Let’s go for my web review for the week 2021-09.

India Targets Climate Activists With the Help of Big Tech

Tags: india, surveillance, authoritarianism, gafam, zoom, activism, ecology

The usual suspects from Silicon Valley silently complying (again…) with the demands of a government becoming more and more authoritarian… This time to crackdown on labor and climate activists in India. Those companies really lack any form of moral centre, as long as there’s money to be made from surveillance and public influence.

Common Nginx misconfigurations that leave your web server open to attack | Detectify Blog

Tags: tech, nginx, security

A nice list of easy mistakes one can make in their Nginx configuration opening the door to security issues.

Linux System Monitoring Fundamentals

Tags: tech, linux, monitoring

A neat little catalogue of monitoring tools on Linux. Learned a couple of them I didn’t know of.

‘Millions of people’s data is at risk’ — Amazon insiders sound alarm over security

Tags: tech, amazon, security, gdpr

Sitting on a massive trove of data, prioritizing growth over all else and driven by hubris… What could possibly go wrong? Well not knowing what data you really have and risks of breaches. Nothing much. ;-)

Data Manipulation: Pandas vs Rust

Tags: tech, rust, pandas, data-science

Interesting comparison even though the conclusion is slightly unsurprising: Pandas is slower but more convenient, Rust is fast, consumes less memory but more work is involved. At least this gives a few indications on what type of APIs could be added to Rust to ease some things. It also indicates that Pandas can be great to develop the pipeline with then a switch to Rust when this needs to be optimized for higher volumes of data.–1d70e7fc

Google charts a course towards a more privacy-first web

Tags: tech, privacy, google, surveillance

Now this is kind of a surprising move… At least that shows that when some strong regulation comes around even behemoths need to move with it. I guess now let’s wait and see for an actual implementation, the devil is often in the details. I mean, in the end it doesn’t mark the end of profiling just maybe reduction of the ability to identify a particular person. And we know the root cause of most current problems is the profiling and the impact on personal behavior which goes with it. This is unlikely to go away.

Google’s FLoC Is a Terrible Idea | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Tags: tech, privacy, google, surveillance

So talking about the devil being in the details… That confirms profiling is still very much in the picture (unsurprisingly) but more disturbing:

  • this has implications which creates new venues for easier fingerprinting (so extra risks!)
  • this is in fact not that hard to cross-reference cohort and user identity (oops, wasn’t it main initial motive to prevent this?)
  • thus, this will help with monitoring behavior changes over time

And of course that’s to be added to the fact that targeted advertising is very much not going away. FLoC or third party cookies… pick your poison I guess?

Vaccine Efficacy, Statistical Power and Mental Models

Tags: tech, sociology, facebook, statistics, vaccines

Fascinating account on mental models and then statistical power

It starts with how a flawed mental model (coming from Facebook’s founder) about identity and social role became imposed on others.

Then it continues on the mental model we tend to apply to vaccines. That shows again how bad we are at intuitively grasping statistics and their application. They do require an effort even when you’re trained at them.

First vaccine to fully immunize against malaria builds on pandemic-driven RNA tech

Tags: vaccines, medecine, biology

The wonderful world of RNA vaccines, it really opens the door to curing really problematic diseases… In this case malaria which I’ve been hoping we’d address for the past 15 years. Let’s hope they’ll make sure it’s affordable for everyone.

And to think that the research on RNA based vaccines was chronically under funded…

Bye for now!