Amazon: The unstoppable rise of the internet giant

Found on BBC News on Saturday, 20 February 2021
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Today, Amazon is one of the most valuable public companies on the planet, with Mr Bezos vying with Tesla's Elon Musk for the title as world's richest man.

Having successfully dominated online retail, the firm has now set its sights on expanding its services - and perhaps surprisingly, into physical stores - to create a new way of shopping.

Yet, their online shop is one of the worst there is.

Breached water plant employees used the same TeamViewer password and no firewall

Found on Ars Technica on Friday, 19 February 2021
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The Florida water treatment facility whose computer system experienced a potentially hazardous computer breach last week used an unsupported version of Windows with no firewall and shared the same TeamViewer password among its employees, government officials have reported.

The revelations illustrate the lack of security rigor found inside many critical infrastructure environments.

It was pretty clear from the start that is was something stupid like that.

8-Year-Old Calls Out NPR For Lack Of Dinosaur Stories

Found on NPR on Wednesday, 17 February 2021
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Leo has a point. All Things Considered is about to turn 50 years old. NPR's archivists found the word "dinosaur" appearing in stories 294 times in the show's history. By comparison, "senator" has appeared 20,447 times.

To remedy the situation, All Things Considered invited Leo to ask some questions about dinosaurs to Ashley Poust, a research associate at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Leo wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up.

Dinosaurs aren't in the Bible, maybe that's why.

Google will delete your Play Music library later this month, emailing out final warning

Found on 9to5 Google on Saturday, 13 February 2021
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Google Play Music stopped working at the start of December, but the files you uploaded to the cloud locker and other data remain available for export. That will be changing later in February when Google deletes all information associated with Play Music.

That year-end deadline slipped into 2021, but Google is now proceeding with its plans to “delete all of your Google Play Music data.”

"Go to the cloud. Never ever lose data again."

Someone tried to poison a Florida city by hijacking its water treatment plant via TeamViewer

Found on The Register on Friday, 12 February 2021
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The miscreant gained access through remote-control software TeamViewer that was running on a PC at the plant, the sheriff told Reuters, and used that machine to ultimately attempt to jack up the levels of sodium hydroxide.

“The protocols that we have in place, monitoring protocols, they work – that’s the good news,” said Oldsmar Mayor Eric Seidel. “The important thing is to put everyone on notice. There’s a bad actor out there.”

There's a bad actor in there, if such critical infrastructure can be reached from the Internet.

'I was scammed out of £17,000 on Instagram'

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 09 February 2021
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"I was following this guy on Instagram and he always posts with his car, a rose gold Maserati, saying that he's rich and self-made and really young, he's only 21," says Jonathan Reuben, 24, an accountant.

"People are sucked in and want to believe it and want that lifestyle, especially these days, with young people struggling to get jobs," he said. "You definitely see more people looking at different and newer ways to make more money."

Really now?

So, Jeff Bezos, You Really Want to Fix the Planet?

Found on Wired on Saturday, 06 February 2021
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On Tuesday, Bezos announced that he’s stepping down as Amazon’s boss, and will focus on The Washington Post, which he bought in 2013; exploring space with his rocket company Blue Origin; and trying to salvage our rapidly deteriorating planet with a $10 billion environmental checkbook called the Bezos Earth Fund, which seeks to support scientists, activists, and nongovernmental organizations in developing solutions for the planet’s various ills.

Perhaps he could start with Amazon?

RIAA Launches Brand New Front Group Pretending To Represent Independent Artists

Found on Techdirt on Friday, 05 February 2021
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A few days ago, a friend asked if I'd ever heard of the "Digital Creators Coalition," an apparently new group that claimed to be representing independent artists.

You've got basically all the copyright maximalist extremist groups there: the RIAA, the MPA, the Author's Guild, Creative Future, the Recording Academy, ASCAP, SoundExchange, NMPA, the IIPA. Not surprisingly, but incredibly disappointing is that the News Media Alliance is there. The News Media Alliance used to be the Newspaper Association of America, and, as such, you'd think would be supportive of free speech and the 1st Amendment.

With more and more people getting fed up with all their actions, they need some more PR.

ProtonMail, Threema, Tresorit and Tutanota warn EU lawmakers over ‘anti-encryption’ push

Found on Techcrunch on Tuesday, 02 February 2021
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The European Commission has also talked about seeking “improved access” to encrypted information, writing in a wide-ranging counter-terrorism agenda also published in December that it will “work with Member States to identify possible legal, operational, and technical solutions for lawful access”.

Simultaneously, the Commission has said it will “promote an approach which both maintains the effectiveness of encryption in protecting privacy and security of communications, while providing an effective response to crime and terrorism”.

There is no way to have both. Either the encryption is secure, or it is broken. There it nothing in between.

Robinhood blocks purchases of GameStop, AMC, and others after days of Reddit-fueled rallies

Found on Business Insider on Monday, 01 February 2021
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Robinhood has restricted trading of highly volatile stocks including GameStop and AMC on its platform, leaving its users unable to buy the highly volatile stocks.

The phenomenon has already fueled massive losses for numerous hedge funds and caught the attention of regulators and the White House.

When a hedge fund does the same, it is okay. If a group of people online does the same, it's disruptive. Sounds fair. Not.