YouTube Gaming's Most-Watched Videos Are Dominated by Scams and Cheats

Found on Wired on Wednesday, 19 February 2020
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In January, all seven of the most-watched YouTube Gaming channels weren’t run by happy gamers livestreaming the game du jour. They were instead recorded, autoplaying videos advertising videogame cheats and hacks, sometimes attached to sketchy, credential-vacuuming websites, according to one analytics firm. The trend has continued into this month, with five of the top seven most-watched YouTube Gaming channels last weekend advertising cheats.

Queen PSH, has been active since October 2016, and appears to engage in a common form of scamming, says Zack Allen, director of threat intelligence at security firm ZeroFox. After you fill in your personal information—anything from your address to your credit card number—these types of sites will often turn around and sell it. Other times, sites that promise cheats or in-game money will download malware onto your computer.

It really looks like the younger generation, those so-called "digital natives" are much easier to scam than older people. So much for the theory that growing up with a new technology makes you better at handling it.

The Paywalled Garden: iOS is Adware

Found on Steve Streza on Tuesday, 18 February 2020
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Over the years, Apple has built up a portfolio of services and add-ons that you pay for. Starting with AppleCare extended warranties and iCloud data subscriptions, they expanded to Apple Music a few years ago, only to dramatically ramp up their offerings last year with TV+, News+, Arcade, and Card.

All that money comes from the wallets of 480 million subscribers, and their goal is to grow that number to 600 million this year. But to do that, Apple has resorted to insidious tactics to get those people: ads. Lots and lots of ads, on devices that you pay for.

If you don’t subscribe to these services, you’ll be forced to look at these ads constantly, either in the apps you use or the push notifications they have turned on by default.

Luckily there is a very simple solution: just don't buy these overpriced gadgets.

Why Did Twitter Just "Lockdown" WikiLeaks Account?

Found on Zerohedge on Monday, 17 February 2020
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Just hours after a secret meeting with Silicon Valley tech giants to discuss censorship of "misinformation" surrounding coronavirus, and just days before Julian Assange's extradition hearings are set to continue, Kristin Hrafnsson - a WikiLeaks' journalist - reports that the WikiLeaks' Twitter account has been locked-down...

As The Washington Examiner noted as far back at 2016, Twitter lit up in late July with allegations that it tried to suppress news that secret-leaking website Wikileaks exposed thousands of emails obtained from the servers of the Democratic National Committee.

Just a "happy little accident", you bet.

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook boss urges tighter regulation

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 16 February 2020
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Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has called for more regulation of harmful online content, saying it was not for companies like his to decide what counts as legitimate free speech.

The Facebook founder urged governments to come up with a new regulatory system for social media, suggesting it should be a mix of existing rules for telecoms and media companies.

It's too expensive for Facebook and does not generate any revenue, but only bad PR because of the censoring, so naturally Zuck wants to offload these decisions to the governments. Sure he would not want tighter regulations for the (ab)use of the users' most private and personal data for advertising, profiling and sales, because that is something completely different.

“I was just shaking”—new documents reveal details of fatal Tesla crash

Found on Ars Technica on Saturday, 15 February 2020
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The case attracted wide attention because Banner had engaged Tesla's Autopilot technology. Not only that, the circumstances of Banner's death were almost identical to the first Autopilot-related death in the United States: the death of Josh Brown in 2016. Brown was also killed when Autopilot failed to stop for a semi truck crossing in front of him on a Florida highway.

The momentum of Banner's Model 3 carried the vehicle far down the road—apparently so far that Wood didn't see it when he got out of his truck. Wood says it was only a few minutes later, as he saw the lights of emergency vehicles in the distance, that he realized the awful truth.

Maybe some day it might be possible for a car to drive automatically, without making any mistakes; but it's just not worth it. If you do not want to drive, use public transport.

500 Chrome extensions secretly uploaded private data from millions of users

Found on Ars Technica on Friday, 14 February 2020
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The extensions were part of a long-running malvertising and ad-fraud scheme that was discovered by independent researcher Jamila Kaya. She and researchers from Cisco-owned Duo Security eventually identified 71 Chrome Web Store extensions that had more than 1.7 million installations.

“This was done in order to connect the browser clients to a command and control architecture, exfiltrate private browsing data without the users’ knowledge, expose the user to risk of exploit through advertising streams, and attempt to evade the Chrome Web Store’s fraud detection mechanisms.”

The discovery of more malicious and fraudulent browser extensions is a reminder that people should be cautious when installing these tools and use them only when they provide true benefit.

People should have learned by now not to install random things they find online; plugins can be just as bad as everything else.

Copyright Troll Lawsuit Over Duct Taped Banana Picture

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 13 February 2020
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Back in December, it's likely you heard the wacky story about the "art installation" at the Art Basel gallery in Florida of a banana duct taped to the wall, which sold for $120,000. You may have also heard about how someone stepped in and ate the banana, but the original purchasers were still happy, despite the recognized absurdity of the whole thing.

A copyright lawsuit has been filed against the owners of the website ClickOrlando, claiming that they used a photograph of the duct taped banana taken by John Taggart without licensing it in its article about the artwork.

This entire absurdity ist just mind-blowing stupid. "Modern art" and "art installations" are only a way to launder money.

NBD: A popular HTTP-fetching npm code library used by 48,000 other modules retires

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 12 February 2020
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After eleven months of planning, the npm-distributed request module has been deprecated, meaning the popular JavaScript code library for making HTTP requests is no longer supported and won't receive further updates.

Last March, he presented a plan to stop work on request, an Apache 2.0 licensed open source project that lists 282 contributors in its GitHub repository.

Wait until a bug is found and then we will see how many projects did not migrate.

For decades, US and Germany owned Swiss crypto company used by 120 countries

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 11 February 2020
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That unprecedented level of access allowed the US to monitor Iranian communications during the Iranian hostage crisis, Argentine communications during the Falklands War (shared with British intelligence), the communications of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during negotiations of an Egypt-Israel peace deal at Camp David, and communications from Libya that confirmed the Qaddafi regime's involvement in a 1986 West Berlin disco bombing. During the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, Iranian communications were "80-90 percent readable," according to documents viewed by the Post and ZDF.

Crypto AG sold two versions of the system—one strongly encrypted for friendly governments, and one with "rigged" encryption for the rest of the world.

That's why everything related to encryption has to be open for everybody; that's also why backdoors are a bad idea.

Why we can’t develop voting software that works

Found on Infoworld on Monday, 10 February 2020
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The uproar after the Iowa Democratic Party caucus reporting software failed was a harsh reminder for programmers of how bad things can get. Counting up a few simple votes isn’t as complicated as building an autonomous car, training an AI to recommend movies, or even updating a bank database safely, yet the programmers couldn’t pull this off. One particular damning tweet read, “Hard to believe we put men on the moon.”

The thing is that the comparison to flying to the moon isn’t really fair. Even though guiding the Apollo lander to the moon seems much harder than tabulating a few thousand votes, all of the extra work wrapped around the modern vote tally is what makes it much more complex.

Not to forget, developers get worse. Back then, they really knew what every bit they flipped did, today most just copy&paste some code they found online together and barely manage to get the different chunks working together.