‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack spreads worldwide (update)

England's healthcare system came under a withering cyberattack Friday morning, with " at least 25 " hospitals across the country falling prey to ransomware that locked doctors and employees out of critical systems and networks. The UK government now reports that this is not a (relatively) isolated attack but rather a single front in a massive regionwide digital assault. #nhscyberattack pic.twitter.com/SovgQejl3X — gigi.h (@fendifille) May 12, 2017 The attack has impacted hospitals and transportation infrastructure across Europe, Russia and Asia. Organizations in dozens of countries have all been hit with the same ransomware program, a variant of the WannaCry virus, spouting the same ransom note and demanding $300 for the encryption key, with the demand escalating as time passes. The virus's infection vector appears to through a known vulnerability, originally exploited and developed by the National Security Agency. That information was subsequently leaked by the hacking group known as Shadow Broker which has been dumping its cache of purloined NSA hacking tools onto the internet since last year. The virus appears to have originally spread via email as compressed file attachment so, like last week's Google Docs issue, make sure you confirm that you email's attachments are legit before clicking on them. Also, make sure your computers are using software that's still receiving security updates, and that you've installed the latest updates available. Microsoft released a fix for the exploit used as a part of its March "Patch Tuesday" release, but unpatched Windows systems remain vulnerable. Update : Reuters reports a statement from Microsoft indicating that engineers have added detection and protection against the "Ransom:Win32.WannaCrypt" malware, so make sure your Windows Defender or other antivirus is updated before logging on to any corporate networks that may be infected. In a statement, a FedEx representative confirmed its systems are being impacted, saying "Like many other companies, FedEx is experiencing interference with some of our Windows-based systems caused by malware. We are implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible. We regret any inconvenience to our customers." Source: New York Times

Forever 21’s ‘Thread Screen’ displays Instagram pics using fabric

Most companies seek out the latest displays for high-tech billboards, but Forever 21 has decided to take a different route for this particular Instagram project. For the past year-and-a-half, the folks at connected hardware maker Breakfast New York have been building a "Thread Screen" for the company. It's called that, because well, it's literally a screen made of 6, 400 mechanical spools of multicolored threaded fabric. Those spools have five-and-a-half feet of fabric each, divided into 36 colors that transition every inch-and-a-half. They move like a conveyor belt, stopping at the right hue based on what picture they're displaying -- an infrared even scans the finished product to make sure each spool is displaying the correct color. According to Breakfast NY, which also created a smart street sign among other installations in the past, the machine weighs 2, 000 pounds and has over 200, 000 components. It's a gargantuan display, and you'll get the chance to control it from today, July 22nd, up until July 28th. When you post a photo on Instagram and use #F21ThreadScreen as a hashtag, the device's accompanying software will take your image and optimize it for the screen's 80x80 resolution. You'll then get an edited video of your picture as the Thread Screen transformed to display it -- check out this editor's profile photo being ran through the system below to see an example of what you're getting. If you're curious about other people's photos, though, you can also visit the project's official website . F21 and Breakfast are live streaming the machine as it displays photo after photo for 24 hours from now until the project ends. Filed under: Misc Comments Source: Breakfast New York , F21 Thread Screen

Only 36 Percent of Indian Engineers Can Write Compilable Code, Says Study

New submitter troublemaker_23 quotes a report from ITWire: Only 36% of software engineers in India can write compilable code based on measurements by an automated tool that is used across the world, the Indian skills assessment company Aspiring Minds says in a report. The report is based on a sample of 36, 800 from more than 500 colleges across India. Aspiring Minds said it used the automated tool Automata which is a 60-minute test taken in a compiler integrated environment and rates candidates on programming ability, programming practices, run-time complexity and test case coverage. It uses advanced artificial intelligence technology to automatically grade programming skills. "We find that out of the two problems given per candidate, only 14% engineers are able to write compilable codes for both and only 22% write compilable code for exactly one problem, " the study said. It further found that of the test subjects only 14.67% were employable by an IT services company. When it came to writing fully functional code using the best practices for efficiency and writing, only 2.21% of the engineers studied made the grade. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

​This Manmade Island Floats On Over 150,000 Recycled Plastic Bottles

As part of the site's ongoing Coolest Thing I've Ever Made series, MSN has a video about Mexico's Richart Sowa, a former carpenter who became interested in ecological engineering and left his job to spend over six years building a manmade island made from mostly recycled materials. Read more...

Windows Server will add the Linux subsystem, join the Insider program

(credit: Microsoft) SEATTLE—When Microsoft first introduced the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) at last year's Build developer conference , it said that it was doing so to make developers who were familiar with the Linux command line feel comfortable on Windows . The immediate and inevitable question was "Well, what about Windows Server?" Development is one thing, but what if organizations wanted to occasionally deploy their Linux software on Windows? Although Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 share many components, the Server operating system hasn't thus far included WSL, consistent with the "developer only" rationale. But that's going to change: at Build this week, Microsoft announced that WSL will be included in Server later this year. Microsoft still isn't positioning this as a way of running Linux server in production on Windows; rather, the company says the addition will be useful for administrative tasks. With WSL, Windows can run scripts written for Linux. But we're hard-pressed to see things stopping there; it seems inevitable that at some point, Windows will offer the ability to run Linux server software as one of its features. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Windows 10 Timeline remembers everything you did on your PC

One of the more intriguing features Microsoft will include in this fall's Windows 10 Creators Update is Timeline. As the name suggests, it's a way for you to move backwards in time and see things you were working on in the past and resume what you were doing. Microsoft described it as a visual timeline of everything you were doing on your computer, and you can jump back into files, applications and websites where you left off. Introducing Timeline. Easily jump back in time to continue where you left off. #Windows10 #MSBuild pic.twitter.com/e3gxhXnp6W — Windows (@Windows) May 11, 2017 Timeline lives in the Windows app switcher. When you click it, you'll see your active apps, but below that you'll see what you were running earlier in the day. Clicking down on one of those things that you were using earlier will pop it open just as you were using it before. This works across multiple devices, as well -- when you open up another Windows device where you're signed in, you can resume the tasks you were using before. This will even work across other devices like an iPhone using the Cortana app. If you're somewhere where you have Cortana, it'll prompt you to continue working on whatever you were doing before. If you don't have the specific app installed on your phone, it'll help point you to the right app as well. At first glance, it sounds a little bit like the Time Machine backup feature that Apple has included in macOS for years now. But Time Machine is more of a file backup system that lets you go back and see earlier versions of files that you might want to restore. Microsoft's Timeline covers applications and websites as well as just files, and it doesn't require an external hard drive, as it's not really a true backup system in the way Time Machine is. Indeed, Timeline appears more like Microsoft's answer to Continuity, a feature Apple build into macOS and iOS that lets you pick up and resume work across whatever Apple device you're using. Timeline is just one feature in the forthcoming Creators Update, which features a host of tools for using Microsoft's software and services across devices. The "Microsoft Graph" set of APIs will let you pick up and continue work across multiple devices and will iOS and Android as well as Windows. It'll also let you have a "universal clipboard" across your devices. Click here to catch up on the latest news from Microsoft Build 2017.

Researchers Find New Version Of WanaDecrypt0r Ransomware Without A Kill Switch

Remember that "kill switch" which shut down the WannCry ransomware? An anonymous reader quotes Motherboard: Over Friday and Saturday, samples of the malware emerged without that debilitating feature, meaning that attackers may be able to resume spreading ransomware even though a security researcher cut off the original wave. "I can confirm we've had versions without the kill switch domain connect since yesterday, " Costin Raiu, director of global research and analysis team at Kaspersky Lab told Motherboard on Saturday... Another researcher confirmed they have seen samples of the malware without the killswitch. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Reddit Users Lose Real Money After Meme Currency Bot Dies

Another day, another cryptocurrency clusterfuck. This week, the creator of the tipping bot “dogetipbot”—a service that let Reddit users “tip” each other in Dogecoin— announced that his company is broke, he’s broke, and the bot is broke because he spent all the coins, after he himself ran out of money. Read more...

How gold nanoparticles may make killing tumors easier

Enlarge / Nanoparticles (black dots) sit in the remains of a cell they've helped kill. (credit: University of Michigan ) One of the ways to kill a cancer is to cook it, since heat can kill cells. The trick, of course, is to only cook the cancer and not the surrounding tissue. To do this, you need to have an accurate idea of the extent of a tumor, a precise mechanism for delivering heat, and a damn good thermometer. It may surprise you to learn that gold nanoparticles do a pretty good job of achieving the first two. The third—a good thermometer—has eluded researchers for quite some time. But, now it seems that gold nanoparticles may provide the full trifecta . Drowning a tumor in molten gold Some cancers—the ones most people imagine when they think of cancer—form lumps of tissue. At some point, these lumps require a blood supply. Once supplied with blood vessels, the tumor can not only grow, but it has a readily available transport system to deliver the cells that can spread the cancer throughout the body. For the patient, this is not good news. The development of a blood supply opens up new imaging and treatment options, though. Cancer tumors are not well-organized tissues compared to healthy tissue like muscle or kidney tissue. So there are lots of nooks and crannies in a tumor that can trap small particles. And this disorganization is exactly what researchers hope to take advantage of. Gold nanoparticles are injected into the blood stream; these exit the blood supply, but, in most of the body, they get rapidly cleaned out. Except that, inside tumors, the nanoparticles lodge all over the place. Read 22 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Someone Bought Einstein’s Smelly Leather Jacket for Nearly $150,000

Today, Christie’s auctioned off the well-worn leather jacket of Albert Einstein . You may know him as the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician who figured out the essence of the universe almost a full century before science could prove him right . But he also had great fashion sense. Read more...