ReHacked #97: Parents Built a School App. Then the City Called the Cops, Milestones in evolution and history, GitLab servers are being exploited in DDoS attacks and more

In everyday settings, it can keep people from listening to one another. At its worst, it might fuel violence. Scott Barry Kaufman

ReHacked #97: Parents Built a School App. Then the City Called the Cops, Milestones in evolution and history, GitLab servers are being exploited in DDoS attacks and more
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This man is the Jeff Bezos of the international drug trade #crimes #history #longread

Tse Chi Lop doesn’t look like the biggest drug lord in history. He looks like a bedraggled, exhausted, late-middle-aged trader in commodities, which is exactly what he is. Tse’s commodities just happen to be high-margin, addictive, illegal drugs—heroin, ketamine and methamphetamine. Tse runs a drug syndicate known to law enforcement as “Sam Gor,” Cantonese for “Third Brother,” and to its members simply as the Company. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that Sam Gor’s annual revenue could be as high as $21 billion, the same as Citibank’s.

Practically every newspaper in the West has described Tse Chi Lop as Asia’s El Chapo. The comparison could hardly be less accurate. Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, has claimed personal responsibility for up to 3,000 murders in a drug war that took some 300,000 lives. That is not Tse’s way. He achieved the size of Sam Gor not by murder and torture, but by industrializing his business, reducing the cost per unit, providing an excellent product at a fair price, and establishing well-maintained networks of key partnerships. There’s also the question of scale. El Chapo’s cartel was worth, at its peak, $3 billion—a fraction of Sam Gor’s value.

These Parents Built a School App. Then the City Called the Cops | WIRED UK #copyrights #privacy

Christian Landgren’s patience was running out. Every day the separated father of three was wasting precious time trying to get the City of Stockholm’s official school system, Skolplattform, to work properly. Landgren would dig through endless convoluted menus to find out what his children were doing at school. If working out what his children needed in their gym kit was a hassle, then working out how to report them as sick was a nightmare. Two years after its launch in August 2018, the Skolplattform had become a constant thorn in the side of thousands of parents across Sweden’s capital city. “All the users and the parents were angry,” Landgren says.

The Skolplattform wasn’t meant to be this way. Commissioned in 2013, the system was intended to make the lives of up to 500,000 children, teachers, and parents in Stockholm easier—acting as the technical backbone for all things education, from registering attendance to keeping a record of grades. The platform is a complex system that’s made up of three different parts, containing 18 individual modules that are maintained by five external companies. The sprawling system is used by 600 preschools and 177 schools, with separate logins for every teacher, student, and parent. The only problem? It doesn’t work.

Timeline of the human condition | Milestones in evolution and history #history

— Milestones in Evolution and History —

GitLab servers are being exploited in DDoS attacks in excess of 1 Tbps - The Record by Recorded Future #security

Threat actors are exploiting a security flaw in GitLab self-hosted servers to assemble botnets and launch gigantic distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, with some in excess of 1 terabit per second (Tbps).

The DDoS attacks, disclosed today by Damian Menscher, a Security Reliability Engineer at Google Cloud responsible for Google’s DDoS defenses, are exploiting CVE-2021-22205, a vulnerability that GitLab patched back in April 2021.

Welcome to Metabook #internet #fun

No one likes us and so we're rebranding.

The metaverse is the latest space where you can live under our careful watch. Facebook’s goal is to profit from your ignorance, so we are changing our name to help you forget our past.

The Internet Archive Transforms Access to Books in a Digital World | Electronic Frontier Foundation #internet #copyrights

CDL allows people to check out digital copies of books for two weeks or less, and only permits patrons to check out as many digital copies as the Archive and its partner libraries physically own. Lending happens on an “own to loan” basis—if a digital copy is checked out to a patron, the physical copy is unavailable to other patrons as well. CDL does use DRM to enforce that limited access, but it is still true that anyone with an Internet connection can read digital versions of the great works of human history.

IAB Europe says it’s expecting to be found in breach of GDPR | TechCrunch #privacy

A year ago the IAB Europe’s self-styled Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) was found to fail to comply with GDPR principles of transparency, fairness and accountability, and the lawfulness of processing in a preliminary report by the investigatory division of the Belgian data protection authority.

The complaint then moved to the litigation chamber of the DPA — and a whole year passed without a decision being issued, in keeping with the glacial pace of privacy enforcement against adtech in the region.

Facebook’s facial recognition announcement doesn’t apply to the metaverse - Vox #privacy

Facebook says it will stop using facial recognition for photo-tagging. In a Monday blog post, Meta, the social network’s new parent company, announced that the platform will delete the facial templates of more than a billion people and shut off its facial recognition software, which uses an algorithm to identify people in photos they upload to Facebook. This decision represents a major step for the movement against facial recognition, which experts and activists have warned is plagued with bias and privacy problems.

China spurs Taiwan anger with criminal liability threat for independence supporters | Reuters #politics

China will hold those who support "Taiwan independence" criminally liable for life, it said on Friday, provoking anger and ridicule from the democratic island at a time of heightened tension across the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

For the first time China was spelling out the punishment that awaits people deemed to back independence for Taiwan, top officials of the self-ruled island among them, as tension rises over what China regards as a province of its own.

China has not ruled out using force to bring Taiwan under its control, despite the island's claim that it is an independent country that will defend its freedom and democracy.


This exceptionally well-preserved room forms part of the villa within the area of Pompeii where the ceremonial chariot and stable with harnessed horses were previously discovered

Discoveries continue to be made at Civita Giuliana, in the suburban villa to the north of Pompeii which has been studied since 2017, and from which - in the servant’s quarters - have already emerged a ceremonial chariot and stable containing the remains of 3 equines, for one of which it was possible to make a cast.

micro - a modern and intuitive terminal-based text editor #software

Why Tokyo Works | Culture | Metropolis Japan #architecture #urbanism

How is Tokyo different, and why is it special?

Tokyo is decentralized. Kengo Kuma, one of Japan’s leading architects, describes the city as a “collection of small villages, rather than one big city,” and it certainly feels that way. As opposed to urban sprawls like New York or Paris, Tokyo is very literally without a center. Most Western city centers feature a square, a church, a bank or another powerful institution; places people are invited to frequent and are epicenters of activity and crossings. In contrast, the center of Tokyo is, as French philosopher Roland Barhtes described it, a void. Instead of being a space where people gather and businesses operate, it’s the Imperial Palace: a giant inaccessible green space surrounded by a moat.

This central void forces the true center — where people work and play — outwards into a ring of several important locations. These places dot the Yamanote line, marking its non-center. On first impression, any of the hubs along this arterial line could be seen as the center. Stations like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Shinagawa and Ueno all meet the criteria of a city center, but none of them are. Tokyo Station seems like the most obvious choice to mark this important location, but apart from the grandeur of the station — and its eponymous name — it doesn’t have nearly as much to offer as other stations on the Yamanote.

Group Narcissism Is Everywhere - The Atlantic #society #psychology #longread

Collective narcissism is not simply tribalism. Humans are inherently tribal, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Having a healthy social identity can have an immensely positive impact on well-being. Collective narcissists, though, are often more focused on out-group prejudice than in-group loyalty. In its most extreme form, group narcissism can fuel political radicalism and potentially even violence. But in everyday settings, too, it can keep groups from listening to one another, and lead them to reduce people on the “other side” to one-dimensional characters. The best way to avoid that is by teaching people how to be proud of their group—without obsessing over recognition.

Spiders are much smarter than you think #nature

“There is this general idea that probably spiders are too small, that you need some kind of a critical mass of brain tissue to be able to perform complex behaviors,” says arachnologist and evolutionary biologist Dimitar Dimitrov of the University Museum of Bergen in Norway. “But I think spiders are one case where this general idea is challenged. Some small things are actually capable of doing very complex stuff.”

Behaviors that can be described as “cognitive,” as opposed to automatic responses, could be fairly common among spiders, says Dimitrov, coauthor of a study on spider diversity published in the 2021 Annual Review of Entomology. From orb weavers that adjust the way they build their webs based on the type of prey they are catching to ghost spiders that can learn to associate a reward with the smell of vanilla, there’s more going on in spider brains than they commonly get credit for.

Please ask stupid questions as a new software developer #learning #programming

You’re hurting yourself because your learning will stall.

If you’re just entering the industry — you’re a greenhorn. Your job is to soak in knowledge and techniques to make you less dependent and, with time, help you become an autonomous developer.

If it’s your first job — the developers at the company already know you’re new. They expect you to be new.

Don’t sacrifice your learning progress for the appearance of looking smart.

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