What I’m hearing from people is that they’re going to miss the raft of links I typically would post on Facebook about the news and other stories that had caught my interest. Here’s a first stab at providing something as a replacement.
Discussion in the comments. (Comments are moderated, get over it.)
- AshleyMadison.com, a site which purports to enable one to have a “discreet affair”, got hacked and badly. As many as 37 million users are at risk of having their personal data—including ther “kinky sexual fantasies” posted online. A group calling itself “Impact Team” is taking responsibility, and it all seems to be over an issue of not scrubbing data after hitting up customers for $19 to do so.
What astounds me here is the moralizing in the comments. A site with your medical or financial records, or lists of purchases you’ve made that you might not want your boss to know about, can be hacked just as easily as a cheating-on-your-wife site you despise. The blue-nosed “YOU DESERVE THIS!” tone of the attackers’ taunts suggests to me that Chansters are behind this somewhere. They’re all about ethics, you know.
- From the “Stop Me If You’ve Hurt This One Before” desk, Android is again being called out as a security risk owing to the tremendous amount of fragmentation in the platform. This time, security researchers have written a paper on it (link in the article).
- After discovering that one of the zero-day exploits they sold to hacking team had in turn been sold to human-rights-violating regimes, Netagard has shut down its controversial Exploit Acquisition Program. Again.
- Completely aside from the potential impact on jobs and the economy, there’s a side of those “self-driving cars” that’s not getting discussed in all the excitement. Here’s a story relating a demonstration of hacking a Jeep on the highway, and taking it over. We’ve already seen drones spoofed with fake GPS; while robot cars may well reduce accidental traffic fatalities, I’d bet any amount of money we’ll see some deliberate ones. You know: for the “lulz”.
- 1stWebDesigner has a nice list of fifty books every web designer should read. I was pretty impressed with how much their list overlaps with my bookshelf.
- One of the first science-fiction books I read, and enjoyed a lot, was Eando Binder’s “Adam Link, Robot”. In the story, Adam, the first sentient robot is put on trial for the death of his creator. This story ask the question, “When a robot kills someone”—as recently happened at a Volkswagen plant in Germany—”who’s responsible?”
- Kids are wild about Minecraft, and that’s a good thing.
- Web designers, here’s a great tutorial on using SASS and Susy to set up a grid-based web page with ease.
- Speaking of Android, if you’re looking for podcasting support, you don’t want Android.
Society & Culture
- Yesterday was the 46th anniversary of the first landing on the moon. I remember sitting in my dad’s apartment, watching it on a tiny black-and-white TV. Here’s a story of someone the same age as I, who was watching it while I was, and how it affected his life.
- According to this story in Salon, instant rāmen noodles are an environmental disaster. Instant rāmen noodles are fried to creates “holes” in the noodles that let them cook in three minutes; the frying is done with palm oil. Lots of palm oil. So much palm oil that it’s destroying entire habitats and endangering orangutan populations in Borneo and Sumatra.
- Astoundingly, it’s being reported that Google’s targeted advertisement algorithms are doing things like showing higher-paying jobs to men than they do to women. Further detail at the MIT Technology Review.
- Robert W. Gibson, who wrote a number of issues of “Captain Harlock”, has passed away at age 55.
Other Stuff (and #WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot!?)
- Ever wondered how you’d portray a mute on stage, or write a blind character in a story, or any number of things? This wonderful reference site is an objet trouvé from the wonderful Mordant Carnival.
- And from the “Tech Geniuses of Silicon Valley” desk, a “wiccan witch” (?) has apparently gotten a business going protecting company’s computers and networks through sorcery.