It’s been a busy four-day week in the news. If you’re in the house with not much to do, why not look at our latest roundup? Covering everything from Pixar winning a Turing Prize of computing, to Apple in cahoots with an ethical hacker who earned himself $75,000, and finally, the reaction of Downing Street to outrageous conspiracy theories that Coronavirus is linked to installation of 5G. You’ll be caught up in no time.
Pixar wins Turing Prize of computing
Pixar has won the prestigious Turing Prize for its award-winning motion picture, now a billion-dollar franchise, Toy Story. The first feature length film released by Pixar was a culmination of decades of development in computer animation.
Ed Catmull and Pat Hanrahan, the two men behind the computing advances, are the recipients of the Turing Award that recognises "lasting and major" contributions to the field of computing and is considered to be the "Nobel Prize" of computer science. The award is given by the Association for Computing Machinery and is presented with a $1m (£800,000) cash reward split between the winners.
To make Toy Story and other films like it, the pair had to find a way to make computers visualise 3D objects on screen. Dr Catmull devised a way to make a computer recognise a curved surface. Once developers had a mathematically defined curved surface, they could begin to add more features to it like texture and depth, creating computer animation.
Read more about it here.
Apple pays hacker who found bug in software
An ethical hacker has managed to successfully hack the iPhone camera and any iOS or macOS camera. In December 2019, Apple introduced its ‘bug bounty programme’ after previously avoiding such ventures, unlike its competitors Google and Microsoft, “in order to accept certain vulnerabilities for the betterment of its products making a healthier relationship with users and outside security researchers.”
Security Researcher who uncovered the bug, Ryan Pickren said “put simply-the bug tricked Apple into thinking a malicious website was actually a trusted one”, the website would then let him hack the user’s camera under the appearance of a trusted video conferencing website which had earlier gained access to the phone’s camera.
Ryan went on to comment "a bug like this shows why users should never feel completely confident that their camera is secure regardless of operating system or manufacturer.” As a reward for his findings, Apple has paid Pickren a huge $75,000.
Learn more about it here.
Downing Street reacts to 5G and Coronavirus link
This week Downing Street has responded to crazed conspiracy theorists claiming that 5G is linked to the cause of Coronavirus. After videos have surfaced online of people confronting telecommunications workers installing broadband cabling and 5G infrastructure, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson hit back following incidents of masts being vandalised by people who believe the theory.
Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary, is meeting with representatives from major social media firms this week to ensure that all claims linked to Coronavirus are removed. Scientists have reassured and affirmed that a link between Covid-19 and 5G data transmission is biologically impossible.
Fears over 5G have been around ever since the technology’s inception, with campaigners claiming the electromagnetic radiation emitted by transmissions was damaging to humans. Despite scientists and industry bodies communicating that there is no evidence the higher frequency waves will cause cancer or other illnesses, the theories have not gone away, but the claims have been branded as fake news.
Discover more here.
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