Big Tech &
Tinder users will soon be able to access a background check database (2 minute read)
Match Group has made an investment into Garbo, a non-profit, female-founded background check platform. Garbo's platform will soon be available to Match Group app users, starting with Tinder. The platform collects data about people from numerous sources and returns information about any arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, or violent crimes. Most times, only a first name and a phone number is required. How Garbo will be integrated into Match Group's apps remains to be seen.
Amazon expands gamification program that encourages warehouse employees to work harder (3 minute read)
FC Games is a program that gamifies warehouse work for Amazon workers. Amazon uses the games to help measure and encourage productivity. There are as many as six arcade-style mini-games that are played by completing tasks in the warehouse. The program is completely optional for workers and they can play anonymously. Workers can compete against other workers, even if they work at different warehouses. The rewards earned from playing the games can be turned in for virtual pets.
Scientists create ‘electronic textiles’ that could change the future of clothes (2 minute read)
Researchers have created a smart textile that is flexible, breathable, durable, and functions as a display. It can be integrated with a fabric keyboard and power supply. The textile has been tested through 1,000 cycles of bending, stretching, and pressing, as well as 100 cycles of washing and drying. At 6 meters long and 25 centimeters wide, the textile can display a consistent image while lasting as long as traditional fabrics.
Report: Indian government is planning outright ban on cryptocurrency (2 minute read)
The government of India is planning to ban cryptocurrency. If the new laws are passed, there will be fines for trading, mining, and owning cryptocurrency. India's central bank has tried to ban cryptocurrencies before in 2018, but the Supreme Court overturned the ban. Cryptocurrency owners will have six months to liquidate their positions. The law would make India one of the most cryptocurrency-hostile jurisdictions in the world.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Chicken Story (19 minute read)
Club Bing was a rewards program from Microsoft that gave users points for playing online games. The games were all word games, and the points could be traded in for real prizes, such as an Xbox. It was possible to use scripts to play the game automatically, but Microsoft implemented Captcha services to disrupt the cheaters. This article discusses how one of the scripters managed to bypass the blocks that Microsoft implemented.
Photino is a lightweight framework for building native, cross-platform desktop applications. It allows developers to use WebUI in native applications instead of learning platform-specific UI technologies. A 6-minute quick start video is available.
For the first time in years, someone is building a web browser from scratch (8 minute read)
Ekioh is a UK-based company that is developing its own browser from scratch. Flow will be built from a blank slate, with its own rendering engine. The project aims to make web-based apps run smoothly on cheap microcomputers. Building a new browser from scratch is usually not worth it as it is complicated and there are open-source options. If Flow succeeds, it will open up the door for cheaper gadgets to browse the web.
A Hacker Got All My Texts for $16 (12 minute read)
Sakari is a service that helps businesses manage and send SMS messages. It can control the rerouting of text messages through a series of agreements with other companies that have access to the centralized database the industry uses for text message routing. Hackers were able to exploit Sakari's services to reroute text messages from any number without the owner of the number noticing. A letter of authority is required for rerouting a number, but this is easily forged. This attack could result in the loss of any service that uses two-factor authentication. Sakari implemented a verification check and audited all existing text-enabled numbers after the issue was brought to their attention.