Big Tech &
Everything you need to know about Facebook's data breach affecting 50M users (3 minute read)
Data from 50 million Facebook users was breached over the weekend, with attackers gaining access to personal info like "name, gender, and hometown" that was linked to a user's profile page. No credit card information or private messages were compromised. The vulnerability was introduced on the site in July 2017, but Facebook didn't know about it until September 16th of this year, and the bug was not fixed until September 27th. The identity of the attackers is still unknown, and it is not clear whether or not any Instagram data was compromised.
SEC settles charges with Tesla's Elon Musk, will remain as CEO but relinquish chairman role and pay stiff fine (3 minute read)
The SEC has settled its fraud suit against Elon Musk for his tweet stating that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 a share. The terms of the settlement stipulate that Musk must pay a civil penalty of $20 million and give up his role as chairman of the board for at least three years. Additionally, the SEC imposed a $20 million fine on Tesla itself, which will also be expected to appoint two new independent directors to the board, and institute sweeping governance changes. The settlement is still subject to court approval.
MoviePass test reactivates accounts if users don't opt out (1 minute read)
MoviePass has been sending out emails to customers who had previously cancelled, saying that their subscriptions would be restored unless they opted out of a "test". If they don't opt out by October 4th, then the credit card MoviePass has on file will automatically be charged $10 on a monthly basis again. Early responses on Twitter indicate that this is not going to be a popular idea.
Introduction to Machine Learning for Coders (Free Online Course)
This is a free course provided by fast.ai, taught by Jeremy Howard (Kaggle's #1 competitor 2 years running). The goal is to provide a crash course in machine learning for developers. About 1 year of coding experience and knowledge of high school math is required for this course. You should plan to spend around 8 hours a week for 12 weeks to complete the material.
Questions (2 minute read)
This is a list of questions from the personal blog of Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe. A lot of interesting food for thought here, questions include "How do we help more experimental cities get started?", "What's the successor to the book? And how could books be improved?", "Why are programming environments still so primitive?" and more like that.
Solid (An Open Source Decentralized Internet)
Solid is a new decentralized internet designed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who is credited with inventing the original internet. As far as I can tell (I am very dumb, so please take a look for yourself if you're interested), the goal here is to create a new set of internet protocols that allows users to remain in control of their own data. For example, if you had a note taking app today that needed to sync data across multiple devices, a service like Google Docs or Evernote or whatever would run a central server in the cloud, and all of your devices would request data from and send data to the central cloud server when you wanted to take notes. In this new internet, you would run your own Solid POD (basically just a server I think?) and Solid would define a set of protocols for you to grant read/write access to your Solid POD to all of these third party applications. Thus, if you wanted to write a Google Docs/Evernote for this new internet, you would essentially only write front end code that interacted with each individual's Solid POD as a backend (instead of having your backend servers) through the Solid POD APIs. Solid PODs can also be used for authentication, and you can have multiple PODs to prevent data loss.
First Fully Automated Indoor Farm Being Built In Ohio (2 minute read)
80 Acres Farms plans to construct an automated indoor farm in a suburb of Cincinnati. The farm will produce leafy greens, microgreens, kale and herbs for retailers such as Whole Foods. The indoor farm will include artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors and other tools to monitor the produce around the clock. The farm will use vertical farming to stack crops vertically on top of one another to save space, and a closed loop hydroponic delivery system to recycle water so it will use 95% less water than traditional farms. Because the environment is fully controlled and light is provided through energy-efficient LED lights, the farm will be able to produce food 365 days a year. This is a proof of concept so humans will be involved on a limited basis, but if it is successful, 80 Acres Farms plans to expand across the country and potentially the world.
Bizarre 12-Ton Dinosaur Crouched Like a Cat (3 minute read)
A new dinosaur, the Ledumahadi, was discovered in South Africa. It essentially looks like a Brontosaurus, except they have very mobile forelimbs which suggest that they crouched and moved like cats. It lived over 200 million years ago.
Programming, Design & Data Science