ReHacked #46: Fossilization of our cities, some ransomware and DDoS news, Begging the EU Don't Ruin the Root and more

The grand metropolises of 21st Century civilisation will leave a geological legacy that will last for millennia --David Farrier

ReHacked #46: Fossilization of our cities,  some ransomware and DDoS news, Begging the EU Don't Ruin the Root and more
What will our descendants make of the glass screens and rare earth metals of our smartphones? (Credit: Emmanuel Lafont)

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Swiss Cloud becomes the latest web hosting provider to suffer a ransomware attack #security

Belgium's government network goes down after massive DDoS attack #security

Dear EU: Please Don't Ruin the Root #security #internet

What is going on? A new EU directive is currently making its way through the various EU bodies. This Proposal for directive on measures for high common level of cybersecurity across the Union is the successor of the initial attempt known as the NIS Directive.

This directive creates rules for “essential and important entities” so they adhere to minimum Cybersecurity standards. Although it is for now somewhat up in the air who exactly would count as such an entity, it is sure to include national telecommunication companies, Google and many other major communication hubs. Many of these are already regulated in various ways.

Surprisingly however, the European Commission version of the directive explicitly includes all the root servers, the infrastructure that keeps the internet alive.

The verb decide has deadly interesting origins. Though it came through Middle English deciden, Old French decider, and Latin decidere, you can tell that there's the prefix de-, kind of meaning "off". This was in the language as far as etymologists can trace it, and is either from Etruscan or Proto-Indo-European. It's the other part of decide that's surprising: -cide. Yup, as you may have guessed, this is the same -cide present in words like homicide, suicide, regicide, fratricide, genocide, and all those other euphemistic terms for nasty kinds of death. #history

One weird trick to get machine-readable data out of any provider #privacy

If you live in the EU or are a EU citizen, companies must provide personal data you provided or they collected in a machine-readable format, following the article 20 of the GDPR.

R for applied epidemiology and public health | The Epidemiologist R Handbook #datascience

How cities will fossilise #history #culture #nature #technogenic #longread

The modern cityscape is as much geological as it is urban. If Shanghai is a concrete desert, New York is the original canyon city, its skyscraper-lined streets forming deep valleys of the kind that, in the past, only great rivers could create over thousands of years. In a late essay, Virginia Woolf pictured herself swooping like a bird over the Hudson estuary, past Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty to the concrete chasms of Manhattan. "The City of New York, over which I am hovering," she wrote in 1938, "looks as if it had been scraped and scrubbed only the night before. It has no houses. It is made of immensely high towers, each pierced by a million holes."

Germany vs Facebook: who will win? #privacy

Germany bans Facebook from handling WhatsApp data over privacy concerns

Germany’s leading data protection regulator for Facebook has banned the social network from using data from WhatsApp users.

It follows controversy of the messaging app’s latest privacy terms which the authority believes are illegal.

Facebook says it will ignore emergency data collection ban issued in Germany over WhatsApp rules

Voyager 1 hears the hush of interstellar plasma #nature #space

The discovery of persistent plasma waves by Voyager 1 opens a new avenue to study structure in the nearby interstellar medium from sub-AU to tens of AU scales.

Neural implant lets paralyzed person type by imagining writing #technology

Elon Musk's Neuralink has been making waves on the technology side of neural implants, but it hasn't yet shown how we might actually use implants. For now, demonstrating the promise of implants remains in the hands of the academic community.

This week, the academic community provided a rather impressive example of the promise of neural implants. Using an implant, a paralyzed individual managed to type out roughly 90 characters per minute simply by imagining that he was writing those characters out by hand.

'Champions League of tax avoidance:' Uber used 50 Dutch shell companies to dodge taxes on nearly $6 billion in revenue, report says #economy

  • Uber used around 50 Dutch shell companies to help reduce its global tax burden, an Australian research group found.
  • Despite earning $5.8 billion in global revenues in 2019, Uber claimed a $4.5 billion loss for tax purposes.
  • One researcher called Uber’s alleged scheme “the Champions League of tax avoidance.”

Build your chaotic page #fun

Kobra | A visual programming language for machine learning (in beta) #datascience

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