Microsoft had ability to reduce WannaCry damage long before outbreak, Trump calls probe "witch hunt", and moss growth in Antarctica unprecedented.
TGIF, 19 May 2017
“Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.”
John Stuart Mill
With 36 member churches and organisations representing millions of Christians, the SA Council of Churches (SACC) is arguably the biggest organised formation in the country. A pastoral letter to be issued across congregations reflecting on state capture and the report of their Unburdening Panel could have massive political consequences. The ANC had the opportunity to “unburden” itself of state capture and did not. So for the first time since the height of apartheid, the church is intervening to take on “a government that has lost its moral legitimacy”. The SACP, meanwhile, is convening “progressive forces” in the country for a national imbizo that could set the agenda for the big political conferences coming up.
Microsoft withheld critical patch
A new report revealed late on Thursday that Microsoft did not fully distribute a patch for its operating systems which would have drastically mitigated the WannaCry spread. The patch, released in March, was only made available to Windows 10 users. Older OS users had to pay for the update. Microsoft’s greedy attempts to coerce users into buying new software ultimately created a far larger security gap than necessary.
Trump calls probe ‘witch hunt’, denies wrongdoing
President Donald Trump took to Twitter yesterday to pan allegations of meddling in an FBI probe against him. He called it “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” Some of Trump’s Republican allies have now begun softening up on the possibility of impeachment. With 2018 congressional elections looming large, the bombastic president may well leave less pie at the political table for his Republican allies next year.
Basquiat masterpiece fetches massive sum at auction
A Japanese billionaire has purchased a Basquiat work for $110.5-million at auction. Sotheby’s made the announcement on Thursday evening, noting that the price was a new record for the 20th-century artist. The piece, a skull-like object on a stick in acrylic and paint, has been virtually unseen since the 80s. Yusaku Maezawa, 41, the proud new owner, promptly took a picture of his new piece and put it on Instagram.
Antarctica seeing unprecedented plant growth
Moss growth on Antarctica is growing at record levels, indicating the growing effect of climate change. Combined with reports of an irreversible disintegration of the ice shelf, it appears as though Antarctica is going much the way of the Arctic. A researcher from the University of Exeter noted that the moss growth had increased rapidly in the past half century.
The sentence in Ethiopia for using Skype fraudulently.
FACTS OF THE DAY
Today is Ho Chi Minh’s birthday. The Vietnamese Communist leader was born in 1890.
Yellow Stone Park is the world’s first national park. It is also known as “America’s best idea”.
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