The Guardian: From vagina eggs to anti-vaxxers: is it time for an influencer detox?. “Across social media, influencers perpetuate wellness trends and dubious diets, frequently promoting completely useless or even dangerous advice. The perennial market for ‘detox’ and ‘cleanse’ diets and products is a recurrent theme. As has been written frequently here, these are completely useless from a scientific standpoint, given our liver and kidneys filter toxins quite admirably. Despite this, detox products and their offspring diets top $5bn in sales annually, driven to a large extent by celebrity and influencer endorsement.”
Computer Weekly: Sextortion campaign hits Nest home security cameras. “The campaign was uncovered by researchers at email cyber security company Mimecast, which found almost 1,700 examples sent to individuals, mostly in the US, earlier in January. Although in essence a run-of-the-mill extortion racket, it is a more unusual campaign than usual due to a rather more complex methodology that appears to obfuscate the origins of the scam emails and other details that might make it possible to identify those responsible, said Mimecast’s head of data science overwatch, Kiri Addison.”
CBC: ‘Something scuzzy’: Marketplace investigation uncovers fake locksmith listings and reviews on Google. “If you’re locked out of your house with nowhere to turn, chances are you’re going to have to call a locksmith. But picking a locksmith may prove trickier than picking a lock itself, especially if your search begins online. A Marketplace investigation into the locksmith industry uncovered a sprawling network of fake locations and fake five-star reviews cluttering local Google Maps in the Greater Toronto Area.” This infuriates me because fake locksmith listings on Google are a problem that’s at least six years old. And, yet, still not fixed.
Ars Technica: Paul Krugman’s no good, very bad Internet day. “Despite his field expertise, Krugman is a prime candidate for such attacks, given his public presence and previously demonstrated unease with technology. He may well have been targeted by someone attempting to use social engineering to gain access to his computer. But victims of these sorts of attacks often don’t report them because of embarrassment over being fooled.”
ProPublica: IRS Reforms Free File Program, Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax. “The IRS announced significant changes Monday to its deal with the tax prep software industry. Now companies are barred from hiding their free products from search engines such as Google, and a years-old prohibition on the IRS creating its own online filing system has been scrapped.”