WTF Weekly for June 22, 2019

Hit me up on Twitter if you notice any typos, or just want to talk about some of the stuff posted within!

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If you’re still using an AirPort (or Time Capsule), you should upgrade your firmware ASAP.

I wonder if this is related to any of several recent vulnerabilities that have affected other routers and Apple is just late to the patching game, or if it’s something else entirely.

I quit using my Time Capsule not long after Apple announced they’re out of the router business anyway. Firstly, I don’t trust Apple to be interested enough now to worry about all security vulnerabilities, and secondly, my Time Capsule couldn’t cover my house adequately anymore for some reason. I now am basking in the glow of fast, ever-present radio waves from a Netgear Orbi mesh system.

Inside Apple’s team that greenlights iPhone apps for the App Store.

That’s a somewhat awkward headline to a somewhat interesting story by CNBC on the Apple App Store app approval team (talk about awkward phrasing). I think most of us probably already knew a lot of this from listening to podcasts like The Talk Show and ATP, but a couple interesting things caught my eye.

I find it intriguing that some App Store principals are named while others are kept anonymous (hi, “Bill”) for safety and security reasons. I’m sure there are angry developers, but are Apple execs really afraid of a handful of irritated app developers?

I would have liked to have seen a little better explanation of the kinds of things Apple is trying to prevent on iOS with the App Store, such as location tracking misuse, personal data leakage, etc.

3 products that would be hits for Apple if the company made them.

Speaking of Apple routers…

Dan Moren makes a good case on Macworld for Apple to address some unmet customer needs with a nice standalone display that doesn’t cost $6,000 and isn’t a reference monitor; secure and private networking in the form of a HomeKit router; and iCloud backup for Macs.

I’ll admit when Apple announced the HomeKit router spec at WWDC this year, my first thought was “Yeah, and you bastards killed the Airport, didn’t you?”. My second thought was “I wonder if HomeKit is coming to Netgear Orbi?” (Answer so far: No). As for the monitor, it seems like a no-brainer. The market for that $6,000 reference monitor pales in comparison to a stand-alone 5k display like that in the current iMac.

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Trump approved cyber strikes against Iran’s missile systems.

According to the Washington Post, we just launched offensive cyber attacks on Iran to disable their middle launch control systems. This comes right after Trump first decided to militarily attack Iran and then decided otherwise.

Really, speaking of fake news, it’s hard to know what Trump is doing and what he isn’t, because he and his administration lie about everything. I think it’s safe to assume though, based on reports, that Trump really was about to go to war with Iran and then decided not to.

Militia threat shuts down Oregon Statehouse amid walkout.

Leave it to Oregon republicans to run away rather than vote on a climate bill. I try not to swear in print because it generally is a sign of a weak vocabulary, but I’ll just say it – these Republicans are cowardly assholes.

On top of it, a bunch of right-wing gun nuts threatened to provide armed guard for these GOP senators in the event that state police came to haul them back to the Capitol. Among them were the Oregon Three Percenters, a lovely group of individuals whose name apparently comes from the three percent of their brains they’re currently utilizing.

God bless Oregon and its merry band of nutty armed conservatives.

Rogue slug blamed for Japanese railway chaos.

Sure, blame the dead guy.

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Florida city pays hackers $600,000 in ransom to save computer records.

This has to be a record ransomware payout. And it seems insane. Honestly, I’m not sure if the best advice is the FBI’s (don’t pay) or that of the unnamed security consultants (do pay). I guess we’ll know if we ever see an update on the outcome.

The Highly Dangerous ‘Triton’ Hackers Have Probed the Us Grid.

This story seems like some seriously bad news, and it’s even more unsettling when immediately followed by:

The US Has Allegedly Placed Malware Deep in Russia’s Power Grid.

One has to wonder if this is in response to the above story or vice versa, or if it’s all just wacky coincidence and everyone is all up in everyone else’s grids.

Either way it seems really hard for us to complain about the unsettling ticking time bombs in our own electric grid when we’re bragging about doing the same to other countries.

It’s a nutty time to be alive.

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New Report Suggests ‘High Likelihood of Human Civilization Coming to an End’ Starting in 2050.

I thought my science report was going to be fun and cheerful this week to take your mind off all the electric grid hacking going on, but nope. It’s not. Instead we get to learn about the imminent demise of civilization.

This will make those gun nuts in the story about Oregon happy though.

Selling tickets to the space station is actually decades overdue.

If you think a lot of unqualified and incautious people have died on Mt. Everest in recent years, wait until you see what happens when rich people with more money than brains start touristing their way up into space!

I’ll watch from here, thanks.

New report finds NASA awarded Boeing large fees despite SLS launch slips.

I want a job where I can get nine-figure bonuses despite not meeting expectations and generally falling years behind schedule. Anyone want to hire me?