GeekSpeak for 2017-11-17

Scambot Hijacks Scott Kelly's Exoskeleton

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Want to find out how waste the scammers time, or how likely you are to be hacked? How about what spending a year in space is like? Join us on this week’s Geek Speak and we’ll discuss these stories and a whole lot more.

StarCraft II will be free to play starting November 14

The game was divided into three episodes, each focusing on one of the three playable races (Human, Zerg and Protoss — but you knew that), and only the first (the human one) will be available for free. If you already own Wings of Liberty (as the episode is called) you can also get the Heart of the Swarm chapter for free by logging in and claiming it before December 8.

Send scam emails to this chatbot and it’ll waste their time for you - The Verge

Chatbots. They’re usually a waste of your time, so why not have them waste someone else’s instead? Better yet: why not have them waste an email scammer’s time.

That’s the premise behind Re:scam, an email chatbot operated by New Zealand cybersecurity firm Netsafe. Next time you get a dodgy email in your inbox, says Netsafe, forward it on to me@rescam.org, and a proxy email address will start replying to the scammer for you, doing its very utmost to waste their time. You can see a few sample dialogues in the video above, or check out a longer back-and-forth below.

It looks infuriatingly effective

Google Online Security Blog: New research: Understanding the root cause of account takeover

Account takeover, or ‘hijacking’, is unfortunately a common problem for users across the web. More than 15% of Internet users have reported experiencing the takeover of an email or social networking account. However, despite its familiarity, there is a dearth of research about the root causes of hijacking.

Exit Interview: Scott Kelly, an Astronaut Who Spent a Year in Space

Being an astronaut is not all zero-gravity gymnastics and big blue marble flyovers. There’s also all the time spent repairing the urine collector and hunting for lost screws. Scott Kelly’s delightful new memoir, Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery, chronicles the mundane, frustrating, and surprisingly funny reality of life on the International Space Station (ISS). Endurance recounts his year up there—including the Sisyphean struggles to fix the urine collector—his unlikely career as an astronaut, and his partnership with identical twin brother and fellow astronaut Mark Kelly. Kelly retired as an astronaut in 2016, shortly after the end of his year-long mission, but NASA continues to monitor his health. They’re examining specifically how his year in space affected Scott compared to his ground-bound twin, Mark. Atlas Obscura CEO David Plotz interviewed Kelly on his book tour in Washington, D.C. He was accompanied by his fiancée Amiko Kauderer, who makes a cameo.

Ford Pilots a New Exoskeleton to Lessen Worker Fatigue

Working in a car factory in this current era isn’t too physically demanding, with robots doing pretty much all of the heavy-lifting. Yet, despite not having to carry so much weight, factory workers in Ford’s car manufacturing plants still do tedious and difficult work, considering how they have to perform overhead tasks repeatedly, up to 4,600 times a day or one million times a year.

Trevor Noah: By the Book - The New York Times

The “Daily Show” host and author of “Born a Crime” travels a lot, but doesn’t read when he flies: “I can’t stay awake when I try to read on a plane. Planes are for watching movies based on books.”

Lockpicking: Detail Overkill - NinjaCache (PDF)

A great pamphlet on how to pick a lock.

iOS 11 passes 50% adoption in under 2 months

The various figures and estimates released by marketing and research firms are no longer relevant, as we now know for certain that iOS 11 has passed the 50 percent mark in less than two months. In other words, the latest version of the company’s mobile operating system is now on one in every two of its mobile devices.

Hackers Claim to Break Face ID a Week After iPhone X Release

When Apple released the iPhone X on November 3, it touched off an immediate race among hackers around the world to be the first to fool the company’s futuristic new form of authentication. A week later, hackers on the actual other side of the world claim to have successfully duplicated someone’s face to unlock his iPhone X—with what looks like a simpler technique than some security researchers believed possible.

Google’s Extremely Shortsighted and Bizarre New Restrictions on Accessibility Services

Beyond the overall vagueness when it comes to what is meant by disabilities, this entire approach by Google seems utterly wrongheaded and misguided.