Unsupervised Learning No. 246

News & Analysis

MEMBER EDITION | EP. 246 | September 14, 2020


Our Problem is Gullibility, Not Disinformation More

Primary Concern Theory More


Microsoft is warning that Russia is attacking our elections again, and this time they're going after both parties. They also said China is in the mix as well, but that they're mostly going after Biden's campaign. Iran is also mentioned in the report. More

The former head of the NSA, Keith Alexander, has joined Amazon's board of directors. More

Oracle has won the TikTok deal, but it may be a genius move by China to appease Trump without actually losing anything. They've essentially given up no control over the application itself. It's just going to be hosted by Oracle. It's not so much a purchase as a partnership. The question is whether Trump will see this as a victory or throw a flag and shut down TikTok anyway. More

In almost-definitely-related news, China just released a new Data Security Initiative, which looks a lot like public relations cleanup of their decaying reputation. The new initiative says they won't ask companies working in China to give data to the government, and that people shouldn't install backdoors that steal data. I mean, that's nice to say, but why would people believe this is anything other than PR? More Axios Analysis

The US has revoked more than 1,000 Chinese nationals' visas for supposedly having ties to the Chinese military. More

Portland has passed the toughest ban on facial recognition in the US. More

The Pentagon is working on a program that uses AI to automate the detection and response to cyber threats. This type of program is needed, and it's inevitable because humans simply can't look at the amount of data that's involved. But it doesn't make it any less scary. The goal is to be able to trust such a system to make really important warfare decisions, and achieving that goal is what we should be most afraid of. I'm always worried when the incentives line up that way. More

Harvard Research says China's cyber capabilities are equal to the US. More

The US Army is working on a project where autonomous AI-powered drones protect helicopters via electronic warfare, sensor extension, and by acting as decoys for incoming attacks. More


  • Microsoft patched 129 vulns for Patch Tuesday. More

  • There's a Bluetooth vulnerability in 4.0 and 5.0 that lets local attackers access services without authentication. More

  • PAN-OS fixes some severe code execution and DoS flaws. More

  • SAP issued 10 new security notes, and updates for 6 previous ones. More

  • Adobe patched a bunch of stuff. More


  • Dozens of schools have been hit with ransomware attacks while trying to start the school year, forcing many of them to postpone the year and/or go fully remote. More

  • A study found that 41% of recent cyber insurance claims were ransomware related. More


  • There is now a meme/theory/conspiracy that Antifa and similar groups have caused the fires in Oregon due to tweets by the Portland Police department, saying to demostrate "without the use of fire" and authorities are being overwhelmed by people calling about them. More


  • Razer (gaming) had a data leak. More


  • Zoom just rolled out 2FA for all accounts. More


Nvidia is buying Arm for $40 billion. More

Amazon is partnering with AT&T so you can tie your Alexa devices to your phone number and make and receive calls with them. More

Google has launched Android 11. More

MIT has successfully monitored peoples' sleeping positions 94% of the time using just radio signals. More

Peloton is releasing new and cheaper bike and treadmill options. More


  • Optimize Health raised $15.6 million to remotely monitor patients' health. More

  • Curio just raised another $9 million doing curated audio journalism. More

  • Skin Analytics raises £4M to detect skin cancer using AI. More

  • Slack reported revenue of $215 million, up 49% YoY. More


Vinyl just outsold CDs for the first time since the 80s. More

The Fed owns around 1/3 of all mortgages. 🔥 This is fine. More


The next version of a "Media Group" will be a loose group individual creators united under a theme and brand. More

Wikipedia has an immersive gameworld with over 39.9 million players and over 6.16 million unique locations, including over 99,000 undiscovered secret areas, 32,000 completely explored dungeons, and 5,800 boss levels. More

The Technical Interview is an Ego Trip More


📺 On Sept 17th at 9PM CST (7PM PST, 10PM EST) we are going to have a UL movie night! We are watching a Netflix documentary called The Social Dilemma. It will be streamed using software called Watch With Friends (WWF). I will post the link on the Slack a few hours before showtime. I think all you need is Chrome Browser and the WWF plugin. Thanks to Tim Leonard for setting this up for us! More

Last week I said Oracle won the JEDI contract, it was Microsoft. They actually won it a long time ago. All the judge did recently was uphold the previous decision. Sorry for the error.

Our podcast hit #50 in the US Technology category over the last few days, which is up from around 100-250. All we did to make that happen was post a second episode during the week, which was the book review episode for Atomic Habits. As it turns out, most top podcasts score so high in the rankings because they publish 3-10 episodes a week. The more downloads the higher your ranking, basically. A podcast like Joe Rogan puts out at least one a day usually, and sometimes more. More

I finished reading Breathe, which is our UL Book of the month. Mostly loved it. Probably a 7/10 for me.

I'm currently reading the Peter Strzok book, Compromised, and will be reading the Woodward book right afterward. I already feel like Trump is compromised to some degree, but I was recently moved a bit away from that position by the Bolton book, and I'm really curious what an expert in counterintelligence has to say about the topic. More 


Ars Technica put out a buying guide for home offices. More

Mastering the art of ventilating a home. More

How to Make Dope Shit (DataViz) More

Yuri Bezmenov (Tomas Shuman) on Ideological Subversion More


If you want a quick entry into the world of breathing, you can do much worse than Vim Hof's guided video on YouTube. Interestingly he doesn't specify to breathe in through the nose, the way the book we just read does. More


“A celebrated people lose dignity upon a closer view.”

~ Napoleon I

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