And political campaigns are paying attention: Welcome to the new frontier of campaign tech — a loosely regulated world in which simply downloading a weather app or game, connecting to Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or powering up a home router can allow a data broker to monitor your movements with ease, then compile the location information and sell it to a political candidate who can use it to surround you with messages. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

This person does not exist: The young girl on the computer screen is adorable, with rosy cheeks, blue-gray eyes, wispy red toddler hair and lips just hinting at a smile. But she doesn’t exist in real life. She’s a face generated on a website — aptly titled thispersondoesnotexist — by artificial intelligence. READ MORE

Cities running on old software: The only place in San Francisco still pricing real estate like it’s the 1980s is the city assessor’s office. Its property tax system dates back to the dawn of the floppy disk. City employees appraising the market work with software that runs on a dead programming language and can’t be used with a mouse. READ MORE

WEB COMMERCE

Is that review for real? Fake reviews are increasingly prevalent across many top retailer websites, according to a study from Fakespot, which analyzes online customer reviews for fake or unreliable reviews. READ MORE

FTC suing company accused of paying for fake reviews: The Federal Trade Commission announced a groundbreaking lawsuit Tuesday against a company it accuses of paying for fake Amazon reviews. But the agency may have a lot more work to do if it wants to end the scourge of fake online reviews. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

FDA seeks to ensure safety of imported foods: The FDA is making a new effort to ensure the safety of imported food, including the use of predictive risk modeling to identify if certain foods need to be tested or stopped at the border, USA Today reports. READ MORE

WATER

Farmers should be concerned: Citizens of Toledo, Ohio, value Lake Erie, and in a recent special election more than 60 percent of those who turned out voted to provide extra protections for the body of water. Now any citizen can sue anyone who “causes harm” to the lake’s ecosystem. Farmers should be concerned. READ MORE

WEATHER EMERGENCIES

Wildfires burn in Britain: On the same day that Britain experienced record high winter temperatures, wildfires broke out at some of the nation’s most beloved nature spots. Firefighters were deployed to fight the blazes on the same day that a record was set for the highest February temperature since 1910. READ MORE

THE FUTURE

Farmers should think like futurists: Major disrupters will continue to transform agriculture, which is why farmers must think like futurists, says Nikolas Badminton, an award-winning futurist and researcher who specializes in artificial intelligence, big data, privacy, transportation, renewable energy and agriculture. READ MORE

HUMANITARIAN CRISES

The sad story of Venezuela’s crash: How Venezuela, a country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world, went from being one of Latin America’s richest societies to one of its poorest is a disaster of bewildering proportions, one that defies easy explanation. Since the 2014 crash in world oil prices, the country’s economy has contracted continuously, unleashing an economic crisis worse than the Great Depression. A high-stakes plan by the Venezuelan opposition to bring humanitarian aid into the country floundered last Saturday when troops loyal to President Nicolas Maduro refused to let the trucks carrying food and medical supplies cross, but it did set off a wave of military defections unlike any seen yet amid the country’s mounting crisis. U.S. television network Univision said on Monday that a news team was being deported after they showed Maduro a video of young Venezuelans eating from a garbage truck. Read more HERE, HERE, and HERE.

ANIMAL HEALTH

What about antibiotics for animals? Those in the retail sector promoting “no antibiotics” in raising animals are doing the industry a disservice, because no one wants to use antibiotics, says Dr. Dan Thompson, a professor of production medicine and epidemiology at Kansas State University. The industry and the consumer both need judicious use of antibiotics in animal agriculture, he says, to treat sick animals. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

Could a massive measles outbreak happen here? As public health officials monitor a measles outbreak in Washington state, the World Health Organization says a separate measles epidemic in Madagascar has killed more than 900 people. Could something like that happen in the U.S.? READ MORE

Your measles vaccination might not be good: A Cleveland-area woman was recently shocked to find out that all of the immunizations she had received as a child were no longer in her system—including anything that would protect her from the measles. Every adult born between 1957 and the early 1970s may need to be re-vaccinated for measles. READ MORE

GLYPHOSATE CONTROVERSY

High-stakes trial: A jury in federal court in San Francisco will decide whether Roundup weed killer caused a California man’s cancer in a trial that started Monday. This is the second plaintiff seeking damages, and his attorneys say this case could help determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits. READ MORE

A trace of weed killer in your wine: A new report by the public-interest advocacy group U.S. PIRG says that tests of five wines and 15 beers, including organic ones, found traces of the controversial weed killer glyphosate in 19 out of the 20. The report acknowledges that the amounts are below EPA risk levels. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

PG&E admits its equipment might have caused fires: Pacific Gas & Electric said it is “probable” that its equipment caused the Camp fire, which destroyed thousands of homes in Paradise, Calif., and killed 85 people in 2018. READ MORE