US arrests suspect who wanted to blow up AWS data center

Found on The Record on Sunday, 09 May 2021
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The FBI has arrested on Thursday a Texas man who planned to blow up one of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers in an attempt to “kill of about 70% of the internet.”

The suspect allegedly told an FBI agent that he wanted to attack Amazon’s data center because the company was providing web servers to the FBI, CIA, and other federal agencies and that he hoped to bring down “the oligarchy” currently in power in the United States.

One datacenter hosts 70% of the internet? He might have been a tiny bit off the scale there.

In One Year a Billion Tons of Food Got Wasted — Mostly at Home

Found on Bloomberg on Saturday, 08 May 2021
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There is something that the average person can do to slow down climate change, and it can be accomplished without leaving the house. Don’t waste food.

Some governments are putting in nudges and incentives to change behavior, and this goes beyond creating awareness campaigns. For example, in South Korea, rubbish collectors charge homes based on the weight of their food waste.

Many people are too spoiled, and food is too cheap.

Wix and Their Dirty Tricks

Found on Matt Mullenweg on Friday, 07 May 2021
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Wix, the website builder company you may remember from stealing WordPress code and lying about it, has now decided the best way to gain relevance is attacking the open source WordPress community in a bizarre set of ads.

Wix is a for-profit company with a valuation that peaked at around 20 billion dollars, and whose business model is getting customers to pay more and more every year and making it difficult to leave or get a refund.

Wix has always been bad. The best thing you can do is migrating away from it. Even if it is to WordPress.

Twitch will ban users for 'severe misconduct' that occurs away from its site

Found on Reuters on Thursday, 06 May 2021
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Live-streaming service Twitch will ban users for offenses such as hate-group membership or credible threats of mass violence that occur entirely away from the site, in a new approach to moderating the platform, the company said on Wednesday.

“Taking action against misconduct that occurs entirely off our service is a novel approach for both Twitch and the industry at large, but it’s one we believe - and hear from you - is crucial to get right,” the company said in a blog post.

Their house, their rules. However, trying to control people elsewhere is a no-go.

Twitter Held Discussions for $4 Billion Takeover of Clubhouse

Found on Bloomberg on Wednesday, 05 May 2021
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Clubhouse is barely a year old but has drawn appearances from some of the biggest names in business and Hollywood. Established social media companies have quickly gone to work on their own versions of Clubhouse, including Twitter. Facebook Inc. is exploring one, too, and Microsoft Corp.’s LinkedIn and Slack Technologies Inc. have also said they’re working on similar features for their networks.

An app where people can talk. $4 billion. Seriously?

Cosmic rays causing 30,000 network malfunctions in Japan each year

Found on The Mainichi on Tuesday, 04 May 2021
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Most so-called "soft errors," or temporary malfunctions, in the network hardware of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. are automatically corrected via safety devices, but experts said in some cases they may have led to disruptions.

There is a chance that "greater issues" will arise as society's infrastructure becomes "more reliant on electronic devices" that use such technologies as artificial intelligence and automated driving, Hashimoto said.

Remember that next time your admin tells you that your problem was caused by solar flares or cosmic rays.

Cloudflare says new hCaptcha bypass doesn’t impact its implementation

Found on The Record on Monday, 03 May 2021
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Academics said their attack worked with a 95.93% accuracy rate and took around 18.76 seconds on average to crack an hCaptcha challenge.

But while machine learning-based attacks on image-based CAPTCHA solutions have been discovered before, the major breakthrough in this paper is that the research team achieved this with minimal computational resources — with the attack rig consisting of a simple Docker container running Ubuntu OS, configured with a 3-core CPU and only 2GB of memory.

As soon as spammers set up systems that solve Captchas with 95.93% accuracy, it will become a problem for Cloudflare.

Soviet TV version of Lord of the Rings rediscovered after 30 years

Found on The Guardian on Sunday, 02 May 2021
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The 1991 made-for-TV film, Khraniteli, based on Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, is the only adaptation of his Lord of the Rings trilogy believed to have been made in the Soviet Union.

“Fans have been searching the archives but had not able to find this film for decades,” wrote World of Fantasy, a Russian-language publication that has written about adaptations of Tolkien’s work.

It sure is... interesting.

Film Company Targets TorrentFreak Article over ‘Mandalorian Piracy’

Found on Torrentfreak on Saturday, 01 May 2021
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Google was asked to remove a TorrentFreak article from its search results this week. The article in question reported that "The Mandalorian" was the most pirated TV show of 2020. Interestingly, it's not Disney who takes offense with our reporting, but GFM Films.

Apparently, the news that The Mandalorian is widely pirated – which was repeated by dozens of other publications – is seen as copyright infringement? Needless to say, we wholeheartedly disagree. This is not the way.

Despite all the takedown notices, everybody knows how to get what they want. It's a useless uphill battle that's doomed to fail.

Despite A Decade Of Complaints, US Wireless Carriers Continue To Abuse The Word 'Unlimited'

Found on Techdirt on Friday, 30 April 2021
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For much of the last fifteen years numerous other wireless carriers, like AT&T, have also had their wrists gently slapped for selling "unlimited" wireless service that was anything but. Despite this, there remains no clear indication that the industry has learned much of anything from the punishment and experience. Most of the companies whose wrists were slapped have, unsurprisingly, simply continued on with the behavior.

Carriers (including AT&T) have historically tried to claim that a connection is still technically "unlimited" if you slow it to substandard speeds, something regulators and the courts haven't agreed with.

Just hand out a few high fines, and carriers will quickly realize that they better tell customers the truth.