Unsupervised Learning No. 237

News & Analysis

STANDARD EDITION | EP. 237 | July 13, 2020

THIS WEEK’S TOPICS: Americans in China, TikTok Banning, Chinese Critics, BlueLeaks, Router Security, COVID Accelerating Trends, Twitter Subscriptions?, Technology News, Human News, Ideas Trends & Analysis, Discovery, Recommendations, and the Weekly Aphorism…


The US is warning that Americans can be detained or deported in China for saying anything bad about the Chinese government. More

The US is evidently looking at banning TikTok because it's a Chinese application. Amazon said on Friday that no employee could have it on their phones, and then an hour later said that email was sent by mistake. Very strange. More

China is using family leverage to force hundreds of Chinese-born critics of the government to return home to face punishment. More

German authorities seized the BlueLeaks server that was hosting doxing information on US police officers. More

Another study has found that home routers are riddled with vulnerabilities. Yep. This study was pretty large though, covering 127 different products. More

China continues to muck about in the East China Sea, this time crossing into Japan's territorial waters. More


  • Citrix patches 11 vulnerabilities in their network products. More

  • VMware has updated Fusion, Remote Console, and Horizon Client due to security issues. More


COVID is speeding up many trends, including the move to automate front-line workers' jobs like cashiers. It's also accelerating the move to Universal Basic Income. More More

Twitter may be working on a subscription platform and business model, according to a number of industry analysts and some job postings. More

Rivian, which is a very interesting Tesla rival, just raised $2.5 billion to make electric trucks and SUVs. These trucks look super interesting. I really hope they do well and give Tesla serious competition. They have a head-start there with an Amazon contract to build 100,000 delivery trucks, which is supposedly a middle finger to Musk from Bezos. More

Nvidia has passed Intel as the world's most valuable chipmaker. More

Tesla took $3,000 of the price of the Model Y. More

Tech startups have laid off around 70,000 employees since March. More

As of Sunday evening in the US, Github is down. And this isn't the first time this has happened. Expect some serious criticism this week. More


Walmart+ is launching in July as a competitor to Amazon Prime, and will cost $98/year to get same-day grocery delivery, discounts, and other perks. More

There's an updated study on the effect of money on happiness, and it shows it matters a lot more than it used to. It used to be that happiness largely leveled off after around $75,000/year, but now it continues to increase even beyond $160,000 a year. More

Travel is trending towards isolationist, with a focus on small groups and the outdoors. More

Online grocery sales in the US hit $7.2 billion in June. More

32% of American households missed their July mortgage payment. More


Our Lighted Path to Totalitarianism —My latest essay about multiple tech and demographic trends that are steering us towards bad outcomes. More

Searching for the Ultimate Obstacle to Creativity — My new essay on a possible root cause for multiple symptoms that keep you from being creative. More

Why I Think Trump is Compromised by Russia — Think of this as a security post, not a political post. I have recently written other political stuff that I don't believe in sharing here because it's not security-related. More

The stock market continues to surpass records, despite 50% unemployment and massive uncertainty for most people in America. I think it's because the rich just figured out that their success is completely untethered from the success of the bottom 70%. More

Listen Notes says there are around 1,378,000 podcasts. More


I finished Burn-In, which is the UL Book Club Book Club's book of the month. More

I just started reading The Murderbot Series, and I'm still working on Anna Karenina.

I actually started and stopped a couple of books this month, which I was happy to be able to do. Don't force yourself to finish bad books (or books you just don't like). The Sunk Cost Fallacy is called a fallacy for a reason.

I'm pretty excited about the NEOWISE comet, and plan on getting a good view one day this week—probably before dawn.


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

A database of online surveillance cameras. More

The product manager's guide to web scraping. More

Analysis of YouTube Trending Videos of 2020. More

San Francisco is evidently the most gentrified city in America. More

Classifying 200,000 articles in 7 hours using NLP. More

How to perform an OSINT Company Assessment. More

Fedora is changing the default text editor from Vi to Nano, and 1) Fedora is dead to me, and 2) 2020 just got 37% worse, which is hard to do. I'm just glad I stopped using Fedora in … lol, never used it. More

A teardown of the Oura Ring 2. More

A couple talks about how they sleep in separate bedrooms, and I have to say it sounds pretty great. More

Why Nerds Are Unpopular (2003) More

URLGrab — A Go-based tool for pulling the links from a URL. More


Start thinking about what you life will look like if you are working remotely for the next 6 months, the next year, or permanently. Obviously that applies to some of you more than others. But I think it's time to start getting out of the mindset of getting back to normal. I listen to TWIV (an epidemiology podcast), and those experts (and the ones they have on) think we're going to be playing this game for a very long time. Start thinking about reorganizing the house for long-term arrangements, or even moving to a new, cheaper area. The big cities aren't as necessary or attractive anymore, so it might be time to get some more space and a bigger yard.


“Everyone is guilty of the good they didn't do.”

~ Voltaire