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Global IT outage shows dangers of cashless society, campaigners say

Campaigners say the chaos caused by the global IT outage last week underlines the risk of moving towards a cashless society.Supermarkets, banks, pubs, cafes, train stations and airports were all hit by the failure of Microsoft systems on Friday, leaving many unable to accept electronic payments. The impact was especially severe for businesses that no longer accept cash.The Payment Choice Alliance (PCA), which campaigns against the move towards a cashless society, lists 23 firms and groups, at least some of whose outlets take only credit or debit cards.“There will always be outages,” said Ron Delnevo, the PCA’s chair

July202024
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Microsoft IT outage: criminals seeking to take advantage of global outage, CrowdStrike warns – as it happened

It is 12.30pm here in London. Below is a summary of recent updates:CrowdStrike have warned of a “likely eCrime actor” that could be targeting Latin America based customers. The cybersecurity firm recommends “that organizations ensure they are communicating with CrowdStrike representatives through official channels”.Holidaymakers were warned of potential travel disruption this weekend as UK transport networks continue to feel the impact of Friday’s global IT outage

July202024
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The Microsoft/CrowdStrike outage shows the danger of monopolization

A global IT failure wreaked havoc on Friday, grounding flights and disrupting everything from hospitals to government agencies. Over all the chaos hung a question: how did a flawed update to Microsoft Windows software bring large swaths of society to a screeching halt?The problem originated with an Austin, Texas-based cybersecurity firm called CrowdStrike, relied upon by most of the global technology industry, including Microsoft, for its Falcon program, which blocks the execution of malware and cyber-attacks. Falcon protects devices by securing access to a wide range of internal systems and automatically updating its defenses – a level of integration that means if Falcon falters, the computer is close behind. After CrowdStrike updated Falcon on Thursday night, Microsoft systems and Windows PCs were hit with a “blue screen of death” and rendered unusable as they were trapped in a recovery boot loop.Microsoft is a juggernaut with significant market power, dominating cloud-computing infrastructure across Europe and the United States

July202024
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Air passengers warned of more delays after global Windows outage

NHS England has warned of “continued disruption” to GP services into next week after Friday’s global IT outrage, as air passengers continued to face delays and flight cancellations.Passengers had their travel plans ruined on Friday as thousands of flights were cancelled internationally after a botched software upgrade hit Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The incident caused havoc worldwide across a number of services, with hospital appointments cancelled, payroll systems seizing up and TV channels going off air.GP practices in the UK said they could not see patient records or book appointments, and pharmacy services were also affected.The software update that caused global havoc came from the US cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, which left many Microsoft Windows users facing a “blue screen of death” as their computers failed to start

July202024
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Elon Musk v California: what exits of X and SpaceX mean for the Golden state

Elon Musk announced this week he would move the headquarters of his companies X and SpaceX from California to Texas, the culmination of a longstanding face-off between the volatile executive and the state where his companies began.Just one year ago, Musk declared he would not move X headquarters out of San Francisco – despite his assertions the city was in a “doom spiral”. At the time, he wrote: “You only know who your real friends are when the chips are down. San Francisco, beautiful San Francisco, though others forsake you, we will always be your friend.”But now, Musk has changed his tune, citing a new California law banning school transgender notification requirements as his reason for leaving in a series of furious tweets Tuesday

July202024
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‘Google says I’m a dead physicist’: is the world’s biggest search engine broken?

For decades now, anyone who’s wanted to know everything about anything has asked Google. But is the platform losing its edge – and can we still trust it to tell us the truth?I didn’t know I was dead until I saw it on Google. When I searched my name, there it was: a picture of my smiling face next to the text “Tom Faber was a physicist and publisher, and he was a university lecturer at Cambridge for 35 years”. Apparently I died on 27 July 2004, aged 77. This was news to me

July202024