Another day, another data breach: Careem data breach affects 14 million customers

TechCrunch has the story on this data breach affecting Careem’s customers, 14 million of them:

Hackers accessed the names, email addresses, phone numbers and trip data of anyone who signed up for Careem prior to January 14…

Careem said it became aware of the security incident back in January. Since then, Careem said it has conducted an investigation and strengthened its security systems.

The company waited until now to tell people because “we wanted to make sure we had the most accurate information before notifying people,”



Zulip 1.8 is released, alternative to Slack and HipChat

Zulip, the free/open source team chat project has released their 1.8 version. We’ve talked about Zulip and other Slack alternatives on SourceContribute before. What makes Zulip special, aside from being free/open source, is that it has better threads and threading than Slack.

Threads are ways of creating a continuous discussion around a particular topic. In Slack, they’re very rarely used, everyone usually just @-replies. However, Zulip’s UX for threads makes them so useful that you’ll be using them far more often.

Not only that! Zulip also has video calls integrated with Jitsi Meet.

And a new feature I really like is being able to @-reply to a group of people; you can do things like @teamA or @marketing to make it easier and faster to notify the right group of people about something.


Zulip was posted on ProductHunt in December. Other free/open source projects should be posting their releases on ProductHunt too; there are far too many proprietary projects on that site.

Zulip has a new darker theme, keeping in tune with the hacker/coder idea of what makes a great desktop environment.

I have a feeling that Zulip is in the right spot, along with, to really give Slack a run for its money now. Just check out the number of integrations that Zulip has.

TED is launching a platform for social entrepreneurs

Social entrepreneurs often walk a tough road. Their ideas seek to improve life for communities that can’t afford to pay a lot, if anything, and without the support of funding options like venture capital, bank loans and stock markets, their best option to fund their ideas is generally the philanthropic sector. This requires an endless…

via A new initiative for launching big, audacious ideas — TED Blog

Big-Tech’s Ethics and Tom Lehrer at 90

Nature has published a piece on mathematician Tom Lehrer, who is turning 90 this year. He has written and sung many a satirical song highlighting the dangers of nuclear proliferation and other political issues.

One of these songs is about an ethical dilemma that it seems many big tech companies are facing:

The rousing ballad ‘Wernher von Braun’ undermines the former Nazi — who designed the V-2 ballistic missile in the Second World War and later became a key engineer in the US Apollo space programme. In Lehrer’s view, it was acceptable for NASA to hire von Braun, but making him into an American hero was grotesque. “‘Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?’/‘That’s not my department,’ says Wernher von Braun” — lines that still resonate in today’s big-tech ethical jungle.

It matters what we build and who we build it for.

The Difference Between Innovators and Entrepreneurs — Steve Blank

For all the entrepreneurs out there trying to build free/open source startups:

I just received a thank-you note from a student who attended a fireside chat I held at the ranch. Something I said seemed to inspire her: “I always thought you needed to be innovative, original to be an entrepreneur. Now I have a different perception. Entrepreneurs are the ones that make things happen. (That) takes focus, […]

via The Difference Between Innovators and Entrepreneurs — Steve Blank

How the Internet Ate Movies? Really?

The Ringer has an article about how Hollywood has become “obsessed” with the internet and asks whether this has stifled the imaginations of movie makers:

“You know, desperately seeking escape is not nostalgia,” Spielberg told the L.A. Times while discussing Ready Player One. “It’s something we’re all familiar with. Escapism is something, especially today, that people are craving more than ever before just to get out of the desperately depressing news cycle. There have been desperately depressing news cycles in every decade from time to time, but it’s pretty profound now. And so I thought, ‘This is the right time for this.’”

The same could be said for Blackhat or The Social Network or Catfish or You’ve Got Mail. Movies about the consequences of the internet aren’t new, exactly. They’re just everywhere. And it has zapped movies of an inherent power—the ability to transport, to reinvent or recontextualize what’s possible in the world.

Hollywood matters insofar as they have a history of consistency and availability (the Hollywood crowd produces movies every year and they are distributed widely) and they’ve got the resources to keep doing this.

But…we have new producers and movie makers making and distributing their productions on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms.

I think it would be more accurate to say this:

it has zapped [Hollywood] movies of an inherent power—the ability to transport, to reinvent or recontextualize what’s possible in the world

Many people are watching new shows and bite-sized content on multiple platforms. We’re no longer tied to one point of view that’s Hollywood-centric (though it is still dominant). We can choose never to watch Blackhat, The Social Network, Ready Player One, or other Hollywood movies and instead replace them with whatever good stuff we find on the Internet. We can find new stories told from unique perspectives without the Hollywood gatekeepers stopping us. The production costs of a movie and the fact that it’s produced outside of Hollywood do not prevent a movie from having the ability to transport, reinvent or recontextualize what’s possible in the world