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    Exclusive: Baseband attacks can spy on popular Android phones – TechSwitch

    Security researchers have found several popular Android phones can be tricked into snooping on their owners by exploiting a weakness that gives accessories access to the phone’s underlying baseband software.
    Attackers can use that access to trick vulnerable phones into giving up their unique identifiers, such as their IMEI and IMSI numbers, downgrade a target’s connection in order to intercept phone calls, forward calls to another phone or block all phone calls and internet access altogether.
    The research, shared exclusively with TechSwitch, affects at least 10 popular Android devices, including Google’s Pixel 2, Huawei’s Nexus 6P and Samsung’s Galaxy S8+.
    The vulnerabilities are found in the interface used to communicate with the baseband firmware, the software that allows the phone’s modem to communicate with the cell network, such as making phone calls or connecting to the internet. Given its importance, the baseband is typically off-limits from the rest of the device, including its apps, and often come with command blacklisting to prevent non-critical commands from running. But the researchers found that many Android phones inadvertently allow Bluetooth and USB accessories — like headphones and headsets — access to the baseband. By exploiting a vulnerable accessory, an attacker can run commands on a connected Android phone.
    “The impact of these attacks ranges from sensitive user information exposure to complete service disruption,” said Syed Rafiul Hussain and Imtiaz Karim, two co-authors of the research, in an email to TechSwitch.
    Hussain and his colleagues Imtiaz Karim, Fabrizio Cicala and Elisa Bertino at Purdue University and Omar Chowdhury at the University of Iowa are set to present their findings next month.

    “The impact of these attacks ranges from sensitive user information exposure to complete service disruption.”Syed Rafiul Hussain, Imtiaz Karim

    Baseband firmware accepts special commands, known as AT commands, which control the device’s cellular functions. These commands can be used to tell the modem which phone number to call. But the researchers found that these commands can be manipulated. The researchers developed a tool, dubbed ATFuzzer, which tries to find potentially problematic AT commands.
    In their testing, the researchers discovered 14 commands that could be used to trick the vulnerable Android phones into leaking sensitive device data, and manipulating phone calls.
    But not all devices are vulnerable to the same commands or can be manipulated in the same way. The researchers found, for example, that certain commands could trick a Galaxy S8+ phone into leaking its IMEI number, redirect phone calls to another phone and downgrade their cellular connection — all of which can be used to snoop and listen in on phone calls, such as with specialist cellular snooping hardware known as “stingrays.” Other devices were not vulnerable to call manipulation but were susceptible to commands that could be used to block internet connectivity and phone calls.
    The vulnerabilities are not difficult to exploit, but require all of the right conditions to be met.
    “The attacks can be easily carried out by an adversary with cheap Bluetooth connectors or by setting up a malicious USB charging station,” said Hussain and Karim. In other words, it’s possible to manipulate a phone if an accessory is accessible over the internet — such as a computer. Or, if a phone is connected to a Bluetooth device, an attacker has to be in close proximity. (Bluetooth attacks are not difficult, given vulnerabilities in how some devices implement Bluetooth has left some devices more vulnerable to attacks than others.)
    “If your smartphone is connected with a headphone or any other Bluetooth device, the attacker can first exploit the inherent vulnerabilities of the Bluetooth connection and then inject those malformed AT commands,” the researchers said..
    Samsung recognized the vulnerabilities in some of its devices and is rolling out patches. Huawei did not comment at the time of writing. Google said: “The issues reported are either in compliance with the Bluetooth specification or do not reproduce on Pixel devices with up to date security patches.”
    Hussain said that iPhones were not affected by the vulnerabilities.
    This research becomes the latest to examine vulnerabilities in baseband firmware. Over the years there have been several papers examining various phones and devices with baseband vulnerabilities. Although these reports are rare, security researchers have long warned that intelligence agencies and hackers alike could be using these flaws to launch silent attacks.

    nnLIVE: Chris Cox, Former Chief Product Officer, Facebook, in conversation with WIRED's Lauren GoodenLIVE: We're live with Chris Cox, former Chief Product Officer, Facebook, from our #WIRED25 summit in conversation with WIRED senior writer Lauren Goode.nPosted by WIRED on Friday, November 8, 2019nnnAs for what specifically drove him to leave, Cox explained that, “It wasn’t something where I felt I wanted to spend another 13 years on social media. Mark and I saw things a little bit differently . . . I think we are still investigatingu00a0as an industry, how do you balance protecting the privacy of people’s information and continuingu00a0to keep people safe,” Cox said. nOn whether moving toward encryption was part of that, he said he thinks encryption is “great: and that “It offers an enormous amount of protection,” but noted “it certainly makes some of those things more complicated” on the privacy versus safety balance. He complemented Facebook’s efforts to build ways of catching bad actors even if they’re shielded by encryption. That includes digital literacy initiatives in Brazil and India ahead of elections, and offering forwarding systems for sending questionable information to fact checkers. “I think there are pros and cons with these systems and I’m not a hard-liner on any one of them,” Cox said, and noted that what Facebook is building is “resonant with what people want.”nCox was asked about the major debate about whether Facebook should allow political advertising. “We think political advertising can be good and helpful. It often favors up and comers versus incumbents.” Still, on fact-checking, he said, “I’m a big fan,” even though Facebook isn’t applying that to political ads. He did note that “I think the company should investigate and is investigating micro targeting . . . if there’s hundreds of variants being run of the creative thenu00a0it’s tricky to get your arms around what’s being said.” He also advocated for more context in the user interface distinguishing political ads.u00a0nChris Cox speaks at Wired25nCox’s next projectsnSince leaving Facebook, Cox has joined the advisory board of a group called Acronym, which is helping to build out the campaign and messaging technology stack for progressive candidates. “This is an area where my perception is that the progressives have been behind on the ability to develop and use as a team infrastructure that helps you have a good voter file, how to develop messaging —u00a0just basic politics in 2019.”nWired’s Lauren Goode asked if he was aligning himself with progressives, taking a political stance, and whether he could do that while still at Facebook. “Absolutely not,” Cox responded. “And why is that I think when you’re in a veryu00a0senior role at a platform, you have a duty to be much more neutral in your politics.” nHe then came out with a bold statement enabled by his independence. “I think Trump should not be our president. The other thing I care a lot about right now is climate change and he’s not going to help us there.”nnThat led to Cox discussing that he’s also been working to advise San Francisco startup Planet Labs, which is using satellite imagery to track climate change. “The vision was to build these small, about shoebox-size satellites with solar panel panel wings and have a fleet of them in space, which is real-time imaging the Earth.” nWith that data, Cox explained you can track wildfires, deforestation, coal power plants, methane gas and more. Then, “You can start to contribute to having a health system, where you are basically imaging the Earth every hour, and then you’re creating some public data set with tools that plug into decision makers, banks, insurance companies, policymakers, investors, journalists, students…”nAsked about big tech’s responsibility for addressing climate change, Cox said “I think at the very least it’s making a commitment to being carbon-negative.”nAcronym and Planet Labs’ work intertwines, as Cox believes climate data proves the need for someone new in the Oval Office. While Cox didn’t discuss it onstage, Wired listed him as part of Shasta Group, which is Cox’s own vehicle for contributing to these projects. Still, he’s not ready to launch a full-fledged company of his own in politics and climate. “I’m still so youngu00a0at this field that I don’t have enough confidence in my own mental model of the world.”nCox concluded that by harnessing big company’s employees and having team leaders put more attention on climate change, “I do think tech can lead.”u00a0n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”Chris Cox’s motivational speeches were at the heart of Facebook’s new employee orientation. But after 14 years at the social network, the chief product officer left in March amidst an executive shake-up and Facebook’s new plan to prioritize privacy by moving to encrypt its messaging apps. No details on his next projects were revealed. 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He is currently an Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch and is available for speaking engagements.nnPreviously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook through its acquisition by WebMediaBrands, covering everything about the social network.nnConstine graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Cybersociology, examining the influence of technology on social interaction. He researched the impact of privacy controls on the socialization of children, meme popularity cycles, and what influences the click through rate of links posted to Twitter.nnConstine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.nnJosh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has moderated over 120 on-stage interviews in 15 countries with leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via on-stage video conference), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He is available to moderate panels and fireside chats, deliver keynotes, and judge hackathon and pitch competitions.nnConstine has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television, and Fox News. Constine is ranked as the #1 most cited tech journalist on prestigious news aggregator Techmeme.nn[Disclosures: Josh Constine temporarily advised a college friend’s social location-sharing startup codenamed ‘Signal’ that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch’s editors and has concluded. Constine’s fiancu00e9e Andee Gardiner co-founded startup accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine’s cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of influencer advertising startup Niche that was acquired by Twitter, and he’s since left and founded teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents’ estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]”,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1415412437/xje35licfau9iewxnf44.png”,”twitter”:”joshconstine”,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/1603003″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”}]}}],”author”:[{“id”:1603003,”name”:”Josh Constine”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/josh-constine/”,”slug”:”josh-constine”,”avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5d?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5d?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5d?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”links”:{“homepage”:”http://www.JoshConstine.com”,”facebook”:”http://www.facebook.com/JoshConstine”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/joshconstine”,”linkedin”:”https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshconstine/”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/josh-constine”},”position”:”Editor-At-Large”,”cbDescription”:”Josh Constine is a technology journalist who specializes in deep analysis of social products. He is currently an Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch and is available for speaking engagements.nnPreviously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook through its acquisition by WebMediaBrands, covering everything about the social network.nnConstine graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Cybersociology, examining the influence of technology on social interaction. He researched the impact of privacy controls on the socialization of children, meme popularity cycles, and what influences the click through rate of links posted to Twitter.nnConstine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.nnJosh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has moderated over 120 on-stage interviews in 15 countries with leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via on-stage video conference), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He is available to moderate panels and fireside chats, deliver keynotes, and judge hackathon and pitch competitions.nnConstine has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television, and Fox News. Constine is ranked as the #1 most cited tech journalist on prestigious news aggregator Techmeme.nn[Disclosures: Josh Constine temporarily advised a college friend’s social location-sharing startup codenamed ‘Signal’ that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch’s editors and has concluded. Constine’s fiancu00e9e Andee Gardiner co-founded startup accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine’s cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of influencer advertising startup Niche that was acquired by Twitter, and he’s since left and founded teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents’ estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]”,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1415412437/xje35licfau9iewxnf44.png”,”twitter”:”joshconstine”,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/1603003″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”}]}}],”wp:featuredmedia”:[{“id”:1596651,”date”:”2018-02-09T06:40:08″,”slug”:”facebook-chris-cox-2″,”type”:”attachment”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/09/facebook-community-grants/facebook-chris-cox-2/”,”title”:{“rendered”:”Facebook Chris 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lung ‘breakthrough’ suggests lethal culprit in THC products could be vitamin E acetate”},”content”:{“rendered”:”Official word has come down from federal authorities on one potential cause of the mystery illness affecting vape users: Vitamin E acetate, a chemical found in some vaping products that has been demonstrated to linger in the lungs long afterwards. The finding has been called a “breakthrough” but is far from the last word on the situation.nSadly, the condition has already claimed the lives of at least 39 people, and more than 2,000 cases have been reported collectively from every state but Alaska. At present the only advice offered has been to stop vaping altogether.nIn a media teleconference, the heads of the investigation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained the basis for pointing the finger at Vitamin E acetate. The substance was cited as a possible problem early on but only recent testing has established it as a bona fide suspect, the team explained.nSamples taken from the lungs of 29 victims of the condition were sent in from 10 different states, and vitamin E acetate was found in all of them. “These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate as the primary site of injury within the lungs,” said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC .nAlthough she agreed that this evidence is a “breakthrough,” she noted that it is at present merely a correlative finding u2014 more research is required to establish causation, namely the mechanism of harm, though other work has been done in that area.n“Previous non-CDC research suggests that when vitamin E acetate is inhaled, it may interfere with normal lung function,” she said.n“It’s important to note that these findings do not rule out other possible compounds or ingredients that may be causing these lung injuries,” she continued. “There may be more than one cause of the outbreak.”nnAs vape lung death toll mounts, CDC investigators warn against ‘informal’ THC sourcesnnEqually important are the statistics involved with the sources of the substances in question. As mentioned earlier in the investigation, a huge proportion of those suffering from this condition were using THC products, and specifically ones acquired through unregulated channels like street dealers.nThe vitamin E acetate may have been added for the purpose of essentially cutting the product, Schuchat mentioned in response to a question on the call.n“That may be done for the illicit purpose, or the profit purpose, of diluting the materials, making it look nice and perhaps not having to use as much THC or other active ingredients,” she said.nOther potentially dangerous chemicals have been identified in vape products when heated and aerosolized, including many that even the creators might not have predicted.nKnowing a potential culprit doesn’t get at the heart of the problem, which would be that this chemical (perhaps among others) has already built up over months or years in the lungs of frequent vape users. Treatment is a parallel line of research, but knowing at least one substance responsible should be helpful.nThe CDC’s previous advice still stands, the officials noted: They advise avoiding vaping altogether, as there are very few controls at present over which ingredients are allowed in vape products, and what must be declared on the packaging, or indeed whether those declarations are in any way accurate.n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”Official word has come down from federal authorities on one potential cause of the mystery illness affecting vape users: Vitamin E acetate, a chemical found in some vaping products that has been demonstrated to linger in the lungs long afterwards. 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look at the top trends exciting NYC’s consumer VCs”},”content”:{“rendered”:”To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0nRecently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs:nnRebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square VenturesnDavid Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroupnAnu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders FundnCraig Shapiro, Partner at Collaborative FundnJeremy Levine, Partner at BessemernBeth Ferreira, Partner at Firstmark CapitalnGraham Brown, Partner at Lerer Hippeau VenturesnEric Reiner, Partner at Sinai VenturesnChris Paik, Partner at Pace CapitalnnConsumer health and banking startups were recurring areas of interest, and there’s a sense that apps and product brands which provide a deeper sense of community are an untapped opportunity.nRebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square VenturesnAt USV, we are focused on opportunities that broaden access by leveraging technology to increase value and decrease cost in big buckets of consumer spend. In doing so, we are looking for ways to make products and services previously available to a select segment available to many more. In particular, we have been investing in areas of consumer health where the delivery mechanism not only makes the care more convenient but also more affordable and higher quality; products and platforms in financial services that change the traditional underlying model to drive financial health for a mass customer; and opportunities that create new access to education both for kids and lifelong learners.u00a0nWithin each of these segments, I’ve been very interested in how new communities are forming inside products–users that come for a specific offering are forming allegiance and increasing engagement by interacting with other users. I think that is a trend we will only see accelerate.nDavid Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroupnPeople are bored on their phones, not of their phones. I am most excited to meet founders working on consumer apps that bring happiness and fun to a mass consumer audience, as I continue to believe we are in the early days of mobile and the app store is not dead.nThese apps may look like a game, they may be a game, or they may be a new feed, but TikTok, Twitch, HQ, Yolo and other Snap app kit apps, Tinder and others have shown consumers want new apps, the barrier for adoption and retention isu00a0 just very high. All apps and games have a half-life, creating something with a very long one is really hard, but the demand is sitting on the phone scrolling thorough feeds, waiting for some new fun. 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look at the top trends exciting NYC’s consumer VCs”},”content”:{“rendered”:”To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0nRecently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs:nnRebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square VenturesnDavid Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroupnAnu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders FundnCraig Shapiro, Partner at Collaborative FundnJeremy Levine, Partner at BessemernBeth Ferreira, Partner at Firstmark CapitalnGraham Brown, Partner at Lerer Hippeau VenturesnEric Reiner, Partner at Sinai VenturesnChris Paik, Partner at Pace CapitalnnConsumer health and banking startups were recurring areas of interest, and there’s a sense that apps and product brands which provide a deeper sense of community are an untapped opportunity.nRebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square VenturesnAt USV, we are focused on opportunities that broaden access by leveraging technology to increase value and decrease cost in big buckets of consumer spend. In doing so, we are looking for ways to make products and services previously available to a select segment available to many more. In particular, we have been investing in areas of consumer health where the delivery mechanism not only makes the care more convenient but also more affordable and higher quality; products and platforms in financial services that change the traditional underlying model to drive financial health for a mass customer; and opportunities that create new access to education both for kids and lifelong learners.u00a0nWithin each of these segments, I’ve been very interested in how new communities are forming inside products–users that come for a specific offering are forming allegiance and increasing engagement by interacting with other users. I think that is a trend we will only see accelerate.nDavid Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroupnPeople are bored on their phones, not of their phones. I am most excited to meet founders working on consumer apps that bring happiness and fun to a mass consumer audience, as I continue to believe we are in the early days of mobile and the app store is not dead.nThese apps may look like a game, they may be a game, or they may be a new feed, but TikTok, Twitch, HQ, Yolo and other Snap app kit apps, Tinder and others have shown consumers want new apps, the barrier for adoption and retention isu00a0 just very high. All apps and games have a half-life, creating something with a very long one is really hard, but the demand is sitting on the phone scrolling thorough feeds, waiting for some new fun. We are excited about apps that allow people to interact with others in different ways, in new worlds, using new hardware, or new interfaces.nnLondon’s top consumer VCs share which trends they’re trackingnnAnu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders FundnWith the rise of the sober curious movement, we invested in Kin Euphorics, offering consumers a sexy option to an alcoholic drink, creating a social experience around a non-alcoholic beverage that doesnu2019t exist in the market today. With beer sales decreasing five years in a row, brands like Heineken are offering alcohol-free alternatives catering to this growing audience.nWith the decline of religion, we have seen the rise of what we call the u201crise of the alternate community.u201d Consumers are looking for ways to connect online and offline based on specific interests. Examples of this in our portfolio include The Wonder, a membership model for familyhood, Peanut, a social network for modern motherhood, and Co-Star, an astrology app.”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0 Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs: Rebecca Kaden, Partner at […]n”,”protected”:false},”author”:133574219,”featured_media”:1907549,”comment_status”:”open”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:{“outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”amp_status”:””,”relegenceEntities”:[],”relegenceSubjects”:[],”jetpack_publicize_message”:”A look at the top trends exciting NYC’s consumer VCs https://tcrn.ch/34DJOtS by 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Indonesian capital will impact nation’s startup ecosystem”},”content”:{“rendered”:”nntnttntttttttHugh HarsononttttttContributornttnntttnnttnttHugh Harsono is a former financial analyst currently serving as a U.S. Army officer.tntnttnttMore posts by this contributornttnttttttWhy the worldu2019s first smart highway will most likely be in ChinanttttttWhy the future of Chinese e-commerce is in its rural areasntttttntntnRecently reelected, Indonesian President Joko Widodou00a0announced a desire to move the nation’s capital from Jakarta to the East Kalimantan region, citing environmental concerns, the most exigent of these being the fact that Jakarta is literally sinking due to the uncontrolled extraction of groundwater. Widodo said he wished to separate Indonesiau2019s government from its business and economic hub in Jakarta. nHowever, what would a move from Jakarta do to Indonesiau2019s burgeoning startup economy?nShifting administrative governmental hubsnAccording to Widodo, studies have determined that the best site for the proposed new capital is between North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara, both located in East Kalimantan. The basis of this selection is due to studies highlighting the regionu2019s relative protection from natural disasters, especially when compared to other regions. This would definitely be a benefit for the governmental heart of Indonesia, ensuring continuous administrative functions in a disaster-prone region. Other governments have separated administrative centers from their economic hubs with varying degrees of success, with some examples being Brazilu2019s creation of Brasu00edlia, as well as Koreau2019s projected move from Seoul to Sejong.nWhat is most interesting to note from prior examples is that these newer branched-out cities are non-surprisingly, heavily government-centric. In Brasu00edlia, roles tied to the government make up nearly 40% of all jobs, while in Sejong, a lack of facilities like public transit and commercial mall space cause many to commute into Sejong for government work, instead of permanently settling in the area. Given the semi-undeveloped nature of East Kalimantan, these anecdotes are quite troubling if the government is actually moving to North Penajam Paser or Kutai Kertanegara.nThese facts raise the question of economic impacts of such governmental moves. In fact, one may even opine that while these moves do allow for governmental growth, ultimately, they may hurt the country economically due to a divestment between both government and economic hubs. In this specific instance, it is most important to analyze the impact of such a move on Indonesiau2019s startup economy, as the nation is one the worldu2019s leaders in startup growth.nIndonesiau2019s startup economynIndonesia has emerged as a startup hub within Southeast Asia in recent years, with its population of over 260 million marking it as the worldu2019s fourth-most populous country. Additionally, Indonesiau2019s mobile-first population has enabled the full embrace of the internet era, with 95% of all internet users in Indonesia connected to the web via a mobile device.nSimilarly, startup growth has boomed in the island archipelago, with several Indonesian-based unicorns disrupting local, regional, and global economies. Softbank-backed ecommerce giant Tokopedia is currently in talksu00a0for a pre-IPO funding round, while emerging super-app Gojek controls significant portions of the ride-sharing industry in Asia, simultaneously expanding intou00a0separate industriesu00a0to include digital payments, food delivery, and evenu00a0video-streaming. Additionally, online travel portal Traveloka (in which Expedia has a minority stake) has recentlyu00a0entered the financial services space, furthering its impact within Asia. 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Academy is scaling up a coding program for ‘the heartland’”},”content”:{“rendered”:”The crowded landscape of programs teaching non-technical people to become software developers has been a proving ground for a new model of education financing: income share agreements (ISAs). With an ISA, students avoid paying tuition upfront or taking out private loans, instead paying a percentage of their income for a time after graduation after they’re earning a minimum income.nThe model aligns education providers with students’ career outcomes, and one startup is staking a claim to be the leader in the space; Kenzie Academy, a year-long program with a physical campus in Indianapolis u2014 and a student body that’s 66 percent online u2014 announced a partnership with Community Investment Management (CIM) earlier this week that provides $100 million in debt to cover the operating costs associated with students who defer payment through ISAs.nKenzie co-founder and CEO Chok Ooi says that core to Kenzie’s mission is the goal that its graduates “can stay in the heartland and attract more jobs so that someone coming out of the Midwest no longer has to move to Silicon Valley or New York to have a successful career in tech.” This $100 million is one of the largest commitments yet to financing ISAs and Kenzie is using it to recruit a more diverse population of students who may not be able to afford tuition or qualify for student loans otherwise.nI interviewed Ooi to understand how Kenzie differentiates itself from competitors, how it has iterated its model to improve retention and job placement and how he expects the ISA market to evolve over the next couple years. 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The rest of the companies our students named were companies like DMI and Zylo that people in Silicon Valley don’t hear about but are doing very well in the Midwest. Their friends work there. They’re a fabric of the community. If we really want to create job opportunities for the rest of America, we cannot adopt the Silicon Valley mindset.nKenzie Academy co-founder and CEO Chok Ooi.nSo how do you evaluate technical aptitude and critical thinking in the admissions process? What’s that process look like, and how has it evolved over the last couple of years? What have you learned in order to make that more effective?nPrior to founding Kenzie, I started a company nine years ago called AglityIO. The model for AgilityIO was similar to companies like Andela. We were trying to solve the talent crunch in the Bay Area by recruiting and training people with the raw talent in Vietnam. Today, that company works with Google, Uber, NerdWallet, Meetup.com and 150 other tech companies. So Iu2019ve experience in developing processes to identify raw talent in this context.nAs people are doing the online assessments, we collect data points of how long it takes for them to solve the problem, what their different decision points are and things like that. Then as they get enrolled in Kenzie, we continue to collect attendance data, grades, and then placement data and use that to look at success and failure cases. We constantly refine our assessment.nAre you seeing any particular pattern or cluster in the applications youu2019re receiving or the candidates youu2019re accepting in terms of prior field of employment or aspect of their background?”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”The crowded landscape of programs teaching non-technical people to become software developers has been a proving ground for a new model of education financing: income share agreements (ISAs). 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He focuses on analysis of interactive media, non-interactive media, content creation platforms, communications tools, and education. 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