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Weekly Tech Recap - № 137 - Equifax breach, Montreal 40 minutes from Toronto, Cassie duo, SpaceX failures, etc.

Massive breach at Equifax

Equifax Breach.

© iStock.

Equifax, the credit reporting company that has collected and analyzed the personal data of 800 million consumers applying for credit, has experienced a massive breach and the exposure of data related to some 190 million accounts (including 143 million in the United States). The major breach was announced some time after the fact, and not before three members of upper management had sold their shares. Several class-action suits are currently underway. The data was hacked through a Web application built on the Apache Struts framework, which had a flaw allowing code to be executed remotely. The vulnerability was discovered in March and quickly fixed by Apache. In the days following the announcement of the bug, several Web sites experienced attacks, which were widely reported in specialized media. Equifax has stated that its attack occured in mid-May, i.e. two full months after the issuance of the security fix, which would indicate a certain insouciance on the part of their technical team. A black eye for the trustworthiness of a company that rates … trustworthiness.

Ars Technica, “Failure to patch two-month-old bug led to massive Equifax breach.”


Montreal 40 minutes from Toronto with Hyperloop One


Montreal-Toronto, 39 min.

© Hyperloop One.

California company Hyperloop One identified the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto route among the top ten ideal locations to test its new method of transportation, magnetic levitation pods electrically propulsed through low-pressure tubes. At 1,080km/h, the 640-km trip would take just 39 minutes (presumably excluding the decelaration and accelation for the Ottawa stop). According to the company, annual ridership on such a line could top 4.2 million trips, which would make it viable. We hope it’s not just a pipe dream…

Ars Technica, “Hyperloop One announces 10 routes it will study, partners with Colorado DOT.”

Hyperloop One, “Hyperloop One announces 10 winners for Hyperloop One Global Challenge.”


Cassie Duo

Cassie Duo.

Cassie Duo. © Agility Robotics.

We already wrote about Cassie, the robot made up of two ostrich-like legs joined at the hip. Now, Agility Robotics published a video on YouTube showing two Cassies touring their offices. Don’t know about you, but we never get tired of such videos!

YouTube, “Cassies take a tour of Agility Robotics.”


SpaceX takes failure to stratospheric levels

Falcon 9 prelaunch test.

Falcon 9 prelaunch test, 2016, 1st September. © SpaceX.

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s other company, has been working on its Falcon 9 rocket to make it reusable, one iteration at a time. The path to success was paved with spectacular failures, as shown in this cringe-worthy video showing the company's fiery lessons learned. Kudos to Musk for allowing failure – and not just learning from it, but laughing about it.

Ars Technica, “SpaceX proves it’s not afraid to fail by releasing a landing blooper reel.”


NES Classic Edition is back!

NES Classic Edition perched on top of the original NES.

NES Classic Edition perched on top of the original NES.
© Christopher Grant, Polygon.

Nintendo made enemies last April when it suddenly discontinued its wildly popular NES Classic Edition after just 1.5 million units and six months on the market, with no explanation (some suspect supply issues). But all is forgiven: today, Nintendo announced that its $60 plug-and-play retro console will be coming back to retailers "next summer." In the meantime, Nintendo also announced the launch of the Super NES Classic Edition in September, this time with no production cut-off and over one million units on store shelves on day one. Of course, this is sad news for enthusiasts who spent a fortune on a second-hand NES Classic, and for Chinese bootleggers who have gotten fat off them

Ars Technica, “Nintendo likes money again, bringing back NES Classic Edition ‘next summer’.”


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