Flash Used on 5% of All Websites, Down From 28.5% Seven Years Ago

Found on Bleeping Computer on Thursday, 19 April 2018
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Taking into account the sheer number of abandoned sites on today's Internet, the decline is quite considerable, and W3Tech's findings confirm similar statistics put out by a Google security engineer in February.

With Flash usage numbers going down, by the time the end of 2020 comes around and Adobe stops all Flash support, the technology would be an afterthought for most users, except the few sysadmin souls trapped into supporting the aging tech on desperately outdated corporate networks and apps.

4.9% is still too much. When it comes to that giant security hole, 0% is the only option.

In Trying To Ban Telegram, Russia Breaks The Internet

Found on Techdirt on Wednesday, 18 April 2018
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Telegram tried to mitigate the ban by moving some of its essential infrastructure to third-party cloud services. But Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor responded by blocking upwards of 16 million IP addresses, many belonging to Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. Not too surprisingly, the heavy-handed maneuver resulted in connectivity problems across massive swaths of the Russian internet.

Russian state media meanwhile continues to demonize Telegram as a haven for villains, and is directing users to alternatives like TamTam with alleged ties to the Russian government.

Russia (and China, as well as North Korea) are just doing that most other governments would love to do too; they just don't care that much about the backlash and public opinion.

IRS electronic filing system breaks down hours before midnight deadline

Found on Washington Post on Tuesday, 17 April 2018
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The IRS has more than 60 different IT systems for managing the cases of individual taxpayers, according to a report submitted to Congress by an internal IRS watchdog. Many of them have not been updated in decades, and two of them are nearly six decades old — the oldest anywhere in the entire federal government, the report said.

“The IRS is crashing?” he said, repeating a reporter’s question. “It sounds horrible. It sounds really bad. Hope it gets fixed.”

It's about time to make a clean cut; maintaining such a mess is a job for Sisyphus.

Hackers once stole a casino's high-roller database through a thermometer in the lobby fish tank

Found on Business Insider on Monday, 16 April 2018
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Eagan gave one memorable anecdote about a case Darktrace worked on in which a casino was hacked via a thermometer in an aquarium in the lobby.

"The attackers used that to get a foothold in the network," she said. "They then found the high-roller database and then pulled that back across the network, out the thermostat, and up to the cloud."

You have to give them credits for creativity. Hopefully such attacks will make people aware that not everything needs to be turned into an IoT device. In most cases, having a "dumb" and off-the-grid device is the better choice.

Goldman Sachs asks in biotech research report: 'Is curing patients a sustainable business model?'

Found on CNBC on Sunday, 15 April 2018
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"The potential to deliver 'one shot cures' is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy, genetically-engineered cell therapy and gene editing. However, such treatments offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies," analyst Salveen Richter wrote in the note to clients Tuesday. "While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow."

"GILD is a case in point, where the success of its hepatitis C franchise has gradually exhausted the available pool of treatable patients," the analyst wrote.

That makes you wonder if that "analyst" would think the same way if one of these "one shot cures" could end a disease which would make Salveen Jaswal Richter's life horrible. Maybe karma will teach her a harsh lesson.

Unethical growth hacks: A look into the growing Youtube news bot epidemic

Found on Hackernoon on Saturday, 14 April 2018
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Someone has effectively created a fully automated process running 24/7 that is taking and stripping recent articles, converting them into video format, and posting it on Youtube as their own. And while doing so, they take credit for it and reap all the rewards — such as revenue and influence — that come with it.

Because these are video format, they often get preferred treatment in Google’s search results, as it helps their search results seem more diverse when including video, images, and other non-link content.

You have to exclude youtube from searches anyway, because too much useless results are messing them up. Not necessarily bot-generated content, but pointless junk like recording text typed into notepad.exe to explain something. That's what html is for.

Why the Canadian music industry’s secret copyright protection plan is off key

Found on The Globe And Mail on Friday, 13 April 2018
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The proposal, titled Sounding Like a Broken Record: Principled Copyright Recommendations from the Music Industry, calls for radical changes that would spark significant new consumer fees and internet regulation. The plan features new levies on smartphones and tablets, internet service provider tracking of subscribers and content blocking, longer copyright terms, and even the industry’s ability to cancel commercial agreements with internet companies if the benefits from the deal become “disproportionate.”

Read it, laugh about it, put the proposal into the shredder and ask for the real proposal.

Cyber-Espionage Groups Are Increasingly Leveraging Routers in Their Attacks

Found on Bleeping Computer on Thursday, 12 April 2018
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"We've seen a bunch of router attack throughout the years. A very good example is SYNful Knock, a malicious implant for Cisco [routers] that was discovered by FireEye but also threat actors such as Regin and CloudAtlas. Both APTs have been known to have and own proprietary router implants."

Currently, Kaspersky classifies routers as a "growing areas of risk" for APT operations, next to the recent wave of newly-disclosed CPU vulnerabilities, such as Meltdown, Spectre, Chimera, RyzenFall, Fallout, and MasterKey, which fellow Kaspersky researcher Vicente Diaz sees as a threat as threat actors will learn to weaponize for attacks.

Routers are just computers anyway; and they don't get the same attention as servers.

Zuckerberg Testimony: Facebook A.I. Will Curb Hate Speech in 5 to 10 Years

Found on Inverse on Wednesday, 11 April 2018
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“Hate speech is one of the hardest,” Zuckerberg said. “Determining if something is hate speech is very linguistically nuanced. You need to understand what is a slur and whether something is hateful, and not just in English…”

Zuckerberg said that the company is increasingly developing AI tools to flag hate speech proactively, rather than relying on reactions from users and employees to flag offensive content.

So in 5 to 10 years Skynet will control what you can and can not say online? No, thank you very much.

Fear the Reaper: Man hospitalised after eating red hot chilli pepper

Found on The Register on Tuesday, 10 April 2018
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The 34-year-old was rushed to an emergency room in New York after developing "excruciating" pain from eating the Carolina Reaper, according to a report in the British Medical Journal this week.

According to Paul Bosland, professor of horticulture at New Mexico State University and director of the Chile Pepper Institute, has said the grub can theoretically cause death, but in most cases people's bodies "would react sooner and not allow it to happen".

Dragon's Breath was created by a farmer for the Chelsea Flower show and is so potent that it had to be kept in a sealed container when it went on display.

Up to a certain level chillis are good, but at some point they turn into an impossible feat.