Edition 16 — Melting Glaciers, Vaccine Recipes, Watching TV

by Kartik Chaturvedi

May 16, 2021

The Big Stories

Melting Glaciers Are Changing Earth’s Tilt

While Earth’s north and south poles are usually where the axis of rotation crosses, they are not permanent. In fact, the axis changes slightly every now and then due to ocean currents and convection deep within Earth’s magma layers. However, this is the first time scientists have linked the changes to glaciers melting at the poles, which is causing a big change in the distribution of Earth’s mass. This has led to polar drift (when the axis of rotation moves) of about 4 meters since 1980.

How Pfizer Makes Its Covid-19 Vaccine

With the magic of DNA sequencing and RNA printing technology, Pfizer’s vaccine recipe took only about 2 days to make. Then came the hard part - mass production. This report shows the massive scale at which vaccines are being made around the world.

Vizio makes nearly as much money from ads and data as it does from TVs

Selling low-cost TVs means lower profit margins for the manufacturer. Many TV brands have started to enter the advertising and data analytics space in an effort to bring in some extra money, especially as viewership rises due to people staying at home. Most smart TVs today come with some kind of operating system that can record and observe what is being displayed on the screen at any time. This data of viewing habits and preferences is used to generate a viewer profile, which is sold to advertising companies that can target you with ads that suit the viewer profile. And since smart TVs are almost always connected to the internet, the profile can easily be linked to your household’s IP address, so the targeted ads can show up on all of your devices and increase the chance of being clicked on.

The good news is that it is very unlikely that this kind of viewing data includes any sensitive information. And most TV brands have a way to opt out of this data collection, hidden deep within the settings (they are required by law to include the option, but they hope you don’t find it).

More Interesting News

European food safety panel reclassifies common food coloring as unsafe

Ancient Australian ‘superhighways’ suggested by massive supercomputing study

Venmo shows who you’re friends with even if you’re Joe Biden

Huawei eavesdropped on 6.5 million Dutch mobile users — here’s how

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