Last updated 25 Aug, 12:50 AM
BBC News - Home
Boris Johnson warns Trump US must compromise to get UK trade deal - Boris Johnson will meet US President Donald Trump at the G7 summit in France on Sunday.
Airport security: 3D baggage scanners could end liquid restrictions - Airports must introduce 3D baggage screening before the end of 2022, the government announces.
Police chief: Attackers of PCs 'must be jailed, no ifs no buts' - The head of police commissioners calls for harsher sentences for people who hurt police officers.
British Airways strikes: Cancelled flights back on after 'email error' - Passengers describe "chaos and confusion" as they are told to book new flights in an email sent by mistake.
Six people injured by lightning at golf tournament - Six people are injured as lightning strikes hit a tree at the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.
American ISPs fined $75,000 for fuzzing airport's weather radar by stealing spectrum - FCC also moves, albeit glacially, on robocalls Three ISPs will be fined $25,000 apiece by America's broadband watchdog, the FCC, for interfering with weather signals in Puerto Rico.…
Google bans politics, aka embarrassing stuff that gets leaked, from internal message boards - Chocolate Factory sees some benefits in a censorship model Google may be lax in policing policy violating videos on YouTube, but at least it's adding oversight where it's needed – to mute overly opinionated employees.…
Oracle OKs Oracle investors to sue Oracle: Put NetSuite suit before a judge – board panel - Investors peeved Larry Ellison owned 40% of the biz he paid billions in Big Red cash to buy Three members of Oracle's board of directors say a class-action lawsuit, filed against Oracle in the US by Oracle shareholders over Oracle's 2016 acquisition of NetSuite, should go forward.…
Pokemon Go becomes Pokemon No as games biz Niantic agrees to curb trespassing addicts - It’s a class action agreement so guess who gets the $4m payout? If you guessed the plaintiffs, guess again The programmers behind augmented-reality pest-chasing Pokemon Go have settled a class-action lawsuit in the US brought by angry homeowners who claimed the video game encouraged people to trespass on their land.…
Uncle Sam is asking Americans if they could refrain from slapping guns on their drones - Right to bear arms doesn't cover armed UAVs If you were wondering whether your right to bear arms extends to the right to bear an armed drone, we have bad news.…
New Scientist - News
Facebook’s ad data may put millions of gay people at risk - Over four million people that live in countries where being gay is illegal have been labelled by Facebook as being interested in homosexuality
Wild polio has been eradicated in Nigeria but infections will continue - Nigeria has officially wiped out wild polio, but there have already been 15 cases of infection this year, caused by the live virus used in some vaccines
Record Amazon rainforest fires spark row between Brazil and France - The Brazilian space agency, INPE, this week reported more than 75,000 fires across the Brazilian part of the world’s greatest rainforest, up 84 per cent on last year
Asteroid Ryugu has no dust on it and we don’t know why - The most detailed pictures yet from the asteroid Ryugu show it has no dust, which is very strange. There are at least three competing possible explanations
Bacteria fly into the Atacama Desert every afternoon on the wind - The Atacama Desert is one of the most hostile places on Earth, but new microbes arrive there every day on dust grains carried by the wind
Ha-Ha Wall - Comments
Ask Slashdot: How Do You Estimate the Cost of an Algorithm Turned Into an ASIC? - "Another coder and I are exploring the possibility of having a video-processing algorithm written in C turned into an ASIC ("Application Specific Integrated Circuit") hardware chip that could go inside various consumer electronics devices," writes Slashdot reader dryriver. The problem? There seems to be very little good information on how much a 20Kb, or 50Kb or indeed a 150Kb algorithm written in the C language would cost to turn in an ASIC or "Custom Chip". We've been told that "the chip-design engineering fees alone would likely start at around $500,000." We've been told "the cost per ASIC will fluctuate wildly depending on whether you are having 50,000 ASICS manufactured or 5 million ASICs manufactured." Is there some rough way to calculate from the source code size of an algorithm -- lets say 100 Kilobytes of C code, or 1000 lines of code -- a rough per-unit estimate of how much the ASIC hardware equivalent might cost to make? Why do we need this? Because we want to pitch our video processing tech to a company that makes consumer products, and they will likely ask us, "So... how many dollars of extra cost will this new video processing chip of yours add to our existing products?" There were some interesting suggestions on the original submission, including the possibility of C to HDL converters or a system on a chip (SoC). But are there any other good alternatives? Leave your own thoughts here in the comments. How do you estimate the cost of an algorithm turned into an ASIC? Read more of this story at Slashdot.
UK Cybersecurity Agency Urges Devs To Drop Python 2 - Python's End-of-Life date is 129 days away, warns the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). "There will be no more bug fixes, or security updates, from Python's core developers." An anonymous reader quotes ZDNet: The UK's cyber-security agency warned developers Thursday to consider moving Python 2.x codebases to the newer 3.x branch due to the looming end-of-life of Python 2, scheduled for January 1, 2020... "If you continue to use unsupported modules, you are risking the security of your organisation and data, as vulnerabilities will sooner or later appear which nobody is fixing." "If you maintain a library that other developers depend on, you may be preventing them from updating to 3," the agency added. "By holding other developers back, you are indirectly and likely unintentionally increasing the security risks of others... If migrating your code base to Python 3 is not possible, another option is to pay a commercial company to support Python 2 for you," the NCSC said. The agency warns that companies who don't invest in migrating their Python 2.x code might end up in the same position as Equifax or the WannaCry victims. "At the NCSC we are always stressing the importance of patching. It's not always easy, but patching is one of the most fundamental things you can do to secure your technology," the agency said. "The WannaCry ransomware provides a classic example of what can happen if you run unsupported software," it said. "By making the decision to continue using Python 2 past its end of life, you are accepting all the risks that come with using unsupported software, while knowing that a secure version is available." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
First Alleged Crime In Space? - bobstreo tipped us off to an interesting story. The BBC reports that NASA "is reported to be investigating a claim that an astronaut accessed the bank account of her estranged spouse from the International Space Station, in what may be the first allegation of a crime committed in space." Anne McClain acknowledges accessing the account from the ISS but denies any wrongdoing, the New York Times reports... The astronaut told the New York Times through a lawyer that she was merely making sure that the family's finances were in order and there was enough money to pay bills and care for Ms Worden's son -- who they had been raising together prior to the split. "She strenuously denies that she did anything improper," said her lawyer, Rusty Hardin, adding that Ms McClain was "totally co-operating..." Her estranged spouse, Summer Worden, reportedly filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Ms McClain has since returned to Earth... Ms McClain graduated from the prestigious West Point military academy and flew more than 800 combat hours over Iraq as an Army pilot. She went on to qualify as a test pilot and was chosen to fly for NASA in 2013. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Brazil Tries Deploying Its Military To Fight Fires in the Amazon - "As an ecological disaster in the Amazon escalated into a global political crisis, Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, took the rare step on Friday of mobilising the armed forces to help contain blazes of a scale not seen in nearly a decade," reports the New York Times: The sudden reversal, after days of dismissing growing concern over hundreds of fires raging across the Amazon, came as international outrage grew over the rising deforestation in the world's largest tropical rainforest. European leaders threatened to cancel a major trade deal, protesters staged demonstrations outside Brazilian embassies and calls for a boycott of Brazilian products snowballed on social media. As a chorus of condemnation intensified, Brazil braced for the prospect of punitive measures that could severely damage an economy that is already sputtering... "[E]xperts say the clearing of land during the months-long dry season to make way for crops or grazing has accelerated the deforestation," reports AFP. "More than half of the fires are in the Amazon, and some 1,663 new fires were ignited between Thursday and Friday, according to the National Institute for Space Research." terrancem quotes the non-profit environmental news site Mongabay: High-resolution images from satellite company Planet are revealing glimpses of some of the fires currently devastating the Amazon rainforest... Beyond dramatic snapshots, those images also provide data that can be mined for critical insights into what's happening in the Amazon on a basin-wide scale, according to Greg Asner, the director of the Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science at Arizona State University, whose team is using Planet's data to assess the impact of the fires on carbon emissions. "If you took all of the carbon stored in every tropical forest on Earth and burned it up, you would emit about five times the carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that is already there. The Amazon rainforest represents about half of this forest carbon to give you an idea of how serious this current situation is and the kind of impact it will have on climate change." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
ITER: 'Where the Sun Will Be Re-Born on Earth' - Long-time Slashdot reader rinka shares an article about "the place where the Sun will be re-born on Earth": The world's best scientists are trying to create a 'miniature Sun' on Earth to tap its fusion energy, costing over €20 billion... [G]lobally ITER is the most expensive science project on Earth ever to be undertaken in the 21st century. The total weight of the ITER reactor will be about 28,000 tonnes... Being made collaboratively by USA, Russia, South Korea, China, Japan, European Union and India as equal partners or participating in this mega effort are countries that together hold 50% of the world's population accounting for about 85% of the global GDP... Dr Mark Henderson, a scientist at ITER, said, "This place to me is the coolest place on Earth, because here in the near future we will have a little Sun on Earth and it will be a 150 million degrees Celsius so it will be the hottest place on Earth, ten times hotter than our Sun...." The project is a herculean effort and operations are expected to start by 2025. Later a full scale electricity generating unit called the DEMO reactor is scheduled to be completed by 2040... On being asked how much carbon dioxide the main culprit for global warming would be released from the ITER project Dr Luce quips "only the carbon dioxide the scientists exhale". The radioactive substances generated from reactions would be the sort that can die off in a hundred years. Its ultimate goal is to create "an unlimited supply of clean energy." Read more of this story at Slashdot.