000 of the turtles in captivity, and say the smiling turtle will soon be ready for release into the wild.”

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