Skimm'd in a snow globe

theSkimm50 West 23rd Street, Suite 5B; New York, NY, 10010, United States Update Profile

JANUARY 05, 2018


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Skimm'd in a snow globe


"We're going to Disney World!" – The University of Central Florida football team, which has declared itself the national champ...even though it didn't make the playoff. Mickey drop.


The Story

Two massive security flaws have been discovered that affect nearly every computer in the world.

Excuse me?

They're actually called Spectre and Meltdown. This is not a James Bond movie. Meltdown affects pretty much every chip made by Intel since the mid-90s. Spectre is a flaw in nearly every chip made by companies including Intel, AMD, and ARM in recent decades. Both open the door for hackers to access anything stored in your device's memory. Think: passwords, credit card details, emails, photos, etc.

How did it get out?

Researchers and tech companies have known for months. They've been trying to come up with a fix before making it public. But the news was leaked earlier this week.

Is my phone OK?

Hard to say. These chips are in pretty much every device out there. Personal smartphones and laptops, and servers used by companies like Amazon and Google.

What should I do?

There's no fix for Spectre right now. For Meltdown, update your software.


Billions of devices are at risk. Luckily, there's no sign that hackers have been able to take advantage of the flaws. Yet.


What to say to your East Coast friends…

Hope you're safe. Yesterday, Winter Storm Grayson – aka that bomb cyclone you've been hearing about – hit New England particularly hard. In places like Boston, icy waters flooded the streets and left people stranded in their cars. At least four people died along the East Coast. And this weekend is expected to be extra chilly.

What to say to your cousin who just turned 21…

Congrats, you're legal. But pot might not be anymore in some states. The Justice Department just reversed an Obama-era policy that kept the federal government's paws off your Pax. Pot is still illegal at a national level. But this policy made it easier for individual states to legalize pot. It directed the feds to crack down on certain crimes – like selling to a minor – rather than businesses and people that legally sold pot under state law. Now, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is puffing over it, and is giving federal prosecutors the go-ahead to crack down on marijuana sales and possession. Thousands of businesses could be affected by the change. And states that have already legalized marijuana say they plan to fight back. Or just say 'nahhh' and ignore the change altogether.

What to say when you can't leave the house without five layers on…

It's freezing. Just like what the US is doing with aid to Pakistan. The US and Pakistan have always had trust issues when it comes to the fight against terror groups there, like the Taliban. But Pakistan is an important counterterrorism partner to the US – especially in the ongoing war in Afghanistan. And for years, the US has given Pakistan billions of dollars in aid money for its efforts. Since coming to office, President Trump has been very vocal about his frustrations with the country. Earlier this week, he said Pakistan is a "safe haven" for terrorists and it has "given us nothing but lies & deceit." Pakistan called these "unwarranted allegations" and officially summoned the US ambassador to do some 'splainin. Now the Trump administration plans to hold back nearly all its cash – although TBD how much that'll be – until Pakistan takes "decisive action" against groups like the Taliban and Haqqani network.

What to say when you have a cavity…

Drill baby drill. Yesterday, the Trump administration said it plans to open up offshore drilling for oil and gas in pretty much all water surrounding the US. Near the end of his term, President Obama had significantly limited drilling areas over safety and environmental concerns. Now, the Trump administration is doing a 180. It says this proposal will make the US more energy independent and create more jobs. The plan would allow drilling in places where it's been banned for decades, like off the coast of California. The oil and gas industry is on board. But since oil prices have dipped low in recent years, some say the industry is wary of spending precious dollars to set up operations in new areas. Environmentalists and some politicians say this makes marine life and coastal communities more vulnerable to disasters like oil spills. The new drilling sites wouldn't open for business until next year.

What to say before you do some deep cleaning for New Year's…

Filthy. Like Justin Timberlake's new single.


Big Al v. Uga

An elephant and a bulldog walk into a bar, er, field. These are the mascots for Alabama and Georgia aka the two best teams in college football. They're facing off in the National Championship on Monday. Both fans will be wearing red. Areee youuu readyyy? Watch on ESPN.

PS: we Skimm'd the College Football Playoff for you here.



For when you're staying in all weekend…

"A Stranger in the House" by Shari Lapena will keep you busy. It's about a woman who loses her memory after a car crash…which doesn't help when the cops think she was up to something shady before the accident. Buy here.*

PS: new year, new stack of books. Skimm HQ'rs are entering a challenge to read more. Get in on it here.

For when your resolution is to learn Spanish...

Say 'hola' to a trip. We want to send you to Spain for four nights. Cash money for flights, cooking classes, and alllll the tapas included. Si. Enter here.

For when you don't feel like adulting…

HQ is watching "Grown-ish." The "Black-ish" spinoff follows Zoey to college. Turns out she still needs to get her ish together.

*PS This is an affiliate partner, which means if you purchase or sign up theSkimm may get something in return. Thanks.


* indicates Skimm'bassador. Balloons for you.

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