Last updated 28 Apr, 02:00 AM
BBC News - Home
'Most Nepal troops' in quake effort - Nine out of 10 Nepalese troops are reportedly taking part in search and rescue operations after a massive earthquake that killed 4,000 people.
Curfew as Baltimore protests spread - A curfew is been declared in the US city of Baltimore amid violent protests over the death of a black man fatally injured in police custody.
Child obesity may have 'two phases' - There may be two distinct child obesity epidemics - one among infants and one among adolescents - research suggests.
Bank fines to 'fund apprenticeships' - The Tories will use fines imposed on Deutsche Bank for its involvement in Libor rate-fixing to fund 50,000 apprenticeships, David Cameron will say.
Top teachers' pay freeze 'unfair' - Plans to freeze senior teachers' pay "arbitrarily discriminate" against school leaders, according to the head teachers' union ASCL.
Oz media belatedly realises 'spook's charter' is bad (for) news - 'Should have made more fuss' say media execs Australia's media has finally realised that it was a bad idea to turn the Nelson eye to national security laws that passed in 2014.…
Elon Musk's SpaceX in space race breakthrough - Change in plan for vertical-landing Falcon 9 rocket stage Pic For the second time in a month, Elon's Musketeers at SpaceX have successfully lofted cargo into space – this time delivering the first satellite owned and operated by the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan.…
Apple CEO Tim Cook breaks silence on dying iPad: 'It is what it is' - If you're allergic to good news, look away now – profit and sales figures out Apple countered soaring iPhone and Mac sales with yet another down quarter for the iPad in its second quarter of fiscal 2015, ended March 31.…
Microsoft's cash-leaking Nokia phones rip off patents, face import ban - ITC judge rules in favor of angry troll tech biz A judge with the US International Trade Commission has ruled that Microsoft's Nokia handsets violate patents held by trolling outfit "non-practicing entity" InterDigital, adding to the software giant's ongoing woes in the mobile phone arena.…
Facebook Messenger is TWO-FACED: Vid calls slapped in chat app - Talking to other people live over the internet, it's like, well, it's like, oh what's its name... Facebook has added video calls to its Messenger smartphone chat app – bringing it in line with Apple's Facetime and Microsoft's Skype.…
New Scientist - Online news
I'm chasing the shadows of paranormal experience - Researching ghosts, ESP and precognition is real science, says Caroline Watt, and it takes more rigour than most (full text available to subscribers)
Microbes play villainous role in Arctic climate change - Not all living creatures are victims of climate change – some are actively helping to raise temperatures and melt ice
That's no moon! Spacecraft mistaken for new natural satellite - For 13 hours today, astronomers thought Earth had gained a new, temporary moon – but it turned out to be the Gaia space telescope
US farms hit by bird flu - but a vaccine might make things worse - So far 8 million chickens and turkeys have been destroyed to stop the spread of H5N2, but a vaccine could encourage the spread of "silent" infections
UK people happy to cut energy use, but wary of smart meters - A UK survey of more than 2400 people reveals that those who are most worried about electricity bills are least likely to want smart meters
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The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues - An anonymous reader writes: Malcolm Gladwell has an article in The New Yorker about how automotive engineers handle issues of safety. There have been tons of car-related recalls lately, and even before that, we'd often hear about how some piece of engineering on a car was leading to a bunch of deaths. Sometimes it was a mistake, and sometimes it was an intentional design. But we hear about these issues through the lens of sensationalized media and public outrage — the engineers working on these problems understand better that it's how you drive that gets you into trouble far more than what you drive. For example, the Ford Pinto became infamous for catching fire in crashes back in the 1970s. Gladwell says, "That's a rare event—it happens once in every hundred crashes. In 1975-76, 1.9 per cent of all cars on the road were Pintos, and Pintos were involved in 1.9 per cent of all fatal fires. Let's try again. About fifteen per cent of fatal fires resulted from rear collisions. If we look just at that subset of the subset, Schwartz shows, we finally see a pattern. Pintos were involved in 4.1 per cent of all rear-collision fire fatalities—which is to say that they may have been as safe as or safer than other cars in most respects but less safe in this one. ... You and I would feel safer in a car that met the 301 standard. But the engineer, whose aim is to maximize safety within a series of material constraints, cannot be distracted by how you and I feel." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Holographic Principle Could Apply To Our Universe - New submitter citpyrc sends this news from the Vienna University of Technology: The "holographic principle" asserts that a mathematical description of the universe actually requires one fewer dimension than it seems. What we perceive as three dimensional may just be the image of two dimensional processes on a huge cosmic horizon. Up until now, this principle has only been studied in exotic spaces with negative curvature. This is interesting from a theoretical point of view, but such spaces are quite different from the space in our own universe. Results obtained by scientists at Vienna (abstract) now suggest that the holographic principle even holds in a flat spacetime, like ours. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
An Open Ranking of Wikipedia Pages - vigna writes: The Laboratory for Web Algorithmics of the Università degli studi di Milano did it again: after creating the first open ranking of the World Wide Web they have put together the first entirely open ranking of Wikipedia, using Wikidata to categorize pages. The ranking is based on classic and easily explainable centrality measures or page views, and it is entirely open — all data (Wikipedia and Wikidata dumps) and all software used is publicly available. Just in case you wonder, the most important food is chocolate, the most important band are the Beatles and the most important idea is atheism. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Alibaba Looks To Rural China To Popularize Its Mobile OS - itwbennett writes: E-commerce giant Alibaba Group hasn't given up on its YunOS mobile operating system, and is taking the software to China's rural markets through a series of low-cost phones, which will be built by lesser-known Chinese brands and will range from 299 yuan ($49) to 699 yuan. Slashdot readers may remember that in 2012, Google claimed it was a variant of its Android OS, sparking a clash that threatened to derail Alibaba's effort to popularize the mobile OS. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Texas Admonishes Judge For Posting Facebook Updates About Her Trials - An anonymous reader writes: Michelle Slaughter, a Galveston County judge, says she will appeal a public admonition from state officials that criticized her Facebook posts about cases brought before her court. From the article: "The State Commission on Judicial Conduct ordered Michelle Slaughter, a Galveston County judge, to enroll in a four-hour class on the 'proper and ethical use of social media by judges.' The panel concluded that the judge's posts cast 'reasonable doubt' on her impartiality. At the beginning of a high-profile trial last year in which a father was accused of keeping his nine-year-old son in a six-foot by eight-foot wooden box, the judge instructed jurors not to discuss the case against defendant David Wieseckel with anyone. 'Again, this is by any means of communication. So no texting, e-mailing, talking person to person or on the phone or on Facebook. Any of that is absolutely forbidden,' the judge told jurors. But Slaughter didn't take her own advice, leading to her removal from the case and a mistrial. The defendant eventual was acquitted of unlawful-restraint-of-a-child charges." Read more of this story at Slashdot.