Issue 763

Tuesday, 13th November 2018

In This Issue


The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace is a wanky attempt to stop the hacks

A bunch of tech companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft, along with all 28 members of the EU have signed the The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace - "a high-level declaration on developing common principles for securing cyberspace". Supporters of the Paris Call are committed to working together to:

  • increase prevention against and resilience to malicious online activity
  • protect the accessibility and integrity of the Internet
  • cooperate in order to prevent interference in electoral processes
  • work together to combat intellectual property violations via the Internet
  • prevent the proliferation of malicious online programmes and techniques
  • improve the security of digital products and services as well as everybody's "cyber hygiene"
  • clamp down on online mercenary activities and offensive action by non-state actors
  • work together to strengthen the relevant international standards
You can get the full text of the Paris Call and a list of the signatories here. Lots of kumbaya stuff going on, but I get the feeling Russia and China are just gonna keep giving everyone e-wedgies regardless of any "commitment" or "common principles" the French can come up with.

Facebook agrees to give French authorities info on how it moderates content

Facebook has agreed to allow French regulators access to data to monitor how Facebook moderates its massive platform. "Regulators will look at multiple steps: how flagging works, how Facebook identifies problematic content, how Facebook decides if it’s problematic or not and what happens when Facebook takes down a post, a video or an image". Info so far about how Facebook handles moderation is either from a pissed off employee leaking to the media, or Facebook themselves. Having someone more impartial could be a good way to reveal the truth, but who knows if whatever government department the French are using here hasn't got their own agenda going on.

Jack Dorsey considers an edit button for tweets. Maybe. It's hard apparently.

At some conference or event in India, Jack Dorsey (Twitter's CEO) said that the thought of providing an edit feature for tweets has entered his mind. "A lot of people want the edit button because they want to quickly fix a mistake they made. Like a misspelling or tweeting the wrong URL. That’s a lot more achievable than allowing people to edit any tweet all the way back in time. We have been considering this for a while and we have to do in the right way. We can’t just rush it out". Fucks sake Dorsey, just slap a 5 or 10 minute lockout on editing a tweet and the problem is solved.

Volkswagen really wants you to know it's making EVs and to forget that whole dieselgate thing

Volkswagen (you know, the car company that gassed monkeys) has been flexing in the press lately, saying that they've secured 50 billion euros worth of batteries to make 50 million EVs. VW is also going to convert factories in Emden and Hannover to make electric vehicles, joining its Zwickau plant in assembling the ID Aero, the ID Neo and a new sub-20,000 euro small SUV that they're promoting as some sort of Tesla rival. Oh and VW will make a profit, unlike other car companies. There's also rumours of VW partnering with Ford to develop EVs, building an all-EV factory in China and joining a consortium to make batteries in Germany. So there's heaps of noise and announcements and shit, but fact remains, none of these cars will be out for another 3 or so years. The intersection between Tesla becoming mainstream (some argue they are, but when your cheapest car is ~$75k, you aren't)

Facebook practically admitted to the FTC that it failed to secure user data & FTC did nothing

Facebook had a thing called "the Facebook experience" it was pitching to smartphone makers, which is essentially Facebook pre-loaded and integrated into the phone's OS. The side effect of that was the device manufacturers having access to the personal data of hundreds of millions of people. This took place in 2013 while the FTC was overseeing Facebook's activity due to mishandling of user data. As part of the oversight, Pricewaterhousecoopers was paid by Facebook to check if they're meeting the FTC's rules - surprise, surprise, this deal with the phone makers did not meet the FTC's consent order due to customer data being loosely secured. The FTC punished Facebook right? Its own auditor said they suck. Nope. Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. This privacy bullshit with Facebook isn't new, it's been happening for years, arguably from day one.

Not News, But Still Cool

When an arm turns into an anus

When digitising old books, OCR (optical character recognition) is a must. There's no way humanity will have time to transcribe every single book ever made. OCR works pretty damn well, until it stumbles across the word "arms". Wesley Raabe noticed that the Google Books OCR turned "in her arms" to "in her anus" in hundreds of books. The sentence, "carrying a child in her arms" is often rendered as "carrying a child in her anus". Ahh computers, aren't they awesome?

Cloudflare has come up with a way to expose your server to the world without opening any ports

One of the crappy things about mobile broadband is that you can't run a server on your connection because telcos use carrier grade NAT so they don't run out of IP addresses. Cloudflare have come up with a way to get around that called Argo Tunnel. It sets up a secure connection between your mobile connection and Cloudflare's servers, that tunnels all traffic between the server and the internet via Cloudflare's infrastructure. No need to open any ports!

Discounts at OzGameShop, Sennheiser refurb outlet, Good Guys, Crumpler & more

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Muse - Plug In Baby