Dead Salmon, rent rises and a murky trip to the DarkSide
Planet Business: Houston, we have a problem
The FBI said ransomware by a group called DarkSide was used in the cyberattack on the US’s biggest oil pipeline. Photograph: Francois Picard/AFP
Image of the week: Pipe politics
At the Colonial Pipeline Houston Station facility in Pasadena, east of Houston, Texas, there’s no trespassing, no tailgating, no smoking, no removing federal signs. The one they forgot was “no hacking”. An international incident has arisen since the biggest US gasoline pipeline was forced to shut down the Friday before last after hackers stole large volumes of data, locked computers with ransomware then demanded payment. With outages continuing into this week and petrol prices surging, US president Joe Biden was moved to say Russia had “some responsibility” to address the cybersecurity attack and that “there’s evidence” the hackers or the software they used were “in Russia”. The FBI has pointed the finger at ransomware made by a group known as DarkSide, though this group has responded by insisting it is “apolitical” and suggesting one of its customers was involved, while Russia has also denied all knowledge.
In numbers: Rent burden
Average monthly national rent paid in the first quarter of 2021, according to figures from Daft.ie
Average monthly national rent recorded during the post-crash low in late 2011
Percentage gain in average rents in that near 10-year period – a near doubling. Luckily, everybody’s wages have gone up by the same amount since then, right? Right? Oh.
Getting to know: Sally Buzbee
Sally Buzbee is the new executive editor of the Washington Post, succeeding the retiring (sort of) Marty Baron. Buzbee, who was most recently the New York-based top editor at news wire Association Press (AP), is the first Post editor to be appointed under the ownership of some guy called Jeff Bezos, who in 2013 swooped on the title previously owned by the Graham family, months after Baron had begun his stint. Buzbee – said by the Post’s publisher to be “widely admired for her absolute integrity, boundless energy and dedication to the essential role journalism plays in safeguarding our democracy” – had an interview with Bezos before the announcement was made. “Every indication I’ve gotten, everything I’ve seen, is that he believes in the importance of an independent newsroom,” she said. Baron, meanwhile, is writing a book on Trump, Bezos and the newspaper.
The list: Throwing shade
In honour of US private equity firm Ares selling posh paint company Farrow & Ball to Danish coatings manufacturer Hempel in a £500 million (€581 million) deal, here are some of its famously out-there shade names.
1: Mole’s Breath. This “moody” grey will create a “fabulously sullen yet warm room”. Look, no one ever said interior décor was simple.
2: Mouse’s Back. A grey-brown perfect for anyone who wants to bring that field mouse vibe into their homes and spread it all over their walls.
3: Dead Salmon. The name refers to the “dead” or flat finish of an aged pink from 1805, but let’s picture some poor deceased fish anyway.
4: Ointment Pink. This “archive” shade’s calling card is that it’s warmer and brighter than Dead Salmon, just like that ointment you bought in Boots to sort out your weeping sores.
5: Fake Tan. You have to hand it to a paint manufacturer with the confidence to name a shade after a product famous for streaking.