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Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - 16th May 2021

Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - 16th May 2021
By Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest • Issue #13 • View online
Lots of ransomware stuff this week. Related to the Colonial Pipeline in the USA and the Health Service attack in Ireland. We may have reached a tipping point where governments will finally take concerted action against the state-backed and criminal gangs behind these and other ransomware attacks. There is also a pointer to an actual film I’m going to see in the cinema soon. Plus pointers to nine new music releases. Including an album of the year list contender. If you can guess which album it is, then let me know on Twitter!

Technology
Web Design: We Analyzed 229K Webpages. Here’s What We Learned About Core Web Vitals and UX - Backlinko - Link
Have a website? If you want to make it better for readers and engagement, then this study might help.
Cybersecurity: Colonial Pipeline criminals express remorse - Data Breaches - Link
You couldn’t make this shit up. The cybercriminals who supplied the ransomware tools that caused the outage on the Colonial Pipeline say they will vet their clients better in future. They were just looking to make money. Not cause societal disruption. Good grief 🙄 Looks like they are trying to cover their tracks now. Maybe they have realised that they stepped over the line?
Cybersecurity: Hacker Attack on Essential Pipeline Shows Infrastructure Weaknesses - Scientific American - Link
An interview with Josephine Wolff (assistant professor of cybersecurity policy in the Fletcher School at Tufts University) by Sophie Bushwick of Scientific American about ransomware in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline attack.
Cybersecurity: Ireland refuses to pay ransom demand in attack on its national health service - The Verge - Link
Parts of Ireland’s Health Service got hit by a ransomware attack this week. And lots of systems were taken offline to prevent the malware from spreading to them. The Irish authorities say they will not pay any ransom to the criminals.
Cybersecurity: How to secure your hybrid work world with a Zero Trust approach - Microsoft Security - Link
A good overview of Zero Trust Networking from Microsoft Security. Just assume your network has been breached and make sure your cybersecurity strategy and tactics mitigate any damage from bad actors on your network.
Technology Journalism: Tech vs. Journalism: How Silicon Valley Gets Written About - Intelligencer - Link
There has been an ongoing verbal war (mostly on Twitter and Clubhouse) between certain Silicon Valley tech luminaries and a few tech journalists. It’s all quite unseemly. This article by Benjamin Wallace is a must-read about the whole sorry story.
Audio Technology: The Apple Designer You’ve Never Heard of Is Making Noise - Wired - Link
Do you like good audio reproduction? Apparently these $1799 Syng speakers are wonderful. Especially if you have three! I’ll stick with my house full of HomePod’s that cost approximately the same as one of these new speakers!
Science
Science Visualisation: Beautiful Chemistry - Link
A companion site to The Beauty of Chemistry book. Both highlight the beauty of chemical reactions, chemical processes, and molecules via high definition photos. Marvellous.
Neuroscience: Neural implant lets paralyzed person type by imagining writing - Ars Technica - Link
Science for the Win! A patient with a paralysed arm trained a machine learning neural network to convert his thoughts about writing with his paralysed hand into text. At a speed of 90 characters per minute. Not a general solution for all paralysed people. But it’s a path on that road.
Space: China has landed its first rover on Mars — here’s what happens next - Nature - Link
China successfully landed their lander and rover on Mars. Excellent. It’s getting quite busy on the Red Planet now.
Culture
Politics: Our elections show the centre holding | UK in a changing Europe - Professor Glen O'Hara - Link
It’s very easy to get despondent given the shambles we have as a PM and Government in the UK. But this excellent article by Glen O'Hara (who you should definitely be following on Twitter) points out that there is room for hope.
History: Dirty Linen: a personal history of Northern Ireland - Martin Doyle - Link
This is grim reading. Let’s make the future of Northern Ireland better than the past.
Film: Those Who Wish Me Dead - IMDb
The Northern Ireland cinemas are opening on the 24th of May! I’ve booked to see Those Who Wish Me Dead that week. I’ve missed the cinema. Looking forward to getting One Film Per Week back to its natural habitat.
Music: New music I discovered this week (listed in the order I added them to Apple Music)
Banquet Darling - Dreamlove Obscura (Album) - Apple Music - Spotify - Instagram
Cat Calabrese - Scared Of Me (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Able Machines - Pathological (Album) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Olivia Rodrigo - good 4 u (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Azadeh - Anxiety (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Jasper Mafya - Dressed up for Nothing (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Jenny Plant - Matters of the Heart (EP) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Jorja Smith - Be Right Back (Album) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Haiva Ru - Bloom Baby Bloom (Album) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Here are Apple Music and Spotify playlists with all the singles and one selected track from each album or EP. In no particular order. Play them on shuffle!
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Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest

Writer, walker, atheist, optimist, Apple enthusiast, cinema lover, hobby musician, science junkie, perpetual maths student, cricket fan, chess patzer.

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