Weekly Tech News Roundup 3/4/2017

26th International World Wide Web Conference comes to Perth, Apple iCloud hack looms large, some of the better April Fools pranks in Tech.

The Festival of The Web is the event hosting the 26th International World Wide Web Conference (WWWC) for the first time in Perth this week with events running from 2nd to 9th of April.

The event will bring international experts to allow startups and students to make contact with some of the most successful and innovative companies around the world.

The WWWC series provides a forum for discussion and debate on the future evolution of the web, standards, and the impact on society and culture.

Other events include the international Web for All accessibility conference, Serious Games and Applications for Health, Big Data Innovators Gathering, Trust Factory (Digital Governance & Infrastructure), Bytes and Rights (Web Governance, Security, Privacy, Copyright), Deep Sensor (covering Internet of Things) and Big Day In (IT Careers conference).

The event sponsors are local and international bodies including Bankwest, City of Perth, Google, Yahoo Research, and WA’s 4 public universities.

The event is being hosted at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Center.

More information at the event website http://www2017.com.au/

Apple receives ransom demands for iCloud accounts.

A London based hacker group going by the name Turkish Crime Family has contacted Apple claiming to have access to over 627 million iCloud accounts and are threatening to change the passwords on these accounts effectively locking out the users of these accounts.

The ransom is currently set at US$70,000 and the deadline for payment is April 7.

Further analysis has revealed that the account details have been obtained through gathering credentials from previous system breaches as confirmed by Troy Hunt from Have I Been Pwned.

Apple and security experts recommend all Apple customers with an iCloud account enable 2 factor authentication and change passwords immediately as the attackers may be using passwords found in other breaches so especially those that use the same password between different accounts are at risk.

To help manage your passwords I recommend password managers such as keypass or Lastpass.

For tips on how to use the internet like professionals do, have a look at this post.

Tech pranks for April Fool’s Day 2017.

Google dropped a good one that reaches back to the 30th anniversary of Pac Man on 21/5/2010 and this time added Pac Man to Google Maps allowing you to guide Pac Man through the streets around you.

Amazon announced “Petlexa” an electronic smart assistant that is capable of understanding your pets.

Netflix started NetFlix “Live” a video series of Will Arnett narrating ordinary objects like microwave ovens and photocopiers.

Of course no start to April is complete without the usual roundup of fake products including a swear jar that does the swearing for you, a bicycle horn of Gondor, a swim desk and a Where’s Barb picture book (don’t know what I am talking about? Watch Netflix’s Stranger Things).

Seriously, watch Stranger Things on Netflix before doing anything else.