Last updated 24 Jul, 02:50 PM
BBC News - Home
Charlie Gard parents give up legal fight - Their lawyer told the High Court "time had run out" for the terminally-ill baby.
Switzerland chainsaw attack: Police hunt Schaffhausen attacker - Five people were injured in the town of Schaffhausen after being attacked with a chainsaw.
US-Russia probe: Trump son-in-law Kushner denies collusion - Jared Kushner says he had "no improper contacts", as he prepares for a grilling in the Senate.
High risk of 'unprecedented' winter downpours - Met Office - A new analysis suggests there's a greater chance of the heavy rain that led to extensive flooding in 2014.
More than 2,500 products subject to shrinkflation, says ONS - Consumers have been paying the same amount for thousands of products that have shrunk in size.
Microsoft promises AI chip for 'on-device' computer vision learning - No need for Azure? Microsoft is upgrading the HoloLens with a mysterious chip to enable running power-hungry machine learning tasks for computer vision on device.…
Expect the Note 8 to break the bank (and your wallet) - Leaks point to pricey behemoth Samsung’s Note 8, due to be unveiled in a month, will burst through the $1,000 (c. £920) price point, and may well become the first mass market phone in that price bracket in the UK. It’s also likely to be a monster, with a 6.3 inch diagonal display.…
Virgin Mobile has in-continent data roaming problems – peeved customers - Users forced to sightsee, look up from their phones Virgin Mobile customers enjoying their summer hols have been perturbed to discover their data roaming isn't working on the continent.…
Brits must now register virtually all new drones and undergo safety tests - Where industry leads, government follows with gusto New British drone owners will have to register their craft with the state and pass a mandatory safety test, according to a government announcement sneaked out over the weekend.…
AlphaBay and Hansa: About those dark web marketplaces takedowns - Sellers using AlphaBay vendor 'trust' ratings on new dodgy agoras Analysis A US Federal Bureau of Investigation veteran has spoken out on the international police ops that led to the takedown of dark web drug souks AlphaBay and Hansa, giving an insider's look at the process.…
New Scientist - News
Tides on exoplanets could drive alien biological clocks - On watery worlds that lack days and nights because one face always points toward their star, tides may help life emerge – and algal blooms might be the giveaway
Restoring Estonian alvar grasslands to save unique species - A huge project to return one of Europe’s most biodiverse habitats to its former glory is already seeing success. Julianna Photopoulos reports from the site
AI suggests recipe for a dish just by studying a photo of it - An algorithm trained on over one million online recipes can tell you what's in a dish and how to make it
Everyone gets lonely. We must admit it or bear the consequences - Loneliness is one of the neglected public health issues of our time. We need to get behind campaigns that highlight its toll on mental and physical health
Monthly injections could replace daily pills for people with HIV - A two-year trial has found that long-acting injections of antiretroviral therapy work just as well or better at controlling HIV than daily pills
Learn Ethereum smart contract programming - Comments
How a VC-Funded Company Is Undermining the Open-Source Community - Adrianne Jeffries, reporting for The Outline: Is a $4 million venture capital-funded startup stealthily taking over popular coding tools and injecting ads and spyware into them? That's what some programmers fear may be happening. It is one of the most troubling scandals to hit the open-source community -- a robust network of programmers who work on shared tools for free -- in recent memory. It started back in April, when a programmer noticed a strange change to an open-source tool called Minimap. Minimap has had more than 3.5 million downloads, but like many open-source tools, it was maintained by a single person who no one knew much about other than their username: @abe33. At some point, @abe33, whose real name is Cedric Nehemie, was hired by Kite. Kite was started by Adam Smith, a successful tech entrepreneur who raised funding from a slew of big names including the CEO of Dropbox and the creator of WordPress. It is unclear what Kite's business model is, but it says it uses machine-learning techniques to make coding tools. Its tools are not open source. After being hired by Kite, @abe33 made an update to Minimap. The update was titled "Implement Kite promotion," and it appeared to look at a user's code and insert links to related pages on Kite's website. Kite called this a useful feature. Programmers said it was not useful and was therefore just an ad for an unrelated service, something many programmers would consider a violation of the open-source spirit. "It's not a feature, it's advertising -- and people don't want it, you want it," wrote user @p-e-w. "The least you can do is own up to that." "I have to wonder if your goal was to upset enough people that you'd generate real attention on various news sites and get Kite a ton of free publicity before your next funding round," @DevOpsJohn wrote. "That's the only sane explanation I can find for suddenly dropping ads into the core of one of the oldest and most useful Atom plugins." [...] Although Kite has no business model yet, it's widely thought in Silicon Valley that having users is the first step toward profitability. Adding users potentially benefits the company in another way, by giving it access to precious data. Kite says it uses machine learning tactics to make the best coding helper tools possible. In order to do that, it needs tons of data to learn from. The more code it can look at, the better its autocomplete suggestions will get, for example. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Microsoft Paint To Be Killed Off After 32 Years - Microsoft's next Windows 10 update, called the Fall Creators Update, will bring a variety of new features. But one long-standing stalwart of the Windows experience has been put on the chopping block: Microsoft Paint. From a report: First released with the very first version of Windows 1.0 in 1985, Paint in its various guises would be one of the first graphics editors used by many and became a core part of Windows. Starting life as a 1-bit monochrome licensed version of ZSoft's PC Paintbrush, it wasn't until Windows 98 that Paint could save in JPEG. With the Windows 10 Creators Update, released in April, Microsoft introduced the new Paint 3D, which is installed alongside traditional Paint and features 3D image making tools as well as some basic 2D image editing. But it is not an update to original Paint and doesn't behave like it. Now Microsoft has announced that, alongside Outlook Express, Reader app and Reading list, Microsoft Paint has been signalled for death having been added to the "features that are removed or deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update" list. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Top US General Warns Against Rogue Killer Robots - Long-time Slashdot reader Zorro quotes The Hill: The second-highest-ranking general in the U.S. military last Tuesday warned lawmakers against equipping the armed forces with autonomous weapons systems... Gen. Paul Selva warned lawmakers that the military should keep "the ethical rules of war in place lest we unleash on humanity a set of robots that we don't know how to control. I don't think it's reasonable for us to put robots in charge of whether or not we take a human life," Selva told the committee. There's already a Defense Department directive that requires humans in the decision-making process for lethal autonomous weapons systems. But it expires later this year... Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Ask Slashdot: How Can You Avoid Routers With Locked Firmware? - thejynxed writes: Awhile ago the FCC in the USA implemented a rule that required manufacturers to restrict end-users from tampering with the radio outputs on wi-fi routers. It was predicted that manufacturers would take the lazy way out by locking down the firmware/bootloaders of the routers entirely instead of partitioning off access to the radio transmit power and channel ranges. This has apparently proven to be the case, as even now routers that were previously marketed as "Open Source Ready" or "DD-WRT Compatible" are coming with locked firmware. In my case, having noticed this trend, I purchased three routers from Belkin, Buffalo, and Netgear in Canada, the UK, and Germany respectively, instead of the USA, and the results: All three routers had locked firmware/bootloaders, with no downgrade rights and no way to install Tomato, DD-WRT, OpenWRT, etc. It seems the FCC rule is an example of the wide-reaching effect of US law on the products sold in other nations, etc. So, does anyone know a good source of unlocked routers or other technical information on how to bypass this ridiculous outcome of FCC over-reach and manufacturer laziness? The FCC later specified that they were not trying to block Open Source firmware modifications -- so leave your best suggestions in the comments. How can you avoid routers with locked firmware? Read more of this story at Slashdot.
US Agency Revokes All State Discounts For Kaspersky Products - The U.S. General Services Administration has removed Kapersky Lab from its list of approved vendors for federal systems, which also eliminates the discounts it previously offered to state governments. Long-time Slashdot reader Rick Zeman writes: "The agency's statement suggested a vulnerability exists in Kaspersky that could give the Russian government backdoor access to the systems it protects, though they offered no explanation or evidence of it," reports the Washington Post. Kaspersky, of course, denies this, offering their source code up for U.S. Government review... "Three current and former defense contractors told The Post that they knew of no specific warnings circulated about Kaspersky in recent years, but it has become an unwritten rule at the Pentagon not to include Kaspersky as a potential vendor on new projects." "The lack of information from the GSA underscores a disconnect between local officials and the federal government about cybersecurity," the Post reports, adding that "the GSA's move on July 11 has left state and local governments to speculate about the risks of sticking with the company or abandoning taxpayer-funded contracts, sometimes at great cost." The Post also quotes a cybersecurity expert at a prominent think tank -- the Center for Strategic and International Studies -- who believes that "it's difficult, if not impossible" for a company like Kaspersky to be headquartered in Moscow "if you don't cooperate with the government and the intelligence services." Read more of this story at Slashdot.