Tech Beat by Namecheap – 31 March 2023
We all know that online scams are one of the potential dangers of the internet, but did you know that those cybercriminals are sometimes scamming each other? We decided to take a closer look at the different ways in which hackers are targeting other hackers — and why this could be good news for everyone else.
In other news
- Utah imposes digital curfew on children. Utah has passed two new laws to combat kids’ social media addiction and hold social media companies accountable. The Register reports that the requirements of the two new laws, SB152 and HB311, include a digital curfew for kids using social media between 10.30 pm and 6.30 am. The laws would also require social media companies to verify that users are 18 or older and remove any features that might cause minors to become addicted to a platform. Advocacy groups have already criticized the decision, with Electronic Frontier Foundation stating these laws would interfere with the rights of both young people and adults.
- Unknown USB drive blows up in journalist’s face. According to Ars Technica, five Ecuadorian journalists received USB drives in the mail, each designed to detonate when activated. One journalist, Lenin Artieda from the TV station Ecuavisa, inserted the drive into his computer. It exploded. Fortunately, the journalist’s injuries weren’t severe, and nobody else was harmed. An investigating police officer said the drive contained a 5-volt explosive charge and RDX, an explosive chemical compound. Ecuador Interior Minister Juana Zapata has described the incidents as “an absolutely clear message to silence journalists.” Investigations are still ongoing, and the motive behind the attacks is currently unknown.
- New regulations aim to ease the pain of canceling online subscriptions. Are you tired of struggling to cancel subscriptions that you no longer need or want? Wired reports the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a new regulation in the US that could make your life a whole lot easier. The “click to cancel” provision will require companies that offer subscription services online to make canceling them as easy as it is to sign up in the first place. This means that you won’t have to jump through hoops or navigate confusing websites to cancel your subscription. The proposed regulation is a huge win for consumers who often feel frustrated and trapped by subscription services.
- Real-time collaboration is definitely coming to WordPress. Gutenberg Phase 3 is officially in the planning stage, and WP Tavern has some details about what it has in store. With the Site Editor set to exit the beta in 6.2 and the major tasks of Phase 2 nearing completion, Gutenberg lead architect Matias Ventura has already published a preliminary outline of what we can expect from the next “Collaboration” phase of the project. Real-time collaboration, something that we’ve previously experienced in apps like Google Docs, is at the top of the list.
- A giant step for network tech. Nokia and NASA recently teamed up to build a 4G network on the moon. As part of the Artemis program, the lunar network will enable communication and streaming of high-definition video from the moon to Earth. According to Gizmodo, such capabilities will be critical when NASA sends two astronauts to the moon in 2025, the first time humans have walked on the moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
- Water, water everywhere—even on the moon? Speaking of the moon, China’s Chang’e-5 mission discovered glass beads on the moon’s surface that may contain water. Scientists believe these beads form when meteorites smash into the lunar surface. As documented in Nature Geoscience and reported in The Register, if this discovery pans out, it would represent a significant breakthrough for space exploration.
Tip of the week: Create your own cancellation safety net
Are you tired of being stuck with an unwanted monthly subscription draining your bank account? If so, you’re not alone. Canceling online subscriptions can be a real headache, but until the new FTC regulations are official, there are ways to make the process much easier.
- Read the cancellation policy before you buy. It’s essential to read the terms and conditions of the subscription before signing up. This will give you a clear understanding of how to cancel and what fees may be associated. If the terms seem sketchy, don’t start the service in the first place.
- Set a cancellation reminder on your calendar. After seeing the last possible date to cancel before the next payment, create a reminder in your calendar app 7 days in advance. Even when you fully intend to keep the subscription, notify yourself in case the product or service doesn’t turn out to be what you expected. It’s much easier to dismiss a notification than get a refund for something that’s already shipped.
- Always message customer service with questions. When you have trouble canceling directly on the website, contact customer service for help immediately. No need to wait until you are frustrated to the max — some cancellation processes are intentionally tricky. Agents can guide you through the process or even cancel your subscription on the back end. Keep track of any cancellation confirmation numbers or emails for your records.
- “Losing” your credit card may not work. In the past, banks and credit unions would issue you a new card and a new number if you lost your old one, requiring you to update all of your recurring accounts. However, many financial institutions now provide automatic updates to those accounts, so you may not have much luck using this technique to get out of annoying subscriptions.