Declaring War

Dwaiter Weekly


May 6, 2021


A Call to Arms Against Ransomware

The Institute for Security and Technology has delivered a comprehensive framework with 48 recommendations to combat ransomware. Even as cyber-criminals now are demanding an average of $100,000 in each incident, the report concludes that "ransomware is no longer just a financial crime; it is an urgent national security risk that threatens schools, hospitals, businesses, and governments across the globe."


Can Apollo Make Yahoo Cool Again?

Apollo Global Management's decision to buy Verizon Media means it thinks it can succeed where the telecom giant fell short: making former internet stars Yahoo and AOL shine again, Protocol Source Code reports. The $5 billion sale price is roughly half what Verizon paid for the two companies (named Yahoo going forward), not including the vast sums it has poured into them. (Here's more on how Yahoo and AOL squandered their nearly half-trillion market value.)


After the Cookiepocolypse

Google recently confirmed it would end third-party cookies by 2022, with no alternative to the marketing technology. But for companies that can pivot into the collection of first-party data—or, information collected directly from consumers—the end of third-party cookies won't be a serious blow, Inc. magazine reports.


Attack Strikes Belgium's Government and Universities

Belgium's parliament, universities, and scientific institutions have been struck in a coordinated cyberattack, Euronews reports. Belnet, the company that provides internet services to the country's government agencies, said its network was hit by a “large-scale" distributed denial of service attack, designed to prevent the availability of certain online services by overloading servers with data.



Dogecoin Becomes Fourth-Biggest Digital Coin

Meme-based virtual currency Dogecoin soared 40 percent on Wednesday to an all-time high, extending its 2021 rally to become the fourth-biggest digital coin, Reuters reports. Launched as a satirical critique of 2013's cryptocurrency frenzy, Dogecoin this year has soared over 14,000 percent. Dogecoins are now cumulatively worth $88 billion, compared to Bitcoin's $1 trillion and Ethereum's $391 billion.


Is WFH Worth a Pay Cut? 

A new working paper on remote work, which reports 11 months of survey data on more than 30,000 Americans’ shifting arrangements with their employers, has found that workers whose jobs don’t explicitly require their presence really want to be able to work remotely at least some of the time—and most would take a pay cut to do so, Slate reports.


The Often-Overlooked Last Step in Design

Reflection is a critical step in the design process. Without it, there is rarely any improvement, writes Justin White on UX Collective. Yet it often gets short shrift.


Covid’s Superstar Data Scientist

When data scientist Youyang Gu noticed the wildly varying Covid-19 projections last spring, he questioned whether that was as good as the modeling could be. Within a week, he’d built a machine-learning model and launched his COVID-19 Projections website. He ran the model every day—it only took one hour on his laptop—and it generated remarkably accurate predictions, the MIT Technology Review reports.


The Story Behind Substack’s Rise

Substack, a company that makes it easy to charge for newsletters, has captivated an anxious industry because it embodies larger forces and contradictions, writes New York Times columnist Ben Smith. This new ability of individuals to make a living directly from their audiences is transforming a range of creative industries. 


Revealed, Not Unsealed

A letter written in 1697 and sealed since then has been read thanks to high-resolution imaging and a “virtual unfolding” algorithm. By mapping the ink on the paper to the virtually “unfolded” version, the algorithm can reconstruct the letter’s text, Scientific American reports.

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