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A weekly newsletter & podcast by Daniel Miessler
 
Unsupervised Learning is my weekly curation of the most interesting stories in infosec, technology, and humans. Listen to the podcast, or read in your browser.

Infosec news 


A ransomware worm based on the NSA's leaked tools, called WannaCry, has ravaged dozens of countries and has crippled organizations such as Britain's NHS, Telefonica, the Russian Interior Ministry, FedEx, and thousands of other companies. Spread of the attack was limited by a 22-year-old British researcher who reverse engineered the malware and registered a domain name that disables propagation, but there is significant concern that an updated version will be released soon. Patch your Windows systems as soon as possible. Link

The president signed an executive order on cybersecurity last week. It basically requires fixes to government systems within 90 days, which is guaranteed to result in shoddy working being done by agencies so they can beat the timeline. Then they'll still have as much (or in some cases more) work ahead of them. On the positive side, it at least had a sense of urgency, and recommended that all agencies adopt the NIST framework going forward. Link

When the Macron team was attacked by the Russians, they added noise into the signal via fake email accounts and documents in order to confuse the attackers. I love the focus here on raising the cost of the attack while knowing that it couldn't be stopped entirely. Link

Researchers have discovered that the audio driver in a number of HP laptops contains functionality for recording keystrokes. HP has released a driver update to fix the issue. Link

The U.S. is about to ban laptops in cabins for flights coming from Europe, and it looks like this could include basically all large electronics other than phones. The nature of the threat has not yet been given, but the two obvious options are explosives and hacking. Start planning for phone-only flights to the U.S. from Europe and a number of other origins. Link


Technology news 


Amazon has enabled free calls and messaging on all Echo devices with a new service called Alexa Calling. Link

Amazon also launched a new Echo device called the Echo Show, which is basically an Echo with a screen. Link

A CMU project has created a small sensor that you can plug into a wall outlet in order to track everything going on in the room. It uses Machine Learning to infer what's happening based on tons of training data combined with inputs from its multiple sensors. Link

Google is largely displacing Apple and Microsoft within schools, using a combination of Chromebooks, cloud apps, and other offerings. Link

Apple has acquired Lattice Data, a company that turns unstructed data such as text and images into something that can be analyzed using data science. Link

Microsoft is about to start blocking a number of downloading sites, such as Kodi, The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, and others, within Windows 10. Link

Chinese shoppers spent over $750 billion online in 2016, which was more than the U.S. and the U.K. combined. Link

Apple has acquired Beddit, so it's about to have an official sleep monitoring option to feed its Health app. Link

UCSF researchers found that the Apple Watch can detect an abnormal heart rhythm with 97% accuracy. Link

Snap shares crashed more than 20% Thursday after their first quarterly results missed estimates and showed slower-than-expected user growth. Link

The U.S. needs a strategy around CRISPR and other leading-edge biology research. Every moment we waste is more time for China to get ahead of us, and this is one game we don't want to lose. Link


Human news 


Germany just achieved a stunning milestone of 85% of electricity generation coming from renewables. Link

Scientists found that only-children have difference is in their brain structures that are associated with increased creativity and less socialization. Link

An article on how the loss of 100 million tress from borer beetles could lead to the death of 21,000 humans. Link

Dental health is one of the most visible indicators of social class, and increasing numbers of people are going years without seeing a dentist. Link

We just found one of the best-preserved dinosaurs ever. It basically looks more like a movie prop than a fossil. Link

Scientists have reversed brain aging, as measured by memory performance, in mice using THC. Link

An MMA fighter pummeled a Tai Chi master in China and the backlash was so extreme that he had to go into hiding. Link

The genetic makeup of any given brain cell differs from all others. It's basically untrue that every cell in your body has the same DNA. Link

Self-compassion might be better than self-hype. Instead of boosting your ego when you're down, instead try talking to yourself like a best friend. Link

Macy's is getting completely crushed, but many are blaming rising consumer debt rather than the migration to online options. I think it's probably a hybrid of the two. Link


Ideas 


For a Life Upgrade, Swap TV Time for Reading Time Link

Robert Graham is Wrong About John Oliver Being Wrong About Net Neutrality Link

My Current Predictions for Thinking Machines Link

A Look at Application Testing in a Near Future Link

How serverless architecture is going to affect the DEVOPS conversation. Link

Not many people realize that ANNs and Deep Learning are unable to explain or show their work. We basically have no idea how they arrive at the answers they arrive at. Link

The meaning of life in a world without work. "What is religion if not a big virtual reality game that people play together?" Link


Discovery 


My quick takeaways from the 2017 Verizon DBIR report. Link

Computer games that teach Assembly programming. Link

A deep explanation and introduction to Elon Musk's Neuralnet, which is a project to link human brains to computers. Link

A concise and quality explanation of Deep Learning. Link

a16z's new podcast on the quantified self and biohacking. Link

Knowledge Map: Interactive mind maps for learning anything. Link


Notes 


I just finished reading the first book in the The Three Body Problem series, and it was simply the best science fiction book I've read since, well, forever. Heading into the next one soon. Link

I just added an option to support the site, newsletter, and podcast. It has Stripe integration for one-time donations, as well as a subscription option through Patreon. Anyone who donates  Link

I'm speaking at Interop on Monday on the topic of Practical IoT Security for Enterprises. Link

A lot of you have been asking about a paperback version of my book, The Real Internet of Things, and it's close to being finished. It should be available within a month or two. 


Recommendations


The Mechanical Universe is one of the most remarkable science courses I've ever seen, and it's just been released on YouTube. It was put out by CalTech, and I watched it in the 90's while I was in the Army. It absolutely blew me away, and I can't wait to watch it again. If you like science, you should watch it. If you have kids, you should make them watch it. Link

To massively upgrade your life, I recommend swapping TV time for reading time. Link

Most people are extremely deficient in their vitamin D levels. I take 5,000 - 7,000 UIs a day and here's my favorite supplement for it. Link

TrueCaller is an app you run on your phone that helps identify spam numbers and can let you automatically block them when they call. Link


Aphorism


"Men willingly believe what they wish." ~ Julius Caesar
 

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