In an attempt to throw everything but the kitchen sink at Sydney’s sharks in time for summer, one state government in Australia has gone high-tech.
New South Wales’ A$16 million shark strategy to protect swimmers and surfers, announced in Oct. 2015, includes 4G listening stations, a shark-tracking mobile app and Clever Buoys.
Using sonar to detect the impressive creatures, the Clever Buoy devices’ software can assess whether an object’s size and swimming pattern indicates a shark’s presence and then transmit that information to lifesavers or other authorities on land.
On Sunday, NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair announced the government would be launching a research project with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to assess the technology’s efficacy.
“The information gathered from this research collaboration will help us understand this advancing technology for shark species, and how we can use it to give NSW beachgoers the best available protection,” he said in a statement.
“We’re trialling sonar, as well as other new technologies including smart drumlines, drones and listening stations, as we look to new and innovative ways to better protect swimmers.”
To conduct the four-week trial, a buoy will be stationed offshore at Port Stephens. Underwater video cameras will record footage, which can then be compared with the shark data gathered by the Clever Buoy to confirm its accuracy.
UTS marine biologist William Gladstone, who designed the trial, told Fairfax Media the location was a known shark nursery. “It is recognised as a nursery ground for juvenile great white sharks and aerial surveys have confirmed it is a congregation site,” he said.
“If it works effectively and reliably, you could deploy a number of them to cover the beach entrance with sonar beam. The message would go back to the lifeguards if a shark enters, and they would decide what to do.”
The new trial follows an eight-week test at Sydney’s most famous beach, Bondi, where a unit was stationed 500 metres offshore.
Developed by Shark Mitigation Systems, also known for making loudly patterned wetsuits that are intended to deter sharks from approaching divers and surfers, the Clever Buoys are able to pick up the presence of any sharks previously caught and tagged by the government.
When you think about President Barack Obama, millions of thoughts could rush in your head.
Both good and bad, depending on your stance on politics and within the world.
But regardless of your political views, we all can agree that he is a good father.
And although he’s in the White House, he deals with many of the same parental discussions and surprisesthat every other house in America deals with.
One of those is social media.
How do you work it? What does it do? What are you doing? Why are you doing that?
All of those questions have come out of a parent’s mouth once in their lives, at the very least. And President Obama admits to Jimmy Kimmel that he’s asked these exact questions.
When he was finding out about Snapchat, he started asking his daughters questions at the dinner table. After they explained the new social media app, apparently he went into a lecture about new technology and gave anormal, worried, and informative dad talk that most kids get at the dinner table.
And while he thought he was being a helpful and insightful dad, his daughter thought he was being ridiculous and laughable.
So, in this day and age, the only sensible thing was to record and share it all on social media, without him knowing.
But he’s the president, so he found out. And now he’s telling the world about it!
Following the attack, concerns about a massive effort to disrupt the internet on Election Day started to percolate in the tech community. The attack came in an election season in which cybersecurity has been an underlying concern thanks to hacking attributed to Russia.
The Dyn attack, though different from the hacks that ended up making public massive amounts of Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign emails, only added to the broader fears. The FBI has warned state election boards to be on alert though they may be powerless to do much about significant attacks.
Cybersecurity experts that spoke with Mashable, however, were not particularly worried about large-scale attacks directed at the internet itself. They could not, however, rule anything out.
Rock the vote
Most components of US Election Day infrastructure don’t rely on the internet, so an attack wouldn’t directly impact actual votes. But if the internet were down, people wouldn’t be able to look up polling place locations or other voting information. A widespread cyberattack could cause fear about exactly what’s going on on Election Day and even sway some voters to stay home.
According to Dan Wallach, a computer science professor at Rice University who studies the security of electronic voting systems, voting machines are never connected to the internet. Voter registration databases will mostly be printed out by Election Day, but counties that allow voting in more than one polling place and use electronic voter registration information could be affected.
In light of the DDoS attack today, are we ready for a possible cyber attack on Election Day?#DDoS
There are cyberattacks every day. They just usually aren’t as effective as the one that took out access to several major websites and services last Friday.
Widespread problems with websites including Spotify, Netflix and Twitter, were the result of a DDoS or “distributed denial of service” attack against the domain name system host Dyn.
Unidentified hackers used 100,000 devices to overwhelm Dyn’s DNS systems. By overwhelming Dyn with traffic from what were likely poorly protected devices like connected TVs and DVRs, hackers were able to prevent people from accessing any website that relied on Dyn’s DNS services.
DDoS attacks are relatively simple and only require massive scale, not complex skill. Since the attacks don’t need to target only one website and can instead take down huge swaths of the internet, they’re pretty scary on a day as big as Nov. 8.
“We see new levels of attacks, new zero days, new strains every day,” Dale Drew, chief security officer for the internet service provider Level 3 Communications, told Mashable. “We have been trained to expect the worst case scenario every time we see an attack.”
Learning from the past
Last week’s cyberattack primarily affected the East Coast. Another attack could be geographically based, or cover a wider range. That doesn’t mean it won’t be as effective the next time around.
Companies like Dyn face cyberattacks every day. Most are fended off, or don’t affect as many clients and people as last week’s. In the aftermath of this attack, clients who use one DNS provider have already added a second or ramped up their security in other ways, Hall said.
If anything, the chances of a similar attack on Election Day are lower, Hall said.
“No one seriously going to use that to disrupt or attack elections would have done something so blatant and so public,” Hall said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the recent cyberattack, but security experts know that it came from a bot net using the base code Mirai. The hackers behind the bot net were likely displaying the net’s power to anyone interested in its services for hire, Hall said. He thought it unlikely the same group would try another attack so soon afterward.
Still, people are worried. Ahead of one of the most tense days in American history, cybersecurity experts advised clients of DNS providers to widen their security options.
Dyn is preparing for future attacks whether or not they fall on Election Day.
“As you may imagine, we cannot predict future DDoS attacks,” Dyn spokesman Adam Coughlin told Mashable. “We have learned a great deal from the recent attack and very quickly put protective measures in place during the attack, and we are extending and scaling those measures aggressively.Additionally, Dyn has been active in discussions with internet infrastructure providers to share learnings and mitigation methods for future attacks.”
And people at home whose devices might have been part of the attack without their knowledge should check exactly what they have plugged in before they head out to the polls.
Users of the platform remind us what we stand to lose when this weird and wonderful corner of the internet ceases to exist
Twitters announcement on Thursday that it would be discontinuing Vine prompted a public outpouring of grief in six-second, endlessly looped increments.
We shared some of the classics of the genre on Friday but social media users have continued to nominate their favourites over the weekend, serving only to remind us of how much we stand to lose when this weird and wonderful corner of the internet closes down.
So much greatness has resurfaced that our tribute continues with some of the best six-second videos. You can explore more on Vines trending page and tell us your favourites in the comments.
Republican vice presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s campaign airplane at LaGuardia airport, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016.
Image: Mary Altaffer/AP
It was likely a combination of technological innovation and government regulation that prevented the chartered Boeing 737-700 carrying Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and his entourage from a potentially serious disaster at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Thursday night.
At an airport hemmed in by populated areas to the south and east and Flushing Bay to the north, the incident was the most prominent aviation accident to date to show the value of a modern technology known as the engineered materials arrested system, or EMAS.
The FAA requires that many airports install such systems at the end of runways in order to prevent an aircraft from overrunning a runway and plowing into homes, forests, waterways or vehicles just beyond the airport.
Such incidents have happened many times before, including a Southwest Airlines flight that tore through a perimeter wall at Chicago’s Midway Airport during a snowstorm in 2005. That plane, also a Boeing 737-700, hit a car, killing a child and injuring four others on the perimeter roadway.
A child in the automobile was killed, one automobile occupant received serious injuries, and three other automobile occupants received minor injuries.
With Pence’s plane, though, the new technology worked as intended, and all aboard the aircraft walked away unscathed, thanks to the EMAS, which was not present on that runway in Chicago.
Think of EMAS systems as a less extreme version of an arresting hook that suddenly slows a fighter jet landing on an aircraft carrier.
At most airports where it is installed, an EMAS, which is part of a runway safety area, is about 500 feet wide and 1,000 feet beyond the end of the runway, according to the FAA. The system, which is manufactured by a New Jersey company, uses a crushable material to stop an airplane that overruns a runway.
It is designed to allow the tires of the plane to sink into the material, thereby slowing the plane.
An EMAS uses crushable material placed at the end of a runway to stop an aircraft that overruns the runway. The tires of the aircraft sink into the lightweight material and the aircraft is decelerated as it rolls through the material.
According to the FAA, improvements to runway safety areas, including the use of EMAS systems and other techniques to help slow aircraft, have been made at more than 500 commercial airports, with a total of about 1,000 runways modified.
The agency claims there have been 10 incidents where EMAS technology has stopped overrunning aircraft, which would become 11 incidents once Thursday’s incident is included.
Not all airports have EMAS systems, however, since some lack the land area needed to construct them. However, the FAA continues to require improvements be made regarding runway safety areas at airports around the country, with more EMAS systems and other innovations likely to come.
U.S. President Barack Obama greets the audience as he arrives at a town hall style meeting at Facebook headquarters on April 20, 2011 in Palo Alto, California.
Image: justin sullivan/getty images
Facebook doesn’t just want to fill your feed with political articles and political rants. On Friday, the social network added a feature that explains what’s on your ballot and where the candidates stand.
The feature, available on desktop and mobile here, shows the candidates for the national and state elections. Users can opt to see their local candidates if they enter into their address into the app.
Each candidate has a summary page on where they stand on the issues provided by the campaigns themselves.
For example, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s Facebook page has a card on the economy that reads, “I’ll provide tax relief to working families, raise the minimum wage and ensure the wealthiest pay their fair share.”
Facebook users can also choose to endorse a candidate, which can be shared to friends or set privately. Candidates can choose to publicly display those names on their Facebook pages.
Additionally, the new feature shows state propositions, which users can swipe through to see a summary and other information provided by the nonpartisan Center for Technology and Civic Life.
Facebook isn’t the only one with this type of feature. By typing “ballot” or “what’s on my ballot” into Google, a search bar will pop up. Enter your address, and you will see the list of candidates, as well.
On Facebook, at the end of going through each section, you can choose to save your plan and print your results on paper to bring with you. Each selection can be shared to a friend as a post on your timeline or set to private.
“For example, you may want to be private about your choice for president, but share with friends your pick for a congressional race or a ballot initiative,” Facebook’s blog post on the update reads.
This is just the latest in a series of steps Facebook has taken to play a role in the 2016 election. Facebook helped more than 2 million people register to vote through a campaign on the app, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced this week.
The company also said it will remind people to vote on election day.
File which contained details of Australians who completed a web form to give blood between 2010 and 2016 accessed by unauthorised person
The personal data including the addresses of more than half a million blood donors across Australia has been compromised in a massive security breach at the Red Cross, which has been blamed on human error.
Australian Red Cross chief executive Shelly Park said at a press conference in Melbourne on Friday that the data had been accessed by an unauthorised person.
We learned that a file, containing donor information, which was located on a development website, was left unsecured by a contracted third party who develops and maintains our website, Park said.
The issue occurred due to human error. Consequently, this file was accessed by a person outside of our organisation.
She said access to the file had been shut down and that forensic experts were now helping the organisation with their investigation. The hacked file was a back-up of web-based inquiry forms that are submitted to the Red Cross blood donation webpage.
The back-up file contained 550,000 people, who completed a web form to access a donation between 2010 and 2016, she said.
The type of information included in the files include name, address, and personal details that come about from completing our short questionnaire, which is a bit like a gateway to see whether people can go ahead to donate blood.
I wish to stress that this file does not contain the deep personal records of peoples medical history or of their test results. We are notifying donors as early as we believe we can, and we are notifying donors today.
Cyber security experts had told the organisation that the risk of a the data being misused was low, Park said.
However, donors have been warned to be on alert for phone and email scams.
We are extremely sorry, she said. We are deeply disappointed to have put our donors in this position. We apologise and take full responsibility for this. We apologise and we acknowledge that this is unacceptable. Our apology is unreserved. Donors have an expectation and aright to think that all of their information that they share with us is held accountably and responsibly.
We have let them down.
Each week in Australia, 25,000 patients need a donation of blood to save or to improve their life.
Alphabet, alongside Facebook, is dominating the fast-growing mobile ad market and has benefited from robust sales on mobile devices and YouTube
Googles parent Alphabet defied expectations to report a 20.2% rise in quarterly revenue on Thursday, while retail giant Amazon slightly missed predicted predicted forecasts due to spending on preparations for the holiday season.
Indicating an end to its record-breaking profits streak, Amazon reported profit of $252m or 52 cents per share, though analysts had predicted 85 cents per share. Revenues reached $32.71bn but are predicted to reach between $42bn and $45.5bn for the busy fourth quarter.
Alphabet meanwhile continues to dominate the fast-growing mobile advertising market, along with Facebook. The company has benefited from robust sales of advertising on mobile devices and on YouTube, and also said it would repurchase about $7bn of its Class C stock.
Shares of Alphabet, which is the worlds second largest company by market value, were up 1.6% in after-hours trading.
Googles ad revenue rose 18.1% to $19.82bn in the third quarter, accounting for 89.1% of Googles total revenue, compared with 89.8% of revenue in the second quarter.
Paid clicks rose 33%, compared with a rise of 29% in the second quarter. Paid clicks are those ads on which an advertiser pays only if a user clicks on them.
Cost-per-click, or the average amount advertisers pay Google, fell 11% in the latest period after dropping 7% in the second quarter.
Analysts on average had expected a decline of 7.9%, according to FactSet StreetAccount.
Per-click costs have been falling as people shift to mobile devices from desktops. Because of the limited space, advertising on mobile devices is generally cheaper.
Research firm eMarketer has estimated that Google will capture $52.88bn in search ad revenue in 2016, or 56.9% of the global market.
Googles Other Revenue, which includes the companys increasingly important cloud business, jumped 38.8% after rising 33% in the second quarter.
The cloud business competes with services offered by market-leader Amazon, Microsoft and IBM.
Alphabets Other Bets generated revenue of $197m, but reported an operating loss of $865m. In the year earlier period, revenue was $141m and the loss was $980m.
Other Bets includes broadband business Google Fiber, home automation products Nest, self-driving cars as well as X, the companys research facility that works on moon shot ventures.
The companys consolidated revenue rose to $22.45bn in the three months to 30 September from $18.68bn a year earlier. Net income rose to $5.06bn. Alphabets shares have risen 5.1% since the start of the year.
“I was used to the hustle and bustle, the crowd on the floor,” says Alasdair Haynes.
“And on the Monday there was no one there. There was a complete hush, it was extraordinary,” says Mr Haynes who used to work on the floor of the London Stock Exchange, and is now chief executive of the trading venue Aquis Exchange.
The Monday he’s referring to was 30 years ago. It was the day of the Big Bang – when, in one fell swoop, the City of London was deregulated, revolutionising its fortunes and turning it into a financial capital to rival New York.
London’s switch in 1986 from traditional face-to-face share dealing to electronic trading helped it outpace its European competitors and became a magnet for international banks.
Even if London now loses access to the single market, many believe the Big Bang’s legacy is a financial infrastructure with foundations too deep to be moved.
But many also say it sowed the seeds of the 2008 financial crisis.
There were three key elements to the Big Bang revolution:
Abolishing minimum fixed commissions on trades
Ending the separation between those who traded stocks and shares and those who advised investors
Allowing foreign firms to own UK brokers
By ending fixed commissions Big Bang allowed more competition; by ending the separation of dealers and advisors it allowed mergers and take-overs; and by allowing in foreign owners it opened London’s market to international banks.
Coupled with the new magic of electronic trading – the City jumped from the 19th Century to the threshold of the 21st.
It is generally thought that Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister drove through Big Bang as part of a programme of deregulation, but there were already powerful forces at work.
By the early 1980s the competition authorities were threatening to take the stock exchange to the Restrictive Practices Court.
Nicholas Goodison, then chairman of the Stock Exchange, believed it would be better to pre-empt the lawyers and avoid being forced to tear up its rule book.
In any case the world was already changing. The US had abolished fixed commissions in 1974, and in 1979 the Conservative government abolished exchange controls – triggering for many the UK’s financial and economic rebirth.
“And there were other developments,” says David Buik, now a market commentator at Panmure Gordon.
“You have to remember that LIFFE (the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange) had started up in 1982 and already attracted the big American and Japanese banks – not to mention the privatisations of British Gas, British Airways and so on.”
In the end it was Mr Goodison, Trade and Industry Secretary Cecil Parkinson, and Chancellor Nigel Lawson, who persuaded Mrs Thatcher to back the reforms that changed the City for ever.
Jobbers and brokers
City traders were then strictly divided into two; jobbers and brokers. Brokers liaised with clients and then gave their orders to jobbers who did the actual trading, face-to-face in “open outcry”, on the exchange floor.
Up until 1967 trading was done at the old Capel Court exchange, known as The House, where “waiters” would water the floors with watering cans to keep down the dust.
Nowadays the pre-Big Bang City has a bowler hat image, where a good lunch and long friendships were more important than profit. But it wasn’t all like that, according to Brian Winterflood, later the founder of Winterflood Securities, who had been a jobber at Greener Dreyfus since the 1950s.
“We had lunch but we never stopped trading,” he said in a 1990 interview. “If we were too busy for lunch we wouldn’t go to lunch, and you’d snatch a half an hour now and again.”
Crucially for the subsequent development of London as an international financial centre, the Big Bang produced a free-for-all, as brokers, jobbers and the City’s traditional merchant banks merged.
Some were bought by UK clearing banks but many more were snapped up by much bigger US, European and Japanese banks.
The 300 member firms of the stock exchange had all been domestic – but within a year 75 were foreign-owned. With this came electronic trading, cutting costs as the competition increased. The jobbers vanished and the trading floor became deserted.
All this meant that the volume of trade that flooded through the new terminals soared, averaging more than $7.4bn a week after Big Bang compared with $4.5bn a week beforehand.
And costs also came down.
“When I started out it cost a fortune to trade, the spreads between buying and selling were huge. Now you can trade on your mobile phone for a fiver,” says Mr Haynes.
It is said that Big Bang created 1,500 millionaires. Some 95% of the firms had been owned by partnerships, and dazzled by the massive sums on offer many sold up and retired.
It also changed the geography of London. Until then the Bank of England had insisted that all of London’s banks had to be within 10 minutes’ walking distance of the governor’s office so, it was said, in a crisis he could summon the lords of finance to his parlour with half an hour’s notice.
But the Securities and Investments Board (later the Financial Services Authority) replaced the Bank’s regulatory role.
On the day of Big Bang an advertisement in the Financial Times promised a new financial centre, three miles to the east of the City at Canary Wharf, which would “feel like Venice and work like New York”.
Yet not everything went to plan. In the short term there was a problem of massive overcapacity. The banks found they had overspent.
The following years saw them closing down venerable firms like Vickers da Costa, Scrimgeour Kemp-Gee, Fielding Newson-Smith, Wood Mackenzie; names that now appear only in history books and at the bottom of senior financiers’ resumes.
By 1992 Canary Wharf was forced into bankruptcy as it struggled to find tenants.
But in the 1990s and 2000s, profits, salaries and bonuses boomed. Even Canary Wharf recovered and thrived.
The result was a financial sector many believe is Brexit-proof. “The banks built a huge infrastructure in technology, transport, education and telecoms, and that infrastructure is unique,” says Mr Haynes.
“People who say we are going to move off to Paris or Frankfurt don’t understand you can’t build an infrastructure like that overnight. It can’t be rebuilt quickly just anywhere in the world.”
But with the wealth came something more ambiguous, and dangerous – a change of attitude. “It became much more of a dog-eat-dog environment,” says David Buik.
“In the old days you would have been very careful to look after your client, you had a relationship. But it became a competition on rate and pricing. And the earnings became colossal.”
Much of this was based around a bonus culture which rewarded the best deal, while short-term trumped long-term.
Some people understood better than others what was happening.
David Willetts, who was then working in the No 10 policy unit but went on to be a Conservative minister, co-authored a paper for Mrs Thatcher on the likely impact of the Big Bang.
He expressed concern about “unethical behaviour” and that financial deregulation could lead to “boom and bust” But he concluded while there might be “individual financial failures” he did not expect “a systemic problem”.
On this he was wrong. The 2008 financial collapse was systemic. It prompted a new wave a regulation, trimming some of the City’s freedoms.
However, no one, save perhaps the odd elderly broker, dozing now in his Surrey mansion, would dream of returning to the days of bowler hats when the waiters watered the floors in Capel Court.
The 176 tiny designs a gift from a Japanese phone company will go on show at New Yorks Museum of Modern Art
Back in the day, before cars could drive themselves and phones could airbrush selfies, a Japanese phone company released the first emojis.
The year was 1999 and the tiny 12-by-12 pixel designs included smiley faces, hearts of the intact and broken variety, a peace sign and zodiac symbols.
Eleven years later emojis were translated into the Unicode standard which means that a person in France, for example, can send an emoji to a person in the US and it will look the same, no matter what brand of phone or operating system they use.
New Yorks Museum of Modern Art announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the original set of 176 emojis. They were a gift to the museum from the phone company, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone.
From the start (in 1929), part of MoMAs mission has been to display and collect the art (and design) of our time, Paola Antonelli, senior curator of the museums department of architecture and design, said in an email. Our time is lived today in both the digital and the physical space.
The museums other digital acquisitions have included the @ symbol and video games.