ReHacked vol. 232: On the 10th anniversary of the Snowden revelations, Rare oxygen isotope detected, The Most Enchanting Art Nouveau Buildings and more

ReHacked vol. 232: On the 10th anniversary of the Snowden revelations, Rare oxygen isotope detected, The Most Enchanting Art Nouveau Buildings and more
Lavirotte Building by Jules Lavirotte in Paris, France, built in 1900. (C) @artnouveaufan On the 10th anniversary of the Snowden revelations #history #privacy #longread

Between June 2013 and May 2019, the Snowden revelations resulted in over 200 press reports and more than 1200 classified documents published in full or in part. Additionally, The Intercept published 2148 editions of the NSA's internal newsletter SIDtoday. In total, that may be well over 5000 pages.

A collection that allows a useful visual recognition of the documents was found on the private website IC Off the Record, while text searches are possible at the Snowden Archive which is a collaboration between Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and the University of Toronto. A private collection of the documents is also available at GitHub.

There are also at least 12 books about the Snowden revelations. Glenn Greenwald's No Place To Hide from 2014 reads like a pamphlet against perceived mass surveillance. A much more factual overview can be found in Der NSA Komplex, which is also published in 2014 and written by two journalists from Der Spiegel, but unfortunately only available in German.

Detailed insights into the political and legal background of the NSA's collection programs are provided in Timothy Edgar's Beyond Snowden from 2017, which is in contrast to Snowden's own memoir Permanent Record from 2019, which leaves more questions than answers.

Finally, there's also the long-awaited book Dark Mirror by Washington Post journalist Barton Gellman, which was published in 2020 and offers some important new angles to the initial stories told by Snowden and Greenwald.

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Fact-check: Is air conditioning making cities hotter? | Euronews #nature

By 2050 all the air conditioners in the world would use as much electricity as China does for all activities today, according to the report's predictions.

What are some alternatives to air conditioners? The scientists behind the 2020 study suggest other options to help cool down cities: including creating more green spaces, insulating buildings, and better advising the population on how to keep cool during a heatwave.

If all of these measures are taken, the study claims these actions could significantly "cool outdoor air temperatures up to 4.2°C at night".

Lithium discovery in US volcano could be biggest deposit ever found | Research | Chemistry World #nature #economy

A world-beating deposit of lithium along the Nevada–Oregon border could meet surging demand for this metal, according to a new analysis.

An estimated 20 to 40 million tonnes of lithium metal lie within a volcanic crater formed around 16 million years ago. This is notably larger than the lithium deposits found beneath a Bolivian salt flat, previously considered the largest deposit in the world.

Rare oxygen isotope detected at last — and it defies expectations #nature #physics

By combining a powerful set of instruments with some experimental savvy, physicists have for the first time detected oxygen-28 — an isotope of oxygen that has 12 extra neutrons packed into its nucleus. Scientists have long predicted that this isotope is unusually stable. But initial observations of the 28O nucleus suggest that this isn’t the case: it disintegrates rapidly after creation, a team reports in Nature today. If the results can be replicated, physicists might need to update theories of how atomic nuclei are structured.

The Most Enchanting Art Nouveau Buildings #architecture

Device offers long-distance, low-power underwater communication | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology #science #engineering

Underwater backscatter communication devices utilize an array of nodes made from “piezoelectric” materials to receive and reflect sound waves. These materials produce an electric signal when mechanical force is applied to them.

When sound waves strike the nodes, they vibrate and convert the mechanical energy to an electric charge. The nodes use that charge to scatter some of the acoustic energy back to the source, transmitting data that a receiver decodes based on the sequence of reflections.

But because the backscattered signal travels in all directions, only a small fraction reaches the source, reducing the signal strength and limiting the communication range.

To overcome this challenge, the researchers leveraged a 70-year-old radio device called a Van Atta array, in which symmetric pairs of antennas are connected in such a way that the array reflects energy back in the direction it came from.

‘She played it down’: Bletchley Park codebreaker dies aged 99 | Second world war | The Guardian #promemoria

One of the last surviving female Bletchley Park codebreakers, who worked helping to decipher enemy communications during the second world war, has died aged 99.

Margaret Betts, of Ipswich, Suffolk, was 19 when she was headhunted by “men from the ministry”, having performed well at school, her son Jonathan Betts, 68, said.

He said she agreed to help, explaining: “She had recently lost her brother because his ship had been sunk by a German U-boat.

UK pulls back from clash with Big Tech over private messaging #privacy

The UK government will concede it will not use controversial powers in the online safety bill to scan messaging apps for harmful content until it is “technically feasible” to do so, postponing measures that critics say threaten users’ privacy.

A planned statement to the House of Lords on Wednesday afternoon will mark an eleventh-hour effort by ministers to end a stand-off with tech companies, including WhatsApp, that have threatened to pull their services from the UK over what they claimed was an intolerable threat to millions of users’ security.

Google Chrome pushes browser history-based ad targeting • The Register #software #privacy

Google has been gradually rolling out Chrome's "Enhanced Ad Privacy." That's the technology that, unless switched off, allows websites to target the user with adverts tuned to their online activities and interests based on their browser histories.

A popup announcing this functionality has been appearing for some folks since the July release of Chrome 115, which included support for Google's Topics API, which is part of the tech titan's Privacy Sandbox project.

Monthly Review | Why Socialism? (1949) #politics #society #history

Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?

Clarity about the aims and problems of socialism is of greatest significance in our age of transition. Since, under present circumstances, free and unhindered discussion of these problems has come under a powerful taboo, I consider the foundation of this magazine to be an important public service.

Norway court rules against Facebook owner Meta in privacy case | Reuters #privacy

Meta Platforms (META.O) can be fined for breaching users' privacy, a Norwegian court ruled on Wednesday, stopping an attempt by the owner of Facebook and Instagram to halt a fine imposed by the country's data regulator.

Meta has been fined one million crowns ($93,200) per day since Aug. 14 for harvesting user data and using it to target advertising at them. So-called behavioural advertising is a business model common to Big Tech.

The owner of Facebook and Instagram had sought a temporary injunction against the order from the Norwegian data regulator, Datatilsynet, which imposed a daily fine for three months.

Cars have the worst data privacy practices Mozilla has ever seen - The Verge #privacy

If you’re wondering which gadgets have the worst user privacy practices, it turns out the answer may be parked outside. According to a report published by the Mozilla Foundation on Wednesday, cars are “the official worst category of products for privacy” that it’s ever reviewed. The global nonprofit found that 92 percent of the reviewed automakers provide drivers with little (if any) control over their personal data, with 84 percent sharing user data with outside parties.

Experts Fear Crooks are Cracking Keys Stolen in LastPass Breach – Krebs on Security #privacy #security #blockchain

In November 2022, the password manager service LastPass disclosed a breach in which hackers stole password vaults containing both encrypted and plaintext data for more than 25 million users. Since then, a steady trickle of six-figure cryptocurrency heists targeting security-conscious people throughout the tech industry has led some security experts to conclude that crooks likely have succeeded at cracking open some of the stolen LastPass vaults.

Taylor Monahan is founder and CEO of MetaMask, a popular software cryptocurrency wallet used to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. Since late December 2022, Monahan and other researchers have identified a highly reliable set of clues that they say connect recent thefts targeting more than 150 people, Collectively, these individuals have been robbed of more than $35 million worth of crypto.

Czech scientists confirm the existence of the π-hole in molecules, proving a decades-old theory - Akademie věd České republiky #nature #science

Researchers from the IOCB of the CAS, the Institute of Physics of the CAS and Palacký University Olomouc have made a groundbreaking discovery – using an advanced method of scanning electron microscopy, they’ve managed to image not only the inside of a molecule, but also the structure of the electron shell of the atom. Their experiment was the first in the world to confirm the non-uniform distribution of electron density in aromatic molecules and the existence of the so-called π-hole. The significance of the results of this research at the submolecular level is comparable to that of the discovery of cosmic black holes. The study was published in Nature Communications.

In Brazil, delivery drivers push to refuse doorstep deliveries - Rest of World #crime #society

When a customer asked Pedro Júnior to bring the food he was delivering up to their apartment, he’d weigh his options: Take his bulky (and often heavy) bag up with him, or leave it behind and risk it being stolen? Júnior, who works for a food delivery app, has had his bag stolen twice already on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. One night, he told Rest of World, someone tried to steal his motorbike. “I came back to see someone had tampered with the chain with which I lock up my baby,” he said, using the pet name he has for his bike. That was the last straw. From then on, Júnior pledged that customers would either come down to get their food — or they’d go without it.

Android 14 blocks all modification of system certificates, even as root | HTTP Toolkit #software #privacy

When Android was initially announced in 2007 by the Open Handset Alliance (headed by Google) their flagship project was billed as an "open platform", "providing developers a new level of openness", and giving them "complete access to handset capabilities and tools".

We've come a long way since then, steadily retreating from openness & user control of devices, and shifting towards a far more locked-down vendor-controlled world.

The next step of Android's evolution is Android 14 (API v34, codename Upside-Down Cake) and it takes more steps down that path. In this new release, the restrictions around certificate authority (CA) certificates become significantly tighter, and appear to make it impossible to modify the set of trusted certificates at all, even on fully rooted devices.

JP's Website · Extended curriculum about floppy disks #hardware

TV Museum Will Die in 48 Hours Unless Sony Retracts YouTube Copyright Strikes * TorrentFreak #copyrights

Rick Klein and his team have been preserving TV adverts, forgotten tapes, and decades-old TV programming for years. Now operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Museum of Classic Chicago Television has called YouTube home since 2007. However, copyright notices sent on behalf of Sony, protecting TV shows between 40 and 60 years old, could shut down the project in 48 hours.

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