Should hospital ransomware attackers get life in prison? Who was the Countess of Computer Science, and just how close did we come to digital music in the 19th century? And could a weirdly wacky email brick your iPhone?
With Doug Aamoth and Paul Ducklin.
DOUG. Legal troubles abound, a mysterious iPhone update, and Ada Lovelace.
All that and more on the Naked Security Podcast.
Welcome to the podcast, everybody.
I am Doug Aamoth; he is Paul Ducklin.
Paul, how do you do today, Sir?
DUCK. I’m very well, Doug…
…except for some microphone problems, because I’ve been on the road a little bit.
So if the sound quality isn’t perfect this week, it’s because I’ve had to use alternative recording equipment.
DOUG. Well, that leads us expertly into our Tech History segment about imperfection.
DUCK. [IRONIC] Ohhhhh, thanks, Doug. [LAUGHS]
DOUG. On 11 October 1958, NASA launched its first space probe, the Pioneer One.
It was meant to orbit the moon, but failed to reach lunar orbit thanks to a guidance error, fell back to Earth, and burned up upon re-entry.
Though it still collected valuable data during its 43 hour flight.
DUCK. Yes, I believe it got to 113,000km above the Earth… and the Moon is just shy of 400,000 kilometres away.
My understanding is it went off target a bit and then they tried to correct, but they didn’t have the granularity of control that they do these days, where you run the rocket motor for a little tiny burst.
So they corrected, but they could only correct so much… and in the end they figured, “We’re not going to make it to the moon, but maybe we can get it into a high Earth orbit so it’ll keep going around the Earth and we can keep getting scientific measurements?”
But in the end it was a question of, “What goes up… [LAUGHS] must come down.”
DOUG. Exactly. [LAUGHS]
DUCK. And, as you say, it was like shooting a very, very, very powerful bullet way into outer space, well above the Kármán line, which is only 100km, but in such a direction that it didn’t actually escape the influence of the Earth altogether.
DOUG. Pretty good for a first try, though?
I mean, not bad… that’s 1958, what…