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Cyberattack targets US think tank Heritage Foundation

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Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation said on Friday that it experienced a cyberattack earlier this week. A person with knowledge of the cyberattack told TechCrunch that efforts at Heritage were underway to remediate the cyberattack, but said that it wasn’t immediately known what, if any, data was taken. Politico, which first reported the news of the cyberattack on Friday, cited a Heritage official as saying the organization “shut down its network to prevent any further malicious activity while we investigate the incident.”The news outlet quoted the Heritage official as saying that the cyberattack likely came from nation-state hackers, but did not provide evidence of the claim. Founded in 1973, Heritage is based in Washington DC, and supports and lobbies on conservative issues. Heritage was hit by a cyberattack in 2015 in which hackers stole internal emails and the personal information of its donors.

Reflections and Musings on Upfront Summit: Rants, Artificial Intelligence and Beyond

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The venture capital stars were shining in Los Angeles this week at the Upfront Summit, an invite-only VC conference founded by Mark Suster and known for going all-out. AI was the talk of the town again and even some celebrities graced the stage, including Lady Gaga, Cameron Diaz, Katy Perry and Novak Djokovic. What may have been a little different this year, though, is that it’s been a tough one for venture capital and startups seeking venture capital. Keith Rabois, managing director at Khosla Ventures, briefly addressed rumors about what led him to leave Founders Fund earlier this year. Rabois didn’t come out and call people there “lazy,” though he did note that he knows founders who look elsewhere for talent.

Apple reverses stance on blocking web apps on iPhones in the EU

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Apple has reversed its decision about blocking web apps, also known as Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), on iPhones in the EU. Last month, Apple reduced the functionality of PWAs as mere website shortcuts with the release of the second beta of iOS 17.4, as security researcher Tommy Mysk and Open Web Advocacy had first pointed out. The company then updated its developer page saying that because of security risks like malicious web apps reading data from other web apps and accessing cameras, it decided to end support for home screen apps. Apple also said that PWAs had “very low user adoption” so there might not be a lot of impact on users. Separately, the Open Web Advocacy group published an open letter addressed to Tim Cook to lift the ban on web apps, which was signed by hundreds of organizations and individuals including Mastodon, internet advocate Cory Doctorowand Vercel CTO Malte Ubl.

Saying Farewell to the Small Helicopter That Overcame All Odds

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Ingenuity, the small helicopter that’s been buzzing around the Red Planet for almost three years, took its final flight late last week. In the end, the helicopter ended up performing a staggering 72 flights, collectively traveling 11 miles and climbing up to 79 feet at the highest altitude. Most of these people have not been subjected to the rigorous psychological tests that Shuttle astronauts receive. On January 28, 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after lift-off, killing all seven crew members. The disaster resulted in a nearly three-year moratorium on Space Shuttle missions and subsequent investigations identified myriad issues within NASA culture that indriectly or directly led to the disaster.

“Mastodon’s Creator Praises Threads’ Federation, Declaring it a Superior Alternative to X”

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More importantly for Mastodon, Meta committed to integrating Threads with ActivityPub, meaning users would be able to find and follow both Mastodon and Threads users across both services. While many expected that integration wouldn’t arrive until early 2024, Meta surprised everyone by announcing yesterday that it would begin testing ActivityPub integration. I’m pretty optimistic about this,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on Threads. Threads users’ profiles on Mastodon weren’t backfilled with their older posts before the integration went live. With Threads’ integration into Mastodon’s ecosystem, users will have more choice in how they want to engage with Threads users and content, including by accessing those accounts from an app of their choosing.