Latest News

Last updated 31 Jan, 04:00 PM

BBC News - Home

Crowds flock to leftist Madrid rally - Tens of thousands of people attend a rally in central Madrid by radical leftists Podemos, as they look to build on Syriza's recent victory in Greece.

Tasers 'needed for all police' - All front-line police officers should be offered a Taser to protect them against the increased terrorism threat, the head of the Police Federation says.

Victim fund tops £120k in two days - Well-wishers donate more than £120,000 in two days to help a disabled pensioner who was mugged outside his Gateshead home.

Merkel rules out Greek debt relief - German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejects any cancellation of Greece's debt, saying banks and creditors have already made substantial cuts.

Prince's household 'like Wolf Hall' - Clarence House is fraught with rivalries that have led to it being compared to the court of Henry VIII, according to a new biography of the Prince of Wales.

The Register

Grav wave tsunami NOT caused by Big Bang – boffins confirm - Milky Way's interstellar dust blurs origin of signal Claims that a gravitational wave tsunami swept the universe from the Big Bang have turned to dust.…

Cuddly robots, whipsmart laughs and plenty of heart in <i>Big Hero 6</i> - Disney’s cartoon superhero franchise lands Film review Disney still has that cartoon magic. Just look at the awesome phenomena that is Frozen, or the understated, but magnificent, Up – a kid’s movie about a pensioner. The latest from the Mouse House is Big Hero 6, the studio’s first cartoon collaboration with Marvel. Rather than go for a showy, already-famous tale, Disney has plumbed the depths of the Marvel collection for a little-known comic, featuring 14-year-old robot-building genius Hiro and his cuddly, loveable robot sidekick Baymax.…

Google Now now SLURPS data from 40 third party apps so YOU don't have to - Search tool consensually ransacks Airbnb, Lyft, et al Google has inked deals with 40 third party app makers, allowing the ad giant to rifle through data from the likes of Airbnb and Lyft to serve up "relevant information" to its Android users.…

<i>Bitter Lake</i>: Know your enemy? Impossible, surely, when you don't know if the enemy exists - Adam Curtis' Afghan epic TV Review My favourite moment in Bitter Lake – Adam Curtis' new two hour film about Afghanistan – is a clip of a posh British graduate teaching conceptual art to a class of Afghan women in traditional dress. She shows them Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. You know – the dirty urinal. One shakes her head. The others just stare politely.…

'Boutique' ISPs: Snub the Big 4 AND get great service - When it comes to choosing an internet provider, small is beautiful Feature As we've seen in recent weeks, broadband in the UK is far from perfect, and in some areas is still disappointingly slow, and with a limited number of choices. Much of the market belongs to a handful big companies such as BT, TalkTalk, Sky and Virgin Media.…

New Scientist - Online news

Today on New Scientist - All the latest on newscientist.com: pioneers of the bitcoin rush, big bang leak, how metadata reveals your secrets, Möbius strips of light and more

Sync your sport to your body clock for a personal best - Larks and night owls perform drastically better if a sporting event is timed to suit their circadian rhythm

Cancer-warped skeletons imagined for building design - The extreme deformities caused by bone cancer push the human body to its limits. Our amazing ability to adapt could inspire future architecture

The world's wellness obsession has gone too far - Being urged to optimise every aspect of our lives to improve well-being is sometimes counterproductive, say André Spicer and Carl Cederström

Leak suggests big bang find was a dusty mistake - Details of a new analysis of last year's BICEP2 results have been accidentally leaked – and seem to show that claiming a gravitational wave discovery was jumping the gun

Hacker News

A Maze of Murderscapes: Metroid II - Comments

Linux kernel booting process. Part 3 - Comments

The Decline of the Xerox PARC Philosophy at Apple Computers - Comments

Ask HN: Could you share your general purpose development contracts? - Comments

Screw motivation, what you need is discipline - Comments

Slashdot

ESA: No Conclusive Evidence of Big Bang Gravitational Waves - hypnosec writes: The European Space Agency has made a joint analysis of data gathered by the ground-based BICEP2 and Keck Array experiments and its own Planck satellite to try to verify previous reports of BICEP2's primordial gravitational waves detection. However, the ESA was unable to find evidence of primordial gravitational waves, and they think the earlier report was simply based on an outdated model that didn't take interstellar dust into account. "The Milky Way is pervaded by a mixture of gas and dust shining at similar frequencies to those of the CMB, and this foreground emission affects the observation of the most ancient cosmic light. Very careful analysis is needed to separate the foreground emission from the cosmic background. Critically, interstellar dust also emits polarized light, thus affecting the CMB polarization as well. ... The BICEP2 team had chosen a field where they believed dust emission would be low, and thus interpreted the signal as likely to be cosmological. However, as soon as Planck’s maps of the polarized emission from Galactic dust were released (PDF), it was clear that this foreground contribution could be much higher than previously expected." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How Blind Programmers Write Code - theodp writes: Yes, folks, there are blind programmers. There's Ed Summers, for one, who lost his vision at age 30 and now ghostblogs for Willie the Seeing Eye Dog. And if you've ever wondered how the blind can code, Florian Beijers, who has been blind since birth, explains that all he needs is a normal Dell Inspiron 15r SE notebook and his trusty open source NVDA screen reader software, and he's good-to-go. "This is really all the adaptation a blind computer user needs," Beijers adds, but he does ask one small favor: "If you're writing the next big application, with a stunning UI and a great workflow, I humbly ask you to consider accessibility as part of the equation. In this day and age, there's really no reason not to use the UI toolkits available." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft - HughPickens.com writes James B. Stewart writes in the NYT that in 1998 Bill Gates said in an interview that he "couldn't imagine a situation in which Apple would ever be bigger and more profitable than Microsoft" but less than two decades later, Apple, with a market capitalization more than double Microsoft's, has won. The most successful companies need a vision, and both Apple and Microsoft have one. But according to Stewart, Apple's vision was more radical and, as it turns out, more farsighted. Where Microsoft foresaw a computer on every person's desk, Apple went a big step further: Its vision was a computer in every pocket. "Apple has been very visionary in creating and expanding significant new consumer electronics categories," says Toni Sacconaghi. "Unique, disruptive innovation is really hard to do. Doing it multiple times, as Apple has, is extremely difficult." According to Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson, Microsoft seemed to have the better business for a long time. "But in the end, it didn't create products of ethereal beauty. Steve believed you had to control every brush stroke from beginning to end. Not because he was a control freak, but because he had a passion for perfection." Can Apple continue to live by Jobs's disruptive creed now that the company is as successful as Microsoft once was? According to Robert Cihra it was one thing for Apple to cannibalize its iPod or Mac businesses, but quite another to risk its iPhone juggernaut. "The question investors have is, what's the next iPhone? There's no obvious answer. It's almost impossible to think of anything that will create a $140 billion business out of nothing." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

BT Unveils 1000Mbps Capable G.fast Broadband Rollout For the United Kingdom - Mark.JUK writes The national telecoms operator for the United Kingdom, BT, has today announced that it will begin a country-wide deployment of the next generation hybrid-fibre G.fast (ITU G.9701) broadband technology from 2016/17, with most homes being told to expect speeds of up to 500Mbps (Megabits per second) and a premium service offering 1000Mbps will also be available. At present BT already covers most of the UK with hybrid Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology, which delivers download speeds of up to 80Mbps by running a fibre optic cable to a local street cabinet and then using VDSL2 over the remaining copper line from the cabinet to homes. G.fast follows a similar principal, but it brings the fibre optic cable even closer to homes (often by installing smaller remote nodes on telegraph poles) and uses more radio spectrum (17-106MHz) over a shorter remaining run of copper cable (ideally less than 250 metres). The reliance upon copper cable means that the real-world speeds for some, such as those living furthest away from the remote nodes, will probably struggle to match up to BT's claims. Nevertheless many telecoms operators see this as being a more cost effective approach to broadband than deploying a pure fibre optic / Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

R.U. Sirius Co-Authors New Book On Transhumanism - An anonymous reader writes "I've never been able to work up a fear of the robot apocalypse," admits R.U. Sirius, who more than 20 years after Mondo 2000's original guide to geek culture has again collaborated on a new encyclopedia of emerging technologies. As we progress to a world where technology actually becomes invisible, he argues that "everything about how we will define the future is still in play," suggesting that the transhumanist movement is "a good way to take isolated radical tech developments and bundle them together". While his co-author argues transhumanists "like to solve everything," Sirius points out a much bigger concern is a future of technologies dominated by the government or big capital. Read more of this story at Slashdot.