Round up for Mar 20, ’17

In startup news, Cairo traffic is an example of going nowhere fast. But there are startups that want to “Uber” deliveries. Yes, in Cairo you can order almost anything and have it delivered to your door.

In security news, Pwn2Own was stretched to three days due to popular demand and over $800K was awarded to winners. The big thing that caught our eye was this, ‘Our day started with the folks from 360 Security (@mj0011sec) attempting a full virtual machine escape through Microsoft Edge. In a first for the Pwn2Own competition, they absolutely succeeded by leveraging a heap overflow in Microsoft Edge, a type confusion in the Windows kernel, and an uninitialized buffer in VMware Workstation for a complete virtual machine escape. These three bugs earned them $105,000 and 27 Master of Pwn points. They won’t say exactly how long the research took them, but the code demonstration needed only 90 seconds.’ More about that day here.

Speaking of security, it seems that encryption is really giving clandestine services a hard time. With coded messages and keys and multi-path routing (or similar techniques) the CIA needs to actually go back to “old school” methods to be able to beat these systems. Hit it at the source or destination (ie before/after encryption/decryption respectively). This means your device needs to be infected with something specific, not like simply listening in on your communications over the internet at will.

In development news, Redmonk has released its rankings for 1H 2017. Yes we know, but they did release it just a few days ago. They found that Java Script, Java, Python and PHP seem to be the most prevalent for the forseable future in terms of development. The “ranking” is pieced together by monitoring GitHub for usage and Stack Overflow for tags in discussions. We are impressed to see Matlab, Assembly and FORTRAN in spots that show a good degree of popularity. You can read on the ranking and more languages here.

Manufacturing is still very much productivity. In this case, old school meets new school. We are talking about Google Glass meets factory floor. ‘With Google Glass, she scans the serial number on the part she’s working on. This brings up manuals, photos or videos she may need. She can tap the side of headset or say “OK Glass” and use voice commands to leave notes for the next shift worker.’ AR could really be useful in these situations. But since Glass is not available to the public anymore, it is a shame you can’t use it to assemble flat-pack Swedish furniture.

Adobe is not really synonymous with cryptography. The San Jose Semaphore was launched in 2006 as part of an art festival where four giant disks of LED lights at top floors of Adobe’s Almaden Tower headquarters in San José, California. The disks send out secret coded messages by semaphore. Since 2012, a new message was being broadcast waiting to be deciphered.  Jimmy Waters, a high school math teacher, figured it out and it turns out the lights were transmitting audio, encoded as light. More here.


In other news:

Climate shaped the human nose, researchers say

What if you could eat chicken without killing a chicken?

Microsoft locks Ryzen and Kaby Lake users out of updates on Windows 7 and 8.1

This Is How the Number 3.14 Got the Name ‘Pi’

Boaty McBoatface to go on its first Antarctic mission
(Yes, that name did not go to waste after all)

From one driver to another” by Wael Fakharani

Spoiler Alert!

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