Internet Trends 2017 are out, hacking power grids is possible & the blockchain keeps growing

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2017 are out, power grids can be shut down by hackers and the blockchain ecosystem keeps growing.

2017 Internet Trends report

Mary Meeker’s 2107 Internet Trends are out! If you work in (web) marketing, communication, PR and other related fields you might want to check it out. It’s 355 pages but totally worth it!

The National Bank of Canada Just Joined An Alliance to Develop Ethereum

Interesting to see how banks join the cryptocurrencies wagon. They might be slower to adopt but it might be crucial for their survival on the long term.

On Monday, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announced 86 new members that will work together to develop business applications on the Ethereum blockchain, including Toyota, Deloitte, Samsung SDS, and the National Bank of Canada.

David Bonderman Resigns From Uber Board After Sexist Remark

As if Uber didn’t have enough reputation problems already (including sexual harassment claims).

Earlier in the day at an Uber staff meeting to discuss the company’s culture, Arianna Huffington, another board member, talked about how one woman on a board often leads to more women joining a board. “Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking,” Mr. Bonderman responded.


Crash Override Malware Took Down Ukraine’s Power Grid Last December

It’s known that computers and networks used by power plants and other crucial infrastructures are often poorly maintained or secured but this is really really (fascinating, but) scary and worrying. Check out the technical analysis over here (pdf).

The researchers describe that malware, which they’ve alternately named “Industroyer” or “Crash Override,” as only the second-ever known case of malicious code purpose-built to disrupt physical systems. The first, Stuxnet, was used by the US and Israel to destroy centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear enrichment facility in 2009. The researchers say this new malware can automate mass power outages, like the one in Ukraine’s capital, and includes swappable, plug-in components that could allow it to be adapted to different electric utilities, easily reused, or even launched simultaneously across multiple targets.

Design in the Era of the Algorithm

Josh Clark explores designers’ new roles and responsibilities when they design for the machines.

The design and presentation of data is just as important as the underlying algorithm. Algorithmic interfaces are a huge part of our future, and getting their design right is critical — and very, very hard to do. My work has begun to turn to the responsible and humane presentation of data-driven interfaces. And I suspect that yours will, too, in very short order. While constructing these machine learning models is indeed heavy-duty data science, using them is not. Tons of these machine learning models are available to all of us here to build upon right now.

Mapping the decentralized world of tomorrow

Neat map of the blockchain ecosystem.

By using the term “decentralization” I refer to a process of redistributing functions, people, powers or things away from a central authority. The problem with centralized systems is that they lack transparency, allow for single points of failure, censorship, abuse of power and inefficiencies.

XSS Attacks: The Next Wave

Cross Site Scripting is not gone and it actually looks like it’s coming in full force in 2017. This resurgence might be the result of more Single Page Apps, more persistence and caching of Javascript and badly managed dependencies.

In 2017 there is a dramatic upward trend — in the first 5.5 months of the year (up to the time of this writing), 508 vulns have been reported, more than in all of 2016. Extrapolating to the entire year yields an estimate of 1,354 vulns to be reported this year, representing unprecedented growth of 166%.

Web development / Web design

Skeuomorphism In Conversational Design —

Fascinating read about the role skeuomorphism plays in chat bots.

No matter how you design a conversation, people’s experience will be influenced not just by the conversational experience itself, but by all the expectations they have about it as well. It’s our job to make those expectations help shape the experience in a way that’s beneficial for the user, not the other way around.

Upgrading from Node 6 to Node 8: a real-world performance comparison

Node 6 vs. 8 : who’s the fastest? (spoiler alert right under)

To be honest, with Node 8 I was expecting an improvement of maybe a few percent, and wouldn’t have been surprised if that didn’t translate into the real world. But shaving a quarter off server-rendering time and a third off NPM install time is amazing.

Spellbook-of-modern-webdev: A Big Picture, Thesaurus, and Taxonomy of Modern JavaScript Web Development

Amazing bible of javascript resources.

Bits and pieces

If you are a developer, you’ll be happy to learn that developers who use spaces make more money than those who use tabs. On the internet security front, it looks like the NSA has linked the WannaCry computer worm to North Korea.

For the AI fans out there, get some great open source datasets for your machine learning experiments here. Europe just ended mobile roaming fees in the 28 Member State bloc!

Beware, it seems like Mac users are getting targeted by ransomware and spyware too. Check out how this professor grades programming assignments on GitHub. And Instagram finally decided to add a new label to better differentiate paid-for posts from regular content.