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Last updated 21 Oct, 12:10 AM

BBC News - Home

Brexit: Johnson 'has the numbers' in Commons to pass deal, says Raab - The government insists it will still meet the 31 October deadline, despite sending a letter asking for an extension.

Chile protests: Five dead after looters torch garment factory - Five people die after a factory is set ablaze by looters amid days of violent protests.

I will 'always' protect my family, says Prince Harry - The Duke of Sussex tells ITV he does not want "a repeat of the past" with his wife in the spotlight.

Pound slips in early trading after delay on Brexit vote - Most big banks in London have called in extra staff to react to a potentially volatile trading session.

US troops leaving Syria will go to Iraq, says Pentagon chief - The withdrawal of US forces paved the way for a Turkish military offensive against Kurdish fighters.

The Register

Guess what's on the receiving end of more NASA dollars for SLS? - Hint: It rhymes with 'throwing' as lawmakers baulk at lobbing an unknown amount of cash into the 2024 lunar bonfire NASA brought a smile to faces of Boeing shareholders this week with the announcement that it would be ordering 10 Space Launch System (SLS) core stages from the US aviation giant for Artemis rocket launches to the Moon. Although paying for the things could be tricky.…

Deus ex hackina: It took just 10 minutes to find data-divulging demons corrupting Pope's Click to Pray eRosary app - Vatican coders exorcise API gremlins but, we must confess, they missed one little monster.... Exclusive The technology behind the Catholic Church’s latest innovation, an electronic rosary, is so insecure, it can be trivially hacked to siphon off worshipers' personal information.…

Guess who's dreaming of facial-recog body cams now? US border cops: AI tech sought to scrutinize travelers - Always-on, always-recording, always-analyzing gear mulled America's border cops are considering adding facial-recognition technology to body cameras worn by agents.…

Good guy, Microsoft: Multi-factor auth outage gives cloudy Office, Azure users a surprise three-day weekend - Redmond's sign-on system is so secure, nobody can get in Microsoft is battling to fix its knackered multi-factor authentication system that today blocked customers from logging into their Microsoft 365 and Azure services.…

Mark Hurd is dead - Oracle co-CEO, and ex-HP boss, dies aged 62 after stepping aside for health reasons Obit Long-time Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd died this morning. He was 62.…

New Scientist - News

Tourists risk giving gorillas deadly diseases when they take selfies - Eco-tourists are breaking rules on keeping their distance from mountain gorillas – social media and the quest for perfect selfies may be partly to blame

Man’s body brews its own beer after yeast take over his gut microbiome - One man in the US has started producing beer in his gut after a course of antibiotics allowed brewer’s yeast to outcompete the other microbes in his microbiome

Bacterial infections in pregnancy may make schizophrenia more likely - Children of mothers who had bacterial infections during pregnancy are more likely to develop mental health conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Farmed bees are mating with native bees - and that could endanger them - Millions of colonies of farmed bees are used to help pollinate crops. It turns out they can escape and mate with local bees, producing offspring that may be vulnerable to climate change

Creepy human-like skin makes your phone ticklish and pinchable - A smartphone case made from artificial human-like skin responds to being pinched, tickled and stroked to add an extra layer of interactivity to the device

Hacker News

The Grove 8 – Growing Trees in Blender - Comments

Python at Scale: Strict Modules - Comments

Show HN: Nginx Image with HTTP/3 (QUIC), TLS1.3 with 0-RTT, Brotli - Comments

Planetary 'autopsies' indicate worlds like Earth common in the cosmos - Comments

A Remarkable Case of External Hind Limbs in a Humpback Whale (1921) [pdf] - Comments


CNBC: Amazon Is Shipping Expired Food - Counterfeits aren't the only problem when shopping on Amazon, reports CNBC. The grocery section is "littered" with expired foods. From baby formula and coffee creamer to beef jerky and granola bars, items are arriving spoiled and well past their sell-by date, Amazon customers say. Interviews with brands, consumers, third-party sellers and consultants all point to loopholes in Amazon's technology and logistics system that allow for expired items to proliferate with little to no accountability. Consumer safety advocates worry that as the marketplace grows, the problem will only get worse... CNBC scanned the site's Grocery & Gourmet category, finding customer complaints about expired hot sauce, beef jerky, granola bars, baby formula and baby food, as well as six-month-old Goldfish crackers and a 360-pack of coffee creamer that arrived with a "rancid smell." A data analytics firm that specializes in the Amazon Marketplace recently analyzed the site's 100 best-selling food products for CNBC and found that at least 40% of sellers had more than five customer complaints about expired goods.... Amazon's spokesperson said the company uses a combination of humans and artificial intelligence to monitor the 22 million-plus pieces of customer feedback received weekly for product quality and safety concerns... Sarah Sorscher of the Center for Science in the Public Interest says Amazon's technology is clearly coming up short. "Expiration dates are a red flag for what else is harder to see," she said. "If you can't do something as basic as check an expiration date, then what else are you missing...? They've chosen to set up a business model where they don't take responsibility for the food that they sell," said Sorscher. "Traditional grocery stores have a lot of products, but they don't put it on the shelf if it's not safe." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Project Trident Ditches BSD For Linux - Project Trident is moving from FreeBSD to Void Linux, reports Its FOSS: According to a later post, the move was motivated by long-standing issues with FreeBSD. These issues include "hardware compatibility, communications standards, or package availability continue to limit Project Trident users". According to a conversation on Telegram, FreeBSD has just updated its build of the Telegram client and it was nine releases behind everyone else. The lead dev of Project Trident, Ken Moore, is also the main developer of the Lumina Desktop. The Lumina Desktop has been on hold for a while because the Project Trident team had to do so much work just to keep their packages updated. (Once they complete the transition to Void Linux, Ken will start working on Lumina again.) After much searching and testing, the Project Trident team decided to use Void Linux as their new base. More from the Project Trident site: It's important to reiterate that Project Trident is a distribution of an existing operating system. Project Trident has never been a stand-alone operating system. The goal of Project Trident is enhancing the usability of an operating system as a graphical workstation through all sorts of means: custom installers, automatic setup routines, graphical utilities, and more... The more we've tested Void Linux, the more impressed we have been. We look forward to working with an operating system that helps Project Trident continue to provide a stable, high-quality graphical desktop experience. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Privacy-Respecting Smart Home System Can Work Offline and Sends Fake Data - A publicly-funded group of designers, artists and privacy experts from Amsterdam have designed a smart home system prototype to "prove it's technically possible to build a privacy respecting smart home while maintaining convenience." Its controller uses an Arduino Nano to disconnect the system from the internet during times when it's not in use. They're building everything on Mozilla's open smart home gateway software. The system's microphone is a separate USB device that can be easily unplugged. For extra security, the devices don't even use wifi to communicate. "The Candle devices offer the advantages of a smart home system -- such as voice control, handy automations and useful insights -- without the downsides of sending your data to the cloud and feeling watched in your own home," explains their blurb for Dutch Design Week, where they're launching their prototypes of trust-worthy smart locks, thermostats, and other Internet of Things devices: Most smart devices promises us an easier life, but they increasingly disappoint; they eavesdrop, share our data with countless third parties, and offer attractive targets to hackers. Candle is different. Your data never leaves your home, all devices work fine without an internet connection, and everything is open source and transparent. One of the group's members is long-time Slashdot reader mrwireless, who shares an interesting observation: Smart homes track everything that happens inside them. For developing teenagers, this makes it more difficult to sneak in a date or break the rules in other subtle ways, which is a normal, healthy part of growing up. Candle is a prototype smart home that tries to mitigate these issue. It has given its sensors the ability to generate fake data for a while. In the future, children could get a monthly fake data allowance. Some of the devices have "skirts", simple fabric covers that can be draped over the devices to hide their screen. If you own a dust sensor, this can be useful if your mother in law comes over and you haven't vacuumed in a while. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

WAV Audio Files Are Now Being Used To Hide Malicious Code - JustAnotherOldGuy quotes ZDNet: Two reports published in the last few months show that malware operators are experimenting with using WAV audio files to hide malicious code. The first of these new malware campaigns abusing WAV files was reported back in June by Symantec security researchers who said they spotted a Russian cyber-espionage group known as Waterbug (or Turla) using WAV files to hide and transfer malicious code from their server to already-infected victims. The second malware campaign was spotted this month by BlackBerry Cylance. In a report published today and shared with ZDNet last week, Cylance said it saw something similar to what Symantec saw a few months before. But while the Symantec report described a nation-state cyber-espionage operation, Cylance said they saw the WAV steganography technique being abused in a run-of-the-mill crypto-mining malware operation. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Mozilla is Sharing YouTube Horror Stories To Prod Google For More Transparency - CNET reports on a new crowdsourced public awareness campaign: Mozilla is publishing anecdotes of YouTube viewing gone awry -- anonymous stories from people who say they innocently searched for one thing but eventually ended up in a dark rabbit hole of videos. It's a campaign aimed at pressuring Google's massive video site to make itself more accessible to independent researchers trying to study its algorithms. "The big problem is we have no idea what is happening on YouTube," said Guillaume Chaslot, who is a fellow at Mozilla, a nonprofit best known for its unit that makes and operates the Firefox web browser. Chaslot is an ex-Google engineer who has investigated YouTube's recommendations from the outside after he left the company in 2013. (YouTube says he was fired for performance issues.) "We can see that there are problems, but we have no idea if the problem is from people being people or from algorithms," he said.... Mozilla is publishing 28 stories it's terming #YouTubeRegrets; they include, for example, an anecdote from someone who who said a search for German folk songs ended up returning neo-Nazi clips, and a testimonial from a mother who said her 10-year-old daughter searched for tap-dancing videos and ended up watching extreme contortionist clips that affected her body image. Read more of this story at Slashdot.