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.
STANDARD EDITION | UPGRADE TO THE WEEKLY MEMBER EDITION | December 11, 2018
Unsupervised Learning is my weekly show where I spend 5-20 hours finding the most interesting stories in security, technology, and humans, which I then curate into a 30 minute podcast & companion newsletter.
The goal is to catch you up on current events, show you the best content from around the web, and hopefully give you something to think about as well.
?️ Security News
Another major flaw was found in Google+, which exposed over 52 million accounts to developers. The issue is causing Google to shut down the service even faster than it planned. Luckily it’s not caused much alarm, since people can hardly remember what Google+ was. Link
China has been building a massive database of American Citizens for years, and they’re performing significant hacking operations to keep growing that database. Few people can say for sure what they’re using it for, but it seems obvious to me that the list includes recruiting intelligence assets (OPM) and corporate espionage for IP theft. And of course China is now being implicated in the Marriott breach as well, so that’s more content for them. It’s important that we understand that this is a strategy for them. It’s not a series of one-offs. They’re playing the long game, and we’re barely aware that there’s a game at all. Highly frustrating for someone in infosec to watch. Even more when I know most people in infosec are also unaware it’s happening. Link
Australia has passed a law requiring tech companies to cooperate with law enforcement when they ask for encrypted content. This is bad. Everyone told them it was bad. And they did it anyway. Link
The NYPD has added 14 DJI Mavic quadcopter drones to its crime-fighting arsenal. Link
Car thieves are using key-fob proxying to steal cars. Link
China is running a massive, global PR (see propaganda) campaign to make sure people have a positive view of China, and that they hear current events from a Chinese perspective. Link
Advisories: Critical Android Flaws
⚙️ Technology News
Amazon is bringing its cashier-less Amazon Go stores to airports. Yes, please. That is exactly the type of experience I want at an airport. The best books, on display, that I can purchase as fast as possible. Although the last time I just bought a bunch of stuff on Kindle and Audible after visiting. Link
Samsung just got caught stealing an artist’s DSLR photo and pretending it was taken by one of their smartphones. Link
?? Human News
A study of active 75-year-olds showed that they had the fitness of people three decades younger. Link
Esports is set to be worth over $1 billion by 2020. Link
We have audio of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. Link
GenZ (post-millennials) are 48% nonwhite, and are going to college more than any previous generation. Link
Some of the smartest people in the world think GMO foods are good for us, and that the bad reputation around them will prevent them from helping people. Link
? Ideas, Trends, & Analysis
Why I Believe Postmodernism is Causing Depression Link
A lot of people are seeing the decline of smartphone sales as big news, but to me it’s highly expected. There’s something called an S-Curve regarding new ideas and technologies, and the smartphone has simply hit its final phase. That’s a good thing. It means companies will shift focus to their ecosystems and other products. Link
Quora is not your friend. They do their best to keep the information they have from getting out to the world. Use an alternative instead. Link
Helm is a very attractive physical server for hosting your own email. If ever there was a time for me to consider doing this again, that time is getting close. Link
The New York Times’ best data visualizations of the year. Link
Amazon Linux 2 Link
The most popular domains on Hacker News. Link
A review of the 100 best pens. Link
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Currently Reading: Uncle Vanya
Recently Finished: This Idea is Brilliant, The Four
Just Purchased: Elements of a Life, Astrophysics For People in a Hurry, Alibaba—The House That Jack Built
This Idea is Brilliant is a stunningly fun book. It’s like hundreds of tiny essays on individual topics. Highly recommended. I’m about to read the other two in the series: This Will Make You Smart, and This Explains Everything. Oh, and I just found two more from him (John Brockman): Know This, and This Idea Must Die. He’s got quite a theme going here. Oh, wow, he also did What to Think About Machines That Think, which I read and loved.
It’s a good time of the year to make sure you are able to get through a short crisis—like a fire, flood, or earthquake. Make sure you have a bug-out-bag ready at all times. Here’s one option, but there are many. Link
“Be careful what you pretend to be, because that’s what you’ll become”.
~ Kurt Vonnegut