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VentureBeat

U.S. regulator: Twitter’s lax security enabled ‘simple’ celebrity account hack by Florida teen

(Reuters) – Twitter suffered from cybersecurity shortfalls that enabled a “simple” hack attributed to a Florida teenager to take over the accounts of several of the world’s most famous people in July, according to a report released on Wednesday. The report by New York’s Department of Financial Services recommended that the largest social media companies be deemed systemically important, like some banks following the 2008 financial crisis, with a dedicated regulator monitoring their ability to combat cyberattacks and election interference. “That Twitter was vulnerable to an unsophisticated attack shows that self-regulation is not the answer,” said Linda Lacewell, the financial services superintendent. Twitter said it cooperated with the review and was increasing security for its teams and platform. The company has acknowledged that some employees were duped into sharing account credentials prior to the hack. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the report demonstrated a “regulatory gap” and pledged the state would take the lead in introducing measures to protect users. Cuomo had ordered a probe following the July 15 hack of celebrity Twitter accounts, in an alleged scam that stole more than $118,000 in Bitcoin. Those whose accounts were hacked included U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden; former President Barack Obama; billionaires Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk; singer Kanye West, and his wife Kim Kardashian, the reality TV star. Lacewell said hackers obtained log-in credentials after calling several employees, pretending to work in Twitter’s information technology department, and claiming to be responding to problems with the company’s Virtual…Continue readingU.S. regulator: Twitter’s lax security enabled ‘simple’ celebrity account hack by Florida teen

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The Next Web

10 simple Python tips to speed up your data analysis

A dash of magic Magic commands are a set of convenient functions in Jupyter Notebooks that are designed to solve some of the common problems in standard data analysis. You can see all available magics with the help of %lsmagic. List of all available magic functions Magic commands are of two kinds: line magics, which are prefixed by a single % character and operate on a single line of input, and cell magics, which are associated with the double %% prefix and operate on multiple lines of input. Magic functions are callable without having to type the initial % if set to 1. Let’s look at some of them that might be useful in common data analysis tasks: %pastebin uploads code to Pastebin and returns the URL. Pastebin is an online content hosting service where we can store plain text like source code snippets and then the URL can be shared with others. In fact, Github gist is also akin to pastebin albeit with version control. Consider a python script file.py with the following content: Using %pastebin in Jupyter Notebook generates a pastebin url. The %matplotlib inline function is used to render the static matplotlib plots within the Jupyter notebook. Try replacing the inline part with notebook to get zoom-able & resize-able plots, easily. Make sure the function is called before importing the matplotlib library. %matplotlib inline vs %matplotlib notebook The %run function runs a python script inside a notebook. %%writefile writes the contents of a cell to a file. Here the code will be written to a file named foo.py and saved in the current directory. The %%latex function renders the cell contents as LaTeX. It is…Continue reading10 simple Python tips to speed up your data analysis

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Mashable

Study reveals the simple way people get around Facebook’s fact-checking AI

Recently, Facebook has been taking a harder stance on misinformation. The company banned content related to the conspiracy theory and cracked down on coronavirus . But it’s still not enough.  According to a recent by the non-profit advocacy group Avaaz, Facebook is failing in a major, basic way. Facebook Pages that spread misinformation are finding their way around one of the platform’s most important tools for fighting fake news: its AI system. When Facebook’s fact-checkers debunk a claim in a post, its AI is supposed to flag and label alternative versions of the post spreading the same misinformation. But the study says Pages are getting around these fact-checks.  How? By slightly tweaking the photos and memes used to spread misinformation. Avaaz’s researchers looked into 119 “repeat misinformers” – pages that have spread misinformation a minimum of three times – to understand how these pages get around Facebook’s AI detection.  Turns out, all they have to do is change the background color or font on the photo or meme they’re sharing. They can also change up the location of the text on the meme or try cropping it.  Below is an example from the study showing two pieces of content spreading the same fact-checked claims. The image on the left just needed to change the format and text placement of the image on the right to avoid the fact-check label from Facebook. A fact-checked meme could easily avoid a Facebook warning label by just tweaking some attributes. Another workaround is to…Continue readingStudy reveals the simple way people get around Facebook’s fact-checking AI

Categories
Engadget

Microsoft Surface Duo teardown reveals ‘refreshingly simple hinge design’

The iFixit team has also noted that one of the two batteries is twice the size of the other, but that Microsoft has made them difficult to replace by using lots of glue and screws. Those batteries aren’t the only components that would be hard to replace, though: the team found that the only parts that wouldn’t be a pain to remove are the displays and the back glass covers. You can check out iFixit’s full teardown if you need help deciding whether to buy the $1,400 device. As we mentioned in our review, it’s the best dual-screen hardware out there, but it’s still plagued by buggy software. iFixit has also highlighted the issue, revealing that it had to deal with crashes and flickering screens when it tried to load web pages on the device. Source linkContinue readingMicrosoft Surface Duo teardown reveals ‘refreshingly simple hinge design’

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The Next Web

5 simple ways to keep your company culture alive while working remotely

One of the big questions facing professionals right now is how do you, as a CEO or a business leader, maintain the company culture and keep your team’s morale high, when everyone is working remotely? This is a critical question since culture — as fundamental it is for a company‘s success — is a fragile thing.  In an Upwork survey, 30% of hiring managers reported reduced team cohesion as one of the biggest issues with remote work. Even though culture and team cohesion might not be high on the list of priorities during a crisis, I believe they are absolutely crucial to ensure that productivity stays high in the long run. 

 
 I have always been proud of our culture at Slido, and for many team members it’s one of the key reasons for working for the company. So here the five tactics I’d like to share that we are currently using to maintain our culture with the team of 140 across 10 time zones. 1. Host special virtual get-togethers for the team to socialize In a recent internal survey we ran, 30% of our team marked ‘loneliness‘ as one of biggest challenges they face, right after not being able to unplug. As the numbers confirm, people long for social contact when working from home. It’s important for leaders to recognize this need, and make the social element an important part of day-to-day business. 

 There are a few ways we go about this at Slido.  

First, individual teams…Continue reading5 simple ways to keep your company culture alive while working remotely

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Wired

Dutch Hackers Found a Simple Way to Mess With Traffic Lights

In movies like Die Hard 4 and The Italian Job, hijacking traffic lights over the internet looks easy. But real-world traffic-light hacking, demonstrated by security researchers in years past, has proven tougher, requiring someone to be within radio range of every target light. Now a pair of Dutch researchers has shown how hackers really can spoof traffic data to mess with traffic lights easily from any internet connection—though luckily not in a Hollywood style that would cause mass collisions. At the Defcon hacker conference Thursday, Dutch security researchers Rik van Duijn and Wesley Neelen will present their findings about vulnerabilities in an “intelligent transport” system that would allow them to influence traffic lights in at least 10 different cities in the Netherlands over the internet. Their hack would spoof nonexistent bicycles approaching an intersection, tricking the traffic system into giving those bicycles a green light and showing a red light to any other vehicles trying to cross in a perpendicular direction. They warn that their simple technique—which they say hasn’t been fixed in all the cases where they tested it—could potentially be used to annoy drivers left waiting at an empty intersection. Or if the intelligent transport systems are implemented at a much larger scale, it could potentially even cause widespread traffic jams. “We were able to fake a cyclist, so that the system was seeing a cyclist at the intersection, and we could do it from any location,” says Neelen. “We could do the same trick at a lot…Continue readingDutch Hackers Found a Simple Way to Mess With Traffic Lights

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TechCrunch

Fable aims to make disability-inclusive design as simple as a service – TechCrunch

Tech companies are increasingly finding that accessibility isn’t a widget you plug into an otherwise final product, but something that’s integrated from the very beginning of development — but that takes resources few possess. Fable hopes to make disability-inclusive design easier by providing testing and development assistance from disabled folks on-demand and has raised a $1.5M seed round to do it. “The person who experiences this problem is usually the best one to solve it,” Alwar Pillai, co-founder of Fable, told TechCrunch. But that’s rarely how it works with accessibility features. More often than not, she said, the people developing them are able and under 40. “It’s under-prioritized and incomplete,” Pillai said. “It’s not about, is this product really usable by a blind person? Businesses should be consulting with disabled folks, and Fable is a platform that connects digital teams to them so they can include them in building and testing from the get-go.” Fable provides on-demand access to people with various disabilities that need to be considered during the design process. Prototypes or mockups can be sent to individuals on call, who then return an evaluation within 48 hours. “Most companies have huge digital products, but no idea what it’s like for people with disabilities, like that a signup flow takes an hour for a blind person,” said co-founder and CTO Abid Virani. “So we put a couple prototypes in front of, maybe, someone quadriplegic or low-vision who has to zoom in a lot, and observe how they go…Continue readingFable aims to make disability-inclusive design as simple as a service – TechCrunch

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Mashable

The best self-help book advice distilled to 11 simple rules

The first self-described self-help book was published in 1859. The author’s name, improbably, was Samuel Smiles; the title, even more improbably, was Self-Help. A distillation of lessons from the lives of famous people who had pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, it sold millions of copies and was a mainstay in Victorian households. Every generation since had its runaway bestseller, such as How to Live on 24 Hours a Day (1908), Think and Grow Rich (1937), or Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (1997).  By now, the $11 billion self-help industry is most definitely not small stuff. Yet when you strip it down, there’s very little new information. After all, we were consuming self-help for centuries before Smiles, just under different names. Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius gave tweet-sized advice in Meditations; so did Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack. Even self-help parody isn’t new. Shakespeare did it with Polonius’ “to thine own self be true” speech in Hamlet: basically a bullet-point list from a blowhard.  The 21st century has seen a measure of self-awareness about our self-help addiction. There’s the wave of sweary self-help bestsellers I wrote about, such as The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. They hover somewhere between parody and dressing up the same advice as their forebears in earthier language. More recently, there’s a trend you might call meta-self-help: books in which people write about their experiences following self-help books, such as Help Me! (2018) and How to Be Fine (2020), based on the similar self-help…Continue readingThe best self-help book advice distilled to 11 simple rules

Categories
The Next Web

How embeddings make complex data simple

Working with non-numerical data can be tough, even for experienced data scientists. A typical machine learning model expects its features to be numbers, not words, emails, website pages, lists, graphs, or probability distributions. To be useful, data has to be transformed into a vector space first. But how? One popular approach would be to treat a non-numerical feature as categorical. This could work well if the number of categories is small (for example, if data indicates a profession or a country). However, if we try to apply this method to emails, we will likely get as many categories as there are samples. No two emails are exactly the same, hence this approach would be of no use. Another approach would be to define a distance between data samples, a function that tells us how close any two samples are. Or we could define a similarity measure, which would give us the same information except that the distance between two close samples is small while similarity is large. Computing distance (similarity) between all data samples would give us a distance (or similarity) matrix. This is numerical data we could use. However, this data would have as many dimensions as there are samples, which is usually not great if we want to use it as a feature (see curse of dimensionality) or to visualize it (while one plot can handle even 6D, I have yet to see a 100D plot). Could we reduce the number of dimensions to a reasonable amount? The…Continue readingHow embeddings make complex data simple

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The Next Web

A simple trick to shorten your headers in Google Sheets

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. If you’re working with spreadsheets on a regular basis, you know that it’s important to keep your tables of data easy to explore and digest. You can do this by cleaning your data, and by styling and structuring your data appropriately. For instance, you could freeze your top header row, in order to keep it in place when you’re scroll down your table of data. You do this by selecting the row, hitting the View menu item, and then Freeze, and picking 1 row. Another way to use styling to keep your table compact and enjoyable for the eye, is to make sure the headers aren’t too long. This is to prevent the columns from needing to become too wide or different in width, or the header cells to become multiline. Of course, you could simply use abbreviations or other terms for your headers. But there’s a neat little function baked into Google Sheets, that might do the trick even better, and will even give your table a sassy look. Now before revealing this to you, let’s look at a table of data that hasn’t been treated by this neat little function yet. As you can see, the header in the F column is being cut off, because its text is too wide. To make sure the columns keep the same width, but the…Continue readingA simple trick to shorten your headers in Google Sheets