Petya breaks computers, EU fines Google €2.42

Petya breaks computers and networks, EU fines Google €2.42 billion and there’s now a cell phone that works out of thin air! 👏🏼

EU fines Google €2.42 billion for abusing product searches

The European Union doesn’t agree with Google’s way of comparing shopping products and made sure the world knows!

“Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives. That’s a good thing. But Google’s strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn’t just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals. Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors. What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation.”

Read the other side of the story on Google’s blog.

We believe the European Commission’s online shopping decision underestimates the value of those kinds of fast and easy connections. While some comparison shopping sites naturally want Google to show them more prominently, our data shows that people usually prefer links that take them directly to the products they want, not to websites where they have to repeat their searches.

A new ransomware outbreak similar to WCry is shutting down computers worldwide ⚠️

Second major news of the week, Petya has taken over the world and brought chaos to thousands of computers and networks. Like WannaCry, it’s been using exploits leaked from NSA’s tools.

A new ransomware attack similar to last month’s self-replicating WCry outbreak is sweeping the world with at least 80 large companies infected, including drug maker Merck, international shipping company Maersk, law firm DLA Piper, UK advertising firm WPP, and snack food maker Mondelez International. It has attacked at least 12,000 computers, according to one security company.

What appeared to be a ransomware at first actually happens to be a wiper and could potentially hurt way more than WCry.🔥

the researchers said, the payload delivered in Tuesday’s outbreak wasn’t ransomware at all. Instead, its true objective was to permanently wipe as many hard drives as possible on infected networks, in much the way the Shamoon disk wiper left a wake of destruction in Saudi Arabia. Some researchers have said Shamoon is likely the work of developers sponsored by an as-yet unidentified country. Researchers analyzing Tuesday’s malware — alternatively dubbed PetyaWrap, NotPetya, and ExPetr — are speculating the ransom note left behind in Tuesday’s attack was, in fact, a hoax intended to capitalize on media interest sparked by last month’s massive WCry outbreak.

See those two articles for the technical analysis of how Petya works and spreads:Petya.2017 is a wiper not a ransomware and New ransomware, old techniques: Petya adds worm capabilities.

Wikimedia Foundation v. NSA

Wikimedia on fighting government mass surveillance. This is important.

For the last two years, the Wikimedia Foundation has been fighting in the United States federal courts to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of Wikimedia users from overly-broad government surveillance. We challenged the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) “Upstream” mass surveillance of the internet, which vacuums up international text-based online communications without individualized warrants or suspicion. Now, in the wake of an important court ruling in our favor, we take a closer look at Wikimedia Foundation v. NSA.

Technology

This Cell Phone Can Make Calls Even Without a Battery

Well this is amazing! University of Washington researchers have made a phone that draws what little power it needs from thin air.

Ambient light can be turned into a trickle of electricity with solar panels or photodiodes. Radio-frequency TV and Wi-Fi broadcasts can be converted into energy using an antenna.

Analyzing Ethereum, Bitcoin, and 1200+ other Cryptocurrencies

Everybody talks about it but does anyone really know how cryptocurriences compare? Note that this is also a technical post about TimescaleDB and Postgres.

Cryptocurrencies are fueling a modern day gold rush. Can data help us better understand this evolving market? We take a closer look using TimescaleDB and PostgreSQL.

Vertical AI Startups: Solving Industry-specific Problems by Combining AI and Subject Matter Expertise

Interesting perspective on how companies could/should leverage AI.

Low level task-based AI gets commoditized quickly and more general AI is decades off. In the meanwhile, will new AI startups succeed or will the value accrue to Google, Facebook, and Amazon? While most of the machine learning talent works in big tech companies, massive and timely problems are lurking in every major industry outside tech.

Web development / Web design

10 Tips On Typography in Web Design

Couple of things to improve readability and balance when you design for the web.

Optimizing typography is optimizing readability, accessibility, usability(!), overall graphic balance. In other words: optimizing your typography also optimizes your user interface.

Deconstructing the Google Analytics tracking script

If you use GA everyday but never understood how it works this for you!

So the answer to the question “what does the Google Analytics tracking script actually do?”, is that it creates a global ga function, and asynchronously loads the full Google Analytics tracking script analytics.js, so that one can make requests like ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’).

Redesigning Google News for everyone

Take a look at how Google News has been redesigned.

To make news more accessible and easier to navigate, we redesigned the desktop website with a renewed focus on facts, diverse perspectives, and more control for users.

How https works

Simple and visual explanation of how a https handshake works.