Robocall Hell, Divination Bot Returns, And A Fake MD: Best Gizmodo Stories Of The Week

Clockwise from top left: Photo: AP; Illustration: GMG Art / Damien Sendler; Illustration: Maria Mellor (Flickr, CC BY 2.0); Photo: Keith Springer

The winds of time blow strangely here, in our unfortunate state of internet-enabled perpetual present, but how the heck is it already March? This is not a rhetorical question. If you could explain this to me, that would be great.

Yet in keeping pace with the relentless march of seconds turning into minutes turning into hours turning into days, Gizmodo had a busy week! As March approached, our intrepid reporters covered Google workers’ activism to do away with forced arbitration when they raise allegations of harassment and discrimination, the bedbug-like epidemic of robocalls still sweeping the U.S., Big Pharma’s attempts to justify bloated drug prices, and a fake doctor who managed to get his work covered in dozens (if not hundreds) of online articles on sexuality.

And in between our interview with David Walker on the power of black history in comics and the disturbing ruminations of our Divination Bot, we even found the time to get spooked out by Momo.

All this and more, below:

Google Workers' Fight To End Forced Arbitration Heads To D.C.

In a bustling room inside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday afternoon, a group of survivors wearing black pins stand behind a podium that reads #EndForcedArbitration. They are all waiting to share their stories — of sexual harassment, of sexual assault, of racial discrimination, of unfair labour practices, of consumer exploitation. The common thread connecting these disjointed individuals is that they have all been silenced, forced to settle their disputes behind closed doors. Forced to waive their right to have their day in court.

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Upcoming Tech IPOs Will Mint Hundreds Of Overnight Millionaires And Silicon Valley Vultures Are Licking Their Chops

The day started with an intense tropical storm consuming San Francisco, but by evening the clouds had parted just in time for a group of grinning and excited venture capitalists, techies, and real estate agents to gather at atop a downtown highrise that overlooks the city all the way to across the Bay to Oakland.

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There's No End In Sight To Robocall Hell In The U.S.

If Thanos came to Earth and only wanted to turn robocallers into dust, the Avengers would let him. And given how bad spam calls have gotten, surely most if not every adult with a mobile phone in the U.S., and certainly everyone in the half of U.S. households that still have landlines, would throw Thanos a parade.

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Microsoft Employees Demand Company End $US670 ($946) Million Contract With US Army

Ahead of the rumoured announcement of the HoloLens 2 headset at Mobile World Congress, a group of concerned employees at Microsoft have begun circulating a letter demanding the august tech firm sever an augmented reality contract it won with the US Army last year.

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Australian Siblings Are Semi-Identical Twins, Some Of The Rarest Humans Ever

A pair of Australian siblings are some of the rarest humans ever documented, according to their doctors. The brother and sister are said to be semi-identical twins, sharing the exact same DNA from their mother’s side, but only a portion of their father’s genetic makeup. The children are thought to be only the second case of semi-identical twins discovered, and the first to be identified during pregnancy.

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Here Are The Three Dumbest Claims Pharma CEOs Made When Defending Exorbitant Drug Prices

On Tuesday, seven prominent CEOs and leaders of pharmaceutical companies appeared before the Senate Finance Committee at a congressional hearing called to address the industry’s relentless raising of drug prices.

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A U.S. City Just Granted Legal Rights To A Lake

Crystal Jankowski went into labour during the 2014 water crisis in Toledo, Ohio. The city’s 276,000 residents couldn’t use their tap water at all for a weekend in August — no drinking, bathing, nada. The water, supplied by Lake Erie, had become toxic due to the lake’s dangerous algae overgrowth.

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The U.S. May Finally Get An Early Warning System For Volcanoes

America is home to 161 active volcanoes spread across 12 states and two overseas territories. This easily makes it one of the most volcanic places on Earth, which is why it’s deeply strange that the United States doesn’t yet have a nationwide early warning system for its fiery mountains.

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Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - The 77 Most Fascinating Things We Learned On Our Trip

Have you been dying to learn all the nitty-gritty details on what you’ll find inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? That wait is over.

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Brie Larson Believes Carol And Maria Are The 'Great Love' Of Captain Marvel

Carol Danvers being best friends with Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel is an interesting spin on her comics counterpart. That version of Carol has a longstanding history with Monica Rambeau, the first woman to go by “Captain Marvel.” In the upcoming film, Monica is Maria’s young daughter, but it’s her mother who really has the chance to step into a new role as a hero.

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Do Dogs Get Headaches?

From the outside a dog’s life can seem close to ideal, at least at those moments when your desire to do nothing runs up against the imperatives of being alive (going to work, doing dishes, buying food for the dog, etc.). Plus, dogs generally don’t require fistfulls of Advil just to make it through the day. But would they, if they understood the concept of medicine, and could somehow unscrew those childproof caps with their paws? Put otherwise: do dogs get headaches? For this week’s Giz Asks, we reached out to a number of experts in canine medicine and behaviour to find out.

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Your March Horoscope Is Here, And Our AI Astrologer Is Getting Smarter

Welcome to AIstrology. With the help of research scientist Janelle Shane, we built a bot to generate monthly horoscopes. Each horoscope below is a prediction based on a wealth of predictions for each sign; a distillation of what the stars have in store for you this month.

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Honestly, Momo Scares The Shit Out Of Me

Last night I woke up at 3:00 AM heaving and sweating. A bug-eyed, banged and beaked entity was haunting my mind’s eye. Online, she’s just known as Momo.

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