Panic at the Tech Job Market

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Jailbreaking RabbitOS: Uncovering secret logs, and GPL violations

The story uncovers the process of jailbreaking the Rabbit R1 device, revealing that RabbitOS is essentially an app running in kiosk mode on Android 13 AOSP. The jailbreak was achieved without unlocking the bootloader or making persistent changes to internal storage. The analysis found that Rabbit Inc. violated the GPL license by not making the sources of their closed-source drivers available, which is detrimental to the free software ecosystem. The jailbreak tool, named "carroot," allows users to gain root access to the device and inspect the factory-installed firmware, highlighting the lack of security measures in place.

Furthermore, it was discovered that the Rabbit R1 device logs excessive user information, including GPS locations, WiFi network names, and user tokens, to internal storage without a user-facing option to delete the data. Rabbit Inc. swiftly addressed this issue in their latest update by reducing logging and adding a factory reset settings option. The article emphasizes the importance of consumers having the ability to inspect and modify the code running on their devices. Despite the known bootrom vulnerabilities since 2019, Rabbit Inc. has not responded to inquiries regarding GPL compliance, indicating a lack of transparency and accountability from the company.

Import and Export Markdown in Google Docs

Google Docs now supports enhanced interoperability with Markdown tools, offering features like converting Markdown to Docs content on paste, copying Docs content as Markdown, exporting a Doc as Markdown, and importing Markdown as a Doc. This update is beneficial for technical content writers, allowing them to seamlessly switch between Docs and Markdown formats. For instance, developers can collaborate on software documentation in Docs and then export it as Markdown for use in other Markdown supporting tools.

End users and developers are the primary beneficiaries of this feature, enabling them to work more efficiently with Markdown in Google Docs. Admins do not have control over this feature, as import and export options are turned on by default. However, the "Copy as Markdown" and "Paste from Markdown" options are initially disabled and can be enabled in Docs by navigating to Tools > Preferences > Enable Markdown. This update is gradually rolling out over a 15-day period starting on July 16, 2024, and is available to all Google Workspace customers, Workspace Individual Subscribers, and users with personal Google accounts.

TinyPod – Apple Watch case with scroll wheel

TinyPod is a new Apple Watch case that aims to transform your smartwatch into a standalone device. With features like a physical scroll wheel, tinyPod offers essential functions such as phone calls, music playback, messaging, email, weather updates, news, voice memos, photos, calendar, maps, calculator, timer, podcasts, audiobooks, and Siri. The device is designed to allow users to leave their phones at home while staying connected through their Apple Watch.

Powered by your Apple Watch, tinyPod offers a form factor that enhances functionality and convenience. The physical scroll wheel provides a tactile scrolling experience, reminiscent of classic devices. The case supports quick and easy magnetic charging using the same Apple Watch magnetic charging cable and offers all-day to multi-day battery life, especially with wrist detection turned off. Additionally, tinyPod supports features like Apple Pay and contact details sharing, making it a versatile accessory for your Apple Watch.

For those looking for a more minimal option, tinyPod lite is available without the scroll wheel, featuring a durable yet flexible case for any Apple Watch. With a price of $79.99 for the case with a scroll wheel and $29.99 for the lite version, tinyPod is compatible with various Apple Watch sizes and series, offering users the option to enhance their smartwatch experience with additional functionalities.

NVIDIA Transitions Fully Towards Open-Source GPU Kernel Modules for Linux

NVIDIA has announced a significant shift towards open-source GPU kernel modules for Linux. Initially released in May 2022 with dual GPL and MIT licensing, the R515 driver targeted datacenter compute GPUs, with GeForce and Workstation GPUs in an alpha state. Over the past two years, NVIDIA has worked on achieving equivalent or better application performance with their open-source GPU kernel modules, adding features like Heterogeneous Memory Management (HMM) support and confidential computing. As a result, NVIDIA is now transitioning fully towards open-source GPU kernel modules, with the upcoming R560 driver release marking this change.

Not all GPUs are compatible with the open-source GPU kernel modules. For cutting-edge platforms like NVIDIA Grace Hopper or NVIDIA Blackwell, the open-source modules are a must, as the proprietary drivers are unsupported. Newer GPUs from architectures like Turing, Ampere, Ada Lovelace, or Hopper are recommended to switch to the open-source modules, while older GPUs from Maxwell, Pascal, or Volta architectures should continue using the proprietary driver. NVIDIA provides a detection helper script to assist users in selecting the appropriate driver for their GPUs. The installation process has also been updated, with the default driver being switched to the open-source driver in most scenarios, and specific instructions provided for different package managers and scenarios like using the CUDA Toolkit.

The Greatest Educational Life Hack: Learning Math Ahead of Time

Learning math ahead of time is highlighted as a significant educational life hack that can safeguard against academic risks and unlock various career opportunities. By pre-learning math concepts before taking them in school or college, students can ensure better understanding, higher grades, and immunity to poor teaching methods. This approach not only minimizes risks associated with fast-paced courses but also opens doors to advanced classes, internships, research projects, and valuable recommendations from professors. Additionally, mastering advanced math early can fast-track students towards discovering their passions, developing valuable skills, and making professional contributions early in their careers, leading to higher levels of career accomplishment.

Contrary to the belief that acceleration in math education may be developmentally inappropriate, research suggests that capable students benefit from early exposure to advanced math without adverse psychological consequences. Accelerating learning based on mastery of prerequisites can lead to positive outcomes in academic achievement and creativity. However, logistical challenges and disincentives in schools may hinder the widespread adoption of acceleration practices, perpetuating the myth of developmental inappropriateness. Despite these challenges, the evidence supports the benefits of early math learning in unlocking academic and career opportunities for students.

The golden age of scammers: AI-powered phishing

Scammers are entering a new era with the use of generative AI, enabling them to send phishing emails that overcome language barriers, reply in real-time, and automate mass personalized campaigns. This advancement in AI technology has made it easier for scammers to spoof domains and gain access to sensitive data, resulting in over $2 billion in scams in 2022 alone. The traditional phishing attacks, which rely on social engineering techniques, are now being replaced by AI phishing attacks that leverage machine learning techniques to create more convincing and personalized scams.

AI phishing attacks involve analyzing vast amounts of data on target segments to create personalized campaigns, including references to recent purchases, interests, or interactions. Scammers use AI to generate convincing email content that mimics the writing style of the target's contacts or known institutions, making the emails appear more legitimate. To defend against these evolving phishing tactics, organizations are advised to implement multi-layered security measures, educate employees on identifying phishing attempts, and prioritize sender reputation through technologies like DMARC. These efforts are crucial in protecting against AI-powered phishing attacks that pose a significant threat to both security and reputation.

Puerto Rico files $1B suit against fossil fuel companies

Puerto Rico has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against fossil fuel companies, including ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Shell, and ConocoPhillips, alleging that they misled the public about climate change and hindered the transition to clean energy. The lawsuit, filed in San Juan by Puerto Rico's Department of Justice, accuses the companies of violating trade laws by promoting fossil fuels without adequately warning about the associated dangers. The island nation seeks damages to help defend itself against climate disasters, such as hurricanes and rising sea levels, exacerbated by greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.

The lawsuit highlights how fossil fuel companies have known for decades about the impact of their products on global warming but continued with business as usual. Puerto Rico anticipates having to spend billions of dollars in the future to cope with climate-related catastrophes, such as the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The suit requests the defendants to contribute to a fund aimed at mitigating the consequences of climate change and strengthening Puerto Rico's infrastructure against future climate-related calamities. This legal action is part of a broader trend of climate suits seeking to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their role in exacerbating climate change and its impacts on communities.

Gitlab Explores Sale

GitLab, a popular web-based DevOps lifecycle tool, is reportedly exploring a potential sale. The company is known for its Git repository management, issue tracking, and continuous integration and deployment capabilities. This move comes as GitLab aims to capitalize on the growing demand for DevOps tools and services in the software development industry.

The potential sale of GitLab has attracted interest from various parties, including other tech companies and private equity firms. GitLab's decision to explore a sale could potentially lead to a significant acquisition in the tech industry, with the company valued at over $6 billion. This development highlights the competitive nature of the DevOps market and the increasing importance of tools like GitLab in modern software development processes.

Darwin Machines

The theory of Darwin Machines, as proposed by William Calvin in "The Cerebral Code," suggests that the brain implements evolution to search a near infinite problem space efficiently. This theory aligns with the idea that evolution is the best algorithm for predicting valid solutions within a complex world. In the context of the brain, sensory inputs trigger specific firing patterns in minicolumns, which then compete to take over the greatest surface area on the brain. The winning firing patterns are rewarded, leading to tendencies being encoded into the structure of the minicolumns for future use. This process of competition and reward mirrors the principles of evolution and forms the basis of intelligence in the brain.

The theory of Darwin Machines satisfies various constraints governing how the brain works, such as being massively parallel in memory and processing, using spatio-temporal patterns for computation, and storing information spatially within minicolumns. By incorporating the concept of cortical columns, which allow for complex encoding of unique patterns, Darwin Machines provide a framework for understanding how the brain processes information and learns. This theory offers insights into solving challenges in artificial intelligence, particularly in enabling both quick, intuitive thinking (system one) and deep, novel thinking (system two) by leveraging the evolutionary approach of competition and reward within neural networks.