We hope you were able to power down your smartphone and spend time with family and friends this week. But news never stops, so we found disturbing, compelling, newsworthy and uplifting stories from the week you should take a look at. Happy reading!
A space startup called Swarm Technologies was slapped with $900,000 in fines by the US Federal Communications Commission this week for illegally launching four satellites in January 2018, the MIT Technology Review reports. The investigation into the unsanctioned launches took nearly a year, and while the fine isn’t bank-breaking, the FCC said it’s betting the swarm of negative press will deter any Elon Musk wanna-bes.
There’s a revolution happening in El Salvador, and MS-13, the brutal gang often referenced by President Trump, is at the heart of it. A new investigation funded by the Pulitzer Center and published in LongReads reveals that many gang members have found a loophole in the lifetime of service required by MS-13: God. But not everyone in the community appreciates that these born-again Christians are being forgiven for the terror they’ve inflicted on their neighbors. Can they be forgiven? Should they?
Disgraced actor Kevin Spacey will face felony chargers for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage boy at a Nantucket bar in July 2016 — but that’s only part of the story. Spacey broke his silence this week for the first time since he was accused by multiple people of sexual assault, releasing a House of Cards-style monologue in which he dons a Christmas apron and asks — no, demands, really — for viewers to “Let Me Be Frank.” W Magazine called the video spine-crawling, and we have to agree. Take a look. Brace for impact.
Digital license plates have arrived, and with them, a host of conveniences — and privacy concerns. Smithsonian Magazine reports these digital displays are already available in California, and allow drivers to pay tolls, parking meters and traffic violations automatically. They can also track a stolen car, record collisions and monitor carbon emissions. But the magazine also highlights concerns from cybersecurity experts who point out data-mining, surveillance, and the potential exploitation of GPS records by insurers and/or advertisers.
How can you be a better person in 2018? The New York Times wants you to have more sex, less screen time, and increased face-to-face interaction with the people you care about. We have some advice, too: Have a Happy New Year, and keep coming back for more in 2019. We’ll see you out there.
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