Typhoon Hagupit hits the Philippines –
Typhoon Hagupit is sweeping across the eastern Philippines, threatening coastal areas with a powerful sea-surge. Roofs have been blown off in the city of Tacloban, where thousands were killed by Typhoon Haiyan a year ago and more than half a million people have fled coastal villages.
Slice of Prince William and Kate’s wedding cake sells for $6,000 at auction –
A wedding cake slice from the 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been sold at an auction in Beverly Hills for $6,000 (£4,000).
The buyer of this romantic slice of history was bought by Gee Chuang, the CEO of online marketplace Listia.com, who plans to give away the piece of wedding cake on the company’s website in April of next year to celebrate the royal couple’s fourth wedding anniversary. The eight-tiered wedding cake, made by pastry chef Fiona Cairns and her team, was adorned with icing flowers, petals and leaves. [Daily Telegraph]
iPhone crash landing protection –
Apple Inc was granted a patent last week on an innovation that can detect when a handset is falling – and rotates it to avoid the screen hitting the ground. If sensors calculate the screen or camera will hit the ground, a motor is instantly activated within the phone which moves an internal weight fast enough to affect the ‘rotational velocity’ of the device and spin it around so that it lands on a reinforced area. The idea could also work with iPads and other devices.
Al-Qaeda hostage killed during rescue mission –
Luke Somers, a US journalist who was being held captive in Yemen since 2013, has been shot by his captors during a a military operation to rescue him and later died. A video was released earlier this week showing a member of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) threatening to kill Mr Somers unless unspecified demands are met.
Video of the Day –
I’ve fallen and I can’t get up – Crowd dynamics test using Miarmy for Maya
Parking attendant ‘mistakenly gives away’ Grandmaster Flash’s car –
Hip-hop pioneer says he returned to garage to find his customised Dodge Charger had been given to someone “dressed like him”. When you leave your customised muscle car with a valet parking service in New York, you assume it is in safe hands.Particularly if you are a hip-hop superstar. But when Grandmaster Flash returned to the garage in Manhattan where he had left his Dodge Charger for two hours he was told by the attendant that his “whip” – slang for souped-up car – had been given to someone else. To make matters worse, he had left thousands of dollars of vintage vinyl in the car. [Daily Telegraph]
Has Kim Kardashian just fixed Twitter? –
Reality TV star wants to be able to edit misspelled tweets and Twitter co-founder says ‘great idea’. It is easily one of the most annoying things about Twitter: the inability to edit tweets that contain mistakes, spelling errors or just came out sounding a bit wrong. Instead, Twitter users have the delete the tweet, and repost a new version, which leads to all kinds of problems if the earlier tweet had been retweeted, and on it goes. But hopefully not for long. Enter Kim Kardashian, the reality TV star and unofficial queen of Twitter, who uses the site daily to communicate with her 33.8 million followers and promote herself. On Friday, Kardashian turned her attention to the workings of the site, asking why it wasn’t possible to simply edit tweets. Not long afterwards, she got a reply from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, which suggests a fix for the problem isn’t far off. [Daily Telegraph] Kim Kardashian Twitter fix with Jack Dorsey
Queen Elizabeth II becomes longest-reigning UK monarch –
The Queen has thanked well-wishers at home and overseas for their “touching messages of kindness” as she becomes Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Speaking in the Scottish Borders, the 89-year-old monarch said the title was “not one to which I have ever aspired”. At 17:30 BST she had reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes – surpassing the reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. David Cameron said the service the Queen had given was “truly humbling”. The exact moment the Queen became the longest-reigning sovereign is unknown. Her father, George VI, passed away in the early hours of 6 February 1952, but his time of death is not known. [BBC] See Video of the Day and List of the Day Queen ELizabeth II in March 2015
iPad Pro, new Apple TV and iPhone 6S handsets unveiled –
Apple has unveiled a larger iPad tablet, a TV box with its own app store and new iPhones that can detect how firmly their screens are being pressed. The firm suggested the iPad Pro was suited to work tasks, video games and both editing and watching movies. Sales of the company’s earlier iPads had been on the decline. Apple said the “3D touch” feature of its new phones “transformed” the experience of using them by making it easier to use and switch between apps. The iPad Pro has a 12.9in (32.8cm) display, making its shortest edge the length of its earlier iPad Air 2’s height. In addition, the firm announced a stylus called the Apple Pencil, which has sensors in its tip to help mimic the effect of using a real pencil on paper. The announcement is notable since the firm’s ex-chief executive Steve Jobs said in 2010: “If you see a stylus, they blew it.” [BBC]
Video of the Day –
Brief History of the Royal Family
List of the Day –
Monarchs of Great Britain and Ireland 1603 – present day [from Wikipedia]
Scientists have discovered a new human-like species in a burial chamber deep in a cave system in South Africa. The discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest single discovery of its type in Africa. The researchers claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors. The studies which have been published in the journal Elife also indicate that these individuals were capable of ritual behaviour. The species, which has been named naledi, has been classified in the grouping, or genus,Homo, to which modern humans belong. [BBC] See List of the Day
Pope Francis emojis launched for US visit –
Pope Francis draws huge crowds wherever he goes and now his fans can share their admiration with papal emojis. A new keyboard app is being released to mark the Pope’s upcoming visit to America. You can have the Pope balancing a basketball or riding a taxi (although we suspect he’d prefer his Popemobile). They’re among 52 emojis and 14 GIFs in the app from Swyft Media, the company which created the first ginger emojis. Pope emojis by Swyft Media
Giant Lenin ‘head’ unearthed 24 years after burial in Berlin –
The giant head of a statue of Russian revolutionary Lenin has been unearthed, 24 years after it was buried in a German forest. Workers dug up the granite structure from woodland outside Berlin, following a campaign by historians. The head was once part of a 19m (62ft) monument to the communist leader, which towered over the east of the city. It was dismantled in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the pieces were buried in a secluded forest. [BBC]
‘Universal urination duration’ wins Ig Nobel prize –
A study showing that nearly all mammals take the same amount of time to urinate has been awarded one of the 2015 Ig Nobel prizes at Harvard University. These spoof Nobels for “improbable research” are in their 25th year.
The team behind the urination research, from Georgia Tech, won the physics Ig. Using high-speed video analysis, they modelled the fluid dynamics involved in urination and discovered that all mammals weighing more than 3kg empty their bladders over about 21 seconds. Run by the science humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research, this is a jubilantly irreverent affair. It has become world famous for recognising scientific achievements that “make people laugh, and then think”. This year’s Ig winners travelled from six continents to accept their trophies. The triumphant research included a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg, and the discovery that the word “huh?” occurs in every human language. [BBC] See List of the Day
Valcke’s reign at FIFA likely to be at an end –
For the second time in his career, Jerome Valcke leaves FIFA with a cloud hanging over him. Sepp Blatter’s lieutenant for the past eight years, Valcke became the highest profile figure in the corruption-plagued organization to fall during the current series of scandals when he was “released from his duties” on Thursday and it appears unlikely he will return. The Frenchman has not been formally dismissed but Blatter is standing down in February and Valcke had already suggested he would probably go at that time as well. The 54-year-old, however, is now being investigated by FIFA’s ethics committee after allegations he was involved in a plan to re-sell 2014 World Cup tickets for a lucrative profit. [Reuters] Jérôme_Valcke
Sperm banks attract customers by offering them enough cash to buy a new iPhone –
Chinese sperm banks have been saying that there is no need to sell a kidney to afford an iPhone, just your bodily fluids. Renji Hospital in Shanghai is one among several facilities offering enough money to buy an iPhone if men donate sperm. The hospital wrote in an online posting: “No need to sell your kidneys – you can easily have a 6s,” which refers to cases where people actually sold their organs to be able to afford Apple products. The advert says that if a man passes a health test and then regularly donates his sperm, he can earn enough money to purchase an iPhone. This amounts to 6,000 yuan (£610) which is enough to buy the new iPhone 6s. [Daily Telegraph]
Chemistry – Callum Ormonde (University of Western Australia) and colleagues, for inventing a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg.
Physics – Patricia Yang (Georgia Institute of Technology, US) and colleagues, for testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds).
Literature – Mark Dingemanse (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands) and colleagues, for discovering that the word “huh?” (or its equivalent) seems to exist in every human language – and for not being quite sure why.
Management – Gennaro Bernile (Singapore Management University) and colleagues, for discovering that many business leaders developed in childhood a fondness for risk-taking, when they experienced natural disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and wildfires) that – for them – had no dire personal consequences.
Economics – The Bangkok Metropolitan Police (Thailand) for offering to pay policemen extra cash if the policemen refuse to take bribes.
Medicine – joint award: Hajime Kimata (Kimata Hajime Clinic, Japan) and also Jaroslava Durdiaková (Comenius University, Slovakia) and her collagues, for experiments to study the biomedical benefits or biomedical consequences of intense kissing (and other intimate, interpersonal activities).
Mathematics – Elisabeth Oberzaucher and Karl Grammer (University of Vienna, Austria) for trying to use mathematical techniques to determine whether and how Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, the Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, managed, during the years from 1697 through 1727, to father 888 children.
Biology – Bruno Grossi (University of Chile) and colleagues, for observing that when you attach a weighted stick to the rear end of a chicken, the chicken then walks in a manner similar to that in which dinosaurs are thought to have walked.
Diagnostic medicine – Diallah Karim (Stoke Mandeville Hospital, UK) and colleagues, for determining that acute appendicitis can be accurately diagnosed by the amount of pain evident when the patient is driven over speed bumps.
Physiology and entomology – Awarded jointly to two individuals: Justin Schmidt (Southwest Biological Institute, US) for painstakingly creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which rates the relative pain people feel when stung by various insects; and to Michael L. Smith (Cornell University, US), for carefully arranging for honey bees to sting him repeatedly on 25 different locations on his body, to learn which locations are the least painful (the skull, middle toe tip, and upper arm). and which are the most painful (the nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft).
Google’s Project Loon internet balloons to circle Earth –
Google believes it is on course to have enough internet-beaming balloons in the stratosphere to form a ring over part of the world next year. It told the BBC the move would let it trial a continuous data service to people living below the balloons’ path. The declaration coincides with the announcement that three of Indonesia’s mobile networks intend to start testing Project Loon’s transmissions next year. One expert said the plan had benefits over other solutions. Sri Lanka previously signed a separate agreement signalling its wish to be another participant in the giant helium balloon-based scheme. [BBC]
Biscuit that survived the Titanic sells for $23,000 –
A cracker that survived the Titanic and lives on, unmunched, today has been sold for $23,000 (£15,034). The biscuit was saved by James Fenwick, a passenger on the Carpathia vessel that saved Titanic passengers at sea, and was kept intact in a Kodak film envelope by Fenwick along with the following notation: “Pilot biscuit from Titanic lifeboat April 1912.” The 103-year-old biscuit was used as part of a survival kit on one of the Titanic lifeboats. [Daily Telegraph]
Apple reports biggest annual profit in history with net income of $53.4bn –
Apple has recorded the biggest annual profit in corporate history, with record sales of the iPhone helping it to make $53.4bn (£35bn) in the last 12 months. The world’s biggest company surpassed the $45.2bn made by ExxonMobil in 2008, after the release of its latest smartphones increased profits by 31pc in its fourth quarter. However, Apple warned that growth is likely to slow down significantly in the crucial Christmas period, and sales of the iPad fell by a fifth to their lowest level since 2011. The company predicted that sales in the current quarter would be between $75.5bn and $77.5bn – as little as 1pc up on the same period last year – partially due to a strong dollar. [Daily Telegraph]
Video of the Day –
HOW I CRASHED THE SPECTRE PREMIERE AND AFTER PARTY JAMES BOND STYLE
DON’T set your iPhone to 1 January 1970 or you’ll break it –
Apple is warning iPhone users not to fall for an internet hoax that leaves handsets useless and irreparable. A fake advertisement claims that changing the date on your iPhone to 1 January 1970 will give you a retro Apple design – it doesn’t. And the date change will cause your phone to become permanently stuck while rebooting if it’s switched off or runs out of battery. The bug affects the likes of the iPad Air, Mini 2 and any iPhone 5s onwards. The glitch was discovered last week, but a fake photo has been circulating on social media encouraging people to switch the date on iPhones 5s and upwards. Users were meant to be able to discover an Easter egg in the form of a 1970s-style multicoloured Apple logo and design. Unfortunately, going retro on your iPhone won’t change the design. Instead, when the phone is turned off and turned on again, it refuses to reboot, displaying the Apple home screen and going no further. [BBC Newsbeat]
Apple ordered to help FBI break into San Bernardino gunman’s phone –
An American judge on Tuesday ordered Apple to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation break into a phone belonging to Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the killers in the December shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California. Sheri Pym of the US District Court in Los Angeles ruled Apple must provide “reasonable technical assistance” to investigators seeking to unlock the data on Farook’s iPhone 5C. This includes bypassing its auto-erase function and passcode protection so investigators can try an unlimited number of passcode guesses. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling. The company has five business days to contest the order if it believes compliance would be “unreasonably burdensome,” Ms Pym said in her decision. [Daily Telegraph]
World’s largest lottery winners come forward to claim share of $1.58bn jackpot –
The winners of the world’s largest ever lottery have finally come forward to claim their ticket, more than a month after the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot sent America into a frenzy. David Kaltschmidt, 55, and his wife Maureen Smith, 70, won a $528.7 million (£370m) share of the jackpot – splitting their winnings with John and Lisa Robinson, who purchased their winning ticket in Tennessee, and a California winner who has yet to come forward. But the Florida pair, who announced their win at a press conference on Wednesday, said they did not even tell their children at first. “That was hard,” said Ms Smith. Her husband said they were determined the win wouldn’t change them. They decided to take the $327.8m lump sum rather than receiving the $528m sum in instalments. The odds of winning the $1.58 billion jackpot were 1 in 292.2 million. [Daily Telegraph]
EU deal gives UK special status, says David Cameron –
David Cameron says a deal struck with EU leaders will give the UK “special status” and he will campaign with his “heart and soul” to stay in the union. The agreement, reached late on Friday after two days of talks in Brussels, gives the UK power to limit some EU migrants’ benefits. It also includes a treaty change so the UK is not bound to “ever closer union” with other EU member states, he said. EU exit campaigners said the “hollow” deal offered only “very minor changes”. [BBC] David Cameron
John McAfee offers to unlock killer’s iPhone for FBI –
Anti-virus software creator John McAfee has said he will break the encryption on an iPhone that belonged to San Bernardino killer Syed Farook. Mr McAfee made the offer to the FBI in an article published by Business Insider. Apple has refused to comply with a court order asking it to unlock the device, dividing opinion over whether the firm should be compelled to do so. Mr McAfee said he and his team would take on the task “free of charge”. The offer came as Mr McAfee continues his campaign as a US presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. “It will take us three weeks,” he claimed in his article. Security expert Graham Cluley cast doubts on Mr McAfee’s idea that he could use “social engineering” to work out the pass-code of Farook’s locked iPhone. This is a process by which hackers try to find out login credentials by tricking people into giving them away. “In a nutshell, dead men tell no tales,” said Mr Cluley. “Good luck to Mr McAfee trying to socially engineer a corpse into revealing its pass-code.” “The FBI isn’t interested anyway, they want to set a precedent that there shouldn’t be locks they can’t break,” he added. [BBC] John McAfee
Opposition leader Kizza Besigye is arrested again just before a planned press conference. Police raid Besigye’s Forum for Democratic Change party headquarters and fire tear gas at the FDC supporters. Partial results from the electoral commission show a lead for incumbent president Yoweri Museveni. (BBC)
Progressive rock legend Emerson dies –
Keith Emerson, the co-founder and keyboardist of progressive rock group Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died aged 71, according to his former band mates. “We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles,” read a statement on the band’s Facebook page. Yorkshire-born Emerson was one of the top keyboardists of the prog rock era. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Santa Monica police confirmed to the BBC. His death was being investigated as a suicide, police added. [BBC] Keith Emerson performs on his Hammond and Moog synthesizer during the Emerson & Lake Tour 2010.
Apple customer goes to the top for iPhone battery answer –
The head of Apple’s operating system iOS confirmed that open but unused apps do not affect iPhone battery life after a customer emailed boss Tim Cook. The customer from Ohio, known as Caleb, asked Mr Cook whether closing down “multitasking apps” improved battery life and whether it was something the chief executive did himself. Senior vice-president Craig Federighi replied “no and no”. However, other smartphone batteries can benefit from app closure. While many Apple users do shut down apps in the belief it extends the iPhone battery this is not advice explicitly given by the firm itself. It only recommends disabling apps from carrying out background refreshes in a list of tips about saving power. [BBC]
Rafael Benitez: Newcastle United appoint Spaniard as Steve McClaren’s successor –
Rafael Benitez has been named as Newcastle’s new manager, following the sacking of Steve McClaren. The former Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Valencia boss takes over with the Magpies a point from safety with 10 games left. The Spaniard, 55, has signed a three-year contract, which is understood to contain a break clause should Newcastle be relegated at the end of the season. “C’mon Toon Army. The club and I need your total involvement,” he said. [BBC] Rafael Benitez
American veterans’ nonprofit charity The Wounded Warrior Project board of directors removes chief executive officer Steven Nardizzi and chief operation officer Al Giordano after an independent investigation confirms earlier news reports about lavish spending on employee perks, high overhead, and other perceived malfeasance. (The New York Times)
Harrison Ford auctions Han Solo Star Wars jacket in honour of daughter with epilepsy –
Harrison Ford is auctioning his Star Wars: The Force Awakens jacket for charity. The 73-year-old actor – who reprised his role as Han Solo in the latest installment of the sci-fi franchise – donated the iconic garment which he wore in his first scene in the 2015 movie to raise money for epilepsy research. The signed garment will benefit the NYU Langone Center and FACES (Finding A Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures), with bidding starting at $18,000 on ifOnly. But the actor – whose 26-year-old daughter Georgia suffers from the condition – joked the director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at the New York clinic, Dr. Orrin Devinsky, had taken a shine to the jacket. [Daily Mirror] In February 2016 the production company behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens was being prosecuted over a filming incident in which Harrison Ford broke his leg. Harrison Ford
FBI finds method to hack gunman’s iPhone without Apple’s help –
The FBI has managed to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino gunman without Apple’s help, ending a court case, the US justice department says. Apple had been resisting a court order issued last month requiring the firm to write new software to allow officials to access Syed Rizwan Farook’s phone. But officials on Monday said that it had been accessed independently and asked for the order to be withdrawn. Responding to the move, Apple said: “From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.” [Daily Telegraph]
At least 115 Al-Shabaab militants are killed and a further 110 are captured following heavy fighting with pro-government forces in the Galmudug region of Somalia, according to the regional government. There has been no independent confirmation of this claim. (BBC)
Belgian prosecutors release Faycal C., a man charged in connection with last week’s deadly Brussels bombings. The prosecutor’s office says the evidence which led to his arrest has not been backed up by the ongoing investigation. (Reuters)
New York GovernorAndrew Cuomo signs an order banning all non-essential travel to North Carolina, i.e., travel not necessary for the enforcement of New York state law, public health, and/or safety, following the state’s passage of a law blocking local governments from passing anti-discrimination ordinances. (CBS News)
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Instagram hacked by 10-year-old boy –
A 10-year-old Finnish boy named Jani has been given $10,000 (£7,000) after he found a security flaw in image-sharing social network Instagram. The boy, who technically is not allowed to even join the site for another three years, discovered a bug that allowed him to delete comments made by other users. The issue was “quickly” fixed after being discovered, said Facebook, which owns Instagram. Jani was paid soon after – making him the youngest ever recipient of the firm’s “bug bounty” prize. After discovering the flaw in February, he emailed Facebook. Security engineers at the company set up a test account for Jani to prove his theory – which he did. The boy, from Helsinki, told Finnish newspaper Iltalehti he planned to use the money to buy a new bike, football equipment and computers for his brothers. Facebook told the BBC it had paid $4.3m to bug bounty recipients since 2011. [BBC]
Apple loses trademark fight over ‘iPhone’ name in China –
Apple has lost a trademark fight in China, meaning a firm which sells handbags and other leather goods can continue to use the name “IPHONE”. The Beijing Municipal High People’s Court ruled in favour of Xintong Tiandi Technology, said the official Legal Daily newspaper. Xintong Tiandi trademarked “IPHONE” for leather products in China in 2010. Apple filed a trademark bid for the name for electronic goods in 2002, but it was not approved until 2013. [BBC]
Suspected Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants launch a car bomb attack on a military installation in Turkey, killing one soldier; Turkey’s army destroyes PKK targets in air strikes and kills more than 20. (Reuters)
The European Union proposes visa-free travel for Turkish citizens within Europe’s Schengen Area and invites member states and EU lawmakers to endorse the move by June 30. The EU says Turkey has met all but five of the 72 criteria included in the agreement in exchange for its efforts to stop asylum seekers from reaching Europe. This visa deal also needs approval from the European Parliament.(AP)(UPI)