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Of course, the biggest news this week was the President’s State of the Union address. In it, President Obama said 2014 was going to be a “year of action.” Central to the address were women in the workforce, immigration reform, inequality, and health care. The speech also included a line about instituting policies through executive order, a questionable statement for both Democrats and Republicans (they agree on something!).
Aside from the SOTU, Bloomberg reported on new information concerning NSA spying.
Not only does the NSA collect data from several “leaky” mobile apps, including Google+ (people use that?) and Candy Crush Saga, among others, but any app that uses ads has the potential to collect large amounts of information from your phone. Oh, and don’t bother trying to run and hide; your phone collects location data too.
To make tech matters worse, Facebook recently changed its Android user agreement because hey, who actually scrolls through each line of those computer licenses and takes notes? The new permissions ask for the ability to read your text messages: Facebook wants to automatically verify your phone number. And there’s no telling that Facebook’s potential snooping ends with Android. If you delete Facebook from your phone, your grades may thank you in the end...
They say that things can never be so bad that they can’t get worse. If you’re already freaked out by the amount of scary tech stuff that surrounds you every day, just wait until you hear about the man who was arrested with the help of a drone---in America. To be honest, I think we all saw this coming, but it is still a frightening concept. However, in this case, a man and his family was in “an armed standoff” with the police, and the drone may have saved lives.
So how can we stop all of this intrusive tech stuff? Cold! Cool temperatures have the potential to knock out technology and slow society, or in the south, stop it altogether. Atlanta saw less than three inches of snow the other day...but life stopped in its tracks. The National Guard was deployed, short commutes took hours, and children were stuck in their schools. I guess snow is a chilling prospect for Georgia.
And what week of news is complete without mention of North Korea? The DPRK has restarted one of its plutonium nuclear reactors and “expanded the size of the uranium enrichment facility” in the western province of North Korea. Kim Jung Un, arguably the world’s most volatile leader, has already demonstrated that he will not follow diplomatic sanctions. Plutonium is another source of material for a bomb (remember that FroSci lecture...?). Let’s hope that the supreme leader gets his head screwed on straight soon.
Chris Sabaitis is a sophomore in the College studying mathematics and history. He was a model for Ford Modeling Company when he was about eight years old, but he got tired of making the commute to NYC every other day and, never really understanding why he had to dress up in new clothes to get photographed, quit.