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Last updated 15 Jun, 01:00 PM

BBC News - Home

Daniel Morgan: Met Police accused of corruption in report - Daniel Morgan's family are owed an apology over the way the Met handled his murder, a report finds.

Covid: PM insists July unlocking will go ahead in England - But scientists warn a rise in deaths could derail the plan, and some MPs fear a further delay.

UK and Australia in first post-Brexit trade deal - The pact - the first built from scratch since leaving the EU - includes Scotch whisky and biscuits.

Christian Eriksen 'fine under circumstances' after cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 - Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen says he is "fine under the circumstances" as he continues his recovery from a cardiac arrest.

Ikea France fined €1m for snooping on staff - The ex-CEO of Ikea France gets a suspended term, as private detectives and police spied on staff.

The Register

Brit IT firms wound up by court order after fooling folk into paying for 'support' over fake computer errors - Companies were puppets to Indian biz Underpin Services Private Limited Two Kent-registered IT companies have been wound up in the High Court of England and Wales for trying to scam punters with fake pop-ups to generate tech support cons.…

Tech contractor loses IR35 tribunal appeal: 'Right' to substitute didn't mean he could, say judges - Substitution's 'not a silver bullet' advisor says An IT contractor has lost an appeal [PDF] which found he was an employee in the eyes of HMRC, with the judges agreeing he fell under the new IR35 off-payroll tax rules.…

The latest REvil ransomware victim? Sol Oriens. Oh, a US nuclear weapons contractor - Company claims 'no current indication' top-secret data was plundered The REvil ransomware gang, thought to be behind an attack on meat producer JBS which netted an impressive $11m payoff, has found another victim. Worryingly, this one works with the US Department of Defence on the nation's nuclear weapons programme.…

Of all the analytics firms in the world, why is Palantir getting its claws into UK health data? - Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee asked health secretary Matt Hancock, but he wasn't much help Comment Most people are aware of some things and not aware of other things. But UK health secretary Matt Hancock isn't sure if he's aware of something or not.…

Boffins show sleight-of-hand tricks to Corvids, find they are smarter than people - Eurasian Jays mostly unmoved by illusionist jiggery-pokery, more interested in worms Psychology boffins at the University of Cambridge have been pushing back the barriers of understanding via the unlikely-sounding practice of trying to fool birds with magic tricks.…

New Scientist - News

Dogs that detect seizures may be sniffing out the scent of human fear - Dogs trained to alert owners when a seizure is imminent confused sweat from people with epilepsy with sweat from people who had been watching Stephen King's It

Delta variant doubles risk of covid-19 hospitalisations, study shows - Models predicting a possible huge third wave of covid-19 cases and evidence that the delta variant of coronavirus increases hospitalisation risk are behind the decision to delay easing of lockdown in England

Fox-breeding experiment suggests domestication can boost brain size - Our understanding of how domestication changes the neurobiology of a species may be wrong, results from a 60-year experiment to breed tame foxes suggest. The findings could also have implications for human evolution, claim researchers

Female seahorses cheat on their mate when they can no longer smell him - Seahorses usually pair up into monogamous couples, but when females are kept apart from their male partners with a barrier that blocks odour they will mate with another male

Covid-19 news: End of lockdown in England to be postponed - The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Hacker News

Survey shows people no longer believe working hard will lead to a better life - Comments

EU court backs national data watchdog powers in blow to Facebook, big tech - Comments

Universities have formed a company that looks a lot like a patent troll - Comments

Apple and Google investigated by UK competition body - Comments

Europe's Software Problem - Comments


Plexiglass Is Everywhere, With No Proof It Keeps Covid at Bay - Sales of plexiglass tripled to roughly $750 million in the U.S. after the pandemic hit, as offices, schools, restaurants and retail stores sought protection from the droplets that health authorities suspected were spreading the coronavirus. There was just one hitch. Not a single study has shown that the clear plastic barriers actually control the virus, said Joseph Allen of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. From a report: "We spent a lot of time and money focused on hygiene theater," said Allen, an indoor-air researcher. "The danger is that we didn't deploy the resources to address the real threat, which was airborne transmission -- both real dollars, but also time and attention. The tide has turned," he said. "The problem is, it took a year." For the first months of Covid-19, top health authorities pointed to larger droplets as the key transmission culprits, despite a chorus of protests from researchers like Allen. Tinier floating droplets can also spread the virus, they warned, meaning plastic shields can't stop them. Not until last month did the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fully affirm airborne transmission. That meant plastic shielding had created "a false sense of security," said building scientist Marwa Zaatari, a pandemic task force member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft's Smith Says Secret Subpoenas Hurt US Tech Companies - Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith criticized secret data subpoenas sent by the government to cloud providers like his company and Apple, saying gag orders on requests for personal information undermine freedoms and are hurting U.S. technology companies in Europe. From a report: Last week the New York Times reported that during the administration of former President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Justice demanded records from Apple relating to two Democrats on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. CNBC reported Microsoft received a confidential request for the personal emails of a Congressional staffer. Both companies were under nondisclosure orders that prevented them from talking about or alerting the subjects of the data seizures. The U.S. government should change the rules so that people whose data is being demanded can be informed and choose whether to file a legal challenge to the subpoenas, Smith said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Microsoft in 2016 filed a case against the DOJ related to the gag orders, and a year later the department issued new guidelines it said would scale back the practice of these kinds of confidential requests. "If we fail to do so, we undermine longstanding fundamental freedoms in the country and, frankly, for those of us in the tech sector, we're put in the middle," Smith said. "This should be an issue where the government has to go most of the time to the individuals whose information they are seeking." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Companies Push Employees To Prove They Are Vaccinated for Covid-19 - Companies are stepping up the pressure on workers to get vaccinated -- not necessarily with mandates but with strong nudges. From a report: For months, many employers have attempted to coax workers into receiving a Covid-19 vaccine. Companies dangled cash, time off and other prizes to encourage vaccinations. Executives made personal appeals in town-hall meetings and internal memos. Now, some of those efforts are taking a more assertive and urgent tone. While most employers haven't flat-out ordered staff to get vaccinated, many are asking workers to report their vaccination status or are implementing policies that restrict the activities of unvaccinated workers. Unlike the first wave of corporate efforts -- which focused more on getting front-line workers and essential staffers at retailers, hospitals and airlines vaccinated -- the latest push affects more professionals at banks, law firms and similar businesses. Some companies say they want reassurance that the majority of their workers are vaccinated before broadly reopening offices. Goldman Sachs last week ordered its U.S. employees to disclose in an internal portal whether they had received the vaccine. The Wall Street firm, which hasn't mandated vaccines, has told staff that fully vaccinated employees who have registered their status can work without masks in its offices. Others will still have to wear masks at all times except at their desks. Other banks, including Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, have asked employees to voluntarily register their vaccination status. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Irish Police To Be Given Powers Over Passwords - Irish police will have the power to compel people to provide passwords for electronic devices when carrying out a search warrant under new legislation. From a report: The change is part of the Garda Siochana Bill published by Irish Justice Minister Heather Humphreys on Monday. Gardai will also be required to make a written record of a stop and search. This will enable data to be collected so the effectiveness and use of the powers can be assessed. Special measures will be introduced for suspects who are children and suspects who may have impaired capacity. The bill will bring in longer detention periods for the investigation of multiple offences being investigated together, for a maximum of up to 48 hours. It will also allow for a week's detention for suspects in human trafficking offences, which are currently subject to a maximum of 24 hours detention. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Will Let Enterprises Store Their Google Workspace Encryption Keys - As ubiquitous as Google Docs has become in the last year alone, a major criticism often overlooked by the countless workplaces that use it is that it isn't end-to-end encrypted, allowing Google -- or any requesting government agency -- access to a company's files. But Google is finally addressing that key complaint with a round of updates that will let customers shield their data by storing their own encryption keys. From a report: Google Workspace, the company's enterprise offering that includes Google Docs, Slides and Sheets, is adding client-side encryption so that a company's data will be indecipherable to Google. Companies using Google Workspace can store their encryption keys with one of four partners for now: Flowcrypt, Futurex, Thales or Virtru, which are compatible with Google's specifications. The move is largely aimed at regulated industries -- like finance, healthcare and defense -- where intellectual property and sensitive data are subject to intense privacy and compliance rules. Read more of this story at Slashdot.