Unsupervised Learning

Curation and analysis of the most interesting stories in security, technology, and humans.


WEEKLY MEMBER EDITION

Security News


It looks like we should expect far more U.S. and European winners in the #Pwn2Own competition at CanSecWest this year. China's government has restricted Chinese researchers from providing vulnerabilities to third parties, which will keep them from playing in the competition. Link

Malware was discovered on over 160 point of sale systems at Applebee's restaurants. Link

Baidu has built a system that can mimic a voice using just a three second sample. With additional samples their system can change a voice from female to male and change a British accent to an American one. This will only get better. At some point soon, any decent clip of audio from you is going to be enough to be able to spoof your voice saying anything. Link

Palantir has won a $876 million contract with the U.S. Army. Link

21 people have been treated for poisoning in the U.K. after former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was targeted with a nerve agent. Link

It's quite possible to make a dangerous domain look like a safe one using some clever character set swapping tricks. The link includes a tool that can check your domain for the potential issue. Link

Cisco released 22 security advisories, including to critical issues—one of which is a fix for a hardcoded password that gives you full access to the system via SSH (but only locally). Link

The DoD's Project Maven was built to leverage AI to process vast quantities of image data, and Google's Tensorflow is the technology that's backing it. A number of people inside and out of Google are upset about this. Link

Amazon believes it's fixed the issue with Alexa laughing maniacally without being prompted. Link

Patching: CiscoAndroid, Exim


Technology News


Google has built a 72-qbit quantum chip, which they think might be superior to traditional supercomputers at a number of tasks. Link

Alexa can now take an additional command—up to five seconds later—without you having to use the wake word again. You have to enable the option called "Follow-up Mode" within the app for now. Link

Amazon is about to enter the FinTech market by launching something akin to a checking account. Link

Amazon is launching a direct attack on Walmart by releasing a new low-cost version of Amazon Prime for Medicaid recipients. It'll be $5.99 instead of $12.99. Link

Amazon is launching Whole Foods delivery service to Prime members in San Francisco and Atlanta. Link

Atomwise is a company that uses deep learning to determine how various compounds will affect the human body, including their potential efficacy as a medication. They just raised a $45 million Series A. Link

Google is preparing to release Android P, the latest version of Android. The P seems to stand for privacy, as it will be getting a bunch of new features related to that. It'll also have supper for notches, for hardware that emulates the iPhone X in appearance. Link


Human News


A new study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says that fat intake is not what causes coronary heart disease, and that the cause instead is inflammation. The recommendation is remarkably clear: “walk 22 minutes a day and eat real food”. Link

Analysis of 4.5 million tweets showed that falsehoods were 70% more likely to get shared than the truth. Link

Exercise as you older keeps your immune system young by triggering t-cell generation. Scientists at the University of Birmingham tested 125 long-distance cyclists and found they had the immune systems of 20-year-olds. Link

Millennials are turning business travel into short leisure trips. Link

China is pilfering Africa, because nobody else is morally willing to. Link

Coca-Cola is about to start selling alcohol in Japan. Link


Ideas, Trends, & Analysis


The Reason Software Remains Insecure Link

I think we should expect the current blockchain and ICO stuff to mostly die out, similar to what happened in the Dotcom crash. But did that destroy the internet? No, it just let people learn from the alpha version and go on to build the next thing. That's likely what's going to happen with blockchain/ICOs as well.

How much money could China make by forcing everyone in the country to CryptoMine for the government via the Great Firewall?

A lot of people seem to be simultaneously coming to the conclusion that the fake news problem on social media isn't so much a vulnerability in a particular platform, like Facebook or Twitter, but rather a built-in and expected feature of a platform designed to magnify the most sensational content. It reminds me a lot of a populist win in a democracy, actually. When a politician takes advantage of democracy to rile up the masses and make them act on his behalf, we cannot suddenly say that there's a problem with democracy. We have to instead understand that this is the very nature of the platform, and that in order to get the benefits of that system we have to be comfortable with its weaknesses as well. For social media platforms, sensational content dominates. And for democracies, populist red meat burns hottest. We need to switch from complaining about the platforms to addressing the issues in ourselves that they take advantage of.

I have a very non-scientific theory—nothing more than an slow-burning idea, really—that we're about to discover that inflammation is the central problem in many, many diseases. For the last few years I've been seeing studies finding out that bad dental health harms the heart because of inflammation, they think Alzheimer's has something to do with inflammation, and now we're saying coronary heart disease is an inflammation problem as well. I'm not a doctor and I don't study this stuff closely, so this is a 30% "feeling" that something is going on that we're about to discover. If anyone here knows of strong, credible science that's linking these things, let me know. I'm getting more curious about it as the years and studies go by.


Discovery


NASA recently (two years ago) released the contents of The Golden Record. This is the metal record that is on Voyager 1, containing human greetings, various sounds from life on Earth, music, and legends for aliens to be able to find us in the universe. Link

How to Access the Data Facebook Has on You Link

The Project Apollo Archive — An archive of over 8,000 images of the Apollo missions released by NASA. Link

5 Quick Ways to Domain Admin Link

Summary Brew — A site that summarizes things. Link

An argument that you should ask for advice, not permission. Link

It looks like we found Amelia Earhart's remains. Link

Google's Machine Learning Crash Course — A course taken by tons of their actual engineers that Google is making available for free because they say people need to understand machine learning. Link

The Vim Clutch — A physical, hardware pedal that switches you from normal to insert mode in Vim. Link


Data & Statistics


66% of millennials have nothing saved for retirement. Link

Only 25% of Netflix users sign up on TVs, but 70% of views after six months are on TVs. Link

WordPress powers 30% of the top 10M websites in the world, which is 10x more than its closest competitor, Joomla. Link

A visualization of how fan ratings compare to critic ratings for various genres on Rotten Tomatoes. Link


Notes


We've just started planning for the 2018 release of the OWASP Internet of Things Top 10 Project. This year we're doing an infographic that captures 10 things to avoid, and 10 things to do regarding Internet of Things systems. We're aiming for a summer release, and if you want to be part of the process you can join #iot-security in the OWASP Slack channel and join our meetings. Link


Recommendations


“Walk 22 minutes a day and eat real food”. Link


Aphorism


“Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better”.

~ Albert Camus
 

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I spend between 5 and 20 hours on the show every week, and that's only possible due to members like you.


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