‘The New Oil’ Website is a Resource for Privacy

· Andrew Orr · Link

User data privacy

The creator of The New Oil shared his website that gives people resources on privacy. But it’s not just a list of private tools to use. Instead the goal is to give people context and explain concepts like data breaches, why strong passwords matter, encryption, and more.

Most of us are not strangers to the concept of surveillance capitalism and targeted advertising. Most of us don’t particularly care, either. After all, who wouldn’t want relevant ads for movies or products that might actually appeal to you or improve your life? The thing is, most of us don’t understand the aggressive measures these companies go to to create those marketing profiles, or the devastating effects they can have on people.

Investigative Report Reveals the Untold Story of the SolarWinds Cyberattack

· Andrew Orr · Link

Solarwinds hack

We have a bit more news about the SolarWinds hack this week. NPR has wrapped up an investigation and reveals the “behind-the-scenes” story.

“Imagine those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups going into the package and just before the machine comes down and seals the package, some other thing comes in and slides a razor blade into your Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup,” he said. Instead of a razor blade, the hackers swapped the files so “the package gets sealed and it goes out the door to the store.”

The Award-Winning Luminar 4 Power Bundle

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Luminar 4 Screenshot

We have a deal on the award-winning Luminar 4 Power Bundle. Luminar 4 is a full-feature photo editor and organizer for Mac and Windows that lets you create edited photos with a single click. This bundle also comes with the Photography Fundamentals Course tutorial from ThinkTapLearn, and four different add-ons, including Skies: Power of Nature Add-On, Sky Objects: Amazing Planets Add-On, Looks: Analog Film Add-On, and LUTs: Street Vibe LUTs. The bundle is $39.99 through our deal.

How Anthony Hopkins Ended up Guest Starring in 'Mythic Quest - Everlight'

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Mythic Quest Everlight Apple TV+

A special episode of Mythic Quest arrived on Apple TV+ on Friday and (spoiler alert!) it features a guest appearance from Sir Anthony Hopkins. Variety has the background on how the Everlight episode was made, and how The Silence of the Lambs star ended up in it.

“Mythic Quest” is nonetheless set in the video game world and counts Ubisoft among its producers. The special episode is not devoid of an animated game sequence — and this one gets the gift of narration from Anthony Hopkins. Wanting someone with “some heft” so “right from the very beginning [of the episode] it just feels premium, like a cinematic experience,” McElhenney says, they considered such performers as Dame Judi Dench and Ian McKellan. But when Hopkins came up, it was kismet. Producer and guest star “Craig Mazin said, ‘Oh I know Anthony Hopkins’ lawyer, let’s just call him up.’ And within 20 minutes I’m talking to Anthony Hopkins,” McElhenney says. In pre-COVID times it may have been hard to get Hopkins to commit, but with the ability to work from anywhere, McElhenney hopped on the phone with him and the Oscar-winner self-recorded his role.

Clipper Card Now Works with Apple Pay For Easier Bay Area Transit

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Clipper card in Apple Wallet

Those in the Bay Area can use Apple Pay when using any form of transit that is accessed with a Clipper card. The feature now works on BART, Muni, Caltrain, and the ferryTechCrunch reported.

As noted back in February when this was first confirmed as on the way, Clipper works with Apple’s “Express Transit” feature. That’s just a fancy way to say that you can tap to pay with the digital Clipper card without first needing to punch in your phone’s PIN or using FaceID. On certain newer iPhones, it also lets you keep using the Clipper card for a few hours after your battery has died; a wonderful thing in a pinch, but probably not something you want to rely on regularly.

The Story of Apple vs Facebook, Told by (Ripped) Action Figures

· Charlotte Henry · Cool Stuff Found

The upcoming (eventually) release of 14.5, and in particular the introduction of Ad Tracking Technology, has prompted an almighty fight between Apple and Facebook. In a new video, the Wall Street Journal‘s Joanna Stern explains what’s really going… with the help of some seriously ripped action figures.

Alaskan Senate Bill Proposes Statewide Blockchain Voting System

· Andrew Orr · Link

Blockchain concept

Under Senate Bill 39, Wasilla Republican Sen. Mike Shower proposes using blockchain technology to support the state voting system.

Furthermore, the bill seeks to increase voter participation by allowing people to use their tribal IDs for voter identification. At the same time, the technology would help in fixing errors that would bar people from voting.

However, the bill’s first version was a center of controversy for ending automatic voter registration through the permanent fund dividend application. The new bill has eliminated the clause.

I think using tribal IDs for voting identification is great. I’m not sure if blockchain voting will make it though.

Plant Real Trees While Playing ‘TerraGenesis’ Space Game

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

TerraGenesis is a space terraforming simulator and its publisher has partnered with Ecologi on a new, permanent feature within the game. With the new partnership, and based on the actions players take in TerraGenesis – from daily logins to ad views to completing missions and more – the game will help plant trees, contributing toward reforestation with the help of Ecologi. In addition, players can monitor their impact, as well as those of the TerraGenesis community as a whole, via an in-game hub and unlock rewards as they reach tree planting milestones.

Plant Real Trees While Playing ‘TerraGenesis’ Space Game

Apple Studios in Early Discussions to Distribute Original Comedy 'Mr. Lucky' From Kandell Twins

· Charlotte Henry · Link

There are early discussions taking place regarding Apple Studios serving as a distribution partner for original comedy Mr. Lucky, written by Aaron and Jordan Kandell. It follows the screenwriters selling the pitch to production company ImageMovers, Variety reported.

Inspired by a true story, details are under wraps but it is described as a high concept rom-com that explores luck, and how tragedy and triumph, disaster and fortune are all in the way we choose to view them. Jack Rapke and Jackie Levine are producing for ImageMovers. The Kandells, who just signed with Range Media Partners, are the writers behind the Oscar-nominated Disney epic “Moana” and the 2018 film “Adrift,” starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin. They have a number of notable upcoming projects through their banner Twin Ink.

Reddit Announces Public Bug Bounty Program

· Andrew Orr · Link

reddit icon

For the past three years Reddit has maintained a privacy bug bounty program for cybersecurity researchers with HackerOne. On Thursday the company announced a public program.

With our continued growth and visibility, we’re now ready to make the program public and expand the participation to anyone wanting to make a meaningful security impact on Reddit. As we scale the program, our priority will remain focused on protecting the privacy of our user data and identities. We know each security researcher has their own skills and perspective that they bring to the program, and we encourage anyone to submit a report that shows security impact. We’re super excited to hit this milestone and have prepared our team for what’s to come.