Net Neutrality is dead, cryptojacking keeps spreading and the Mirai Botnet isn’t what it looked like — Issue #32


🌍 Around the web

Goodbye, net neutrality — Ajit Pai’s FCC votes to allow blocking and throttling

By far the biggest news of the last weeks is the FCC killing Net Neutrality.

The Federal Communications Commission voted today to deregulate the broadband industry and eliminate net neutrality rules that prohibit Internet service providers from blocking and throttling Internet traffic.

For net neutrality advocates, the next phase in this fight has only just begun. Some heavy weights like Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak or Whitfield Diffie also published the Pioneers for Net Neutrality “manifesto”, so the fight is definitely not over!

It also appears that the FCC is blocking a law enforcement investigation into fraudulent comments designed to provide bogus support for the agency’s looming net neutrality repeal. The New York Times gives you a peek at the possible future in U.S through Net Neutrality’s Holes in Europe.

The Mirai Botnet Was Part of a College Student Minecraft Scheme

The DDoS attack that brought the internet to its knees last Fall wasn’t a nation sponsored hack, it was three college kids working a (brilliant) Minecraft hustle. Fascinating!

THE MOST DRAMATIC cybersecurity story of 2016 came to a quiet conclusion Friday in an Anchorage courtroom, as three young American computer savants pleaded guilty to masterminding an unprecedented botnet — powered by unsecured internet-of-things devices like security cameras and wireless routers — that unleashed sweeping attacks on key internet services around the globe last fall. What drove them wasn’t anarchist politics or shadowy ties to a nation-state. It was Minecraft.

First Round State of Startups 2017

The 2017 State of Startups is out!

Before we do, though, we want to acknowledge the significance of two ongoing conversations in our industry — both of which are heavily represented in the results we chose to feature. The first is about diversity and inclusion, which we incorporated into last year’s survey to get founders’ perspectives on root causes and possible solutions. And the second is about sexual harassment. We included a number of questions about this issue in 2017, and the results were stark.

🤖 Technology / AI / Blockchain

A Cryptocurrency Without a Blockchain Has Been Built to Outperform Bitcoin

While Bitcoin is all over the news, a lot of other cryptocurrencies gain momentum. IOTA is one of them.

Called IOTA, it has jumped in total value from just over $4 billion to more than $10 billion in a little over two weeks. But that isn’t what makes it interesting. What makes it interesting is that it isn’t based on a blockchain at all; it’s something else entirely.
Instead of a blockchain, IOTA uses a “tangle,” which is based on a mathematical concept called a directed acyclic graph. (…) Part of Sønstebø’s issue with Bitcoin and other blockchain systems it that they rely on a distributed network of “miners” to verify transactions. So IOTA has dispensed with the miners. Instead, when a user issues a transaction, that individual also validates two randomly selected previous transactions, each of which refer to two other previous transactions, and so on. As new transactions mount, a “tangled web of confirmation” grows.

Statement on Cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings

With the lack of regulation comes freedom but sometimes also abuse. With the evergrowing interest in cryptocurrencies, the SEC just issued a statement on cryptocurriencies and ICOs.

The cryptocurrency and ICO markets have grown rapidly. These markets are local, national and international and include an ever-broadening range of products and participants. They also present investors and other market participants with many questions, some new and some old (but in a new form), including, to list just a few:
Is the product legal? Is it subject to regulation, including rules designed to protect investors? Does the product comply with those rules? Is the offering legal? Are those offering the product licensed to do so? Are the trading markets fair? Can prices on those markets be manipulated? Can I sell when I want to? Are there substantial risks of theft or loss, including from hacking?

Estonia, the Digital Republic

Is e-Estonia (the coördinated governmental effort to transform the country from a state into a digital society) the future of democracy and governments?

Its government is virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure. Has this tiny post-Soviet nation found the way of the future?

Google to Open Beijing AI Center in Latest Expansion in China — Bloomberg

Google is deepening its push into China as it seeks an edge in one of technology’s most competitive fields: artificial intelligence.

From Porn Sites to Starbucks Wi-Fi, CPUs Are Getting Hijacked to Mine Cryptocoins

It’s not even surprising anymore…

It’s one thing to wake up and discover that you missed the boat on a cryptocurrency boom that’s making a handful of people very wealthy. It’s another thing to find out that your computer is making someone else rich while it gives you poor performance and jacks up your electricity bill. With the spread of cryptojacking, that infuriating scenario is happening to more people.

How traders ‘pump and dump’ cryptocurrencies

Take a look at the technique used to coordinate “pump and dump” schemes, which artificially inflate the price of cryptocurrencies. Nothing new there but in the absence of regulation most of these techniques remain legal.


⚙️ Development / Design / DIY projects

The State of JavaScript 2017: Introduction

A short survey about current popular JavaScript technologies.

The State of UX in 2018

UX trends for 2018, including artificial intelligence, chatbots, design tools, process and other topics designers are writing and thinking about.

Keras and deep learning on the Raspberry Pi

Perform real-time deep learning on the Raspberry Pi using Keras, Python, and TensorFlow. Perfect Winter weekend project.