Category Archives: Europe

Accidental hero halts ransomware attack and couldn’t be more pleased

Guardian.com – May 2017 – UK and US |

Many were concerned after a complex ransomware attack was seen to be spreading around a number of important systems, including FedEx, Telefonica and the NHS.

The un-named hero saw the attacks being reported about in the news, before deciding to take action and try and decipher the code behind it. Through his efforts, he was able to find a kill switch written into the malware, incase the creator wanted to halt its spread.

To read more about the story, follow the reference link above.

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Futuristic solution to the Pacific Garbage patch ready for action

Engadget.com | May 2017 | Global |

Ocean pollution in the form of plastics is one of the greatest threats to environmental health that our planet faces at present. Year on year, increasing amounts of plastic are being dumped into our oceans, negatively affecting delicate ecosystems and environmental phenomena. As part of this, the ‘great pacific garbage patch’ has developed, a collection of various types of pollutants and plastics, being brought together by major ocean currents.

To deal with this issue, The Ocean Cleanup, a dutch foundation, have developed a novel system for collecting and basically harvesting the tonnes upon tonnes of plastic debris in our seas. They system works by using floating 50, 0.6 mile length screens anchored to the ocean floor, to capture and trap debris and moved by the currents.

A statement from the organizations leader, Boyan Slat, said that they expected the system to be able to clean up half of the massive garbage patch in 5 years, at a relatively low cost (in comparison to other and earlier designs).

To read more on this story, follow the reference link above.

Living the hygge life: How Denmark has become such a happy place

Dailynews.com – Denmark – April 2017 |

Hygge is thought to be an illusive concoction of togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence, comfort, and any descriptive word you can think of that promotes positivity in life. The secret to this happiness however is not actually centered around a particular lifestyle, but rather, the home.

Hygge in its essence is the pursuit of everyday happiness. It is focusing on the smaller things, and taking the joy out of life in anyway possible. A large part of this, is ensuring that the places we live are as comfortable and welcoming as possible.

How many of us when looking for a new home are greeted with a blank, white box house with municipal carpeting? Although the space is clean and fresh for re-purposing, homes in this design have lost their souls.

Hygge focuses on incorporating design into buildings that can allow us to lead lives that we want. Large tables for those who like to host, snug corners for the reader’s among us, and natural colouring and decor for those who want to bring nature indoors.

In essence the idea seems to boil down to designing a space that is fit for living, rather than fit for purpose. It promotes, creativity, friendship and relaxation.

Many of the design ideas for incorporating hygge into your home are low cost and easy to do.

To read more about the concept, please click the reference title above.

“Boston public schools map switch aims to amend 500 years of distortion”

Theguardian.com – Mar 2017 – USA |

Don’t pretend that this cartographical conundrum hasn’t been keeping you up at night.

The Mercator projection has long been a topic of debate within mapping enthusiast circles. It is almost ubiquitously used in contemporary maps and atlases, and many would recognize its projection of our planet. Western-Europe at the center of our globe, with a sprawling northern hemisphere in comparison to it’s southern half.

The Mercator projection distorts out planet. South America and Africa appear drastically smaller than they are in reality, with areas such as Europe, America and Greenland being inversely enlarged. Schools in Boston however are looking to shake things up for its students and restore some geographical truth to their classrooms.

The maps they use will now feature the lesser known Peter’s projection, which cuts US, Britain, and the rest of Europe down to size.

Many are hailing the move as an important step in removing colonial thinking from contemporary society. These new maps will remove the focus and exaggerated sizing of imperialist powers. It is hoped this slight shift will help promote a more universal and truthful understanding of Earth for future generations, moving away from western-centric discourses of our planet.

To read the article in full, please click on the reference title above.