Unsupervised Learning No. 235

News & Analysis

MEMBER EDITION | EP. 235 | June 29, 2020

THIS WEEK’S TOPICS: Chinese diplomats stealing secrets, COVID flying risk, RT interviewing US cops, Army Ignite future predictors, China launches its GPS network, Russians paid bounties to kill US troops, Technology News, Human News, Ideas Trends & Analysis, Discovery, Recommendations, and the Weekly Aphorism…


The FBI says China's top diplomat in the US and a senior diplomat in New York City have been helping the Chinese government to recruit US-based scientists to steal intellectual property for China. More

269 gigabytes of sensitive police data was released on Juneteenth, in what's being called a Distributed Denial of Secrets. More

Bruce Schneier does some analysis of the risk of COVID when flying. The TL;DR is that it seems safer than I would have imagined, possibly due to the air circulation used on planes. Just keep in mind, this is all still speculation at this point; there is still much we don't know. More

Russia is using its media/propaganda arm, RT, to magnify division in the US around the protests and the police response to them. They have been reaching out to law enforcement personnel and having them come on the show to talk about how upset they are with the protests, but without telling them that they're part of the Russian state. More

The US Army Futures Command has a team called Ignite that's responsible for mapping out trends to predict the future. They look for trends in electronics, artificial intelligence, space, biotech, and other spaces—all with a focus on how the US can best handle conflicts going forward. More

China has now launched all 30 satellites in its Beidou GPS network that was created to allow it to use GPS without reliance on the US. More

The Russian Intelligence unit accused of trying to poison Sergei Skripal in the UK is now accused of offering the Taliban bounties to kill US and British troops in Afghanistan. More


  • VMware has released multiple security updates for ESXi, Workstation, Fusion, and Cloud Formation. More


  • UCSF admits it paid the NetWalker ransomware group over $1 million dollars. More

  • It appears LG has been hit by the Maze ransomware group. More


  • Databricks has purchased Redash. More


The US president signed an executive order suspending many work visas until the end of 2020. Types affected include H-1B, H-2B, H-4 visas, and some J-1's. More

Amazon just launched a new service called Honeycode, which lets people build applications using little or no code. It's a fully managed service, so you get up to 20 users of your app for free, then you have to pay. It's an inevitable response to the fact that many more apps are needed than developers exist to create them. More

Amazon just bought a company called Zoox that is building autonomous robotaxis. More

Netflix is impressively releasing 59 new shows in July, despite the lockdown. More

A company out of Israel is looking at a way to do high-frequency trading over shortwave instead of fiber-optic cable in order to shave off 4.5 milliseconds. Normally a roundtrip from a Chicago to Frankfurt takes around 36 milliseconds. More

Google is showing off a new type of image capture that lets the viewer rotate the camera to see different perspectives. The system uses 46 different cameras to capture shots. More

Microsoft is permanently closing its retail stores. More

Sonos has laid off 12% of its workforce. More


CERN has approved plans for a new, $23 billion dollar supercollider that will be 62 miles long. Its primary purpose is to learn more about the Higgs Boson. The current largest collider is the LHC, which is 27 kilometers around, and the new one will be 100 kilometers. It will be built right next to the LHC. But it'll be a while. They'll start building in 2038—assuming they can find the money. More

$7 billion dollars worth of advertising dollars has left Facebook in part of a growing boycott, due to their perceived unwillingness to curb hate speech on the platform. More

Researchers have found the first super-consistent pattern of radio bursts coming from around 500 million light-years away. They pulse in a pattern of 4 days on and 12 days off, and in all previous similar cases (only around 100) these were very sporadic and just kind of went away. These have been going on for 500 days. More

Microsoft is shutting down its Mixer service and partnering with Facebook Gaming. More

A new study has estimated the number of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way at 6 billion. More


Why You Feel at Home in a Crisis More

America is facing 5 epic crises all at once. More

It looks like many of these new exclusive deals with big podcasters are following the model of artists being bamboozled by music labels. Basically, most of the benefit to the label, and relatively little for the artist. And we know how that might play out, which is the artists rebelling against that relationship. More

Google blew a 10-year lead. More


I'm currently working on a presentation on how to automate OSINT/RECON on a dirt-cheap VPS using nothing but Linux, Bash, open-source tools, and cron. It's called Mechanizing the Methodology, and I hope people like it!

Just pre-ordered a cool book on building ML apps using PyTorch that was recommended in the UL Slack Channel. More

I finished A World Without Work in like 4 days or so. It was seriously great. I'm currently reading Anna Karenina. I am constantly amazed at how well Tolstoy understood the internal workings of people.

We had our UL book club discussion on Sunday! Great topics this month. Kind of heavy, but that’s to be expected given what's happening in the world. We ended with the selection of the book of the month, and we decided to go with fiction that’s tied to reality. The selected title is Burn In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution. It's about the FBI, robotics, AI, and attacks on social cohesion. And we'll talk about the book in the next book club on the last Sunday of July! More


Canary Tokens — High-signal, low-maintenance attacker detection that you can deploy throughout your environment. More

Notion looks like a cool service. Basically a modern replacement for Google Docs. I'll let you know my thoughts when I test it out. More

A whole lot of people are talking about a new email service called Hey. I'm a Superhuman user so I'm not switching, but I find it interesting that people are finally getting tired of Gmail. I got an account and checked it out. It's quite different from anything else out there. More

The /r/Netsec Q2 Hiring Thread More

The gear you need to start a podcast or livestream. More

How People Read Online More

The Best 15 cities for homebuyers. More

How to build bastion servers on-demand with AWS Fargate. More

Cloudskew — Draw cloud architecture diagrams. More

How someone got their AWS bill to below 2% of their revenue. More

Antimander — Open Source Software that creates fair congressional districts to fight gerrymandering. More

Dungeon Scrawl — An online drawing tool for creating custom dungeons for role-playing games. More

TunneltoDev — Expose your local server to the internet using a public URL. More

Sifter — An OSINT/Recon/Vulnerability scanner that combines multiple tools into a suite. More

curl wttr.in/San+Francisco


Do The Real Thing — The best essay I've ever read on how to practically learn something. More


“Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.”

~ Plutarch