Latest News

Last updated 05 Dec, 06:30 PM

BBC News - Home

Supreme Court Brexit case: 'No need' for MPs to get final say - The government urges a verdict the "ordinary man and woman" would understand in the Brexit hearing.

Carney warns about popular disillusion with capitalism - Bank of England boss warns people will reject capitalism unless more is done to help those left behind.

France election: PM Manuel Valls to run for president - French Socialist PM Manuel Valls announces he is standing in next year's presidential election.

Youth football coach in child sex claims - A former youth football coach and top-flight assistant referee is accused of a catalogue of child sex offences in Scotland.

Aleppo tweeting girl Bana Alabed 'is safe' - Aleppo's tweeting girl Bana Alabed is safe, the BBC learns, after her account was deactivated.

The Register

Datrium: $55m burning hole in its pocket and raring to go global - Open convergence guys make mad dash for growth Datrium has gained $55m C-round funding to grow its business to global scale.…

BAE Systems' autonomous research aircraft flies itself to Scotland - Demonstrator dusted off, but will people trust it? An autonomous aeroplane that uses onboard cameras to "see" events around it is being tested by BAE Systems.…

Micron wheels out 'highest density' SATA SSD on the market - 3D TLC latecomer catches up +Comment Micron has introduced a 5100 line of data centre flash drives and promises it will be the highest-density SATA SSD on the market.…

AWS is coming for UK infrastructure suppliers' lunch – report - Even Google will have trouble hanging on to its sandwich Traditional IT infrastructure suppliers had better watch out, as Amazon Web Services (AWS) is coming for their lunch, having already doubled its growth in Blighty over the last year - according to research.…

Local TV presenter shouted 'f*cking hell' to open news bulletin - Newcastle firm takes rap on knuckles from Ofcom A TV newsreader in Newcastle, England, opened the station’s Friday night news bulletin by asking to start again before shouting “yes you f*cking do” at off-camera colleagues just 10 seconds after the watershed.…

New Scientist - News

Spikes in search engine data predict when drugs will be recalled - An algorithm can predict drug recalls on the basis of internet searches made using Microsoft’s Bing, and might help identify faulty batches

North Dakota oil pipeline may still be built despite army block - Indigenous people and environmentalists have won the latest battle in a long stand-off with companies over an oil pipeline going under a lake and through sacred sites

Why baby flatfish grow into the wonkiest animals in the world - These fish have a travelling eye and swim on their sides in what is the most extreme example of vertebrate asymmetry – now we know how they develop this useful trait

Sherlock Holmes shows memories have a common fingerprint - People remember and recount scenes from a TV show using the same patterns of brain activity, suggesting an evolutionary mechanism for acquiring knowledge

Breakthrough Prize hands out $25 million for “Oscars” of science - The prize, founded and funded by Silicon Valley billionaires, aims to ape the film industry and make scientists into celebrities with a televised ceremony

Hacker News

Amazon Go - Comments

Elixir and Ruby can talk to each other using Erlix - Comments

Silicon Valley’s Culture, Not Its Companies, Dominates in China - Comments

Mux – A lightweight, fast HTTP request router for Go - Comments

OpenAI Universe - Comments

Slashdot

Apple Says It Is Working On Self-Driving Cars - For the first time, Apple has said that it is indeed working on technology to develop self-driving cars. The company confirmed late last week its previously secret initiative in a statement to the U.S. highway regulator. From a report on The Guardian: "The company is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation," said the letter from Steve Kenner, Apple's director of product integrity, to the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The letter offered no details of the project, instead highlighting the "significant societal benefits of automated vehicles," which it described as a life-saving technology, potentially preventing millions of car crashes and thousands of fatalities each year.In a statement to Financial Times (might be paywalled), a spokesperson for Apple said, "We've provided comments to NHTSA because Apple is investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems. There are many potential applications for these technologies, including the future of transportation, so we want to work with NHTSA to help define the best practices for the industry." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google's DeepMind is Opening Up Its Flagship Platform To AI Researchers Outside the Company - Artificial intelligence (AI) researchers around the world will soon be able to use DeepMind's "flagship" platform to develop innovative computer systems that can learn and think for themselves. From a report on BusinessInsider: DeepMind, which was acquired by Google for $400 million in 2014, announced on Monday that it is open-sourcing its "Lab" from this week onwards so that others can try and make advances in the notoriously complex field of AI. The company says that the DeepMind Lab, which it has been using internally for some time, is a 3D game-like platform tailored for agent-based AI research. [...] The DeepMind Lab aims to combine several different AI research areas into one environment. Researchers will be able to test their AI agent's abilities on navigation, memory, and 3D vision, while determining how good they are at planning and strategy. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Netflix Keeping Bandwidth Usage Low By Encoding Its Video With VP9 and H.264/AVC Codecs - Netflix announced last week that it is getting offline video downloads support. The company has since shared that it is using VP9 video compression codec to ensure that the file sizes don't weigh a lot. An anonymous reader shares an article on Slashgear (edited): For streaming content, Netflix largely relies on H.264/AVC to reduce the bandwidth, but for downloading content, it uses VP9 encoding. VP9 can allow better quality videos for the same amount of data needed to download. The challenge is that VP9 isn't supported by all streaming providers -- it is supported on Android devices and via the Chrome browser. So to get around that lack of support on iOS, Netflix is offering downloads in H.264/AVC High whereas streams are encoded in H.264/AVC Main on such devices. Netflix chooses the optimal encoding format for each title on its service after finding, for instance, that animated films are easier to encode than live-action. Netflix says that H.264 High encoding saves 19% bandwidth compared to other encoding standards while VP9 saves 36%. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New Google Trusted Contacts Service Shares User Location In Real Time - Reader Trailrunner7 writes: Google has spent a lot of time and money on security over the last few years, developing new technologies and systems to protect users' devices. One of the newer technologies the company has come up with is designed to provide security for users themselves rather than their laptops or phones. On Monday Google launched a new app for Android called Trusted Contacts that allows users to share their locations and some limited other information with a set of close friends and family members. The system is a two-way road, so a user can actively share her location with her Trusted Contacts, and stop sharing it at her discretion. But, when a problem or potential emergency comes up, one of those contacts can request to get that user's location to see where she is at any moment. The app is designed to give users a way to reassure contacts that they're safe, or request help if there's something wrong. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon Unveils 'Self-driving' Brick-and-Mortar Convenience Store - Amazon announced Monday it has built a convenience store in downtown Seattle that deploys a gaggle of technologies similar to those used in self-driving cars to allow shoppers to come in, grab items and walk out without going through a register (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternate source). From a report on Seattle Times: The 1,800 square-foot store, officially dubbed "Amazon Go," is the latest beach in brick-and-mortar retail stormed by the e-commerce giant, which already has bookstores and is working on secretive drive-through grocery locations. It's clearly a sign that Amazon sees a big opportunity in revolutionizing the staid traditions of Main Street commerce. Located on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Blanchard Street, the store is open to Amazon employees participating in a testing program. It is expected to be open to the public in early 2017. Read more of this story at Slashdot.