Geek News Central 19th Anniversary Episode #1698

Geek News Central celebrates 19 years of podcasting, one of today’s longest-running podcasts! Our lead story today is a stark warning for all of you: Before you purchase that affordable Android TV box, ensure it’s not from an unknown brand. Cybersecurity experts from Human Security have sounded the alarm, revealing that multiple Android TV boxes, including models like the T95, T95Z, T95MAX, and others, along with a tablet model J5-W, come pre-installed with a notorious malware termed “Badbox”. This malware, rooted in the Triada malware lineage, springs into action when the unsuspecting user turns on their device. It subsequently connects to its command & control server and downloads a second wave of malware as instructed.

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Show Notes:

Here is a summary of the key points from the 19th-anniversary episode of the Geek News Central podcast:

  • This episode marks 19 years of the Geek News Central podcast. Todd thanked listeners for their support over the years.
  • Israeli energy and defense targets were hit by cyberattacks linked to Gaza. Microsoft attributed the attacks to a group called Storm113 assisting Hamas.
  • Cheap Android TV boxes are being shipped with malware that is difficult to remove. Models include T95, T95Z, T95 Max X88, and others. Over 74,000 infected devices were identified.
  • Most CEOs think workers will be back in the office full-time soon, but some caution a one-size-fits-all approach may not work. 64% think employees will be back full-time by 2026.
  • Walmart is data mining prescription information like Ozempic to analyze and compare the purchasing habits of users vs non-users. Raises privacy concerns.
  • Google says a budget Pixel phone is not in the cards, as it would require too many compromises.
  • An AI designed a small robot that can move on a flat surface in under 60 seconds—more details coming in a report.
  • Twitter may introduce three subscription tiers. Those paying more would see fewer ads. It is aimed at reducing bots.
  • THE IBM CEO doing damage control after AI job loss comments says there are no plans to lay off developers or programmers.
  • Venture funding in crypto dropped 93% in the lead-up to the FTX collapse—just $2 billion invested in Q3 2022.
  • Microsoft tightened censorship on Bing’s AI image creator, DALL-E 3. The results are odd, and it’s even censoring itself now.
  • The net neutrality court case may hinge on whether broadband is deemed telecommunications.
  • An ex-soldier tried to sell secrets to China after seeking advice on Reddit. He had a top-secret clearance and Chinese language skills.
  • UK watchdog warned Snapchat about privacy risks of its My AI chatbot. May force it to shut down My AI in the UK.
  • Medical credit cards are a bad idea with high-interest rates, according to Lifehacker.
  • The ad-supported Prime Video tier could help Amazon make $6 billion per analysis.
  • Some ransomware attacks are now deployed in hours rather than lurking and are driven by lower detection rates.
  • Researchers identified the most significant solar storm in ancient tree rings – 14,300 years ago. It would be catastrophic today.
  • Google made billions by secretly changing its ad auction algorithm to charge advertisers more.
  • DC election board discloses data breach impacting 600,000+ voter records.
  • Lawyers argue Sam Bankman-Fried’s $500M AI investment shouldn’t sway the jury in the FTX case.
  • Per FTC, social media scams have stolen $2.7 billion from victims since 2021. Romance scams are still a big threat.
  • Ex-SpaceX engineer filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination, with women and minorities paid less.
  • NASA to launch asteroid study mission on SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket on October 27.

That covers the key stories and topics discussed in the 19th-anniversary episode.

About Todd Cochrane

Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.