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Weekend Reads 6/2/18

Are Viruses the New Frontier for Astrobiology?

Scientists can hunt for extraterrestrial cellular life forms, such as bacteria or more complex life, by looking for certain chemicals on a planet or in its atmosphere, but virions do not create byproducts like methane or oxygen. But, the authors hypothesize, if viruses had once infected life on other planets, perhaps those viruses changed the host organism’s metabolism, and this could be remotely detected from Earth.

Southern Baptists have more repenting to do

Centuries of male domination and patriarchy, organized and unorganized, don’t yield without a struggle. The struggle takes extra time and self-examination for straight white men like Mohler and his peers, who tend to be not only deeply privileged but also largely unconscious of (or in denial about) that privilege.

America Watches Black Pain. Then We Move On

On April 22, four individuals — all minorities — were killed by a senseless gunman at an Antioch Waffle House outside of Nashville, Tenn. James Shaw Jr. charged at the shooter and the two tussled for a bit before Shaw managed to wrestle the firearm away. Shaw tossed it over the counter, and the gunman fled, he said. Yet, within hours our focus had quickly shifted.

Why Is Your Location Data No Longer Private?

The FCC privacy rules from 2016 that were overturned by Congress sought to give consumers more choice about how their data was to be used, stored and shared. But consumers now have less “choice” than ever about how their mobile provider shares their data and with whom. Worse, the mobile and broadband providers themselves are failing to secure their own customers’ data.

This month, it emerged that the major mobile providers have been giving commercial third-parties the ability to instantly look up the precise location of any mobile subscriber in real time.

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