Latest News

Last updated 31 Oct, 02:40 PM

BBC News - Home

Woolf 'unsuitable' say victim groups - Victims' groups tell Home Office officials they are "unanimous" in their view that the head of an inquiry into historical child sex abuse should resign.

Two missing after fireworks blaze - Two people are missing and a man has been arrested after a major blaze at a Stafford fireworks warehouse that left two people in hospital.

Warmest UK Halloween on record - This year's Halloween is the warmest on record in the UK, with temperatures reaching as high as 23.5C, breaking the previous record of 20C.

Life term for puppy farm murders - An 82-year-old man is jailed for life for murdering his partner and her daughter who he shot at close range at his puppy farm in Surrey.

Burkina Faso's president resigns - Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore resigns following violent protests, with army chief Honore Traore taking over as head of state.

The Register

More Home Office and MoJ jobs could move abroad, union warns - Outsourcing giant Steria scoops two new clients Jobs at the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office could be next in line to be offshored to India, the PCS union has warned, with both departments joining a £1bn shared services venture with outsourcing giant Steria.…

DDN sails into Amazon clouds, adds Wonderful S3 for WOS - Object store, meet Jeff Bezos and chums DDN has embraced the public cloud enemy, so to speak, by adding an S3 interface to its WOS object storage array.…

Fujitsu Services ordered to reveal size of pay scale for ALL TECHIES - Unite union action settled An arbitration court has sided with the Unite union and ordered Fujitsu Services to go open kimono about employee's pay structure, in a bid to aid collective bargaining during the annual pay review.…

Trolls pop misshapen heads above bridge to hurl abuse at Tim Cook - Apple CEO suffers Twitter attacks after 'I’m proud to be gay' letter Apple boss Tim Cook has been bombarded with homophobic abuse after revealing his sexuality to the world on Thursday.…

Marc Benioff tethers Salesforce cloud to Blighty - First European data centre spotted off west London Salesforce has opened its first European data centre in the UK.…

New Scientist - Online news

Arachnophobia chopped out of a man's brain - A man's lifelong fear of spiders vanished overnight with the removal of a part of his brain – it gives an insight into where and how our fears are stored

Why scratching an itch only makes it worse - The pain that scratching causes soothes an itch – but only for a second. As soon as the brain's response to that pain kicks it, it ramps up the itch further

Feedback: Trial by water - Advertising standards fail, decent desert dessert, pencils for the End Times and more (full text available to subscribers)

Smoke without fire: What's the truth on e-cigarettes? - They've been called safe, dangerous, a way to quit smoking – and a way to start. New Scientist sifts through the evidence about e-cigarettes (full text available to subscribers)

White noise for your nose cancels pungent aromas - By combining compounds in just the right mixture, researchers have worked out how to produce the olfactory equivalent of white noise

Hacker News

Hungary Internet tax cancelled after mass protests - Comments

Show HN: “Install on DigitalOcean” button for open source apps - Comments

Making Connections to Facebook More Secure - Comments

Tim Cook Speaks Up - Comments

YogaGlo Patent Dropped - Comments

Slashdot

Hungary's Plans For Internet Tax On Hold After Protests - An anonymous reader writes: When news broke last week that the Hungarian government was planning to tax internet traffic at a rate of about 62 cents per gigabyte, people on the internet were outraged. But it went beyond that: there were protests in the streets in Hungary, and the European Union warned against the plan. Now, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has put the plans on hold, saying, "This tax in its current form cannot be introduced." It's not completely dead — Orban has planned consultations over the next year to look for other ways to tax revenue generated over the internet. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Most Planets In the Universe Are Homeless - StartsWithABang writes: We like to think of our Solar System as typical: a central star with a number of planets — some gas giants and some rocky worlds — in orbit around it. Yes, there's some variety, with binary or trinary star systems and huge variance in the masses of the central star being common ones, but from a planetary point of view, our Solar System is a rarity. Even though there are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy for planets to orbit, there are most likely around a quadrillion planets in our galaxy, total, with only a few trillion of them orbiting stars at most. Now that we've finally detected the first of these, we have an excellent idea that this picture is the correct one: most planets in the Universe are homeless. Now, thank your lucky star!" Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Enters the Wearables Market With 'Band' - Microsoft has announced the availability of "Microsoft Band," a wearable device that goes on the wrist. It's designed to do health- and fitness-related tasks, like monitoring heart rate and how well a wearer sleeps, and its on-board GPS lets users map their run/bike routes. The company says Band plays nicely with iOS and Android devices in addition to Windows phones. It also has full support for viewing phone notifications and calendar alerts, and a built-in microphone enables queries through the Cortana personal assistant software. The display is rectangular, 11mm x 33mm (0.43" x 1.3"), and has a resolution of 320x106. They claim a battery life of 48 hours, with a charge time of 1.5 hours or less. The device costs $200. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd? - ewhac writes: "I'm probably going to deeply deeply regret this, but every time a story appears here mentioning systemd, a 700-comment thread of back-and-forth bickering breaks out which is about as informative as an old Bud Light commercial, and I don't really learn anything new about the subject. My gut reaction to systemd is (currently) a negative one, and it's very easy to find screeds decrying systemd on the net. However, said screeds haven't been enough to prevent its adoption by several distros, which leads me to suspect that maybe there's something worthwhile there that I haven't discovered yet. So I thought it might be instructive to turn the question around and ask the membership about what makes systemd good. However, before you stab at the "Post" button, there are some rules... Bias Disclosure: I currently dislike systemd because — without diving very deeply into the documentation, mind — it looks and feels like a poorly-described, gigantic mess I know nothing about that seeks to replace other poorly-described, smaller messes which I know a little bit about. So you will be arguing in that environment." Nice Things About systemd Rules: Post each new Nice Thing as a new post, not as a reply to another post. This will let visitors skim the base level of comments for things that interest them, rather than have to dive through a fractally expanding tree of comments looking for things to support/oppose. It will also make it easier to follow the next rule: Avoid duplication; read the entire base-level of comments before adding a new Nice Thing. Someone may already have mentioned your Nice Thing. Add your support/opposition to that Nice Thing there, rather than as a new post. Only one concrete Nice Thing about systemd per base-level post. Keep the post focused on a single Nice Thing systemd does. If you know of multiple distinct things, write multiple distinct posts. Describe the Nice Thing in some detail. Don't assume, for example, that merely saying "Supports Linux cgroups" will be immediately persuasive. Describe how the Nice Thing is better than existing, less controversial solutions. systemd is allegedly better at some things than sysvinit or upstart or inetd. Why? Why is the Nice Thing possible in systemd, and impossible (or extremely difficult) with anything else? (In some cases, the Nice Thing will be a completely new thing that's never existed before; describe why it's good thing.)We will assume out of the gate that systemd boots your system faster than ${SOMETHING_ELSE}, so no points for bringing that up. Bonus points are awarded for: Personal Experience. "I actually did this," counts for way more than, "The docs claim you can do this." Working Examples. Corollary to the above — if you did a Nice Thing with systemd, consider also posting the code/script/service file you wrote to accomplish it. Links to Supporting Documentation. If you leveraged a Nice Thing, furnish a link to the docs you used that describe the Nice Thing and its usage. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare - HughPickens.com writes We know that about 10 million more people have insurance coverage this year as a result of the Affordable Care Act but until now it has been difficult to say much about who was getting that Obamacare coverage — where they live, their age, their income and other such details. Now Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz report in the NYT that a new data set is providing a clearer picture of which people gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The data is the output of a statistical model based on a large survey of adults and shows that the law has done something rather unusual in the American economy this century: It has pushed back against inequality, essentially redistributing income — in the form of health insurance or insurance subsidies — to many of the groups that have fared poorly over the last few decades. The biggest winners from the law include people between the ages of 18 and 34; blacks; Hispanics; and people who live in rural areas. The areas with the largest increases in the health insurance rate, for example, include rural Arkansas and Nevada; southern Texas; large swaths of New Mexico, Kentucky and West Virginia; and much of inland California and Oregon. Despite many Republican voters' disdain for the Affordable Care Act, parts of the country that lean the most heavily Republican (according to 2012 presidential election results) showed significantly more insurance gains than places where voters lean strongly Democratic. That partly reflects underlying rates of insurance. In liberal places, like Massachusetts and Hawaii, previous state policies had made insurance coverage much more widespread, leaving less room for improvement. But the correlation also reflects trends in wealth and poverty. Many of the poorest and most rural states in the country tend to favor Republican politicians. Read more of this story at Slashdot.