Genetic Surveillance, Hacking Airliners & Pentagon Wish Lists‏: Apr. 16, 2015

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How “Genetic Surveillance” Will Reveal Your Personal Details
by Andy Roesgen
A Chicago professor’s obsession with a single strand of hair leads her to create face sculptures of random strangers—from DNA extracted from bits of trash they leave behind. These creepy creations pose big questions when it comes to privacy and state surveillance.

WHO

The 100 Most Influential People
It’s time for Time to drive up flagging sales with its annual “Most Influential” list of celebrities, politicians, business leaders and thinkers. The list features blurbs about famous people penned by other famous people—like Jack Nicholson writing about Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, President Obama lauding Indian PM Narendra Modi, and Elon Musk touting “boundary breaker” Kanye West.

Hackers Could Commandeer New Planes Through Passenger Wi-Fi
Apparently, the FAA has been warning Boeing for seven years that the Wi-Fi on its new Dreamliner jet is vulnerable to hacking… but little has been done to fix the potentially dangerous flaw. In fact, the Wi-Fi passenger network uses the same network as the plane’s avionics system, meaning a hacker could hijack the navigation system or commandeer the plane through the in-plane network. Oops!

K Street Swarms on Pentagon’s ‘Wish Lists’
Christmas comes early (and often) for both the Military-Industrial Complex and the “swarms” of lobbyists they hire to help them grab as much taxpayer coin as possible. In this instance, the scramble is for “unfunded priorities”—the Pentagon’s “wish list” of yet unfunded equipment, weaponry and services requested by the four branches. This year the total is $21 billion and K Street’s swarms are all over that pile of potential cash like flies on… well… you know.

Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street Backers: We Get It
Politico talked to some of Hillary’s “former” constituents on Wall Street about the “populist” rhetoric now coming from the former Senator from New York. Hillary has even gone so far as to praise Wall Street’s main nemesis, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), as a “progressive champion.” But Wall Street isn’t worried. They know she’s just saying what she needs to say to get elected.

WHAT

New Brain Science Shows Poor Kids Have Smaller Brains Than Affluent Kids
Why do poorer children consistently lag behind their richer peers? Neuroscientists studying the achievement gap found that the brains of children in families earning less than $25,000 per year had surface areas 6% percent smaller than those whose families earned $150,000 or more. They scored lower on cognitive tests, too. So, instead of blaming “failed teachers” and “failed schools,” maybe it’s time to blame a failed economic system that denies the poor kids basic requirements necessary for proper physical development and growth.

WHY

Should the Allies have Bombed Auschwitz? A Still-Incendiary Question
As Israel prepared for Holocaust Remembrance Day, The Times of Israel examined one of World War II’s longest-standing and most-controversial questions: Why didn’t the Allies bomb the rail lines feeding Auschwitz? The debate has raged for years, with some alleging tacit, if not explicit, anti-Semitism on the part of Churchill and FDR. Others say Allied bombers didn’t have the fighter coverage required to fly past Berlin. And still others assert that cutting off the rail lines wouldn’t have stopped the murders. It is a fascinating debate well-worth reading.

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