Listen To This Story
PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to email@example.com.
Digital Activists Challenge Uganda’s Harsh New Internet Law (Maria)
The author writes, “Ugandan activists launched a legal challenge Monday to controversial new legislation criminalizing some internet activity in the East African country. Their petition to the constitutional court argues that the description of computer-related crimes in the bill enacted with President Yoweri Museveni’s signature last week violates the right to freedom of expression and criminalizes some digital work, including investigative journalism. In presenting their petition at the court in the capital, Kampala, the petitioners were backed by silent protesters who carried placards reading, ‘This law is worth breaking.’”
Fundraiser for Ohio GOP Candidate JD Vance Axed After Spectrum News Asked Questions About Host (DonkeyHotey)
From Spectrum News: “A weekend fundraiser for Ohio U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance was abruptly canceled Friday after Spectrum News notified the Vance campaign it would report the host is one of several Ohio pain doctors cited in a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma and others for the amount of opioids they prescribed and the amount of money they received from major drug companies. Vance, a Republican venture capitalist and author, and Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan are battling for the seat held by retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman, a contest in which the opioid crisis in Ohio has been a flashpoint.”
Is Alex Jones Verdict the Death of Disinformation? Unlikely (Reader Steve)
The author writes, “A Connecticut jury’s ruling this week ordering Alex Jones to pay $965 million to parents of Sandy Hook shooting victims he maligned was heartening for people disgusted by the muck of disinformation. Just don’t expect it to make conspiracy theories go away. The appetite for such hokum and narrowness of the judgments against Jones, who falsely claimed that the 2012 elementary school shootings were a hoax and that grieving parents were actors, virtually ensure a ready supply, experts say.”
Ransomware Hunters: The Self-Taught Tech Geniuses Fighting Cybercrime (Sean)
From The Guardian: “Hackers are increasingly taking users’ data hostage and demanding huge sums for its release. They have targeted individuals, businesses, vital infrastructure, and even hospitals. Authorities have been slow to respond — but there is help out there.
Shutting an Agency Managing Sprawl Might Have Put More People in Hurricane Ian’s Way (Laura)
From NPR: “When Hurricane Ian roared ashore the Southwest Florida coast … it hit one of the fastest growing areas in the nation that’s been fueled by sunshine and paved with lax growth management rules. Since 2010, NPR found, the area’s population has rapidly swelled despite the increasing risk from powerful storms like Ian, which devastated some of those growing communities and narrowly missed others. Now, in the wake of the Category 4 hurricane, state and local leaders have promised to rebuild. Stronger building codes like the kind created after 1992’s Hurricane Andrew will make the area more resilient to future storms, they say. But climate and planning experts warn that rebuilding along the crowded coast, following a decade of weakened rules governing development, is what helped create the disaster now unfolding.”
The Cerebellum Has a Function We Didn’t Even Know About, New Research Reveals (Mili)
The author writes, “Given the complexity of the human body, it’s no surprise that we’re still making new discoveries about the different parts we’re made up of — and scientists have just made a new discovery about the cerebellum at the back of the brain. Already known as being important for properly controlling our movements, it now appears that this brain region also has a key role to play when it comes to remembering positive and negative emotional experiences.”
Astronomers Baffled by Black Hole Burping Out Spaghettified Star Years After Eating It (Dana)
From Live Science: “Astronomers have spotted a black hole mysteriously spewing up chunks of a devoured star several years after consuming it. The event, which scientists have classified as AT2018hyz, began in 2018 when astronomers saw the black hole ensnare a hapless star in its strong gravitational pull before shredding it to pieces. Then, three years later, in 2021, a New Mexico radio telescope picked up a signal indicating unusual activity — the black hole had begun burping the star out at half the speed of light.”