Heavy social media use leads to a wider variety of news sources

Most people don't look at any news, or at one news site; using social media a lot (even without the intention of looking for news) means that sometimes you'll end up clicking a news link -- so heavy social media users, on average, are consuming a wider media diet than those who do not use social media. Read the rest

Cheating Chinese certificate authorities, caught by Certificate Transparency, will get the death penalty

In 2012, Google introduced Certificate Transparency, an internet-wide tripwire system designed to catch cryptographic "certificate authorities" who abused their position to produce counterfeit credentials that would allow criminals, governments and police to spy on and tamper with secure internet connections. Read the rest

Ransomware crook's email provider shuts down account, so now no one can pay their ransom

Yesterday's massive ransomware outbreak of a mutant, NSA-supercharged strain of the Petya malware is still spreading, but the malware's author made a mere $10K off it and will likely not see a penny more, because Posteo, the German email provider the crook used for ransom payment negotiations, shut down their account. Read the rest

Social media's other (cooler!) makeup artists: women who specialize in gory sfx

There are plenty of extremely talented young women who make good money running social media feeds of their fantastic makeup artistry, but they don't have a patch on the artistry of the women and girls who specialize in horror makeup effects, perfecting and sharing techniques for the grossest, greatest prosthetic-and-paint monster and gore effects. Read the rest

Trollcakes: sleuthing bakers will hunt down your trolls, inscribe their hate in icing, and deliver edible words

Ever wish the anonymous jerks who comments on your online life would be made to eat their words? Wish no more, Trollcakes is here. Read the rest

What colors do you get when you spell words in hex?

The hexidecimal color #C0FFEE (192 Red, 255 Green, 238 Blue, on a scale of 0-255) is a pleasing greenish color, while #BEADED is a kind of mauve. Read the rest

Binky: a fully automated social network that doesn't require you to be sociable

Have you ever wished you had a social media feed you could like, fave, signal boost and comment on without having to actually interact with people in any way? Binky has you covered. Read the rest

The internet is changing civil wars, and will change them further

In The New New Civil Wars, a poli sci paper included in this year's Annual Review of Political Science, UCSD political scientist Barbara F. Walter describes the profound ways in which civil conflicts have been transformed by the internet, and makes some shrewd guesses at what changes are yet to come. Read the rest

Thai police arrest three Chinese nationals in raid on social media "like"-farm

Immigration police arrested three Chinese nationals in a raid on a rented room in Tambon Ban Mai Nongsai, charging them with work-permit violations and for "online trading of contraband goods." Read the rest

Linux worm turns Raspberry Pis into cryptocurrency mining bots

Linux.MulDrop.14 is a Linux worm that seeks out networked Raspberry Pi systems with default root passwords; after taking them over and ZMap and sshpass, it begins mining an unspecified cryptocurrency, creating riches for the malware's author and handing you the power-bill. Read the rest

Inept cyber-crims stole a bunch of IP addresses

In a post to the venerable NANOG list (mirrored since to Dave Farber's Interesting People list), anti-spam researcher Ronald F. Guilmette posts the results of his investigation into the IP addresses claimed by a mysterious company called host-offshore.com -- IP addresses assigned to "various parties within the nation of Columbia (including the National University thereof)" but, strangely, routed through Bulgaria. Read the rest

Beaker: a decentralized, peer-to-peer web browser that lets you create and fork websites

Beaker is a project from Dat, a "grant-funded, open-source, decentralized data sharing tool." It's a browser that lets you easily create websites using Markdown, or fork any existing website to make it suit your needs, and then share those sites peer-to-peer, without the need for servers in the middle. Read the rest

Ethiopia shuts down national internet "to prevent exam cheating"

The entire nation of Ethiopia -- a corrupt, oligarchic state with the distinction of being "the world's first turnkey surveillance state" where spy technology from the "free world" is used to spy on the whole country -- just dropped off the internet. Read the rest

How can networked protest movements hold power while staying flexible and inclusive?

Zeynep Tufekci (previously) is one of the most consistently astute, nuanced commenters on networked politics and revolutions, someone who's been literally on the front lines around the world. In a new book called Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest, she sets out a thesis that (as the title suggests) explores the trade offs that political movements make when they use fluid, improvisational networks to organize themselves, instead of hierarchical, traditional organizations. Read the rest

The CIA created a "Snowden Stopper" to catch future whistleblowers

The latest Wikileaks release of leaked CIA cyberweapons includes "Scribbles" -- referred to by the CIA as the "Snowden Stopper" -- a watermarking tool that embeds web-beacon style tracking beacons into secret documents that quietly notify a central server every time the document is opened. Read the rest

Facebook use is a predictor of depression

A pair of social scientists from UCSD and Yale conducted an NIH study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology on the link between Facebook use and mental health, drawing on data from the Gallup Panel Social Network Study combined with "objective measures of Facebook use" and self-reported data for 5,208 subjects, and concluded that increased Facebook use is causally linked with depression. Read the rest

Scuttlebutt: an "off-grid" P2P social network that runs without servers and can fall back to sneakernet

Dominic Tarr is a developer who lives on a self-steering sailboat in New Zealand; he created Scuttlebutt, a secure messaging system that can run without servers, even without ISPs. Read the rest

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