The Internet giant is seeking to replace your memorized passwords with jewelry; the tobacco and soda industries share more in common than you think; and is there such a thing as an ethical smartphone? These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Google Wants to Replace All Your Passwords with a Ring The world’s largest search engine is now experimenting with jewelry that would eliminate the need to remember dozens of passwords.

Multitasking on Laptop Impedes Classroom Learning Laptops are increasingly taking the place of writing tools such as pen and paper, especially among postsecondary students.

The White House Is for Sale Under Barack Obama, Too Obama joins a long line of presidents to offer exclusive access for big bucks.

Is MoMA Putting Artists Back in the Closet? The Museum of Modern Art currently has on display a wonderful, compact installation titled simply “Johns and Rauschenberg.”

Why Pope Francis May Be a Catholic Nightmare He may seem like a humble reformer, but Cardinal Bergoglio is the last thing the Vatican needs.

It’s Time to Kill the Email Signoff For the 20 years that Matthew Malady has used email, he has been a fool.

Italy’s Beppe Grillo: Meet the Rogue Comedian Turned Kingmaker Before sitting down to an interview with TIME, Beppe Grillo, the comedian who has upended Italian politics, stops to give his wife a goodbye kiss.

How Big Gulps Are Exactly Like Cigarettes Two industries, the same tactic: money to minority groups and politicians.

When the Surrealists Met the Nazis Can a weakly conceived and poorly executed exhibition be unforgettable?

Can I Buy a Smartphone That’s Not Soaked in the Blood of the World’s Poor? If you are too well connected, you stop thinking.

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig