The Daily Valet. - 1/24/24, Wednesday
✔️ The Mother of All Breaches
Wednesday, January 24th Edition
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
I'm a big dog guy, and we've got some interesting news today about why they wag their tails.
Today’s Big Story
‘Mother of All Breaches’
26 billion records have been leaked and You've probably been impacted, but it isn't as bad as it sounds
It certainly sounds concerning. After all, there are your run-of-the-mill data leaks, and then there's this. Dubbed the “Mother of All Breaches,” the massive leak revealed more than 26 billion records—including popular sites like LinkedIn, Snapchat, Venmo, Adobe and X— in what experts are calling the largest data leak in history.Fortunately, it actually isn't as bad as it sounds, reports Mashable. The massive 12-terabyte leak was discovered by cybersecurity researcher Bob Dyachenko, working alongside the team at Cybernews. It isn't clear exactly who is responsible for the database, however it contains both credentials and sensitive data. That's undoubtedly bad news. It's never good to have your personal data left exposed online, where anyone can find and utilize it for nefarious purposes. However, the situation is far from as disastrous as it appears.You see, experts say this leak is actually a compiled collection of data from thousands of previous breaches, and doesn't appear to contain any new information. If you've kept up to date on your security, you should have little more to fear than you did yesterday. It's also reasonable to expect that some of the records are duplicated, so there may not necessarily be 26 billion individual records. Maybe just a couple of billion?Still, many are calling it a wake-up call for both individuals and businesses alike. “This is a good time to remember that many of the online tools and platforms we use get breached and either leak or lose our information,” Arctic Wolf CISO Adam Marrè told ITPro. “Threat actors hold onto this data forever, and even add to it, as evidenced by this trove of information,” Marrè added. “Now, more than ever, we need to have good security practices in the face of this reality.”Experts have long advised against re-using the same, easily guessed passwords for multiple accounts, while recommending the use of a password manager to create and store strong logins. “We should never underestimate what cybercriminals can achieve with such limited information,” Eset's global cybersecurity advisory Jake Moore told Computer Weekly. He urged people to change their passwords promptly, stay vigilant against phishing emails and turn on two-factor authentication for all accounts, regardless of whether they were affected by the latest breach.
Cybernews has compiled a searchable list online where users can look up potentially compromised sites.
Union Membership Drops to Record Low
AMerican unions flexed their muscles last year, but The share of workers in unions dropped to 10 percent
Unions commanded big headlines last year, but that didn't translate into higher membership rates, according to government data released Tuesday. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said 10% of hourly and salaried workers were members of unions in 2023, or around 14.4 million people.That is an all-time low, down from a high of 20.1% in 1983. The drop also came despite a recent Gallup poll finding approval of unions reaching its highest point since 1965. Interestingly, the total number of union members in the United States actually grew by 139,000 last year—with gains in the private sector offsetting losses in government jobs. But the percentage fell because the workforce grew at a faster rate than union membership.According to the Washington Post, the new data also complicates President Biden's self-proclaimed record as the country's “most pro-union” president and emphasis on creating union jobs. His biggest accomplishments for the labor movement include approving trillions of dollars in spending on infrastructure and semiconductor and climate packages that incentivize companies to hire union workers.
Anne Hathaway walked out of a Vanity Fair photo shoot on Tuesday in solidarity with the Condé Nast union work stoppage.
Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails?
It's been something of a mystery ... until now
Dogs are great. That's not news, but why they wag their tails is making headlines. While most people believe that tail-wagging shows that a dog is excited to see them, a new study suggests otherwise. A new study published in The Royal Society Publishing Journal suggests that while tail wagging represents a whole canine language, there's more to it. In other words, there's another little-known, scientific reason behind this endearing behavior.According to researchers, tail-wagging in dogs is a by-product of the domestication process. You see, wolves hardly ever wag their bushy tails. But over the 35,000 years since dogs were domesticated from the pack, humans likely altered dogs' tail behavior without realizing it.The scientists suggest that early humans might have unconsciously preferred dogs that exhibited more rhythmic movements. The findings could flip the long-held belief that dogs are wagging their tails because they're happy. However, they acknowledge that this is just one theory and that the behavior could also be a byproduct of dogs becoming more sociable. But it does fit with the dozens of traits and behaviors that changed during dog domestication—from the appearance of their body size and fur, to their ability to make “puppy-dog eyes.”
Scientists just invented a video camera that lets you see how animals see color.
Snubs and Surprises of the Oscar Noms
Breaking down the nominations for the Academy Awards
Boy, award season has felt very present this year, huh? Or maybe it's just been slow news days ... in any case, the internet was up in arms on Tuesday, as the nominations for the 96th Academy Awards were announced. As Slate reports, sometimes the story of nominations morning is a series of big surprises, suggesting a wide-open field that no one can predict. “And sometimes the story of nominations morning is one movie consolidating its power. Before the nominations, Oppenheimer had a shot at 13 nods; it nailed every single one.”Unfortunately, its partner in this summer's blockbuster Barbenheimer phenomenon wasn't as lucky. Or as Vulture put it: “Hollywood is still one big Mojo Dojo Casa House.” While America Ferrera scored a surprise Best Supporting Actress nod for Barbie, Greta Gerwig was unexpectedly left out of the Best Director category, and star Margot Robbie failed to land a Best Actress nod for her role as the titular character. Outside of Barbie, Oscar winner and frequent nominee Leonardo DiCaprio was also a surprise snub as he failed to land a nomination for best actor for his role in 10-time nominee Killers of the Flower Moon. And the film was unexpectedly left out of the adapted screenplay race.It was cool to see Sterling K. Brown sneaking into Best Supporting Actor for American Fiction, even though his performance was brief and mostly comedic—never a sure thing with the Academy. For those of us who love fierce competition on Oscar night, the place to look may be in the smaller battles. Can Paul Giamatti, who has been campaigning his ass off, sneak past Cillian Murphy in Best Actor? Which also-ran will the academy throw a bone to in Best Original Screenplay? I'll be particularly invested in who will prevail in the Emma Stone–Lily Gladstone Best Actress battle, since it's the only major category in which Oppenheimer is not nominated.
The Hollywood Reporter has the full list of nominees, should you want to review yourself.
In Other News
His second consecutive victory in his bid to secure his party's nomination.
Have you heard about ...
The Science of Gratitude
Finding ways to be grateful has a big impact on your health and wellbeing
Gratitude is powerful. It's a transformative emotion that's been revered by cultures across the globe for centuries. Beyond its cultural and spiritual significance, science has delved into the study of what being thankful really does for our body and mind—uncovering its profound impact on mental, emotional and physical well-being. It's linked to everything from happiness and life satisfaction to less anxiety and depression.
But what are we talking about when we say “gratitude”? Most people have an instinctive understanding of what gratitude is, but it can be surprisingly difficult to define. Is it an emotion? A virtue? A behavior? Indeed, gratitude can mean different things to different people in different contexts. In its simplest form, gratitude refers to a state of thankfulness. And researchers at UC Berkley suggest that gratitude is not simply a cultural construct. They found it has deep roots that are embedded in our evolutionary history, our brains and DNA.
What We’re Buying
A stylish Valentine's day gift
Valentine's Day is about two weeks away and if you're in a relationship, there's a certain expectation that attention must be paid. Your affection cannot, of course, be measured in dollars and cents. Then again, show up empty-handed and you'll undoubtedly find yourself in the doghouse. The struggle is real—have you been together long enough for jewelry? Not long enough? What we do know is that you don't have to go nuts on silly, frilly Cupid-themed crap. Step away from the oversized teddy bear, heart-shaped jewelry or boilerplate red roses. Think outside the box and pick up something the man or woman in your life might actually like (and use).
Ready to win?
Over two dozen stylish gift ideas for the men and women in your life.
Keep pushing forward.
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