WTF Weekly

my thoughts on the week that was

26 Feb 2020

WTF Weekly for Feb 26, 2020

Coronavirus pandemic a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’, warns U.S.

In what will no doubt be considered a massive understatement, I’m going to float the idea that this is probably the worst possible time to have a corrupt and incompetent administration in charge of our country. The Chinese did themselves in to a large extent by trying to substitute their fantasy for reality, and their government isn’t even incompetent, it’s “just” authoritarian.

Aside from the obvious human impact, the economic and social impacts are going to get increasingly depressing as well. Life won’t go on as usual for quite some time if this keeps spreading in pockets around the world and threatening to teeter into pandemic status.

Apple and Tesla under fire over software engineer’s fatal Autopilot crash

I’m not going to say that technology shouldn’t prevent people from being idiots in cars, but… people ARE being idiots in cars. I don’t see how anyone familiar with Tesla Autopilot would feel comfortable enough with it to play games on their phone instead of paying attention, especially after well-publicized cases like the guy who died watching movies in his Tesla.

These Tesla people are nuts.

Remembering Katherine Johnson, NASA’s ‘Hidden Figures’ hero, for her love of numbers

The world lost a stellar human being on February 24th. Katherine Johnson was a natural mathematician who contributed both to the space race and the breaking down of barriers for women and African-Americans in the 1960’s.

“Quietly the quality of my contribution began to outweigh the arbitrary laws of racial segregation and the dictates that held back my gender,” Johnson wrote of her early days working as a computer. “I truly loved going to work every single day.”

Incredibly, her job of performing complex calculations by hand, ones that a majority of people would be incapable of understanding, was labeled “subprofessional”. Without her work, many more men would have died in the space program.

What a legend.

Why Rudy Giuliani’s Twitter typos are a security fail

The opposite of a legend: idiot extraordinaire, Rudy Giuliani.

It’s hilarious how bad this guy is at everything, including what was supposedly his expertise: making the web safer.1

Linking to non-existent domains seems harmless, and it probably would be if most of us unknowns were doing it, but when someone famous and stupid does it, malicious types can register that domain and present visitors with some nasty surprises.

It’s such a needless self-and-others-own by Giuliani, but that is one thing he’s actually pretty good at.

Nasty Android malware reinfects its targets, and no one knows how

The headline of this article claims “no one knows how”, but it seems like we do know how – somehow Android allows certain files to persist even after factory resets. That seems nutty. But then again, Android in general seems nutty to me. It’s been a security dumpster fire for however long its been in existence.

Hit me up on Twitter to yell at me about typos or to talk about anything I’ve included here.

You can find more of my thoughts on tech and other projects on my personal site at scottwillsey.com


  1. It’s impossible to say that with a straight face, btw. ↩︎