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Scraped Parler data is a metadata goldmine

Embattled social media platform Parler is offline after Apple, Google and Amazon pulled the plug on the site after the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol last week that left five people dead.
But while the site is gone (for now), millions of posts published to the site since the riot are not.
A lone hacker scraped millions of posts, videos and photos published to the site after the riot but before the site went offline on Monday, preserving a huge trove of potential evidence for law enforcement investigating the attempted insurrection, many of which allegedly used the platform …

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Google, Cisco and VMware join Microsoft to oppose NSO Group in WhatsApp spyware case

A coalition of companies have filed an amicus brief in support of a legal case brought by WhatsApp against Israeli intelligence firm NSO Group, accusing the company of using an undisclosed vulnerability in the messaging app to hack into at least 1,400 devices, some of which were owned by journalists and human rights activists.
NSO develops and sells governments access to its Pegasus spyware, allowing its nation-state customers to target and stealthily hack into the devices of its targets. Spyware like Pegasus can track a victim’s location, read their messages and listen to their calls, steal their photos and files …

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GitHub says goodbye to cookie banners

Microsoft -owned GitHub today announced that it is doing away with all non-essential cookies on its platform. Thanks to this, starting today, GitHub .com and its subdomains will not feature a cookie banner anymore, either. That’s one less cookie banner you’ll have to click away to get your work done.
“No one likes cookie banners,” GitHub CEO Nat Friedman writes in today’s announcement. “But cookie banners are everywhere!”
The reason for that, of course, is because of regulations like GDPR in the U.S. and the EU’s directive to give users the right to refuse the …

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Google grants $3 million to the CNCF to help it run the Kubernetes infrastructure

Back in 2018, Google announced that it would provide $9 million in Google Cloud Platform credits — divided over three years — to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to help it run the development and distribution infrastructure for the Kubernetes project. Previously, Google owned and managed those resources for the community. Today, the two organizations announced that Google is adding on to this grant with another $3 million annual donation to the CNCF to “help ensure the long-term health, quality and stability of Kubernetes and its ecosystem.”
As Google notes, the funds will go to the testing and infrastructure of the Kubernetes project, which …

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Twitter acquires screen-sharing social app Squad

Today, Twitter announced that it is acquiring Squad and that the team from the screen-sharing social app will be joining Twitter’s ranks. Squad’s co-founders, CEO Esther Crawford and CTO Ethan Sutin, and the rest of the team will be coming aboard inside Twitter’s design, engineering, and product departments, Twitter tells us. Crawford specifically notes that she will be leading a product in the conversations space.
What isn’t coming aboard is the actual Squad app, which allowed users to share their screens on mobile or desktop and simultaneously video chat, a feature that aimed to find the …

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GitHub gets a dark mode

It’s GitHub Universe week and unsurprisingly, the ubiquitous code management service is announcing a slew of updates. Companies can now become GitHub Sponsors and invest in open-source projects by paying developers directly, there is automatic merging of pull requests (if that’s your thing), discussions for all public repositories and the beta of dependency reviews. GitHub is also making some updates to its continuous delivery features.
That’s all good and well, but let’s face it: you came here to see GitHub’s new dark mode.
Here it is:
Image Credits: GitHub
“Dark mode may offer respite from …

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Google opens its Fuchsia operating system to outside developers

For the longest time, Google’s new Fuchsia operating system remained a bit of a mystery — with little information in terms of the company’s plans for it, even as the team behind it brought the code to GitHub under a standard open-source license. These days, we know that it’s Google’s first attempt at developing a completely new kernel and general purpose operating system that promises to be more than just an experiment (or a retention project to keep senior engineers from jumping ship). For the most part, though, Google has remained pretty mum about the subject.
It …

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Google shutting down Poly 3D content platform

Google is almost running out of AR/VR projects to kill off.
The company announced today in an email to Poly users that they will be shutting down the 3D-object creation and library platform “forever” next year. The service will shut down on June 30, 2021 and users won’t be able to upload 3D models to the site starting April 30, 2021.
Poly was introduced as a 3D creation tool optimized for virtual reality. Users could easily create low-poly objects with in-VR tools. The software was designed to serve as a lightweight way to create and view 3D assets that could in turn …

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AWS launches Glue Elastic Views to make it easier to move data from one purpose-built data store to another

AWS has launched a new tool to let developers move data from one store to another called Glue Elastic Views.
At the AWS:Invent keynote CEO Andy Jassy announced Glue Elastic Views, a service that lets programmers move data across multiple data stores more seamlessly.
The new service can take data from disparate silos and move them together. That AWS ETL service allows programmers to write a little bit of SQL code to have a materialized view tht can move from one source data store to another.
For instance, Jassy said, a programmer can move data from DynamoDB to Elastic …

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AWS brings the Mac mini to its cloud

AWS today opened its re:Invent conference with a surprise announcement: the company is bringing the Mac mini to its cloud. These new EC2 Mac instances, as AWS calls them, are now available in preview. They won’t come cheap, though.
The target audience here — and the only one AWS is targeting for now — is developers who want cloud-based build and testing environments for their Mac and iOS apps. But it’s worth noting that with remote access, you get a fully-featured Mac mini in the cloud, and I’m sure developers will find all kinds of other use cases …

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