Science, Technology and Innovation

Global cyber-attack: Security blogger halts ransomware ‘by accident’

A UK security researcher has told the BBC how he “accidentally” halted the spread of ransomware affecting hundreds of organisations, including the UK’s NHS. Chris Foxx BBC The man, known online as MalwareTech, was analysing the code behind the malware on Friday night when he made his discovery. He first noticed that the software was trying to contact an… Global cyber-attack… Read More »

Brazil Declares an End to Its Zika Health Emergency

The country launched a major campaign that included genetically modified mosquitos, and now reported cases are down 95 percent. J. WESTON PHIPPEN The Atlantic Brazil has announced the end of its public health emergency over Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that became a global concern just 18 months ago. Brazil launched a major mosquito eradication program last year, and the health ministry said that from January to April 2017 there were 95… Brazil Declares an… Read More »

Data availability report presents compromised rights for consumers

A promising inquiry into how data is used in Australia has proved disappointing, with consumers being offered few new protections. Jessica Lake The Conversation Released this week, the Productivity Commission’s final report, titled Data Availability and Use, represents a major shift in the legal landscape of data rights. The report makes a number of recommendations. Most importantly, it… Data availability report… Read More »

The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked

A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose? by Carole Cadwalladr The Observer “The connectivity that is the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims.[…] The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty.” ... Read More »

Anti-Vaxxers Brought Their War to Minnesota—Then Came Measles

MINNEAPOLIS — ON the first Saturday this May, residents of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood socialized in the shadows of their towering public housing complexes. wired Chattering men sat for haircuts while head-scarved women shopped the stalls lining the blue-bricked Riverside Mall. At nearby Currie… Anti-Vaxxers Brought… Read More »

Data is giving rise to a new economy

Fuel of the future How is it shaping up? AN OIL refinery is an industrial cathedral, a place of power, drama and dark recesses: ornate cracking towers its gothic pinnacles, flaring gas its stained glass, the stench of hydrocarbons its heady incense. The Economist Data centres, in contrast, offer a less obvious spectacle: windowless grey buildings that boast no height or ornament, they seem to stretch to infinity. Yet the two have much in… Data is giving… Read More »

What happens when scientists stand up for science

The 2017 March for Science was a powerful political statement by scientists. Brian Martin  The Conversation The marchers opposed political interference, budget cuts and lack of support for science at a government level. More commonly, though, scientists stay in their labs and avoid the public political spotlight. CSIRO scientist John Church – who initially acted as an individual (not a… What happens when… Read More »

DNA of extinct humans found in caves

The DNA of extinct humans can be retrieved from sediments in caves – even in the absence of skeletal… BBC Researchers found the genetic material in sediment samples collected from seven archaeological… The remains of ancient humans are often scarce, so the new findings could help scientists learn the identity of inhabitants at sites where only artefacts have been… The results are described… DNA of extinct… Read More »

Aspirin May Prevent Cancer from Spreading, New Research Shows

In addition to relieving headaches and preventing heart attacks, the drug seems to keep malignant cells from… Viviane Callier | Scientific American May 2017 Issue Scientific American If ever there was a wonder drug, aspirin might be it. Originally derived from the leaves of the willow tree, this mainstay of the family medicine cabinet has been… Indeed, the drug is so popular that annual consumption worldwide totals about 120 billion… Aspirin May Prevent… Read More »

The discovery of alien life may be close. How will religion survive it?

Encounters with new worlds and new life will present religions with the ultimate theological conundrum. But they will adapt, as they have done… Santhosh Mathew The Guardian About two decades ago, it was quite uncertain whether stars other than our own sun even hosted their own… However, according to Nasa, the latest count of confirmed exoplanets stands at around 3,500 – and… The discovery of… Read More »

Ansip and Oettinger — the odd couple

Facebook status: It’s complicated. When the bright and powerful gather this week at Commissioner Günther Oettinger’s “mini-Davos” for two days of skiing, schmoozing and… JOANNA PLUCINSKA Politico The yearly confab in the idyllic Austrian ski town of Lech will include lobbyists, EU heavyweights and industry… With the conference in its sixth year, invitations are more… Ansip and Oettinger… Read More »

Facebook shares brain-control ambitions

Facebook says it is working on technology to allow us to control computers directly with our… Dave Lee  BBC It is developing “silent speech” software to allow people to type at a rate of 100 words per minute, it… The project, in its early stages, will require new technology to detect brainwaves without needing invasive… “We are not talking about decoding your random thoughts,” assured… Facebook shares brain… Read More »

US West enters ‘new era’ of unstoppable wildfires because of climate change, experts warn

‘This is bigger than us and we’re going to have to adapt to wildfire, rather than the other way… Ian Johnston Environment Correspondent Independent The western United States has entered a “new era of wildfires” with average temperatures now two degrees Celsius higher and the… Some blazes should be allowed to burn themselves out and fires should even be set deliberately as part of a… US West enters… Read More »

Nuclear weapons the ‘biggest threat facing humans today’

THE threat looms large with North Korea celebrating the birthday of Kim Il-sung and Donald Trump poised for a preemptive attack. Here’s how it could look. Debra Killalea News.Com.Au IF a major conflict broke out between superpowers and nuclear warheads were used, the consequences would be catastrophic. In the space of minutes, entire cities would be destroyed and between one and three billion… Nuclear weapons the… Read More »