Curating the Internet: Science and technology micro-summaries for August 7, 2019

in #rsslog4 years ago

Capital One's breach was enabled by a long-known vulnerability; Discovery of "clock-like" neurons; An argument for the preservation of spiders; Recaptcha considered harmful; A Steem essay on the topic of hypertension


Straight from my RSS feed:
Links and micro-summaries from my 1000+ daily headlines. I filter them so you don't have to.

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  1. Security researchers warned for years about the cloud-security flaw used in the massive Capital One hack, but Amazon apparently leaves it up to customers to protect - The recent leak of Capital One's information was made possible by a misconfiguration in one of the company's systems. The intruder apparently exploited a vulnerability that has been known since 2014. According to security researcher, Scott Piper, it's not clear whether Amazon knew about the vulnerability, or whether they would have fixed it if they had. These sort of configuration settings are normally a customer's responsibility. Neither Amazon nor Capital One are saying that Amazon bears any responsibility for the breach.

  2. “Clock-like” Neurons Discovered At Last? - The article says that although 40-60 hz, gamma oscillation has been observed in the brain, its source has never been identified. Some have theorized that it serves as a unifying pulse for the brain to bind disparate sensory inputs into a unified consciousness, but in the absence of direct observation, others suspect that it's just a non-specific marker of neural activity. Now, however, researchers have identified a specific set of neurons that pulse at the same rate. Hyeyoung Shin and Christopher I. Moore named the neurons, gamma-regular non-sensory Fast Spiking (grnsFS) cells. With the discovery of these cells, the theory that the gamma oscillations may act like a biological clock gains some support. However, more experimentation is still needed to ascertain whether the gamma pulse has any bearing on perception, or whether it's merely a marker of neuronal activity. h/t RealClear Science

  3. The Reason You Shouldn’t Kill the Spiders in Your House, According to an Entomologist - Spiders that take up residence in your home are most likely non-threatening. They're scared away by noises like snoring, rustling, and even regular breathing. The reason you may want them around is that f you leave them alone, they will eat unwanted insects from flies to mosquitos, and even other spiders.

  4. There is no evil like reCAPTCHA (v3) - When recaptcha was first released, it took the average person 8 seconds to "prove" that they were human. Now, that time has increased to more than 30 seconds. This article argues that there is no technical reason for the increase, and instead, the increase has been intentionally built into the process in order to harvest more training for Google's AI agents. In short, Google is farming vast amounts of unpaid human labor in little tiny slices. To add a personal note, after seeing the streamlined interfaces for the puzzles that the Brave and Maxthon browsers use to guard their cryptocurrency wallets against bots, this perspective seems plausible. h/t OS news

  5. STEEM THE SILENT KILLER – HYPERTENSION - According to @tomlee, hypertension - or high blood pressure - is a description of the condition where the blood exerts a high amount of force on the external wall of a person's arteries, which are the tubes that carry blood through the body. This condition can cause death due to aneurysm, stroke, heart attack, and other conditions. The article includes a description of how blood pressure is measured, in order to monitor for hypertension. If high blood pressure is left untreated, it can weaken the walls of the arteries, reduce blood flow through the body, and cause conditions like kidney or heart failure. High blood pressure can be treated through lifestyle adjustments like changes to diet, and stress reduction, and also through the use of medicines. (A 10% beneficiary setting for this post has been assigned to @tomlee.)


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