Last updated 29 May, 11:20 AM
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Former Blue Peter presenter John Noakes dies at 83 - The presenter, who hosted the show in the 1960s and 70s, has died aged 83, his family confirm.
Manchester attacks: MI5 probes bomber 'warnings' - The security service is to examine its actions after tip-offs from the public about extremist views.
British Airways flight chaos lessens after weekend of disruption - Some short-haul flights from Heathrow continue to be disrupted by a worldwide computer failure.
Shark lands in fisherman's boat - An Australian fisherman recounts the moment when a 200kg great white shark leapt into his boat.
Amber Rudd to Angela Merkel: You can depend on the UK - The home secretary wants to "reassure Mrs Merkel that we want to have a deep and special partnership".
EU axes geo-blocking: Upsets studios, delights consumers - Taking a look at a new common set of AV rules Analysis The European Parliament has approved a draft law that geo-blocking, the act of offering an online content service in one European Union (EU) country and that country alone, will be scrapped in the first half of next year.…
WannaLaugh? Funsters port WannaCrypt to Commodore, Cisco, Nintendo and Tesla - Some folk have Photoshop and too much time on their hands The WannaCrypt ransomware is yet another reminder, if any were needed, that the networks and machines on which society is now so reliant are laughably insecure.…
New 'Beaver' web server has exactly ONE user outside China - And none of those in China show anything while they wait for government paperwork Netcraft's monthly survey of web-facing computers has turned up an oddity: a new web server called “Beaver” that's used by exactly one web site outside China.…
Network Time Protocol updated to spook-harden user comms - Network time lords decide we don't need IP address swaps The Internet Engineering Task Force has taken another small step in protecting everybody's privacy – this time, in making the Network Time Protocol a bit less spaffy.…
ARM talks up fresh CPUs and a GPU, all tuned for AI - Cortex-A75, A55, and Mali-G72 coming next year Chip designer ARM on Monday plans to announce its first set of processors based on its DynamIQ microprocessor architecture, in conjunction with a revised GPU chip.…
New Scientist - News
Why doesn’t the UK government understand technology? - The UK needs more than a chief technology officer - we need to change the whole anti-technological culture
Tangoing pairs of hungry supermassive black holes grow in number - The discovery of more of these deadly duos through a fresh data-sifting technique raises the hope that their secret recipe might soon be unlocked
The brain starts to eat itself after chronic sleep deprivation - Sleep loss in mice sends the brain’s immune cells into overdrive. This might be helpful in the short term, but could increase the risk of dementia in the long run
Hot, sleepless nights will get more common with climate change - People in the US stand to lose sleep as the climate warms – and those in hotter countries will be harder hit
Game theory says you should charge your friends to borrow things - When it comes to buying or borrowing goods, overall cost for society is smallest when people charge for lending
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ESR Announces The Open Sourcing Of The World's First Text Adventure - An anonymous reader writes: Open source guru Eric S. Raymond added something special to his GitHub page: an open source version of the world's first text adventure. "Colossal Cave Adventure" was first written in 1977, and Raymond remembers it as "the origin of many things; the text adventure game, the dungeon-crawling D&D (computer) game, the MOO, the roguelike genre. Computer gaming as we know it would not exist without ADVENT (as it was known in its original PDP-10 incarnation...because PDP-10 filenames were limited to six characters of uppercase)... "Though there's a C port of the original 1977 game in the BSD game package, and the original FORTRAN sources could be found if you knew where to dig, Crowther & Woods's final version -- Adventure 2.5 from 1995 -- has never been packaged for modern systems and distributed under an open-source license. Until now, that is. With the approval of its authors, I bring you Open Adventure." Calling it one of the great artifacts of hacker history, ESR writes about "what it means to be respectful of an important historical artifact when it happens to be software," ultimately concluding version control lets you preserve the original and continue improving it "as a living and functional artifact. We respect our history and the hackers of the past best by carrying on their work and their playfulness." "Despite all the energy Crowther and Woods had to spend fighting ancient constraints, ADVENT was a tremendous imaginative leap; there had been nothing like it before, and no text adventure that followed it would be innovative to quite the same degree." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
US Senators Propose Bug Bounties For Hacking Homeland Security - An anonymous reader quotes CNN: U.S. senators want people to hack the Department of Homeland Security. On Thursday, Senators Maggie Hassan, a Democrat and Republican Rob Portman introduced the Hack DHS Act to establish a federal bug bounty program in the DHS... It would be modeled off the Department of Defense efforts, including Hack the Pentagon, the first program of its kind in the federal government. Launched a year ago, Hack the Pentagon paved the way for more recent bug bounty events including Hack the Army and Hack the Air Force... The Hack the DHS Act establishes a framework for bug bounties, including establishing "mission-critical" systems that aren't allowed to be hacked, and making sure researchers who find bugs in DHS don't get prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. "It's better to find vulnerabilities through someone you have engaged with and vetted," said Jeff Greene, the director of government affairs and policy at security firm Symantec. "In an era of constrained budgets, it's a cost-effective way of identifying vulnerabilities"... If passed, it would be among the first non-military bug bounty programs in the public sector. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Walt Mossberg's Last Column Calls For Privacy and Security Laws - 70-year-old Walt Mossberg wrote his last weekly column Thursday, looking back on how "we've all had a hell of a ride for the last few decades" and revisiting his famous 1991 pronouncement that "Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it isn't your fault." Not only were the interfaces confusing, but most tech products demanded frequent tweaking and fixing of a type that required more technical skill than most people had, or cared to acquire. The whole field was new, and engineers weren't designing products for normal people who had other talents and interests. But, over time, the products have gotten more reliable and easier to use, and the users more sophisticated... So, now, I'd say: "Personal technology is usually pretty easy to use, and, if it's not, it's not your fault." The devices we've come to rely on, like PCs and phones, aren't new anymore. They're refined, built with regular users in mind, and they get better each year. Anything really new is still too close to the engineers to be simple or reliable. He argues we're now in a strange lull before entering an unrecognizable world where major new breakthroughs in areas like A.I., robotics, smart homes, and augmented reality lead to "ambient computing", where technology itself fades into the background. And he uses his final weekly column to warn that "if we are really going to turn over our homes, our cars, our health and more to private tech companies, on a scale never imagined, we need much, much stronger standards for security and privacy than now exist. Especially in the U.S., it's time to stop dancing around the privacy and security issues and pass real, binding laws." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Leaked 'Standing Rock' Documents Reveal Invasive Counterterrorism Measures - An anonymous reader writes: "A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures," reports The Intercept, decrying "the fusion of public and private intelligence operations." Saying the private firm started as a war-on-terror contractor for the U.S. military and State Department, the site details "sweeping and invasive" surveillance of protesters, citing over 100 documents leaked by one of the firm's contractors. The documents show TigerSwan even havested information about the protesters from social media, and "provide extensive evidence of aerial surveillance and radio eavesdropping, as well as infiltration of camps and activist circles... The leaked materials not only highlight TigerSwan's militaristic approach to protecting its client's interests but also the company's profit-driven imperative to portray the nonviolent water protector movement as unpredictable and menacing enough to justify the continued need for extraordinary security measures... Internal TigerSwan communications describe the movement as 'an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component' and compare the anti-pipeline water protectors to jihadist fighters." The Intercept reports that recently "the company's role has expanded to include the surveillance of activist networks marginally related to the pipeline, with TigerSwan agents monitoring 'anti-Trump' protests from Chicago to Washington, D.C., as well as warning its client of growing dissent around other pipelines across the country." They also report that TigerSwan "has operated without a license in North Dakota for the entirety of the pipeline security operation." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Seven Science Journals Have A Dog On Their Editorial Board - An anonymous reader writes: A professor of health policy at Australia's Curtin University got seven different science journals to put his dog on their editorial board. The dog is now associate editor for the Global Journal of Addiction & Rehabilitation Medicine, and sits on the editorial board of Psychiatry and Mental Disorders. The professor says he feels sorry for one researcher who recently submitted a paper about how to treat sheath tumors, because "the journal has sent it to a dog to review." The official profile of the dog lists its research interests as "the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines" and "avian propinquity to canines in metropolitan suburbs." An Australian news site points out that career-minded researchers pay up to $3,000 to get their work published in predatory journals so they can list more publications on their resumes. "While this started as something lighthearted," says the dog-owning professor, "I think it is important to expose shams of this kind which prey on the gullible, especially young or naive academics and those from developing countries." Read more of this story at Slashdot.