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Beware the USB memory stick – Computer virus found at German nuclear power plant

This certainly applies if you happen to work in a German nuclear power plant at least, as it appears that viruses have been found at the office computers, specifically used to model the movement of nuclear fuel rods.

The RWE nuclear plant is at Gundremmingen in Bavaria and German federal cyber investigators are now on the case and trying to analyse how the 18 USB devices that are used as removable data stores on office computers, came to be infected. The public have been reassured that the problem is purely internal and could not pose a threat to the plant or the public, because the viruses could not activate as they were not linked to the internet in any way.

The problem came to light as staff were preparing to upgrade the computerised control systems at a block which is currently not producing power whilst it is undergoing routine maintenance. Over 1000 computers have been checked and all are either free of the virus or have been cleared of it. (more…)

Apple sales fall for the first time in 13 years

They have been sailing along happily now for a long time and Apple products, particularly the iPhone and iPad have probably been the mainstay of the company for a long time. Some time ago it was the digital music player in the iPod series that many believed were responsible for keeping Apple going when they were in an uphill battle in the pc market, but now it is reported that revenues for the company have dropped by 13% in the second quarter, with sales of iPhones slipping. The sales of the ‘phone have dropped by 10 million compared to the same period in 2015, China is the area responsible for much of this with sales dropping in that country by 26%, much blame being laid at the door of a strong dollar.

Google falls foul of the European Commission

Most successful companies seem to cross swords with the European Commission at some time and now it appears to be Google with their Android operating system. The search engine giant has been charged under EU competition laws for “abusing its position” and as Margrethe Vestager, the European competition commissioner pointed out, she had found out that her staff saw that Google’s Android operating system had breached EU competition law.

4K Ultra HD Blu-rays and players hit the shelves in the UK

It’s been a long time in the making, but finally 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays and players have made it to the UK after arriving earlier this year in the US. As you would expect 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray titles are few and far between at the moment with only 12 titles available, but expect that to change over the coming months and years.

End-to-end encryption for one billion WhatsApp users now active

It has been a year in the development and implementation, but Open Whisper Systems when they announced their partnership with WhatsApp they became committed to integrating the Signal Protocol into their product, with the aim of full end to end encryption for all of their users by default.

Tesla model 3 electric car pre-orders hit the 276,000 mark

The figure of 276,000 pre-orders for the Tesla 3 look very impressive, but as all car manufacturers know, until those are turned into an agreement with a deposit those will not necessarily all translate into actual sales when the car is released, with first deliveries due in late 2017.

Microsoft opens up Xbox One development kit to everyone

It was three long years ago when we heard a remark made by Microsoft about the future of their Xbox One, they suggested that it was to be a game console that would encourage and foster creativity and development. They went further and said that any retail unit could be converted into a development kit, which got people thinking. Finally at its annual build conference in San Francisco, Microsoft is to make good on that promise.

Is this the Nintendo NX game controller?

The gaming world is excited by the rumours that Nintendo is shortly to unveil a new gaming console; the system is currently being called codenamed NX. Not a great deal is known about the rumoured console, but it is sure that it will delight core gamers, but what we can deduce is that it could be just what everyone has been looking for in a Nintendo console, but time will tell.

One million students to get free Micro:bit computer courtesy of the BBC

In 1980 the BBC decided that to coincide with a literacy drive by them, it would with the help of Acorn, introduce a computer into schools and the Model A was adopted by most schools in the United Kingdom, in December 1981. The computer was also relatively successful in homes as many families bought the machine, which although considered to be quite expensive, it offered possibilities for expansion with disc drives and through a second processor and network capabilities. Undoubtedly the Model A, of which over 1.5 million were sold, resulted in many young people taking up computer programming and engineering at college and university.