Google, privacy, tracking, change
Photo credit: Pxhere

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

Google Workspace to Strip Privacy Control From Admins, Re-enable Tracking (Maria)

The author writes, “Starting on March 29, Google is changing its infamous ‘Web & App Activity’ controls for paid users of Google Workspace. That feature is now being split up into two settings, one still called ‘Web & App Activity’ and another called ‘Search history.’ The big news is that Google is taking advantage of this settings split to re-enable some tracking features, even if users have previously opted out.”

Biden’s Campaign Donors Don’t Want Him to End US Support for the Yemen War (Reader Jim)

From Truthout: “In late January, the Saudi-United Arab Emirates (UAE) coalition carried out an airstrike on a prison in Yemen, killing more than 90 detainees and injuring many more. Among the rubble was a fragment of the weapon used to do it. On it was a Raytheon Technologies manufacturer code. A few days later, the CEO of Raytheon, Greg Hayes, was discussing the escalation of the war in Yemen and Ukraine when he said, ‘I fully expect we’re going to see some benefit from it.’ The Biden administration, ignoring its promises about Yemen from a year ago, is embracing the escalation of the war as they refuse to suspend any support to Saudi Arabia. Raytheon, a company that sees profits from the war in Yemen, gave President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign over half a million dollars in 2020.”

The Great Amazon Land Grab How Brazil’s Government Is Turning Public Land Private, Clearing the Way for Deforestation (Gerry)

From The Conversation: “Imagine that several state legislators decide that Yellowstone National Park is too big. Also imagine that, working with federal politicians, they change the law to downsize the park by a million acres, which they sell in a private auction. Outrageous? Yes. Unheard of? No. It happens routinely and with increasing frequency in the Brazilian Amazon. The most widely publicized threat to the Amazonian rainforest is deforestation. Less well understood is that public lands are being converted to private holdings in a land grab we’ve been studying for the past decade.”

The Coronavirus May Cause Fat Cells to Miscommunicate, Leading to Diabetes (Mili)

The author writes, “People who had COVID-19 were 31 percent to 166 percent more likely to develop diabetes than people who never got the disease, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in the Jan. 14 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. And diabetes was 116 percent more likely to strike people who had infections with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, than people who had infections with other respiratory viruses. The new cases of diabetes after COVID-19 includes type 1 diabetes in children younger than 18 years-old and type 2 diabetes in adults.”

National Butterfly Center Smeared by Pizzagate-Style Disinfo Campaign Closing ‘for the Immediate Future’ (Bethany)

From Deceleration: “The board of directors at a nature preserve that has stood against border wall construction in the Rio Grande Valley — and suffered for it, with blistering social media attacks and on-the-ground harassment — has decided to close its doors ‘for the immediate future.’ In a ‘Nectar’ newsletter … Jeffrey Glassberg, president and founder of the North American Butterfly Association, parent organization to the center, said the decision boiled down to one of prioritizing the ‘safety of our staff and visitors.’ The center closed over the weekend after Virginia Congressional candidate Kimberly Lowe engaged in a physical altercation with director Marianna Treviño-Wright at the center while accusing Treviño-Wright of being complicit in human trafficking in the area. It was an echo of Brian Kolfage’s accusations of years ago, when the head of a privately funded We Build the Wall effort attacked the center’s director with even worse accusations. (Kolfage, some likely remember, was later indicted on multiple federal charges including fraud and money laundering.)”

The Radical Woman Behind Goodnight Moon (Dan)

The author writes, “Bruce Handy, in his 2017 book about children’s literature, Wild Things, confesses that he always imagined the writer Margaret Wise Brown to be a dowdy old lady ‘with an ample lap’ — just like the matronly bunny from her classic story Goodnight Moon, who whispers ‘hush’ as evening darkens a ‘great green room.’ In fact, Brown was a seductive iconoclast with a Katharine Hepburn mane and a compulsion for ignoring the rules. Anointed by Life in 1946 as the ‘World’s Most Prolific Picture-Book Writer,’ she burned through her money as quickly as she earned it, travelling to Europe on ocean liners and spending entire advances on Chrysler convertibles. Her friends called her ‘mercurial’ and ‘mystical.’ Though many of her picture books were populated with cute animals, she wore wolfskin jackets, had a fetish for fur, and hunted rabbits on weekends. Her romances were volatile: she was engaged to two men but never married, and she had a decade-long affair with a woman. At the age of forty-two, she died suddenly, in the South of France, after a clot cut off the blood supply to her brain.”

Raspberries for Cauliflower? The Bizarre World of Online Grocery Store Substitutions (Dana)

The author writes, “‘I was craving this one specific ice cream,’ said Ms. Barnes, of Victorville, Calif. ‘I guess Walmart had other plans.’ Global supply chains are in turmoil and supermarket shelves are looking sparse. So order packers are winging it. Roses swapped for bell pepper. A thermometer switched for mac and cheese. A rapid Covid test traded for Halls lozenges. … Online shoppers have been left amused, puzzled and annoyed.”


Comments are closed.