AIM shuts down after 20 years, Kaspersky Lab might be working with the Kremlin and North Korea gets help from Russia — Issue #28


🌍 Around the web

AIM will shut down after 20 years

It must admit I didn’t even know AIM was still around but this is a little piece of history that will soon be disappearing.

AIM was one of the first and most successful instant messengers, widely used in the late ’90s and even throughout the 2000s. I was still using AIM to chat with my friends throughout college at the end of the decade, including to stay in touch with my (not-yet) significant other while she was studying abroad.
But with the proliferation of smartphones, everything has changed. Text messaging has taken over for desktop instant messaging apps, and increasingly, we’re seeing other social apps, like Snapchat and Instagram, take over for those in certain ways.

FEMA Deletes Information About Lack of Water and Electricity in Puerto Rico

Just another attempt by Trump administration to hide the truth.

The FEMA website has been an important tool for keeping Americans up to date on disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. But yesterday, the agency deleted statistics about how many people have access to electricity and clean water on the island. The FEMA website now only displays information that casts the recovery efforts in a positive light.

UK gives WhatsApp another spanking over e2e crypto

UK government trying to find any “good” reason to prevent people from using proper encryption.

The UK government has once again bared its anti-technology teeth in public, leaning especially heavily on messaging platform WhatsApp for its use of end-to-end encryption security tech, and calling it out for enabling criminals to communicate in secret.
Reuters reported yesterday that UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd had called out end-to-end encryption services “like WhatsApp”, claiming they are being used by paedophiles and other criminals and pressurizing the companies to stop enabling such people from operating outside the law.

Equifax Breach Caused by Lone Employee’s Error, Former C.E.O. Says

Not very convincing…

Richard F. Smith, who stepped down last week, repeatedly apologized to the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — and the American people — for the security lapse. But he also sought to play down the severity of the problems that had led to the breach, defended the company’s response to the crisis and deflected questions about how far Equifax would go to compensate consumers who were financially harmed. On multiple occasions, Mr. Smith referred to an “individual” in Equifax’s technology department who had failed to heed security warnings and did not ensure the implementation of software fixes that would have prevented the breach.

Kaspersky Lab Has Been Working With Russian Intelligence

Americans are asking if Kaspersky Lab might have ties to the Kremlin.

Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab boasts 400 million users worldwide. As many as 200 million may not know it. The huge reach of Kaspersky’s technology is partly the result of licensing agreements that allow customers to quietly embed the software in everything from firewalls to sensitive telecommunications equipment — none of which carry the Kaspersky name.That success is starting to worry U.S. national security officials concerned about the company’s links to the Russian government.

As US launches DDoS attacks, N. Korea gets more bandwidth — from Russia

You gotta give them credit, they never give up!

As the US reportedly conducts a denial-of-service attack against North Korea’s access to the Internet, the regime of Kim Jong Un has gained another connection to help a select few North Koreans stay connected to the wider world — thanks to a Russian telecommunications provider. Despite UN sanctions and US unilateral moves to punish companies that do business with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (…) Russian telecommunications provider TransTelekom (…) began routing North Korean Internet traffic at 5:30pm Pyongyang time on Sunday. The connection, Williams reported, offers a second route for traffic from North Korea’s Byol (“Star”) Internet service provider, which also runs North Korea’s cellular phone network. Byol offers foreigners in North Korea 1Mbps Internet access for €600 (US$660) a month (with no data caps).

🤖 Technology / AI / Blockchain

Poor Richard’s Guide to Cryptocurrency

Some wise words from Ben Franklin.

Ben Franklin’s financial advice is legendary. “A penny saved is a penny earned” is a mantra two centuries after Franklin’s death and “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest” is as applicable today as in the time of King George III. (…)
A wise investor must secure accounts properly. When using a turn-key wallet like Coinbase or an exchange, always use two-factor authentication. Always make sure to use Google Authenticator instead of a SMS message.
A wise investor must not leave funds in the exchange communal wallet. They do not get your business mixed up in theirs after their transactions are complete.

Decentralized Internet on Blockchain

How blockchain can mobilize a community to provide Internet for each other and create a new sharing economy.

The core principle is simple: Members of a community own the means for delivering Internet to each other. They also profit from that delivery.
This is what I mean by Socialization. Shared costs, but also shared profits. We, the community, share in the cost and effort of being our own ISP together. We also share in the profit of that communal utility.

RandomAdversary/Awesome-AI-Security: #AISecurity

Great curated list of AI security resources.

Now anyone can explore machine learning, no coding required

Test machine learning from your browser, without coding.

Teachable Machine, a simple experiment that lets you teach a machine using your camera — live in the browser, no coding required.
Teachable Machine is built with a new library called deeplearn.js, which makes it easier for any web developer to get into machine learning. It trains a neural net right in your browser — locally on your device — without sending any images to a server. We’ve also open sourced the code to help inspire others to make new experiments.

⚙️ Development / Design / DIY projects

Mobile UX isn’t just about breakpoints

Great piece about how mobile UX is not just about about breakpoints and reorganizing elements.

Responsive design, therefore, should not be used for its own sake, or because it’s the modern way of creating interfaces. Before jumping into it’s toolset, and starting to rearrange boxes, clear goals should be set based on how, where, and why people will eventually interact with the product you design.

url-to-pdf-api: Web page PDF rendering done right

Always useful.

url-to-pdf-api — Web page PDF rendering done right. Self-hosted service for rendering receipts, invoices, or any content.