ReHacked #122: Adblocking vs Non-adblocking Web, Please make a dumb car, Finnish diplomats’ phones infected with NSO Group Pegasus spyware and more

“The sinister fact about literary censorship in England, is that it is largely voluntary.” --George Orwell

ReHacked #122: Adblocking vs Non-adblocking Web, Please make a dumb car, Finnish diplomats’ phones infected with NSO Group Pegasus spyware and more
House of bears: polar bears living in an abandoned weather station in Kolyuchin. Photograph: Dmitry Kokh

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Adblocking People and Non-adblocking People Experience a Totally Different Web – I'm Left Handed #internet

According to this article 27% of American internet users use an adblocker (which seems a little high to me). But either way, the 73% are experiencing a very different internet. And it’s a far, far worse one.

The internet these days has lost a lot of its charm, and I personally don’t find it quite as fun to browse as I once did. But I think without the help of an adblocker I would find it much worse.

Please make a dumb car | TechCrunch #technology #futurism #engineering

Today’s cars are dumb where they should be smart, and smart where they should be dumb. Enough already. Make a car that’s pretty much all dumb and watch it sell — because what automakers are giving people is so bad, they’ll pay more to have less of it.

Cars now are like budget smartphones with wheels: loaded with bloatware, unintuitive and slow to operate. Carmakers have always struggled with user interfaces, but until recently the biggest problem we had was “too many knobs.” How I long for those days!

The proliferation of touchscreens and LCDs has made every car feel like a karaoke booth. Animations show reclaimed energy from braking, the speedometer changes color as you approach the limit, the fan speed and direction is under three menus. And besides being non-functional, these interfaces are even ugly! The type, the layouts, and animations scream “designed by committee and approved by someone who doesn’t have to use it.”

Not to mention the privacy and security concerns. I was dubious the first time I saw a GPS in a car, my mom’s old RX300, about 20 years ago. “Yeah… that’s how they get you,” I thought. And now, Teslas with missed payments drive themselves to be impounded. Welcome to the future — your car is a narc now!

Finnish diplomats’ phones infected with NSO Group Pegasus spyware #privacy #politics

Finland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs says devices of Finnish diplomats have been hacked and infected with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware in a cyber-espionage campaign.

"Finnish diplomats have been targets of cyber espionage by means of the Pegasus spyware, developed by NSO Group Technologies, which has received wide publicity," the Ministry said in a statement published today.

"The highly sophisticated malware has infected users' Apple or Android telephones without their noticing and without any action from the user's part."

After compromising the diplomats' devices, the attackers may have also collected and stolen data or further compromised their smartphones.

The attacks targeted officials from Finnish missions abroad, as discovered following an investigation that started in the autumn of 2021.

Polar bears move into abandoned Arctic weather station – photo essay | Arctic | The Guardian #nature

There are only a few places on the planet where polar bears can be found in large numbers. One of them is Russia’s Wrangel Island, a nature reserve under Unesco protection that is often called a polar bear maternity ward. The place is very inaccessible, which may be bad for tourists but is great for the animals.

BBC Censors Its Own Archives | National Review #freespeech #censorship #copyrights

Reflecting upon George Orwell’s many authoritative predictions can grow tiresome for writer and reader alike. And yet, given our present predicament, one might ask what choice one truly has. “The sinister fact about literary censorship in England,” Orwell wrote back in 1945, “is that it is largely voluntary.” And so, indeed, it is. Over the weekend, the Daily Telegraph reported that “an anonymous Radio 4 Extra listener” had “discovered the BBC had been quietly editing repeats of shows over the past few years to be more in keeping with social mores.” To which the BBC said . . . well, yeah. In a statement addressing the charge, the institution confirmed that “on occasion we edit some episodes so they’re suitable for broadcast today, including removing racially offensive language and stereotypes from decades ago, as the vast majority of our audience would expect.” Thus, in the absence of law or regulation, has the British establishment begun to excise material it finds inappropriate by today’s lights.

Okuda Hiroko: The Casio Employee Behind the “Sleng Teng” Riddim that Revolutionized Reggae | #music #history

“Under Mi Sleng Teng,” by Jamaican singer Wayne Smith, is one of the milestones in the history of Jamaican popular music. Written by Smith and his friend Noel Davy, the pioneering dancehall classic was made using a Casio electronic keyboard. The song immediately became a smash hit when it was released in 1985, and its optimistic digital sound and addictive beat soon took the world by storm.

Nearly 1,000 mysterious strands revealed in Milky Way’s center - Northwestern Now #nature #space

To construct the image with unprecedented clarity and detail, astronomers spent three years surveying the sky and analyzing data at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO). Using 200 hours of time on SARAO’s MeerKAT telescope, researchers pieced together a mosaic of 20 separate observations of different sections of the sky toward the center of the Milky Way galaxy, 25,000 light years from Earth.

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Koenigsegg's Tiny Electric Motor Makes 335 HP and 443 LB-FT of Torque #engineering

Swedish hypercar maker Koenigsegg has long been a home for novel engineering, and that's evident in its new electric motor. Developed for the Gemera four-seater, this electric motor, dubbed the Quark, is a tiny powerhouse. In a package that weighs just 63 pounds, the Quark develops 335 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. For scale, that's a 330-mL energy drink in the pictures seen throughout.

The Quark, announced Monday, combines both radial- and axial-flux constructions to offer a good balance between power and torque. Rather than explain the difference between the two, I'll turn you towards this article from EV trade publication Charged. All you really need to know is that this is a best-of-both-worlds solution—Koenigsegg claims the Quark has an industry-leading torque-power-weight ratio. Those peak power and torque figures are only available for 20 seconds, which is common among EV motors. After 20 seconds, the figures drop to 134 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. That's fine for the Gemera, which has three electric motors and a 600-hp three-cylinder.

A year on, GameStop champion Roaring Kitty is quiet -- yet much richer | Reuters #internet #economy #history #gamestop

A year ago, office worker Keith Gill shot to global notoriety when his "Roaring Kitty" YouTube persona stoked a trading frenzy with bullish bets that propelled shares of retailer GameStop to eye-popping gains and saddled hedge funds that had bet against the stock with billions of dollars in losses.

Gill has returned to obscurity: albeit much richer thanks to his GameStop positions that at one point reached $48 million in value. He no longer works in marketing at insurer MassMutual.

The Massachusetts securities regulator is still probing Gill's activities around the Reddit rally, a spokeswoman said. But in April, a court dismissed a lawsuit alleging Gill violated securities laws by inciting the rally in GameStop and causing “huge losses” for investors.

North Korea Hacked Him. So He Took Down Its Internet | WIRED #internet #security

P4x says he was later contacted by the FBI but was never offered any real help to assess the damage from North Korea's hacking or to protect himself in the future. Nor did he ever hear of any consequences for the hackers who targeted him, an open investigation into them, or even a formal recognition from a US agency that North Korea was responsible. It began to feel, as he put it, like “there’s really nobody on our side.”

When WIRED asked the FBI about its response to the North Korean targeting of US security researchers, it responded in a statement: “As the lead agency responsible for threat response we rely on the public and private sector to report suspicious activity and intrusions, and work together to ensure we understand what’s happening, prevent it from happening to others, and hold those responsible accountable,” the FBI statement reads. “The FBI is committed to pursuing the malicious actors and countries behind cyberattacks, and will not tolerate intellectual property theft or intimidation.”

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