Last updated 23 May, 06:30 AM
BBC News - Home
M&S profits slump on store closure costs - A big charge to cover store closures contributes to a 62% fall in annual profits.
Philip Roth: Portnoy's Complaint author dies aged 85 - The works of one of the great American authors included American Pastoral and Portnoy's Complaint.
Environment Agency warns of serious water deficits for England - Enough water to meet the needs of 20 million people is lost through leakage every day, the report says.
Manchester attack: A day of remembrance one year on - A cathedral service and a national minute's silence have marked one year since the Manchester attack.
UK becoming 'cocaine capital' of Europe, warns minister - Ministers pledge action on drug killings as MP says they must ask themselves "do black lives matter?"
Zuckerberg gets a night off: Much-hyped Euro grilling was all smoke, absolutely no heat - For European Union politicos, question time is all about the Qs, no As Analysis The European stop on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook apology tour on Tuesday amounted to little more than a live read-out of Facebook’s well-rehearsed platitudes and tired PR lines.…
Feds' flawed phone tally blamed on programming error - Did we say '7,800 locked phones'? We meant 1,000. Maybe 2,000 The FBI apparently gilded the lily in its long campaign against consumer cryptography, telling the world it held more locked phones than it did.…
Big bimmer bummer: Bavaria's BMW buggies battered by bad bugs - How much to hack a flash motor? Ask Tencent A security audit conducted by Tencent's Keen Security Lab on BMW cars has given the luxury automaker a handy crop of bugs to fix – including a backdoor in infotainment units fitted since 2012.…
Google listens to New Zealand just long enough to ignore it - 'We can't delete court cases, and you can't make us' New Zealand courts are asking Google to take down content associated with current criminal proceedings, to the usual and resounding “No” from the Chocolate Factory.…
Grilled over failed DoE project, Turnbull's Transformers turn turtle - Senator's 'what are you doing?' a tough question to answer Australia's Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) appears unable to explain its involvement in a failed AU$20m Department of Education IT project that was cancelled last week.…
New Scientist - News
Quantum stopwatch could be the best in the universe - Storing time from a quantum stopwatch with qubits – instead of losing accuracy by stopping and starting it – could give us the ultimate precision in timekeeping
‘Impossible’ EM drive doesn’t seem to work after all - A rocket engine propelled by electromagnetic waves grabbed headlines, but new tests find the EM drive may actually be driven by Earth’s magnetic field
Ape ‘midwives’ spotted helping female bonobos give birth - When female bonobos went into labour, other females gathered around to keep them safe, swatting away flies and even seemingly trying to catch the baby as it emerged
Why the UK’s plan to tackle air pollution is mostly hot air - A ban on using polluting wet wood isn’t nearly enough to halt the rise in dangerous particulates from trendy wood burners
We’ve measured the pressure inside a proton and it’s extreme - The pressure inside a proton is a billion billion billion times the pressure in the Mariana Trench, and 10 times higher than in the core of a neutron star
Philip Roth has died - Comments
Winds 2.0: It’s Time to Revive RSS - Comments
The Eudora Email Client Source Code - Comments
Emulating the AT&T 3B2 Computer - Comments
Giant Predatory Worms Are Invading France - An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quartz: In a Peer J study published on May 22, "Giant worms chez moi!" zoologist Jean-Lou Justine of the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, entomologist colleagues, and Pierre Gros, outline a discovery that "highlights an unexpected blind spot of scientists and authorities facing an invasion by conspicuous large invasive animals." About 100 citizen scientists ultimately contributed to the assessment of this alien invasion, identifying five giant predatory worm species in France that grow up to 10 inches long. The study relied on contributors' worm sightings, reported "mainly by email, sometimes by telephone." Researchers requested photographs and details about locality. In 2013, the Washington Post reports, "a group of terrorized kindergartners claimed they saw a mass of writhing snakes in their play field." These were giant flatworms! The study concludes that the alien creatures appear to reproduce asexually. They prey on other, smaller earthworms, stunning them with toxins. "The planarian also produces secretions from its headplate and body that adhere it to the prey, despite often sudden violent movements of the latter during this stage of capture," researcher note. In other words, the hammerheads produce a substance that allows them to stick to victims while killing them. The study points out that invasive alien flatworms have been spotted in New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, and Australia. But the five species of hammerhead flatworms invading France are giants, growing up to 27 centimeters. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
FBI Repeatedly Overstated Encryption Threat Figures To Congress, Public - mi shares a report from The Washington Post (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source): The FBI has repeatedly provided grossly inflated statistics to Congress and the public about the extent of problems posed by encrypted cellphones, claiming investigators were locked out of nearly 7,800 devices connected to crimes last year when the correct number was much smaller, probably between 1,000 and 2,000. Over a period of seven months, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray cited the inflated figure as the most compelling evidence for the need to address what the FBI calls "Going Dark" -- the spread of encrypted software that can block investigators' access to digital data even with a court order. "The FBI's initial assessment is that programming errors resulted in significant over-counting of mobile devices reported,'' the FBI said in a statement Tuesday. The bureau said the problem stemmed from the use of three distinct databases that led to repeated counting of phones. Tests of the methodology conducted in April 2016 failed to detect the flaw, according to people familiar with the work. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Sony In $2.3 Billion Deal For EMI, Becomes World's Biggest Music Publisher - Sony said on Tuesday it would pay about $2.3 billion to gain control of EMI, becoming the world's largest music publisher in an industry that has found new life on the back of streaming services. Reuters reports: The acquisition is the biggest strategic move yet by new CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and gives Sony a catalogue of more than 2 million songs from artists such as Kanye West, Sam Smith and Sia. The deal is part of Yoshida's mission to make revenue streams more stable with rights to entertainment content -- a strategy that follows a major revamp by his predecessor which shifted Sony's focus away from low-margin consumer electronics. The spread of the internet led to a shrinking of the music market from around 1999 to 2014, Yoshida said, but added that has turned around with the growth of fixed-price music streaming services. The deal values EMI Music Publishing at $4.75 billion including debt, more than double the $2.2 billion value given in 2011 when a consortium led by Sony won bidding rights for the company. EMI currently commands 15 percent of the music publishing industry which combined with its Sony ATV business would make the Japanese giant the industry leader with market share of 26 percent, a company spokesman said. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Google Launches YouTube Music Service With Creepy AI To Predict Listening Habits - Audiofan writes: Will the new YouTube Music streaming service provide the soundtrack to your life? Google believes that its ability to harness the power of artificial intelligence will help the new service catch up to its rivals in the music streaming business. Google's latest attempt to compete with Spotify and Apple Music may finally have what it takes if it doesn't creep users out in the process. While the service officially rolls out on Tuesday, May 22nd, only some users will be able to use it at launch. What separates YouTube's music streaming service from the competition is its catalog of remixes, live versions, and covers of official versions of songs. It also uses the Google Assistant to make music recommendations based on everything it knows (and can learn) about you and your listening habits. "When you arrive at the gym, for example, YouTube Music will offer up a playlist of hard-hitting pump-up jams (if that's your thing)," reports Audioholics. "Late at night, softer tunes will set a more relaxing mood." YouTube Music is free with ads, but will cost $9.99 for ad-free listening. There is also YouTube Premium, which will cost $11.99 per month, and will include both the ad-free music service and the exclusive video content from the now-defunct YouTube Red. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Razer Slims Down Blade, Debuts MacOS-Compatible eGPU Enclosure - An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Today, Razer debuted big updates to its Razer Blade laptop, focusing on design and performance to usher the gaming notebook into 2018. While the new Blade still looks unmistakably "Razer," its design has changed dramatically for the better. Razer upped the screen size from 14 inches to 15.6 inches, reducing the surrounding bezels to just 4.9mm so that the device fits in with the other nearly bezel-less ultrabooks popular today. Razer is offering 1080p 60Hz or 144Hz panels, along with a 4K touchscreen option as well. The larger display panel makes the laptop slightly heavier than its predecessor, and it's a bit wider overall, too (4.7 pounds and 9.3 inches, respectively). However, the slimmer bezels, sharper edges, and aluminum unibody make the new Razer Blade look like a clear upgrade from the previous model. Another new addition to the Razer lineup is the Core X, a Thunderbolt 3 external graphics enclosure with space for large, three-slot wide graphics cards. The Core X joins the Core V2 graphics enclosure as one of Razer's solutions for gamers who want to add desktop-like graphics power to their laptops -- and it's more affordable than the V2 as well. While it's a bit stockier than Razer's existing enclosure, the Core X has an aluminum body with open vents to properly handle heat, regardless of the task at hand. The Core X connects to a compatible notebook through one Thunderbolt 3 port, providing eGPU access and 100W of power thanks to its 650 ATX power supply. It's both cheaper and seemingly easier to use than the V2, but that comes with some compromises: the Core X doesn't have Chroma lighting, and it lacks USB and Ethernet ports. Some other specs of the new Blade include a Intel Core i7-8750H processor, Nvidia GTX 1060 or 1070 with Max-Q graphics, up to 32GB of RAM, up to 2TB of PCIe-based SSD, and 80Whr battery. There are three USB-A 3.1 ports, one proprietary charging port, one Thunderbolt 3 port, a Mini DisplayPort, and an HDMI port. Read more of this story at Slashdot.