The Daily Populous

Wednesday May 19th, 2021 night edition

image for Amazon’s Ring is the largest civilian surveillance network the US has ever seen | Lauren Bridges

Ring video doorbells, Amazon’s signature home security product, pose a serious threat to a free and democratic society.

Not only is Ring’s surveillance network spreading rapidly, it is extending the reach of law enforcement into private property and expanding the surveillance of everyday life.

Ring is effectively building the largest corporate-owned, civilian-installed surveillance network that the US has ever seen.

An estimated 400,000 Ring devices were sold in December 2019 alone, and that was before the across-the-board boom in online retail sales during the pandemic.

The always-on video surveillance network extends even further when you consider the millions of users on Ring’s affiliated crime reporting app, Neighbors, which allows people to upload content from Ring and non-Ring devices.

In doing so, Ring blurs the line between police work and civilian surveillance and turns your neighbor’s home security system into an informant.

Although Ring doesn’t currently use facial recognition in its cameras, Amazon has sold this technology to police in the past. »

Leonardo DiCaprio leads $43m pledge to restore the Galápagos Islands

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Leonardo DiCaprio has announced a $43m (£30.4m) pledge to enact sweeping conservation operations across the Galápagos Islands, with his social media accounts taken over by a wildlife veterinarian and island restoration specialist.

A Floreana mockingbird, one of the island’s locally extinct species and the first mockingbird described by Charles Darwin.

DiCaprio said: “When I travelled to the Galápagos Islands, I met with Paula Castaño and other environmental heroes in Ecuador working day in and day out to save one of the most irreplaceable places on the planet. »

Police seize 'super obedient' lookout parrot trained by Brazilian drug dealers

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The parrot, who has not been named, was seized on Monday afternoon when officers swooped on a drug den run by a local couple.

“He must have been trained for this,” one officer involved in the operation said of the two-winged wrongdoer.

Alexandre Clark, a local vet, confirmed the parrot had not cooperated: “Lots of police officers have come by and he’s said nothing.”. »

Why are song lyrics becoming simpler? a time series analysis of lyrical complexity in six decades of American popular music

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Finally, simpler songs entering the charts were more successful, reaching higher chart positions, especially in years when more novel songs were produced.

200], finding that popular songs lyrics from 1980–2007 reflected an increase in self-focus and a decrease in other-focus.

But one major trend in popular music lyrics remained underexplored and unexplained—popular music lyrics are coming increasingly simple over time. »