hacking
All These Extremely Powerful People May Want to Double Check They Weren’t Hacked by a Saudi Prince

In early 2018, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took a sweeping tour of the U.S. as part of a strategy to rebrand Saudi Arabia’s ruling monarchy as a modernising force and pull off his “Vision 2030” plan – hobnobbing with a list of corporate execs and politicians that reads like a who’s who list of the U.S. elite. The trip was so heavily promoted by the Saudis that 200,000 copies of a suspiciously pro-prince magazine hit U.S. newsstands. Read More >>

cybersecurity
Microsoft Discloses It Left Over 250 Million Customer Support Records Exposed on Servers

Microsoft inadvertently left hundreds of millions of customer service and support requests exposed on several servers without password protection from Dec. 5 to Dec. 31, 2019, the company’s Security Response Center wrote on a blog post on Wednesday. Read More >>

space
Elon Musk: A New Life Awaits You in the Off-World Colonies – for a Price

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who has previously conceded that many of the people whom he desires to send to Mars must be prepared to risk death in the process, has sweetened the deal with the hint of some indentured servitude. Read More >>

microsoft
Stop What You’re Doing and Update Windows Right Now

The National Security Agency disclosed a major vulnerability in the latest version of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 to Microsoft, which released a fix for the issue on Tuesday, the MIT Technology Review reported. Read More >>

crime
MIT Report Finds That Jeffrey Epstein Donated £650,000 to MIT Media Lab, Professor Seth Lloyd

Disgraced financier and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein donated $850,000 (£650k) to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, per a university investigation that has found ex-MIT Media Lab director Joichi Ito and mechanical engineering professor Seth Lloyd solicited the contributions. Read More >>

microsoft
Microsoft Outsourced Skype, Cortana Voice Analysis to China With Virtually No Security in Place: Report

Microsoft had “no security measures” on a programme that had humans transcribe user voice recordings from its Skype video calling service and Cortana assistant, the Guardian reported on Friday, even when those workers were located in China. Read More >>

facebook
Watch Out, Opportunity, Mark Zuckerberg Is About to Fuck You Up

On Thursday, Facebook overlord Mark Zuckerberg published his annual New Year’s resolution list. Last year, he promised to hold a series of public talks on issues posed by the tech industry (and boy, did he ever). Read More >>

ces 2020
Ivanka Trump to CES: College is Overrated

Presidential daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump took to the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon to opine on “The Future of Work,” a keynote choice that confounded many attendees who pointed out that she has no background in tech. It turns out that the future of work, at least according to her, in large part revolves around not going to college. Read More >>

iran
The Anatomy of Online Bullshit in the Fog of Impending Doom

On early Friday local time, the U.S. assassinated high-ranking Iranian official Qassem Soleimani and multiple other people with a targeted airstrike at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. Or they were killed on the battlefield in a totally legal, non-assassination, depending on who you believe. Read More >>

google
Former Google Exec Says He Was Forced Out for Opposing Company’s Pivot to Evil

A onetime top Google executive, former head of international relations Ross LaJeunesse, is now publicly alleging that the company abandoned its “Don’t be evil” ethos because it was more interested in chasing “bigger profits and an even higher stock price.” Read More >>

wildfires
Bushfires Still Ravaging Australia, With Thousands Reportedly Fleeing to Beaches in Victoria State

The ongoing Australian bushfire crisis has forced thousands of people in the southeast part of the country to flee towards waterfronts, Bloomberg reported, with an estimated 4,000-5,000 individuals in Mallacoota in Victoria state sheltering on beaches and piers as flames swept in on Tuesday. Read More >>

spotify
Spotify: Your Political Ads Are No Good Here

Streaming giant Spotify will ban all political advertising in early 2020, Ad Age reported on Friday, saying in a statement to the site that it does “not yet have the necessary level of robustness in our process, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content.” Read More >>

censorship
Turkish Court Throws Out Erdogan’s Wikipedia Ban

Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled 10-6 on Thursday that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government violated civil liberties with its April 2017 ban on access to Wikipedia, the Associated Press reports. Read More >>

tiktok
TikTok Owner ByteDance Denies That It’s Planning to Sell Majority Stake Amid Espionage Concerns

A Bloomberg report on Monday evening said that ByteDance is considering selling off a majority stake in its incredibly popular and fantastically annoying music app, TikTok, amid intensifying US government concerns that the China-based company is a security and espionage threat. However, the firm has denied the report as “inaccurate” and “meritless.” Read More >>