Latest News

Last updated 22 Feb, 12:50 PM

BBC News - Home

Migration figures: Record numbers of EU nationals leaving UK - An estimated 130,000 EU citizens emigrated in the year to September, the highest number since 2008.

Florida shooting: Parents and pupils speak to Trump - President Trump met pupils and parents affected by school shootings in Florida and across the US.

British Gas owner Centrica to cut 4,000 jobs after 'weak' year - The cuts come after what Centrica said was a "weak" performance at the end of 2017.

Brits 2018: The real winners and losers - From best mum to worst metaphor, these are the only Brit awards that really count.

Moment policeman catches falling child - He was guarding a bank in Asyut, Egypt, when he spotted the boy three floors above.

The Register

Putting the urgency in emergency: UK's delayed emergency services network review... delayed - These 'resets take time' says ex IBM head A review of the government's delayed emergency services network intended to replace the national radio infrastructure with a 4G network has itself been delayed by more than half a year.…

RIP, Swype: Thanks for all the sor--speec--speedy texting - Pioneering gesture keyboard given bullet by owner Nuance One of the best-loved mobile apps of the past decade, Swype, has been given the bullet. Parent company Nuance confirmed it will no longer develop the letter-tracing keyboard, which will disappear from the Apple and Google app stores.…

SAP HANA: Concerns remain over tech skills, complexity, licensing - survey - Most deployments now complete on time and on budget… It only took 7 years Customer confusion and a lack of technical skills are still dogging migration to SAP HANA, but the days of deployment horror stories are fading, according to a report penned by an integrator.…

Real talk: Why are you hanging on to that non-performant disk? - Tiers stream.... down your face. When you lose something you cannot replace Analysis Generations of change have produced layers of storage that are a challenge to manage.…

Blockchain nears peak hype: UK politicos to probe crypto-coin - Digi currencies falling under glare of Treasury committee Hot on the heels of Bitcoin’s dramatic rise and fall - and rise, British parliamentarians have decided to launch an inquiry into digital currencies.…

New Scientist - News

Cycling in later life makes you less likely to have a bad fall - Riding a bike into your older years means stronger legs, better balance and a lower risk of falls that injure and kill millions of elderly people

Sea urchins can drill holes in solid rock with just their teeth - If a sea urchin can't find a suitable pit to live in, it makes one – even if it has to spend months gnawing away at hard granite

When it comes to climate change, a tantrum is just what we need - We can’t wait for the next generation to solve the problem of climate change but today’s kids can still be a big force for change, says Michael E. Mann

Ancient ‘dark-skinned’ Briton Cheddar Man find may not be true - The headline was that an ancient Briton from 10,000 years ago had dark skin, but the genetics of skin colour are so complex that we can’t be sure

Trigger warnings are taking over universities, but do they work? - Talk of trigger warnings and microaggressions are sweeping through university campuses, but some researchers question whether they have any psychological basis

Hacker News

Computer History Museum 2018 Fellow: Guido van Rossum - Comments

I don’t understand Graph Theory - Comments

List of 4000+ FinTech Startups and Companies - Comments

Snips Uses Rust to Build an Embedded Voice Assistant - Comments

IV Bags May Not Be Necessary to Rehydrate Patients - Comments

Slashdot

Bigelow Launching New Company To Sell Private Space Stations - hyperclocker shares a report from Popular Mechanics: The future of spacecraft in lower Earth orbit (LEO) looks to be an increasingly commercial affair. Bigelow Aerospace, a Las Vegas-based company that builds livable space habitats, has now created a spinoff company known as Bigelow Space Operations (BSO). BSO will market and operate any space habitats that Bigelow sells. The creation of BSO signals that Bigelow is preparing for a future of commercial space living. Recently leaked NASA documents show that the Trump Administration wants to convert the International Space Station into a commercial venture, and BSO is betting that businesses including private scientific ventures and hotels will be interested in creating a profit above the Earth. A prototype Bigelow habitat, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), has been connected to the ISS since 2016. It's proven such a successful addition that last year NASA extended its contract for an additional three years. But Bigelow is thinking past the BEAM. In its press release announcing BSO, it highlights its planned launches of the B330-1 and B330-2, spacecraft with 6-person capacity, in 2021. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon Is Developing a TV Series Based On Iain M. Banks' Sci-Fi Novel 'Consider Phlebas' - leathered writes: Jeff Bezos today announced that Amazon Studios has picked up the rights to adapt the late Iain M. Bank's acclaimed Culture novels to the small screen, beginning with the first in the series, Consider Phlebas. This comes after nearly three decades of attempts to bring Banks' utopian, post-scarcity society to film or television. A huge fan of the Culture series is Elon Musk, whose SpaceX drone ships are named after Culture space vessels. Here's how Amazon describes Consider Phlebas: "a kinetic, action-packed adventure on a huge canvas. The book draws upon the extraordinary world and mythology Banks created in the Culture, in which a highly advanced and progressive society ends up at war with the Idirans, a deeply religious, warlike race intent on dominating the entire galaxy. The story centers on Horza, a rogue agent tasked by the Idirans with the impossible mission of recovering a missing Culture 'Mind,' an artificial intelligence many thousands of times smarter than any human -- something that could hold the key to wiping out the Culture altogether. What unfolds, with Banks' trademark irreverent humor, ultimately asks the poignant question of how we can use technology to preserve our humanity, not surrender it." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Boston Dynamics Is Teaching Its Robot Dog To Fight Back Against Humans - Zorro shares a report from The Guardian: Boston Dynamics' well-mannered four-legged machine SpotMini has already proved that it can easily open a door and walk through unchallenged, but now the former Google turned SoftBank robotics firm is teaching its robo-canines to fight back. A newly released video shows SpotMini approaching the door as before, but this time it's joined by a pesky human with an ice hockey stick. Unperturbed by his distractions, SpotMini continues to grab the handle and turn it even after its creepy fifth arm with a claw on the front is pushed away. If that assault wasn't enough, the human's robot bullying continues, shutting the door on Spot, which counterbalances and fights back against the pressure. In a last-ditch effort to stop the robot dog breaching the threshold, the human grabs at a leash attached to the back of the SpotMini and yanks. Boston Dynamics describes the video as "a test of SpotMini's ability to adjust to disturbances as it opens and walks through a door" because "the ability to tolerate and respond to disturbances like these improves successful operation of the robot." The firm helpfully notes that, despite a back piece flying off, "this testing does not irritate or harm the robot." But teaching robots to fight back against humans may might end up harming us. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Former Google Employee Files Lawsuit Alleging the Company Fired Him Over Pro-Diversity Posts - According to court documents filed today, a former Google engineer is suing the company for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. "Tim Chevalier, a software developer and former site-reliability engineer at Google, claims that Google fired him when he responded with internal posts and memes to racist and sexist encounters within the company and the general response to the now-infamous James Damore memo," reports The Verge. From the report: Chevalier said in a statement to The Verge, "It is a cruel irony that Google attempted to justify firing me by claiming that my social networking posts showed bias against my harassers." Chevalier, who is also disabled and transgender, alleges that his internal posts that defended women of color and marginalized people led directly to his termination in November 2017. He had worked at Google for a little under two years. Notably, Chevalier's posts had been quoted in Damore's lawsuit against Google -- in which Damore sued the company for discrimination against conservative white men -- as evidence Google permitted liberals to speak out at the company unpunished. Chevalier's lawsuit alleges that his firing is, in fact, a form of punishment. The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco County Superior Court and Chevalier is seeking damages for lost wages, emotional distress, punitive damages, and injunctive relief against those alleged harmful acts. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Scientists Discover a New Way To Use DNA As a Storage Device - Mark Wilson shares a report from BetaNews: Researchers from the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in Ireland have developed a way to use bacteria to archive up to up to one zettabyte in one gram of DNA. The technique uses double-strained DNA molecules called plasmids to encode data which is stored in the Novablue strain of the E Coli bacteria. The Novablue bacteria has a fixed location, making it viable for storage, and the data can be transferred by releasing a mobile HB101 strain of E Coli which uses a process called conjugation to extract the data. The antibiotics tetracycline and streptomycin are used to control this process. The method is currently not only expensive, but also slow. Data retrieval takes up to three days at the moment, but researchers believe it should be possible to dramatically speed up this process. Equipment already exists that can be used to write to DNA in seconds. Stability and security are also an issue right now, but it is very early days for the technique, and these current downsides are not viewed as being significant enough to write it off. Potential uses for this method of data storage that have been suggested include the recording of medical records in human DNA, and increasing the traceability of the food chain. Read more of this story at Slashdot.