The USA’s homeland security advisor has blamed the North Korean government for the global WannaCry cyberattack, Twitter has shut down accounts belonging to British far-right extremists
Today, the USA’s homeland security advisor has blamed the North Korean government for the global WannaCry cyberattack, Twitter has shut down accounts belonging to British far-right extremists, new Android malware can do physical damage to phone batteries and more.
US homeland security advisor Tom Bossert – an aide to president Donald Trump – has publicly accused the North Korean government of being behind the WannaCry malware that affected computers around the world earlier this year (Gizmodo). Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Bossert said: “The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible.” His comments echo findings by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, which earlier this year said the ransomware originated in North Korea, but Bossert’s statements that the country must be held “accountable” and that “we will continue to use our maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang’s ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise” add to an already tense and hawkish geopolitical atmosphere.
A self-driving shuttle bus in Las Vegas was involved in a crash on its first day of service.
The vehicle – carrying “several” passengers – was hit by a lorry driving at slow speed.
Nobody was injured in the incident which city officials say was the fault of the human driver of the lorry. The man was subsequently given a ticket by police.
The shuttle is the first of its kind to be used on public roads in the US.
The collision comes a day after Waymo – owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet – announced it is launching a fully self-driving fleet of taxis in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Las Vegas shuttle, designed to ferry passengers to the famous strip, uses a system developed by Navya, a French company also testing its technology in London.
The shuttle carries up to 15 people and has a maximum speed of 45km/h, but typically travels at around 25km/h.
A spokesman for the City of Las Vegas told the BBC the crash was a “fender bender” – a minor collision – and that the shuttle would likely be back out on the road on Thursday after some routine diagnostics tests.
“A delivery truck was coming out of an alley,” public information officer Jace Radke said.
“The shuttle did what it was supposed to do and stopped. Unfortunately the human element, the driver of the truck, didn’t stop.”
Self-driving technology has been involved in crashes before, but almost all reported incidents have been due to human error.
Earlier this year an autonomous vehicle being tested by ride-sharing company Uber in Arizona rolled over after another driver on the road failed to give way.
The Virgin investment group has taken an undisclosed stake in Hyperloop One, one of several companies trying to create a pod-based transport system.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Virgin’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, is joining the Los Angeles-based firm’s board as part of the deal, and it is rebranding itself as Virgin Hyperloop One.
One expert suggested the tie-up would help raise the company’s profile.
“This is unproven technology and there’s a long way to go before it ever finds itself in use in the real world,” commented Prof David Bailey from Aston Business School.
“But this deal will certainly help in terms of marketing and potentially attract further investors to come into the operation.”
Hyperloop One recently tested a prototype pod in the Nevada desert, which reached a speed of 310km/h (192mph) within a 500m (1,600ft) low air-pressured tube.
Its eventual goal is to reach 1,046km/h (650mph).
The system uses magnetic levitation and electric propulsion to cause pods to glide, and is pitched as a more eco-friendly mode of transportation than many of today’s alternatives.
The firm says it is working on several projects to bring the technology to the Middle East, Europe, India, Canada and the US.
In a press release, Virgin suggested the system could eventually cut journey times from Edinburgh to London to 50 minutes.
Hyperloop’s inventor, Elon Musk, has previously signalled his intention to build a separate Hyperloop system via his tunnel-digging Boring Company.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, TransPod Hyperloop and Dinclix GroundWorks are among other companies to have announced rival projects.
“The combination of our proven technology and Virgin’s expertise in transportation, operations, safety and passenger experience will accelerate the commercialisation phase of our company’s development,” said Hyperloop One’s co-founder Josh Giegel in a written statement.
Virgin already has investments in rail companies, cruise liners, airlines and a nascent space tourism operation.
However, Prof Bailey questioned its potential.
“I remain sceptical about using Hyperloop technology in places where there are high land values or dense population,” he explained.
“But it may be more appropriate in places like the United Arab Emirates.
“It’s a complicated technology and there’s a long way to go.”
We were proud sponsors of Staines upon Thames Day, which is a summer community event that brings the public and businesses together for the love of the local area and entertainment. We took part in the annual duck race with our duck taking home first place and wining us a donation of £500 to a charity of our choice! We have donated to two local charities, Cross Roads Care Surrey and Englefield Green Infant School and Nurseries. Thank you to everyone invloved each year and every year,
Its products were among the first fitness trackers on the market and it was once valued at more than $3bn.
The firm had been silent on social media for several months and customers with broken devices had contacted the BBC to say they could not get a response.
Jawbone trackers are still available to buy from websites including Amazon.
The anonymous messaging app had raised more than $73m in funding and was at one time valued at $400m.
The platform was hugely popular with college students but it was also plagued with incidents of online harassment and bullying. The firm attempted to enforce permanent log-ins but it proved unpopular.
Yik Yak announced that it would close at the start of the academic year.
Its website has now disappeared but in a blog post published at the time of the announcement, founders Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll thanked Yik Yak users for being “the most passionate on the planet”.
Six areas in the UK will soon be trying out broadband technology that provides data at speeds approaching one gigabit per second (gbps).
Businesses, schools and hospitals will be the first to try out the “full-fibre” network technology.
The pilots will be run in Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
The government will spend about £10m getting the pilots up and running.
The technology involved is known as full-fibre because it takes high-speed cables directly to premises.
By contrast, much of the existing fibre services in the UK connect the fast cables to roadside cabinets and then rely on older, slower copper for the final link to homes and other buildings.
Currently full-fibre networks are only available to about 2% of premises in the UK.
The government hopes that the projects will significantly boost the availability of the technology.
What is full fibre broadband?
The preferred technology of Openreach, the body that runs the UK’s fibre network, has to date been fibre to the cabinet.
That means that homes and businesses are connected by a slower copper-based connection to local street cabinets, before the fibre optic network takes over.
Full-fibre broadband uses fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology, which is widely regarded as the best way to deliver fast internet services.
Here, the fast-fibre optic cables run directly to homes and offices, providing a more stable, efficient and reliable connection than the hybrid copper and fibre systems.
They can also support broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps, enough to download an HD TV programme in five seconds.
“How we live and work today is directly affected by how good our broadband connection is,” said Andrew Jones, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, in a statement.
Faster, more reliable connections would create jobs, help new industries to emerge and let people work more flexibly, he said.
Possible uses of full-fibre broadband would include hospitals sharing high-definition images to aid diagnosis, or schools using video more effectively during lessons.
However, broadband market analysts have pointed out that gigabit-capable cables would be shared with many different premises, suggesting that actual data download speeds would be much lower than the theoretical maximum.
The gigabit speeds that are possible with full-fibre are much faster than the 10 megabits per second (mbps) which the regulator Ofcom says modern families need to meet their requirements.