Four short links: 23 November 2016

Facebook Censorship, Regulating Security, A/B Testing, and Spying Headphones

By Nat Torkington
November 23, 2016
Four short links
  1. Facebook Said to Create Censorship Tool to Re-Enter China (NYT) — Unveiling a new censorship tool in China could lead to more demands to suppress content from other countries. The fake news problem, which has hit countries across the globe, has already led some governments to use the issue as an excuse to target sites of political rivals, or shut down social media sites altogether.
  2. Internet Era of Fun and Games is OverIt was OK when it was fun and games. But already there’s stuff on this device that monitors my medical condition, controls my thermostat, talks to my car: I just crossed four regulatory agencies, and it’s not even 11 o’clock. This is something that we’re going to need to do something new about. And like many new agencies in the 20th century, many new agencies were created: trains, cars, airplanes, radio, nuclear power. My guess is that [the internet] is going to be one of them. And that’s because this is different. This is all coming. Whether we like that the technology is coming, it’s coming faster than we think. I think government involvement is coming, and I’d like to get ahead of it. I’d like to start thinking about what this would look like. Bruce Schneier testifies.
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  4. Bayesian A/B Testing Not Immune to Peeking — dang it’s hard to do science!
  5. Your Headphones Can Spy On You (Wired) — Their malware uses a little-known feature of RealTek audio codec chips to silently “retask” the computer’s output channel as an input channel, allowing the malware to record audio even when the headphones remain connected into an output-only jack and don’t even have a microphone channel on their plug. The researchers say the RealTek chips are so common that the attack works on practically any desktop computer, whether it runs Windows or MacOS, and most laptops, too.
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