The Next Big Threat

Dwaiter Weekly


August 4, 2022


China's Big Hacking Operation

Illustration by Santeri Viinamäki

While cybersecurity teams cannot take their eyes off Russia, the evolving threat posed by China's massive hacking operation deserves more attention than it's getting among some targeted businesses—especially those involved in emerging technologies, experts tell Protocol. China was behind a stunning 67 percent of state-sponsored intrusions between mid-2020 and mid-2021, compared to just 1 percent for the Russian government, according to data from CrowdStrike.


Robinhood to Cut 23% of Its Staff

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev said Tuesday that the fintech company will reduce its headcount by approximately 23 percent, CNBC reports. Tenev blamed “deterioration of the macro environment, with inflation at 40-year highs accompanied by a broad crypto market crash.” In the second quarter, Robinhood posted a loss on higher revenues, and reported a decline in monthly active users.


The Dawn of the Megachip Era

Engineers are piling microchips atop one another. What’s driving this trend in chip design is a simple reality: The pressure to continue making chips faster and our devices more capable is unrelenting, and the chip industry’s ability to keep pace by shrinking transistors to eke out more performance is running into technical barriers, the Wall Street Journal reports.


An Obit for Instagram

What used to be Instagram is dead, writes Om Malik, a San Francisco-based writer, photographer, and investor. It once was gathering place for photographers to showcase their work and build an audience. "What’s left is a constantly mutating product that copies features from ‘whomever is popular now’ service—Snapchat, TikTok, or whatever. It is all about marketing and selling substandard products and mediocre services by influencers with less depth than a sheet of paper."



Starbucks to Roll Out Web3-Based Rewards Program 

Starbucks plans to unveil its web3 initiative, which includes coffee-themed NFTs, at next month’s Investor Day event, TechCrunch reports. It sees the collectibles as an extension of customer loyalty. But its NFTs also will provide their owners with access to exclusive content and other perks.


The Spread of AI-Generated Faces

As social networks crack down on faceless, anonymous trolls, AI has armed malicious actors and bots with an invaluable weapon: the ability to appear alarmingly authentic, Digital Trends reports. Unlike before, when trolls simply ripped real faces off the internet and anyone could unmask them by reverse-imaging their profile picture, it’s practically impossible for someone to do the same for AI-generated photos because they’re fresh and unique.  


The End of the Newsletter Boom

The newsletter boom is over, Peter Kafka writes in Recode. It turns out that newsletters are just like blogs and podcasts: They’re super simple for anyone to create. But turning them into something beyond a hobby—let alone turning them into a full-time job—requires talent and sustained effort.


A Tech Stock's Baffling 32,000 Percent Jump

On Tuesday, Hong Kong-based tech company AMTD Digital’s stock price skyrocketed by more than 32,000 percent after it went public in mid-July, from $7.80 to a high of $2,555 per share. Why? Nobody, not even the company itself, seems to know, Vice reports.  


Uncovering Devices’ Hidden Death Dates

Many consumer electronic devices are designed to die, but their makers are loath to disclose that fact. The Washington Post analyzed the potential life span of 14 popular products by digging up the often-hidden specifications of their built-in rechargeable batteries.


If It’s REM, It’s the End 

Would you like a warning before the world ends? Then, Extraluminal is just for you, The Next Web reports. It’s an IoT device that will notify you an hour before the Earth is about to be destroyed by a supernova. The plugin device, which connects to your WiFi network, will automatically play REM’s “It’s The End of the World As We Know It” upon receiving an alert.

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