Letters 11/19: More stimulus, Big Tech, and more

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Stimulus needed

Human rights efforts by Boulder are to be commended, especially with a current focus on affordable housing (Re: “Shifting the focus of human rights in Boulder,” Guest Column, Nov. 12, 2020). This is a problem across the U.S., and the pandemic has exacerbated the situation for renters and landlords. The House has passed relief twice that would have made a difference, which the Senate failed to pass. Now is the time to make a difference for people across the nation by asking your senators to pass this relief. A five-minute call, 202-224-3121, can make a difference.

Willie Dickerson/via internet

Don’t just complain; avoid

(Re: “Big Tech has become Big Brother,” Letters, Nov. 12, 2020):

Some search engines and browsers collect data on everything you do, but not all. So don’t just protest (which feels good but is likely futile); do what the net has always done: route around it.

Replace Google with the free software non-tracking DuckDuckGo. You’ll have the same search capabilities without the tracking. You’ll notice the searches aren’t as accurately targeted, but that’s good! It means that DuckDuckGo isn’t collecting the minutiae of your every move in order to track you.

Look to free software; consider Firefox as a browser.

If you have Apple devices, use the latest Safari (web browser). Not only does it not track you; it will even tell you which trackers it blocked!

Despite Apple being “Big Tech” in one sense, it is very security-aware: Apple sells itself on security plus it doesn’t sell user-tracking info. The combination of Apple Safari with DuckDuckGo as a search engine is about as private as you can be while surfing.

Keep protesting, but protect yourself in the meantime.

Dick Dunn/Longmont

Opt out of meat

As the pandemic continues to ravage the country, now is the time for Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet to support federal funding for cultured-meat research. For those who don’t know, cultured meat is grown from cells. Since animals are removed from the process, the risk of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 making the jump to humans is significantly reduced.

The idea of cultured meat on grocery shelves might sound far-fetched. But such products are already being developed by a number of companies, like JUST and Memphis Meats. Unfortunately, the science hasn’t advanced to the point at which cultured meat can compete with the price of traditional meat. Federal funding for more research would help fix that.

Jon Hochschartner/via internet