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Last updated 16 May, 05:20 AM

BBC News - Home

Northern Ireland: PM poised for protocol change ahead of crisis talks - Boris Johnson says he is open to dialogue but will act if the EU does not change its position.

Ukraine: The children's camp that became an execution ground - The BBC's Sarah Rainsford investigates the killing of civilians in a summer camp in Bucha, Ukraine.

Queen attends Platinum Jubilee equestrian extravaganza - Hollywood stars including Helen Mirren and Tom Cruise feature in the show at Windsor Castle.

Boy, three, dies after suspected dog attack - police - The three-year-old was taken to hospital after being injured at an address in Rochdale, say police.

GCSE and A-level exam invigilator shortages mean parents and teachers are stepping in - A union is warning of invigilator shortages as pupils sit their first summer exams since 2019.

The Register

China’s state-approved Ubuntu distro targets second RISC-V platform - Is this how the Middle Kingdom can replace PCs with home-grown kit? China’s military-derived and government approved Linux distribution, Ubuntu Kylin, has revealed plans to target a second RISC-V platform.…

Toshiba says it's talking to ten suitors about possible sale - Hires external advisors to bolster decision making capacity and hints it could consider multiple buyout plans Ailing Japanese giant Toshiba has revealed it has ten potential suitors for its possible sale.…

Demand for PC and smartphone chips drops 'like a rock' says CEO of China’s top chipmaker - Markets outside China are doing better, but at home vendors have huge component stockpiles Demand for chips needed to make smartphones and PCs has dropped "like a rock" – but mostly in China, according to Zhao Haijun, the CEO of China's largest chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC).…

Colocation consolidation: Analysts look at what's driving the feeding frenzy - Sometimes a half-sized shipping container at the base of a cell tower is all you need Analysis Colocation facilities aren't just a place to drop a couple of servers anymore. Many are quickly becoming full-fledged infrastructure-as-a-service providers as they embrace new consumption-based models and place a stronger emphasis on networking and edge connectivity.…

D-Wave deploys first US-based Advantage quantum system - For those that want to keep their data in the homeland Quantum computing outfit D-Wave Systems has announced availability of an Advantage quantum computer accessible via the cloud but physically located in the US, a key move for selling quantum services to American customers.…

New Scientist - News

Strange state of matter made into a pancake-shape for first time - A supersolid is an exotic state of matter that behaves like both a solid and a fluid. It was first predicted 60 years ago, but has only recently been created in the lab

Protein gel could help treat type 1 diabetes - The gel, which was implanted alongside a pancreatic cell transplant in monkeys with type 1 diabetes, releases a protein that kills overactive immune cells, preventing the pancreatic cells from being rejected

AI suggests how to make beer with whatever ingredients you have - Brewers could create new recipes that produce beers with desired properties using AI, and it will even work if you are missing some ingredients

Sweater includes a wireless charger to keep your gadgets topped up - A sweater containing tubes filled with a liquid metal alloy can charge up wearable electronic devices

Why some words become funnier when paired together - A study looking at more than 55,000 pairs of words has found why word pairings like "funk fungus" and "gnome bone" seem to be more amusing than their constituent parts

Hacker News

Coloring computers: non-electronic computers that work when you color them acco - Comments

Framedeck: A Cyberdeck built with the framework mainboard - Comments The reclaimer of Heroku's magic - Comments

Modern JavaScript Tutorial - Comments

The weird Hewlett Packard FreeDOS option - Comments


'Lord of the Rings' Prequel Series Will Explore 'Unseen History' of Middle-Earth - The site GeekyTyrant is excited about Amazon's upcoming eight-episode series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power — premiering September 2 and set in Middle-earth's "Second Age," thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings.) With the film being set in a completely different age, I was expecting Middle-Earth to be very different than what we've seen in the past. As we've seen in the first trailer that was released, the show does has a similar visual style as Peter Jackson's films, but things are definitely going to be different. During a recent interview with Empire, Rings Of Power concept artist John Howe, teased some of the surprises that are in store: "This isn't the Middle-earth you remember. This is a world that's very vibrant. The elves are not hidden away in Mirkwood or lingering in Rivendell. They're busy constructing kingdoms. The dwarven kingdom of Moria is not an abandoned mine and the Grey Havens is not yet an abandoned city. I loved having the opportunity to explore that unseen history." He went on to share that the series will finally explore the oceans of Middle-Earth and says that there will be a set of seafaring elves. Or, as Amazon's press release puts it, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power "will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien's pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness...." The Independent notes the show "has been in the works since 2017" — and that Prime Video bought the rights for $250m (£183m). And now Prime Video has even invited some JRR Tolkien fans to attent a preview screening of the show: [F]ans of Middle Earth were nervous ahead of sitting down to watch footage from the show — but those nerves soon made way for excitement, with fans praising the series as well as the showrunners, JD Payne and Patrick McKay.... Fan Dr Maggie Parke said that the showrunners "kept up with the best of us", stating: "Their passion & knowledge made me feel like they were one of us, they get it. I'm feeling very optimistic...!" The newspaper quotes another preview attendee's conclusion that ""We, as Tolkien fans, are in good hands! Above and beyond, I was absolutely blown away. I cannot wait to see more — it's just beyond words." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Twitter Turns Its Privacy Policy Into a Videogame about a Dog - What did you think of Twitter Data Dash? The Guardian describes it as "a Super Nintendo-style browser game that recaps Twitter's private policy." And the Verge applauds the game — released Wednesday — for its "delightful pixel art aesthetic." "Welcome to PrivaCity!" reads a description of the game on the site. "Get your dog, Data, safely to the park. "Dodge cat ads, swim through a sea of DMs, battle trolls, and learn how to take control of your Twitter experience along the way...." The game itself is a pretty straightforward side-scrolling platformer. Each level is themed around what I can best describe as Twitter Things — one features cats wearing ad boards, another has you avoiding trolls — and your goal is to collect five bones as quickly as you can. If you get the bones, the game will explain something about Twitter's privacy settings related to that level and even offer a button linking to Twitter's settings. When you beat the cat ad level, for example, you'll see a message about how Twitter customizes your experience on the platform and points to where you can turn personalized ads on or off.... Twitter introduced the game as part of a bigger push around its privacy policy, which the company has rewritten. "We've emphasized clear language and moved away from legal jargon," Twitter said on its Safety account. Gizmodo calls the game "adorable," but also "buggy". And they also have some quibbles with its ultimate message: It's a bit rich that Twitter made a game about avoiding faceless advertisers when the platform is actively doing everything it can to make ads tougher to avoid.... [A]fter watching our personas bounce from level to level with our lil blue dog in tow, it became clear that this game is less for us — or any Twitter user, really — and more for the company itself. It's a way to paper over uncomfortable topics like "privacy" and "consent" and "ownership of our personal data" with a lil blue dog, collecting lil bones by hopping across lil stages. Just promise you won't think about where those bones came from in the first place. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Luna Cryptocurrency's Collapse Led to Multi-Million-Dollar Exploits, Closure of a Crypto Money Market - The Record reports that the decentralized money market Venus Protocol "announced on Thursday evening about $11 million had been lost due to people exploiting the historic collapse of the Luna cryptocurrency and its sister stablecoin UST." Venus Protocol and several other platforms use Chainlink to provide its users with real-time price estimations of the tokens on its platform that are available for lending and borrowing. But the tool began having issues with Luna on Thursday as the price continued to fall precipitously. "As a result, it was possible to deposit UST and LUNA as collateral and borrow other tokens, with an underpriced collateral valuation...." decentralized finance researcher Vali Dyor explained. Venus Protocol says they became "aware of errant price behavior for LUNA," and "Upon investigation, it was learned that the price feed had been paused by Chainlink due to extreme market conditions." "The price on Venus was last listed at about $0.107 while the market price was $0.01. In order to de-risk this situation, the protocol was paused using PauseGuardian via multisig. Upon this desyncing event, it was discovered that 2 accounts had suspiciously deposited a sum of 230,000,000 LUNA valued at over $24,000,000. Assets were borrowed totalling around $13,500,000." Venus Protocol has a "Risk Fund" that will be used to cover the shortfall, the Record reports. But they added that Venus Protocol wasn't the only one having problems: As the price of Luna cratered overnight, exchanges and markets were forced to make difficult choices on how to approach the cryptocurrency. Binance stopped all trading of Luna and UST on its platform but the moves have done little to stop all cryptocurrency values from being depressed across the board. DeFi platform Blizz Finance announced that it was attacked in the same way Venus Protocol was, but they did not release an estimate on the losses incurred. But they said the protocol was "drained" before it could stop the process. And then Blizz Finance posted a post-mortem early Sunday morning: Large amounts of LUNA were deposited and used to drain all available lendable assets... Prior to the incident the Chainlink team did attempt to notify us that the oracle would pause, however we did not receive the message in time. We were unaware of Chainlink's minimum price circuit breaker. This behaviour is not mentioned anywhere within Chainlink's documentation... Blizz has no treasury or development fund and a significant portion of the stolen assets belonged to our team. As such we regret to announce the protocol has been paused and we do not intend to resume operations. We will be shutting down the front-end and closing official communication channels in the coming days.... We are very sorry for the losses incurred by our users. We thank the community for their support on this journey and deeply regret that this is how it came to an end. They posted one additional detail on Twitter. "We are reaching out to a Chinese community who is believed to have doxxed individuals who participated in the attacks." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Georgia Gets a Second Electric Vehicle Facility? Hyundai Plans $7B Plant - Hyundai is expected to announce that it's building "a massive electric vehicle plant near Savannah, Georgia," reports the Associated Press, citing a U.S. official "familiar with the anticipated announcement." The plant is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to Georgia. The plant could grow to include 8,500 employees and would be built on a 2,200-acre (890-hectare) site that state and local governments own near the hamlet of Ellabell, Georgia, said two people familiar with Georgia's talks with Hyundai.... The second person said Hyundai would invest more than $7 billion and could also build some cars powered by gasoline engines at the site, with an announcement in Georgia set for May 20... It would be the second massive electric vehicle plant announced in Georgia in less than a year. Rivian Automotive in December announced it would build a $5 billion, 7,500-job electric truck plant about 45 miles (70 kilometers) east of Atlanta. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Downed Russian Fighters Said to Be Found With Basic GPS 'Taped To the Dashboards' - An anonymous reader quotes Business Insider: Wrecked Russian fighter jets are being found with rudimentary GPS receivers "taped to the dashboards" in Ukraine because their inbuilt navigation systems are so bad, the UK's defense secretary, Ben Wallace, said.... "[W]hilst Russia has large amounts of artillery and armor that they like parading, they are unable to leverage them for combined arms maneuver and just resort to mass indiscriminate barrages," he added.... Last month, Ukrainian troops paraded what they said was a Russian drone that had been covered in duct tape and fitted with a generic plastic bottle top for a fuel cap. In March, Ukrainian troops found what appeared to be Russian army bandages dating to 1978 discarded on a battlefield. In his Monday speech, Wallace said Russian vehicles "are frequently found with 1980s paper maps of Ukraine in them" and that soldiers were using "pine logs as makeshift protection on logistical trucks" and attaching "overhead 'cope cages' to their tanks." Read more of this story at Slashdot.