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Last updated 23 Jan, 01:40 PM

BBC News - Home

Emiliano Sala: 'No hope' for missing Cardiff City player - Channel Islands Air Search's chief officer says the conditions in the water "are pretty horrendous".

Delaying Brexit won't solve anything, Theresa May tells MPs - The PM rules out blocking a no-deal Brexit - but Jeremy Corbyn accuses of her having a "closed mind".

Iceland continues to sell palm oil products despite pledge - The retailer promised to remove palm oil from all of its own brand products by the end of 2018.

John Lewis to shut Knight & Lee store in Southsea - It is the chain's first store closure for 12 years, but it insists no other closures are planned.

Icy conditions cause travel disruption in parts of UK - Travellers are grappling with delays to flights and trains, as freezing conditions hit much of the UK.

The Register

Intel applies hobnailed boot to countries where its men and women workers aren't paid the same - While others fidget awkwardly, silicon slinger hits 'pay equity' Intel took time out from its hardware woes to buff its inclusivity halo and announce it had reached gender "pay equity" globally.…

Black hats are great for language diversity, says Eugene Kaspersky - Also reckons Russian hackers go quiet over the Christmas holidays FIC2019 According to Eugene Kaspersky, founder of the eponymous antivirus company, black-hat hackers are increasingly likely to speak Portuguese and Spanish as well as the traditional English, Russian and Chinese.…

Oz auditor: Number of times failed government biometric project met a milestone = None - Nope, never. We think buying nothing cost us AU$34m, but nobody's sure How much IT can you buy for AU$34m (£18m, $24m)? None at all, if you're the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission in the market for a biometric system.…

Court orders moribund ZX Spectrum reboot firm's directors to stump up £38k legal costs bill - Looks like the final act in the grubby Vega+ saga Just as readers thought the saga of dodgy Sinclair reboot firm Retro Computers Ltd had ended, the High Court has ruled that its current and former directors owe £38,000 in legal costs to two of its founders.…

Remember Woolworths? Well it still exists in Oz. And Telstra wants NBN Co to help shove fibre in it - 3,000 Woolies sites on list In one of its first major wins in the enterprise market, NBN Co* has confirmed it will pull fibre to Woolworths' properties in support of a Telstra contract with the supermarket giant.…

New Scientist - News

Megawave recreated in the lab looks just like Hokusai's Great Wave - Researchers have recreated the first recorded rogue wave, a monstrous wall of water that appears without warning, and it looks like Hokusai's Great Wave

Exclusive: 600-million-year old blobs are earliest animals ever found - Fossils in China suggest that that some of the first animals in existence may have been carnivorous comb jellies similar to some species that still exist today

Africans may have crossed the Strait of Gibraltar 4000 years ago - Genetic analysis suggests ancient people from sub-Saharan Africa may have crossed the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain 1300 years earlier than we thought

Chinese army AI can track people across different CCTV cameras - The Chinese army has made an AI system that can track people across different sources of CCTV with around 90 per cent accuracy

A meteorite hit the moon during Monday's total lunar eclipse - People watching the total lunar eclipse in the early hours of Monday morning noticed a brief flash of light, which has now been confirmed as a meteorite impact

Hacker News

Mendeley encrypts users' database after Zotero provides an importer - Comments

Twitter migrates data to Google Cloud - Comments

Chromecast Support for Firefox - Comments

Egypt's Aswan Damn - Comments

Functional programming in C++ (2012) - Comments


Netflix Becomes First Streaming Company To Join the MPAA - An anonymous reader quotes a report from Hollywood Reporter: Netflix has joined the membership ranks of the Motion Picture Association of America alongside the six major Hollywood studios, the top lobbying group said Tuesday, The unprecedented move -- coming on the same day that the streamer landed its first Oscar nomination for best picture -- was endorsed by Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros. It is the first time in history that a non-studio has been granted entry. It also is a defining moment for MPAA chairman-CEO Charles Rivkin 18 months into his tenure. The Netflix-MPAA union coincides with the streamer becoming a card-carrying member of the Oscar race after securing an unprecedented 15 nominations on Tuesday morning. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Sarandos are intent on upping the company's profile as a legitimate force in the movie business, and joining the MPAA will further that goal. Additionally, once Fox is merged with Disney, the MPAA will have one less member, meaning a loss of as much as $10 million to $12 million in annual dues. Sources say the MPAA is courting other new members as well (Amazon could be a candidate). Prior to joining the MPAA, Netflix "departed from the Internet Association -- a major industry trade group representing tech companies including Google, Amazon, and Facebook," Engadget notes. "Netflix had been a member of the internet association since 2013." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Supreme Court Won't Hear a Lawsuit Over Defamatory Yelp Reviews - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case regarding whether Yelp is culpable for removing defamatory reviews from its site, resolving a case that could have affected web platforms' legal protections. Today's list of Supreme Court orders denies a complaint brought by Dawn Hassell, an attorney who requested that Yelp take down false, negative reviews about her practice. This means that a California Supreme Court decision will stand, and Yelp isn't liable for the reviews. The Verge reports: Hassell v. Bird was filed in 2016 as a complaint against one of Hassell's former clients, not Yelp. However, Yelp protested a court order to remove the reviews, arguing that it was protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. (Yelp has said it independently removes reviews it finds to be defamatory since they violate its terms of service.) Lower courts disagreed, but in mid-2018, the California Supreme Court ruled in Yelp's favor. Then, the firm of Charles Harder -- a member of President Donald Trump's legal team who's known for high-profile defamation lawsuits -- petitioned the Supreme Court to hear a complaint against Yelp. Yelp praised the California Supreme Court's decision last year, calling it a win for "those of us who value sharing one another's opinions and experiences" on the internet. It commended today's decision as well. "We are happy to see the Supreme Court has ended Hassell's efforts to sidestep the law to compel Yelp to remove online reviews. This takes away a tool that could have been easily abused by litigants to obtain easy removal of entirely truthful consumer opinions," a spokesperson told The Verge. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Carbon Capture System Turns CO2 Into Electricity and Hydrogen Fuel - Researchers at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) and Georgia Tech have developed a new system that absorbs carbon dioxide and produces electricity and useable hydrogen fuel. New Atlas reports: The new device, which the team calls a Hybrid Na-CO2 System, is basically a big liquid battery. A sodium metal anode is placed in an organic electrolyte, while the cathode is contained in an aqueous solution. The two liquids are separated by a sodium Super Ionic Conductor (NASICON) membrane. When CO2 is injected into the aqueous electrolyte, it reacts with the cathode, turning the solution more acidic, which in turn generates electricity and creates hydrogen. In tests, the team reported a CO2 conversion efficiency of 50 percent, and the system was stable enough to run for over 1,000 hours without causing any damage to the electrodes. Unlike other designs, it doesn't release any CO2 as a gas during normal operation -- instead, the remaining half of the CO2 was recovered from the electrolyte as plain old baking soda. The research was published in the journal iScience. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Oceans Are Getting Louder, Posing Potential Threats To Marine Life - An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Slow-moving, hulking ships crisscross miles of ocean in a lawn mower pattern, wielding an array of 12 to 48 air guns blasting pressurized air repeatedly into the depths of the ocean. The sound waves hit the sea floor, penetrating miles into it, and bounce back to the surface, where they are picked up by hydrophones. The acoustic patterns form a three-dimensional map of where oil and gas most likely lie. The seismic air guns probably produce the loudest noise that humans use regularly underwater, and it is about to become far louder in the Atlantic. As part of the Trump administration's plans to allow offshore drilling for gas and oil exploration, five companies have been given permits to carry out seismic mapping with the air guns all along the Eastern Seaboard, from Central Florida to the Northeast, for the first time in three decades. The surveys haven't started yet in the Atlantic, but now that the ban on offshore drilling has been lifted, companies can be granted access to explore regions along the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific. And air guns are now the most common method companies use to map the ocean floor. Some scientists say the noises from air guns, ship sonar and general tanker traffic can cause the gradual or even outright death of sea creatures, from the giants to the tiniest — whales, dolphins, fish, squid, octopuses and even plankton. Other effects include impairing animals' hearing, brain hemorrhaging and the drowning out of communication sounds important for survival, experts say. So great is the growing din in the world's oceans that experts fear it is fundamentally disrupting the marine ecosystem, diminishing populations of some species as the noise levels disturb feeding, reproduction and social behavior. A 2017 study, for example, found that a loud blast, softer than the sound of a seismic air gun, killed nearly two-thirds of the zooplankton in three-quarters of a mile on either side. Tiny organisms at the bottom of the food chain, zooplankton provide a food source for everything from great whales to shrimp. Krill, a tiny crustacean vital to whales and other animals, were especially hard hit, according to one study. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

DHS Issues Security Alert About Recent DNS Hijacking Attacks - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has published today an "emergency directive" that contains guidance in regards to a recent report detailing a wave of DNS hijacking incidents perpetrated out of Iran. ZDNet reports: The emergency directive [1, 2] orders government agencies to audit DNS records for unauthorized edits, change passwords, and enable multi-factor authentication for all accounts through which DNS records can be managed. The DHS documents also urges government IT personnel to monitor Certificate Transparency (CT) logs for newly-issued TLS certificates that have been issued for government domains, but which have not been requested by government workers. The emergency directive comes after last week, the DHS issued an alert about ongoing DNS hijacking attacks through its US-CERT division. The DHS US-CERT alert was based on a report published last week by U.S. cyber-security firm FireEye. The now infamous report detailed a coordinated hacking campaign during which a cyber-espionage group believed to operate out of Iran had manipulated DNS records for the domains of private companies and government agencies. The purpose of these DNS hijacks was to redirect web traffic meant for companies and agencies' internal email servers towards malicious clones, where the Iranian hackers would record login credentials. Read more of this story at Slashdot.