The Obtain: China-linked hackers, and chromosome variations

That is immediately’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a each day dose of what’s occurring on the planet of know-how.

Hackers linked to China have been concentrating on human rights teams for years

The information: A hacking group linked to China has spent the final three years concentrating on human rights organizations, suppose tanks, information media, and businesses of a number of international governments, in line with a brand new report shared solely with MIT Expertise Evaluate.

Who’re they? The hackers, often called RedAlpha, have taken intention at organizations together with Amnesty Worldwide, the Worldwide Federation for Human Rights, Radio Free Asia, the Mercator Institute for China Research, and different suppose tanks and authorities and humanitarian teams all over the world. 

Why it issues: The report, from the cybersecurity agency Recorded Future, provides new clues about how personal contractors and entrance corporations working with comparatively few sources can run long-standing hacking operations and succeed towards high-value targets with crude however efficient techniques. 

What else?: These new findings present that RedAlpha continues to be working with the identical easy and cheap playbook that it used years in the past. In actual fact, this newest slate of espionage was linked to earlier campaigns as a result of the group reused most of the similar domains, IP addresses, techniques, malware, and even area registration info that has been publicly recognized by cybersecurity specialists for years. Learn the total story

—Patrick Howell O’Neill

What to anticipate if you’re anticipating an additional X or Y chromosome

Intercourse chromosome variations, through which folks have a surplus or lacking X or Y, happen in as many as one in 400 births, but nearly all of folks affected don’t even know they’ve them. That’s as a result of these situations can fly beneath the radar; they’re not life threatening or essentially even life limiting and don’t usually have telltale traits that increase pink flags. Nonetheless, the prognosis may cause misery.

As extra expectant dad and mom go for noninvasive prenatal testing in hopes of ruling out critical situations, lots of them are shocked to find as a substitute that their fetus has a far much less extreme—however far much less well-known—situation.

And since so many intercourse chromosome variations have traditionally gone undiagnosed, many ob-gyns usually are not conversant in these situations, leaving households to navigate the sudden information on their very own. Learn the total story.

—Bonnie Rochman

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you immediately’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 Amazon has accused a US company of harassing its executives
It claimed the FTC has employed heavy-handed techniques to power Jeff Bezos and others to offer proof to its investigation into Amazon Prime. (FT $) 

2 How two disgraced crypto founders misplaced a trillion {dollars}
The Three Arrows Capital bosses’ whereabouts is unknown. (NY Magazine $)
Crypto lender Celsius will in all probability run out of money by October. (CoinDesk)
+ Crypto skeptics are clubbing collectively to upend the {industry}. (NBC)
+ How governments seize thousands and thousands in stolen cryptocurrency. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

three Police investigated a person for a criminal offense—utilizing his new child’s DNA
Elevating critical questions over the privateness of kids’s genetic info. (Wired $)

four TikTok’s proprietor has shared its algorithms with the Chinese language authorities
Beijing now has unprecedented entry to 30 algorithms from companies together with Alibaba and Tencent. (Bloomberg $)
+ The US needs to cease Chinese language corporations from constructing modern chips. (Protocol $)

5 Contained in the sinister office applications monitoring worker productiveness
Duties accomplished off-screen, like considering, don’t rely. (NYT $)

6 Capetown is QR-coding hundreds of casual settlements
Privateness specialists are involved metropolis officers will use them to digitally establish poor Black residents. (BuzzFeed Information)
+ South Africa’s personal surveillance machine is fueling a digital apartheid. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

7 A Russian arms truthful demoed a grenade launcher-equipped robotic canine
It’s the terrifying subsequent step in robotic battle. (Motherboard)
+ Xiaomi has constructed a a lot much less intimidating humanoid robotic. (IEEE Spectrum)
+ This bionic hand might be up to date from anyplace on the planet. (Reuters) 

eight Your good house is spying on you 🏠
Right here’s cease it. (The Guardian)

9 How fan fiction discovered its true residence on-line
And birthed a thriving group of writers within the course of. (The Verge)
+ What I realized from learning billions of phrases of on-line fan fiction. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

10 YouTube’s coin pusher group is riddled with scammers
They’re rigging the machines to repair the outcomes. (Enter)

Quote of the day

“Why give them cash if I’m not watching?”

—Kate Bigel, a retired game-industry artwork director in San Diego, explains to the Wall Road Journal why she and her husband are among the many rising variety of shoppers chopping and altering their streaming subscriptions to make financial savings.

The massive story

What an octopus’s thoughts can train us about AI’s final thriller

August 2021

Machines with minds are mainstays of science fiction—the concept of a robotic that in some way replicates consciousness by way of its {hardware} or software program has been round so lengthy it feels acquainted.

Such machines don’t exist, after all, and perhaps by no means will. 

Certainly, the idea of a machine with a subjective expertise of the world and a first-person view of itself goes towards the grain of mainstream AI analysis. It collides with questions concerning the nature of consciousness and self—issues we nonetheless don’t solely perceive. 

Even imagining such a machine’s existence raises critical moral questions that we might by no means have the ability to reply. What rights would such a being have, and the way would possibly we safeguard them?

And but, whereas aware machines should still be legendary, their very chance shapes how we take into consideration the machines we’re constructing immediately. Learn the total story.

—Will Douglas Heaven

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre occasions. (Bought any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ Did anybody do that sincerely?!
+ A mesmerizing clip of how suitcases are made.
+ First there was barbiecore, now balletcore is Gen Z’s newest favourite development.
+ Who let the cats out? Germany, apparently.
+ This teeny tiny condo in Amsterdam is a good use of area.

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