digital privacy, personal data, deceptive tactics, California legislation
The author writes, “If you’ve ever struggled through a maze of online customer service to cancel a subscription or delete an account, you’ve likely encountered ‘dark pattern’ — user interfaces that are designed to trick and frustrate users. The concept was coined in 2010, but is slowly being addressed in US legislation, with California recently announcing it is banning the use of dark patterns that stop users from opting out of the sale of their personal data.” Photo credit: Photo by Ga / Unsplash

Top Saudi Official Issued Death Threat Against UN’s Khashoggi Investigator (Mili)

The author writes, “A senior Saudi official issued what was perceived to be a death threat against the independent United Nations investigator, Agnès Callamard, after her investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In an interview with the Guardian, the outgoing special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings said that a UN colleague alerted her in January 2020 that a senior Saudi official had twice threatened in a meeting with other senior UN officials in Geneva that month to have Callamard ‘taken care of’ if she was not reined in by the UN. Asked how the comment was perceived by her Geneva-based colleagues, Callamard said: ‘A death threat. That was how it was understood.’”

Angela Merkel Forces Unity to Fight ‘New’ Pandemic (DonkeyHotey)

From Deutsche Welle: “Germany is in the grip of the third wave of COVID-19. Cases are rising week on week and have already reached levels that authorities say will soon overburden intensive care units. The COVID-19 mutations have now ‘basically eaten up’ earlier gains, Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters on Tuesday morning after 12 hours of negotiations. … A tighter lockdown will come into effect in all regions that see more than 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants over a seven-day period. But it was the decision to implement a strict five-day Easter lockdown, from April 1 to April 5, that was the most surprising outcome of the talks: Everything will again be closed, even most grocery stores. Outdoor gatherings are also not permitted.”

How Paving With Plastic Could Make a Dent in the Global Waste Problem (Dana)

From Yale Environment 360: “A growing number of studies say that roads containing waste plastic have the potential to perform as well or better than traditional roads. They can last longer, are stronger and more durable in respect to loads and rutting, can tolerate wide temperature swings, and are more resistant to water damage, cracking, and potholes. The technology also has the potential to reclaim anywhere from a small to a sizeable amount of plastics from landfills and random dumping, researchers are finding, while providing a significant amount for road paving and repair.”

I Met My Husband on the Maternity Ward (Dan)

The author writes, “My birth story, which is also my love story, began nearly 40 years ago in the mountain town of Spalding, Jamaica. It has been told to me time and again by the two women who were there that April day — my mother, Lorna, and a stranger, Lurline, who was giving birth in the same open ward.”

UA’s Doomsday Preppers Propose Lunar Ark to Store Backup Copy of Earth’s Bounty (Reader Steve)

From the Arizona Daily Star: “The moon is a cold, lifeless ball of rocks and dust. So why does a University of Arizona researcher want to seed it with millions of plants and animals from Earth? ‘An insurance policy,’ said Jekan Thanga, a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering in the UA College of Engineering. Thanga and a group of his students are exploring the concept of a lunar ark to store cryogenically frozen seeds, spores, sperm and egg samples from most Earth species. The biological repository would be built inside the moon’s natural underground caverns and serve as a backup copy of sorts to protect our planet’s biodiversity in the event of global catastrophe.”