ReHacked vol. 238: Commercially Available Chairs in Star Trek, A search for life on Earth from the Galileo spacecraft, Encrypting all your private data and communications is an ethical duty and more

“A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” --W. Bagehot

ReHacked vol. 238: Commercially Available Chairs in Star Trek, A search for life on Earth from the Galileo spacecraft, Encrypting all your private data and communications is an ethical duty and more
Still from Star Trek TOS: "The Cloud Minders".

Encrypting all your private data and private communications is no longer an ethical option, but an ethical duty. #privacy

Imagine a new law was being discussed in your country to make it mandatory that all buildings have glass walls. All houses would be transparent. The (stated) goal of the law is to make it harder for criminals to hide their wrongdoings. It would be difficult to stock up on illegal drugs or to operate an industrial printer of counterfeit money without the police (and, incidentally, some of your neighbours) noticing. Domestic violence and child abuse would be visible through transparent walls. Let's say that the new law will allow you to have a shower curtain, a little folding screen in your bedroom, and blankets on your bed. Except for those meagre provisions, assume that your government (and random passers-by, and potentially anyone) will be able to watch what you do at all times.

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Global Encryption Day: Encryption's Critical Role in Safeguarding Human Rights | The Tor Project #privacy

October 21, 2023, is the third Global Encryption Day, organized by the Global Encryption Coalition, of which the Tor Project is a member. Global Encryption Day is an opportunity for businesses, civil society organizations, technologists, and millions of Internet users worldwide to highlight why encryption matters and to advocate for its advancement and protection.

Needless to say, fighting for the protection of encryption is a topic for us 365 days a year. But we want to use this day to reflect on some of the efforts we have initiated or supported in 2023 to ensure access to encryption and push back against government efforts that seek to undermine it - from signing letters and supporting ally organizations on a number of advocacy and awareness campaigns to expanding our outreach and training efforts or localizing educational content.

GlyphDrawing.Club -blog #art #history #longread

Text art made on a computer is usually called ASCII art. The name derives from the character standard developed in the 1960s. ASCII art flourished in the 1980s and 1990s, before the internet, when text-based BBS systems operating on telephone networks served as the primary places for thought and information exchange, much like the internet. The making of ASCII art waned as the internet displaced BBS systems with the advent of fast broadband connections around the year 2000. However, ASCII art has surged in recent years due to nostalgia, social media, and the archiving of ASCII art.

Why Chinese minds still bear the long shadow of Keju | Aeon Essays #society #orientalism #longread

On 7 and 8 June 2023, close to 13 million high-school students in China sat for the world’s most gruelling college entrance exam. ‘Imagine,’ wrote a Singapore journalist, ‘the SAT, ACT, and all of your AP tests rolled into two days. That’s Gao Kao, or “higher education exam”.’ In 2023, almost 2.6 million applied to sit China’s civil service exam to compete for only 37,100 slots.

Gao Kao and China’s civil service exam trace their origin to, and are modelled on, an ancient Chinese institution, Keju, the imperial civil service exam established by the Sui Dynasty (581-618). It can be translated as ‘subject recommendation’. Toward the end of its reign, the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) abolished it in 1905 as part of its effort to reform and modernise the Chinese system. Until then, Keju had been the principal recruitment route for imperial bureaucracy. Keju reached its apex during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). All the prime ministers but one came through the Keju route and many of them were ranked at the very top in their exam cohort.

Stories told by Aboriginal Tasmanians could be oldest recorded in the world - Australian Geographic #history #nature #anthropology

First Nations people in Lutruwita/Tasmania have been sharing their stories for more than 12,000 years, new research has found.

Storytelling is an ingrained practice in our cultural history, either as a family custom at bedtime or as a way to share knowledge and traditions from years gone by with younger generations.

But for how long can stories be passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth? A few hundred years? Maybe a thousand?

Try 12,000 years! A new study, led by Dr Duane Hamacher from the University of Melbourne, shows that in Lutruwita/Tasmania, Palawa have a rich oral tradition that tells of geological events and astronomical conditions that stretch back more than 10 millennia.

Twitch will now let streamers simultaneously stream on any service they want - The Verge #copyrights #streaming

Twitch will now let its creators simultaneously stream across any live streaming service, the company announced on Friday as part of a big batch of news from TwitchCon. Previously, streamers could simulcast on mobile platforms like TikTok and Instagram, but as of Friday, Twitch is significantly broadening where streamers can simultaneously go live. (Well, assuming the streamers don’t have a Twitch exclusivity agreement in place.)

Pigging - Wikipedia #engineering #interesting

In pipeline transportation, pigging is the practice of using pipeline inspection gauges or gadgets, devices generally referred to as pigs or scrapers, to perform various maintenance operations. This is done without stopping the flow of the product in the pipeline.

These operations include but are not limited to cleaning and inspecting the pipeline. This is accomplished by inserting the pig into a "pig launcher" (or "launching station")—an oversized section in the pipeline, reducing to the normal diameter. The launching station is then closed and the pressure-driven flow of the product in the pipeline is used to push the pig along the pipe until it reaches the receiving trap—the "pig catcher" (or "receiving station").

Adtech Surveillance and Government Surveillance are Often the Same Surveillance | Electronic Frontier Foundation #privacy

An investigation from the Wall Street Journal identified a company called Near Intelligence that purchased data about individuals and their devices from brokers who usually sell to advertisers. The company had contracts with government contractors that passed this data along to federal military and intelligence agencies. The company says it purchased data on over a billion devices. The government, in turn, can buy access to geolocation data on all those devices, when generally they’d have to show probable cause and get a warrant to get that same data.

Many smartphone application developers, to make a quick buck, are all too eager to sell your data to the highest bidder–and that often includes the government. Courts should hold that the Fourth Amendment requires police to get a warrant before tracking a person this way, but unfortunately, this corporate-government surveillance partnership has mostly evaded judicial review.

LocalSend #software

Share files to nearby devices. Free, open source, cross-platform airdrop alternative.

DRM-Free e-Books Are Now Available. Here’s Why That’s a Big Deal | Library Journal #copyrights

For instance, DRM typically limits how much an e-book reader can print and how long they can check it out from the library. These limitations can make it difficult for students and academics to use e-books in their research. Some users might require more time with a particular resource, and yet this title might disappear from their device before they’ve had a chance to complete their work.

Even worse, DRM often limits the accessibility of materials for readers with disabilities. Downloaded content that is DRM-protected can only be opened with software that is compatible with the technology, such as Adobe DRM. This means that users can only read downloaded e-books in programs that support Adobe DRM, such as Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire Reader.

Researchers identify largest ever solar storm in ancient 14,300-year-old tree rings #nature #history

An international team of scientists has discovered a huge spike in radiocarbon levels 14,300 years ago by analyzing ancient tree-rings found in the French Alps.

The radiocarbon spike was caused by a massive solar storm, the biggest ever identified.

A similar solar storm today would be catastrophic for modern technological society—potentially wiping out telecommunications and satellite systems, causing massive electricity grid blackouts, and costing us billions of pounds.

Google-hosted malvertising leads to fake Keepass site that looks genuine | Ars Technica #security

A closer look at the link, however, shows that the site is not the genuine one. In fact, ķeepass[.]info—at least when it appears in the address bar—is just an encoded way of denoting xn--eepass-vbb[.]info, which, it turns out, is pushing a malware family tracked as FakeBat. Combining the ad on Google with a website with an almost identical URL creates a near-perfect storm of deception.

Quotes To Live By
Hi friends. I wanted to share with you some of my favorite quotes. In these trying times, these quotes can truly elevate you and your perspective. More importantly, they can keep you on the path. If you are just discovering YouTopian Journey, make sure to subscribe.

The Commodification of Studio Ghibli | Tokyo Weekender #cinema #art #commerce

While Ghibli’s films are internationally lauded for their environmental themes, the company’s network of retail stores, theme parks, gift shops, online shopping and licensed partnerships tell another story. One not of artisan production and measured coexistence with nature, but of rivers of plastic, disposable fashion and shallow corporate aesthetics.

In our recent research at the University of Tokyo, my coauthor and I examined the history of Studio Ghibli’s merchandising. Ghibli’s producers have always remained hesitant towards merchandise. Hayao Miyazaki’s distaste for materialism is no secret, plainly visible in the grotesque depictions of greed within his films.

Ex Astris Scientia - Commercially Available Chairs in Star Trek #design #history #cinema #art #longread

How would we know whether there is life on Earth? This bold experiment found out #nature #space #science #longread

It began the way many discoveries do — a tickling of curiosity in the back of someone’s mind. That someone was astronomer and communicator Carl Sagan. The thing doing the tickling was the trajectory of NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which had launched in October 1989 and was the first to orbit Jupiter. The result was a paper in Nature 30 years ago this week that changed how scientists thought about looking for life on other planets.

The opportunity stemmed from a tragic mishap. Almost four years before Galileo’s launch, in January 1986, the space shuttle Challenger had exploded shortly after lift-off, taking seven lives with it. NASA cancelled its plans to dispatch Galileo on a speedy path to Jupiter using a liquid-fuelled rocket aboard another space shuttle. Instead, the probe was released more gently from an orbiting shuttle, with mission engineers slingshotting it around Venus and Earth so it could gain the gravitational boosts that would catapult it all the way to Jupiter.

On 8 December 1990, Galileo was due to skim past Earth, just 960 kilometres above the surface. The tickling became an itch that Sagan had to scratch. He talked NASA into pointing the spacecraft’s instruments at our planet. The resulting paper was titled ‘A search for life on Earth from the Galileo spacecraft’.

Sweden reports damage to Baltic Sea cable with Estonia – DW – 10/17/2023 #security

Sweden on Tuesday said that a Baltic Sea telecom cable running to Estonia was partially damaged around the same time as a Finnish-Estonian pipeline and cable earlier this month.

Sweden's Civil Defense Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin said it was unclear what caused the damage to the undersea cable that connects Sweden and Estonia.

"It is not a total cable break. There is a partial damage on this cable," Bohlin said. "We cannot assess what caused the damage. But what we can say is that this damage has happened at a similar time and in physical proximity ... to the damage that was previously reported to a gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland, and a telecommunications cable between Estonia and Finland."

Brave appears to install VPN Services without user consent - gHacks Tech News #software

If you have the Brave Browser installed on your Windows devices, then you may also have Brave VPN services installed on the machine. Brave installs these services without user consent on Windows devices.

Brave Firewall + VPN is an extra service that Brave users may subscribe to for a monthly fee. Launched in mid-2022, it is a cooperation between Brave Software, maker of Brave Browser, and Guardian, the company that operates the VPN and the firewall solution. The firewall and VPN solution is available for $9.99 per month.

Brave Software is not the only browser maker that has integrated a VPN solution in its browser. Mozilla, maker of Firefox, entered into a cooperation with Mullvad and launched Mozilla VPN in 2020.

The Fake Browser Update Scam Gets a Makeover – Krebs on Security #security

One of the oldest malware tricks in the book — hacked websites claiming visitors need to update their Web browser before they can view any content — has roared back to life in the past few months. New research shows the attackers behind one such scheme have developed an ingenious way of keeping their malware from being taken down by security experts or law enforcement: By hosting the malicious files on a decentralized, anonymous cryptocurrency blockchain.

Hacker leaks millions more 23andMe user records on cybercrime forum | TechCrunch #privacy #security

The same hacker who leaked a trove of user data stolen from the genetic testing company 23andMe two weeks ago has now leaked millions of new user records.

On Tuesday, a hacker who goes by Golem published a new dataset of 23andMe user information containing records of four million users on the known cybercrime forum BreachForums. TechCrunch has found that some of the newly leaked stolen data matches known and public 23andMe user and genetic information.

TeamPiped/Piped: An alternative privacy-friendly YouTube frontend which is efficient by design. #software

Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music #music #art #fun

How tech giants are hijacking the internet – DW – 10/13/2023 #privacy #internet

Media companies, bloggers, public broadcasters, and even global corporations, are the primary victims. They stand no chance against the tech giants. Fewer people visit their websites. When editorial media share content on platforms like Youtube or Instagram, they do so on the platform's terms, without the option to redirect users to their own websites using outlinks. Andree warns that in a few years, a handful of US platforms will control the foundation of our political opinion formation.

Furthermore, the economy is increasingly falling under the dominance of internet giants. More sales and transactions are occurring on these major platforms, all subject to the terms set by big tech companies. Valuable user data is also flowing into their hands. Andree points out that knowledge about customer preferences can be used to unfair advantage and turned into profit, like producing custom products "bypassing manufacturers."

How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later, Philip K. Dick, 1978 #longread

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