WannaCry is Childsplay Compared to This

How the stolen NSA cyberweapons are being used for nefarious tasks


Fri, Jun 23rd, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The New York Times has this fascinating piece on how the stolen NSA hacking tools were used by unknowns to penetrate IDT Corporation and steal its data. In the article, IDT's global chief information officer Golan Ben-Oni, warns that the world isn’t ready for cyberattacks of this magnitude.

Both WannaCry and the IDT attack used a hacking tool the agency had code-named EternalBlue. The tool took advantage of unpatched Microsoft servers to automatically spread malware from one server to another, so that within 24 hours North Korea’s hackers had spread their ransomware to more than 200,000 servers around the globe.

The attack on IDT went a step further with another stolen N.S.A. cyberweapon, called DoublePulsar. The N.S.A. used DoublePulsar to penetrate computer systems without tripping security alarms. It allowed N.S.A. spies to inject their tools into the nerve center of a target’s computer system, called the kernel, which…


“We have to forget steel as a core employer.”

14 people make 500 thousand tons of steel


Thu, Jun 22nd, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Bloomberg reports that in the ore-rich Austrian town of Donawitz, the new steel mill can be operated by just 14 employees versus the 1,000 back in the 1960s. The mill can produce "500,000 tons of robust steel wire a year" while three technicians keep an eye on the monitors.

The three technicians sitting in what’s called the “pulpit”—a structure like a ship’s bridge high above the plant floor—mostly play a monitoring role, watching for warning signs such as spikes in temperature or pressure. The former line workers spent three months training for their new jobs, studying control systems and working in a simulated pulpit learning how to interpret the data. The other employees maintain equipment or retool the plant for various wire gauges—hundreds of variations ranging from 4.5 millimeters to 60 millimeters.


"Is meant to produce more energy than it consumes."



Wed, Jun 21st, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Harvard's Centre for Green Buildings and Cities shows off HouseZero, a home designed to produce more energy than it consumes.

FWe’re moving away from all those definitions to the inherent and most important aspects of what buildings should have: ultra-efficiency. We would like that efficiency to be translated to different metrics, from social issues to aesthetics and resource use. Once you have that, technology becomes a layer you can add. As better technology comes along, you can produce even more, if you wish to. But you want it to consume as little as possible. For me, I have been advocating from the beginning that, rather than energy production, it’s energy reduction we should look at. We should start from the demand and how you can make the demand as efficient as possible.

Some other interesting news: reportedly the American dream is dead. Meanwhile, CRISPR 2.0…


"Its tilted axis makes orbit, showing the position of the sun and the time."



Tue, Jun 20th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Created by Korean product designer Hoyoung Joo, this unusual clock titled Orbit mimics the location of the sun based on the time.

For most of here on planet Earth,
sunrise, sunset, and the cycle of day and night
are just simple facts of life.


A Simple Task for CRISPR

Single gene diseases


Mon, Jun 19th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Guardian has a book review on A Crack in Creation, written by the biochemists who led the breakthrough on the gene editing revolution. The article quickly reviews CRISPR's involvement with yogurt, potential for easily curing single-gene diseases (cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anaemia and muscular dystrophy) and its incredible easy-to-use power. Words of caution are not missed.

For now the most exciting potential medical application is in single gene diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anaemia and muscular dystrophy. This is the simplest possible task for Crispr. Just one base has to be corrected out of the 3bn and it’s not a needle in a haystack: Crispr can find and cut and repair it. Sickle-cell anaemia is caused by a faulty haemoglobin gene, so blood can easily be withdrawn from the body, the gene edited and returned to the body. But this approach demands extreme caution. Genes often have…


“Drone carrying defibrillators could begin operating in Sweden.”

Emergency drones are 16 minutes faster than traditional emergency services


Sun, Jun 18th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Sweden — the same country that has made it law to turn carbon neutral by 2045 — is planning on making defibrillator carrying drones a reality in one or two years. Accoding to the study, drones arrived at the site of a cardiac arrest incident with a median time of 5 minutes, 21 seconds, versus the 22 minutes for traditional emergency services.

Jacob Hollenberg, director of the centre for resuscitation science at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, who led the study, told the Guardian: “Cardiac arrest is one of the major killers in the western world. Every minute is crucial; I would say every second is crucial.

“Every minute that passes from collapse to [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] or defibrillation, the chances of survival goes down by 10%. That’s why survival after 10 to 12min is basically zero. There’s a…


“Making paper out of stone.”

Limex paper


Sat, Jun 17th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Albeit it sounds like the journey so far has been quite a struggle, Japanese entrepreneur Nobuyoshi Yamasaki is able to make paper out of limestone. The paper equivalent of 20 trees can be made with "less than a ton of limestone, as well as 200 kilograms of polyolefin," and the process requires no water. Reportedly the resulting paper is extremely strong, long lasting, and not susceptible to liquids. Company site here.

Commercial production started in June 2016 at a plant in Miyagi, one of the regions devastated by Japan’s 2011 earthquake. "It’s been nothing but hardship," Yamasaki says. "The plant opened in February 2015 but we didn’t even have business cards to sell until last June. Through that time we’re paying for raw materials, electricity, salaries. But when we first made a business card where the ink didn’t run when touched, everyone was amazed."


“It’s not something you would expect to see there and not something we’ve seen there before.”

A study on climate change forced to post-pone due to climate change


Fri, Jun 16th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Guardian reports that a scientific expedition to the Hudson Bay was cut short due to the dangerous sea conditions the melting Artic ice is causing.

“It was a really dramatic situation,” said David Barber, the expedition’s chief scientist. “We were getting search and rescue calls from fishing boats that were stranded in the ice and tankers that were stranded trying to get fuel into the communities. Nobody could manage this ice because it was far too heavy to get through.”

Barber, a climate change scientist at the University of Manitoba, and the other scientists did what they could to help the Coast Guard rescue the vessels and carved a path for the tankers. They also took the time to study the ice that surrounded them, discovering that much of it was the multiyear ice typically seen in…


"The first to target civilians and the first such malware built to target a nation’s power supply."

Stuxnet 2.0


Thu, Jun 15th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Daily Beast reports that the electrical blackout experienced in Kiev was courtesy of a cyberattack powered by very sophisticated malware. Reportedly, the software is capable of mapping out a power station’s control network and to issue malicious commands without human intervention.

The only thing that’s certain, says security researcher Robert Lee, CEO of Dragos, is that the malware wasn’t built as a one-time weapon. It’s designed from the ground up to be easily reconfigured for a variety of targets and contains some payloads that weren’t even fired off in the Kiev attack.

“It’s a nightmare,” Lee said. “The malware in its current state would be usable for every power plant in Europe. This is a framework designed to target other places.”


"There's a giant tsunami of societal change."

Calling for responsibility to the disruption automation will cause


Wed, Jun 14th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Noting that automation will eliminate 70% of white-collar jobs, Fred Destin — former general partner with venture capital firm Accel — asks that while technologists "understand the future," they need to step back and help the rest of the world "who don't have a fucking clue what's happening."

According to Destin, Hudack used automation to make Deliveroo's ordering process more efficient. The startup refers to live orders as "orders in flight," and Hudack specifically looked at the number of times Deliveroo has contact with an order, from the moment a customer puts in a request for food through to the moment it's delivered by a driver. Through automation, Deliveroo reduced that number "by 98%" — allowing them to redeploy 25 people in the company.

May 22“You become more difficult for an algorithm to understand, market to, or manipulate.” #Privacy
May 23Smart Solar Panel Window Blinds #Technology
May 25"You could be targeted for ads for things you don’t even realize that you like." #Advertising
May 24"The machine had gotten inside the human’s head." #History
May 27Making a Movie Inside a Video Game #Film
May 26"Maybe someone liked my stuff." #Advertising
May 21AI Inception #Technology
May 20"How will that impact human evolution going forward?" #Science
May 19"The most automated warehouse of its kind" #Future
May 28"The American auto industry will face a death spiral of epic proportions." #Future
May 18"Low-cost solar and human-powered vehicle." #Driving
May 29In 10 Years, 50% of Jobs Will Be Handled by Robots and AI #Future
Jun 21"Is meant to produce more energy than it consumes."
Jun 22“We have to forget steel as a core employer.”
Jun 23WannaCry is Childsplay Compared to This
Jun 16“It’s not something you would expect to see there and not something we’ve seen there before.”
May 27Making a Movie Inside a Video Game
Jun 15"The first to target civilians and the first such malware built to target a nation’s power supply."
Jun 18“Drone carrying defibrillators could begin operating in Sweden.”
Jun 17“Making paper out of stone.”
Jun 20"Its tilted axis makes orbit, showing the position of the sun and the time."
Jun 13"Technological transformation first reduced the income of the populations for decades, although societies became wealthier in the long term."
Jun 12It's a Commercial About a Sweater
Jun 19A Simple Task for CRISPR