The Include-Implant Edition Sunday, August 11, 2019

These Legit-Looking iPhone Lightning Cables Will Hijack Your Computer, by Joseph Cox, Vice

I plugged the Apple lightning cable into my iPod and connected it to my Mac, just as I normally would. My iPod started charging, iTunes detected the device, and my iPod produced the pop-up asking if I wanted to trust this computer. All expected behaviour.

But this cable was hiding a secret. A short while later, a hacker remotely opened a terminal on my Mac's screen, letting them run commands on my computer as they saw fit. This is because this wasn't a regular cable. Instead, it had been modified to include an implant; extra components placed inside the cable letting the hacker remotely connect to the computer.

Clever Attack Uses SQLite Databases To Hack Other Apps, Malware Servers, by Catalin Cimpanu, ZDNet

The idea is that vulnerabilities in how third-party apps read data from SQLite databases allows a third-party to hide malicious code in the SQLite database's data.

When the third-party app, such as iMessage, reads the tainted SQLite database, it also inadvertantly executes the hidden code.

E-Commerce Promised The World. Are We Happy With Our Purchase?, by Louis Hyman and Kwelina Thompson, New York Times

Today, of course, we know that there is no such determinism to either the internet or e-commerce. There is, however, a similar underlying problem to the one faced in 1994: a lack of trust. Consumer privacy and transactional security remain challenges for e-commerce globally, and it is not clear that all of it will end well. Here in the United States, we continue to struggle with how to balance privacy and commerce to preserve both civil liberties and free trade. The old struggles of capitalism and society continue in a new guise.

If we are a bit less blinded to the shortcomings of e-commerce than we were in 1994, we also remain guardedly optimistic, at least if our rising online spending reflects our beliefs. If the early days of e-commerce depended on trust, then the future of e-commerce depends less on the next technology than on how we choose to design and deploy that technology in a trustworthy fashion, just as we did in 1994.


What Does A Coder Do If They Can't Type?, by Naomi Saphra, Objective Funk

Life with my disability is not easy, but thanks to hedonic adaptation as well as satisfying work and hobbies, I am actually very happy. If you have recently developed a disability or chronic pain condition, it may feel like you could never adjust to the lifestyle required. That is why I have tried to give you a lens into my challenges as well as my successes. It is easy to respond to anyone who has overcome adversity with one of two reactions: “It can’t be that hard,” or “I could never do that”. Move past both reactions. It is that hard. You can do it.


The Map That Made Los Angeles Make Sense, by Laura Bliss, CityLab

Long before I got my driver’s license, the Thomas Guide left a mark on me. Literally: Spread open in the backseat of my dad’s Mitsubishi Galant, the metal binding of its 3,000 pages of Los Angeles street maps would press spirals into my child-sized legs.

I’d flip to a random page, the paper worn and waxy, to peer over some colorful new square. All of L.A. County—5,000 square miles and 88 municipalities—was gridded inside the exhaustive street atlas. Surface streets were a dark blue hash, knots of freeways bright red clovers. Names of neighborhoods miles from our house in the San Fernando Valley beckoned in tiny print: Gardena. Alhambra. Manhattan Beach.


But now, every time I go back, that big picture of Los Angeles gets a little harder to recall when I step into the driver’s seat. The iPhone-screen-sized view of Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps is slowly taking over my imagination.

Bottom of the Page

Of all the names that are 'possible', I don't think iPhone XI is. Selling a product in China with 'Xi' in the product name is just asking for trouble. I have no idea what kind of trouble there is, but there will be trouble.


Does the HomePod know you are singing along, and adjust the EQ accordingly?

Does the AirPods?


Thanks for reading.