Mac spyware stole millions of user images

A criminal case brought against a man from Ohio, US has shed more light on a piece of Mac malware, dubbed Fruitfly, that was used to surreptitiously turn on cameras and microphones, take and download screenshots, log keystrokes, and steal tax and medical records, photographs, internet searches, and bank transactions from users.

Source: Ars Technica

Drone swarm attack strikes Russian military bases

Russia's Ministry of Defence claims its forces in Syria were attacked a week ago by a swarm of home-made drones. According to Russia's MoD Russian forces at the Khmeimim air base and Tartus naval facility "successfully warded off a terrorist attack with massive application of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)"

Source: Science Alert

Las Vegas strip club employs robot strippers

A Las Vegas strip club has flown in robot strippers from London to 'perform' at the club during CES. Sapphire Las Vegas strip club managing partner Peter Feinstein said that he employed the robots because the demographics of CES have changed and the traditional female strippers aren’t enough to lure a crowd to the club anymore.

Source: Daily Beast

GM to make driverless cars without steering wheels or pedals by 2019

General Motors has announced it plans to mass-produce self-driving cars without traditional controls like steering wheels and pedals by 2019. “It’s a pretty exciting moment in the history of the path to wide scale [autonomous vehicle] deployment and having the first production car with no driver controls,” GM President Dan Ammann told The Verge.

Source: The Verge

Russia-linked hackers "Fancy Bears" target the IOC

Following Russia's ban from the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics, the Russia-linked hacking group "Fancy Bears" has published a set of apparently stolen emails, which purportedly belong to officials from the International Olympic Committee, the United States Olympic Committee, and third-party groups associated with the organisations.

Source: Wired

Scientists discover ice cliffs on Mars

Using images provided by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, scientists have described how steep cliffs, up to 100 meters tall, made of what appears to be nearly pure ice indicate that large deposits of ice may also be located in nearby underground deposits. The discovery has been described as “very exciting” for potential human bases.

Source: Science Mag

California Bill Seeks to Ban Non-Electric Cars by 2040

A bill has been introduced in California that is intended to ban vehicles powered by fossil fuels, ensuring that only emission-free 'clean' vehicles - primarily electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars - would be allowed to be registered in the state. The bill has been introduced by Democrat and chairman of the Californian Assembly's budget committee Phil Ting.

Source: Bloomberg

Scientists Develop Solar Cells Thinner Than Human Hair

Scientists in South Korea have created solar photovoltaic cells that are just one micrometer thick, allowing them to be integrated into clothes, bags and glasses, as well as buildings and other surfaces, While each cell only generates small amounts of power, their potential to be ubiquitous makes them a highly promising future technology.

Source: Vox

Tesla to Build Second Massive Battery System in Australia

Tesla has been selected to build a second Powerpack system in Australia after its first, which is currently the most powerful in the world and is designed to support a wind farm near Adelade, proved wildly successful. The second is designed to support a wind farm in Western Australia, and will be smaller than the first but still one of Tesla's biggest battery projects.

Source: Electrek

Quarter of Planet Could Become Desert by 2050

Unless climate change is effectively tackled, over 25% of the Earth's surface will experience significant drought and desertification by 2050, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study looked at how the planet would become increasingly arid if the Paris climate agreement's targets were not met.

Source: Newsweek

Scientists Warn of Digital Dark Age

The fact that we now store much of our records and information exclusively in digital formats may mean that our descendants one day know less about this period of humanity than that of 100 years ago, scientists have warned. Data stored now may not last in a readable format, meaning this period of time may become a mystery to future historians.

Source: PRI

Ice-Diving Drones Embark on Year-Long Mission

A flotilla of autonomous robot submarines is this month being dispatched to the Antarctic to begin a year-long mission to map the bottom of melting ice shelves. The mission will produce unprecedented data about the rate of melting in the region, which will help to create a fare more accurate picture of likely future sea level rise.