Web Weekly: Vol. 4

2 min read

I skimmed through dozens of newsletters this week. Here’s some interesting articles I found.

Watch out for AI voice scams

  • People have been receiving calls from people they know asking them for money
  • It turns out these are scammers using AI to mimic their voice
  • All a scammer needs is a few seconds of your voice from a YouTube video and your relatives phone number
  • AI can then re-create the pitch, timbre and individual sounds of a person’s voice to create an overall effect that is similar
  • Some ways to combat this
    • Ensure people are calling from phone numbers you’ve stored for them (though this can also be spoofed)
    • Ask verification questions before you engage in private conversations (especially for finances and if they’re calling from an unknown number)
      • Where did we meet? Where was I born? What’s my favorite television show or activity?
    • Ask trick questions:
      • What’s my second son’s first name? (when you don’t have kids or only 1)
      • Where did I meet my husband? (when you don’t have a husband or you don’t have a spouse)
    • Don’t take any inbound calls from “companies” unless you’re expecting their call. Hang up, Google their number, and call them back. These could be scammers recording your voice for future use.

Moral of the story: Be vigilant with ANYBODY asking you for money.

Watch out for Chrome extensions that steals everything

Click “Continue Reading” when the signup pop up appears

  • The author goes through an exercise where they create a Chrome extension that has full access to your browser. And I mean FULL!
  • Some of the more scary permissions include:
    • Read and modify data you copy and paste
    • Capture content of your screen
    • Manage your downloads

Moral of the story: Be vigilant with Chrome extensions and their permissions.

How a single engineer brought down Twitter

  • Elon Musk’s steep layoffs have left Twitter with so few engineers that only one person was on a major project involving the platform’s API
  • Users would see a mysterious error message reporting that “your current API plan does not include access to this endpoint.”
  • Part of a project to shut down free access to the Twitter API
  • Only one site reliability engineer has been staffed on the project made a “bad configuration change” that “basically broke the Twitter API,”

Word-As-Image for Semantic Typography

Imagine the “A” in STAR the shape of a star. Imagine the “Y” in BUNNY the shape of a bunny. Imagine the “T” in BALLET the shape of a ballerina. This soon to be GitHub repo shows examples of how that will soon be done easily using AI.

Written on March 13, 2023

The opinions expressed here are my own and do not reflect any individual or organization from my past or present.


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