ReHacked vol. 262: Timeline of the xz open source attack, Dark Star at 50: How a micro-budget student film changed sci-fi forever, Keeping your data from Apple is harder than expected and more

ReHacked vol. 262: Timeline of the xz open source attack, Dark Star at 50: How a micro-budget student film changed sci-fi forever, Keeping your data from Apple is harder than expected and more
Cray Y-MP Model D installation at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, image from Clive England via

Timeline of the xz open source attack #software #security #longread

Over a period of over two years, an attacker using the name “Jia Tan” worked as a diligent, effective contributor to the xz compression library, eventually being granted commit access and maintainership. Using that access, they installed a very subtle, carefully hidden backdoor into liblzma, a part of xz that also happens to be a dependency of OpenSSH sshd on Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and other systemd-based Linux systems. That backdoor watches for the attacker sending hidden commands at the start of an SSH session, giving the attacker the ability to run an arbitrary command on the target system without logging in: unauthenticated, targeted remote code execution.

Make a donation - support Ukraine. My favourite: Support the Armed Forces of Ukraine | via National Bank of Ukraine. More options if you want alternatives. Also, very important Come Back Alive Foundation - Charity Organization.

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What John von Neumann really did at Los Alamos - 3 Quarks Daily #science #history #longread

As the eminent historian of science George Dyson put it in his superb book “Turing’s Cathedral”, “Bombs made computers, and computers made bombs.” If designing the implosion lens for nuclear weapons were to be Johnny’s biggest legacy from Los Alamos, it would be a morally dubious one. But his unexpected recognition of the value of computers takes his contributions to a completely new level. While initially he did encourage using computers to simulate the workings of first fission and then fusion weapons, he made seminal contributions to charting out the stored-program concept, random access memory and what is today called the von Neumann architecture. With a talented team of engineers he designed a pioneering computer at the Institute for Advanced Study. Using this computer, his team made forays into a remarkable number of important and fascinating topics: weather simulation, artificial life, fundamental mathematical research, geophysics. The branches that these explorations sent out continue to thrive.

Ibiza locals living in cars as party island sees rents soar #economy #society

"I miss the basic things that make life comfortable, like being able to stand up in your own home, being able to cook properly, or even open a drawer and pull out some socks," he says.

"Those are the kinds of things that you miss out on when you live in a car."

César's Kia has been his home for the past three years. He works as a chef, but with rental costs on the Spanish island of Ibiza having spiralled, he cannot afford to live in a flat.

"In Ibiza, accommodation is very expensive, and it's getting more and more expensive," he says. "And the cost of renting is completely out of kilter with what you earn. So living like this is an alternative. It's less comfortable, but it allows me to keep living on the island."

NASA knows what knocked Voyager 1 offline, but it will take a while to fix | Ars Technica #space #engineering

"The team suspects that a single chip responsible for storing part of the affected portion of the FDS memory isn’t working," NASA said in an update posted Thursday. "Engineers can’t determine with certainty what caused the issue. Two possibilities are that the chip could have been hit by an energetic particle from space or that it simply may have worn out after 46 years."

Voyager 1's distance from Earth complicates the troubleshooting effort. The one-way travel time for a radio signal to reach Voyager 1 from Earth is about 22.5 hours, meaning it takes roughly 45 hours for engineers on the ground to learn how the spacecraft responded to their commands.

The Rise and Fall of Silicon Graphics #hardware #history #computers #longread

One of the most important long-term growth opportunities for Silicon Graphics is to empower the designers, developers, and service providers of the Second Web. With the acquisition of the leading PC 3D Internet company and the formation of Cosmo Software, we are increasing our investment and reinforcing our leadership in the market for the software and services that will bring about this new interactive medium.

Plan Your Trip Across the Roads of the Roman Empire, Using Modern Web Mapping Technology | Open Culture #travel #interesting #history

David Lynch Explains Why Depression Is the Enemy of Creativity--and Why Meditation Is the Solution | Open Culture #health #psychology

David Lynch has a vari­ety of notions about what it takes to make art, but suf­fer­ing is not among them. “This is part of the myth, I think,” he said in one inter­view. “Van Gogh did suf­fer. He suf­fered a lot. But I think he did­n’t suf­fer while he was paint­ing.” That is, “he did­n’t need to be suf­fer­ing to do those great paint­ings.” As Lynch sees it, “the more you suf­fer, the less you want to cre­ate. If you’re tru­ly depressed, they say, you can’t even get out of bed, let alone cre­ate.” This rela­tion­ship between men­tal state and cre­ativ­i­ty is a sub­ject he’s addressed over and over again, and the video above assem­bles sev­er­al of those instances from over the decades. It may come as a sur­prise that the auteur of Blue Vel­vet, Twin Peaks, and Mul­hol­land Dri­ve, rec­om­mends med­i­ta­tion as the solu­tion.

Runtipi #software

Tipi is an open source personal homeserver orchestrator that enables you to manage and run multiple services on a single server. It is based on Docker and comes with a user-friendly web interface that simplifies service management. With Tipi, you no longer need to worry about manual configuration or networking. Install Tipi on your server and use the web interface to add and manage services.

Also, a lot of self hosted software you can find here: Self-Hosted Applications and Alternatives

Dark Star at 50: How a micro-budget student film changed sci-fi forever #art #history

In the early 70s, young filmmakers John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon created a spaceship tale for a graduation project – little knowing it would influence Alien and many other works.

Made for $60,000 (£47,581) by film school students, horror maestro John Carpenter's directorial debut Dark Star is now regarded as a sci-fi cult classic. Having just turned 50 years old, it's a world away from much of the sci-fi that came before it and would come after, neither space odyssey nor space opera, rather a bleak, downbeat and often absurd portrait of a group of people cooped together in a malfunctioning interstellar tin can. Arguably its most famous scene consists of an existential debate between an astronaut and a sentient bomb.

And here you can watch it online (83 min.):

Dark Star - 1974 : digitalfolklore : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
Dark Star - John Carpenter 1974*video is uploaded as fair use for non profit educational purposes

German state moving 30,000 PCs to LibreOffice - The Document Foundation Blog #software

Following a successful pilot project, the northern German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein has decided to move from Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office to Linux and LibreOffice (and other free and open source software) on the 30,000 PCs used in the local government. As reported on the homepage of the Minister-President:

Independent, sustainable, secure: Schleswig-Holstein will be a digital pioneer region and the first German state to introduce a digitally sovereign IT workplace in its state administration. With a cabinet decision to introduce the open-source software LibreOffice as the standard office solution across the board, the government has given the go-ahead for the first step towards complete digital sovereignty in the state, with further steps to follow.

Fake AI law firms are sending fake DMCA threats to generate fake SEO gains | Ars Technica #copyrights #ai

There are quite a few issues with Commonwealth Legal's request, as detailed by Smith and 404 Media. Chief among them is that Commonwealth Legal, a firm theoretically based in Arizona (which is not a commonwealth), almost certainly does not exist. Despite the 2018 copyright displayed on the site, the firm's website domain was seemingly registered on March 1, 2024, with a Canadian IP location. The address on the firm's site leads to a location that, to say the least, does not match the "fourth floor" indicated on the website.

While the law firm's website is stuffed full of stock images, so are many websites for professional services. The real tell is the site's list of attorneys, most of which, as 404 Media puts it, have "vacant, thousand-yard stares" common to AI-generated faces. AI detection firm Reality Defender told 404 Media that his service spotted AI generation in every attorneys' image, "most likely by a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) model."

Keeping your data from Apple is harder than expected | Aalto University #privacy

‘Privacy. That's Apple,’ the slogan proclaims. New research from Aalto University begs to differ.

Study after study has shown how voluntary third-party apps erode people's privacy. Now, for the first time, researchers at Aalto University have investigated the privacy settings of Apple’s default apps; the ones that are pretty much unavoidable on a new device, be it a computer, tablet or mobile phone. The researchers will present their findings in mid-May at the prestigious CHI conference, and the peer-reviewed research paper is already available online.

The Rise and Fall of 3M’s Floppy Disk - IEEE Spectrum #hardware #technology #history #longread

3M got into the floppy disk market around the fall of 1973. It was not the only manufacturer of disks out there—some names from this era include Verbatim, Control Data, Dysan, and BASF. Most of these companies started with computing technology—for example, Dysan worked closely with Shugart Associates on the 5.25-inch floppy. But 3M wasn’t alone in starting with the raw materials. BASF, a German chemical manufacturer, has a somewhat similar corporate history and logo design to fellow thick-Helvetica enthusiast 3M. (Though 3M obviously never associated with the Nazis during World War II, so there’s that.)

EV companies are hungry for Argentina’s lithium for batteries - Rest of World #economy #world

Residents of Isla Paulino — a remote island that is not part of Argentina’s power grid — were promised a lithium-powered solar park, using locally manufactured batteries.
Plans for the battery factory have been delayed, even as Argentina’s lithium exports to China, the U.S., and Japan surge.
Recently elected President Javier Milei has been courting Elon Musk, who, he said, is “extremely interested” in Argentina’s lithium.

Moove, Uber’s Africa vehicle financing partner, seeks profitability outside Africa - Rest of World #economy #startup

Moove, Uber’s largest vehicle financing partner in the world, has raised $176 million over the last 12 months to support its business in India and the U.K. and for launching in the UAE.

Industry experts believe Moove will be able to earn better margins in its new markets, but it will need to navigate one major challenge that has haunted its Africa business: pushback from gig drivers.

“The cost of transportation in [Africa] … has increased drastically,” Charles Asenime, professor of transport and logistics at Lagos State University, told Rest of World. “Drivers have to spend more to earn a little these days, and that is affecting their ability to remit. Looking outside the country’s shore for a company like Moove might be a better option [for] turning profits.”

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