Weekly Mozilla News Beat, October 2, 2020


By Mozilla | Oct. 2, 2020 | Moz News Beat

Mozilla News Beat

A Wholesome Moment

Being a good dad means joining your kid for play time — even when mud is involved. Watch as the daughter invites her dad into the mud, the dad stares directly into the camera and then proceeds to splash around with his young one. Sir, you are a real one.

Via Twitter

A...Less Wholesome Moment

Animal antics ensued when five parrots at a British wildlife park were moved out of view after they started swearing at visitors. We feel you, parrots. It’s been that kind of year.


Headline: Great Lakes

Two years ago scientists detected the possibility of water within Mars — a huge lake 19 miles in diameter beneath its south pole. Newer tests show us that those previous findings are even more likely to be true, with multiple sources of water potentially nearby.

Via Motherboard

Help Save The Planet

New research out of the journal Global Environmental Change notes that, 30 years from now, we could bring energy use down to 1960 levels (and still live comfortably) using tech that already exists — even if the population triples like it’s expected to.

Via Gizmodo


Struggling with false posts plaguing your news feed? Recode’s written a comprehensive guide on protecting yourself from falling prey to misinformation and disinformation on your timeline.

Via Vox

Old McDonald Had* A Farm

Wow, remember Facebook games? Before the social network was known for destroying democracy, millions of users tended to virtual farms in between liking photos and sending their crushes memes. Now, after 11 years, Farmville is finally closing its barn doors.

Via Ars Technica

Smart Home Revolt

Researchers at Avast discovered a worrisome vulnerability in the internet-connected coffee maker space. They reverse-engineered Smarter’s coffee machine, and were able to turn on the burner, spin the bean grinder and even demand ransom. Watch out for this one during the robot apocalypse.

Via SlashGear

Deeply Troubling

Nonpartisan advocacy group RepresentUs released two deepfake videos, where actors + software impersonated Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin. The message: the U.S. doesn’t need us to undermine the election, others might.

Via Insider

Virtually Left Behind

Not all remote learning is created equal. Take the story of Shemar, an elementary school student in Baltimore whose lack of computer, internet and proper support system put him at a disadvantage when lessons went virtual. Shemar’s story is all too common this pandemic.

Via Pro Publica

Housing Law Dilemma

Blurb: Algorithms have long determined what shows up in our social feeds and search results. Now they decide who gets to live where. A report from The Markup tosses racial bias into the mix: when complaints of discrimination surface, who’s at fault? The landlord or the software?

Via The Markup

Hacking Scare

Experts worry that the U.S. may not be ready for the next big hack-and-leak — when bad actors dig up dirt on a presidential candidate and use the information to discredit them or distract from something else in the news. The worst may be yet to come.

Via MIT Tech Review

“Stand back and Standby”

When Trump was asked to denounce white supremacy, he instead told groups like the Proud Boys to “stand back and standby.” After his comment, Proud Boys saw a spike in group-joins on Telegram — the app they use to gather after their suspension from Facebook and Twitter in 2018.

Via New York Times

Want more? See stories that just missed making the News Beat on our Pocket.

Sign up for our email list to receive the Mozilla News Beat every week in your inbox.

We use Twemoji licensed under the CC-BY 4.0 open source license.