Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Parts of the US Internet broke down, a poor guy stole and lost $300m in cryptocurrency by accident and SegWit2x is dead 💀 — Issue #31


🌍 Around the web

How Level 3’s Tiny Error Shut Off the Internet for Parts of the US

A simple misconfiguration caused massive outages for internet service providers and large internet platforms around the US. This is a good reminder that our infrastructures remain very vulnerable.

In a “route leak,” an AS, or multiple ASes, issue incorrect information about the IP addresses on their network, which causes inefficient routing and failures for both the originating ISP and other ISPs trying to route traffic through. Think of it like a series of street signs that help keep traffic flowing in the right directions. If some of them are mislabeled or point the wrong way, assorted chaos can ensue. (…)
Monday’s outages reinforce how precarious connectivity really is, and how certain aspects of the internet’s architecture — offering flexibility and ease-of-use — can introduce instability into what has become a vital service.

DOJ: Strong encryption that we don’t have access to is “unreasonable”

I don’t understand why we’re still debating this. Don’t make encryption weaker, it’s pointless. Like someone said in the comments “It isn’t a dimmer switch, its an on-off switch. It either works or it doesn’t.”

He later added that the claim that the “absolutist position” that strong encryption should be by definition, unbreakable, is “unreasonable.”
“And I think it’s necessary to weigh law enforcement equities in appropriate cases against the interest in security,” he said.
The DOJ’s position runs counter to the consensus of information security experts, who say that it is impossible to build the strongest encryption system possible that would also allow the government access under certain conditions.

How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met

Just if you weren’t scared of Facebook yet.

Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users. Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections.

🤖 Technology / AI / Blockchain

‘$300m in cryptocurrency’ accidentally lost forever due to bug

Poor guy mistakenly took control of hundreds of wallets containing Ether and destroyed them in a panic while trying to give them back. Parity need to get their act together…

More than $300m of cryptocurrency has been lost after a series of bugs in a popular digital wallet service led one curious developer to accidentally take control of and then lock up the funds (…) Parity revealed that, while fixing a bug that let hackers steal $32m out of few multi-signature wallets, it had inadvertently left a second flaw in its systems that allowed one user to become the sole owner of every single multi-signature wallet.
The user, “devops199”, triggered the flaw apparently by accident. When they realised what they had done, they attempted to undo the damage by deleting the code which had transferred ownership of the funds. Rather than returning the money, however, that simply locked all the funds in those multisignature wallets permanently, with no way to access them.

SegWit2x Is Dead, Long Live Bitcoin! Price Hits All-Time High As Hard Fork Canceled

Developers have canceled the Bitcoin SegWit2x hard fork due to it failing to achieve consensus.

Bitcoin has reached a new all-time high of $7,888 as participants of the SegWit2x hard fork announce they have “suspended” it.
(…) Mike Belshe says that it was “clear” the project “had not built sufficient consensus for a clean blocksize upgrade at this time.”
SegWit2x will therefore not activate Nov. 16 as planned (…)
“Our goal has always been a smooth upgrade for Bitcoin. Although we strongly believe in the need for a larger blocksize, there is something we believe is even more important: keeping the community together. Unfortunately, it is clear that we have not built sufficient consensus for a clean blocksize upgrade at this time. Continuing on the current path could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin’s growth. This was never the goal of SegWit2x.”

Mapping’s Intelligent Agents: Autonomous Cars and Beyond

How do machine intelligences read and write the world? And what Other intelligences deserve our attention?

Revolutions in machine sensing have transformed fields like medicine and engineering and creative production, several times over. Now, finally, these technologies are reaching their apotheosis, converging in — sound of balloon deflating — the self-driving car!(…)
With the stakes so high, we need to keep asking critical questions about how machines conceptualize and operationalize space. How do they render our world measurable, navigable, usable, conservable?

Creating a Modern OCR Pipeline Using Computer Vision and Deep Learning

Fascinating!

We used computer vision and deep learning advances such as bi-directional Long Short Term Memory (LSTMs), Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC), convolutional neural nets (CNNs), and more. In addition, we will also dive deep into what it took to actually make our OCR pipeline production-ready at Dropbox scale.

⚙️ Development / Design / DIY projects

How Raspberry Pi became the bestselling British computer of all time

Nice to read how that awesome project came to existence.

The Raspberry Pi started off as a side project, but it’s grown into a global organization that makes the computer industry more welcoming. Meet the Brits who promised the world a $25 PC, and delivered a revolution.

SnoopPi: A Raspberry Pi based Wifi Packet Capture Workhorse.

Want to hack the world? Check this out! ;)

SnoopPi the setup: The basic setup is pretty simple. Hardware:
1. Raspberry Pi 3
2. 7 Inch TFT (I used the waveshare 7 inch, will explain why later)
3. Alfa AWUS036NEH x 2
4. Alfa AWUS052NH x 1
5. Aukey USB 3.0 Hub. CB-H19 ( 4 port + 3 power only ports)
6. Bluetooth keyboard x 1
7. 1 hard case.
8. Optional: OmniCharge Mobile Battery.

Tufte CSS

Very clean!

Tufte CSS provides tools to style web articles using the ideas demonstrated by Edward Tufte’s books and handouts. Tufte’s style is known for its simplicity, extensive use of sidenotes, tight integration of graphics with text, and carefully chosen typography.

GitHub — k88hudson/git-flight-rules: Flight rules for git

If you struggle with git sometimes, this is for you!

What are “flight rules”?
A guide for astronauts (now, programmers using git) about what to do when things go wrong.
Flight Rules are the hard-earned body of knowledge recorded in manuals that list, step-by-step, what to do if X occurs, and why. Essentially, they are extremely detailed, scenario-specific standard operating procedures. […]

Felix Krause

Scary proof of concept.

iOS Privacy: watch.user — Access both iPhone cameras any time your app is running
Once you grant an app access to your camera, it can
- access both the front and the back camera
- record you at any time the app is in the foreground
- take pictures and videos without telling you
- upload the pictures/videos it takes immediately
- run real-time face recognition to detect facial features or expressions
Have you ever used a social media app while using the bathroom? 🚽
All without indicating that your phone is recording you and your surrounding, no LEDs, no light or any other kind of indication.