Last updated 19 Sep, 01:10 PM
BBC News - Home
Hurricane Maria 'devastates' Dominica: PM - The category five hurricane has battered the island of Dominica and is now hammering Guadeloupe.
Grenfell death toll 'may be below 80' - The investigation into the fire may lead to individual as well as corporate manslaughter charges, police say.
Rohingya crisis: Suu Kyi does not fear global 'scrutiny' - In her first comments on the Rohingya Muslims crisis, Myanmar's leader says the violence is over.
'Suspicious object' causes M1 closure near Milton Keynes - The discovery was made beneath a motorway bridge near junctions 15 and 14.
Yemen war: What happened to Saleem? - It has been a year since starving Saleem became the face of Yemen's suffering. But where is he now?
Stack Overflow + Salary Calculator = your worth - In case you were wondering what Git, SQL and JS skills will get you, new online tool measures your value Developers may be no more curious about salaries than any other set of workers, but their high degree of variation in terms of education, skillset and experience – not to mention the often ill-defined nature of their work – gives them ample reason to be curious about pay among their peers.…
Now EE's challenging UK regulator's mobile spectrum proposals - Joins Three in telling Ofcom: See you in court EE has officially launched its legal challenge against Ofcom's spectrum proposals, a move prompted by Three's judicial review formally submitted earlier this month.…
Google parks old pay-to-play auction in front of European Commission – reports - You want a remedy? Here's our remedy Google appears to have revived an "auction-based fix" to vertical search competition complaints, according to Reuters.…
Ethereum will have transaction chops of Visa in 'a couple of years', founder claims - Starcraft on the blockchain? What a time to be alive Blockchains might be a bit slow today, but one of Ethereum's founders predicts that in "a couple of years" the popular network will have the same transaction capacity scale as Visa.…
BoJo, don't misuse stats then blurt disclaimers when you get rumbled - Norgrove was right: post-Brexit gross £350m a week? Nope As we all know, there are "lies, damned lies, and statistics". No doubt that line will be pulled out again to bolster the case for Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson against Sir David Norgrove, head of the UK Statistics Authority, who has made it clear he's unimpressed with Boris's use of the stats.…
New Scientist - News
Secrets of butterfly wing patterns revealed by gene hacking - Butterflies' wings have extraordinary patterns and colours, and it turns out they are controlled by a single "master gene" that performs many roles
Thousands likely to be killed by Hurricane Irma’s deadly legacy - Toxic chemicals released by floodwaters, stress, infection and dangerous working conditions will all contribute to hurricane death toll years after winds die
Could we store carbon dioxide as liquid lakes under the sea? - We need to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to slow down climate change, and perhaps deep-sea trenches would be a good place to put it
Sex and aggression linked in male mouse brains but not in female - In male mice, the same brain cells influence both aggressive and sexual behaviours, but for the first time we now know that's not the case for females
No, climate science isn’t wrong, and yes, global warming is real - A study suggests we can emit three times more carbon than we thought and still avoid 1.5°C of global warming - but the results are not as straightforward as they seem
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Why You Shouldn't Use Texts For Two-Factor Authentication - An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: A demonstration video posted by Positive Technologies (and first reported by Forbes) shows how easy it is to hack into a bitcoin wallet by intercepting text messages in transit. The group targeted a Coinbase account protected by two-factor authentication, which was registered to a Gmail account also protected by two-factor. By exploiting known flaws in the cell network, the group was able to intercept all text messages sent to the number for a set period of time. That was enough to reset the password to the Gmail account and then take control of the Coinbase wallet. All the group needed was the name, surname and phone number of the targeted Bitcoin user. These were security researchers rather than criminals, so they didn't actually steal anyone's bitcoin, although that would have been an easy step to take. At a glance, this looks like a Coinbase vulnerability, but the real weakness is in the cellular system itself. Positive Technologies was able to hijack the text messages using its own research tool, which exploits weaknesses in the cellular network to intercept text messages in transit. Known as the SS7 network, that network is shared by every telecom to manage calls and texts between phone numbers. There are a number of known SS7 vulnerabilities, and while access to the SS7 network is theoretically restricted to telecom companies, hijacking services are frequently available on criminal marketplaces. The report notes of several ways you can protect yourself from this sort of attack: "On some services, you can revoke the option for SMS two-factor and account recovery entirely, which you should do as soon as you've got a more secure app-based method established. Google, for instance, will let you manage two-factor and account recovery here and here; just set up Authenticator or a recovery code, then go to the SMS option for each and click 'Remove Phone.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Bacteria In Tumors Can Inactivate Common Chemotherapy Drugs, Study Suggests - Researchers caught the bacteria Mycoplasma hyorhinis hiding out among cancer cells, thwarting chemotherapy drugs intended to treat the tumors they reside in. The findings have been published this week in Science. Ars Technica reports: Drug resistance among cancers is a "foremost challenge," according to the study's authors, led by Ravid Straussman at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Yet the new data suggest that certain types of drug-resistant cancers could be defeated with a simple dollop of antibiotics alongside a chemotherapy regimen. Dr. Straussman and his colleagues got a hunch to look for the bacteria after noticing that, when they grew certain types of human cancer cells together in lab, the cells all became more resistant to a chemotherapy drug called gemcitabine. This is a drug used to treat pancreatic, lung, breast, and bladder cancers and is often sold under the brand name Gemzar. The researchers suspected that some of the cells may secrete a drug-busting molecule. So they tried filtering the cell cultures to see if they could catch it. Instead, they found that the cell cultures lost their resistance after their liquid broth passed through a pretty large filter -- 0.45 micrometers. This would catch large particles -- like bacteria -- but not small molecules, as the researchers were expecting. Looking closer, the researchers noticed that some of their cancer cells were contaminated with M. hyorhinis. And these bacteria could metabolize gemcitabine, rendering the drug useless. When the researchers transplanted treatable cancer cells into the flanks of mice -- some with and some without M. hyorhinis -- the bacteria-toting tumors were resistant to gemcitabine treatment. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Ethereum Will Match Visa In Scale In a 'Couple of Years,' Says Founder - Ethereum's founder, Vitalik Buterin, believes that his cryptocurrency has the potential to replace things like credit card networks and gaming servers. He even goes as far to say that Ethereum will replace Visa in "a couple of years," though he later clarified that "ethereum *will have Visa-scale tx capacity*, not that it will 'replace Visa.'" TechCrunch reports: "There's the average person who's already heard of bitcoin and the average person who hasn't," he said. His project itself builds upon that notion by adding more utility to the blockchain, thereby creating something everyone will want to hear about. "Where Ethereum comes from is basically you take the idea of crypto economics and the kinds of economic incentives that keeps things like bitcoin going to create decentralized networks with memory for a whole bunch of applications," he said. "A good blockchain application is something that needs decentralization and some kind of shared memory." That's what he's building and hopes others will build on the Ethereum network. Right now the network is a bit too slow for most mainstream applications. "Bitcoin is processing a bit less than 3 transactions per second," he said. "Ethereum is doing five a second. Uber gives 12 rides a second. It will take a couple of years for the blockchain to replace Visa." Buterin doesn't think everything should run on the blockchain but many things can. As the technology expands it can grow to replace many services that require parallelization -- that is programs that should run at the same time. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
T-Mobile To Increase Deprioritization Threshold To 50GB This Week - After raising its deprioritization threshold to 32GB in May, it looks like T-Mobile will bump it up to 50GB on September 20th, according to a TmoNews source. The move will widen the gap between T-Mobile and its competition. For comparison, Sprint's deprioritization threshold is currently 23GB, while AT&T and Verizon's are both 22GB. TmoNews reports: It's said that this 50GB threshold won't change every quarter and no longer involves a specific percentage of data users. As with the current 32GB threshold, customers that exceed this new 50GB deprioritization threshold in a single month may experience reduced speeds in areas where the network is congested. T-Mobile hasn't issued an announcement regarding this news, but the official @TMobileHelp account recently tweeted "Starting 9/20, the limit will be increased!" in response to a question about this news. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Diesel Cars Contribute To 5,000 Premature Deaths a Year In Europe, Says Study - An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Emissions from diesel cars rigged to appear eco-friendly may be responsible for 5,000 air pollution deaths per year in Europe alone, according to a study published on Monday. The numbers are in line with previous assessments of deaths due to the so-called "Dieselgate" scandal, which erupted when carmaker Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating on vehicle emissions tests. Many other carmakers have since fallen under suspicion. The researchers from Norway, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands calculated that about 10,000 deaths in Europe per year can be attributed to small particle pollution from light duty diesel vehicles (LDDVs). Almost half of these would have been avoided if emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from diesel cars on the road had matched levels measured in the lab. If diesel cars emitted as little NOx as petrol ones, almost 4,000 of the 5,000 premature deaths would have been avoided, said the authors. The countries with the heaviest burden are Italy, Germany, and France, the team added, "resulting from their large populations and high share of diesel cars in their national fleets." Touted as less polluting, the share of diesel cars in Europe rose fast compared to petrol since the 1990s, and now comprise about half the fleet. There are more than 100 million diesel cars in Europe today, twice as many as in the rest of the world together, said the study authors. Diesel engines emit less planet-warming carbon dioxide than petrol ones, but significantly more NOx. The study has been published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Read more of this story at Slashdot.