DINNER PARTY INTEL: Russia puts political spin on Pokémon Go
1. Reaping the harvest
Zimbabwe has banned fruit and vegetable imports to save scarce foreign currency in the face of a worsening economic crisis. Foreign currency "wasted" on carrots and grapes will now be directed to buy fertilisers and pesticides, government has said. It expects local producers to meet the shortfall — but Zimbabwe has relied heavily on imports since it introduced ill-executed land reform policies at the turn of the century.
2. Russia’s power play
Russian efforts to meddle in US politics did not end at Facebook and Twitter, it seems. CNN reports that a Russian-linked account shows its tentacles extended to augmented reality game Pokémon Go.
One Russian-linked campaign posing as part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Pokémon Go, and even contacted reporters in an effort to exploit racial tensions, the broadcaster says. The campaign reveals how Russian agents created an online ecosystem through which divisive political messages were reinforced across multiple platforms.
3. Google goes galactic
If you’ve wanted to visit Dione, one of the moons that orbits Saturn, your time has come. Google now lets you virtually visit a dozen planets and moons in the solar system through Google Maps. The company first made it possible to view the moon and Mars in 2014. It has now added imagery of Pluto, Venus and several moons to its lineup, and also made it easier to find them in its Maps app.
Go on, then. Venture to the edge of the solar system ... but be back by lunch.