Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 20

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time for another Weekly Reader! As always, if you have something that you want to share, drop a link in the comments section!

FBI asking about videos and racist website in connection with Colorado shooting (from NBC News): “The website allegedly created by Aldrich is a forum-type “free speech” site where people have anonymously posted racist and antisemitic memes, language and videos.

“A video on the homepage titled “Wrong Targets” advocates for killing civilians as part of a larger effort to “assassinate the elites at the top” and “cleanse” society.”

Law Enforcement Is Extracting Tons Of Data From Vehicle Infotainment Systems (from TechDirt): “Another vehicle system search — this one performed by the ATF — was accompanied by the same claim: infotainment systems not only give investigators access to useful data, but could also reveal user passwords. This (unverified) claim echoed the one made by the CBP agent in regards to the search of the Dodge Charger. What’s undeniable is the fact that investigators are working around phone encryption (and, perhaps, cell phone search warrants) by accessing phone data via connected infotainment systems, rather than trying to access (possibly locked) phones themselves.”

US McDonald’s franchisees fined for making children work excessive hours (from The Guardian): “The investigation found that 14- and 15-year-olds worked more than three hours a day or more than 18 hours a week during the school week. Minors were also working past 7pm on a school night and past 9pm during summer vacation, both of which are also violations.”

QAnon Thinks Kirstie Alley Was Murdered Because She Was an Anti-vaxxer (from Vice): “Anti-vaccine conspiracy channels typically blame a sudden death like Alley’s on the COVID vaccine, with a recent conspiracy film called “Died Suddenly” racking up almost 2 million views on Twitter in just a couple of weeks. But because Alley claimed she never got the vaccine, and spread plenty of conspiracies herself, members of conspiracy groups worked quickly to try and come up with new, and false, theories about Alley’s death.”

Elon Musk’s ‘amnesty’ pledge brings back QAnon, far-right Twitter accounts (from NBC News): “In that time, Brown has logged an estimated 12,000 reversals of past bans, in a set that, while not a definitive list of reversals, provides a window into the types of users being welcomed back to the platform and leaving experts alarmed. Among the spammers, copyright rule-breakers, adult-content creators and high-profile accounts, Twitter has reopened the door to a growing and emboldened community of trolls, white nationalists, conspiracy theorists and extreme right-wing activists.”

Exclusive: Musk’s Neuralink faces federal probe, employee backlash over animal tests (from Reuters): “The investigation has come at a time of growing employee dissent about Neuralink’s animal testing, including complaints that pressure from CEO Musk to accelerate development has resulted in botched experiments, according to a Reuters review of dozens of Neuralink documents and interviews with more than 20 current and former employees. Such failed tests have had to be repeated, increasing the number of animals being tested and killed, the employees say. The company documents include previously unreported messages, audio recordings, emails, presentations and reports.”

The Nazis’ War on Christmas (from History.com): “During the 1930s and 1940s, the Nazis did their best to transform Germany’s beloved Christmas traditions into Nazi ones. Though Hitler’s attempts to create a national church failed, his party’s attempt to redefine religious celebrations was more successful. To do this, they used ideology and propaganda to put the holiday in line with the national socialists’ anti-Semitic values.”

It Only Takes One Parent to Get All The Graphic Novels Removed From a School Library (from Vice): “Mass book challenges and bans have created a climate of fear in school and public libraries. Parents who object to books on LGBTQ and racial justice topics have organized with right-wing groups like Moms for Liberty and shown up to complain at school board meetings, with some parents threatening school districts with lawsuits. School administrators in some states are also facing new laws restricting library books, causing them to suspend and vet books whenever anyone files any kind of complaint about them.”

Transformers: Earthspark Twists the Franchise In a Great Way (from Gizmodo): “It’s in this balance of the familiar and the new that Earthspark creates a compelling family show that jukes where Transformers reboots typically jive. Loosely treating the classic show as a historical event, and tying two generations of the Malto family’s relationship to it, the series creates fertile ground for enough nostalgic elements—although stylized, the classic Transformers and Decepticons are largely close to their Generation 1 designs—to lure in older fans, while also giving an earnest new perspective for viewers in Twitch and Thrash, largely unaware of their kind’s past, with Robby and Mo acting as a bridge between those two perspectives. As someone with a passive familiarity with Transformers, there was enough allure here of the worldbuilding to draw me into the show immediately, and the charm of what’s new—especially Twitch and Thrash, who make for a cutesy, tween-esque lens into the Transformers world—was enough to keep me watching.”

How choosing ‘Girl’ in early RPGs inspired today’s game designers (from Polygon): “It’s easier for characters to seem human if they can be flawed, but who wants to make the only queer character evil, foolish, or even just clumsy on their feet? With more voices involved in the creation process and more representation of different identities in media, every character can feel more human and real, regardless of their gender, sexuality, or other traits.”

That’s all for today, but don’t worry! I’ll be back again with more reading material for you! Until then, have a great rest of your week and happy reading!


About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon--official and non--since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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