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Barcode scanner app on Google Play infects 10m users with one update

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Article URL: https://blog.malwarebytes.com/android/2021/02/barcode-scanner-app-on-google-play-infects-10-million-users-with-one-update/

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26060839

Points: 743

# Comments: 407

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jlj
219 days ago
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Dang. This is the first viable -- in terms of something I'm likely to fall for -- malware vector I've read in ages.
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Verified: More Parking Puts More Cars on the Road

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Do cities create greener lifestyles? Or do they just enable them? It’s very, very, very clear that people who live closer to other people drive less. But how much of this is due to the fact that people who were already predisposed to driving less—those of us who don’t particularly enjoy driving, for example—are deliberately living where parking is scarce and buses are frequent? A forthcoming academic paper finally begins...
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jlj
221 days ago
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pawnstorm
230 days ago
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Olympia, WA
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Why I Still Use RSS

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I firmly believe the Internet, and what it stood for, peaked with RSS.

RSS, or Really-Simple-Syndication, is (or was depending on your viewpoint) a means of allowing basically anything online to be collated into a single feed. You would visit the websites you loved, add their RSS feed to your preferred reader, and from then on be instantly notified of any new content, it was as simple as that. RSS primarily had its heyday during the Web 2.0 era (circa 1999-2010) when the freedom to do whatever you wanted with the information present on the Web was really the driving force behind a lot of new features and systems. This was of course before Social Media had taken off in the way we know it today and most of these concepts were siloed off into their own locked-down social-feeds.

Once Social-Media took its hold on the Web if there was something/someone you wanted to follow online you just added them to your Twitter feed or subscribed on YouTube; a fine idea until you decide you don't like the layout of the site in question or an algorithm decides you don't need to see the work of those you care about as often as you want (aka the curated timeline). I've already spoken before about my general disinterest with Social Media but it wasn't until somewhat recently that I decided to really start looking for alternatives - searching for a better way to interact with the Internet. I found my answer in RSS. I enjoyed the freedom to see sources as I wanted, the flexibility to move to a new reader if I wanted, the complete lack of advertising. It was hard to not fall in love with the service.

However it wasn't until I began working from home and everything in my life moved online that I really began to notice how beneficial RSS could be with relation to Digital Wellbeing. By selecting only the sites, blogs, creators etc. that I had a serious interest in, I could effectively remove the negative effects of social media and excessive online usage from my life. It was easier to get involved in serious Deep Work as I had no social feeds to endlessly scroll through. It was easier to stay informed as I could only see the latest items rather than being given an algorithmic infinite feed of supposedly “breaking news.” I could open my reader maybe twice a day, skim through the latest items and continue on with my work, a process that could be over and done with in under 5 minutes - a far cry from opening Twitter and suddenly 2 hours have passed…

Another use-case I was surprised to develop was managing collaborative projects. An issue I've heard repeatedly from those working from home is that of being deafened by the ever-present, ever-ringing notification-bell as countless chat and collaboration apps incessantly vie for your attention with new questions, comments, and discussions that may-or-may-not need your already splintered focus. For me, RSS solved that issue. Instead of checking-in every 10 minutes to see if there's any new project developments, or sending chaser messages asking if a colleague finished up on that feature - I can just track everything with RSS. If anything comes up that I need to know about, RSS will be there to present it to me.

As I said during the introduction of this post, RSS may appear to some to have fallen by the wayside as content is increasingly siloed into only being available on a specific platform. However a not insignificant number of sites still make the service readily available, for instance:

  • Reddit still offers RSS support by appending /.rss to the end of a given URL.

  • GitHub allows you to add an activity feed of your followed accounts/organisations by clicking the feed icon at the bottom of your account page.

  • YouTube offers RSS support by adding a channel ID (The series of numbers and characters present in the URL of a channel homepage) to the following URL:

www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=CHANNEL_ID

Having only the content I want to see only be shown when I want to see it with the freedom to jump between readers as I please, all with no ads? For me, no other service comes close to the flexibility, robustness, and overall ease-of-use that RSS offers.

Its heyday may be over but RSS is still very much alive with services like Feedly and Newsboat (recommended) along with a host of mobile apps on either platform letting you experience the web at what I consider to be its best. If you feel like trying out RSS for yourself, why not get started by adding this blog to your reader?


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jlj
223 days ago
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I too have noticed a big upturn in my RSS/Newsblur usage since lockdown.
zippy72
219 days ago
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FourSquare, qv
deezil
219 days ago
I used to be on Twitter a lot before it became the hellsite, and Facebook is only for reading posts from friends and family any more and if Facebook still had RSS feeds, I'd just put them in here.
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Apps I'm using this week

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simple [ sim-puhl ], adj. Having few parts or features; not complicated or elaborate.

I talk a big game about keeping things simple, but I rarely follow my own advice.

Before restarting my computer, I usually quit all open apps. This morning I noticed how many that was. I didn’t count them, but it was a metric shit-ton of apps. And there was a lot of feature overlap.

So today I made a few changes to the lineup, spurred on by a desire to reduce the number of apps I need open and to consolidate where things are kept. You know, I wanted to keep it simple. 😆

Here’s what changed.

  • OmniFocus for tasks. I had tasks everywhere (Curio, Emacs, paper notebooks, Things, Reminders, Roam, etc.) That all happened organically, but is unsustainable and crazy-making. At first I thought I’d move it all into Things again, but when there’s lots going on, OmniFocus is the appropriate answer, so I took the opportunity to start with an empty database and migrated everything I’m supposed to do from the other places into OmniFocus.
  • TheBrain for projects. I’ve been trying to keep work stuff out of my Roam database, and had been using a combination of Org mode and Curio and DEVONthink. I’ve bailed on both Org mode and Curio and put it all into TheBrain. TheBrain version 12 does a great job with notes and backlinks and of course links everything to everything. Giving it a go for project and people management.
  • Day One for journaling and daybook. I’d been journaling in Org mode and Day One and sometimes Roam. No more. If I want to write about either the large swaths of my day or the minutiae, it goes in Day One. I keep a few separate journals in Day One. The big ones are Journal for photos and general journaling and Daybook for the minutiae about the day.
  • Roam is for topic journals. I’ve been limiting my use of Roam to mostly things I want to learn about or take notes on. Quotes, links, ideas, etc. Roam is good at that.
  • Nova for writing and editing. For manipulating text, there’s nothing like BBEdit, but what I do with text most often is write and edit Markdown files. For this, I’m using Nova, from Panic. It’s just nicer for that sort of work.

I’m writing it down because it’s fun seeing how things evolve. It remains to be seen if I need to write a new post next week about this.

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jlj
233 days ago
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Interesting choice: keeping Roam in a box, as it were. Nova looks a bit like Atom, which I've just started using (and am enjoying).
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Donald Trump Is Out. Are We Ready to Talk About How He Got In?

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I’ve been thinking about Barbara Tuchman’s medieval history, A Distant Mirror, over the past couple of weeks. The book is a masterful work of anti-romance, a cold-eyed look at how generations of aristocrats and royalty waged one of the longest wars in recorded history, all while claiming the mantle of a benevolent God. The disabusing begins early. In the introduction, Tuchman examines the ideal of chivalry and finds, beneath the poetry and codes of honor, little more than myth and delusion.

Knights “were supposed, in theory, to serve as defenders of the Faith, upholders of justice, champions of the oppressed,” Tuchman writes. “In practice, they were themselves the oppressors, and by the 14th century, the violence and lawlessness of men of the sword had become a major agency of disorder.”

The chasm between professed ideal and actual practice is not surprising. No one wants to believe himself to be the villain of history, and when you have enough power, you can hold reality at bay. Raw power transfigured an age of serfdom and warmongering into one of piety and courtly love.

This is not merely a problem of history. Twice now, Rudy Giuliani has incited a mob of authoritarians. In the interim, “America’s Mayor” was lauded locally for crime drops that manifested nationally. No matter. The image of Giuliani as a pioneering crime fighter gave cover to his more lamentable habits—arresting whistleblowers, defaming dead altar boys, and raiding homeless shelters in the dead of night. Giuliani was, by Jimmy Breslin’s lights, “blind, mean, and duplicitous,” a man prone to displays “of great nervousness if more than one black at a time entered City Hall.” And yet much chin-stroking has been dedicated to understanding how Giuliani, once the standard-bearer for moderate Republicanism, a man who was literally knighted, was reduced to inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol. The answer is that Giuliani wasn’t reduced at all. The inability to see what was right before us—that Giuliani was always, in Breslin’s words, “a small man in search of a balcony”—is less about Giuliani and more about what people would rather not see.

And what is true of Giuliani is particularly true of his master. It was popular, at the time of  Donald Trump’s ascension, to stand on the thinnest of reeds in order to avoid stating the obvious. It was said that the Trump presidency was the fruit of “economic anxiety,” of trigger warnings and the push for trans rights. We were told that it was wrong to call Trump a white supremacist, because he had merely “drawn upon their themes.”

One hopes that after four years of brown children in cages; of attempts to invalidate the will of Black voters in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Detroit; of hearing Trump tell congresswomen of color to go back where they came from; of claims that Joe Biden would turn Minnesota into “a refugee camp”; of his constant invocations of “the Chinese virus,” we can now safely conclude that Trump believes in a world where white people are—or should be—on top. It is still deeply challenging for so many people to accept the reality of what has happened—that a country has been captured by the worst of its history, while millions of Americans cheered this on.

[Tim Naftali: The worst president in history]

The temptation to look away is strong. This summer I watched as whole barrels of ink were emptied to champion free speech and denounce “cancel culture.” Meanwhile, from the most powerful office in the world, Trump issued executive orders targeting a journalistic institution and promoted “patriotic education.” The indifference to his incredible acts were telling. So much for chivalry.

The mix of blindness and pedantry did not plague merely writers, but also policy makers and executives. “The FBI does not talk in terms of terrorism committed by white people,” the journalist Spencer Ackerman wrote in the days after the January 6 riot at the Capitol. “Attempting to appear politically ecumenical, a recent bureaucratic overhaul during an accelerated period of domestic terrorism created the category of ‘racially motivated violent extremism.’” But only so ecumenical. “For all its hesitation over white terror,” Ackerman continued, “the FBI until at least 2018 maintained an investigative category about a nebulous and exponentially less deadly thing it called ‘Black Identity Extremism.’”

“When the gap between ideal and real becomes too wide,” Tuchman writes, “the system breaks down.” One hopes that this moment for America has arrived, that it can at last see that the sight of cops and a Confederate flag among the mob on January 6, that the mockery of George Floyd and the politesse on display among some of the Capitol Police, are not a matter of chance.

More, that Trumpism did not begin with Trump, that the same Republican party some now recall wistful and nostalgic tones planted seeds of insurrection with specious claims of voter fraud; that the decision to storm the Capitol follows directly, and logically, from respectable Republicans who claim that Democrats steal elections and defraud this country citizens out of their right to self-government.

This, of course, is not my first time contemplating the import of such things. “The First White President” was the culmination of the years I’d spent watching the pieces fall into place. Pieces that, once assembled, finally gave us Trump. I’m sorry to report that I think the article holds up well. This would be a much better world if it didn’t. But in this world, an army has been marshaled and barbed wire installed, and the FBI is on guard against an inside job. Whatever this is—whatever we decide to call this—it is not peaceful, and it is not, in many ways, a transition. It is something darker. Are we now, at last, prepared to ask why?


The following is an excerpt from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s October 2017 cover story, “The First White President.” You can find the full essay here.

It is insufficient to state the obvious of Donald Trump: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact. With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness—that bloody heirloom which cannot ensure mastery of all events but can conjure a tailwind for most of them. Land theft and human plunder cleared the grounds for Trump’s forefathers and barred others from it. Once upon the field, these men became soldiers, statesmen, and scholars; held court in Paris; presided at Princeton; advanced into the Wilderness and then into the White House. Their individual triumphs made this exclusive party seem above America’s founding sins, and it was forgotten that the former was in fact bound to the latter, that all their victories had transpired on cleared grounds. No such elegant detachment can be attributed to Donald Trump—a president who, more than any other, has made the awful inheritance explicit.

His political career began in advocacy of birtherism, that modern recasting of the old American precept that black people are not fit to be citizens of the country they built. But long before birtherism, Trump had made his worldview clear. He fought to keep blacks out of his buildings, according to the U.S. government; called for the death penalty for the eventually exonerated Central Park Five; and railed against “lazy” black employees. “Black guys counting my money! I hate it,” Trump was once quoted as saying. “The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” After his cabal of conspiracy theorists forced Barack Obama to present his birth certificate, Trump demanded the president’s college grades (offering $5 million in exchange for them), insisting that Obama was not intelligent enough to have gone to an Ivy League school, and that his acclaimed memoir, Dreams From My Father, had been ghostwritten by a white man, Bill Ayers.

It is often said that Trump has no real ideology, which is not true—his ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power. Trump inaugurated his campaign by casting himself as the defender of white maidenhood against Mexican “rapists,” only to be later alleged by multiple accusers, and by his own proud words, to be a sexual violator himself. White supremacy has always had a perverse sexual tint. Trump’s rise was shepherded by Steve Bannon, a man who mocks his white male critics as “cucks.” The word, derived from cuckold, is specifically meant to debase by fear and fantasy—the target is so weak that he would submit to the humiliation of having his white wife lie with black men. That the slur cuck casts white men as victims aligns with the dicta of whiteness, which seek to alchemize one’s profligate sins into virtue. So it was with Virginia slaveholders claiming that Britain sought to make slaves of them. So it was with marauding Klansmen organized against alleged rapes and other outrages. So it was with a candidate who called for a foreign power to hack his opponent’s email and who now, as president, is claiming to be the victim of “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.”

In Trump, white supremacists see one of their own. Only grudgingly did Trump denounce the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke, one of its former grand wizards—and after the clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, Duke in turn praised Trump’s contentious claim that “both sides” were responsible for the violence.

To Trump, whiteness is neither notional nor symbolic but is the very core of his power. In this, Trump is not singular. But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies. The repercussions are striking: Trump is the first president to have served in no public capacity before ascending to his perch. But more telling, Trump is also the first president to have publicly affirmed that his daughter is a “piece of ass.” The mind seizes trying to imagine a black man extolling the virtues of sexual assault on tape (“When you’re a star, they let you do it”), fending off multiple accusations of such assaults, immersed in multiple lawsuits for allegedly fraudulent business dealings, exhorting his followers to violence, and then strolling into the White House. But that is the point of white supremacy—to ensure that that which all others achieve with maximal effort, white people (particularly white men) achieve with minimal qualification. Barack Obama delivered to black people the hoary message that if they work twice as hard as white people, anything is possible. But Trump’s counter is persuasive: Work half as hard as black people, and even more is possible.

For Trump, it almost seems that the fact of Obama, the fact of a black president, insulted him personally. The insult intensified when Obama and Seth Meyers publicly humiliated him at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011. But the bloody heirloom ensures the last laugh. Replacing Obama is not enough—Trump has made the negation of Obama’s legacy the foundation of his own. And this too is whiteness. “Race is an idea, not a fact,” the historian Nell Irvin Painter has written, and essential to the construct of a “white race” is the idea of not being a nigger. Before Barack Obama, niggers could be manufactured out of Sister Souljahs, Willie Hortons, and Dusky Sallys. But Donald Trump arrived in the wake of something more potent—an entire nigger presidency with nigger health care, nigger climate accords, and nigger justice reform, all of which could be targeted for destruction or redemption, thus reifying the idea of being white. Trump truly is something new—the first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president. And so it will not suffice to say that Trump is a white man like all the others who rose to become president. He must be called by his rightful honorific—America’s first white president.

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jlj
239 days ago
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I got phished

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I got phished

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jlj
239 days ago
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Really interesting perspective, particularly around phishing and visual impairment.
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