Unsupervised Learning: No. 175


Unsupervised Learning is my weekly show that provides collection, summarization, and analysis in the realms of Security, Technology, and Humans.

I spend between five and twenty hours a week consuming articles, books, and podcasts—so you don’t have to—and each episode is either a curated summary of what I’ve found in the past week, or a standalone essay that hopefully gives you something to think about.

?️ Security NewsDeepfakes are about to seriously erode our collective ability to tell truth from fiction, and this is already a big enough problem without them. Think of every problem you care about, and realize this represents an exponent on each one. This video captures it extremely well. LinkSlack has warned the world that it’s being targeted by Nation State actors. I’m glad they said it, but we already knew that. Think of what an attacker could get if they could access any company’s internal Slack communication without being detected. LinkScientists have captured the brain waves of someone hearing speech, run that through an algorithm that created it’s own speech from the recordings, and got a 75% recognition rate from humans on that speech. So the algorithm knew what the person heard, and turned that into spoken language that people actually understood. The next step is for the algorithm to know what people thought, instead of heard. In other words, machine learning is taking very close to mind-reading—but we still have potholes and cancer. LinkJetBlue is mapping out the future of facial recognition in the United States by quietly switching their boarding process from ticket scan to facial scan, and a conversation between a customer and their Twitter support account went viral. It revealed that the database of faces they were comparing against came from the Department of Homeland Security, which just made the customer even more upset. The thread is a fascinating read, and definitely indicative of what’s coming. LinkThe US is working very hard to keep the F-35’s secrets safe from Russia and China due to its strategic importance. LinkThe New York Times’ Privacy Project team deployed a $60 Amazon facial recognition system in NYC and detected around 3,000 faces over 9 hours, including getting a close match on a professor that teaches nearby. The team was shocked at how cheap it was to do that good of a job. LinkAmazon’s warehouses are largely so efficient due to extreme monitoring of packing staff. This monitoring is also being carried out in part by robots that can monitor their productivity and their downtime. And the robots don’t just monitor employees, but can actually fire employees needing to involve a human. LinkPrivate police forces are growing in Detroit, which is something I predicted over 10 years ago. The less social capital you have, the lower the quality of the public police force, and the larger the gap will be between the rich and poor. The result will be the rich bringing in their own security, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing. Someone on Twitter also noted that it’s also the plot to Robocop. LinkISIS appears to be regrouping, and the Sri Lanka attacks may be an indication of growing confidence and what’s to come in the future. Link⚙️ Technology NewsE-Trade is about to get into cryptocurrency trading. LinkHertz has sued Accenture for biffing a “digital transformation” project. Link??  Human NewsEmotional problems associated with obesity can evidently develop as early as age 7, causing more issues later in life. LinkArtists are resisting the idea of guilds in order to share resources amongst themselves. LinkDisney has banned smoking at their parks. LinkRecent law changes in California have made it easier to poach employees. LinkThere’s been a disturbance in the force in the world of Cosmology. Some people are finding measurements of the Hubble Constant to be higher than it’s supposed to be, and a lot of people are saying the implications could be massive for the age of the universe and numerous other considerations. Link? Ideas, Trends, & AnalysisMachine Learning Will Capture the ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ of Human Existence LinkThe Difference Between Goals, Strategies, Metrics, OKR’s, KPIs, and KRIs LinkYou don’t need perfect prevention—what you need is solid detection and response for when prevention inevitably fails. LinkMore is Different — One of the most important papers ever written on emergence. LinkIAM is the Real Cloud Lock-in LinkThe Salary Needed to buy a Home in 50 US Cities LinkAn extraordinary Sam Harris podcast on the future of Artificial General Intelligence. Link? DiscoveryThreat Hunting and DNS over HTTPS LinkFei-Fei Li talks the future of AGI with Yuval Harari. I loved Harari here as usual, but was very disappointed with Fei-Fei’s comments. It seemed like she wasn’t even caught up on the requisite reading and thinking to be part of the conversation, let alone to move it forward. Seriously confused as to how that matchup was made. LinkYou can now share podcast clips with people on Overcast. LinkI’m very much in love with this blog called Farnam Street, by Shane Parrish. Stunned by how much we have in common in how we approach things. LinkMagic the Gathering might be AI’s next challenge. LinkTactical analysis of the Battle of Winterfell LinkCertasset — Extract domain names from IP ranges. Link? Notes? So I’ve solved the mystery around membership billing issues. There’s a feature available—which I’ve already enabled—that links existing plans to each other, which means when you have a $5/month membership (for example), and you change your membership to $50/year, it’ll automatically stop the old one and put you on the new one, effective immediately. This wasn’t happening before!!! And it was causing major frustration that I captured in this email to Memberful. If that happened to you, I’m really sorry, and please reach out to me again to make sure it got fixed. And for anyone who is about to subscribe or change to the annual plan—you shouldn’t have that problem. Serious apologies for anyone who was affected. I personally cannot stand that kind of drama when I’m paying for something. SubscribeI’m very much infatuated with s blog called Farnam Street, by Shane Parrish. I’ve read multiple things from it over the years, but never really followed it for some reason. I’m stunned by how much we have in common in how we approach things, how we think about problems, etc. and he’s shown me what the next level of clarity and success can look like with my own stuff. It’s a must-read. Link?️ RecommendationsThe Toxicity of Fear LinkAphorism“The difference between vision and hallucination is execution”.~ Thomas Edison

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