Wednesday, August 15, 2018

An attack against Instagram rather than random users?
A weird Instagram hack is locking users out of their accounts and people are furious
Instagram users are complaining on Twitter about a bizarre hack that locks them out of their accounts, and then changes the username, image, and associated email address.
According to numerous complaints on Twitter, first spotted by Mashable, Instagram users are finding that they can no longer access their account because the login details have changed.
They also report the hackers changing their profile pictures to animated stills from Disney or Pixar films, or just deleting the accounts altogether. In some cases, hackers changed the associated email to one with Russia's .ru domain.
Instagram said in a blog post on Tuesday that it is investigating the issue, and advised users to keep a strong password.
… Multiple users complained that Instagram isn't doing enough to help them. Because their login credentials have changed, it's difficult for the users to recover their accounts.

Are they saying that Arab Spring has mutated into Russian meddling in our elections? (Yes, they are.)
How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump
To understand how digital technologies went from instruments for spreading democracy to weapons for attacking it, you have to look beyond the technologies themselves.

Cooperate or else?
Tech Giants Face Hefty Fines Under Australia Cyber Laws
Tech companies could face fines of up to Aus$10 million (US$7.3 million) if they fail to hand over customer information or data to Australian police under tough cyber laws unveiled Tuesday.
The government is updating its communication laws to compel local and international providers to co-operate with law enforcement agencies, saying criminals were using technology, including encryption, to hide their activities.
The legislation, first canvassed by Canberra last year, will take into account privacy concerns by "expressly" preventing the weakening of encryption or the introduction of so-called backdoors, Cyber Security Minister Angus Taylor said.
Taylor said over the past year, some 200 operations involving serious criminal and terrorism-related investigations were negatively impacted by the current laws.
"We know that more than 90 percent of data lawfully intercepted by the Australian Federal Police now uses some form of encryption," he added in a statement.
The type of help that could be requested by Canberra will include asking a provider to remove electronic protections, concealing covert operations by government agencies, and helping with access to devices or services.

Because someone could hijack a subway car and fly it into a building? If there is a real threat, shouldn’t they tell people about it? Why aren’t reporters the least bit curious?
The agency in charge of Los Angeles’ subways announced at a press conference today that it is working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to install body scanners in the city’s metro system. The plan to scan the bodies of passengers for “concealed threats” is said to be the first of its kind in the U.S.

Perhaps a tool for my researching students…
Browser plug-in organizes and contextualizes big news stories for readers
MIT newsroom: “The explosion of digital content has made it hard to navigate news today. This startup’s plug-in will cut down on time and browser tabs, while readers search for information. Acciyo’s name might draw from fiction, but the purpose of the search engine extension is firmly rooted in fact. “When I was first figuring out what we wanted to call it, I went through a list of Harry Potter spells,” said co-founder Anum Hussain, MBA ’18. “Acciyo was very fitting because what we’re doing is summoning information from across the web and making it easier for you, in a similar fashion to how that spell [in the book series, ‘accio’] works, to be able to summon anything you need. We’re just doing that in the context of news.” Acciyo, Hussain said, is a Google Chrome extension that appears to the right of a screen like a bookmark, and presents the user with an “interactive, movable timeline of articles previously published on the subject you’re currently reading.” The plug-in pulls from wire content — the Associated Press and Reuters — and automatically pops open on major U.S. news sites. Hussain said as the company evolves they will explore other news sources to pull from. Because the stories are from the wire, Hussain explained, they tend to be bigger stories that would likely be found on a publication’s front page. For example: the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. The plug-in would include stories on Kavanaugh’s background, his nomination, as well as earlier stories about other candidates considered for the role…”

Some people just have to ace every test.
Spanish driver tests positive for every drug in test
A driver in northeastern Spain has tested positive for ‘every possible kind of drug’ after being pulled over by police on Saturday.
Police found high levels of cannabis, amphetamines/methamphetamine, cocaine, opiates; as well as alcohol, with a rate of 0,60 mg/l.

I teach classes for 11 of these. Perhaps I should ask for a raise?
The 25 Highest-Paying Jobs In America In 2018, one of the leading job and recruiting websites in the world, recently published a report on the highest-paying jobs of 2018.
… The findings of the report indicate that a career in the healthcare or technology industries will earn you the heftiest paycheck. Thirteen out of the 25 jobs on the list were in the tech industry and five out of 25 of the jobs were in the healthcare industry.

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