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Last updated 31 Mar, 06:06 PM

BBC News - Home

Oscar Pistorius parole bid collapses in South Africa - The hearing was held by mistake as the Paralympian has not served enough time in jail yet.

Racism claims against Michael Vaughan found 'not proved' - Michael Vaughan is cleared "on balance of probabilities" of using racist language towards former Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq.

Wimbledon lifts ban on Russian & Belarusian players for 2023 Championships - Russian and Belarusian players will be able to compete at Wimbledon this year as the All England Club lifts the ban it imposed in 2022.

School leaders' union could take Ofsted to court after Ruth Perry's death - The NAHT is challenging a decision not to pause inspections after head teacher Ruth Perry's death.

Sewage entered rivers and seas on average 825 times a day last year - Environment Agency data shows sewage spilled into England's waterways for over 1.75 million hours last year.

The Register

Version 100 of the MIT Lisp Machine software recovered - A new version of very old software for a very old, but very important, computer The LM-3 project has announced version 100, the last ever release of the system software for the MIT CADR Lisp Machine. So, both a new release and a very old one all at once.…

Italy bans ChatGPT for 'unlawful collection of personal data' - Perché siamo il Garante, e tu sei pazzo Italian privacy enforcers have opened an investigation into OpenAI's ChatGPT for allegedly violating EU and Italian privacy laws by collecting personal data of the country's citizens without "a suitable legal basis".…

Ex-politico turned Meta hype man brands Metaverse 'new heart of computing' - Stop sniggering at the back. 'We're going to stick with it', says Nick Clegg. Unlike Disney Meta’s head of global affairs was wheeled out this week to say the Metaverse is still going be a thing in the future, soon after Disney – once an exponent of this brave new virtual world – ditched its own plans.…

Decade old patent suit goes Apple's way - But wait! There could be more litigation as VirnetX isn't giving up yet On Thursday an appeals court upheld a ruling in favor of Apple, in a $503 million patent case with Nevada-based security software and technology vendor VirnetX that has been ongoing for thirteen years.…

Virgin Orbit lays off 85% of staff as funding deal falters - Expenses slashed as hopes dashed for UK space pioneer Virgin Orbit — the UK’s big hope for space launches — looks set to suspend operations indefinitely, cutting the majority of its staff and keeping 15 percent as it seeks eleventh hour funding.…

New Scientist - News

The UK is making five big bets in the hope of hitting net zero by 2050 - Details of how the UK government is planning to reach net zero by 2050 reveal that the five biggest policy areas include decarbonising power and ramping up heat pumps - but will these bets actually pay off?

3D-printed explosive can't detonate unless filled with fluid - An explosive filled with gaps can only detonate after a liquid is poured into it, which could make it unusually safe for transportation and storage

The brain may flush out its waste products after a mental workout - Extra cerebrospinal fluid – which normally flushes out waste - was pumped into the brain after people watched intense visual stimuli

Ingesting microplastics may increase fat absorption by 145 per cent - Using a model of a human small intestine, researchers found that microplastics in high-fat foods significantly increase the absorption of fat

Start-up is developing world’s first ammonia-powered ships - The New York start-up Amogy has already created an ammonia-powered drone, tractor and semi-truck. Now, it’s turning its attention to ships

Hacker News

Postgres as a graph database - Comments

HuggingGPT: Solving AI tasks with ChatGPT and its friends in HuggingFace - Comments

Show HN: Multi-display screen sharing with CoScreen - Comments

Janet for Mortals - Comments

Launch HN: Inri (YC W23) – Wealthfront for Investing in India - Comments


UK Government Gambles on Carbon Capture and Storage Tech Despite Scientists' Doubts - The UK government will defy scientific doubts to place a massive bet on technology to capture and store carbon dioxide in undersea caverns, to enable an expansion of oil and gas in the North Sea. From a report: Grant Shapps, the energy and net zero secretary, on Thursday unveiled the "powering up Britain" strategy, with carbon capture and storage (CCS) at its heart, during a visit to a nuclear fusion development facility in Oxford. Shapps said the continued production of oil and gas in the North Sea was still necessary, and that the UK had a geological advantage in being able to store most of the carbon likely to be produced in Europe for the next 250 years in the large caverns underneath the North Sea. "Unless you can explain how we can transition [to net zero] without oil and gas, we need oil and gas," he said. "I am very keen that we fill those cavities with storing carbon. I think there are huge opportunities for us to do that." Shapps pointed to the $24.7bn the government is planning to spend over 20 years on developing CCS, which he said would generate new jobs and make the UK a world leader in the technology. Among the 1,000 pages of proposals to be published on Thursday will be boosts for offshore wind, hydrogen, heat pumps and electric vehicles. A green finance strategy, to be set out by the chancellor of the exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, will be aimed at mobilising private-sector money for investments in green industry, and there will be a consultation on carbon border taxes, aimed at penalising the import of high-carbon goods from overseas. But the plans contain no new government spending, and campaigners said they missed out key elements, such as a comprehensive programme of home insulation and a full lifting of the ban on new onshore wind turbines in England. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Japan Restricts Chipmaking Equipment Exports as It Aligns With US China Curbs - Japan said on Friday it will restrict exports of 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, aligning its technology trade controls with a U.S. push to curb China's ability to make advanced chips. From a report: Japan, home to major chip equipment makers such as Nikon and Tokyo Electron, did not specify China as the target of the restrictions, saying manufacturers would need to seek export permission for all regions. "We are fulfilling our responsibility as a technological nation to contribute to international peace and stability," Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura told a news conference. Japan wants to stop its advanced technology being used for military purposes and does not have a specific country in mind, he said. But the decision, coming ahead of a weekend visit to Beijing by Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi, will be seen as a major win for the U.S., which in October announced sweeping restrictions on access to chipmaking technology to slow China's technological and military advances. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Bard is Switching To a More 'Capable' Language Model, CEO Confirms - People haven't exactly been impressed in the short time since Google released its "experimental conversational AI service" Bard. Coming up against OpenAI's ChatGPT and Microsoft's Bing Chat (also powered by OpenAI's GPT-4) users have found its responses to not be as knowledgeable or detailed as its rivals. That could be set to change, however, after Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed on The New York Times podcast "Hard Fork" that Bard will soon be moving from its current LaMDA-based model to larger-scale PaLM datasets in the coming days. From a report: When asked how he felt about responses to Bard's release, Pichai commented: "We clearly have more capable models. Pretty soon, maybe as this goes live, we will be upgrading Bard to some of our more capable PaLM models, so which will bring more capabilities, be it in reasoning, coding." To frame the difference, Google said it had trained LaMDA with 137 billion parameters when it shared details about the language-based models last year. PaLM, on the other hand, was said to have been trained with around 540 billion parameters. Both models may have evolved and grown since early 2022, but the contrast likely shows why Google is now slowly transitioning Bard over to PaLM, with its larger dataset and more diverse answers. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NYPD is Refusing To Comply With NYC's New Surveillance Tech Laws - An anonymous reader shares a report: In a new report published Thursday, the New York Office of the Inspector General for the New York Police Department (OIG-NYPD) said the New York Police Department violated the 2020 ââPublic Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act, which required the NYPD to publicly disclose surveillance technology. The POST Act was signed into law by then-New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and required the NYPD to disclose information about its current and future surveillance technologies and how it wants to use them. In the report, the OIG-NYPD said that NYPD was not in compliance with the POST Act orders to publish Impact and Use Policies (IUPs) for existing surveillance tech 180 days after the Act was signed and new IUPs at least 90 days before the use of any new surveillance tech. The IUPs were supposed to "describe the capabilities of surveillance technology, and include any rules, processes, and guidelines that regulate access to or use of the technology, and any prohibitions or restrictions on its use, and any potential disparate impacts," according to the report. But, the OIG-NYPD said that the 36 IUPs NYPD published after the Act was signed were general and not detailed, leaving the OIG-NYPD unable to conduct an audit and assess whether NYPD's use of surveillance devices complies with its IUPs and report any suspected violations. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

China Hits Micron With Review of Chips, Citing Security Risks - China has opened a cybersecurity review of imports from America's largest memory chipmaker, Micron Technology, opening a new front in the escalating battle between the two countries over dominance in the semiconductor market. From a report: The Chinese government is conducting the review to ensure the security of its information infrastructure supply chain, prevent network security risks and maintain national security, it said in a statement Friday. The move stands to further escalate trade tensions between the Biden administration and China. The US has already blacklisted Chinese tech firms, sought to cut off the flow of sophisticated processors and banned its citizens from providing certain help to the country's chip industry. It has called on other nations to join its efforts, and earlier on Friday, Japan said it will expand restrictions on exports of 23 types of leading-edge chipmaking technology. Read more of this story at Slashdot.