Galina Timchenko, co-founder and publisher of Russian news outlet Meduza, has become the first Russian journalist reported to be infected with Pegasus spyware, which was developed by NSO Group.
The Biden administration blacklisted NSO Group in 2021, barring it from accessing American technologies due to concerns around misuse and regulatory oversight.
Meduza, Access Now, and Citizen Lab together investigated the incident, exposing widespread Pegasus misuse and reinforcing concerns on governmental surveillance and targeting of journalists, opponents, and activists.
The debate topics encompass Pegasus spyware utilization against journalists, vulnerabilities of various operating systems, state-sponsored hacking concerns, and difficulty in finding unbiased news sources.
There's a discussion on the effectiveness of security measures and differing approaches to consuming news, alongside criticisms directed towards media outlets for bias and lack of accountability.
References to geopolitical situations, including the role of Western states in the Ukrainian conflict, highlight the broader context and implications for the tech and information sectors.
The Hacker News discussion thread provides varied perspectives on Isaac Newton's life, encompassing his conflicts, association with alchemy, crusades against counterfeiters, and his contributions to calculus.
Participants in the thread debate Newton's individual character and scientific contributions, with some exhibiting skepticism and others defending his reputation.
The article also uncovers the human aspect of Newton, highlighting our cognitive biases that can lead even highly intelligent people to fall prey to scams and manipulation.
Yuan Cao has developed a budget-friendly do-it-yourself (DIY) near-infrared (near-IR) spectrometer possessing a resolution of 6 nm.
The spectrometer operates using a diffraction grating and photodiodes amongst other components; it measures the spectral resolution and wavelength of light.
In addition to discussing challenges related to noise reduction and interference, Cao also talks about calibration, the spectrometer's dynamic range, and measuring transmission spectra. They may reveal more spectra in the future.
Retool, a platform for creating internal tools, faced a spear phishing attack that led to unauthorized access to 27 cloud customer accounts, revealing the vulnerability of the system to social engineering attacks.
The attack took place when an employee succumbed to an SMS-based phishing attack and provided multi-factor authentication (MFA) codes, which subsequently compromised company's VPN and internal admin systems.
Retool recommends improving security, such as avoiding the storage of MFA codes in the cloud, promoting employee training and the use of hardware security keys for MFA, and adopting defense-in-depth strategies. The company is now collaborating with law enforcement and a forensics firm to probe the incident.
The Hacker News discussion encompasses aspects like being cautious of calls/messages requesting personal information, the necessity to validate caller identities, and the need for standard reverse-authentication systems.
Participants discuss the strengths and limits of different security measures including password encryption, multi-factor authentication, and biometrics, and share instances of mishandling fraud issues.
Issues like the use of deepfake technology in security breaches, the protection of digital assets, and the overarching agreement on the requirement of user-friendly, robust security solutions are also detailed.
The primary focus of the debate is around the use of Discord as a Q&A forum, with views varying on its efficiency versus platforms like GitHub issues, dedicated forums, and mailing lists.
Discord's informality and ease of use are praised, yet limitations in searchability and organization are highlighted. Choice of platform depends on individual needs, such as control, cost, ease of setup, and demographic trends.
Talk around potential obsolescence of traditional forums and mailing lists, and the possibility of a more comprehensive platform with indexed search engines, nested replies, and voice functionality, were also mentioned.
LiteFS is a globally distributed SQLite database, originally designed to distribute data geographically, ensuring quick response times.
The novel use of LiteFS was discovered, enabling it to replace API layers between services. This is achieved by distributing the complete database to client-side, allowing SQL queries and data joining per client's requirements.
The replicas are read-only, necessitating an API for data updates. While it has some constraints, this technique can be beneficial in situations where conventional APIs are inadequate.
The article explores the concept of utilizing databases as APIs, outlining the potential challenges and obstacles of this method.
The discourse recommends using API contracts and tools like views and stored procedures for managing changes in software systems. It also addresses such topics as the viability of downloading entire databases during initial page load, the difficulties in implementing a database-per-user model, and the issue of vendor dishonesty in serverless computing.
An emphasis is placed on the benefits and drawbacks of using databases as APIs, including the practice of using views and table renaming in PostgreSQL for schema modifications.
The discussion explores topics like drug regulation, addiction, methamphetamine production, and the effectiveness of different medication including decongestants.
Issues like impact of regulations on drug availability, the role of law enforcement, social interventions, privacy concerns and limitations of pharmaceutical drugs are also debated.
Factors like the placebo effect, lifestyle changes, and individual responses to medication, showcasing the complexities and challenges associated with drug regulation and medication potency, are highlighted.
The post centers on using Fennel, a programming language, in Neovim and Hammerspoon configurations, appreciated for its brevity and superior ergonomics over Lua.
Comparisons are made between Lua and other languages that compile to Lua like Moonscript and Yuescript, accentuating the benefits of Fennel's arity checks which Lua lacks.
It broaches the topic of indentation versus delimiter-based languages and the practical use of Lua in different contexts, and includes references to a Fennel's website and the current availability of applications for YC Winter 2024.
A federal appeals court ruled that technical standards incorporated into public law can be shared without risking copyright infringement, reflecting the view that laws belong to everyone and should be accessible free of charge and without registration.
The case was initiated by nonprofit Public.Resource.org, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, against private bodies that create codes and standards.
The court ruled in favor of Public.Resource.org, marking it a triumph for public access to the laws, mainly due to the nonprofit, educational nature of its use of the standards.
An appeals court has determined that publishing public laws online does not infringe copyright and is regarded as fair use.
This case raises awareness about inaccessible legislation and questions about copyright protections, spotlighting instances of copyright laws that require payment for access.
The discourse also involves the incorporation of private standards into laws without compensation, and highlights the varying practices from different countries regarding the availability of legal texts and standards.
Bitty Engine is a cross-platform game engine with built-in editors, allowing user-friendly programming in Lua, accompanied by features like a debugger, API documentation, and various editing tools.
Capable of creating standalone binaries, the engine can be utilized for both non-commercial and commercial purposes. It's available for platforms like Windows 7, MacOS 10.7, or Ubuntu 14, with low system requirements.
The Bitty Engine, distributed on Steam and Itch, is identical in terms of features on both platforms, and a trial version is available on Steam.
The potential of physical games with embedded computers and the rising popularity of Lua in game development are also discussed.
Lua's key benefits, such as easy incorporation into code bases, simplicity of learning, compatibility with C and C++ engines, along with the high-performance LuaJIT alternative, are underlined. "Fantasy consoles" is also a topic of conversation.
The update to the planetary boundaries framework reveals that six out of nine boundaries have been exceeded, suggesting that the Earth is currently outside the secure range for human operation.
The text introduces a concept called "novel entities" that could potentially disrupt core boundaries, and emphasizes the need for transformations to enhance production impacts and regulate demand.
It highlights the human activities' impacts on the ocean and terrestrial ecosystems, including the effect of deforestation and climate change on carbon stocks and global land temperature, and underscores an urgent need for action to prevent irreversible environmental damage.
The Hutter Prize is a competition that rewards participants for creating software that can compress large files to smaller sizes, aimed at advancing data compression tech.
Participants are required to submit both their final compressed files and source code for evaluation, promoting transparency in processing.
The article mentions Alexander Rhatushnyak, a software engineer, who has made substantial contributions to data compression contests, showcasing successful participants to inspire and guide new entrants.
Lantern is a vector database extension for PostgreSQL aimed to support the development of AI applications, featuring capabilities like generating embeddings and parallel index creation.
The project positions itself as an enterprise solution developed atop PostgreSQL, exploiting its extensive user base and data storage functionalities, and claims to surpass similar extensions in key performance metrics.
Lantern is open-source with a roadmap of future features including a cloud-based variant, industry-specific templates, version control, and improved vector support. The project invites community involvement and contributions.
Lantern, a new PostgreSQL vector database extension, has been launched; it boasts advanced features and performance metrics that surpass those of similar extensions.
The extension aims to improve AI application development and encourages collaborative contributions. Users have expressed concerns about performance and index updates, leading Lantern to plan future optimizations.
Despite being slightly faster than pgvector and enhancing application development and user experience, Lantern has drawn concerns about intensive resource usage. Lantern Cloud, their own hosted solution, is planned, even though current incompatibility with Supabase exists.
SpaceX has managed to cut the production costs of its Starlink satellite antennas, enabling faster expansion and more affordable services in both rural and densely populated regions.
While Starlink's revenue for 2022 fell short of projections, the company has demonstrated significant progress in performance and growth, and there's ongoing debate about the density benefits of the Starlink constellation and its possible expansion into developing nations.
The recent sale of the company’s satellite internet hardware to rural Canadians and the expected advancements in RF chip design, which could further reduce antenna system costs, hint at the possible commodification of phased array technology.
The article addresses the difficulties of efficiently utilizing Large Language Models (LLMs) in Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks and suggests dividing the issue into modular components with LLMs as one component.
The use of supervised learning is recommended for particular tasks, and tools such as spaCy and HF Transformers are recognized as beneficial for labeling data and training NLP models.
The author also notes the utility of Prodigy, an annotation tool, for model-assisted workflows and concludes by stressing the significance of specific policies over broad reasoning abilities or background knowledge for practical tasks.
The article emphasizes on integrating large language models (LLMs) with natural language processing (NLP) tasks for dataset creation or augmentation to boost supervised models, rather than relying solely on LLMs.
It details the limitations of current NLP infrastructure and the prospective advantages of employing LLMs for effective text representation and classification tasks. Transfer learning and smaller models can enhance accuracy and mitigate delay.
The discussion extends to the importance of evaluating machine learning components, the difficulty associated with it, and potential implications and cons of AI and Web3 technologies.
Despite the advancement, there are limitations including the absence of support for network sockets in the wasip1 API. However, extensions from hosts like Wasmer and WasmEdge and a third-party library, stealthrocket/net, could be utilized for network functionality.
Future directions for Go include exporting Go functions to WebAssembly and compatibility with the evolving WASI API, and developers have channels such as Gophers Slack and the Go issue tracker to contribute.
The GoHacker News conversation revolves around introducing WASI support in the Go programming language, touching upon hurdles such as exporting WebAssembly functions, performance, and binary size.
Discussion participants suggest enhancements for Go's WebAssembly performance, drawing comparisons with Rust and .NET, while underlining the advantages of utilizing WebAssembly and WASI for optimizing Go applications.
Despite concerns about security vulnerabilities when using WebAssembly for plugins and desktop apps, participants generally perceive WebAssembly (WASM) as a tool to facilitate code interoperability and minimize dependency on hardware and operating systems.
Unity, a game development platform, has subtly altered its terms of service, leading to user charges for product installations and new fees—even if they halt using Unity for future projects.
These changes have generated user unrest and mistrust, due to perceptions of the change as unfair and ill-conceived, and concerns about fees for multiple installs and retroactive charges.
Discussion extends to the challenges of open and free products backed by commercial companies, Unity's struggle to generate revenue, and doubts regarding its business model's transparency and financial condition.
Unity, a widely-used game development engine, is revising its license terms to implement a notable fee per unit, raising concerns in the developer community.
This change in Unity's licensing terms is driving some developers to think about transitioning to different engines, including Godot, Unreal, Defold, and RayLib, each offering distinct features, user-friendliness, and scripting language supports.
Casey Muratori is soliciting insights from developers about their experiences with these alternative engines to facilitate informed decisions.
The debate in game development circles revolves around engines like Unity, Unreal Engine, Godot, and Blender. Unity's shift towards revenue generation through advertising is criticized due to stability concerns and developer dependence.
Godot is highlighted as a potential alternative but struggles to compete with Unity's robust ecosystem. The comparison and debate extend to the popularity and pricing models of Unity, Unreal Engine, and the use of Blender in the indie game industry.
Discussion also includes the decline of the Blender Game Engine, the use of Python in game development, and concerns about Unity's royalty structure. Advocacy for a revenue-sharing model similar to Unreal's is also explored.
Marvel Studios' visual effects (VFX) artists have unanimously voted to unionize with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), a first for a solely VFX-focused team.
This move towards unionization arises amidst dual labor strikes from Hollywood writers and actors. The artists hope to negotiate for fair pay, health benefits, and a secure work environment in response to increased workloads and strict deadlines.
With the unionization vote now ratified, VFX workers will enter into collective bargaining talks with Marvel Studios, although ongoing negotiations with other labor groups may delay these discussions.