tech, social media, Twitter, Elon Musk, journalists, account suspensions
Elon Musk. Photo credit: Daniel Oberhaus / Wiki (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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Elon Musk Bans Journalists on Twitter Who Reported on… Elon Musk (Maria)

The author writes, “Twitter abruptly suspended the accounts of at least six tech journalists on Thursday evening, including reporters for the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN. Many of the reporters had recently tweeted about a dispute between Elon Musk, the social network’s new owner, and a user who ran a series of accounts that use publicly available flight information to track the location of private jets, including the one used by Musk. The suspensions, which appear to have occurred around 4:30 p.m. PT, include Washington Post technology reporter Drew Harwell, New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mac, and CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan.”

Florida Pastor and His Son Are Arrested in Alleged $8 Million COVID Scam (DonkeyHotey)

From NBC News: “A Florida pastor and his son were arrested Wednesday on charges of fraudulently obtaining more than $8 million in federal Covid relief funds and attempting to use some of the money to buy a luxury home near Walt Disney World. Evan Edwards and his son, Josh, 30, were taken into custody five months after an NBC News report raised questions over why they hadn’t been charged in the alleged scam, which federal prosecutors first identified in court papers in December 2020.” 

Meet Will Witt, the Conservative Influencer Behind Pro-DeSantis Propaganda Operation The Florida Standard (Russ)

From Media Matters: “A conservative influencer with a history of making bigoted statements — including referring to LGBTQ people as ‘groomers’ and supporting the racist ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory — is at the center of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reported efforts to build an alternative conservative media ecosystem in his state. Will Witt, a former pundit for conservative edutainment organization PragerU, runs a website called The Florida Standard, a pro-Desantis outlet that the Republican governor has given preference to over more traditional media.”

Oregon Lawsuit Spotlights Destruction of Black Neighborhoods (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A home that was a fixture of Bobby Fouther’s childhood is now a parking lot, the two-story, shingle-sided house having been demolished in the 1970s along with many other properties in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. Fouther and his sister, Elizabeth Fouther-Branch, are now among 26 Black people who either lived in the neighborhood or are descendants of former residents and are suing Portland, the city’s economic and urban development agency and Legacy Emanuel Hospital, accusing them of the “racist” destruction of the homes and forced displacement.”

NYC Helicopters Are Back, Sending Noise Complaints Soaring 678 Percent (Reader Jim)

From Bloomberg: “Complaints about helicopter noise in New York City are up exponentially, from 3,332 in 2019 to 25,916 last year, according to city 311 call center data compiled by Bloomberg. In Manhattan and Queens, complaints about helicopter noise this year have outnumbered even those about rats — a quality-of-life issue that New York City Mayor Eric Adams has identified as a top priority.”

Playing the Piano Boosts Brain Processing Power and Helps Lift the Blues (Mili)

The author writes, “A new study published by researchers at the University of Bath demonstrates the positive impact learning to play a musical instrument has on the brain’s ability to process sights and sounds, and shows how it can also help to lift a blue mood. Publishing their findings in the academic journal Nature Scientific Reports, the team behind the study shows how beginners who undertook piano lessons for just one hour a week over 11 weeks reported significant improvements in recognising audio-visual changes in the environment and reported less depression, stress and anxiety.”

Soft Robot Detects Damage and Heals Itself (Sean)

From the Cornell Chronicle: “If robots are going to venture into remote environments that humans can’t reach, such as deep underwater or distant outer space, they won’t only require power and a means to get there. They’ll also need to take good care of themselves. To that end, a team led by Rob Shepherd, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in Cornell Engineering, combined optical sensors with a composite material to create a soft robot that can detect when and where it was damaged — and then heal itself on the spot.”

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