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LanceList - Issue #29

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Hack Tale, Tax Mongers, Shook Up, Chrome Update, Crazy Fakes
 

LanceList

April 18 · Issue #29 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

Hack Tale, Tax Mongers, Shook Up, Chrome Update, Crazy Fakes

Clicks
Hackers. I could not get enough of this fascinating tale of a young Canadian game- and console hacker who, along with his cohorts, got in way too deep. It’s a window into not only the deep underground world of black-hat gaming hackers, but what a poor job big companies like Microsoft and Epic have done over the years to protect their projects and businesses. There’s drama, intrigue, tragedy, and resurrection (yes, it could be a TV series or movie). It’s a long read, but worth every bit of it.
The Teens Who Hacked Microsoft's Xbox Empire—And Went Too Far | WIRED
Tax, man. Is it time for online businesses to pay state taxes on everything they sell, even if they are not based in that state? It’s a question that’s often prompted by Amazon, even though the company now pays state taxes in roughly 45 states. If the Supreme Court forces online retailers of all sizes to start paying these taxes (which means you pay, too), it could change the ecommerce landscape. My guess is that the Supremes will leave the rules as is.
Paying billions more online: Supreme Court takes up internet sales tax case
Shook up. I’ve spent a lot of time in San Francisco and can even recall visiting it in 1990, roughly six months after the devastating 1989 San Francisco Earthquake. Which is why reading this New York Times report on how vulnerable SF skyscrapers are to a big earthquake scared the heck out of me. Scariest of all, is what could happen to the ground under some of the newest (and tallest) skyscrapers (looking at you, Salesforce) in the event of a significant earthquake: It’s called liquefaction and it is not good.
San Francisco’s Big Seismic Gamble - The New York Times
Welcome to Deepfakes. Do not believe everything you see and hear. New video and AI technology is enabling something called Deepfakes, which are basically videos of real people with the head or face of other real people. That’s not the big trick, though. It’s the AI animating the head so that it moves and acts as if it was always part of the body. People have been using this to make adult videos staring their favorite mainstream stars. Now, Buzzfeed used it mashup former President Barack Obama with the director and comedian Jordan Peele. It’s incredible, funny, and very disturbing. At least the accompanying article tells you how to spot these fakes.
How To Spot A Deepfake Like The Barack Obama–Jordan Peele Video
Just don’t play. There are at least 1 billion Google Chrome users in the world, all of which are about to get an important and, I’m sure, welcome update. Chrome 66 will, for the first time, block auto-media plays. The browser already lets you mute tabs that are playing audio, but now it can stop video that begins playing when the page loads, as opposed to when you choose to click on the video to play it.  The new browser also has a bunch of security fixes and the ability to export passwords (across all platforms). Sounds like winner to me.
Google Launches Chrome 66 For Windows, Mac, Linux, Android And iOS
Dream car. Every star was fan wants this.
Comics
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