Links for 2017-11-08

  • Facebook asks users for nude photos in project to combat revenge porn

    The photos are hashed, server-side, using the PhotoDNA hashing algorithm. This would have been way way better if it ran locally, on user’s phones, instead though. Interesting to note that PhotoDNA claims to have a “1 in 10 billion” false positive rate according to https://www.itu.int/en/cop/case-studies/Documents/ICMEC_PhotoDNA.PDF

    (tags: photodna hashing images facebook revenge-porn messenger nudes photos)

  • The $280M Ethereum bug

    The newly deployed contract, 0x863df6bfa4469f3ead0be8f9f2aae51c91a907b4, contains a vulnerability where its owner was uninitialized. Although, the contract is a library it was possible for devops199 to turn it into a regular multi-sig wallet since for Ethereum there is no real distinction between accounts, libraries, and contracts. The event occurred in two transactions, a first one to take over the library and a second one to kill the library?—?which was used by all multi-sig wallets created after the 20th of July. Since by design smart-contracts themselves can’t be patched easily, this make dependancies on third party libraries very lethal if a mistake happens. The fact that libraries are global is also arguable, this would be shocking if it was how our daily use Operating Systems would work.

    (tags: security bitcoin ethereum lol fail smart-contracts)

  • How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met

    Oh god this is so creepy.

    Facebook’s machinery operates on a scale far beyond normal human interactions. And the results of its People You May Know algorithm are anything but obvious. In the months I’ve been writing about PYMK, as Facebook calls it, I’ve heard more than a hundred bewildering anecdotes: A man who years ago donated sperm to a couple, secretly, so they could have a child—only to have Facebook recommend the child as a person he should know. He still knows the couple but is not friends with them on Facebook. A social worker whose client called her by her nickname on their second visit, because she’d shown up in his People You May Know, despite their not having exchanged contact information. A woman whose father left her family when she was six years old—and saw his then-mistress suggested to her as a Facebook friend 40 years later. An attorney who wrote: “I deleted Facebook after it recommended as PYMK a man who was defense counsel on one of my cases. We had only communicated through my work email, which is not connected to my Facebook, which convinced me Facebook was scanning my work email.”

    (tags: facebook privacy surveillance security creepy phones contacts pymk)

  • A Clash of Cultures

    In short, I am in support of Naomi Wu. Rather than let the Internet speculate on why, I am sharing my perspectives on the situation preemptively. As with most Internet controversies, it’s messy and emotional. I will try my best to outline the biases and issues I have observed. Of course, everyone has their perspective; you don’t have to agree with mine. And I suspect many of my core audience will dislike and disagree with this post. However, the beginning of healing starts with sharing and listening. I will share, and I respectfully request that readers read the entire content of this post before attacking any individual point out of context. The key forces I see at play are: Prototype Bias – how assumptions based on stereotypes influence the way we think and feel Idol Effect – the tendency to assign exaggerated capabilities and inflated expectations upon celebrities Power Asymmetry – those with more power have more influence, and should be held to a higher standard of accountability Guanxi Bias – the tendency to give foreign faces more credibility than local faces in China All these forces came together in a perfect storm this past week.

    (tags: culture engineering maker naomi-wu women stereotypes bias idols power china bunnie)

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