big tech, Google, privacy, incognito mode, user data, class action settlement
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Google Agrees To Delete Incognito Data After Claiming It Was ‘Impossible’ (Maria)

The author writes, “To settle a class-action dispute over Chrome’s ‘Incognito’ mode, Google has agreed to delete billions of data records reflecting users’ private browsing activities. In a statement provided to Ars, users’ lawyer David Boies described the settlement as ‘a historic step in requiring honesty and accountability from dominant technology companies.’ Based on Google’s insights, users’ lawyers valued the settlement between $4.75B and $7.8B, the Monday court filing said. Under the settlement, Google agreed to delete class-action members’ private browsing data collected in the past, as well as to ‘maintain a change to Incognito mode that enables Incognito users to block third-party cookies by default.’”

US Support for Israel’s War Has Become Indefensible (Sean)

The author writes, “‘This is our 9/11,’ an Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson said a few days after the rape, torture, kidnapping, and mass murder of Israelis on October 7. Or it was worse than 9/11. ‘Twenty 9/11s,’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a few weeks later, once the scale of the devastation was evident. As for the current military campaign in Gaza? Earlier this month, Netanyahu told new IDF cadets, ‘We are preventing the next 9/11.’ I’m a New Yorker. For me, 9/11 was the unbearable loss of thousands of lives. But I’m also a veteran of America’s War on Terror, so for me, 9/11 was also the pretext for disastrous, poorly conceived wars that spread death and destruction, destabilized the Middle East, created new enemies, and empowered Iran.”

John Fetterman Is Bleeding Staff Since His ‘I’m Not Progressive’ Flip (DonkeyHotey)

From The New Republic: “John Fetterman has lost his top three communications staffers in the past month, a striking series of departures that follows the Pennsylvania senator’s sudden break with the left. Deputy communications director Nick Gavio’s last day in Fetterman’s office [was] Friday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. His departure follows that of Fetterman’s former communications director Joe Calvello, who left earlier this month, and press and digital aide Emma Mustion.”

Alaska Air Cut C-suite Raises To Get COVID Relief Billions. It Made up for That Last Year (Reader Steve)

From The Seattle Times: “A federal filing by Alaska Air Group on Thursday demonstrates that the sky-high levels of executive pay in corporate America are untouchable, even when companies take massive financial support from U.S. taxpayers. Alaska Air’s C-suite executives last year received millions of dollars in special additional raises beyond the norm, including $5.3 million extra for CEO Ben Minicucci, bumping his total compensation to $10.3 million. The filing states that the extra millions replace compensation given up during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the government held down executive pay while it was bailing out the airline. That rationale went down badly with the airline’s flight attendants, who are currently fighting for a new contract to address their low pay.”

Novo Nordisk’s $1,000 Diabetes Drug Ozempic Can Be Made for Less Than $5 a Month, Study Suggests (Gerry)

The author writes, “The blockbuster diabetes drug Ozempic could be manufactured for less than $5 a month, even as Novo Nordisk charges close to $1,000 per month for the injection in the U.S. before insurance, a study released Wednesday suggests. The study, from researchers at Yale University, King’s College Hospital in London and the nonprofit Doctors Without Borders, raises more questions about the hefty price tag of the top-selling diabetes treatment and similar drugs for weight loss, which are all part of a new class of treatments called GLP-1s.”

Bats Are in Trouble. That’s Not Good for Anyone Who Likes Mezcal, Rice or Avocado (Laura)

From The Guardian: “If you’ve ever enjoyed coffee, tomatoes, corn, bananas, mangoes, walnuts, chocolate, tequila or mezcal, you may just owe bats a thank-you. While bats are often the subject of fear and scorn — they’re fixtures in Halloween decor and haunted-house imagery, and are frequently portrayed as harbingers of doom — their presence is often a sign of a thriving ecosystem. Some of our favorite food and drinks would be much less plentiful, or even nonexistent, without them. … Whether it’s because we just don’t notice bats (as nocturnal animals, they’re certainly not easy to observe) or because we tend to associate them with dark and spooky things, bats are rarely championed. But as threats from habitat destruction, disease and climate change mount, it’s time that changed.”

New Technique Helps AI Tell When Humans Are Lying (Mili)

The author writes, “Researchers have developed a new training tool to help artificial intelligence (AI) programs better account for the fact that humans don’t always tell the truth when providing personal information. The new tool was developed for use in contexts when humans have an economic incentive to lie, such as applying for a mortgage or trying to lower their insurance premiums.”

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