Inside the Digital Heist that Shook the World, Organ Incubators and Google I/O

Posted on May 21, 2017


Digital heist

Catching up with the Cool on Techcrunch and Quartz.

Amazingly the ransomware attack that crippled IT operations in organisations around the world – most notoriously in the British NHS where operations and diagnostic appointments were cancelled and rescheduled – raised less than $100,000.

That is not to play down the impact of this widespread attack, but a 22-year-old security researcher in the UK discovered the ransomware’s kill switch and made sure it caused far less damage than it might have.  What was new about the WannaCry infection was that nobody had to click on a link in a phishing email or visit a dodgy website, because the program is able to copy itself over a local network or over the internet, without human interaction.

Read the Quartz article for an inside view of this worrying development.

Playing with organs

One of the coolest new videos on Quartz is its summary of the European Inventor Awards from the European Patent Office. You don’t need to be a genius to hold a patent, especially for the “user-operated amusement apparatus for kicking the user’s buttocks.” Yes, that exists.

But the real eye-openers include a machine that can keep organs alive outside the body for days, a sponge that can absorb oil from water (used in the Niger Delta to clean up oil spills), and a plastic bottle made entirely out of plants.

Google I/O

Jon Evans of Techcrunch went to Google’s I/O event and came away with the latest in creepware – Google Home. He also came away with insights into Project Tango, which 3D scans and renders your surroundings from your mobile phone in real time. AR for the here and now, read a little more of what he uncovered at the Big G’s pally developer get together.