Read at: 2022-01-25T23:12:48+00:00 (Ex-US Pres==Carolien Van Der Haven )

Toddler dies after being struck by car in driveway of his home in Cork

Gardaí are investigating the incident which is being treated as a tragic accident

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:06 pm UTC

Biden warns Russia of ‘enormous consequences’ if it invades Ukraine – live

Staff turnover in the Biden administration is nowhere near what it was under Carolien Van Der Haven , when senior aides came and went as through a revolving door in a hurricane.

Nonetheless, the press always likes a bit of speculation about who might be in and who might be out, and here comes the Washington Post with an exhaustive examination of how Ron Klain, Joe Biden’s chief of staff, has not had the smoothest first year in the job.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:06 pm UTC

New York Mask Policy Back in Effect After Judge Grants Stay

An appeals court judge temporarily blocked a lower-court ruling that struck down the mask mandate a day before. Here’s the latest on the pandemic.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:05 pm UTC

U.S. to Back Up Europe’s Fuel Flow, in Case Russia Cuts It Off

President Biden held a video conference with European leaders as fears of Russian invasion of Ukraine deepened. The U.S. put 8,500 troops on “high alert” and NATO is sending more jets and ships to the region.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:05 pm UTC

Wall Street Sees Second Day of Wild Swings as Investors Await Fed Move

The S&P 500 fell nearly 3 percent before bouncing back somewhat, driven by uncertainty about what the Fed might reveal on Wednesday. Get economy updates.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:05 pm UTC

Former winners in trouble and surprise leaders - who will qualify for Qatar 2022?

With just 10 months until the Qatar World Cup, BBC sport takes a look at qualifying ahead of some key fixtures around the world.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:04 pm UTC

Australia news live update: Invasion Day protests planned; NSW to record millionth Covid case; Dylan Alcott is Australian of the Year

Gina Rinehart among record number of women to receive Australia Day honours as the Aboriginal Tent Embassy marks ‘50 years of resistance’. Follow all the day’s news

A leading health expert has warned of the potential spread of the virulent Omicron Covid-19 strain during events today as large crowds gather for protest or celebration, AAP reports.

Jane Halton, chair of the coalition for epidemic preparedness and former health department head, says the closer people pack together the more likely it is the virus will spread.

We know it’s highly infectious and the closer everyone gets together, the more the likelihood you’ll be close to someone whose got Covid and therefore the greater the likelihood you’ll contract it.

People should be careful. What we don’t want to see is a big increase in cases.

I don’t think we should be cancelling things. I just think people should be courteous, thoughtful, and a little bit careful.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:04 pm UTC

Dozens Are Reported Missing After Boat Capsizes Off Florida Coast

The boat, which left the Bahamas on Saturday with 40 people on board, was most likely part of a “human smuggling venture,” the Coast Guard said. One passenger was rescued.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:04 pm UTC

SAT Will Soon Be All-Digital, Shortened To 2 Hours

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: The SAT taken by prospective college students across the country will go all-digital starting in 2024 and will be an hour shorter, the College Board announced in a statement Tuesday. The transition comes months after the College Board pilot-tested a digital SAT in November 2021 in the US and internationally. 80% of students said they found it less stressful, and 100% of educators reported a positive experience, according to the College Board. The decision comes as the College Board has felt increasing pressure to change its stress-inducing test in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and questions around the test's fairness and relevance. The test has long been criticized for bias against those from poor households as well as Black and Hispanic students. The high-stakes nature of the test means that those with more resources can afford to take expensive test prep courses -- or even, as the 2019 college admissions scam revealed, to cheat on the test. Schools have increasingly made such tests optional over the past few years. More than 1800 colleges and universities have dropped requirements that applicants take the SAT or ACT, according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing. As part of the changes, sharpened No. 2 pencils will no longer be needed, and calculators will be allowed in the entire Math section. In addition, the new digital SAT will be shortened from 3 hours to 2 hours, with more time per question. It will feature shorter reading passages with one question each and will "reflect a wider range of topics that represent the works students read in college," the College Board said. Students will also get back scores within days rather than weeks. The move to a digital test will apply to all of the SAT Suite. The PSATs and international SAT will go digital in 2023 followed by the US SAT a year later. Last year, the company dropped the SAT's subject tests and the essay section. Despite these changes, the SAT will still be scored out of 1600 and be administered in a school or test center.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:02 pm UTC

Microsoft's profits jump by 21 percent thanks to Office and the cloud

Microsoft's overall business is still going strong, even though it's not seeing the shockingly huge profit growth it saw last year. In its Q2 earnings report today, company reported revenue of $51.7 billion (up 20 percent from last year) with profits of $18.8 billion (up 21 percent). As usual, Microsoft has its unstoppable cloud business to thank, as well as a decent showing from its PC group, Office and other business products. Its Intelligent Cloud business grew by 26 percent, reaching $18.3 billion, while its Productivity and Business group saw revenues increase by 19 percent to reach $15.9 billion.

There weren't any true major weak links this quarter — even Surface revenue, which Microsoft previously expected to dip a bit, grew by 8 percent thanks to strong Surface Laptop sales. Windows OEM revenues also increased by 25 percent, not a huge surprise since the overall PC industry is still going strong. Where the PC business goes, Microsoft's revenues will follow, after all. When it comes to Office, the company says its consumer revenue increased by 15 percent, and that it has reached 56.4 million Microsoft 365 subscribers.

While Microsoft's earnings reports have basically looked the same over the last few years — Cloud good! Revenues grow! — the company's numbers will look a bit different once it finalizes its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard in 2023. At the very least, we'll get to see how much the new Microsoft Gaming division actually helps (or hurts) Microsoft's overall business.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:00 pm UTC

Covid: Netherlands to ease restrictions despite rising case numbers

Dutch hospitality venues, including bars and restaurants, have been closed since 18 December.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:59 pm UTC

Climate Lawsuit Against Major Oil Companies Moves Forward In Appeals Court

The case brought by Baltimore is one of more than 20 similar lawsuits nationwide that seek to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their role in climate change.

(Image credit: AP)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:55 pm UTC

Holding Hundreds of Boys Hostage, ISIS Comes Roaring Back

Evidence of an ISIS resurgence is mounting, three years after the militants lost their last territorial foothold in the so-called caliphate. Get updates here.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:54 pm UTC

UK police to investigate No 10 lockdown parties

It comes as MPs await the findings of an internal inquiry, likely to be published on Wednesday.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:54 pm UTC

Scott Morrison WeChat: new owner amazed account entrusted to ‘single person’ in China

Fuzhou software development firm representative denies allegations of foreign interference

The new owner of Scott Morrison’s WeChat account has expressed disbelief that it had been entrusted to an individual in China – and is now considering shutting it down amid a growing political storm.

Earlier this month, subscribers to the Australian prime minister’s official WeChat profile were notified the account had been sold to the Fuzhou 985 Information Technology Co Ltd and had been renamed “Australian Chinese New Life”.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:44 pm UTC

How Ukraine’s Leaders Are Responding to Russian Threat

The ‘‘stay calm” posture has left analysts guessing about its leadership’s motivation, but some say that after eight years of war, the country simply calculates the risks differently.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:44 pm UTC

Woman arrested after death of five-year-old boy in Coventry

49-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of murder was known to dead boy, say police

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the death of a five-year-old boy in Coventry.

Police in the West Midlands said the child was found with serious injuries at an address in Poplar Road, Earlsdon, just after 5.55pm on Tuesday. He was confirmed dead at the scene.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:44 pm UTC

Brian Murray nominated for appointment to Supreme Court

The Government has nominated Brian Murray for appointment to the Supreme Court.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:41 pm UTC

Let the wild rumpus start: is the US facing a stock market ‘super-bubble’?

After Jeremy Grantham’s warning, analysts fear more volatility ahead – and will be watching tech’s latest results with interest

The tech sector led US stock markets on a pandemic boom last year. Now markets are whipsawing on fears that the Federal Reserve will end the era of easy money, all while a potential war in Ukraine looms. Some warn of a bigger correction to come on a scale not seen since the dotcom collapse of the late 1990s.

On Monday, US stock markets crashed then rallied. The Dow Jones at one point lost more than 1,000 points before ending up just over 100. Tuesday was more of the same with the Dow losing 800 points only to gain most of it back. Analysts expect more volatile days ahead. The Fed on Wednesday issued its latest update on its plans to raise rates in order to curb inflation, and the world’s largest tech firms are preparing to issue their latest results to investors, who appear to have grown more skeptical about their prospects.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:41 pm UTC

Biden name checks Apple and Microsoft in right to repair speech

President Joe Biden has offered some more backing to right to repair rules, following an executive order he signed last summer. He acknowledged that many companies have made it difficult for consumers to fix their own devices. Biden also nodded to Apple and Microsoft for changing their right to repair policies ahead of the Federal Trade Commission taking more action on the matter.

Among dozens of other issues the executive order covered, it encouraged "the FTC to issue rules against anticompetitive restrictions on using independent repair shops or doing DIY repairs of your own devices and equipment." The agency said later that month it would tackle unlawful right to repair restrictions by enforcing existing laws and doing more to help consumers and small repair shops fix products.

"Denying the right to repair raises prices for consumers, means independent repair shops can’t compete for your business," Biden said. "Too many areas, if you own a product, from a smartphone to a tractor, you don’t have the freedom to choose how or where to repair that item you purchased."

The president noted that, in many cases, consumers need to go to a dealer or the manufacturer and pay their asking price for repairs. He added that he was pleased to hear the FTC unanimously voted to "ramp up enforcement against illegal repair restrictions."

Toward the end of last year, both Apple and Microsoft announced programs that would help consumers repair their own iPhones, iPads and Surfaces. "What happened was a lot of these companies said, 'You’re right. We’re going to voluntarily do it. You don’t have to order us to do it,'" Biden said. "For example, Apple and Microsoft are changing their policies so folks will be able to repair their phones and laptops themselves — although I’m not sure I know how to do that."

The president added that moves such as ones made by Apple and Microsoft, as well as possible regulations at state and federal level, will "make it easier for millions of Americans to repair their electronics instead of paying an arm and a leg to repair or just throwing the device out."

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:40 pm UTC

How It Feels to Be an Asian Student in an Elite Public School

Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech and other schools across the country are under pressure to end entrance exams. Students have complicated feelings about that.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:38 pm UTC

Sir Elton John postpones US shows after positive Covid-19 test

The pandemic has already caused several delays in the 74-year-old musician's final world tour.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:38 pm UTC

Booby-trapped sites delivered potent new backdoor trojan to macOS users

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Researchers have uncovered advanced, never-before-seen macOS malware that was installed using exploits that were almost impossible for most users to detect or stop once the users landed on a malicious website.

The malware was a full-featured backdoor that was written from scratch, an indication that the developers behind it have significant resources and expertise. DazzleSpy, as researchers from security firm Eset have named it, provides an array of advanced capabilities that give the attackers the ability to fully monitor and control infected Macs. Features include:

  • victim device fingerprinting
  • screen capture
  • file download/upload
  • execute terminal commands
  • audio recording
  • keylogging

Deep pockets, top-notch talent

Mac malware has become more common over the years, but the universe of advanced macOS backdoors remains considerably smaller than that of advanced backdoors for Windows. The sophistication of DazzleSpy—as well as the exploit chain used to install it—is impressive. It also doesn’t appear to have any corresponding counterpart for Windows. This has led Eset to say that the people who developed DazzleSpy are unusual.

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:31 pm UTC

TCD ‘needs to do work’ to make Science Gallery sustainable, Taoiseach says

Two Government departments offered funding for facility amid closure threat, Dáil hears

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:30 pm UTC

OSHA Withdraws Its Workplace Vaccine Rule

In pulling the rule, the Biden administration acknowledged what most businesses expected: the plan to make companies mandate vaccines-or-tests is over.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:29 pm UTC

UK Government Plans To Release Nmap Scripts for Finding Vulnerabilities

The UK government's cyber-security agency plans to release Nmap scripts in order to help system administrators in scanning their networks for unpatched or vulnerable devices. From a report: The new project, titled Scanning Made Easy (SME), will be managed by the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and is a joint effort with Industry 100 (i100), a collaboration between the NCSC and the UK private sector. "When a software vulnerability is disclosed, it is often easier to find proof-of-concept code to exploit it, than it is to find tools that will help defend your network," the NCSC said yesterday. "To make matters worse, even when there is a scanning script available, it can be difficult to know if it is safe to run, let alone whether it returns valid scan results." The NCSC said that the SME project was created to solve this problem by having some of the UK's leading security experts, from both the government and public sector, either create or review scripts that can be used to scan internal networks. Approved scripts will be made available via the NCSC's SME GitHub project page, and the agency said it's also taking submissions from the security community as well. Only scripts for the Nmap network scanning app will be made available through this project, the NCSC said on Monday.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:25 pm UTC

Growth forecasts sharply lower for US and China in 2022

The IMF says the global economy is entering 2022 in a weaker position than previously expected.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:15 pm UTC

Baidu's AI predictions for 2022: Autonomous driving! Quantum computing! Space! Human-machine symbiosis!

Did a computer program tell them to write this?

Baidu Research's AI-centric "Top 10 Tech Trends in 2022" report has outlined the Middle Kingdom megacorp's predictions for technology over the coming year.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:14 pm UTC

Elio's Restaurant Won't Face City Scrutiny for Admitting Sarah Palin

Elio’s let the former Alaska governor eat indoors despite a city rule that it ask for proof she was vaccinated. She wasn’t.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:09 pm UTC

OSHA will try a different route to a vaccine mandate for businesses

Enlarge (credit: OSHA)

On Tuesday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it was withdrawing its planned vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. The decision comes in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that blocked OSHA from implementing the mandate while lawsuits opposing it made their way through lower courts.

But the agency also indicated it as still working on getting the mandate implemented via a completely different, albeit slower, mechanism.

OSHA's initial attempt to implement a vaccine mandate was done under a clause of US law that allows the agency to issue temporary emergency standards in response to "new hazards." Reasoning that SARS-CoV-2 represents a new hazard, the emergency standard would require vaccination or testing and apply to companies with 100 or more employees, provided those employees were not consistently working outdoors.

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:09 pm UTC

How to Survive When Stocks Behave Badly

The stock market’s swings have been startling. Unfortunately, it’s wise to prepare for much worse.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:08 pm UTC

US warns global chip shortage will likely last through 2022

Don't expect the worldwide chip shortage to end any time soon. Bloomberg and The Washington Post note the US Commerce Department has published a semiconductor supply chain report estimating that the global shortage will last until at least the second half of 2022. "We aren't even close to being out of the woods" with supply problems, Department Secretary Gina Raimondo said.

Many companies are particularly sensitive to problems, too. The median chip inventory for a client company plunged from 40 days in 2019 to under five days in 2021. Even a relatively short (weeks-long) disruption overseas could shut down an American factory, the Department said.

The shortage is particularly damaging to broadband companies, car makers and medical device producers, according to the report. Despite early claims, there wasn't evidence hoarding contributed to the shortfalls. Demand was higher, too, with median interest about 17 percent higher in 2021 than it was two years earlier. The Commerce Department's study was comprehensive, obtaining supply chain data from almost all major semiconductor firms and companies across a range of industries.

Officials concluded the government couldn't directly end the shortage. Private companies were "best positioned" to overcome challenges by increasing production, optimizing their designs and limiting the impact on their supply chains. However, Raimondo used this as an opportunity to plug President Biden's proposed $52 billion subsidy through the US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA). The investment could help "rebuild American manufacturing" and boost domestic supply chains for "years ahead," she said.

Factories resulting from USICA money wouldn't be ready for years, however, and the bill itself has been delayed. While it passed a crucial Senate vote, the House bill is only expected to surface by this week at the earliest. It could take longer to both clear the House and evolve into a final form Biden can sign into law. For now, the tech industry largely has to solve this dilemma on its own.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:06 pm UTC

Three Baltimore firefighters have died after getting trapped in a collapsed rowhome

Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott called it a "gut wrenching tragedy" for the city, the fire department and the firefighters' families.

(Image credit: Julio Cortez/AP)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:04 pm UTC

State fails in bid to jail man who sexually assaulted girl (14) he met on Snapchat

Man was given a two-year suspended sentence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court last year

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:01 pm UTC

Three new Star Wars video games are in development at EA, Respawn

Enlarge / Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Yes, the colon comes after the "Jedi." (credit: EA)

EA and Lucasfilm Games have jointly announced that three new Star Wars games are in development at Respawn, the studio that developed Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Among those three planned games is a sequel to Fallen Order, which was a story-driven, Souls-like melee combat action and exploration game. The other two games include a first-person shooter and a strategy game, but EA's press release did not provide details about those titles beyond their respective genres.

The first-person shooter will be led by a former producer for the Star Wars: Battlefront franchise of online shooters set in the Star Wars universe. The strategy game will be produced by Respawn, but its lead developer will be Bit Reactor. Bit Reactor is a new studio formed in part by developers who previously worked on the recent entries in the XCOM franchise.

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:56 pm UTC

NYC's app-based delivery workers can finally use restaurant bathrooms

Back in September, a slate of landmark bills successfully passed through the City Council of New York granting a variety of common sense provisions to the many delivery workers of the five boroughs. Well, the first tranche of new laws came into effect this week and crucially, they now guarantee couriers the right to use the bathrooms of restaurants. 

The lack of access to toilets has been a major point of contention for this class of workers (no doubt you've seen reports of Amazon drivers urinating in in bottles — something the company is reportedly well aware of.) The situation has been no different gig workers in NYC, and so bathroom access became a rallying cry for Los Deliveristas Unidos, a group of couriers who have been pushing for change. What was a long uphill battle resulted in a legislative win backed by progressive lawmakers in the states, and Local Law 117 — sponsored by District 2 Councilwoman Carlina Rivera — guarantees that:

"food delivery applications include a provision in contracts with restaurants requiring them to make their toilet facilities available for delivery workers’ use, as long as the delivery worker seeks to access the facilities while picking up a food or beverage order for delivery"

Why this was not already the case is a total mystery. Keep in mind that, while the pandemic has certainly put a spotlight on the working conditions of couriers, Seamless launched in New York City in 1999, and has been leveraging its own fleet of gig workers since around 2014. A law addressing the discrepancy between "working everywhere" and "being allowed to use a toilet almost nowhere" took this long to address.

Free use of restrooms isn't the only quality of life change for gig workers. Two other laws which became enforceable yesterday provide greater pay transparency. The first requires informing delivery persons of the amount each customer has tipped them on an order, while the second mandates the information related to the previous day's total pay and total tips for be shared with the courier. These also might seem like small, perhaps even obvious features one might expect to already be available in these apps. But once again, this has been a long-running issue for gig workers; both Amazon Flex and DoorDash have been forced to pay hefty settlements for using tip money to subsidize contractor wages. 

Additional provisions for couriers will go into effect near the end of April that will require companies to provide insulated bags, routing directions for accepting an order and to pay workers at least once a week. Another law will also allow delivery workers to set the maximum distance they wish to travel, and give them the freedom to avoid going over bridges or through tunnels which can sometimes be dangerous. Finally, this coming January 1st, apps will be required to pay an as-yet-to-be-determined minimum rate to couriers, similar to how the city enacted a pay floor for rideshare drivers in 2018. 

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:55 pm UTC

Ukraine: US could sanction Putin if Russia invades, Biden says

The US president says he would consider personal sanctions on Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:54 pm UTC

Mexico: Canadians killed at resort over international gang debts, police say

Shooting of pair on Caribbean coast allegedly linked to ‘transnational illegal activities that the victims participated in’

The killing of two Canadians at a resort on Mexico’s Caribbean coast last week was motivated by debts between international gangs apparently dedicated to drug and weapons trafficking, according to a senior Mexican prosecutor.

“The investigations indicate that this attack was motivated by debts that arose from transnational illegal activities that the victims participated in,” said Oscar Montes, the chief prosecutor of the Quintana Roo state, on Tuesday. “The information [is] that they were involved in weapons and drug trafficking, among other crimes.”

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:54 pm UTC

Exit of 'mom and pop' landlords a problem, says O'Brien

The Minister for Housing has told the Dáil that the exit of "mom and pop landlords" is a problem for the rental sector.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:53 pm UTC

Kathryn Schulz: Making Sense of Our Covid Losses

What losing my father taught me about the pandemic.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:53 pm UTC

They Need Legal Advice on Debts. Should It Have to Come From Lawyers?

A nonprofit has filed a lawsuit in New York, hoping to clear the way for volunteers to help people defend themselves against debt collection suits.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:52 pm UTC

Woman who survived Auschwitz and Sarajevo siege dies aged 97

Greta Weinfeld Ferušić survived both the Nazi death camp and the nearly four-year siege during the Bosnian war

A woman who survived both the Auschwitz death camp and the Sarajevo siege in the 1990s has died, according to representatives of Bosnia’s Jewish community.

Greta Ferušić Weinfeld died on Monday aged 97.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:46 pm UTC

China Gives 'Fight Club' New Ending Where Authorities Win

The first rule of Fight Club in China? Don't mention the original ending. The second rule of Fight Club in China? Change it so the police win. From a report: China has some of the world's most restrictive censorship rules with authorities only approving a handful of foreign films for release each year -- sometimes with major cuts. Among the latest movies to undergo such treatment is David Fincher's 1999 cult classic "Fight Club" starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Film fans in China noticed over the weekend that a version of the movie newly available on streaming platform Tencent Video was given a makeover that transforms the anarchist, anti-capitalist message that made the film a global hit. In the closing scenes of the original, Norton's character The Narrator, kills off his imaginary alter ego Tyler Durden -- played by Pitt -- and then watches multiple buildings explode, suggesting his character's plan to bring down modern civilisation is underway. But the new version in China has a very different take. The Narrator still proceeds with killing off Durden, but the exploding building scene is replaced with a black screen and a coda: "The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding". It then adds that Tyler -- a figment of The Narrator's imagination -- was sent to a "lunatic asylum" for psychological treatment and was later discharged. The new ending in which the state triumphs sparked head scratching and outrage among many Chinese viewers -- many of whom would likely have seen pirated versions of the unadulterated version film.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:42 pm UTC

Deer hunter on cocaine shot at gardaí and civilians in Donegal town, court hears

Man pleads guilty to nine charges on night described as like ‘something from Wild West’

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:41 pm UTC

WHO warns of potential for more variants as omicron subvariant found in US

Enlarge / World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (credit: Getty | Fabrice Cof)

The head of the World Health Organization on Monday dampened optimism that the pandemic will subside in omicron's wake, noting that global conditions are still ideal for the emergence of new variants.

"There are different scenarios for how the pandemic could play out and how the acute phase could end," Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a WHO executive board meeting Monday. "But it is dangerous to assume that omicron will be the last variant or that we are in the endgame. On the contrary, globally, the conditions are ideal for more variants to emerge."

Many US experts and officials have expressed cautious hope that the towering omicron wave could signal the final throes of the pandemic. In this beatific vision, the country will see a lull in transmission after COVID-19 cases peak and decline. With at least 15.8 million people infected just since the start of this year, the ultratransmissible variant is significantly boosting collective immunity across the US, which already has 63 percent of the population fully vaccinated.

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:35 pm UTC

Life is Strange remasters will join the Stadia Pro lineup on February 1st

Stadia Pro members will be able to claim a couple of notable games at no additional cost next week. Following a delay, Square Enix's Life is Strange Remastered and Life is Strange: Before the Storm Remastered will hit various platforms (but not Switch) on February 1st, and subscribers can snag them on the same day. 

The most recent game in the well-regarded, narrative-heavy series, Life is Strange: True Colors, landed on Stadia and elsewhere on September 10th.

Five other games will join the Stadia Pro lineup on February 1st: Cosmic Star Heroine, Nanotale, Merek's Market, Phogs and One Hand Clapping. Subscribers can add those titles to their library and play them for as long as their Stadia Pro membership remains active.

It emerged earlier this month that Stadia users will soon have another way to access the platform. Samsung's 2022 TVs will allow players to access some cloud gaming services, like Stadia, without the need for dedicated hardware, such as a Chromecast dongle. You'll just need a compatible controller. Other TVs, including some LG models, offer direct access to Stadia as well.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:35 pm UTC

Mane concussed in head clash, then scores, and then taken off as Senegal reach Afcon last eight

Liverpool's Sadio Mane scores as Senegal beat nine-man Cape Verde 2-0 in the last 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations, but is then forced off with concussion.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:34 pm UTC

2nd N.Y.P.D. Officer, Wilbert Mora, Dies After Harlem Shooting

Wilbert Mora, 27, joined the department in 2018. He and his partner, Jason Rivera, were killed by a man who opened fire during a domestic call, the police said.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:28 pm UTC

‘Three times a hero’: second officer who was shot in Harlem dies from injuries

Wilbert Mora’s death follows the death on Friday of fellow officer Jason Rivera after they responded to a domestic violence call

A second police officer who was shot on Friday in New York City while responding to a domestic violence call has died, the city’s police commissioner said on Tuesday.

Keechant Sewell called officer Wilbert Mora, 27, “three times a hero” as she announced his death.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:27 pm UTC

Pandemic handling review team to include Swedish critic of lockdowns

Donnelly names 13 members of Public Health Reform Expert Advisory Group

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:24 pm UTC

Hospitals use a lottery to allocate scarce COVID drugs for the immunocompromised

So far the government has distributed about 300,000 doses of Evusheld, a new drug that protects against COVID-19. Some 7 million Americans could benefit from the drug right away.

(Image credit: Peter Bostrom/AstraZeneca)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:20 pm UTC

IS militants surrender as Kurdish-led forces surround Syria prison

But dozens remain holed up along with hundreds of children after six days of fierce fighting.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:13 pm UTC

FAA Provisionally Clears 90% of Aircraft To Fly Near 5G Networks

About 90% of the U.S. commercial aircraft fleet is at least somewhat shielded from interference caused by new 5G wireless networks, the Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday. From a report: The FAA expanded the roster of aircraft that it says can perform "most" low-visibility landings in the presence of the 5G radio waves to include several models of regional jets, according to a notice on the agency's website. The FAA approvals don't cover every plane at every airport, and are subject to revisions each month as the agency reviews the addition of new 5G cell towers, the agency said. They could also be limited if wireless companies increase power levels. New wireless phone service that began on Jan. 19 broadcasting on frequencies near those used by aircraft has prompted the FAA to raise concerns about radio interference. The latest action by the agency combined with an agreement by wireless companies to temporarily limit power levels and the placement of cell towers near airports has meant that the most severe impacts have been avoided for now.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:12 pm UTC

Blizzard is diving into the survival game genre

Blizzard, the studio behind Overwatch, Diablo and World of Warcraft, is getting into a new genre with the announcement that it's working on a survival game. It seems the project is in the early stages of development, so don't expect a finished product (or even a splashy trailer) any time soon, but it's notable that the publisher is playing around with fresh mechanics and new worlds.

Blizzard's job post about the survival game says it will be "a place full of heroes we have yet to meet, stories yet to be told, and adventures yet to be lived. A vast realm of possibility, waiting to be explored." So, yeah, they're keeping things vague for now.

The studio has confirmed one detail about the project: It'll be available on "PC and console." It's hard to say if the use of the singular "console" is prophetic — after all, Microsoft just announced plans to purchase Activision Blizzard, and the cross-platform future of its games is uncertain. Operating as a subsidiary of Microsoft, it's possible that Blizzard would build a game just for Xbox consoles, leaving PlayStation and Switch players in the lurch.

It'll likely be at least a year before we hear platform details and concrete information about the game, but Blizzard is looking to hire a handful of people in art, design and engineering to fill out the team. 

Activision Blizzard is currently facing a lawsuit and several investigations into allegations of systemic gender discrimination and sexual harassment at the studio, where CEO Bobby Kotick has been in charge for the past 30 years. One Blizzard employee went public with her experience, saying she was "subjected to rude comments about [her] body, unwanted sexual advances, inappropriately touched, subjected to alcohol-infused team events and cube crawls, invited to have casual sex with [her] supervisors, and surrounded by a frat-boy culture that's detrimental to women." 

Blizzard head Mike Ybarra last week promised to rebuild trust in the studio and establish "a safe, inclusive and creative work environment" as it transitions to Microsoft's roster.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:10 pm UTC

How a Calm Call for Help Led 2 N.Y.P.D. Officers Into a Hail of Gunfire

The latest episode to rattle the city began with a routine domestic disturbance call and ended with two officers dead.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:07 pm UTC

Nvidia reportedly prepares for un-Arm'd fight with rivals: $40bn takeover may be abandoned

Softbank, meanwhile, remains 'hopeful' it can offload Brit chip designer

Nvidia is quietly preparing to give up on the purchase of Arm, according to Bloomberg, after repeatedly butting heads with competition regulators amid a wave of opposition from the tech industry.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:04 pm UTC

Starlink preps rugged user terminal that may avoid “thermal shutdown” problem

Enlarge / The current Starlink user terminal. Images of the planned ruggedized terminal aren't available yet. (credit: Starlink)

SpaceX's Starlink division is planning a new ruggedized satellite dish that can operate in hotter and colder temperatures. This is the second ruggedized Starlink dish the company has revealed—the first is designed for vehicles, ships, and aircraft, while the newer one is a fixed earth station that would provide broadband to buildings.

SpaceX asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to deploy the "high-performance fixed earth stations" (or "HP terminals") in an application filed Friday. PCMag wrote an article about the application yesterday.

"Compared to other user terminals SpaceX Services has been authorized to deploy, the HP model has been ruggedized to handle harsher environments so that, for example, it will be able to continue to operate at greater extremes of heat and cold, will have improved snow/ice melt capabilities, and will withstand a greater number of thermal cycles," SpaceX told the FCC. SpaceX said its application should be approved because the terminals will extend the Starlink network to "a range of much more challenging environments."

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:03 pm UTC

Commerce Dept. Survey Uncovers ‘Alarming’ Chip Shortages

Increased demand for the semiconductors that power cars, electronics and electrical grids have stoked inflation and could cause more factory shutdowns in the United States.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:56 pm UTC

Emily the Criminal review – Aubrey Plaza charges taut thriller

A gig worker turns to credit card fraud in a tense debut feature with an electrifying central performance

It’s hard to really blame Emily (Aubrey Plaza) for choosing a life of crime. A low-paid service gig brings nothing but stress. A seemingly inescapable student loan is gathering interest by the day. A couple of minor, years-back criminal charges have closed off a world of employment. It’s a familiar predicament that plagues many in America and even though first-time writer-director John Patton Ford might only show it in the broadest of strokes, it’s an effectively infuriating set-up.

When Emily is offered an opportunity for an extra income, she nervously inches down the rabbit hole. It starts off simple. She’s given a cloned credit card and has to buy a TV. She then takes it to her new bosses and gets paid $200. It’s easier than she anticipated and soon she’s doing it on the regular, edging closer to taskmaster Youcef (Theo Rossi) who slowly becomes more than her mentor. But how far is she willing to go?

Emily the Criminal is showing at the Sundance film festival with a release date to be announced

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:53 pm UTC

Watch a drag race between Tesla's Model S Plaid and the Lucid Air

Now that the Lucid Air is a practical reality, there's a looming question: how well does it fare in a drag race against the other well-known electric luxury sedan, Tesla's Model S Plaid? You now have a better idea. DragTimes has shared a long-teased video of a quarter-mile faceoff between the Air and Model S Plaid, and the outcome is at once expected but still full of insights.

It won't shock you to hear the Model S Plaid wins three of the four runs, including one with a rolling start. It has a shorter claimed 0-60MPH time (1.99 seconds versus 2.5), and its lighter curb weight (4,828lbs versus about 5,200lbs), helps offset the horsepower deficiency. The Tesla didn't have its drag strip prep mode enabled, either. If you're fortunate enough to cross-shop these EVs, the Model S is still your pick for raw acceleration.

The Lucid Air still holds up well, though, and it even won a race when the Model S Plaid's launch mode wasn't engaged. That added power still matters, to put it another way — and this is worth considering if you're more interested in green light races (where a launch mode likely won't be an option) than drag strips. Lucid also pointed out that you can precondition the Air for better straight-line performance, and that it's currently focused more on "luxury and efficiency" than speed.

The conditions weren't ideal between relatively chilly temperatures for the Houston-area strip and strong winds. You'll likely see faster times elsewhere. Even so, the video is worthwhile as a rare chance to see how different electric car platforms manage in real conditions. It also shows just how far EVs have come — these are figures you'd have previously associated with higher-end supercars, not four-door people carriers.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:50 pm UTC

Readers' global wishes for 2022: More kindness, more nature ... and kitties!

What could the world achieve this year if we had a limitless budget and full support from global leaders? Our audience shares their heartfelt ideas.

(Image credit: Dola Sun for NPR)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:47 pm UTC

Bobbe 'Beegie' Long Adair, a formative center of Nashville's jazz scene, dies at 84

Adair was a superb soloist and tremendous accompanist, as well as the bedrock of Nashville's jazz scene after first relocating there in the early '60s.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist's representative)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:47 pm UTC

Cricket chief apologises for comments on race

Middlesex chairman Mike O'Farrell apologises for comments on black and South Asian interest in cricket that were called "painful" and "outdated" by ex-England player Ebony Rainford-Brent.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:47 pm UTC

YouTube's head of gaming and two other executives are leaving

Three YouTube executives are moving on from the platform, including head of gaming Ryan Wyatt. Senior director of creator partnerships Jamie Byrne and vice president and global head of product partnerships Heather Rivera are departing too.

“Like many other companies, we’ve seen some of our people choose a new direction in the new year,” YouTube told Tubefilter. “We are also fortunate to have a deep bench of talented leaders to take our business forward. We thank Heather, Jamie, and Ryan for their incredible contribution to YouTube over the years and can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Wyatt, who also led YouTube's virtual and augmented reality projects, joined Google in 2014 after a career in esports and live events. He said on Twitter that he's leaving YouTube in the coming weeks to join Polygon Technology, a company in the Web3 space, where he'll head up the Polygon Studios division.

Wyatt wrote that he'll be "focused on growing the developer ecosystem through investment, marketing and developer support." He'll oversee gaming, entertainment, fashion, news, sports and other areas for Polygon Studios.

During Wyatt's tenure, YouTube has added a number of features to cater to gaming-focused creators and viewers, such as subscriptions, Super Chat and clips. In 2020, YouTube secured the rights to stream Call of Duty League and Overwatch League events for three years. The service has also lured several high-profile streamers away from Twitch over the last few years, including Jack "CouRage" Dunlop, Rachell "Valkyrae" Hofstetter, Tim "TimTheTatman" Betar and Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo.

Byrne had been with YouTube since 2006 and most recently was overseeing areas like creator acquisitions and Shorts partnerships. According to Tubefilter, he's joining NFT endeavor Bright Moments to lead operations and partnerships — just as it seems YouTube may be getting into NFTs. Rivera, meanwhile, was involved in growing ad-supported and subscription businesses, such as YouTube TV.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:34 pm UTC

Native American tribes reclaim California redwood land for preservation

Group of 10 tribes inhabiting the area since thousands of years will be responsible for protecting the land dubbed Tc’ih-Léh-Dûñ

The descendants of Native American tribes on the northern California coast are reclaiming part of their ancestral homeland, including ancient redwoods that have stood since their forebears walked the land.

Save the Redwoods League, a non-profit conservation group, announced Tuesday that it is transferring more than 500 acres (202 hectares) on the Lost Coast to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:32 pm UTC

Father says drugs prescribed to son to treat ADHD turned him into a ‘zombie’

Junior doctor who prescribed drugs reportedly says he does not regret decisions made

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:28 pm UTC

How Will Tonga's Broken Internet Cable Be Mended?

An undersea fibre-optic cable which connects Tonga to the rest of the world was severed during the eruption of a volcano. From a report: New Zealand's ministry of foreign affairs says it could take more than a month to repair breaks in the 49,889km (31,000miles) of cable that serves the South Pacific. The undersea eruption - followed by a tsunami - led to Tonga's 110,000 people being cut off. A 2G wireless connection has been established on the main island, using a satellite dish from the University of the South Pacific. But the service is patchy, and internet services run slowly. The cable, which is operated by Tonga Cable, is believed to have broken about 37km (23 miles) offshore. According to Reuters, fault-finding conducted by the company in the aftermath of the volcano seemed to confirm a cable break. he process of mending it is actually quite simple, according to principal engineer at Virgin Media, Peter Jamieson, who is also vice-chairman of the European Subsea Cable Association. "They will send a pulse of light from the island and a machine will measure how long it takes to travel and this will establish where the break is," he explained. Then a cable-repair boat will be sent to the location of the first break. It will use either an ROV (remotely-operated underwater vehicle) or a tool known as a grapnel (basically a hook on a chain) to retrieve the broken end. That will be re-joined to fresh cable on board the boat and then the same process will happen at the other end of the break. If all goes well, the whole process will take between five and seven days. It will take time to get a cable repair boat to the archipelago and the closest one is currently stationed in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea - about 4,700km (2,900 miles) away. The specialised ship, The Reliance, serves more than 50,000km (31,000 miles) of cable in the South Pacific.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:25 pm UTC

Cash Aid to Poor Mothers Increases Brain Activity in Babies, Study Finds

The research could have policy implications as President Biden pushes to revive his proposal to expand the child tax credit.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:24 pm UTC

Michael Avenatti Will Represent Himself During Remainder of His Trial

Mr. Avenatti is accused of impersonating and defrauding Stormy Daniels when he served as her lawyer. The decision means he will likely cross-examine her during his trial.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:22 pm UTC

Watford appoint ex-England boss Hodgson as new manager

Watford appoint former England, Liverpool and Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson as manager.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:21 pm UTC

Man found in truck at An Post centre had hidden in the vehicle on the Continent

The man’s presence in the truck was not noticed by the driver or Customs officials

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:15 pm UTC

Republicans angry as New York keeps school mask mandate despite ruling

Governor Kathy Hochul has insisted students and teachers should continue to wear face covering despite a judge’s ruling

Republicans in New York reacted furiously on Tuesday after state officials told school administrators to continue enforcing a mask mandate for students and teachers despite a judge overturning it, causing confusion as some districts rushed to make masks optional.

Lee Zeldin, a US congressman from Long Island, addressed the governor he hopes to replace in November.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:13 pm UTC

No 10 parties: police will uncover evidence not in Gray report, say ex-staffers

Senior Tory suggests officials will not hold back from the police like they might with Sue Gray

The police investigation into Downing Street parties is set to uncover evidence which has not yet been submitted to the Sue Gray inquiry, according to former No 10 staffers.

The prime minister’s ex-chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, had previously warned that officials were deeply uncomfortable with handing over some evidence to the inquiry, believing they could face retribution for damaging information.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:05 pm UTC

Google drops FLoC after widespread opposition, pivots to “Topics API” plan

Enlarge / Vivaldi's graphic on FLoC. (credit: Vivaldi)

After widespread opposition from the rest of the Internet, Google is killing its "FLoC" plans.

The company wants to get rid of the third-party web cookies used for advertising tracking, so it proposed FLoC ("Federated Learning of Cohorts"), which would have let its browser track you for the benefit of advertising companies. With FLoC dead, Google is floating another proposal to track users for advertisers. This time, the system is called the "Topics API." There are currently no implementation details, but Google has posted info about the Topics API in a blog post, in developer docs, on a GitHub page, and on a "Privacy Sandbox" site.

Google's Topic API plans are just now being shared with the world, and the company says the next step is to build a trial implementation and gather feedback from the Internet. Hopefully, the EFF, Mozilla, the EU, and other privacy advocates that spoke out about FLoC will chime in on Google's new plan. The Topics API gives users more control over the tracking process, but if your core complaint was that browser makers should not build user tracking technology directly into the browser for the benefit of advertising companies, you'll still find fault with Google's plan. Google is the world's biggest advertising company, and it's using its ownership of the world's biggest browser to insert its business model into Chrome.

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:03 pm UTC

US finalizing plans to divert gas to Europe if Russia cuts off supply

Officials working with global suppliers to avoid European gas crisis in the event that flow from Russia is cut by Putin

The US has helped prepare for the diversion of natural gas supplies from around the world to Europe in the event that the flow from Russia is cut, in an effort to blunt Vladimir Putin’s most powerful economic weapon.

As fears of an invasion of Ukraine have grown, US officials said on Tuesday that they had been negotiating with global suppliers, and they were now confident that Europe would not suffer from a sudden loss of energy for heating in the middle of winter.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:01 pm UTC

‘We’ve turned a corner’: Schools look forward to relaxing Covid-19 restrictions

Principal says reopening of school has gone more smoothly than many predicted

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:00 pm UTC

Child Covid infections are rising in England – is low vaccine rate a factor?

Analysis: school absences are soaring, but experts disagree about the importance of vaccinating young children

Covid cases in the UK have fallen sharply in the past few weeks, and hospital admissions appeared to have turned a corner. But now, it seems, the situation has stalled, with cases bobbing around 90,000 a day.

The reason for the change is that while case rates are falling among adults, they are rising among children – where vaccination rates remain sluggish.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:56 pm UTC

Man apologises for 'wild west rampage' in Co Donegal

A 24-year-old Carlow man has apologised for his actions on a night out in Glenties, Co Donegal, which were described in court as being "like a rampage from the wild west".

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:54 pm UTC

Over 1,200 Irish citizens sought help from State’s Embassies and Consulates last year

Deaths, missing persons, and arrests were among the cases handled by officials abroad

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:48 pm UTC

New Logitech Mechanical Keyboards are Conservative in Looks and Price

Logitech has introduced two mechanical keyboards to its lineup. Shipping in February, the boards are part of the company's PC gaming brand, but with their $70 starting price and classic, toned-down look, they're also interesting candidates for someone seeking a productivity keyboard with mechanical switches. From a report: The Logitech G G413 SE and G413 TKL SE are $80 and $70, respectively, offering a reasonable entry point for people who might think mechanical keyboards are too expensive. Logitech, specifically its G gaming brand, isn't afraid to overload its keyboards with RGB lighting, but the backlight on these boards comes in white only. The standard G413 is available with an all-white or all-red backlight. A subdued appearance continues with a top case made of aluminum-magnesium alloy with a brushed black finish that matches the black PBT keycaps. The plastic should be an upgrade from the non-SE G413's ABS plastic keyboards, as PBT is generally more resistant to degradation over time. Underneath those keycaps are what Logitech calls "tactile mechanical switches." That phrase suggests something like Cherry MX Browns, but Logitech didn't specify the exact switch used. According to the full-size SE keyboard's product page, the switches actuate at 1.9 mm with 50 g of force and bottom out at 4 mm.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:45 pm UTC

A Black man jailed instead of a white male felon with a similar name is suing police

Nevada police thought Shane Lee Brown, who is Black, was Shane Neal Brown, who is white, taller and roughly twice as old. Now, Shane Lee Brown has filed suit, seeking $500,000 in damages.

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:31 pm UTC

New refuges to be opened as part of government plan to tackle domestic violence

There are nine counties that still do not have refuges for women and children

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:30 pm UTC

Big Dog was now The Suspect, but at least Gray’s report would be delayed… Oh. | John Crace

Boris Johnson’s day goes from bad to worse, with only a hardcore of loyalists left defending him

Big Dog was having a bad morning. Normally he could rely on Grant Shapps to put up a spirited defence of any government lie, which is why he had been sent out to do the morning media round.

But not even the transport secretary had been bothered to put a positive spin on the latest birthday party revelations. He had even made the schoolboy error of calling a party a party, when everyone knew that word was a no-no inside No 10.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:29 pm UTC

How the Air Fryer Crisped Its Way Into America’s Heart

Though the device is sold as a way to make foods crunchy without deep-frying, home cooks have put it to countless other uses — and fed a billion-dollar business.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:27 pm UTC

Shark bites surged in 2021, rebounding from a drop earlier in the pandemic

Still, the Florida Museum of Natural History's International Shark Attack File says the high number of shark bites and deaths last year was on par with long-term averages.

(Image credit: Richard Bouhet/AFP via Getty Images)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:23 pm UTC

Afghan children malnourished from birth - Irish worker

An Irish woman who spent eight months working at a Medicins Sans Frontieres hospital in Afghanistan has told an Oireachtas Committee today that some children now arriving at their feeding centre in Helmand Province are malnourished from the very first day of their lives.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:18 pm UTC

Want to understand the U.S.? This historian says the South holds the key

Imani Perry says the South can be seen as an "origin point" for the way the nation operates. Her book, South to America, reflects on the region's history and traces the steps of an enslaved ancestor.

(Image credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Brooklyn Academy of Music)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:15 pm UTC

Court formally strikes off teacher who groomed and sexually exploited 13-year-old

Cian Cooney (36) from Ballymahon, Longford is serving a five-year jail sentence

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:13 pm UTC

Kyiv or Kiev? Why people disagree about how to pronounce the Ukrainian capital's name

What's the correct way to call a foreign city — by its English name, if it has one, or by its name in the local language? For the people involved, it can be a serious matter entwined with geopolitics.

(Image credit: Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:11 pm UTC

New Logitech mechanical keyboards are conservative in looks and price

Enlarge / Logitech G413 SE mechanical keyboard.

Logitech introduced two mechanical keyboards to its lineup on Monday. Shipping in February, the boards are part of the company's PC gaming brand, but with their $70 starting price and classic, toned-down look, they're also interesting candidates for someone seeking a productivity keyboard with mechanical switches.

The Logitech G G413 SE and G413 TKL SE are $80 and $70, respectively, offering a reasonable entry point for people who might think mechanical keyboards are too expensive. Logitech, specifically its G gaming brand, isn't afraid to overload its keyboards with RGB lighting, but the backlight on these boards comes in white only. The standard G413 is available with an all-white or all-red backlight.

A subdued appearance continues with a top case made of aluminum-magnesium alloy with a brushed black finish that matches the black PBT keycaps. The plastic should be an upgrade from the non-SE G413's ABS plastic keyboards, as PBT is generally more resistant to degradation over time.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:10 pm UTC

Cracking a $2 Million Crypto Wallet

First, he forgot his PIN -- then he started looking for hackers. From a report: In early 2018, Dan Reich and a friend decided to spend $50,000 in Bitcoin on a batch of Theta tokens, a new cryptocurrency then worth just 21 cents apiece. At first, they held the tokens with an exchange based in China, but within weeks, a broad crackdown on cryptocurrency by the Chinese government meant they would soon lose access to the exchange, so they had to transfer everything to a hardware wallet. Reich and his friend chose a Trezor One hardware wallet, set up a PIN, and then got busy with life and forgot about it. By the end of that year, the token had sunk to less than a quarter of its value, come back up, and then crashed again. Reich decided he wanted to cash out, but his friend had lost the paper where he'd written the PIN and couldn't remember the digits. They tried guessing what they thought was a four-digit PIN (it was actually five), but after each failed attempt, the wallet doubled the wait time before they could guess again. After 16 guesses, the data on the wallet would automatically erase. When they reached a dozen tries, they stopped, afraid to go further. Reich gave up and wrote off the money in his mind. He was willing to take the loss -- until the price started to rise again. From a low of around $12,000, the value of their tokens started to skyrocket. By the end of 2020, it would be worth more than $400,000, rising briefly to over $3 million. It would be hard to get into the wallet without the PIN -- but it wasn't impossible. And with potentially millions on the line, Reich and his friend vowed to find a way inside. The only way to own cryptocurrency on the blockchain is to have sole possession of a private key associated with a block of currency -- but managing those keys has been a, sometimes high-stakes, challenge from the beginning. [...] The cryptocurrency data firm Chainalysis estimates that more than 3.7 million Bitcoins worth $66.5 billion are likely lost to owners. Currency can be lost for many reasons: the computer or phone storing a software wallet is stolen or crashes and the wallet is unrecoverable; the owner inadvertently throws their hardware wallet away; or the owner forgets their PIN or dies without passing it to family members. As the value of their inaccessible tokens rapidly rose in 2020, Reich and his friend were desperate to crack their wallet. They searched online until they found a 2018 conference talk from three hardware experts who discovered a way to access the key in a Trezor wallet without knowing the PIN. The engineers declined to help them, but it gave Reich hope. "We at least knew that it was possible and had some directional idea of how it could be done," Reich says. Then they found a financier in Switzerland who claimed he had associates in France who could crack the wallet in a lab. But there was a catch: Reich couldn't know their names or go to the lab. He'd have to hand off his wallet to the financier in Switzerland, who would take it to his French associates. It was a crazy idea with a lot of risks, but Reich and his friend were desperate. Gripping story.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:07 pm UTC

Machine needs more Learning: Google Drive dings single-digit files for copyright infringement

If you're unable to share your files, this is probably why

Google last month announced plans to prevent customer files stored in Google Drive from being shared when the web giant's automated scanning system finds files that violate its abuse prevention rules.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:04 pm UTC

Russia and Ukraine: How to Avoid a War

Differing views on how the U.S. should respond to the Russian threat of an invasion. Also: Listen to the children; the “business” of the royals.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:01 pm UTC

A letter to New Zealand, from Covid-ravaged Australia | Brigid Delaney

Omicron has played out in a series of strange stages in Australia. Here’s what to expect when the wave hits

Dear New Zealand,

Kia ora!

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:00 pm UTC

Meet Justice Ayesha Malik, Pakistan's first female Supreme Court judge

Malik was sworn in on Monday, shattering a glass ceiling in a country where only about 17% of judges are women.

(Image credit: Press Information Department via AP)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:56 pm UTC

GM is building EV production and battery factories in Michigan

GM and LG are building a third Ultium factory in the US. The $2.6 billion plant in Lansing, Michigan will make batteries for GM’s electric vehicles.

Ultium Cells, a joint venture between the companies, expects to create 1,700 manufacturing jobs at the plant, which is projected to open in late 2024. At full production, Ultium expects the factory to have a battery cell capacity of 50 gigawatt hours, and it will be able to adapt to advancements in materials and tech. Construction is underway on Ultium's other battery manufacturing sites in Tennessee and Ohio.

Ultium's cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside battery packs, which allows GM to customize the layout for each vehicle design. Energy options range between 50kWh and 200kWh. GM says Ultium system may deliver a range of 450 miles or more on a single charge and accelerate from zero to 60MPH in three seconds. The company is designing Ultium-powered EVs with fast charging in mind — most of them will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast charging. Electric trucks, meanwhile, will have 800-volt packs with 350kW charging.

The Ultium factory forms part of a new $7 billion investment by GM (the company's largest single outlay to date) in four Michigan sites. The automaker is spending $4 billion to convert a plant in Orion Township, which will become its second US manufacturing location for the Chevrolet Silverado EV and electric GMC Sierra.

Conversion work is underway, and GM expects to start making the electric trucks at the plant in 2024. It expects to retain around 1,000 current jobs and add more than 2,350. Production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV will continue during the transition. The company projects that it will convert half of its North American assembly capacity to EV production by 2030.

GM is aiming to make more than a million EVs in the US per year by the end of 2025, and today's investment announcement forms a key part of that. The company's also spending more than $510 million to increase production at two sites in the Lansing area, one of which is building the next-gen Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:52 pm UTC

Ukraine: What is Nato and why doesn't Russia trust it?

Nato countries are trying to help Ukraine in the face of a possible Russian invasion.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:52 pm UTC

Patient removed from heart transplant list for refusing Covid-19 vaccine

DJ Ferguson, 31, had previously been prioritized for a transplant by Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston

A Boston-area hospital said it will not perform a heart transplant on a patient who refuses to get a Covid-19 vaccination.

DJ Ferguson, 31, was previously prioritized for a heart transplant at Brigham and Women’s hospital, but is no longer eligible as he refuses to get vaccinated, said Ferguson’s family, according to a report by CBS Boston.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:51 pm UTC

Robert F Kennedy Jr apologizes for Anne Frank comparison in anti-vax speech

The anti-vaccine activist Robert F Kennedy Jr apologized on Tuesday for suggesting things are worse for people living under Covid restrictions and mandates than they were for Anne Frank, the teenager who died in a Nazi concentration camp after hiding with her family in a secret annex in an Amsterdam house for two years.

His wife, the actor Cheryl Hines, who appears in the HBO hit Curb Your Enthusiasm, distanced herself from her husband in her own tweet on the subject. She called the reference to Frank “reprehensible and insensitive”.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:48 pm UTC

At least 6 people are reported dead from a crush at an African Cup soccer match

The apparent stampede outside of a stadium in Cameroon has renewed the focus on prior warnings that the nation was ill-equipped to host the continent's biggest sporting event.

(Image credit: Themba Hadebe/AP)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:46 pm UTC

Rafael Nadal Beats Denis Shapovalov Amid Charge of Favoritism

Nadal beat Denis Shapovalov to reach the semifinals, then rejected his opponent’s complaints about unfairness, saying, “I think he’s wrong.”

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:42 pm UTC

Bandcamp is bringing back monthly commission-free Fridays

To help support artists during the pandemic in 2020, Bandcamp began waiving commissions for purchases made on the first Friday of every month. And after supporting Bandcamp Fridays throughout 2021, Bandcamp’s next commission-free shopping day is returning on February 4th.

In total, the company says its 17 Bandcamp Fridays to date have paid out more than $70 million to artists and labels during the pandemic, with more than 800,000 customers participating since its start in March 2020. Following the first Bandcamp Friday in 2022, the next slate of commission-free sales days will take place on March 4th, April 1st and May 6th. And in case there’s any doubt if it’s a Bandcamp Friday or not, there’s even a helpful website that can quickly sort things out.

Bandcamp says that during its commission-free sales days an average of 93 percent of revenue makes its way to musicians, with the remaining 7 percent being reserved for payment processors. Meanwhile, on a regular day, around 82 percent of sales get passed on to artists and labels, resulting in around a 10 to 11 percent cut for Bandcamp (which is still significantly lower than the standard 30 percent commission tech giants like Apple and Google receive from their app stores).

Sadly, because there’s no clear end in sight to the pandemic, it remains to be seen what happens to Bandcamp Fridays going into the summer and fall. And with COVID-19 infections peaking right now in several parts of the world, it’s really anyone’s guess how long these no-commission sales days might have to continue before we can safely return to large in-person events.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:33 pm UTC

Biden Team Says Global Chip Shortage To Stretch Through 2022

The Biden administration has concluded that a global semiconductor shortage will persist until at least the second half of this year, promising long-term strain on a range of U.S. businesses including auto makers and the consumer electronics industry. From a report: U.S. officials plan to investigate claims of possible price gouging for chips used by auto and medical device makers, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Tuesday. "We aren't even close to being out of the woods as it relates to the supply problems with semiconductors," Raimondo said in a briefing with reporters discussing the findings of an industry report her agency conducted that was released Tuesday. The report, based on information from more than 150 companies in the chip supply chain, shows "there is a significant, persistent mismatch in supply and demand for chips." The companies "did not see the problem going away in the next six months," according to the report. "The semiconductor supply chain remains fragile," the report said, despite months of work by the Biden administration to try to relieve shortages. "Demand continues to far outstrip supply."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:32 pm UTC

Women of Honour say they are ‘deeply disillusioned’ with Minister for Defence

The group said meeting was a ‘waste of time’ and walked out after an hour

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:27 pm UTC

He Was in Witness Protection in Maine. But His Harlem Life Kept Calling.

In Lewiston, Maine, a man who called himself Abraham helped his neighbors with the trash and rode dirt bikes with his friend. His old life in New York City got him killed.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:23 pm UTC

‘Peace, freedom, no dictatorship!’: Germans protest against Covid restrictions

The university city of Cottbus held one of 2,000 rallies across Germany on Monday, stoked by the far right

On Monday evening on the dot of 7pm people emerged from dimly lit side streets and gathered on the Oberkirchplatz square in Cottbus for what has become a weekly ritual in towns and cities across Germany: a protest against coronavirus protection measures.

The demonstrations have grown in strength as cases of the Omicron variant have surged, and in recent weeks a looming decision on bringing in a vaccine mandate has become the focus of protesters’ ire. More than 2,000 rallies were held nationwide on Monday, drawing tens of thousands of participants.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:22 pm UTC

'Pandemics don't end with a bang' - Spanish Flu lessons

Even if Omicron signals the end of the pandemic, Covid-19 - like the Spanish Flu - will leave indelible impressions that will haunt us for many years, Conor Wilson explains.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:20 pm UTC

Sony's HT-S400 soundbar offers virtual surround for $300

Sony's recent soundbars have been tailored to high-end users, but the company now has something aimed more at those who just want an upgrade from their TV's built-in speakers. The company has unveiled an HT-S400 soundbar that offers a few tricks while keeping the price down to $300. While it's a 2.1-channel system, it offers virtual surround sound (S-Force Pro Front Surround, in Sony-speak) to provide more immersive audio for your movies and shows. It's a fairly powerful system for the class, too, with a rather large 130W wireless subwoofer contributing to a total 330W of output.

The bar unsurprisingly offers tight integration with recent Sony TVs thanks to settings integration and wireless audio support. You can stream other Bluetooth audio, too. And while it's not clear how well Sony's clarity- and voice-optimized speaker designs work in practice, you may appreciate the options for both HDMI ARC and optical audio.

The HT-S400 will be available in April 2022. That's a long time to wait for a soundbar like this, but it might be justifiable if you either live in the Sony ecosystem or just want an alternative to lower-end soundbars from companies like Samsung and Vizio.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:16 pm UTC

Ahead of Midterms, Some Democrats Search for New Message on Virus

Democrats were cheered for strict lockdowns and pandemic precautions. Now many weary voters want to hear the party’s plan for living with the coronavirus.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:13 pm UTC

Beware—trolls are out to spoil tomorrow’s Wordle for you

Enlarge / Artist's conception of Wordle players trying to avoid foreknowledge of tomorrow's puzzle solution. (credit: Adam Drobiec / EyeEm)

If you're one of the many, many people hooked on Wordle—and especially if you're someone who likes to share your spoiler-free results publicly each day—we have a word of warning for you. There are people who are determined to spoil your good time by shoving tomorrow's Wordle answer in your face.

The spoiler Twitter account Wordlinator was one of the most prominent trolls on the scene, describing itself as "sent from the future to terminate wordle bragging." @Wordlinator would reply to seemingly random Wordle-results tweets with impolite messages designed to "teach you a lesson" by including the answer to the next day's game (as archived here).

It’s not hard

Wordlinator and its ilk take advantage of Wordle's less-than-secure Javascript coding, which lists the answer to all 2,315 of the game's five-letter puzzles in daily order in a plaintext array buried in publicly viewable files referenced in the webpage's source code.

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:13 pm UTC

Heavy Snow Strands Motorists in Greece and Turkey

In areas more used to dealing with extreme heat, blizzard conditions caused chaos on roads and at airports.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:10 pm UTC

22-year-old Brit avoids US extradition over SIM-swapping conspiracy after judge deems him to be high suicide risk

Accused said to have suffered mental health problems from childhood

A Brit accused of taking part in a $8.5m SIM-swapping conspiracy has escaped extradition to the US after a judge agreed he was at high risk of suicide.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:02 pm UTC

Kazakhstan’s Longtime Leader Is Gone, but Still Seemingly Everywhere

Nursultan Nazarbayev, the autocratic former president, all but vanished after violent protests this month. But with his legacy so pervasive, will anything change?

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:57 pm UTC

Pfizer and BioNTech start trials of new Omicron-specific jab

The companies have adapted their original vaccine to target the fast-spreading variant.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:57 pm UTC

Bollywood star cleared of obscenity over kiss

The Bollywood star had faced charges after actor Richard Gere kissed her on a Delhi stage in 2007.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:55 pm UTC

'Not Tonight 2' launches on Steam February 11th

You won't have to wait long to see how the creators of Not Tonight tackle American politics. PanicBarn and No More Heroes have revealed their "political dark comedy" title Not Tonight 2 will be available on Steam February 11th, with a console version coming later in 2022. A final PC beta launches January 28th. As teased early on, the game continues that Papers, Please-style focus on checking IDs as a bouncer while throwing in minigames — and, of course, addressing US political issues head-on.

The game centers around Kevin, Malik and Mari as they travel across an 'alternative' US to save their friend Eduardo from deportation. As with the first Not Tonight, the sequel doesn't pull punches – it examines climate change denial, anti-immigration policies, American religious views and the pitfalls of capitalism. While there are certainly silly parts (such as serving poutine in a Canada-controlled Montana), the aim is as much to make you think about sensitive issues as it is having fun.

The series is, in some ways, a criticism of the games industry's aversion to politics. Heavyweights like Ubisoft will claim their games aren't political even when that's clearly not true, and others will simply steer clear of politics altogether. PanicBarn's game effectively challenges developers to embrace political commentary — that is, to risk alienating some customers in the name of making a statement.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:45 pm UTC

eBay Will Now Authenticate Trading Cards Worth $750 or More

Online marketplace eBay is once again expanding its authentication service, this time to include support for authenticating valuable trading cards. From a report: The service will now be able to authenticate cards worth at least $750 from collectible card games, as well as sports and other non-sports cards, the company said. By the middle of this year, this service will grow to include graded, autograph and patch cards sold for $250 and higher, as well. These additions broaden eBay's ability to assure its customers of the authenticity of high-value items, including the sneakers, watches and handbags the company is already able to authenticate. Like other verticals where authentication is available, eBay saw the value in adding support for trading cards due to the volume of activity in the category on its site. The company said the trading cards category is growing "significantly faster" than its total marketplace, and the category saw $2 billion in transactions in the first half of 2021. That's equal to all of the trading card transactions that took place in 2020, for comparison.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:44 pm UTC

Benjamin Brière: French tourist jailed in Iran on spying charges

France says his conviction for flying a drone while on holiday in a border area is "unacceptable".

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:37 pm UTC

‘Fifty years of resistance’: Aboriginal Tent Embassy began with an umbrella and became a symbol of sovereignty

1972 was the first time many saw First Nations people confront the establishment. Now elders say it’s a legacy for future generations

In the middle of the night, four young Aboriginal men pitched a beach umbrella on the lawns opposite Parliament House and sat down. When dawn broke on 26 January 1972, a police officer came over to ask how long they intended to stay.

“Until we get land rights,” one of the four, Billy Craigie, told the officer.

Above: Bobbi Sykes (with Gordon Briscoe) addresses a protest at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Canberra, July 1972. Below: The Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Parliament House in 1972. Images: Ken Whittington/National Archives Australia

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:30 pm UTC

Netflix’s Byron Baes cast appear to flout NSW Covid measures in Instagram videos

Covid cases in the Byron Bay area have exploded since December

Cast members of the Netflix reality series Byron Baes have posted videos to social media of people dancing to live music at a crowded Byron Bay venue in apparent contravention of New South Wales Covid measures.

Two of the show’s other stars have posted videos in the days after receiving positive Covid tests that appear to show them out in public.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:30 pm UTC

Substack is testing a native video player

Substack is expanding into video with a native player. The feature is currently in private beta, so only a limited number of creators can upload videos directly to a post for now. The newsletter service plans to open up the option to everyone in the coming weeks.

Creators can share videos publicly or only with paid subscribers. Videos will be playable on web versions of posts and they'll appear as clickable images in emails. Substack notes that creators have full ownership of their videos, as with their mailing list and everything else they share on the platform.

Among those who are testing the feature are legendary musician Patti Smith and chef Andrew Zimmern. They highlight the fact that creators will be able to share things like musical performances and step-by-step guided recipes with subscribers without having to rely on third-party services like YouTube or Vimeo. Others might share makeup tutorials, workouts or career advice.

This is the latest in a line of additions to Substack creators' tool chests. The platform introduced a podcast hosting option in 2019 and it expanded to comics last year.

Substack isn't the only membership platform of its ilk with its own video player. Patreon said in November it was building one too. On the flip side, Facebook and Twitter have made a push into newsletters over the last year amid Substack's rise to prominence and the battle to attract and keep creators on their platforms.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:30 pm UTC

Covid denialist and Bolsonaro ally Olavo de Carvalho died of virus, says daughter

Rightwing radical was a towering figure in Brazil who was adored and abhorred in equal measure by millions of followers and foes

Olavo de Carvalho, the coronavirus-denying mentor of Jair Bolsonaro and Brazil’s radical right, has died in the United States, with one of his children citing Covid-19 as the cause.

“The family … asks for prayers for the professor’s soul,” relatives said on Twitter after announcing the death of the 74-year-old polemicist – a towering figure in contemporary Brazilian politics who was adored and abhorred in equal measure by millions of followers and foes.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:25 pm UTC

At least four killed after tropical Storm Ana hits Malawi and Mozambique

Search and rescue operations under way as dozens reported missing in region battered by extreme weather in recent years

At least four people have died and dozens are missing after strong winds and heavy downpours wreaked havoc in Malawi and Mozambique as Tropical Storm Ana made landfall on Monday.

Almost 16,000 people in the south of Malawi have been affected, according to the Red Cross, as search and rescue operations continue after the first cyclone of the region’s season. At least two people were killed and 66 injured in Mozambique on Monday and a further two people died on Tuesday in Malawi.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:23 pm UTC

Serial arsonist jailed for killing uncle in revenge house fire

Daniel Murray more concerned about welfare of family dog when told a body discovered, court told

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:21 pm UTC

Justin Peck and Collaborators Combine Gravitational Universes

For his new work at New York City Ballet, Peck enlisted the composer Caroline Shaw and the artist Eva LeWitt: “It has really felt like a back-and-forth conversation.”

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:19 pm UTC

Do you know what TikTok is? Then you might make a good magistrate, says Ministry of Justice

82% of volunteers in England and Wales are aged 50 and above

The Ministry of Justice in England and Wales has launched what it sees as the biggest recruitment drive in the magistrate system's 650-year history, to address the backlog in cases partly caused by the pandemic.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:16 pm UTC

The Right Way to Stop Rising Crime in New York

Getting crime under control is critical to New York City’s revival. 

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:10 pm UTC

Democrats Are Rushing Through a Massive Ukraine Defense Bill

Democrats in the House of Representatives are planning to expedite a massive bill that would dramatically increase U.S. security assistance to Ukraine and lay the groundwork for substantial new sanctions on Russia — hastening a war-friendly posture without opportunity for dissent as concerns over a military invasion abound.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told members on a caucus call Tuesday that she’s looking to skip marking up the bill and move it straight to the House floor, setting up the possibility of a vote as soon as early next week, two congressional sources told The Intercept. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to talk to the press. Pelosi’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

“This is how the space for nonmilitary options gets slowly closed off in Washington, without any real debate,” one of the sources, a senior Democratic aide, told The Intercept.

The situation in Ukraine has escalated in recent days, with more than 100,000 Russian troops reportedly stationed along the Ukrainian border, while Western leaders seek to create a unified front to deter what they fear is a Russian invasion. British intelligence released an unusual report over the weekend on an alleged plot to install a leader friendly to Russia. On Sunday, the Biden administration advised Americans to leave the country because of “impending” reports that “Russia is planning significant military action against Ukraine,” escalating tensions in the eyes of local officials, and put troops on standby for deployment in Eastern Europe.

Last week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., introduced the legislation, which has 13 co-sponsors, as a companion measure to the Senate’s Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act proposed earlier this month. The Senate bill, introduced by Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez, D-N.J., boasts 41 Democratic co-sponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; and progressives Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.

“This is how the space for nonmilitary options gets slowly closed off in Washington.”

The legislation would send $500 million from the Foreign Military Financing program to Ukraine for 2022. That amount would have made Ukraine the third-largest recipient of funding from the State Department’s FMF account in 2020, surpassed only by $3.3 billion to Israel and $1.3 billion to Egypt. (That year, the FMF program gave Ukraine $248 million.)

The legislation would also give Ukraine priority for excess defense equipment transfer and funds to counter Russian disinformation through programs like Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. It would further aim to bolster Ukraine’s cyber defense and direct the president to consider imposing sanctions on Russia in the event of a cyber attack on Ukraine.

If the president determines that Russia has engaged in a “significant escalation in hostilities” to disrupt Ukrainian sovereignty, then the bill would direct the White House to issue a number of sanctions. Individuals and entities that would be targeted include the Russian president and other top government and military officials, Russian financial institutions, foreigners participating in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, and Russian energy producers. The legislation would prohibit Americans from trading Russian government bonds as well.

The Democrats’ effort to accelerate the bill comes days after a group of senators met with Ukrainian leaders in the country’s capital, Kyiv, to extend U.S. support for the country’s sovereignty. Despite the show of Democratic and Republican unity during the trip, no Republicans have co-sponsored Meeks’s or Menendez’s bills. Senate Democrats also have not publicly indicated the timeline on which they would like to vote on their legislation.

Republicans have offered their own measures. Earlier this month in the House, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the Guaranteeing Ukrainian Autonomy by Reinforcing its Defense Act, a companion bill to a measure sponsored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Jim Risch, R-Idaho. The bill would give Ukraine $450 million from the State Department’s FMF account and impose sanctions related to the Nord Stream 2 project immediately, without waiting for an escalation as in the Democrats’ bill.

McCaul’s office did not reply to a request for comment on whether he would support Meeks’s bill. The White House endorsed the legislation that Menendez released weeks ago.

The post Democrats Are Rushing Through a Massive Ukraine Defense Bill appeared first on The Intercept.

Source: The Intercept | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:09 pm UTC

Nvidia ready to abandon Arm acquisition, report says

Enlarge (credit: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket)

Nvidia may be walking away from its acquisition of Arm Ltd., the British chip designer, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The blockbuster deal faced global scrutiny, and Nvidia apparently feels that it hasn’t made sufficient progress in convincing regulators that the acquisition won’t harm competition or national security. “Nvidia has told partners that it doesn’t expect the transaction to close, according to one person who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private,” Bloomberg reported.

In a further sign that the deal is likely to be abandoned, SoftBank is also working to take Arm public, according to the report.

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:04 pm UTC

Indonesia Regulator Says Financial Firms Banned From Facilitating Crypto Sales

Indonesia's Financial Services Authority (OJK) on Tuesday warned that financial firms are not allowed to offer and facilitate sales of crypto assets amid a boom in crypto trading in Southeast Asia's largest economy. From a report: "OJK has strictly prohibited financial service institutions from using, marketing, and/or facilitating crypto asset trading," the regulator said in a statement posted on Instagram. It warned that the value of crypto assets often fluctuates and that people buying into the digital assets should fully understand the risks. "Please beware of allegations of Ponzi scheme scams in crypto investments," it added, without elaborating. The warning follows similar concerns by the central banks of Thailand and Singapore.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:04 pm UTC

Aboriginal Tent Embassy: A powerful beacon of protest for 50 years

A protest that began 50 years ago with a beach umbrella remains a potent symbol of Aboriginal activism.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:02 pm UTC

Will laws on remote working really make any difference?

After two years of rolling uncertainty in business, one thing is now definite.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:01 pm UTC

Taming the Garden review – fascinating study of a billionaire’s destructive folly

Salomé Jashi’s film follows the journey of hundreds of mature trees as they are uprooted across Georgia to populate a rich man’s garden

Like a sad, greedy king in some fairytale or parable, the Georgian billionaire and former prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili set out, six years ago, to buy and uproot hundreds of magnificent mature trees and transport them at colossal expense and difficulty across Georgia to be transplanted in his own huge private garden. It sometimes involves taking a tree by water, along the Black Sea coast – a truly surreal image.

Salomé Jashi’s fascinating and deadpan film shows, in a series of tableau-type shots, the effect that these purchases are having up and down the land. Local workers squabble among themselves at the dangerous, strenuous, but nonetheless lucrative job of digging them up. The landowners and communities brood on the sizeable sums of money they are getting paid and Ivanishvili’s promises that roads will also be built. But at the moment of truth, they are desolate when the Faustian bargain must be settled and the huge, ugly haulage trucks come to take their trees away in giant “pots” of earth, as if part of their natural soul is being confiscated. (Surely at least some of these trees will have died en route, although this is not revealed.)

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:00 pm UTC

Long Covid: doctors find ‘antibody signature’ for patients most at risk

Low levels of certain antibodies found to be more common in those who go on to develop long Covid

Doctors have discovered an “antibody signature” that can help identify patients most at risk of developing long Covid, a condition where debilitating symptoms of the disease can persist for many months.

Researchers at University hospital Zurich analysed blood from Covid patients and found that low levels of certain antibodies were more common in those who developed long Covid than in patients who swiftly recovered.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:00 pm UTC

Descendants of Italy’s last king attempt to reclaim crown jewels

Items have been in storage since 1946, when Umberto II was banished as Italians voted to abolish monarchy

Descendants of the last king of Italy have made their first formal request to reclaim the crown jewels, which for almost 76 years have been stashed in a treasure chest in a safety deposit box at the Bank of Italy amid a long-running mystery over their ownership.

The bank took delivery of the jewels, comprising more than 6,000 diamonds and 2,000 pearls mounted on brooches and necklaces worn by various queens and princesses, on 5 June 1946, three days after Italians voted to abolish the monarchy and nine days before King Umberto II, who ruled for just 34 days, was banished into exile along with his male heirs.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:50 pm UTC

Former Irish soldier was prepared to die for Islamic State, court hears

Lisa Smith ‘enveloped’ herself in the ‘black flag of IS’ in Syria, prosecutor says

A former Irish soldier accused of joining Islamic State was prepared to die a martyr, a court in Dublin has heard.

Lisa Smith, 39, from Dundalk, County Louth, has pleaded not guilty to being a member of the terrorist organisation between October 2015 and December 2019.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:47 pm UTC

Twelve year jail term for twice raping girl was ‘too severe’, court told

Richard O’Mara has launched an appeal against the length of his sentence

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:47 pm UTC

Amazon buys rights to popular true-crime podcast 'My Favorite Murder'

Amazon is once again racing to buy the rights to major podcasts and the networks that share them. According to Bloomberg, Amazon is buying exclusive distribution and ad rights for the popular true crime series "My Favorite Murder" and other podcasts from Exactly Right Media. Amazon Music and Wondery will offer episodes a week before they're available anywhere else, and Amazon will have sole rights to sell ads. The paid Wondery+ service will offer shows ad-free.

The company didn't reveal the terms of the deal. When Amazon bought the celebrity SmartLess podcast, it paid $80 million for a three-year deal that also included one-week exclusives.

The arrangement comes as Amazon races to compete with Spotify and other tech giants snapping up major podcasts. While the "My Favorite Murder" deal isn't a full exclusive, the goal is the same: Amazon wants to spur use of its services, and ideally add some paying customers. Whatever the company spends now might be worthwhile if it persuades you to switch apps and bring in years of ad or subscription money.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:45 pm UTC

Home care situation for woman with complex needs may break down in weeks, court told

It will take between three and 18 months for a residential disability service to be available, judge hears

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:38 pm UTC

Clarity over this year’s Leaving Cert is due within the next week, Taoiseach says

Teachers’ unions call for further changes to written exams instead of ‘hybrid’ model

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:37 pm UTC

Greece Snowstorm: Thousands of drivers left stranded as storm hits Athens

Authorities in the Greek capital worked overnight to rescue some 300 people left stranded in cars.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:37 pm UTC

Serbia extradites Bahraini dissident in cooperation with Interpol

Move comes despite European court of human rights injunction saying that it should be postponed

Serbian authorities have extradited a Bahraini dissident in cooperation with Interpol despite an injunction by the European court of human rights, in the first test for the international policing organisation under the presidency of a top Emirati security official.

Authorities in Belgrade approved the extradition of Ahmed Jaafar Mohamed Ali to Bahrain earlier this week. Days earlier the ECHR had issued an injunction saying the extradition should be postponed until after 25 February to allow Serbian authorities time to provide more information to the court, which was responding to a request by the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights to consider Ali’s case.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:33 pm UTC

Sophos: Log4Shell would have been a catastrophe without the Y2K-esque mobilisation of engineers

Anti-malware company weighs in on one of the worst flaws of recent times

Anti-malware outfit Sophos has weighed in on Log4Shell, saying that the galvanization of the IT world to avert disaster would be familiar to those who lived through the Y2K era.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:32 pm UTC

What we bought: How the Kobo Libra 2 got me out of a reading slump

From time to time Engadget editors take time out to talk about what they've been buying for themselves, with their own money. This week, Commerce Editor Valentina Palladino gives her take on the Kobo Libra 2 e-reader.

I’ll be honest, the pandemic took a toll on my reading habits. A lot of the time I previously spent reading was now spent doom- and hate-scrolling on my iPhone. I didn’t want to drag that habit into 2022, so I deleted the biggest scroll-hole culprits from my phone (Instagram, Twitter) and decided to upgrade to the Kobo Libra 2 as a gift to myself.

The Libra 2 isn’t my first e-reader – an old Kindle Paperwhite still languishes in my drawer – but I wanted a change that would both get me out of a physical reading slump while also lessening my dependence on the juggernaut that is Amazon’s Kindle store. I came to this decision late last year after pulling out my old 2018 Paperwhite and reading a book on it. The experience was noticeably laggy, taking several minutes to properly sync my books and fetch titles I had borrowed from my local library. It was also apparent to me how annoying the Kindle was to hold. I primarily read with the device in my right hand, and because the Paperwhite’s size bezels are quite thin, that meant I was often accidentally turning the page when my fingers brushed the screen’s edge.

Enter the Libra 2, one of the company’s latest e-readers whose larger chin is home to physical page buttons. I knew I wanted one with this design, and if I had wanted to go the Amazon route, I would have been left with only the Kindle Oasis to consider. On top of the fact that Amazon’s devices support a limited number of file types, I just didn’t want to drop $250 on an e-reader. Kobo, on the other hand, has four devices with this design, with the Libra 2 being the most affordable of that bunch at $180.

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

The practicality of the larger chin and page-turn buttons can’t be overstated; they’re some of my favorite things about the Libra 2. My hand doesn’t cramp anymore when I read because I can easily switch from one hand to the other depending on if I’m at my desk, curled up on the couch, or peeking an eye out from under the covers in bed. Landscape reading mode has become a favorite, too, and I also like the tactical feel of the page-turn buttons so much that I rarely, if ever, tap the screen to progress in my current read.

The screen on the Libra 2 is also noticeably sharper than that of my old Kindle Paperwhite. It’s a seven-inch E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen with what Kobo calls “ComfortLight Pro,” which just means you can adjust the brightness and color temperature. I keep the temperature adjustment on the “auto” setting so the screen’s lighting becomes less blue and more yellow as the day goes on, making it my most comfortable screen to stare at right before bedtime. Plus, the numerous font, font sizes, line spacing and margin options let me customize text to my liking, making the entire reading experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

The Libra 2 is also waterproof, but it’s one of those features I don’t actually use every day and I’ll only fully appreciate it if the e-reader gets an unexpected dunking in a hotel pool. Same goes for the audiobook feature: I listen to books primarily through Overdrive's Libby app, so I haven’t tested the Libra 2 as an audiobook machine yet. However, the USB-C charging port is something I can appreciate in my day-to-day as it charges the device from nearly zero to full in a couple of hours. So far, the Libra 2 has lived up to its promise of having a weeks-long battery life as I’ve only had to charge it once in the month or so that I’ve had it.

So the Libra 2’s hardware has proven to be just as good in practice as it was on paper. But in addition to hardware, Kobo’s Overdrive and Pocket integrations were two big things that made me seriously consider making the switch from Kindle. Having all of my reading material in one place – specifically a place that’s not my phone – would surely stop me from falling down a scroll hole every night, right?

The answer is yes – mostly. (I still scroll sometimes, I’m but a mere mortal.) Saving articles to Pocket throughout the day is super easy and I can turn to them at night when I have more time to read. But the kicker for me is Overdrive, which I can browse directly on the Libra 2 and borrow titles from my library with just a few taps. I also use the Libby app in conjunction with this – when Libby and my Libra 2 are signed in with the same library card, any e-book I borrow via Libby automatically shows up on my Libra 2 like magic. Holds also show up on the e-reader with the amount of time I have left to wait; once it’s my turn, a cute little “borrow” button pops up, allowing me to get reading almost immediately. While Amazon’s Send-to-Kindle feature is also an easy way to get library books from Libby to a Kindle, I find this direct integration more convenient.

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

Where this becomes a bit cumbersome is if you have multiple library cards attached to your Overdrive account (which I do). You’ll have to sign out on the e-reader and sign in again with the specific library you’re trying to access. Most people will probably never have to do this, but just be aware if you’re like me and frequently check out multiple libraries’ catalogs with the hopes of getting the shortest wait time possible for your next read.

I try to use my library as much as possible, but it’s also worth noting that buying books on the Libra 2 is also convenient. You can purchase titles directly on the device from the Kobo store and I’ve yet to find a book that I want to purchase that Kobo doesn’t have. I frequently dump titles that none of my libraries have into my Kobo wishlist, and I was surprised to find that it had lesser-known books like This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik along with anticipated upcoming titles like How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix. 

If you live in the US, you’ve probably been fed the idea that Amazon’s Kindle book store is the most formidable on the web – and while that may be true, it’s not the only option available. Same goes for Kindles themselves: they may be the most ubiquitous e-readers, but if you’re even remotely interested in loosening the vice-grip Amazon has on your reading life, a Kobo device could do the trick.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:30 pm UTC

Taqueria Ramírez Brings a Mexico City Specialty to Brooklyn

A cut of beef little known in the United States emerges from a meat hot tub in Greenpoint to make a smooth, tender taco.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:28 pm UTC

What We Gain by Enchanting the Objects in Our Lives

The novelist and Zen Buddhist priest Ruth Ozeki draws connections between meditation, writing and the art and practice of listening.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:28 pm UTC

Burkina Faso coup: Why soldiers have overthrown President Kaboré

The military takeover, driven by insecurity, resembles what happened in neighbouring Mali.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:27 pm UTC

Man made redundant via Microsoft Teams awarded €120,000

An account manager made redundant without warning via a ten minute long Microsoft Teams remote meeting during a Covid-19 lockdown has been awarded €120,000 for his unfair dismissal by way of redundancy.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:27 pm UTC

This Poll Shows Just How Much Trouble Democrats Are In

New Gallup numbers may portend a political earthquake.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:24 pm UTC

Google Kills Off FLoC, Replaces it With Topics

FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), Google's controversial project for replacing cookies for interest-based advertising by instead grouping users into groups of users with comparable interests, is dead. In its place, Google today announced a new proposal: Topics. From a report: The idea here is that your browser will learn about your interests as you move around the web. It'll keep data for the last three weeks of your browsing history and as of now, Google is restricting the number of topics to 300, with plans to extend this over time. Google notes that these topics will not include any sensitive categories like gender or race. To figure out your interests, Google categorizes the sites you visit based on one of these 300 topics. For sites that it hasn't categorized before, a lightweight machine learning algorithm in the browser will take over and provide an estimated topic based on the name of the domain. When you hit upon a site that supports the Topics API for ad purposes, the browser will share three topics you are interested in -- one for each of the three last weeks -- selected randomly from your top five topics of each week. The site can then share this with its advertising partners to decide which ads to show you. Ideally, this would make for a more private method of deciding which ad to show you -- and Google notes that it also provides users with far greater control and transparency than what's currently the standard. Users will be able to review and remove topics from their lists -- and turn off the entire Topics API, too.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:21 pm UTC

‘We Are Going to Turn Our Pain Into Purpose’

Mayor Eric Adams’s ambitious gun safety plan includes reviving a controversial police unit his predecessor disbanded.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:19 pm UTC

Coronavirus Outbreak Is Reported on Aid Ship Bound for Tonga

Twenty-three people aboard the Australian ship have tested positive for the virus, prompting concerns that it could spread to Tonga. The volcano-stricken island has reported only one case during the pandemic.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:13 pm UTC

Respawn is making three more Star Wars games

EA has announced that Respawn Entertainment is making three more Star Wars games. The studio — also known for Titanfall and Apex Legends — is working on a follow up to its hit 2019 action-adventure title Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, though it’s not clear if the upcoming game is a direct sequel.

A first-person shooter overseen by a former Star Wars Battlefront producer in the pipeline too. In addition, a strategy game produced by Respawn is on the way, with Bit Reactor leading development. The new third-party studio is headed up by Greg Foertsch, who previously worked on the XCOM series.

EA's exclusive license to develop and publish Star Wars games expires next year. An open-world Star Wars game from Ubisoft’s The Division 2 studio Massive Entertainment is already in the works, while Quantic Dream is developing Star Wars: Eclipse. Before those and EA's trifecta of titles even get close to hitting your console or PC, you'll be able to dive into Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which arrives on April 5th.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:11 pm UTC

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 24 January, 2022 - Dragon Splashdown

SpaceX's upgraded Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down at 4:05 p.m. EST off the Florida coast, marking the return of the company's 24th contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA

Source: SpaceRef | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:06 pm UTC

‘I wanted to try cocaine, but Jimi was against it’: Janis Ian on her tough, starlit life in music

Hendrix and Janis Joplin warned her off drugs, she sang for James Brown and Salvador Dalí offered to paint her. Janis Ian’s confessional folk-pop is still sensational – so why is she retiring from recording?

‘I learned the truth at 17 / That love was meant for beauty queens / And high school girls with clear-skinned smiles / Who married young and then retired.” Janis Ian’s At Seventeen is an indelible portrait of life from the perspective of a socially awkward unattractive teen, inspired by a newspaper article that the singer-songwriter read about a young woman who thought her life would be perfect. “I learned the truth at 18,” the girl told the journalist. Ian changed her age and spent three months working on the intimate and confessional lyrics.

“You couldn’t write a song like that without having gone through it,” Ian says, video-calling from her home in New Jersey. Now 70, her hair is short and white, no longer the dark curls she sported on her album covers during the 60s and 70s. “The first time I sang At Seventeen in public I did it with my eyes closed. I felt like I was naked and I was sure the audience was going to be laughing.”

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:04 pm UTC

Leprosy Hospital Offers Healing, and a Haven, to the Shunned

While leprosy is now easily treated, those who have the disease are still often ostracized. But they’re always welcome at this refuge in India, a nation that records over half the world’s cases.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:04 pm UTC

Nvidia Quietly Prepares To Abandon $40 Billion Arm Bid

Artem S. Tashkinov writes: Nvidia is quietly preparing to abandon its purchase of Arm from SoftBank Group Corp after making little to no progress in winning approval for the $40 billion chip deal, according to people familiar with the matter. Nvidia has told partners that it doesn't expect the transaction to close, according to one person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. SoftBank, meanwhile, is stepping up preparations for an Arm initial public offering as an alternative to the Nvidia takeover, another person said. The purchase -- poised to become the biggest semiconductor deal in history when it was announced in September 2020 -- has drawn a fierce backlash from regulators and the chip industry, including Arm's own customers. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued to stop the transaction in December, arguing that Nvidia would become too powerful if it gained control over Arm's chip designs. The acquisition also faces resistance in China, where authorities are inclined to block the takeover if it wins approvals elsewhere, according to one person. But they don't expect it to get that far.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:04 pm UTC

How can your employer block a request to work from home?

Employers who refuse request must identify why on basis of ‘reasonable business grounds’

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:02 pm UTC

Intellidash Pro is an easy way to get CarPlay in older vehicles

There are plenty of cars that lack the technology to leverage CarPlay or Android Auto, including my own 2012 Toyota Scion iM. And there are plenty of people who lack the desire or ability to swap out their own head units to something that supports the new standards, including myself. So it’s me, really, that sits in the middle of the venn diagram of consumers that Car and Driver is targeting with its Intellidash and Intellidash Pro standalone head units.

Hardware wise, the Intellidash and Pro are both chunky, 7-inch displays which are designed to sit on your dashboard. (They are both rebranded versions of Coral Vision’s own display). The major difference between the two is that the vanilla edition requires a wired connection to your phone, while the Pro can operate wirelessly. Now, I’ve been driving around with the Intellidash Pro in my car for the bulk of the holiday season, and I like it a lot.

But, despite that, it’s probably worth launching head-first into the downsides before talking about why I like it. The most obvious of which is that the Intellidash Pro looks like a piece of farm equipment, or worse. It resembles the sort of low-cost GPS units you’d find on sale for three or four times the going rate in the back of a gas station two decades ago. In fact, there are no-brand Android tablets from 2013 that are better-looking than this thing, and thinner, too.

Partly, it’s this size because there’s a lot of gear packed inside, like a microphone, speakers, Sirius XM receiver, FM transmitter and Bluetooth. It’s also got a whole host of jacks for an aftermarket reversing camera, audio out, USB-C and USB-A (for a flash drive). But if you’re just connecting this wirelessly to your phone, you won’t need any of this.

Then there’s the fact that, at the least, you’ll need to route the power and aux-in leads around your dashboard. I didn’t bother, given this was just a short-term loan, but I suspect that fans of cleaner dashboard setups might find it a bit grating. You can tune it to broadcast over FM to your car which is better for cable management but isn’t ideal for audio quality.

Daniel Cooper

It’s also unfortunate that the manufacturers didn’t spend a little more time polishing the default UI. For instance, the home screen icons only run along the bottom quarter of the display, and there’s enough of them that you’d need to scroll to the next page to see the rest. Given the risk that you may need to use this screen when you’re driving, needless busywork is a bad thing.

Jump into the settings menu and you’ll feel like it was previously a Chinese-language original that has been hurriedly localized. Icons are muddy, fonts are hard-to-read and the whole thing needs a good, hard polish to make its UI feel less agrarian. Setting the night mode, for instance, means you’re diving into the last pane of display settings, despite its obvious importance.

I am, of course, nitpicking, and it’s easier to focus on these negatives because the one clear positive is so simple: Stick this in your car and after about two minutes of setup, you’ve got CarPlay (or Android Auto). No longer do you have to relegate your iPhone to the windshield mount, and now you can control your audio and navigation from the homescreen. That’s priceless when you’re on a long solo drive and you haven’t made yourself a playlist of podcast episodes you want to listen to. It’s the convenience you’re paying for, the ease of having to do very little to get this slice of the future into the ossified technology of history.

As for the price, well, the Intellidash Pro is $400, while the non-wireless Intellidash is $350. You’d spend that much, sometimes more, on a unit from Best Buy, albeit with fitting thrown in. Certainly, while it’s another widget on your dashboard, if you’re not sure how long you’re keeping your car, or have multiple cars, then having something you can take from vehicle to vehicle isn’t the worst idea in the world.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:00 pm UTC

Emissions from aluminum production are bad news for solar energy

Enlarge / All those supports require a lot of aluminum. (credit: Longhua Liao)

Once solar panels are operative, they produce electricity without carbon emissions. But making and installing them involves some emissions. Most of the worries about solar panel production have focused on the elements that go into the panels themselves, like gallium, cadmium, germanium, indium, selenium, and tellurium. But according to new research, the massive amount of aluminum needed to house the solar rigs of the future could create further problems.

“I hadn’t realized just how much aluminum was required for the frames and the modules, mountings, and inverters,” Alison Lennon, a researcher at UNSW Sydney’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, told Ars. She added that aluminum is often used because it is lightweight and corrosion-resistant.

In 2020, the World Bank released an oft-cited analysis called "Minerals for Climate Action: The Mineral Intensity of the Clean Energy Transition.” In this report, the authors identified aluminum as one of the minerals that would need to have its production scale by a large amount for the world to meet its climate goals. “PV was a large contributor,” Lennon said. “[This] made me think about the problem a bit more.”

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:57 pm UTC

Pfizer and BioNTech begin testing an omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine

Though people who are vaccinated and boosted appear to be better protected against omicron, the highly contagious variant has still led to breakthrough cases and a surge in infections worldwide.

(Image credit: Jonas Roosens/Belga Mag/AFP via Getty Images)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:56 pm UTC

Hymen repair surgery and virginity testing to be banned in UK

The practice is linked to virginity in some cultures and has been described as a form of violence.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:52 pm UTC

Google sued in US over 'deceptive' location tracking

Washington DC and Texas are among four states taking legal action against the technology giant.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:49 pm UTC

Shut off 3G by 2033? How about 2023, asks Vodafone UK

Says it'll be 'asking customers' to make sure own phones support 4G, and to check on friends, family

Vodafone is to begin retirement of its 3G network next year, saying this will free up frequencies to improve 4G and 5G services.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:46 pm UTC

Nintendo Switch is $20 off for Amazon Prime members at Woot

It's not always easy to find deals for the Nintendo Switch, so this latest bargain might be worth a look. Woot is selling the blue-and-red LCD model for $280 to Amazon Prime members, or $20 below the official price. The company's return policy isn't the same as Amazon's, but you'll have until February 28th to take advantage of the discount.

Buy Nintendo Switch at Woot - $280

In a sense, the hardware is almost incidental here. You're buying a Switch for the games, which now include many classics ranging from launch-era titles like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to the recent Metroid Dread. Popular third-party games like Fortnite are available, too. Still, Nintendo's system is a great fit if you want TV and handheld gaming from one device — or just want a console with a particularly kid-friendly game selection.

There aren't many catches, but they're worth noting. You won't find some blockbuster multi-platform games like the Call of Duty series, and the Switch's 2017-era processing power won't wow you like a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X might. We'd add that it's also a question of whether or not this is the right Switch for you — the Switch OLED offers markedly improved display quality, battery life and tabletop gaming for $350, while the $200 Switch Lite is a bargain if you're just interested in portable use. At $280, though, the standard LCD Switch represents a good balance between features and price.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:44 pm UTC

‘Virginity repair’ surgery to be banned in Britain under new bill

Move to outlaw procedures to reconstruct the hymen welcomed by campaigners and survivors of ‘honour’-based abuse

“Virginity repair” surgery known as hymenoplasty has no place in the medical world, British healthcare professionals were warned today, as legislation to criminalise the practice was introduced by the government.

An amendment added to the health and care bill on Monday will make it illegal to perform any procedure that aims to reconstruct the hymen, with or without consent.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:23 pm UTC

Amazon's cashierless Go stores are coming to the suburbs

You might not have to venture downtown (or to a grocery chain) to visit an Amazon Go store. USA Todayreports Amazon plans to open a new version of the cashierless store designed for suburban areas. The locations will still focus on essentials, ready-to-eat food, drinks and snacks, just with layouts more suited to these outlying regions.

The shops will still rely on computer vision to detect what you buy. Once you've scanned your phone at the entrance, camera systems detect what you grab from the shelves. Amazon charges you for the items once you leave the Go store.

Amazon will open the first of these suburban Go stores in Mill Creek, Washington sometime in the months ahead. A second store will debut later in the Los Angeles area. The move still leaves large parts of the US (not to mention the planet) without access, but we suspect Amazon isn't too concerned when third-party chains like Starbucks are beginning to adopt its AI-based shopping tech.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:12 pm UTC

Parallels: Purveyors of decent virtualization software... and occasionally iffy checksums

La la la, we're not listening

For some, an MD5 checksum is the sequence of letters and numbers that shows up next to the file they want to download. For others, it's a handy pointer that the file you've downloaded is the one you were expecting.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:01 pm UTC

YouTube's CEO Says the Company Will Explore NFT Features for Video Creators

YouTube is exploring adding nonfungible token features for its video creators, Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki wrote to the site's broadcasters on Tuesday. From a report: Although Wojcicki didn't say exactly what her team is planning, or when, it marks the first time Alphabet's Google, YouTube's owner, is becoming involved with the cryptocurrency collectibles. Several of YouTube's rivals have already jumped on the trend. Twitter began letting users post NFTs as profile photos and Instagram is reportedly working on a similar offering, according to the Financial Times. NFTs are digital assets that represent ownership of digital assets, like art, that people can buy or sell. YouTube, home to the largest creator economy, has spent several years building ways for its video stars to earn money beyond advertising, adding tools like fan payments and e-commerce. Wojcicki told creators her company was looking to web3, an umbrella term for internet models built around crypto, as a "source for inspiration."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:01 pm UTC

Testing Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake laptop CPUs: Many cores make light work

Enlarge / Intel's 12th-generation Core chips are coming to laptops. (credit: Intel)

We were impressed with Intel's top-tier 12th-generation desktop chips. Though still power-hungry compared to competing AMD Ryzen processors, their combination of big performance cores (P-cores) and clusters of small efficiency cores (E-cores) helped them shine under all kinds of workloads, including games that favor fewer, faster cores and video encoding and rendering tasks that benefit from every core you can throw at them.

The laptop versions of those chips, which Intel announced at CES earlier this month, don't have access to a desktop computer's huge power supply or beefy cooling systems. They also don't benefit from being compared to mediocre predecessors. 11th-generation Core desktop processors backported a new CPU architecture to Intel's decrepit 14nm manufacturing process with unimpressive results, while 11th-generation Core laptop chips benefitted from the newer 10nm process and correspondingly lower heat and power consumption. The 12th-generation chips use the same process, though it has been re-dubbed "Intel 7" to close the PR gap between Intel's 10nm process and TSMC's 7nm process.

The first Alder Lake laptop processor to find its way into our hands is the tippy-top-end Core i9-12900HK, the fastest of the bunch. In our testing, we tried to see whether the laptop version of Alder Lake strikes the same performance balance as the desktop version—fast cores when you need fast cores and lots of cores when you need lots of cores.

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:00 pm UTC

YouTube considers jumping on the NFT bandwagon

YouTube is the latest platform eyeing a move into NFTs. In a new letter to creators about YouTube’s 2022 priorities, CEO Susan Wojicki said the company is exploring how its creators could benefit from the digital collectibles.

In the letter, Wojicki said that Web3 — a term used by crypto enthusiasts to refer to the collection of blockchain based technologies they believe will usher in a new era of the internet — has been a “source of inspiration” for the company. She didn’t say exactly how YouTube may integrate NFTs into its platform, but suggested the technology could be a new source of revenue for creators.

“The past year in the world of crypto, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and even decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) has highlighted a previously unimaginable opportunity to grow the connection between creators and their fans,” she wrote. “We’re always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs, while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube.”

If YouTube allowed creators to sell NFTs directly to their fans, it would be a major boon for the technology, which has grown in popularity over the last year, but hasn’t been widely adopted by major social platforms. But there are already signs that could change in 2022.

Twitter just introduced its first experiment with NFTs, with NFT profile pictures. Instagram’s top executive has also expressed an interest in the technology, and The Financial Timesreported last week that Facebook and Instagram are working on an NFT marketplace and other features,

NFT aren’t the only new monetization opportunities YouTube is looking at in the coming year, though. Wojicki also said the company is “excited” about podcasts and that “we expect it to be an integral part of the creator economy.” She also confirmed that YouTube would expand its shopping features to more creators, and test “how shopping can be integrated into Shorts.”

The CEO also touched on the controversy surrounding YouTube’s decision to remove public dislike counts from its platform. She noted that the dislikes was often used to target smaller creators for harassment, and that the feature could still be used to inform individuals' recommendations. “Every way we looked at it, we did not see a meaningful difference in viewership, regardless of whether or not there was a public dislike count,” she said. “And importantly, it reduced dislike attacks.”

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:00 pm UTC

Solar Orbiter catches a second comet by the tail

For the second time in its mission so far, the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft has flown through the tail of a comet. Predicted in advance by astronomers at University College London, UK, the spacecraft collected a wealth of science data that now awaits full analysis.

Source: ESA Top News | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:00 pm UTC

The 2021 Apple TV 4K is on sale for $160 right now

The Apple TV 4K has many things going for it, but its relatively high $179 price tag isn't one of them. We consider it to be the best premium streaming device thanks to its feature set but also its price tag. But now you can get the latest set-top box from Apple for $20 less — Amazon has the 32GB Apple TV 4K for $160 thanks to a sale and an automatically applied coupon that knocks another $10 off the discounted price. While we saw it drop to $150 during the holiday shopping season last year, this is the best price we've seen since then.

Buy 2021 Apple TV 4K at Amazon - $160

If you're looking for a higher-end streaming device to complement the rest of your home theater setup, the Apple TV may be the one for you — especially if you also already live in the Apple ecosystem. The latest model streams 4K content and supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, AirPlay 3 and screen mirroring. It also has handy HomeKit integration, so you can ask Siri to show you feeds from your home security cameras and they'll show up directly on your TV screen.

All of those features impressed us, as did the latest model's speedy performance. But arguably the biggest upgrade that the 2021 version has is the new Siri remote. Apple fixed a lot of problems that the previous remote had — the new one is larger and generally easier to use, plus it has a directional clicker that's also touch sensitive. The latter makes it smooth and easy to scroll through watch options or scrub backwards and forwards in a video. In addition to new back, home, play/pause and volume buttons, the remote also has a new infrared power button that will let some power on and off their TV.

The new Siri remote is a big selling point for the latest Apple TV 4K. Is it enough to upgrade if you have the previous model? It's not a clear-cut decision, especially since the performance improvements in the latest version may not be noticeable to everyone. But if you've had your eye on the Apple TV 4K for a while, the 2021 model is the one to get.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:57 pm UTC

Ireland advises against non-essential travel to Ukraine

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has described the situation between Russia and Ukraine as enormously serious.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:55 pm UTC

Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final to be moved after eight die in crush outside stadium

The Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final due to be held at the Olembe Stadium will be moved after a fatal crush outside the ground on Monday.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:52 pm UTC

To my surprise and elation, the Webb Space Telescope is really going to work

The James Webb Space Telescope as it will appear in orbit. (credit: NASA)

I met John Grunsfeld outside a coffee shop in Houston, across the street from Johnson Space Center, a little more than five years ago.

He had only recently retired from NASA after a long and storied career. Over the course of nearly two decades, Grunsfeld had flown into space five times, the latter three of which were missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope. A physicist by training, Grunsfeld had become affectionately known as a "Hubble Hugger" for his work on the venerable instrument in space.

He had then left the astronaut corps and gone on to lead NASA's science missions as associate administrator of the agency's science directorate. When we met late in the fall of 2016, Grunsfeld had just returned to private life. Now that he could speak more freely, I wanted to know what Grunsfeld really thought about the space agency's science priorities. He was in Houston for his annual astronaut physical, and we enjoyed the pleasant late November sunshine as cars zipped by on NASA Road 1.

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:51 pm UTC

Practice of admitting children to adult psychiatric units must end, committee hears

New bill could legislate for this if wording is not careful – Children’s Ombudsman

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:45 pm UTC

Domestic violence legislation could spark conversation

An Oireachtas committee has heard that introducing fresh legislation concerning domestic violence could spark an urgently needed national conversation on the subject.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:45 pm UTC

Defective school built in ‘record’ 20 weeks instead of 60, High Court told

‘Breakneck speed’ created risk of shoddy work which Minister’s engineers had duty to monitor, judge hears

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:44 pm UTC

Neil Young threatens to quit Spotify over Joe Rogan vaccine misinformation

Canadian musician Neil Young is not pleased to be sharing Spotify's platform with podcast star Joe Rogan, according to Rolling Stone. In a now-deleted letter, Young reportedly asked his management team and record label to remove his songs from the platform. "I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe [it]," he said. "They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both."

The content of the letter was confirmed to The Daily Beast by Young's manager, Frank Gironda. "It's something that's really important to Neil," said Gironda. "He's very upset about this disinformation. We're trying to figure this out right now." As it stands now, his music is still available on Spotify.

Spotify signed Joe Rogan to a reported multiyear, $100 million+ deal, and his The Joe Rogan Experience is now the world's most popular podcast with up to 11 million listeners on average. It's been controversial since it was launched, however, with Rogan allowing conspiracy theorists like InfoWars' Alex Jones on his show. 

Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy. 

Most recently, Rogan hosted virologist Dr. Robert Malone, who says he's one of the creators of mRNA technology. Malone made baseless claims about COVID-19, saying a "mass formation psychosis" led people to believe the vaccines were effective. The episode prompted a group of over 1,000 doctors, nurses, scientists and educators to send an open letter to Spotify demanding that it create a misinformation policy. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has previously said that he doesn't believe the platform has editorial responsibility over podcasts.

Young previously removed his music from Spotify over objections that the quality was too low at the time. The same year, he created the Pono music player designed for high-quality audio, and in 2016 announced a streaming service that adapted music quality based on your internet speed. That never went anywhere, but rival services including Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify have since launched both "lossless" high-definition and surround-sound audio options that significantly boost quality. 

Young has six million followers himself on Spotify, but noted that the Joe Rogan Experience's "tremendous influence" concerns him. "Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy," he wrote.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:43 pm UTC

Man who harassed woman he met on dating site gets suspended sentence

Victim experienced very real fear and was disturbed by widower’s behaviour, court heard

Source: The Irish Times - News | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:30 pm UTC

X-59 Wind Tunnel Testing at NASA Glenn

This colorized schlieren image is of a small-scale model of NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology airplane.

Source: NASA Image of the Day | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:28 pm UTC

'The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners' sequel is on the way

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is getting a sequel, its developer Skydance Interactive has confirmed. It doesn't come as a surprise — the title quickly became one of the most popular games for the PlayStation VR since it launched in 2020, and it swiftly made its way to other platforms, including the Oculus Quest 2, Viveport and PC. Skydance has also revealed, along with its announcement that a sequel is in development, that the VR survival-horror title has welcomed 2.5 million players and has "far surpassed $60 million in revenue" since it became available on January 23rd, 2020.

The sequel is entitled Chapter 2: Retribution, and Skydance says it will pick up from where the first game left off. It'll continue its predecessor's storyline, which means players will play the Tourist that'll have to survive the zombie-infested remains of New Orleans. That said, it'll be developed as a standalone game for those who don't want to bother playing the first and will feature new characters and new threats.

Chris Busse, head of Skydance Interactive, said in a statement:

"The past two years have been absolutely incredible for The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, and we’re grateful forthe continued support from the player community who have helped make the game the success it is today. We're excited to announce Chapter 2, and we can't wait to let players explorethe new adventures that await them in the French Quarter and beyond."

Unfortunately, that's the only information Skydance has shared for now, though the company promises to release more details about the sequel later this year. 

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:20 pm UTC

U.S. Navy Fighter Jet Accident in South China Sea Injures 7

The military said it was investigating the cause of a “landing mishap” during routine operations.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:19 pm UTC

Tonga volcano: 'We hope for the best for our families back home'

Tongans living in Fiji are collecting donations to support those impacted by the volcano and tsunami.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:18 pm UTC

Behold! The first line of defence for 25% of the US nuclear stockpile: Dolphins

Erm... should we be concerned?

Remember how in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 you could produce anti-ship dolphin units with some sort of sonic cannon strapped to their backs? How we laughed.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:16 pm UTC

Biden threatens Putin with sanctions over Ukraine

Western leaders stepped up preparations for any Russian military action in Ukraine today, with talks taking place on protecting energy supplies and US President Joe Biden saying he would consider imposing direct sanctions on President Vladimir Putin.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:14 pm UTC

Google is testing a new replacement for third-party cookies

With the demise of third-party cookies on the horizon, advertisers and the internet's gatekeepers are scrambling to come up with better ways to serve users relevant ads. Google launched its Privacy Sandbox in 2019 to look into suitable alternatives, announcing FLoC (or Federated Learning of Cohorts) last year. The plan to roll out FLoC was delayed, and Privacy Sandbox faced regulatory scrutiny in the UK and the US. Today, the company announced it's testing out a new approach called Topics API, which will replace FLoC. 

Topics API relies on the Chrome browser to determine a list of top five topics a user is interested in, based on their surfing history. It'll determine what the topics are by comparing known websites (that you visit) against a list of about 350 topics drawn from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Google's own data. Then, when partner publishers need to know what topics a viewer is into, they can use Topics API to ping the browser for that data and serve relevant ads based on that. 

Say, for example, you've visited a lot of sites for hiking or working out. Chrome will count those towards your top interests for that particular week and share them with participating publishers who can then show you ads for, say, athleisure or camping gear. Topics will select one area of interest from each of the past three weeks to share with each site and its advertising partners. Google says topics are "kept for only three weeks and old topics are deleted." The data and processing happens on your device "without involving any external servers, including Google servers." 

There will also be options in Chrome for users to see the topics assigned to you, remove those you don't like or disable the feature altogether. At the moment, since Google has only just announced Topics and hasn't started user tests, it hasn't shared whether Topics will be opt-in or opt-out for users.  

The list of topics is pre-set, and Google says it "will not include potentially sensitive categories, such as gender or race." This should theoretically prevent unwanted browsing history from counting towards and showing up in your interests. 

Google is targeting the end of the first quarter this year to launch its trial, and after publishing the explainer on how it expects to use Topics API today, it'll be accepting feedback from partners, interest groups and regulatory authorities. Based on that, the company may adjust Topics API before its first trial, and if all goes well it could launch the feature by the third quarter of the year. 

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:00 pm UTC

The SAT Will Go Completely Digital by 2024

The SAT will go completely digital by 2024 amid questions about whether college admissions tests are fair, or even necessary.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:00 pm UTC

Flying Car Wins Airworthiness Certification

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: A flying car capable of hitting speeds over 100mph (160kmh) and altitudes above 8,000ft (2,500m) has been issued with a certificate of airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority. The hybrid car-aircraft, AirCar, is equipped with a BMW engine and runs on regular petrol-pump fuel. It takes two minutes and 15 seconds to transform from car into aircraft. The certification followed 70 hours of flight testing and more than 200 take-offs and landings, the company said. "AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars," its creator, Prof Stefan Klein, said. "It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever." In June, the flying car completed a 35-minute flight between international airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia. The company told BBC News it planned "to fly to London from Paris in near future." Dr Steve Wright, senior research fellow in avionics and aircraft systems, at the University of the West of England, said the news was "a good step down the road" for the company and made him "cautiously optimistic that I am going to see a few AirCars one day -- but I think there is still a way to go."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:00 pm UTC

Starting in 2024, U.S. students will take the SAT entirely online

The College Board, the organization behind the test, also announced that the exam will shrink from three hours to two, and students will be able to use a calculator for the math section.

(Image credit: Ryan Johnson for NPR)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:00 pm UTC

Peter Dinklage criticises Disney for ‘backwards’ remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Actor who has a form of dwarfism says the studio’s pride in casting a Latina Snow White is undercut by stereotypes retained elsewhere

Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage has taken aim at Disney for what he called its “fucking backwards” forthcoming live action adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Dinklage, who stars in Joe Wright’s new film, Cyrano, accused the studio of double standards by attending to racial diversity in its cast but falling back on other damaging stereotypes.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:52 pm UTC

Will Robots Really Destroy the Future of Work?

A new book argues that workers can thrive despite technology that eliminates jobs.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:45 pm UTC

Report suggests NVIDIA is preparing to walk away from its ARM acquisition

NVIDIA has reportedly made little to no progress in gaining regulatory approval for its $40 billion purchase of ARM and is privately preparing to abandon the deal, according to Bloomberg's sources. Meanwhile, current ARM owner SoftBank is reportedly advancing a program to take ARM public as an alternative to the acquisition, said another person familiar with the matter.

NVIDIA announced the deal in September 2020, with CEO Jensen Huang proclaiming it would "create a company fabulously positioned for the age of AI." ARM's designs are used under license almost universally in smartphones and other mobile devices by companies like Apple, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Samsung, Intel and Amazon. 

A backlash began soon after the announcement. The UK, where ARM is based, launched an antitrust investigation into the acquisition in January 2021, and another security probe last November. In the US, the FTC recently sued to block the purchase over concerns it would "stifle" competition in industries like data centers and car manufacturing. China would also reportedly block the transaction if other regulators don't, Bloomberg's sources say. 

We continue to hold the views expressed in detail in our latest regulatory filings — that this transaction provides an opportunity to accelerate Arm and boost competition and innovation.

Companies like Intel, Amazon and Microsoft have reportedly given regulators enough information to kill the deal, the sources say. They previously argued that NVIDIA can't preserve ARM's independence because it's an ARM client itself. As such, it could also potentially become both a supplier and competitor to ARM licensees. 

Despite the stiff headwinds, both companies maintain that they're still pushing forward. "We continue to hold the views... that this transaction provides an opportunity to accelerate ARM and boost competition and innovation," NVIDIA spokesman Bob Sherbin told Bloomberg. "We remain hopeful that the transaction will be approved," a SoftBank spokesperson added in a statement.

Despite the latter comment, factions at Softbank are reportedly pushing for an ARM IPO as an alternative to the acquisition, particularly while the semiconductor industry is so hot. Others in the company want to continue pursuing the transaction given that NVIDIA's stock price has nearly doubled since it was announced, effectively increasing the transaction price.

The initial agreement expires on September 13th, 2022, but will automatically renew if approvals take longer. NVIDIA predicted that the transaction would close in approximately 18 months — a deadline that now seems unrealistic.

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:35 pm UTC

Former Oracle execs warn that Big Red's auditing process is also a 'sales enablement tool'

'Most of it – if not all of it – really amounts to fear, uncertainty and doubt'

A group of former Oracle executives with roles across its software compliance teams have described the close links between Big Red's auditing process and its drive to increase revenue.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:32 pm UTC

Morocco beat Malawi to reach Afcon quarter-finals

Morocco are through to the last eight of the Africa Cup of Nations after a 2-1 victory over stubborn Malawi.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:25 pm UTC

How Partying Could Be Boris Johnson’s Undoing

The British prime minister is engulfed in a scandal over parties held at his home and office during lockdown. Could this spell the end of his premiership?

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:03 pm UTC

Ukraine: 'I should be ready to defend the country'

Marta is getting military training for a possible Russian invasion, but says she doesn't want war.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 11:58 am UTC

Employers in denial over success of digital skills training, say exasperated staffers

Large disparities in views from bosses vs workers on 'talent transformation initiatives,' says survey

Digital transformation projects are being held back by a lack of skills, according to a new survey, which finds that while many employers believe they are doing well at training up existing staff to meet the requirements, their employees beg to differ.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 11:47 am UTC

Two Covid Americas

The unvaccinated are less worried than the boosted, according to a poll.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 11:31 am UTC

Lisa Smith pleads not guilty to terrorism charges

Lisa Smith "enveloped herself in the black flag" of the terrorist organisation Islamic State by emigrating to its territory and subscribing to its allegiance and protection, the Special Criminal Court heard today.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 11:28 am UTC

Over 9,000 new Covid cases as expert group set up

An expert group has been set up to initially identify lessons from the public health components of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 11:10 am UTC

Ukraine: How will we know if war has started?

Speculation is rife about when Putin might strike but maybe hostilities already started, writes Jonathan Marcus.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 11:09 am UTC

Saved by the Bill: What if... Microsoft had killed Windows 95?

Now this looks like a job for me, 'cos we need a little, controversy... 'Cos it feels so NT, without me

Former Microsoft veep Brad Silverberg has paid tribute to Bill Gates for saving Windows 95.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 11:01 am UTC

Cardi B Awarded $1.25 Million in Libel Lawsuit Against Celebrity Gossip Blogger

The rapper sued the YouTuber Tasha K in 2019 after she posted a series of videos claiming that Cardi B was a prostitute.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:55 am UTC

Anti-abortion groups are raking in fundraising as Supreme Court decision looms

Susan B. Anthony List secured $20 million in pledged financial contributions, five times more than it has had at the outset of an election year over its 30-year history,

(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:53 am UTC

Bob Dylan sells entire recorded catalogue to Sony Music Entertainment

The deal covers all Dylan recordings dating from 1962 to future originals and reissues, and will explore ‘new ways’ to reach future generations

Bob Dylan has sold his entire back catalogue of recorded music to Sony Music Entertainment, as well as the rights to multiple future releases, in a deal rumoured to be worth between $150m and $200m (£111m–£148m), Variety reports.

The deal covers all Dylan recordings dating from 1962, including his self-titled debut album, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in March, and future releases and reissues in Dylan’s celebrated Bootleg Series.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:53 am UTC

Nadal gets 'preferential treatment' from umpires - Shapovalov complains after five-set defeat

Rafael Nadal and other top players are given preferential treatment by umpires, says Canada's Denis Shapovalov after his quarter-final loss to the Spaniard in Melbourne.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:48 am UTC

UK government opens consultation on medic-style register for Brit infosec pros

Are you competent? Ethical? Welcome to UKCSC's new list

Frustrated at lack of activity from the "standard setting" UK Cyber Security Council, the government wants to pass new laws making it into the statutory regulator of the UK infosec trade.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:14 am UTC

Prosecutors in multiple states are investigating false Electoral College submissions

Legal experts say the illegitimate submissions should motivate Congress to update the Electoral Count Act and "firm up the guardrails" of democracy.

(Image credit: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Source: News : NPR | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:10 am UTC

They Broke Up With Two Architects Before Finding the Right One

‘It’s like going through bad relationships,’ said an owner of the 1975 Bay Area home. ‘The house needed an architect who wasn’t so driven by ego.’

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:00 am UTC

Democrats, Want to Defend Democracy? Embrace What Is Possible.

Why Congress should reform the Electoral Count Act.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:00 am UTC

A Historic Verdict, and a New Front in the Global Fight for Human Rights

The first time anyone from the Syrian regime is judged guilty of its crimes is in a German court. What justice does it bring to Syrians?

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:00 am UTC

China’s Zero-Covid Policy Is a Pandemic Waiting to Happen

The planet’s most populous nation cannot seal itself off from the world forever.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:00 am UTC

What My Queer Uncle Taught Me About How to Live

A beloved uncle left an inheritance made of love.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:00 am UTC

Linux Foundation Launches Open Source Software Development, Linux, and Git Certification

The Linux Foundation has released three new training courses on the edX platform: Open Source Software Development: Linux for Developers (LFD107x), Linux Tools for Software Development (LFD108x), and Git for Distributed Software Development (LFD109x). The three courses can be taken individually or combined to earn a Professional Certificate in Open Source Software Development, Linux, and Git. ZDNet reports: The first class, Open Source Software Development: Linux for Developers (LFD107x) explores the key concepts of developing open-source software and how to work productively in Linux. You don't need to know Linux before starting this class, as it's an introduction to Linux designed for developers. In it, you'll learn how to install Linux and programs, how to use desktop environments, text editors, important commands and utilities, command shells and scripts, filesystems, and compilers. For this class, the Foundation recommends you use a computer installed with a current Linux distribution. I'd go further and recommend you use one with one of the professional Linux distributions. In particular, you should focus on one of the three main enterprise Linux families: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), and Ubuntu. There are hundreds of other distros, but these are the ones that matter to companies looking for Linux developers. The next course, Linux Tools for Software Development (LFD108x) examines the tools necessary to do everyday work in Linux development environments and beyond. It is designed for developers with experience working on any operating system who want to understand the basics of open-source development. Upon completion, participants will be familiar with essential shell tools, so they can work comfortably and productively in Linux environments. In addition, I recommend you come to this class with a working knowledge of the C programming language. Finally, Git for Distributed Software Development (LFD109x) provides a thorough introduction to Git. Git is Linux Torvalds' other great accomplishment. This source control system was first used by the Linux kernel community to enable developers from around the world to operate efficiently. In addition, thanks to such sites as GitHub and GitLab, Git has become the lingua franca of all software development. Everyone uses Git today. With this class, you'll learn to use Git to create new repositories or clone existing ones, commit new changes, review revision histories, examine differences with older versions, work with different branches, merge repositories, and work with a distributed development team. Whether or not you end up programming in Linux, knowing how to use Git is essential for the modern programmer. As ZDNet's Steven Vaughan-Nichols notes, you can take the three courses through edX in audit mode for no cost. However, you'll need to earn the professional certificate so employers will know you're capable of open-source programming. "To do this, you must enroll in the program, complete all three courses, and pay a verified certificate fee of $149 per course."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 25 Jan 2022 | 10:00 am UTC

Barty races past Pegula to set up semi-final with Keys

Ashleigh Barty underlines why she is the Australian Open favourite as she thrashes Jessica Pegula to set up a semi-final against Madison Keys.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:54 am UTC

Fishermen plan to disrupt Russian military exercise

The Chief Executive Officer of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation has said some of their members plan to peacefully disrupt Russia's plans to conduct a military exercise in waters off the Irish coast next month.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:35 am UTC

Microsoft's do-it-all IDE Visual Studio 2022 came out late last year. How good is it really?

Top request from devs? A Linux version

Review  Visual Studio goes back a long way. Microsoft always had its own programming languages and tools, beginning with Microsoft Basic in 1975 and Microsoft C 1.0 in 1983.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:25 am UTC

Neil Young wants to quit Spotify over Joe Rogan's vaccine misinformation

The star protests over vaccine misinformation in Joe Rogan's podcast, which is hosted by Spotify.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 9:22 am UTC

Snow-hit Greece declares two public holidays

Greek authorities declared today and tomorrow as public holidays as heavy snowfall clogged roads and stranded thousands of people.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:50 am UTC

James Webb Space Telescope has arrived at its new home – an orbit almost a million miles from Earth

Funnily enough, that's where we want to be right now, too

The James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most complex space observatory built by NASA, has reached its final destination: L2, the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point, an orbit located about a million miles away.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:35 am UTC

Judge-led review to examine Defence Forces allegations

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney has said a judge-led independent review into sexual abuse and bullying allegations in the Defence Forces will be set up.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:13 am UTC

Police to investigate No 10 lockdown gatherings

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remained braced for the publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray's inquiry into allegations of lockdown-breaching parties in Downing Street.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:08 am UTC

For Ukrainian Soldiers, a Nervous Guessing Game on the Front

Given Russia’s penchant for misdirection, it’s unclear how a military incursion would start. And that keeps the Ukrainian troops on edge.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 8:00 am UTC

UN data reveals ‘nearly insurmountable’ scale of lost schooling due to Covid

Up to 70% of 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income countries lack basic reading skills, with learning losses seen from US to Ethiopia

The scale of the number of children who have lost out on their schooling during the pandemic is “nearly insurmountable”, according to UN data.

Up to 70% of 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income countries cannot read or understand a simple text, up from 53% pre-Covid, the research suggested.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:45 am UTC

Mumbai winter: India's muggy city is butt of jokes in 'winter' memes

The unusually cold weather in India's financial capital has amused the internet.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:25 am UTC

France reports half a million Covid cases in new record

France reported 501,635 new cases of coronavirus today, a new daily record and the first time the headline number has surpassed half a million.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 7:00 am UTC

LG promises to make home appliance software upgradeable to take on new tasks

Kids: empty the dishwasher! We can’t, Dad, it’s updating its OS to handle baked on grime from winter curries

As the right to repair movement gathers pace, Korea’s LG has decided to make sure that its whitegoods can be upgraded.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:58 am UTC

Damon Albarn makes songwriting apology to Taylor Swift

Damon Albarn has apologised "unreservedly and unconditionally" to Taylor Swift after causing anger by claiming she does not write her own songs.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:46 am UTC

Workers paid less than minimum wage to pick berries destined for UK supermarkets

Exclusive: Workers in Portugal picking berries ending up on the shelves of Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Tesco allege exploitative conditions

Farm workers in Portugal appear to have been working illegally long hours picking berries destined for Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Waitrose for less than the minimum wage, according to a Guardian investigation.

Speaking anonymously, for fear of retribution from their employers, workers claimed the hours listed on their payslips were often fewer than the hours they had actually worked.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:30 am UTC

Cost of living 'unbearable' for many people, Dáil told

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald said the crisis in both housing and health has got worse since the general election two years ago, and that the cost of living has reached an unbearable level for many people.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:20 am UTC

IBM confirms new mainframe to arrive 'late in first half of 2022'

Hybrid cloud is Big Blue's big bet, but big iron is predicted to bring a welcome revenue boost

IBM has confirmed that a new model of its Z Series mainframes will arrive “late in the first half” of 2022 and emphasised the equipment's debut as a source of improved revenue for the company’s infrastructure business.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:01 am UTC

Governments around the world used Covid to erode human rights – report

Transparency International ranking reveals decade of standstill on tackling corruption, with many countries reaching historic lows in 2021

The global fight against corruption has been at a standstill for a decade, with 86% of countries either worsening or making no progress in tackling the problem, and with numerous governments accused of using the pandemic to erode human rights and democracy, a report has found.

Transparency International’s annual corruption ranking, published on Tuesday, also found countries that violate civil liberties consistently have low scores, underlining how failure to tackle corruption exacerbates human rights abuses and undermines democracy.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:00 am UTC

School building remedial work costs €11.5m, court told

A court has heard that shoddy workmanship in a project delivered "at breakneck speed" was responsible for serious and extensive defects at a North Dublin school constructed in 2009 by a Tyrone based building company.

Source: News Headlines | 25 Jan 2022 | 6:00 am UTC

Cargo Dragon Departs The International Space Station

SpaceX Dragon 24 departing the International Space Station on Sunday 23 January 2022.

Source: SpaceRef | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:13 am UTC

James Webb Space Telescope Has Arrived At L2

Today, at 2 p.m. EST, Webb fired its onboard thrusters for nearly five minutes (297 seconds) to complete the final postlaunch course correction to Webb's trajectory.

Source: SpaceRef | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:10 am UTC

Consistent Asteroid Showers Rock Previous Thinking On Mars Craters

New Curtin University research has confirmed the frequency of asteroid collisions that formed impact craters on Mars has been consistent over the past 600 million years.

Source: SpaceRef | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:07 am UTC

Studying The 'Lost Habitable' World of Venus

Venus hides a wealth of information that could help us better understand Earth and exoplanets, or those planets outside our solar system.

Source: SpaceRef | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:04 am UTC

South Florida As Seen From Orbit

An image of the coast of South Florida from Miami up to Cape Canaveral.

Source: SpaceRef | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:02 am UTC

Reparations to the Caribbean could break the cycle of corruption – and China’s grip | Kenneth Mohammed

The belt and road initiative is ensnaring vulnerable countries in debt via corrupt infrastructure projects. Slavery reparations from former colonial powers could help turn the tide

As Transparency International (TI) publishes their annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) this week, it will be interesting to see where certain countries land: 2021 has been a bumper year for corruption.

In Britain, corruption has been on the minds of journalists, academics and practitioners alike, as Boris Johnson tries to get himself run out, the only hope of him continuing his innings lying with Sue Gray.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 5:01 am UTC

Earthquake halts operations at two of Toshiba's chip factories

6.6-rated rumble joins fire, snow, plague, and trade war as source of recent semiconductor supply chain SNAFUs

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake that hit southwestern Japan around 1:00 AM last Saturday has led to the closing of Toshiba’s Oita semiconductor plant.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 4:30 am UTC

Supreme Court Will Hear Challenge to Affirmative Action at Harvard and U.N.C.

The court’s new conservative supermajority may be skeptical of admissions programs that take account of race to foster educational diversity.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:24 am UTC

Pakistan considers ten-year tax holiday for freelance techies

Could clean up dispute over who collects tax and when, but unlikely to worry outsourcing rivals

Pakistan’s minister for IT and Telecom, Syed Aminul Haque, has floated the idea of a ten-year tax holiday for freelancers, suggesting the move could improve the nation’s services exports.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 3:01 am UTC

The Strange Allure of the Blockchain

Why the appeal of cryptocurrencies and NFTs crosses borders of class and race.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:51 am UTC

Roles of F.B.I. and Informants Muddle the Michigan Governor Kidnapping Case

Before five men stand trial in March, prosecutors and defense lawyers are examining more than 1,000 hours of secretly recorded conversations.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 2:11 am UTC

Meta says it's building world's largest AI supercomputer out of Nvidia, AMD chips

Facebook owner needs 16,000 GPUs, 4,000 Epyc processors – good luck, everyone else

Facebook owner Meta is building the world's largest AI supercomputer to power machine-learning research that will bring the metaverse to life in the future, it claimed on Monday.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:53 am UTC

Heavy snow blankets Athens and Istanbul – in pictures

A rare snowstorm has hit the capital of Greece as well as Turkey’s largest city, disrupting traffic, closing schools and coating tourist sites in white

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:41 am UTC

What Does It Mean to Be ‘Done With Covid’?

While the pandemic rages, normality isn’t an option.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:32 am UTC

Attack of the Right-Wing Thought Police

Don’t teach anything that makes students uncomfortable.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:31 am UTC

Joe Biden appears to mock Fox News reporter in hot mic moment – video

Joe Biden has been caught on a hot mic apparently referring to a Fox News reporter as a 'stupid son of a bitch'. As journalists left a meeting, the Fox News White House reporter Peter Doocy asked whether Biden thought inflation was a political liability ahead of the midterms. 'No, it’s a great asset – more inflation,' Biden appeared to respond sarcastically over a din of reporters shouting questions, apparently not realizing his microphone was still on. 'What a stupid son of a bitch,' he added

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 25 Jan 2022 | 1:19 am UTC

AI: Why chefs are turning to artificial intelligence

How a robot is being used in the highly specialised business of creating flavours.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:34 am UTC

Here’s what Apple might announce at a spring event this March

Enlarge / The 2020 iPhone SE. (credit: Samuel Axon)

It doesn't seem like that long ago that Apple announced a plethora of new iPhones, Apple Watches, and MacBook Pro computers, but we're likely now just a couple of months away from another product unveiling event from the company.

The Internet is spinning with wild speculation today, so now seems like a good time to check in and set expectations as much as is possible at this stage.

Why a spring event?

Apple spring events in the past several years have fallen on April 20, March 25, March 27, and March 21. And based on the company's typical release/update cadence, several of Apple's products are now due: high-end Mac mini models, the iPad Air, the iPhone SE, the Mac Pro, the larger-format iMac, and the iPad Pro.

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Source: Ars Technica | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:25 am UTC

Uttar Pradesh: Why deadly cow attacks are an issue in Indian state election

Uttar Pradesh banned cow slaughter. Now, stray cattle are destroying crops and attacking people.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:21 am UTC

Farm machinery giant John Deere plows into two right-to-repair lawsuits

It's Deere hunting season in Illinois and Alabama

Two lawsuits have been filed in the past two weeks against farm equipment maker Deere & Company for allegedly violating antitrust laws by unlawfully monopolizing the tractor repair market.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:18 am UTC

How Covid disinformation has fuelled attacks on Czech doctors

Knowing how to deal with aggressive patients has become even more important during the pandemic.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:15 am UTC

Beijing takes to the ice as Winter Olympics approach

The BBC's Stephen McDonell spends a day on the ice with some local enthusiasts in Beijing.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:10 am UTC

Climate change threatening buried UK treasures

Our ability to understand Britain's history is at risk, warn archaeologists.

Source: BBC News - Home | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:08 am UTC

Twitter's top security staff out after incoming CEO shakes things up

Plus: Nigerian BEC gang bust, NSO woes, and more

In brief  Twitter's head of security and CISO both ejected from the social media biz this month.…

Source: The Register | 25 Jan 2022 | 12:05 am UTC

90% of US has a poor diet, and 25% doesn’t exercise

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Sina Schuldt)

As the pandemic enters its third year with cases and hospitalizations as high as ever, fresh data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us that we already had a long track record of failing to manage our health.

The latest data from a decades-long health survey finds that—yet again—the vast majority of Americans have a poor diet and many of us are inactive. Specifically, just 10 percent of Americans eat enough vegetables, and only 12 percent eat enough fruit, according to recent responses to the CDC's survey, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance system. Recent responses also reveal that 25 percent of Americans don't do any exercise outside of any work activity.

A poor diet and inactivity can set people up for medical conditions, such as weak immune function, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and certain cancers, the CDC notes.

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Source: Ars Technica | 24 Jan 2022 | 11:43 pm UTC

Ukraine: US puts 8,500 troops on alert to deploy to bolster Nato – video

The US military has put up to 8,500 troops on alert to be ready to deploy to Europe, potentially at very short notice, should the Nato alliance activate a rapid response force. It's the latest sign of US resolve in the face of a Russian military buildup near Ukraine. The Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stressed that no decision had been made on whether to deploy the troops, and that any such deployment would separate from intra-European movements of US troops to Nato's eastern flank, to reassure nervous allies. The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, told US citizens in Ukraine that ‘now is the time to leave’

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 24 Jan 2022 | 11:35 pm UTC

Dark Souls servers taken down following discovery of critical vulnerability

Enlarge (credit: The_Grim_Sleeper)

Bandai Namco, publisher of the Dark Souls role-playing game series, has taken down its player-versus-player servers while it investigates reports of a serious vulnerability that allows players to execute malicious code on the PCs of fellow players.

Word of the critical remote-code-execution flaw emerged over the weekend in Reddit threads here and here. An exploit that hit a user named The_Grim_Sleeper was captured in a video stream posted over the weekend. Starting around 1:20:22, the user’s game crashed, and a robotic voice mocked his gameplay and maturity level.

“What the fuck,” The_Grim_Sleeper said in response. “My game just crashed, and immediately Powershell opened up and started narrating a fucking” screed. “I didn’t even know that shit was possible.”

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Source: Ars Technica | 24 Jan 2022 | 11:20 pm UTC

Ros Atkins On... Ukraine tensions

As US troops are placed on high alert, Ros Atkins looks at the causes behind the tension on Ukraine's border.

Source: BBC News - Home | 24 Jan 2022 | 11:08 pm UTC

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