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“How I got scammed”

Here’s the thing about cyber security: Even smart people can get scammed. Even when you know what to watch for and how to prevent problems, you can be taken advantage of. All it takes is a momentary loss of vigilance. Our first story today is a prime example.

“How I got scammed.” [Pluralistic] — “Goddammit. The thing is, I know a lot about fraud. I’m writing an entire series of novels about this kind of scam. And most summers, I go to Defcon, and I always go to the ‘social engineering’ competitions where an audience listens as a hacker in a soundproof booth cold-calls merchants (with the owner’s permission) and tries to con whoever answers the phone into giving up important information. But I’d been conned.”

Everyone’s a sellout now. [Vox] — “The internet has made it so that no matter who you are or what you do — from nine-to-five middle managers to astronauts to house cleaners — you cannot escape the tyranny of the personal brand. For some, it looks like updating your LinkedIn connections whenever you get promoted; for others, it’s asking customers to give you five stars on Google Reviews; for still more, it’s crafting an engaging-but-authentic persona on Instagram. And for people who hope to publish a bestseller or release a hit record, it’s ‘building a platform’.”

The mind-boggling reach of Super Bowl commercials. [Stat Significant] — “Super Bowl ads have become an object of cultural celebration, with a reach that greatly surpasses most movies and TV shows. Consider the collective hours spent viewing a single year’s Super Bowl commercials. Assuming a base of 120 million viewers watching 70 advertisements with an average length of 40 seconds per ad, we can project nearly 79 million hours of total watch time for this year’s commercials (and that doesn’t even include their afterlife on YouTube).”

I know that a lot of you probably already see Casey Neistat’s videos and don’t need me to point you to them. But I thought his most recent piece was excellent, and I want to share it anyhow. Here’s his 12-minute look at how it took him seventeen years to achieve a personal goal: Sisyphus and the impossible dream.

That’s all I have for you folks today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more great stuff! See you then.