February 24, 2024


Science It Works

The Morning After: Russian smart TVs are being hacked to show anti-war messages

Yesterday, as Russia celebrated Victory Day, marking its role in defeating Nazi Germany, many of the country’s online platforms were defaced in protest of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

According to reports, Russians with smart TVs saw channel listings replaced with a message implicating them in the ongoing conflict. “The blood of thousands of Ukrainians and hundreds of murdered children is on your hands,” the message read. “TV and authorities are lying. No to war.”

According to The Washington Post, the hack apparently targeted several of the country’s largest internet companies, including Yandex and Rutube, Russia’s alternative to YouTube.

Russia passed a law this year that bans any efforts to discredit the country’s military, but that hasn’t stopped some media outlets from protesting the war. Articles on Lenta.ru noted they had “not been agreed with the editorial leadership” and that “the Presidential Administration will punish the publication for publishing this.”

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

It only sold two million last quarter, confirming Sony hasn’t overcome its supply issues.



Sony announced it sold just two million PlayStation 5 units last quarter (Q4), bringing its overall total to 19.3 million. That’s down considerably on the same quarter last year when it sold 3.3 million units. Game sales went up, though, with 70.5 million PS4/PS5 titles sold compared to 61.4 million a year ago.

While Sony contends with supply constraints, it’s expecting better days ahead. It forecast a 34 percent increase in sales next quarter to 929 billion yen ($7.13 billion) due to better parts supply and higher sales of third-party games. Sony is also launching PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium, its take on Xbox Game pass, in June. While PS Plus subscriber levels were flat, the new tiers could help draw more subscribers — and some might pay more than they do right now.

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Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar’s new music video for The Heart Part 5 revolves exclusively around deepfake celebrity faces superimposed on Kendrick’s body as he raps across topics including mental illness, murder and more.

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Lincoln College was unable to access recruitment and fundraising systems for months.

Lincoln College says it will close this week in the wake of a ransomware attack that took months to resolve. While the impact of COVID-19 severely impacted recruitment and fundraising, the cyberattack seems to have been the tipping point for the Illinois institution.

Lincoln says it had “record-breaking student enrollment” in fall 2019. However, the pandemic caused a sizable fall in numbers. The college — one of only a few rural schools to qualify as a predominantly Black institution under the Department of Education — said it affected its financial standing. Barring a last-minute respite, the combination of the pandemic and cyberattack may have brought an end to the 157-year-old institution.

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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg says they’re on the way to Facebook as well.

As promised (or threatened), NFTs are coming to Instagram. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the app will this week start testing a way for users to display non-fungible tokens on their profiles.

“We’re starting building for NFTs, not just in our metaverse and Reality Labs work but also across our family of apps.” Zuckerberg said in a post on Facebook. “We’re starting to test digital collectibles on Instagram so that creators and collectors can display their NFTs.”

A similar feature is coming to Facebook in the near future, and Meta is considering enabling NFTs in its other apps, such as Messenger and WhatsApp. Also in the works is a way for people to display 3D NFTs in Instagram Stories using augmented reality.

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