sandworm

Max Barry on how science fiction prepares us for the apocalypse

I greatly enjoyed Max Barry's 2013 novel Lexicon (Cory loved it, too -- here's his review). Barry has a new novel that came out today from Putnam, called Providence, which I started reading. It's a space thriller about a four person crew on an AI controlled spaceship programmed to seek and destroy "salamanders" - creatures that kill by spitting mini-black holes. It's terrific so far (I'm 70% finished).

I'm happy that Max wrote this op-ed for Boing Boing, titled "How Science Fiction Prepares Us For the Apocalypse." -- Mark

My favorite theory on why we dream is that we’re practicing for emergencies. Asleep, unguarded, our minds conjure threats and dilemmas so that once we wake, we’ve learned something. Maybe not very much—maybe only what not to do, because it rarely goes well. But we learn more from our failures than our successes, and this is what our minds serve up, night after night: hypothetical dangers and defeats. Whether we’re fleeing a tiger or struggling to persuade a partner who won’t listen, we fail, but we also practice.

I suspect that’s also why we read fiction. We don’t seek escapism—or, at least, not only that. We read to inform our own future behavior. No matter how fanciful the novel, in the back of our minds, something very practical is taking notes.

Popular fiction regularly mirrors the times in which it’s published. Two hundred years ago, society readers were thrilled by dangerous flirtations in Jane Austen novels; a century ago, people living in newly urbanized cities devoured mysteries and detective stories; and the 1930s gave rise to the Golden Age of science fiction, with stories that asked where technology might take us. Read the rest

You can use ANY image for your Zoom background

Don't be boring! If you still have to go to work meetings via Zoom's video calls, switch up the background to something interesting. Using the "virtual background" feature (once you're logged into the meeting), you can insert ANY image you want behind you. Share your flair with the people you work with!

May I suggest a few to get started?

Dune, complete with sandworm:

One of the many Scooby Doo backdrops:

Spooky...

or not:

Pee-wee suggests taking that meeting in his Playhouse:

(Pee-wee Herman)

Also:

-- the bridge of the Star Trek Enterprise

-- Planet Tatooine from Star Wars

What you got?

Zoom image/YouTube, Dune image via Google Search, Scooby Doo image via Dread Central, Playhouse image via Pee-wee Herman Read the rest

'Sandworm' hacking group linked to Russian GRU's Main Center for Special Technology, says U.S.

U.S. State Department blames Russia for cyberattacks that hit neighboring Georgia in October 2019

By identifying Russia's digital assaults on neighbors, US hopes to raise awareness of ongoing GRU attacks on US Read the rest

An interview with Andy Greenberg about his book Sandworm, on the Russian state hackers who attack power grids

Wired security reporter Andy Greenberg's latest book is Sandworm (previously), a true-life technothriller that tells the stories of the cybersecurity experts who analyzed and attributed as series of ghastly cyberwar attacks that brought down parts of the Ukrainian power grid, and then escaped the attackers' control and spread all over the world. Read the rest

My review of Sandworm: an essential guide to the new, reckless world of "cyberwarfare"

For years, I've followed Andy Greenberg's excellent reporting on "Sandworm," a set of infrastructure-targeted cyberattacks against Ukraine widely presumed to be of Russian origin, some of which escaped their targeted zone and damaged systems around the world. Read the rest

Attribution is hard: the incredible skullduggery used to try to blame the 2018 Olympic cyberattack on North Korea

Wired has published another long excerpt from Sandworm, reporter Andy Greenberg's (previously) forthcoming book on the advanced Russian hacking team who took the US-Israeli Stuxnet program to the next level, attacking Ukrainian power infrastructure, literally blowing up key components of the country's power grid by attacking the embedded code in their microcontrollers. Read the rest

Notpetya: the incredible story of an escaped US cyberweapon, Russian state hackers, and Ukraine's cyberwar

Andy Greenberg (previously) is Wired's senior security reporter; he did amazing work covering Russian cyberwarfare in Ukraine, which he has expanded into a forthcoming book: Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers (I read it for a blurb and a review; it's excellent). Read the rest

Someone is targeting "critical infrastructure" safety systems in networked attacks

The Triton malware was first identified 16 months ago by researchers from Fireeye: it targets Triconex control systems from Schneider Electric, and was linked by Fireeye to the Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics in Moscow. Read the rest

Two Russia-backed hacker groups target Europe ahead of elections, FireEye reports

Security services firm FireEye says two hacker groups known to be sponsored by the Russian government of Vladimir Putin are waging cyber-attacks currently against European government systems. Read the rest

The true story of Notpetya: a Russian cyberweapon that escaped and did $10B in worldwide damage

Andy Greenberg (previously) is a veteran Wired security reporter who has chronicled the frightening and chaotic world of cyberwar since its earliest days; in a forthcoming book called "Sandworm," Greenberg tells the fascinating and terrible tale of Notpetya (previously), a Russian cyberweapon (built on leaked NSA cyberweapons!) that disguised itself as criminal ransomware, but which was designed to identify and destroy key Ukrainian computer systems and networks. Read the rest

Sandworms are real

In this video, a dead fish is used to tease a Bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois) into revealing its vicious skill as an ambush predator. Fortunately, it's all happening underwater, far away from me. Read the rest

Ukraine is Russia's testbed for launching devastating cyberwar attacks with total impunity

Ever since the Ukrainian "Maidan" revolution, the country has been subjected to waves of punishing cyberwar attacks, targeting its power grids, finance ministry, TV networks, election officials, and other critical systems. Read the rest

How to bake spice-filled sandworm bread

After some trial and error, Chris-Rachael Oseland has perfected a recipe for spice-filled sandworm bread, just in time for Kitchen Overlord's Dune Week. Read the rest

"Monster worm" found in Vietnam

Paul held himself apart from the humor, his attention focused on the projection and the question that filled his mind: "Thufir, are there sandworms big enough to swallow that whole?"

Silence settled on the table. The Duke cursed under his breath, then thought: No—they have to face the realities here.

"There’re worms in the deep desert could take this entire factory in one gulp," Thufir said.

What the hell is this monster found in Vietnam? [Rocket News - Video Link] Read the rest

Paintings of Dune

Omni Reboot offers a gallery of sandworms, fremen and the deserts of Arrakis as painted by John Schoenher, who was described by author Frank Herbert as “the only artist who has ever visited Dune.” [Omni Reboot] Read the rest

How to make Superman "S" bread

Geek cook Chris-Rachael Oseland of kitchenoverlord.com has come up with another awesome nerd-themed recipe: bread that displays the Superman "S" symbol, just like Clark Kent would eat for his hero sandwich. The end result looks super fun and cute, but the process of making the multi-layered, colored bread is really interesting, too. I can imagine making other special-occasion breads in the same way.

Previously on Boing Boing: "Sci-fi bread recipes: Sandworm loaf from Dune, and Alien xenomorph pretzel eggs."

(via Boing Boing Facebook) Read the rest

Sci-fi bread recipes: Sandworm loaf from Dune, and Alien xenomorph pretzel eggs

Photo: kitchenoverlord.com

On Chris-Rachael Oseland's kitchenoverlord.com food blog, there are some wonderful geeky recipes. Two of the more recent posts are breads with science fiction themes, and both sound delicious/disgusting: A cinnamon-vanilla Sandworm bread, from a carb-y parallel version of Frank Herbert's Dune universe, and Alien Xenomorph Pretzel Bread Eggs.

It's not just the finished product that's nerdy, but the very recipe steps. Read the rest

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