Unsupervised Learning Newsletter NO. 368

ChinaBalloons, CustomGPT, 90s++…

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The US shot down a Chinese spy balloon. They gathered the debris from the water it fell into, and it's currently being studied. China said it was a weather balloon and there was nothing to worry about. But they also said they've never waged cyber operations against the US. As a non-expert on such cameras, I have questions. How much better is a balloon at 60,000 feet than a quality satellite? MORE

Anker has officially admitted (after multiple denials) that its encrypted cameras weren't always encrypted, and they promise to improve. For me this is simple. Eufy is Anker, and Anker is a Chinese company. So I won't be using their stuff for anything security-related. MORE

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, which serves a 21-county area of North Florida and South Georgia, is diverting patients and canceling non-emergency surgeries after a likely ransomware attack. MORE


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Microsoft says the Iranian cyber group, Neptunium/Emmennet, is responsible for stealing the user database at Charlie Hebdo. The stolen data, which included names, phone numbers and addresses, "could put the magazine's subscribers at risk of online or physical targeting by extremist organizations," said Clint Watts, general manager of DTAC. MORE

Switzerland's largest university's website was knocked offline as part of a cluster of cyberattacks against German-speaking universities. The campaign has been going on for a number of weeks, and university representatives say the attackers have been acting in a "very professional manner". MORE 

Sony has moved 90% of its camera production to Thailand. So many companies are untethering from China. MORE

⚒️ Capital — A vulnerable API for testing your API testing tools and skills. MORE | BY CHECKMARX

⚒️ GBounty — A CLI-based web security scanner written in Go. $99/year. MORE

🪳OpenSSH Patch to address multiple bugs. MORE | ADVISORY

🪳QNAP Critical RCEs, updates available. MORE


ChatGPT has set the record for the fastest-growing user base in history. They hit 100 million users in just 2 months. TikTok took 9 months to do the same. Instagram, 2.5 years. Meanwhile, Meta's head of AI continues to winge about how it's not that special. MORE

OpenAI has released ChatGPT Plus, which is a paid version of ChatGPT that offers 1) access during peak times, 2) faster response times, and 3) priority access to new features and improvements. It costs $20/month. MORE

Meanwhile, Google unveiled its response to ChatGPT called Bard. Here's the difference: for the vast majority of people, Bard is just another blog post. They didn't release a tool to the public. It's not in people's actual hands. So, just like Meta, they're in the unpleasant position of talking about cool stuff instead of actually shipping. BARD TEASER BLOG


Is Dynamic Data Masking Good Enough?

Dynamic Data Masking is a popular, flexible, and powerful tool for protecting sensitive information, like PII, in data warehouses and data lakes. Because masks are applied at query-time, dynamic masking can enforce complex RBAC policies and ensure only privileged users or roles access sensitive information.

However, because it is non-destructive, dynamic data masking doesn't help with DSAR and retention policies, nor does it help with development and test environments. Most importantly, masking only direct identifiers doesn't protect your data from re-identification attacks.

Privacy Dynamics' customers use de-identified data to complement dynamic masking and further reduce your attack surface.

And in a super-competitive move, Microsoft just announced a surprise meeting on Tuesday—the day before Google's event—to unveil what most people are expecting will be the new Bing with ChatGPT integration. Baller move for sure, even though Google already dropped the blog post. MORE

Someone built a GPT application that consumes books and lets you "interview" the content. This one is "Modern Principles: Microeconomics", but you can also talk to other books. This is one of the most exciting hurdles to the next level of AI—the ability to add custom knowledge. MORE

Someone created a tool called DetectGPT that text created with ChatGPT. Unfortunately it's only partially effective, and will get worse over time. Still pretty cool, though. MORE

Twitter looks to be serious about building a payment platform. I welcome it. I don't like the PayPal and Venmo experiences, and not everyone has an Apple device. With Musk's PayPal background and his focus on simplicity, I'm hoping he can make something slick. MORE

Apple missed its numbers for the first time in a long while, but it now has over 2 billion active devices for the first time. Investors didn't seem too rattled by the miss, perhaps due to Cook reassuring that it was because of the supply chain issue in China (and the fact that they're trying to get out of there?). MORE

Metaview is an automatic notes-taking service. There are a bunch of these popping up and I'm loving it. I think the most important feature of such services is not so much capturing everything, but knowing what the most important things are, and then highlighting and prioritizing those. That's where you can really benefit from something like GPT where you teach the service what you care about. I can't wait for that because I'll have it running constantly while I watch YouTube interviews, etc. MORE

⚒️ yq — A lightweight and portable command-line YAML, JSON and XML processor. Written in Go. Like jq, but works with YAML, JSON, XML, Properties, CSV, and TSV! MORE | BY MIKE FARAH

⚒️ Chatbase — Build an AI Chatbot trained on your own data. MORE

⚒️ GPTed — Use GPT-3 as a proofreader. Super Cool, but it asks for your API key, so be aware. MORE | TOOL

💼 OpenAI is looking for a Security Engineer in Detection & Response. The salary goes up to $370,000, plus great equity and benefits. And they'd love to hear from under-represented groups! APPLY


MDMA and Psilocybin have been approved as medicines for the first time, in Australia. Let's go US. MORE

Shell just posted its highest annual profit ever, at $40 billion dollars. Profit, not revenue. MORE

The US added 517,000 jobs in January. We were expecting 187,000. This crashed stocks initially because it increases the chances of interest rate hikes. MORE

A wonderful blog praising the 90's, by Freddie de Boer. MORE | WHAT MADE THEM SO AWESOME

I Hired 5 People to Sit Behind Me and Make Me Productive for a Month MORE

The Anxious Style of American Parenting MORE

📊 Indian fertility has fallen to 2.0, which is below the replacement level of 2.1 for the first time ever. MORE

📊 US credit card debt just jumped 19% and hit $931 billion. MORE

📊 39% of the US workforce was freelance in 2022. MORE


How I Think About Where to Store My Data  A quick Twitter mini-blog on how I think about which companies I tust my data with. TWEET

What Made the 90's So Awesome — I was curious what made the 90's so awesome so I asked GPT. Here's the prompt and the results. Quite impressive. MORE


In this episode I did something different. I integrated the Discovery content into the top 3 sections of the newsletter, and renamed them Security, Technology, and Humans. Not too much of a change, but it simplifies the structure a bit and elevates the content in Discovery, which I like. Let me know what you think!

Don't forget I'm giving away a pair of AirPods Pro 2 to whoever gets the most newsletter referrals! The contest ends on February 28th! YOUR REFERRAL LINK

This week's UL Book Club book, Whole Brain Living, is absolutely unreal. I am already planning the summary and I'm only halfway done! Can't wait for book club this month!


Find tasks to delegate, and quality people to hand them to. I'm convinced this is the primary superpower of an effective entity. Ideas mean nothing without execution, and competent people can only do so much by themselves. If you look at anyone who's effective in a big business, or as a solopreneur, they tend to have highly-competent champions over key areas. Find that for yourself. Whether you're hiring someone to take things on for you, or you're using one of the many assistant services, that all depends on you and your tasks. But make absolutely sure you're not spending too much time doing things that sap your critical few hours of daily creative work.


“Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility."

Pablo Picasso