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Last updated 08 Aug, 01:30 PM

BBC News - Home

Full extent of NHS dentist shortage revealed - Nine in 10 UK dentists are not accepting new adult patients, while eight in 10 are refusing children.

Tighter export controls on electronics could hamper Russia's war effort - report - Russian weapons could be permanently degraded by tougher export controls in the West, a think tank says.

House of Zana boutique owner wins trademark row with Zara - Zara had said the name of House of Zana was "one small brush mark" from being the same as theirs.

Thornton Heath: Three injured as gas explosion destroys house - Neighbours said they reported a strong gas smell two weeks ago and that they had been feeling dizzy.

BBC Radio 5 Live drops classified football results - The traditional reading out of the football results at 5pm on a Saturday is axed by BBC Radio.

The Register

Google hit with lawsuit for dropping free Workspace apps - Free Forever, or Free Until We Decide It Isn't policy criticised in filing A putative class action lawsuit has been filed against Google in California by early adopters who are unhappy about the ads company's decision to demand fees for its Workspace productivity suite.…

Arm still jewel in crown as parent SoftBank nurses record $23.5b hit - Stock market losses lead to write-downs at Vision Fund, but chip designer IPO a ray of light Chip designer Arm booked record revenues for the Q1 ended June 30 and was one of the bright spots in an otherwise loss-heavy start to fiscal 2023 for Japanese parent SoftBank's Vision Fund.…

Slack leaked hashed passwords from its servers for years - Users who created shared invitation links for their workspace had login details slip out among encrypted traffic Did Slack send you a password reset link last week? The company has admitted to accidentally exposing the hashed passwords of workspace users.…

Google's ChromeOS Flex turned my old MacBook into new frustrations - Google says this is ‘modern’ computing – if so it feels like a backward step I spend a lot of time in a browser – for years I've used half a dozen pinned tabs to provide easy access to web apps like The Register's CMS and TweetDeck. But when I tried Google's browser-centric ChromeOS Flex I immediately lamented the lack of apps and came to despise Chrome.…

GitLab versus The Zombie Repos: An old plot needs a new twist - Git back, git back, git back to where your files belong GitLab is chewing on life's gristle. The problem, we hear, is that deadbeat freeloaders are sucking up its hosting lifeforce. The company's repo hive is clogged with zombie projects, untouched for years but still plugged into life support. It's costing us a million bucks a year, sighed GiLab's spreadsheet wranglers, and for what? …

New Scientist - News

10 finance firms effectively own half of all future carbon emissions - An analysis of the 200 largest fossil fuel companies suggests that just 10 shareholders could influence the fate of nearly half of the world's remaining fossil fuels

Untangling life's molecular mysteries using AI is a welcome advance - Artificial intelligence has turned its power on deciphering the complex structures of proteins, the substances behind many vital processes in cells. It is a great boost for biology and, ultimately, wider society

Artificial finger can identify what common material things are made of - Smart finger uses sensors to detect substances such as glass, silicon and wood with more than 90 per cent accuracy, which could be useful for robotic manufacturing tasks

What will the Inflation Reduction Act mean for US carbon emissions? - The US senate is set to pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which would include the largest climate spending package in US history. How big of an effect could it have?

If cryptocurrencies are unhackable, how do they keep getting stolen? - News of a $190 million cryptocurrency theft emerged this week, despite cryptocurrencies being designed to be unhackable. Here's the low-down on what is going on and how safe bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are

Hacker News

MiniRust - Comments

No More “Insight Porn” - Comments

Post-Apocalyptic Programming - Comments

Learning algebra in my 60s - Comments

A Guide to Decentralized Biotech - Comments


As Satellites and Space Junk Proliferate, US to Revise Rules - "No one imagined commercial space tourism taking hold, no one believed crowd-funded satellites and mega constellations at low earth orbit were possible, and no one could have conceived of the sheer popularity of space entrepreneurship," reads a statement Friday from the chair of America's Federal Communications Commission. "But it's all happening...." And Reuters reports on what happens next: With Earth's orbit growing more crowded with satellites, a U.S. government agency on Friday said it would begin revising decades-old rules on getting rid of space junk and on other issues such as satellite refueling and inspecting and repairing in-orbit spacecraft. "We believe the new space age needs new rules," Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said after the 4-0 FCC vote, adding that current rules "were largely built for another era." Rosenworcel said the FCC needs "to make sure our rules are prepared for the proliferation of satellites in orbit and new activities in our higher altitudes." The FCC also plans to look at "new ways to clean up orbital debris. After all, there are thousands of metric tons of junk in space," Rosenworcel added. The FCC will look at "the potential for orbital debris remediation and removal functions that offer the prospect of improvement in the orbital debris environment....." "The FCC remains the only agency to license virtually every commercial space mission that touches the United States," FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said. "With that power comes the responsibility to understand the missions we authorize, and to create an enabling regulatory environment that opens new doors while still protecting against new risks." A statement from the FCC describes their new policy review as a "modernization effort." And it made a point of acknowledging that in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing has "the potential to build entire industries, create new jobs, mitigate climate change, and advance America's economic, scientific, technological, and national security interests." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

In 2003, Mark Zuckerberg Took a Vow of User Privacy On Slashdot - If it weren't for Slashdot, Mark Zuckerberg wouldn't be facing a six-hour deposition over alleged involvement in the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, argues long-time Slashdot reader theodp: In 2003, Harvard's student newspaper the Harvard Crimson reported that Zuck's programming skills attracted attention from the likes of Microsoft and others following a 2003 Slashdot post. That post — titled Machine Learning and MP3s — described how "Students at Caltech [freshman Adam D'Angelo, Quora CEO and co-founder] and Harvard [freshman Zuck] developed a system that analyzes playlists and learns people's listening patterns." The playlist-making software, Synapse AI, was Zuck's high school senior project at Phillips Exeter Academy. Interestingly, in a modded-up comment ("Informative") on the post, Slashdot user Mark Zuckerberg vowed to protect user privacy. "And a note about privacy," promised Zuck. "None of your musical listening data will be available to anyone other than you. We hope to use massive amounts of data to aid in analysis, but your individual data will never be seen by anyone else." Hey, things change. And Slashdot user SkyIce (apparently D'Angelo) added, "I'm not going to spam people. I promise." . Zuckerberg was just 18 years old — and Steven Levy's 2020 book Facebook: The Inside Story recounts how all "the Slashdot attention was a boon." Zuckerberg heard from multiple companies interested in the student project, including Microsoft and AOL. Zuckerberg and D'Angelo got an offer approaching a million dollars from one of those suitors. But the payout would be contingent on Zuckerberg and D'Angelo committing to work for that company for three years. They turned it down. That summer, back in Cambridge, young Mark Zuckerberg "thought it was interesting that I was so excited about Friendster," D'Angelo remembered in the book. Friendster was an earlier social network founded in 2002 (which eventually closed in 2018). D'Angelo remembered that Zuckerberg "wasn't into it as a user, but it was clear to him that there was something there...." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

'I Landed a (Model) Rocket Like SpaceX. It Took 7 Years' - "If you've been following Joe Barnard's rocketry projects for the past few years, you'll know that one of his primary goals has been to propulsively land a model rocket like SpaceX," reports Hackaday. "Now, 7 years into the rollercoaster journey, he has finally achieved that goal with the latest version of his Scout rocket." Many things need to come together to launch AND land a rocket on standard hobby-grade solid fuel rocket motors. A core component is stabilization of the rocket during the entire flight, which achieved using a thrust-vectoring control (TVC) mount for the rocket motors and a custom flight computer loaded with carefully tuned guidance software. Until recently, the TVC mounts were 3D printed, but Joe upgraded it to machined aluminum to eliminate as much flex and play as possible. Since solid-fuel rockets can't technically be throttled, [Joe] originally tried to time the ignition time of the descent motor in such a manner that it would burn out as the rocket touches down. The ignition time and exact thrust numbers simply weren't repeatable enough, so in his 2020 landing attempts, he achieved some throttling effect by oscillating the TVC side to side, reducing the vertical thrust component. This eventually gave way to the final solution, a pair of ceramic pincers which block the thrust of the motors as required. "I have been trying to do what you just saw for seven years," Barnard says in the video, remembering that he started the project back in the fall of 2015. "Not because it's revolutionary or game-changing for model rocketry, but because it's a really cool project, and I knew I would learn a lot." (On Twitter, Barnard added that "I had no background in aero, electrical engineering, coding, etc so it took a lot of trial and error.") And in the video Barnard made sure to thank his 690 supporters on Patreon — and also shared a surprise. He'd printed out a sheet of paper with the name of every one of his Patreon supporters, rolled it up, and inserted it into the hollow center of his rocket before the flight. "So if you support, you were part of this." The Patreon account offers more details on Barnard's mission. "Learning by experimentation is the most effective way to gain a deep understanding of new concepts, which is why providing hands-on experience with advanced rocketry components is important for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and astronauts." And the video ends with Bernard describing the next projects he'll attempt: More SpaceX-like vertical landings A 9-foot model of SpaceX's Starship Super Heavy rocket A special secret project known only as "the meat rocket" An actual model-rocket space shot — that is, a rocket that ascends over 100 kilometers Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Class Action Alleges Experian Didn't Stop Identity Thieves from Hijacking Accounts - "A class action lawsuit has been filed against big-three consumer credit bureau Experian," reports Krebs on Security, "over reports that the company did little to prevent identity thieves from hijacking consumer accounts. The legal filing cites liberally from an investigation KrebsOnSecurity published in July, which found that identity thieves were able to assume control over existing Experian accounts simply by signing up for new accounts using the victim's personal information and a different email address. The lawsuit, filed July 28, 2022 in California Central District Court, argues that Experian's documented practice of allowing the re-registration of accounts without first verifying that the existing account authorized the changes is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The lawsuit even cites a July blog post from Krebs on Security. The blog post's title? "Experian, You Have Some Explaining to Do." After providing my Social Security Number (SSN), date of birth, and answering several multiple choice questions whose answers are derived almost entirely from public records, Experian promptly changed the email address associated with my credit file. It did so without first confirming that new email address could respond to messages, or that the previous email address approved the change... After that, Experian prompted me to select new secret questions and answers, as well as a new account PIN — effectively erasing the account's previously chosen PIN and recovery questions. Once I'd changed the PIN and security questions, Experian's site helpfully reminded me that I have a security freeze on file, and would I like to remove or temporarily lift the security freeze? Experian did send an automated message to the account's original email address when a new one was added, Krebs wrote, but wondered what good that would actually do. "The only recourse Experian offered in the alert was to sign in, or send an email to an Experian inbox that replies with the message, 'this email address is no longer monitored'..." "I could see no option in my account to enable multi-factor authentication for all logins..." And Krebs added Friday that "Since that story ran I've heard from several more readers who were doing everything right and still had their Experian accounts hijacked, with little left to show for it except an email alert from Experian saying they had changed the address on file for the account." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

JavaScript Slows Progress, Should be Retired, Argues JSON Creator - JavaScript, the world's most popular programming language according to most surveys, has become a barrier to progress, according to Douglas Crockford, creator of the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) specification used everywhere for serializing data in web applications. Crockford made this assertion in an interview last month: "The best thing we can do today to JavaScript is to retire it. Twenty years ago, I was one of the few advocates for JavaScript. Its cobbling together of nested functions and dynamic objects was brilliant. I spent a decade trying to correct its flaws. I had a minor success with ES5. But since then, there has been strong interest in further bloating the language instead of making it better. So JavaScript, like the other dinosaur languages, has become a barrier to progress. We should be focused on the next language, which should look more like E than like JavaScript." According to a StackOverflow survey earlier this year, JavaScript is used by over 65% of developers, way ahead of second placed Python at 48 percent (ignoring HTML, CSS and SQL which are not general purpose languages). Crockford also acknowledged there's be two difficulties in replacing browser-based JavaScript, according to the article. "First, we don't have the next language yet. It needs to be a minimal capability-based actor language that is designed specifically for secure distributed programming. Nothing less should be considered. "Second, we need all of the browser makers to adopt it and to simultaneously replace the DOM with a well designed interface. Good luck with that." Read more of this story at Slashdot.