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  • UL NO. 397: Propaganda in a Box, Glacier-like Security, AGI by 2028?, Ancient Wisdom via AI, and Newsletter Differentiation

UL NO. 397: Propaganda in a Box, Glacier-like Security, AGI by 2028?, Ancient Wisdom via AI, and Newsletter Differentiation

This week, we delve into the slow-moving world of security, predict AGI's arrival, and explore timeless wisdom through AI. Plus, a unique strategy to stand out in the AI newsletter space.

Unsupervised Learning is a Security, AI, and Meaning-focused podcast that looks at how best to thrive as humans in a post-AI world. It combines original ideas, analysis, and mental models to bring not just the news, but why it matters and how to respond.

Hey there!

I’m about to be going all out with short-form video, and this is my first one. Commence with the fun-making.

I need to be able to pipe into my portscanner!

I love the idea of conveying an idea in a minute or two, but since reading our UL book of the month for August I am more convinced than ever that long/slow content is my favorite. My solution? Just do both.

Have a great week!

In this episode:

🎥 Embracing Short-Form Video Creation
🔬 Piping into Portscanner: A Guide
📚 Long/Slow Content: The UL Book of the Month
🛡️ Defensive Security: A Glacier's Pace
🧠 Predicting AGI Attainment by 2025-2028
📜 Timeless Concepts from Ancient Myths
📰 Russian Impersonation Disinformation Exposed
🤖 AI Disinformation: Counteracting Propaganda
👗 Forever 21 Data Breach: Half a Million Impacted
🚗 Automotive Hacking Contest: Pwn2Own Automotive
🍏 Apple's Private Access Tokens: A Sneak Peek
📡 WiFi Vision Surveillance: Tracking Living Beings
🔭 Tool & Article Discovery
➡️ The Recommendation of the Week
🗣️ The Aphorism of the Week


Defensive Security is a Glacier, and That’s Ok
My realization that change in security happens on its own timeline, and there's not much we can do to speed it up. And what we can do about it. READ IT

Why and How I Believe We’ll Attain AGI by 2025-2028
My hypothesis for how humans attained general intelligence and consciousness, and how/why I think AI will get it before 2030. READ IT

A List of Timeless Concepts from Ancient Myths 
I just used AI to create a list of ancient wisdom and their source material. The list includes 50 concepts, each accompanied by its source material, from "Oedipus Rex" by Sophocles to "Remembrance of Things Past" by Marcel Proust. I’ve always wanted this list! READ IT

How I Differentiate the Unsupervised Newsletter, Podcast, and Community
How I plan to differentiate against increasing competition from AI-generated newsletters. READ IT

🎙️ Subscribe to the Podcast
If you’re not getting the podcast yet, please subscribe now. ADD UL TO YOUR CLIENT

📡 Connect via RSS
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Russian Impersonation Disinformation 
Russian disinformation campaigns are getting crafty, impersonating US media outlets like The Washington Post and Fox News to spread anti-Ukraine stories. The operation, named Doppelganger, is described by Meta as "the largest and most aggressively persistent covert influence operation from Russia that we’ve seen since 2017." THERECORD

AI Disinformation 
A cybersecurity professional, Nea Paw, has built an AI disinformation machine to counter Russian propaganda for just $400. The project, named CounterCloud, uses OpenAI's text generation technology and other AI tools to create sophisticated information campaigns. WIRED

Forever 21 Data Breach 
Forever 21 has admitted to a data breach that impacted over half a million people. The fashion giant was hacked over a three-month period starting in January 2023, with intruders gaining access to files containing personal information. TECHCRUNCH | THERECORD



World-Class Email Protection - Simplified

📧 More than 90% of cyberattacks start with email and attacks are growing in volume and sophistication.

🐟From phishing and ransomware to credential theft and zero-day attacks, organizations of all shapes and sizes face a new world of risk.

GPU Sales Ban 
The U.S. government has put a stop to sales of Nvidia's high-performance GPUs to the Middle East and a few other countries, aiming to hinder China's AI development. The affected chips, the H100 and A100 models, are already restricted for sale in China and Russia, leading Nvidia to develop H800 and A800 models with reduced performance for sale in China. TOMSHARDWARE

Automotive Hacking Contest 
The Zero Day Initiative is offering over $1 million in cash and prizes at Pwn2Own Automotive, the first hacking contest focused on car systems. The competition, which will be hosted at the Automotive World conference in Tokyo, Japan, will have four categories: Tesla, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), electric vehicle chargers, and operating systems. SECURITYWEEK

Apple Sneaks in Attestation 
Apple has quietly introduced a system called "Private Access Tokens" that verifies the legitimacy of devices without revealing user identity. This system, similar to Google's Web Environment Integrity proposal, is integrated into MacOS 13, iOS 16, and Safari and is primarily used to eliminate captchas. HTTPTOOLKIT 


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Exclusive for the Unsupervised Learning community: Claim your $1000 discount at Vanta.com/Unsupervised. Act now, secure your business, and save big!

WiFi Vision Surveillance 
There’s some promising new tech that can evidently transform WiFi routers into a sort of night-vision camera, specifically designed to track living beings. Funny thing about this is that night vision is just another kind of wave as well. TWITTER


Robot Surgeon Success 
The Da Vinci surgical robot has successfully removed an inoperable tumor from a patient's tonsils, potentially saving his life. BGR 

X's New Features 
X is planning to introduce voice and video calls, though no timeline has been given. The platform has also updated its privacy policy to allow collection of biometric data and employment history. SECURITYWEEK | THEHILL

Tech Salary Drop 
Tech workers are seeing their salaries shrink by up to 15% as the job market gets flooded with talent from recent layoffs. According to Seek data, IT job ads are down 35% compared to last year. AFR

Amazon's Office Mandate 
Amazon's CEO, Andy Jassy, has made it clear that employees who aren't willing to work in the office at least three days a week might need to find another job. Nearly 30,000 Amazon employees signed a petition against the return-to-office mandate in May. THEGUARDIAN

Tesla's Power Play 
Tesla has been quietly building a power plant in California to support its Supercharger station on Interstate 5. The move is seen as a strategic step to ensure its charging stations have a reliable power supply amidst California's frequent power outages. This is how we end up with corporations providing services instead of the government. SFGATE

AI Alignment Challenge 
OpenAI is taking on the challenge of aligning artificial superintelligence systems with human goals, a problem that could escalate if superintelligent AI systems are developed. They've launched a new research program, dedicating 20% of their total computing power to solve this issue by 2027. IEEESPECTRUM

Driverless Taxi Incident 
Two Cruise driverless taxis in San Francisco reportedly delayed an ambulance carrying a car accident victim, who later died in the hospital. NYTIMES

Apple's 3NM Chip Exclusivity 
Apple will be the only company to receive TSMC's 3nm chips this year, according to a recent supply chain report. 9TO5MAC 

Tech Exodus Regret 
Some California tech transplants are reportedly regretting their move to Austin, citing cultural differences, the heat, and a lack of diversity. SFGATE

China Overtakes US on iPhone Dominance 
China has overtaken the US as the biggest iPhone market for the first time ever, accounting for 24% of all iPhone shipments in Q2 2023. MACRUMORS

Solar-Powered Semi-Truck Scania, a Swedish truck manufacturer, has developed a prototype for a plug-in hybrid semi-truck covered in solar panels. The 60-foot-long trailer is wrapped in 100 square meters of solar panels, which could potentially increase the truck's annual driving range by up to 5,000 kilometers in Sweden. POPSCI


AI's Hidden Workforce 
The booming AI industry is heavily reliant on an underpaid and exploited workforce in the Philippines, who annotate data for AI models. Over 2 million people in the Philippines are engaged in this type of "crowdwork", with many earning far below the minimum wage and facing delayed or withheld payments. WASHINGTONPOST

Superbug Skewers 
RMIT University scientists have come up with a clever way to fight drug-resistant infections: titanium micro-spikes. These spikes, etched onto implants, can kill about half of the drug-resistant Candida cells (a deadly fungus) on contact. RMIT

Job Growth Slows Job growth in the private sector took a nosedive in August, falling short of economists' predictions and hinting at a cooling labor market. The private sector only added 177,000 jobs, a significant drop from July's 371,000, according to the latest ADP National Employment report. THEHILL

Social Media Fatigue 
People are posting less on social media platforms like Instagram, opting for more private and closed groups. The shift is due to the pressure of curating perfect content and the desire for more authentic interactions, leading to a rise in direct messages and group chats. BUSINESSINSIDER

Auto Theft Lawsuits 
Chicago and other cities are suing Kia and Hyundai, claiming their lack of simple immobilizer technology in cheaper vehicles makes them too easy to steal. In 2022, over 8,800 Kias and Hyundais were stolen in Chicago, accounting for two-fifths of the 21,000 vehicle thefts recorded. ECONOMIST

Potassium and Magnesium Benefits 
A study found that higher intakes of potassium and magnesium, but not lower sodium, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Potassium intake of 3000 mg/d was associated with a 25% lower risk, while magnesium intake of 320 mg/d led to a 34% lower risk of CVD. PUBMED

Japan's Defense Boost 
Japan's Defense Ministry is asking for a 13% budget increase next fiscal year, planning to add anti-missile systems and boost military maintenance. OODALOOP

Owning vs. Renting 
68% of households in the US are owned and 32% are rented, but this varies by state. Maine has the highest ownership rate at 80% and Washington, D.C. has the highest renting rate with less than half of households being owned. FLOWINGDATA 

Conservative Pop Surge 
Conservative pop culture is gaining traction, with artists like Oliver Anthony and Jason Aldean topping the Billboard charts with their right-leaning messages. This trend reflects a growing polarization in the country, with conservatives seeking to reclaim pop culture from liberal focus. THEHILL


I’ve been using a new technique to improve my technical drumming, which is to watch covers on TikTok of particularly interesting parts of songs. I especially like when they’re using electronic drums, which I also have, because you’re not hearing the drum sound drown out the track. And I really like this one girl (Apartment Drummer) who’s totally killing these technical songs. TIKTOK

I seem to have replaced my expensive camera gear for streaming with a dedicated iPhone webcam. The software-based features and image quality are just moving too fast to pass up. And the ability to track me as I move is super compelling as well. Feels weird but I’m going with it.

Continuous tweaking on the format/structure/size of the newsletter. Trying to keep each section to below 15 stories and over-index on the analysis and original content. The last couple have been monsters.

I just gave myself a massive amount of reading by creating this List of Timeless Concepts. That’s a ton of source material I now have to collect and get through!


Oscillating Between Shame and Grandiosity
The last chapter of Outlive is spectacular. Attia talks about the trauma in his past and how it basically turned him into someone who oscillates between Shame and Grandiosity. So basically someone has trauma, they feel shame about that, so they try to lift themselves above everyone else to compensate. And if that fails, they feel shame. Repeat and rinse. This really maps well to narcissism in general, and—now that I’m looking for it—I see shades of the cycle in myself and many of my creator friends. Question is: if much of what gets made in the world is made by narcissists fighting their trauma, is that not sometimes/often a good thing? And if so, when does it transition to being bad? I encourage you to read the book, and especially that chapter, and see if it applies to you and the people you know. Really powerful concept. OUTLIVE


⚒️ Awesome-GPT-Prompt-Engineering — A curated list of resources, tools, and other cool stuff for GPT prompt engineering. It's a goldmine for anyone tinkering with GPT. | by AI-App | GITHUB

⚒️ Compress — A tool that creates typing shortcuts from your own writing to save you time and effort. It generates config files for Autokey, a Linux program that implements keyboard shortcuts. | by Erik Schluntz | GITHUB

⚒️ Wapalyzer — A community fork of the now removed Wappalyzer project that identifies the technologies powering any website. It inspects HTML code, JavaScript variables, response headers and more. | by Lissy93 | GITHUB

⚒️ EternalHush — A new advanced open-source C2 framework that's free to use. | by novkira03 | GITHUB

AI Barbarians at the gate. Great analysis of how AI will hit businesses. A16Z

At Midland school You Trade Your Smartphone for an Ax THEFP

Tesla's future might be more about China than the US. THEVERGE

How to auto-restart Mac apps. ALINPANAITIU

SpaceX is going to provide satellites for Apple’s SOS feature. MACRUMORS

Grep for Log Analysis MUHAMMADRAZA

How to enable auto-reply while driving. MACWORLD

Programmer → Contractor OCHAGAVIA

Supermoon Images. PETAPIXEL

Revolutionizing AI Memory with Recursive Summarization ARXIV

Unearthing PyPI's Secrets HACKERNEWS

Blog what you want JAMESG 

Animated Knot Tying ANIMATEDKNOTS

A prose linter VALE.SH

Free Offline Maps for Travelers ORGANICMAPS

Hacking Dev Tunnels TWITTER 


One of the biggest things I learned in the book Outlive, which I’ve been unable to shut up about, is the fact that:

  1. Muscle mass and strength is a MASSIVE factor for longevity, and

  2. Most people don’t get nearly enough protein to grow and sustain that muscle

Cool, well, I just saw Attia on a TikTok talking about how he’s seeing lots of people losing weight on Ozempic/Wegovy, but they’re also losing tons of muscle mass as well (which is bad, see above).

So the recommendation of the week is: if you’re losing weight, make sure you keep your protein and strength training up so you don’t lose too much muscle.


Inspired by love, guided by knowledge.

Bertrand Russell

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