Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for April 9, 2020

in STEMGeekslast year

Google bans Zoom use on corporate equipment due to security concerns; Microsoft buys as protection for customers; Archaeologists find evidence of brain surgery in ancient Greece; Archaeologists find hominin species that climbed in trees; and a Steem essay discussing the importance of theory in selecting business and IT strategies


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First posted on my Steem blog: StemGeeks, SteemIt, SteemPeak*, SteemSTEM.


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  1. Google has banned the Zoom app from all employee computers over 'security vulnerabilities' - Citing security vulnerabilities, Google e-mailed all employees and advised them that the Zoom application would stop working on company equipment. The company has its own app, Meets, that provides video-conferencing services and competes with Zoom. Google is not the first company to ban the use of Zoom as its popularity has skyrocketed in recent weeks. Many public school systems in the US have also banned the use of Zoom, and so did Tesla, earlier in the month.

  2. Microsoft Buys - In a recent article, Brian Krebbs wrote about the fact that many of Microsoft's customers are at risk from a vulnerability known as namespace collision. The problem arises because of Active Directory's DNS namespace devolution, a behavior where windows servers will switch between an Active Directory path and a DNS domain automatically. This is fine when the Active Directory path and the DNS domain match, but problems arise from early versions of Active Directory, which used a default Active Directory path of "corp". It turns out that many customers accepted that default, and as a result, Active Directory queries can be accidentally routed to the DNS domain if the user doesn't provide a full path name. In order to protect at-risk customers, Micrrosoft has now purchased the to keep it out of the hands of malicious actors.

  3. Adelphi researcher discovers early, complex brain surgery in ancient Greece - A new book, Eastern Roman Mounted Archers and Extraordinary Medico-Surgical Interventions at Paliokastro in Thasos Island during the ProtoByzantine Period: The Historical and Medical History Records and the Archaeo-Anthropological Evidence, from researchers at Adelphi University describes their discovery of the remains of 10 hunter/gatherers in the Eastern Roman Empire during the ProtoByzantine period, which ran from the 4th through the 7th centuries. The investigation revealed the traumas and physical activities of the subjects, and even that one had undergone brain surgery. The researchers observe that trauma on the remains revealed that the subjects had undergone hardship, and also that they were treated by a surgeon of great skill and experience - who they suspect to have been a military physician. -h/t

  4. Ancient human regularly climbed through the trees - Modern humans are the only primates today that walk on two legs routinely, and a new study reveals that a species of hominid lived just 2 million years ago who also walked erect, but also spent substantial periods of time climbing in the trees. After performing CT scans on the remains, the research team believes that the species walked on two legs because of the shape of the leg bone, and they believe they spent a lot of time in the trees because of the configuration of the femur, where it joins the hip. Although the team suggests that further research is still needed, particularly into the hands, feet, shoulders, spine, and knees; and information about human ancestors from this time period is sparse; this research stands to offer new insights into the time when humans transitioned to walking erect. -h/t

  5. Steem @davelevy: Theory Matters! - This post mirrors the author's private blog, and discusses the importance of theory in Information Technology (IT) strategy for business. The article focuses on three particular areas, business strategy, software portfolio management and architectural pattern selection from the perspective of the the Value Disciplines framework, along with other models from Dan Remenyi and Sun Microsystems' one-time CTO, Greg Papadopolus. As a long time user of products from Sun Microsystems, and then Oracle, I found this observation interesting from the time period when Oracle took over the Sun Microsystems business:
    One thing that interests me is that the challenges of the time led to changes in architecture, design patterns and even chip design. Hardware prices were falling, network capacity was growing and costs decreasing. The community architectures utilised distributed database solutions to provide sufficient throughput and user concurrency. The distributed database architectures were adopted and enhanced primarily to avoid the large costs of scale up database platforms. The scale-up solutions were further undermined by the effectiveness of the scale-out solutions at least in terms of throughput.
    (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @davelevy.)

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