big tech, cybersecurity, Microsoft, attacks, production line overhaul
Photo credit: Ndari Utoyo / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED)

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Microsoft Cracking Down on Security After Nation-State Attack Wave (Maria)

The author writes, “Microsoft is overhauling its entire production line to prioritize cybersecurity and incorporate recommendations from a recent government investigation, the company’s top security executive said Friday. Microsoft has come under fire in recent months after a wave of nation-state attacks targeted the company’s products, resulting in Chinese and Russian spies accessing email inboxes tied to a cabinet secretary and senior Microsoft executives. These incidents started through relatively unsophisticated ways that a government board has said could’ve been prevented.”

A Group of Republicans Has United to Defend the Legitimacy of US Elections and Those Who Run Them (Gerry)

The author writes, “It was Election Day last November, and one of Georgia’s top election officials saw that reports of a voting machine problem in an eastern Pennsylvania county were gaining traction online. So Gabriel Sterling, a Republican who had defended the 2020 election in Georgia amid an onslaught of threats, posted a message to his nearly 71,000 followers on the social platform X explaining what had happened and saying that all votes would be counted correctly.”

Why Israel Should Declare a Unilateral Cease-Fire in Gaza (Sean)

From Foreign Affairs: “Now that Israel faces not only Iran but multiple Iranian proxy groups, the cost of taking on all these fronts by itself is simply becoming too high. This development, as well as the willingness that Arab states showed in April to join Israel to confront the threat Iran and its proxies pose, suggests that a window has opened for the creation of a regional coalition pursuing a common strategy to counter Iran and its proxies.”

How European Trash Illegally Ends Up in Southeast Asia (Laura)

The author writes, “Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, are facing an influx of illegal waste shipments from industrialized nations, with a considerable amount trafficked from Europe. According to a new UN report mapping waste trafficking trends from Europe and Southeast Asia, criminal actors exploit loopholes and legitimate business structures, making waste trafficking one of the most significant crimes that can affect the environment.”

These Dangerous Scammers Don’t Even Bother to Hide Their Crimes (Reader Jim)

From Wired: “Most scammers and cybercriminals operate in the digital shadows and don’t want you to know how they make money. But that’s not the case for the Yahoo Boys, a loose collective of young men in West Africa who are some of the web’s most prolific — and increasingly dangerous — scammers. Thousands of people are members of dozens of Yahoo Boy groups operating across Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram, a Wired analysis has found. The scammers, who deal in types of fraud that total hundreds of millions of dollars each year, also have dozens of accounts on TikTok, YouTube, and the document-sharing service Scribd that are getting thousands of views.”

Last Year’s Horse Racing Deaths Cast Long Shadow (Dana)

The authors write, “Last year, beneath Churchill Downs’s iconic twin spires, seven horses died during the week of the [Kentucky Derby] — two of them in races in the hours leading up to the Derby. In the days after, five more sustained fatal injuries, prompting Churchill officials to move their races to another Kentucky racetrack. It got worse. … At the historic Saratoga Race Course in New York, 13 horses died while racing and training at the sport’s signature summer meet, including two who seemed poised to win their races before breaking down near the finish line on nationally televised broadcasts.”

The Stare Is a Scourge of DC Parties and … Hey, Are You Listening? (Russ)

From The Washington Post: “You might think you can get away with scanning a room for someone more important to talk to. Everyone notices.”


Comments are closed.