Russian Hackers Warm Up as Ukraine Heats Up, Uber and Lyft Enter the Medical Game, Meta Unleashes New Virtual Tools

Happy Thursday, TTN readers! Chips (not chocolate) and privacy take center stage this week. I’m on with  Mark StarlingSeth, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week: Uber and Lyft get into the medical game, Russian hacker groups warm up as Ukraine crisis deepens, and Meta CEO unveils knew metatools. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern by tuning into WWNC on the iHeartRadio app.


Regardless of where you fall politically you have to admit the US health system is broken beyond repair. Over the last couple of years the ridesharing companies have been giving rides to low-income medical patients in the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation market. The NEMT program is used by hospitals and other health providers to provide transit for non-emergency patients. NEMT services are normal provided through dedicated companies, but Uber and Lyft are vying for a slice of the $3 billion marketplace. On the surface, this isn’t a bad idea. The problem however arises when NEMT drivers have basic medical training to support their customers. Drivers who weren’t ready to pick up patients have reported having to support elderly patients in ways they were trained for. Cheap ain’t always better.


Yesterday, Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced and demoed several new tools Metaverse users can use to build out their virtual worlds. One of the first tools is the Builder Bot. The Builder Bot can be used to build out an island or patch of virtual real estate. Zuckerberg also announced an AI-powered universal translator giving Metaverse denizens the ability to communicate with anyone in real time. Meta’ AI unit is led by none other than Yann LeCunn one of the early pioneers of AI and inventor of check bank account number scanning tech. Meta isn’t just receiving cheers however, women who have become early adopters of the met averse have already reported harassment which led to one of the first implemented features to be a Personal Boundary. Early Facebook investors are telling the company that it’s their responsibility to NOT build a dystopian virtual universe. I’m like, don’t we already have that in Facebook?


To be filed in the, We Knew This Was Coming Column, the Sandworm group, the Russian government’s hack-attack unit has been using a firmware hack to infiltrate home and small business routers. The malware called Cyclops Blink has infected 1 percent of the world’s small scale firewalls and routers. The overarching idea is that important people have home networks too, and someone will get caught in their snare. So far Cyclops Blink has only targeted WatchGuard brand of devices. Sandworm has a respectable pedigree as a hacking group. They’re exploits have shutdown parts of Ukraine’s power grid, wiped out billions of disk drives around the world, and knocked out parts of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

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