VICE: A Hacker Got All My Texts for $16

VICE: A Hacker Got All My Texts for $16. “While I was on a Google Hangouts call with a colleague, the hacker sent me screenshots of my Bumble and Postmates accounts, which he had broken into. Then he showed he had received texts that were meant for me that he had intercepted. Later he took over my WhatsApp account, too, and texted a friend pretending to be me. Looking down at my phone, there was no sign it had been hacked. I still had reception; the phone said I was still connected to the T-Mobile network. Nothing was unusual there. But the hacker had swiftly, stealthily, and largely effortlessly redirected my text messages to themselves. And all for just $16.”

Rolling Stone: Trump Official Planned to Give Santa Claus Performers Early Access to Covid-19 Vaccine

Rolling Stone: Trump Official Planned to Give Santa Claus Performers Early Access to Covid-19 Vaccine. “You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I’m telling you why. Santa Claus has early access to the Covid-19 vaccine. At least, that’s how it would be if Michael Caputo, one of Trump’s HHS assistant secretaries, had his way. In perhaps one of the strangest plans to come out of this White House, Caputo proposed a $250 million campaign that would give Santa Claus performers access to the coronavirus vaccine before the general public. In exchange, the performers would agree to promote the vaccine to all the boys and girls who came to sit on their lap at Christmastime. And don’t fret about Mrs. Claus and the elves, because this hair-brained plan included giving them the vaccine, too.”

Wired: Google Offers to Help Others With the Tricky Ethics of AI

Oh my word. Wired: Google Offers to Help Others With the Tricky Ethics of AI. “The company plans to launch new AI ethics services before the end of the year. Initially, Google will offer others advice on tasks such as spotting racial bias in computer vision systems, or developing ethical guidelines that govern AI projects. Longer term, the company may offer to audit customers’ AI systems for ethical integrity, and charge for ethics advice.”

Business Insider: Kiddie pools are the new Instagram status symbol and are being resold on eBay for over 300% their original value

Business Insider: Kiddie pools are the new Instagram status symbol and are being resold on eBay for over 300% their original value. “Unfortunately, it may be slim pickings for those just starting to look for an inflatable pool for the summer. Amazon’s selection is limited. Many of Walmart’s options are sold out or nearly sold out. Home Depot is completely out of stock of all its aboveground pools. eBay, however, has become home to a flourishing resale market for aboveground pools.”

Ubergizmo: This 3D Printer Lets Preschoolers 3D Print Their Own Toys

Ubergizmo: This 3D Printer Lets Preschoolers 3D Print Their Own Toys. “If 3D printing has always come across as being more of an “adult” hobby, think again because the folks at 3Doodler have recently announced the launch of a new 3D printer that is being aimed at preschoolers. This will allow kids to 3D print their own little toys in a fun and safer way, while encouraging the development of motor skills.”

Boing Boing: Teespring removes Techdirt’s “Copying is Not Theft” tees for copyright infringement, and won’t discuss the matter any further

Boing Boing: Teespring removes Techdirt’s “Copying is Not Theft” tees for copyright infringement, and won’t discuss the matter any further. “As pranksters target skeezy t-shirt sellers that mine Twitter for replies containing ‘I want that on a t-shirt’ and then put the original Tweet on a t-shirt and shame online t-shirt sellers for underpolicing copyright, let’s not lose sight of what happens when they overpolice copyright.”

Press Release: Open Privacy discovers unencrypted patient medical information broadcast across Vancouver (Open Privacy)

Open Privacy: Press Release: Open Privacy discovers unencrypted patient medical information broadcast across Vancouver. “The Open Privacy Research Society has discovered that the sensitive medical information of patients being admitted to certain hospitals across the Greater Vancouver Area is being broadcast, unencrypted, by hospital paging systems, and that these broadcasts are trivially interceptable by anyone in the Greater Vancouver Area.”

CNET: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey meets with President Trump

CNET: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey meets with President Trump. “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday. The meeting happened on the same day Trump criticized Twitter, accusing the social media company of being ‘very discriminatory,’ playing ‘political games’ and not treating him ‘well as a Republican.’ Twitter has denied suppressing conservative speech in the past.”

CNN: FEMA shared 2.3 million disaster survivors’ personal information with contractor

CNN: FEMA shared 2.3 million disaster survivors’ personal information with contractor . “Millions of hurricane and wildfire survivors are learning that they’re at ‘increased risk of identity theft and fraud’ because the Federal Emergency Management Agency shared their banking and other private information. The Department of Homeland Security inspector general said Friday that FEMA had unlawfully disclosed the private data of 2.3 million survivors with a federal contractor that was helping them find temporary housing.”

BetaNews: Facebook has been paying people to install a VPN that harvests data about them

BetaNews: Facebook has been paying people to install a VPN that harvests data about them. “An investigation has revealed that Facebook has been paying people aged between 13 and 35 to install a data harvesting VPN tool. The ‘Facebook Research’ VPN was offered to iOS and Android users who were paid up to $20 per month — plus referral commissions — to provide the social network with near-unfettered access to phone, app and web usage data (a Root Certificate is installed to give a terrifying level of access).”

The Daily Dot: Facebook is helping husbands ‘brainwash’ their wives with targeted ads

The Daily Dot: Facebook is helping husbands ‘brainwash’ their wives with targeted ads. “Imagine you’re married. Maybe you’ve been going through a stressful couple of months. Perhaps you’ve lost your job, or your current job is a nightmare, and maybe you’ve suffered from poor health and fallen out with long-term friends, so that you hardly ever see anyone but your husband and kids. Now imagine that, understandably, your libido has fallen through the floor during this difficult period, so you don’t even think about sex anymore. And finally, imagine that your husband has begun targeting you with online ads intended to ‘brainwash’ you into having sex with him, since he can’t think of any other way of restoring your interest in lovemaking.”

Gizmodo: How Cartographers for the U.S. Military Inadvertently Created a House of Horrors in South Africa

Tip o’ the nib to Jonathan B for this one from Gizmodo: How Cartographers for the U.S. Military Inadvertently Created a House of Horrors in South Africa. “The visitors started coming in 2013. The first one who came and refused to leave until he was let inside was a private investigator named Roderick. He was looking for an abducted girl, and he was convinced she was in the house.”

Gulf News Asia: Philippine passport maker ‘runs away’ with data of applicants

Gulf News Asia: Philippine passport maker ‘runs away’ with data of applicants. “If you’re a Filipino applying to renew your Philippine passport, authorities may require you to bring your original birth certificate. The reason: the previous outsourced ‘passport maker’ contracted by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila ‘took away’ all the applicants’ data, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said.”