Unsupervised Learning No. 254

News & Analysis

I spend my time reading 3-6 books a month on security, technology, and society—and thinking about what might be coming next. Every Monday I send out a list of the best content I’ve found in the last week to around 40,000 people. It’ll save you tons of time.  

MEMBER EDITION | EP. 254 | November 9, 2020


Demand, Cyberinsurance, and Automation/AI Are the Future of InfoSec More


MI5 has set the UK terrorism alert level to SEVERE due to the unfolding attacks related to the display of Charlie Hebdo images in France. More

The US government has seized a bitcoin account related to Silk Road worth over $1 billion dollars. More

Snowden has applied for Russian citizenship. More


  • Cisco announces an AnyConnect VPN Client vulnerability, and there's exploit code available. More

  • Adobe is warning of critical Acrobat and Reader flaws. More


DJI's new Mavic Mini 2 has 4K video, RAW photos, and twice the range of the previous model (up to 10 kilometers). More 

Amazon has launched a new RabbitMQ message broker service. More

SpaceX's Starlink satellite-based internet reached speeds up to 160 megabits per second in recent testing. Expected speeds are between 50 and 150 megabits. More


  • Fast is a startup built on top of Stripe that does one-click checkouts online. More


Oregon has largely decriminalized drugs, including the use of psilocybin for mental health treatment. More

Bently is dumping its 12-cylinder engines and going electric. More

There is some promise out of Columbia University for a nasal spray that temporarily prevents COVID infection. It works by keeping the virus from fusing with cell membranes. They're trying to accelerate human trials. More

Florida is getting ready to release 750 million genetically modified mosquitos in an attempt to reduce local populations. More

More than 13 million people could lose their unemployment benefits by the end of December. This combined with the coming eviction deadlines are a big concern for me. More


  • Bookshop — A way to reject Amazon and purchase from local bookshops online. More


When Capitalism and China Collide — As I wrote about here, I think China may have made a major blunder by showing its intentions to the world too soon. They're being belligerent, and that's causing countries like the US and UK to ostracize them and their companies (see Huawei). It's going to be quite interesting to see what wins first: the American model of attracting talent and innovation through freedom and opportunity, or a controlled version of Capitalism that has all the benefits of centralization. We just saw what happens when a Chinese phoenix flies too close to the sun. It falls to the earth. Even Jack Ma could not say something critical of the state without severe reprimand, and that is not a great look for a country that desperately needs to attract innovators. They can steal all the IP they want, and create as big an economy as they want, but if every creative and brilliant citizen they have would rather live in the West, they still have a serious problem. So the question is whether they'll figure out their freedom problem before the West figures out its cohesion problem.

Putin's Long Play With Trump? — Putin has just announced that Russia will work towards the goals set in the Paris Accord, and he made the announcement as an obvious response to America pulling out of the agreement the day before. This is exactly the type of thing I predicted in August of 2016, when I wrote: "In short, maybe Putin is trying to get Trump elected so that he’ll be able to play the role of international savior from the (then obviously evil) US." Step 1: Diminish the US in the eyes of the world. Step 2: Step in to fill the void. Seems logical. More

Conspiracy thinking had a huge election night. More


I'm relieved the election is (mostly) over, but I'm looking quickly to how we can pursue some unity. Twitter Thread

I'm currently drowning in books I can't wait to read, which is a glorious feeling. I'm almost done with The Upswing, which is the UL Book Club book of the month. I also just found this book called We, which is supposedly one of the best dystopian books ever written. It was released in 1924! And it's also the inspiration for 1984 and Brave New World! And this weekend I just added Pedigree to the list, which is about the elitist hiring practices around top jobs.

I finished Netflix's The Queen's Gambit, and it was spectacular. 8/10. More


Little Snitch has a new version out for Big Sur that uses a different system for intercepting traffic. This allows for additional visualizations and reduced resource requirements. More

The top 100 US colleges ranked by tuition. More

UNIX as Literature More

Vim tips for intermediary users. More

Why paying to delete stolen data is bonkers. More

The Linux Commands Handbook More

Technical debt as a lack of understanding. More

A Twitter thread on what happens when you commit a secret to Github. More


If you're not signed up for Clint Gibler's newsletter (TL;DR Sec), you're missing out. He's a great friend, a great connector in the industry, and SUPER knowledgeable about security—especially mobile. You should subscribe. TL;DR Sec


“You can only convince people who think they can benefit from being convinced.”

~ Nassim Taleb