Welcome to the Mozilla News Beat, a glance at the internet news of the week in order of best-to-worst. Enjoy!
Watch Right Meow
Watch a chicken give birth to kittens! Okay, not really. But we do strongly suggest you watch this video of these baby cats staying warm and cozy underneath all those feathers.
A Greener Path
Already drive an electric car? Great! Not quite living on the bleeding edge? Well Google Maps’ new default feature may help you reduce your carbon footprint. The company’s Maps app will soon consider fuel consumption, traffic congestion and road incline when routing. If the green way takes much more time than the less-planet-friendly way, Google will offer both as an option.
Ads Ad Infinitum
Apple’s app-tracking transparency feature is coming and apps that rely on tracking users to inform ad insights are prepping for the worst. The Wall Street Journal reports that companies are testing workarounds. Some are creating a new advertising identifier to track users. Others apps, WSJ speculates, may simply have to go from free to paid.
Bye Bye Bots
It isn’t news that Amazon is anti-union. What is news, however, is The Guardian’s discovery of numerous fake Twitter accounts posing as anti-union Amazon workers. Amazon does have “ambassadors” that share positive things about the company on social media but the retailer says it didn’t do this. Twitter has started suspending the accounts posing as Amazon workers.
Blocking The Word “Asian”
If you use your iPhone in “Limit Adult Websites” mode, you probably noticed how searching for “Stop Asian Hate” on Google or DuckDuckGo is impossible. That’s because iOS’s parental blockers restrict any search term containing the word “Asian.” Extremely strange. Now that’s changing — Mashable noticed the latest beta of Apple’s iOS 14.5 update addresses the issue.
Caught On Camera
In a write-up by The Verge, the site examines the use of surveillance in our cities and whether or not it actually prevents hate crimes that take place in Asian-American communities and elsewhere. The article poses interesting questions, mainly: how do we properly protect society’s most vulnerable communities?
From social media suggestions to credit scores to even job hiring, algorithms can be the invisible forces that affect our quality of life. It can even determine what kind of care a patient gets. A new study reveals how a widely-used medical algorithm affects Black patients differently from white patients. Analyzing 57,000 people with chronic kidney disease, white patients in the group would have been placed into more severe categories than Black patients. Getting sorted into a more dire group may lead a doctor to recommend a kidney specialist sooner or refer patients for a kidney transplant.
The News Beat
Audrey Hingle, Will Easton, Xavier Harding
Natalie Worth, Nancy Tran
Alexander Zimmerman, Will Easton
Want more? See stories that just missed making the News Beat on our Pocket.