Unsupervised Learning Newsletter No. 275

News & Analysis

STANDARD EDITION | Ep. 275 | April 5, 2021 

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 50,000 people. It'll save you tons of time. 


There's been a number of major breaches at US universities, including Stanford, as a result of the Accellion vulnerability. More

Data on 533 million Facebook users was made available for download, and the breach is now in HaveIBeenPwned. More | Check HaveIBeenPwned 

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, the top Republican on the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, says Solarwinds hackers got DHS's "crown jewels". This evidently included access to the email accounts of the head of DHS as well as members of the DHS's cybersecurity staff that's in charge of defending against cyber threats from foreign countries. More

Github says secret scanning for private repositories is now available for enterprise accounts. More

It looks like Ubiquiti's breach was much larger than originally announced, and people are pretty unhappy about potentially being deceived about it. I hardly react to vendor breaches anymore, but I do react to indicators that vendors don't get the importance of good security and/or being honest with customers. Combine this with the news that they're now putting ads in their admin interfaces and I'm officially concerned about their direction. More

The city of Seoul is installing new "smart poles" that are a combination of streetlight, traffic light, environmental sensor, foot-traffic counter, smartphone charger, wifi access point, and CCTV camera. The tops of the poles will also be charging spots for the city's drones. More

Duo is getting ready to launch a passwordless authentication service. It'll allow customers to log into services protected by Duo using security keys or OS-integrated biometrics. More


  • VMware has released updates to multiple products, including for issues that enable system takeover. More

  • Cisco has released updates to Hypervisor that can lead to denial of service. More


  • A call center provider called 200 Networks, LLC exposed a database of 1.48 million robocalls, including some callbacks. More


Microsoft is getting a contract worth up to $22 billion dollars to provide 120,000 AR headsets to the US Army. More

YouTube is testing the removal of the Dislike option on videos. More

LG is getting out of the smartphone business. More

OpenAI's GPT-3 is being used in 300 different apps, by tens of thousands of developers, and is producing around 4.5 billion words per day. Those are cool stats, but the real question is how much of that is being shown to real readers as if it were written by a human. More

Ray Dalio thinks the US will outlaw Bitcoin. More


  • Next Insurance has raised $250 million at a $4 billion dollar valuation. They use AI to provide customized insurance policies for small businesses. More

  • Substack is raising $65 million. More


GenX is coming out of the pandemic in a much better financial situation, and is doing well against its generational kin. More

A new study out of NYU shows that narcissism is driven by insecurity, not a grandiose sense of self-worth. More

Someone did data analysis on 51 cities and found that murder is up 36% compared to 2019. More

Argentina's president has tested positive for COVID after receiving both doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine. More

US church attendance has just fallen below 50% for the first time ever. It was as high as 70% in the late 1990's and now sits around 47%. More

Disney+ is going to start shooting Obi-Wan Kenobi in April. More


🔥 Frontview Mirror | 2021 Edition — My member-access annual look at current trends, how they may intersect, and how we might adjust accordingly. I've been doing this for a while, but this is the first in a new ongoing series of this name. More Get Access

The Consumer Authentication Strength Maturity Model (CASMM) v5 — My new visual model for helping people understand and improve their internet password/authentication hygiene. More

Disambiguating Mass Shootings — My new essay on the fundamental difference between shootings at schools and nightclubs. More
An Interview with Amir Majidimehr of Audio Science Review — I interviewed the most interesting guy in the entire audiophile world right now, Amir Majidimehr. He runs the Audio Science Review forum and YouTube channel and is absolutely snow-globing the entire hobby by introducing measurement into the conversation. If you're into audio, it's a must-listen. More


I put a lot of time into this new Frontview Mirror piece I just posted. Started small but once I got going it kept pouring out.

Last weekend's UL Book Club was fantastic, and we had the best attendance so far. Tim L. from the community had a great suggestion to try something classic, so this month's book is The Island of Dr. Moreau! Come join us!

I got my first shot like a week ago. Moderna.


Malwarebytes — My go-to anti-malware tool on Windows and Mac. It's what I recommend to everyone, and have been for nearly a decade. And as a show supporter, they're offering us 25% off. [SUP] More

The Wayland — I'm trying hard very hard to not buy this pocketknife. More

ifconfig.co — The most detailed and geeky "what is my IP?" website out there. More

Roleplayful — Find people to play tabletop roleplaying games with, remotely or in person. More

Who Americans spend their time with, by age. More

Some interesting advice on how to make it as a writer (be weird). More

"A lot of software is free as in piano." More


I'm not a doctor nor any sort of physical coach, so use all the appropriate cautions, but—if you're healthy and able—I highly recommend incorporating high-weight weightlifting into your weekly routine. I rarely feel better than right after I get done with 3 sets of 4-6 reps of as much weight as I can lift. I feel spent, which is nice, and I also feel strong. And to top it all off, the blood flow and endorphines (I guess) give me a massive rush of mental clarity and energy, which I enjoy even more than the physical aspects. Assuming you can do it safely, I highly recommend it.


“To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.”

~ Bertrand Russell