Here’s the most interesting news from the last 24 hours.
It’s Tuesday, and here’s today’s news, starting with a topic that is either heartbreaking or infuriating, depending on your position on WikiLeaks. Obviously, WikiLeaks has done some good work in unearthing injustice and corruption in the past, and for that it should be commended, but lately the organization’s direction and mission seems to have gone astray.
Prior to the 2016 election, many were already pointing the finger at WikiLeaks for being in bed with the Russian government, as is evidenced by the appearance of stolen material related to Hillary Clinton’s campaign appearing with regularity on the site throughout the election cycle. Even if WikiLeaks was acting unilaterally, its objectivity has never been more compromised. The degree to which that objectivity has been lost wasn’t truly known until Monday, when this dropped:
WikiLeaks Sliding into Donald Trump Jr’s DMs
Correspondence between WikiLeaks and the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., became public yesterday as part of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling during the US election. The conversations, which took place via Twitter Direct Message from before the election through July of this year, shed some light on the secretive organization that positions itself as an objective champion of public transparency. Basically it shows how thirsty WikiLeaks is. At various points the account, WikiLeaks’ official Twitter account, offers its support for the Trump administration, attempts to get Trump Jr. to forward its Clinton coverage to his followers, requests the Trump campaign filter any bad news that may be about to leak through WikiLeaks to help the organization look more impartial and eventually the requests grow so bold as to suggest President Trump should ask Australia to make WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to be US ambassador. It’s beyond shameless. At this point it’s hard to suggest that WikiLeaks isn’t just another political organization looking to better its lot. All those lofty ideals we once ascribed to them couldn’t look more wrong now.
[Source: The Atlantic]
Watchdog group warns about connected children’s toys
If you’re thinking of getting your kid a Furby Connect, i-Que Robot, Cloudpet or Toy-fi Teddy – maybe take a second to reconsider. Consumer watchdog, ‘Which?’ (kind of reminiscent of that old Abbott and Costello bit “Who’s on first?” Which Organization? Exactly.), has found that the aforementioned toys lack authentication mechanisms so literally any Bluetooth capable device within range could pair with them. Hacking into a child’s toy and making it say horrible things might be funny in a movie or on TV, but in real life it’s horrifying. The manufacturers of the toys mentioned all said the right things about being “serious about security” and are working to fix the issues.
Bro, Do you even Blockchain?
Michael J. Casey, the chairman of Coindesk’s advisory board, has a great column up right now discussing the etymology and use of the term “blockchain.” It’s an interesting study on why some people call it “the Blockchain” and hate the uncountable noun, “blockchain.” And why to others, the terms differ. Here’s a hint, it all has to do with when you became involved in the technology. To Casey, who cut his teeth on Bitcoin, there is only THE blockchain. It’s kind of like how if you saw the first Terminator movie… you know what? Nevermind. Just read the article.