July 19, 2024

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Apple Store in San Francisco, 2012. | HalloweenNight | CC-by-SA_2.0

Tech News to Know This Week: Oct. 11-17, 2022

Every day we wake up, drink a cup of coffee, and get ready for work. Following are a handful of stories from around the tech world condensed to fit into one single cup of coffee. These are the things you need to know before you step foot out of your door (or in front of a webcam) and into the real world this morning.

So sit back, grab a cup, and start your morning off right with a few “Quick Bytes” from Innovation & Tech Today.

Russian-Speaking Hackers Claim Responsibility for Mass Airport Website Cyberattack 

Airport websites across the U.S. were offline Monday morning. A group of Russian-speaking hackers claimed responsibility for the outages. Fourteen websites were targeted and rendered inaccessible, including Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, the busiest airport in the world. 

The hackers carried out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the websites, a tactic that floods servers with fake website traffic to knock them offline.

Some intelligence experts believe the attack could have been carried out by a hacktivist group called Killnet, after the group listed multiple U.S. airports as targets. 

The group claimed responsibility last week for knocking offline US state governments’ websites. Killnet is blamed for briefly downing a US Congress website in July and for cyberattacks on organizations in Lithuania after the country blocked shipment of goods to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad in June, according to CNN. 

“DDoS attacks are favored by actors of varying sophistication because they have visible results, but these incidents are usually superficial and short lived,” John Hultquist, a vice president at Google-owned cybersecurity firm Mandiant, told CNN.

New Crash Detection Feature Mistakes Rollercoaster Rides for High-Speed wrecks

First responders have been showing up to amusement parks at an alarming rate because of one of the iPhone 14’s new features. 

The iPhone 14’s Crash Detection feature, which immediately alerts authorities when it senses excessive impact to the body, is calling 911 on rollercoasters. 

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the feature has had law enforcement sent to amusement parks on numerous occasions after mistaking a thrill ride’s twists, turns, and hard braking for a real emergency.

The new feature uses a gyroscopic sensor and high-g accelerometer to detect impact and unusually high acceleration. Apple’s Watch Series 8se and Ultra, as well as the new iPhone are equipped with technology, leading to numerous automated 911 calls where muffled screaming can be heard in the background — a sound that is commonplace on a thrill ride but comes across as life-threatening to an emergency dispatcher. 

Bees Declared Most Important Organism on Earth Amidst Rapid Decline of Their Population 

We all know how integral bees are to crop production and ultimately the global food supply, but now it has been made official: bees are the single most important species on the planet. 

According to the Earthwatch Institute at the last meeting of the Royal Geographical Society of London, bees are the most significant living organism on Earth. 

Seventy percent of the world’s agriculture relies completely on bees, according to a recent study. However, along with the declaration, is a stark reminder of the impact humans are having on the natural environment. 

According to wildlife specialists and scientists, bees have entered the growing list of endangered species.

The new research demonstrates a 90% decrease in the bee population in the last few years. The excessive use of pesticides, deforestation, or lack of flowers is the primary causes of their disappearance.

Analysis Firm Finds Twitter Bot Numbers Were Higher Than Reported All Along

The road ahead for Elon Musk and Twitter may not be straightforward, according to new data from an analysis firm hired by Musk during his legal battle with the social media platform. 

An analysis of bot activity by Cybara found spam and bot accounts make up an estimated 11% of Twitter’s total user base. The number is significantly higher than the board of Twitter estimated, confirming Musk’s initial suspicions. 

Musk backed out of the $44 billion deal in July, citing the continuing disagreement over the number of spam accounts.

The deal now looks to be back on the table, as Musk attorney Alex Spiro announced that Musk ultimately decided to do the deal at the original $54.20 a share price and on the original terms. 

However, the concerning number of spam bots and fake profiles found by Cybara hints at the potential challenges Musk and the new board will face should the deal close. 

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By I&T Today

Innovation & Tech Today features a wide variety of writers on tech, science, business, sustainability, and culture. Have an idea? Send it to submit@innotechtoday.com

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