Spare parts are now being emailed to the International Space Station.

Astronauts on the International Space Station have used their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in an email. It is the first time hardware has been “emailed” to space. Nasa was responding to a request by ISS commander Barry Wilmore for a ratcheting socket wrench. Previously, if astronauts requested a specific item they could have waited months for it to be flown up on one of the regular supply flights. Mike Chen, founder of Made In Space, the company behind the 3-D printer, said: “We hadRead More

In a quest to purge spammers from Instragram, millions of user accounts have been shut down.

Photo-sharing app Instagram has removed millions of accounts believed to be posting spam, angering many legitimate users. People who lost a lot of followers criticised the action, dubbing it the “Instagram Rapture”. Like its parent company Facebook, Instagram routinely removes accounts to limit spam and prevent users buying followers to appear more popular. Rapper Akon reportedly lost 56% of his followers in the cull. The big losers were Justin Bieber (minus 3,538,228 followers), and an online marketing specialist called Wellington Campos, which lost 3,284,304 followers overnight. One account, chiragchirag78, lostRead More

A nuclear power plant in South Korea is facing threats from hackers who have demonstrated that they have access to their network.

On Friday, designs and manuals of plant equipment owned by Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co were put online by an unknown individual or group. Using an account named “president of the anti-nuclear reactor group”, the hacker posted blueprints of nuclear reactors on social media. A threat was made that unless three reactors were closed by Christmas, people should “stay away” from them. Korea Hydro said the leaked data did not undermine the safety of the reactors. Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co, the sole nuclear operator in Korea, isRead More

A self-destructing smartphone has arrived for “spies”.

Boeing and BlackBerry are working together to make an ultra-secure phone for US security staff, which will allow them to communicate securely and blow itself up… if it falls into the wrong hands, of course. BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen gave away some details of the project when presenting the company’s earnings. Many of the details of the project have been kept secret but Boeing provides some on its site. The phone, called Boeing Black, has disk encryption, a cryptographic engine and modular hardware that allows it to be upgraded andRead More

Hackers have compromized a German steel mill.

A blast furnace at a German steel mill suffered “massive damage” following a cyber attack on the plant’s network. Details of the incident emerged in the annual report of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). In its report, BSI said the attackers were very skilled and used both targeted emails and social engineering techniques to infiltrate the plant. In particular, said BSI, the attackers used a “spear phishing” campaign aimed at particular individuals in the company to trick people into opening messages that sought and grabbed login namesRead More

Apple-ization Catches a New Wave

Apple-ization Catches a New Wave

A software glitch caused a bunch of Amazon products to be sold for just 1 Pence.

Repricer Express automatically changes the cost of items for sale on Amazon Marketplace “to keep listings competitive 24/7 without constant attention”. The company responsible for its development have had to apologise for a software glitch that led to hundreds of items being sold for just 1p on Amazon. The glitch affected prices for an hour on Friday and involved firms who use the Repricer Express tool. The company’s chief executive, Brendan Doherty, said he was “deeply sorry for the disruption”. Amazon said most orders were cancelled after the error wasRead More

Microsoft is fighting for user privacy against the US government, and other tech giants are standing by them.

Tech giants like Apple and Amazon, as well as media companies and civil rights advocacy groups, are standing behind Microsoft as it wages a legal battle that could have a big impact on digital privacy in the United States and abroad. The U.S. government is trying to force Microsoft to turn over an individual customer’s emails that are stored on servers in Ireland. The case relates to drugs and money laundering, but the name of the account holder’s identity and nationality are not known. Microsoft refused to hand over information,Read More

The umbrella is receiving a tech overhaul.

The design of the umbrella has pretty much stayed the same for years, except for the various size changes. However, all of that may be about to change, and drastically. Developers in China have designed something quite incredible called the Air Umbrella. It has no canopy or metal spokes. Instead, it uses air to divert the rain drops from hitting you. It currently comes in three different sizes and the battery lasts for about 30 minutes when continuously running. The area of protection it provides is about three and halfRead More

The Pirate Bay was shut down, but one of its competitors, Isohunt, has cloned it.

Isohunt, a website providing access to mostly pirated material, has cloned the database of its competitor, The Pirate Bay, after it was shut down last week. The cloned site is online and fully functioning, according to users. The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s most visited websites, has been closed since a police raid in Sweden last week. Isohunt, which was banned in the UK last month, says it made the move in order to “save the Freedom of information on the Internet”. If The Pirate Bay returns, the clonedRead More