NewsBytes Briefing: Google bats for the terrorists, and more
Google faced some internal turmoil over the contentious issue of foiling a nine-month-long counterterrorism operation run by an unnamed US ally. The state agencies were using sophisticated zero-day exploits to compromise phones and computers allegedly belonging to terrorists. Google chose to ignore employees advocating against interfering in an ongoing counterterrorism operation and shut down the covert hacking campaign of the unnamed government agency.
The next story thankfully has zero moral ambivalence. What we have here is an evil corporation openly profiting off slave labor and lobbying the US government to ignore said slave labor practices. And, now Apple is gaslighting everyone to believing that its App Store is not a monopoly because you can run the web versions of some apps off the Safari browser.
In 2019, scientists linked eight radio telescopes across the globe to create an Earth-sized Event Horizon Telescope. That's how we got the first real image of the black hole, or rather the radio emissions emanating from it. Two years later, scientists have managed to capture an even more detailed image of the Messier 87 galaxy's black hole influencing the magnetic fields around it.
Speaking of black holes, a new book reveals that rampant exposure to plastics is causing human penises to shrink en masse. The potentially extinction-level crisis is caused by phthalates, a class of chemicals used to manufacture plastics. The book's author paints a grim picture: most men will lose the ability to produce viable sperm by 2045. Now, where have we heard of that before?
By the looks of it, the human race will go obsolete before it has the luxury of going extinct. Boston Dynamics revealed something that will have Jeff Bezos drooling. Its latest robot Stretch is designed to load and unload shipping boxes without lunch breaks, sick leaves, forming unions, dropping dead, or otherwise needing 20 seconds to pee into bottles. Amazon warehouse employees are on notice.