November 27, 2015

Top News Stories –

‘Li-fi 100 times faster than wi-fi’ –
A new method of delivering data, which uses the visible spectrum rather than radio waves, has been tested in a working office. Li-fi can deliver internet access 100 times faster than traditional wi-fi, offering speeds of up to 1Gbps (gigabit per second). It requires a light source, such as a standard LED bulb, an internet connection and a photo detector. It was tested this week by Estonian start-up Velmenni, in Tallinn. Velmenni used a li-fi-enabled light bulb to transmit data at speeds of 1Gbps. Laboratory tests have shown theoretical speeds of up to 224Gbps. It was tested in an office, to allow workers to access the internet and in an industrial space, where it provided a smart lighting solution. [BBC]

US space rocket debris found in sea off Scilly –
A large chunk of an American space rocket has been found in the sea off the Isles of Scilly. The section of the spacecraft, measuring about 10m (32ft) by 4m (13ft), was spotted on the surface between Bryher and Tresco. Coastguards believe it is from the unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 which exploded after take-off in Florida in June. However many astronomers believe it is from a different mission due to the size and markings. Local boatmen towed the section to Tresco where it has now been removed from the beach. [BBC]

Video of the Day –

Wild Scotland from John Duncan on Vimeo.

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  • Detroit, a city in which neighborhoods are disappearing, banks aren’t lending, and property values are among the lowest in the nation, is looking to reverse these trends. The Detroit Land Bank Authority is moving aggressively to demolish structures that are beyond repair and auction (bids start at $1,000) ones that are salvageable. Some community banks are helping new buyers. (Washington Post)
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a major overhaul of China’s military to make the world’s largest army more combat ready and better equipped to project force beyond the country’s borders. Under the reorganization, all branches of the armed forces would come under a joint military command, Xi told a meeting of military officials in Beijing, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Bloomberg in September reported details of the plan, which may also seek to consolidate the country’s seven military regions to as few as four. The Chinese president said the reform aimed to “build an elite combat force” and called on the officials to make “breakthroughs” on establishing the joint command by 2020, Xinhua said. (Bloomberg)

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February 8, 2016

Top News Stories –

Power being restored after Storm Imogen hits England and Wales –
More than a thousand properties remain without power after Storm Imogen brought heavy rain and strong winds. South-west England and south and mid-Wales bore the brunt, with rail and ferry services disrupted and some schools closed. Waves of up to 19.1m (63ft) were measured off the Cornish coast, and winds of 70-80mph felt in many areas. Winds of more than 80mph were recorded in many areas, including 81mph on the Isles of Scilly, 84mph in Pembrey Sands, Carmarthenshire, and 96mph at The Needles, off the Isle of Wight. The Met Office said “phenomenal” sea conditions were also measured at several points offshore. Defined as waves of more than 14m (46ft), it is the highest level on the World Meteorological Scale. [BBC]

Thousands flock to ‘malware museum’ –
An online archive of old computer malware has attracted more than 100,000 visitors since it launched four days ago. Some of the software showed an animation or messages. Others invited the infected user to play a game. Many of the viruses were created by “happy hackers” rather than organised criminals, said cybersecurity expert and curator Mikko Hypponen. The malware all dates from the 1980s and 1990s. The versions online have all been stripped of their destructive capabilities, but show the messages they would have displayed within emulator windows. His personal favourite is a virus called Casino, which overwrote a crucial part of the computer’s file system but took a copy of personal files and then offered the user the opportunity to win them back in a game of Jackpot. “Casino was a real problem,” Mr Hypponen, who works at security firm F-Secure, told the BBC. “At the time the advice was, you lose nothing by playing. In the early 1990s very few people had back-ups so you had lost your files anyway.” [BBC]

Video of the Day –

The All-New 2016 Toyota Prius | The Longest Chase #GoPriusGo | Toyota

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February 13, 2016

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Bill Murray hurled fans phones of a rooftop –
Bill Murray is accused of going all Naomi Campbell on some fans who tried to take his photo in the tranquil seaside town of Carmel, CA … and now cops are investigating. Bill was hanging out at the Vesuvio rooftop lounge, a popular watering hole for celebs playing in the annual Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tourney. It’s going on now, and Bill is playing. The owner of the restaurant, Scott Pepe, tells us Bill wasn’t drinking … he just got really pissed when a few patrons got starstruck and took his pic. The fans were pretty obvious, with flashes going off only 10 feet away from Bill, according to Scott. He says Bill got so angry he got up and chucked their phones off the 2nd story rooftop. Police spoke to the star of Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day but decided not to press charges. Instead, the owners of the phones were happy to be compensated. [TMZ]
Bill_Murray_by_Gage_SkidmoreBill Murray

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This painting is ‘too obscene’ for Facebook –
This image is of the painting Ice Cream which was created in 1964 by one of the world’s first pop artists, Evelyne Axell. It was uploaded last week by the Philadelphia Museum of Art however censors removed it shortly afterwards. The museum says Facebook told them it shows “excessive amounts of skin or suggestive content”. Far from obscene, experts at the museum described the painting as “challenging typical standards by showing women…and their playful characteristics”. [BBC Newsbeat]
Phila Museum of Art tweetPhila Museum of Art tweet

Video of the Day –

InFrame – Zun Lee from InFrame on Vimeo.

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February 15, 2016

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Taylor Swift disses Kanye West at the Grammy Awards during her acceptance speech –
Taylor Swift’s 1989 has won the coveted album of the year award at this year’s Grammys in Los Angeles. The singer – who is the first woman to win the award twice – also won best pop vocal album and best music video for her track Bad Blood. Swift dissed Kanye [West] during her acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards. She’s the first woman to win album of the year twice and said it was for “all the young women out there”. She said: “There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.” Her speech appears to be in response to Kanye West’s lyric from his new album where he claims to have made Taylor Swift famous. [BBC]

In January 2016 Swift won the Peoples Choice Award for best female artist. In November 2015 she was sued for allegedly stealing the lyrics for her song “Shake it off”. Also see List of the Day.
Taylor_SwiftTaylor Swift

Stephen Fry quits Twitter, saying ‘fun is over’ after Bafta spat –
Bafta show host Stephen Fry has confirmed he has left Twitter declaring “the fun is over”. He faced criticism online after comparing costume designer Jenny Beavan to a “bag lady” when she picked up her Bafta for Mad Max: Fury Road. The presenter later insisted Beavan was a “dear friend” and had “got” the joke. Fry said he has not “slammed the door” on Twitter but said the site had become a “stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous”. Writing on his official website, he said people needed to “grieve” for what Twitter had become, writing: “I like to believe I haven’t slammed the door, much less stalked off in a huff throwing my toys out of the pram as I go or however one should phrase it. “It’s quite simple really: the room had started to smell. Really quite bad.” [BBC]

In January 2015 Fry married his 27 year old partner Elliot Spencer
Stephen_FryStephen Fry

Hollywood hospital held to ransom by hackers –
Ransomware is a growing menace for computer users – but when a hospital is targeted, it makes the disruption far more serious. Computer systems at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center have been offline for more than a week following a ransomware attack. According to local news sources, hackers were said to have demanded $3.4m (£2.4m) to provide the codes to unlock the stolen data. The hospital has confirmed the attack took place, but has not commented on the ransom. A voicemail message at the hospital reassures patients that medical records had not been accessed by the hackers. [BBC]

Video of the Day –

Indoor Snowstorm Prank!!

List of the Day –

Grammy Award winners 2016

Album of the year
Winner: 1989 – Taylor Swift

Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes
To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
Traveller – Chris Stapleton
Beauty Behind The Madness – The Weeknd

Best new artist
Winner: Meghan Trainor

Courtney Barnett
James Bay
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly

Best rock album
Winner: Drones – Muse

Chaos And The Calm – James Bay
Kintsugi – Death Cab For Cutie
Mister Asylum – Highly Suspect
.5: The Gray Chapter – Slipknot

Best rock performance
Winner: Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes

What Kind Of Man – Florence & The Machine
Something From Nothing – Foo Fighters
Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King
Moaning Lisa Smile – Wolf Alice

Record of the year
Winner: Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars

Really Love – D’Angelo and the Vanguard
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Blank Space – Taylor Swift
Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

Song of the year
Winner: Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge

Alright – Kendrick Duckworth, Kawan Prather, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams (Kendrick Lamar)
Blank Space – Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift
Girl Crush – Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose (Little Big Town)
See You Again – Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz (Wiz Khalifa)

Best pop vocal album
Winner: 1989 – Taylor Swift

Piece By Piece – Kelly Clarkson
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – Florence & The Machine
Uptown Special – Mark Ronson
Before This World – James Taylor

Best pop solo performance
Winner: Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

Heartbeat Song – Kelly Clarkson
Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
Blank Space – Taylor Swift
Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

Best traditional pop vocal album
Winner: The Silver Lining: The Songs Of Jerome Kern – Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap

Shadows In The Night – Bob Dylan
Stages – Josh Groban
No One Ever Tells You – Seth MacFarlane
My Dream Duets – Barry Manilow

Best music video
Winner: Bad Blood – Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar

LSD – ASAP Rocky
I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) – The Dead Weather
Alright – Kendrick Lamar
Freedom – Pharrell Williams

Best dance recording
Winner: Where Are U Now – Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber

We’re All We Need – Above & Beyond Featuring Zoe Johnston
Go – The Chemical Brothers Featuring Q-Tip
Never Catch Me – Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar
Runaway (U & I) – Galantis

Best R&B performance
Winner: Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey) – The Weeknd

If I Don’t Have You – Tamar Braxton
Rise Up – Andra Day
Breathing Underwater – Hiatus Kaiyote
Planes – Jeremih Featuring J. Cole

Best R&B album
Winner: Black Messiah – D’Angelo And The Vanguard

Coming Home – Leon Bridges
Cheers To The Fall – Andra Day
Reality Show – Jazmine Sullivan
Forever Charlie – Charlie Wilson

Best urban contemporary album
Winner: Beauty Behind The Madness – The Weeknd

Ego Death – The Internet
You Should Be Here – Kehlani
Blood – Lianne La Havas
Wildheart – Miguel

Best country album
Winner: Traveller – Chris Stapleton

Montevallo – Sam Hunt
Pain Killer – Little Big Town
The Blade – Ashley Monroe
Pageant Material – Kacey Musgraves

Best country song
Winner: Girl Crush – Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose (Little Big Town)

Chances Are – Hayes Carll (Lee Ann Womack)
Diamond Rings And Old Barstools – Barry Dean, Luke Laird & Jonathan Singleton (Tim McGraw)
Hold My Hand – Brandy Clark & Mark Stephen Jones
Traveller – Chris Stapleton

Best metal performance
Winner: Cirice – Ghost

Identity – August Burns Red
512 – Lamb Of God
Thank You – Sevendust
Custer – Slipknot

Best rap album
Winner: To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar

2014 Forest Hills Drive – J. Cole
Compton – Dr. Dre
If You’re Reading This Its Too Late – Drake
The Pinkprint – Nicki Minaj

Best music film
Winner: Amy – Amy Winehouse

Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown – James Brown
Sonic Highways – Foo Fighters
What Happened, Miss Simone? – Nina Simone
The Wall – Roger Waters

Best song written for visual media
Winner: Glory – Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith & John Stephens (Common and John Legend)

Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey) – Ahmad Balshe, Stephan Moccio, Jason Quenneville & Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd)
Love Me Like You Do – Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Tove Nilsson, Ali Payami & Ilya Salmanzadeh (Ellie Goulding)
See You Again – Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth)
Til It Happens To You – Lady Gaga & Diane Warren

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March 4, 2016

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Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall marry –
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has married actress-model Jerry Hall in London. Mr Murdoch, whose News UK company publishes The Times and The Sun newspapers, and Miss Hall married in a civil ceremony at Spencer House. It is Mr Murdoch’s fourth marriage and the first for Miss Hall, 59, after her 1992 Bali wedding to Sir Mick Jagger was later deemed legally void. Australian-born Mr Murdoch, 84, who now has US nationality, tweeted he was “the luckiest and happiest man in world”. [BBC]
Rupert_MurdochRupert Murdoch
Jerry_HallJerry Hall

Union J say they have axed George Shelley: ‘One member is not bigger than the band’ –
George Shelley has parted ways from Union J – with his former band mates saying they kicked him out. Josh Cuthbert, JJ Hamblett and Jaymi Hamsley told The Sun that the I’m A Celebrity runner-up refused to commit to the pop group after returning from the jungle in December. But a spokesman for George said it was a “mutual decision” – and called the other Union J members “simply jealous”. The boy band apparently gave him a final ultimatum by email, as the situation had become “heart-breaking”. [MSN]
George_Shelley_2015George Shelley

Royal Australian Navy facing calls to apologise after speeding warship damages boats in New Zealand –
A speeding Australian warship is being blamed for damage caused to boats and a fish farm inside a tranquil New Zealand waterway. HMAS Warramunga has been conducting advanced navigation training in New Zealand for Australian and Kiwi navy students. Last week, locals in the picturesque Marlborough Sounds said they spotted the Anzac Class frigate speeding through their sheltered harbour. Paul Keating from local advocacy group Guardian of the Sounds said several boats and a walkway were damaged. “Twelve people rang the harbour master that day to lay complaints and one of them was, I believe, from the salmon farm,” he said. “Maritime hoonery would be a good way to describe [it]. “We haven’t been given any reason why they chose to drive into the bays and then do very sharp turns.” [ABC Australia]

Video of the Day –

The Goodyear Eagle-360 concept tire –

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May 5, 2016

Top News Stories –

Tunisian mobile gamers win a cow –
A couple in Tunisia have walked away with an unusual prize – a cow – after they recorded the top score in a locally developed mobile phone game, it’s reported.
Pamela the cow spent two weeks at the game developer’s headquarters in Tunis before being awarded to the unnamed couple at the beginning of May, the Tuniscope news website says.
The pair triumphed in a strategy game called Bagra – literally “cow” – which consists of keeping a herd of cows and preventing other players from stealing them, while trying to pinch as many as possible from other herds. [BBC]

Canadian wildfire edges south, leaves thousands stranded –
The 88,000 residents who fled a wildfire that has ravaged the Canadian oil town of Fort McMurray in Alberta will not be able to return home anytime soon, officials warned on Thursday, even as the inferno edged slowly south. The out-of-control blaze has consumed entire neighborhoods of Fort McMurray in Canada’s energy heartland and officials warn its spread now threatens two oil sands sites south of the city. The wildfire has already forced precautionary production cuts or shutdowns at about a dozen major facilities, eating into a global crude surplus and supporting oil prices this week. [Reuters] See Video of the Day

Facebook Live tab is now on the Android app –
It’s taken a month, but the Live tab on Facebook has now started appearing for Android app users. Back in April, the social network announced that video was going to be even more of priority for the company, with users being offered a dedicated page to find live streams. Android users are starting to see the Live tab in the centre of the screen, pushing out Messenger from its spot. Clicking on the Live option brings up a scrolling stream of video.Anyone watching the feed can then react and comment in real time. [BBC Newsbeat]

Video of the Day –

Fire ‘rains’ down in Fort McMurray neighbourhood during escape

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June 29, 2016

Top News Stories –

Facebook gives friends higher priority in News Feeds –
Facebook is to give posts by users’ friends and family greater prominence in their News Feeds. The social network said its members had expressed concerns that they were missing “important updates” from the people they cared about. The move reverses a trend towards giving more space to content posted by the news media and brands. One expert said it highlighted that newspapers and broadcasters’ interests did not always match those of the firm. Facebook said that in several surveys it had carried out, users had told it they wanted to see more “friend content”, and it was altering its algorithms to accommodate this. [BBC]

Vietnam capital sets target to ban motorbikes –
Officials in Hanoi are aiming to ban motorbikes from the city centre within 10 years, it’s reported. The local government wants streets to be motorbike-free by 2025 as part of efforts to tackle congestion, the Thanh Nien News website says. The Vietnamese capital has notoriously chaotic roads, with around five million motorbikes vying for space alongside half a million cars. That situation is forecast to get worse in years to come: the authorities estimate that by 2020 there will be seven million motorbikes, and the number of cars will double. “This means the traffic situation in Hanoi will become extremely complicated in the next four to five years, so we really need a timely solution to this,” says mayor Nguyen Duc Chung. The city’s transport authority wants to reduce the number of individual vehicles and boost public transport instead, and its chairman wants the number of buses to double. Construction of a new urban rail system is already under way. [BBC]

Video of the Day –

Watch NYers’ Hearts Break As They JUST Miss The Subway Train

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  • A prosecutor in Michigan, United States, is considering whether the words of an African grey parrot could be used to try the woman accused of killing the pet parrot’s owner. (The Guardian)
  • Luxembourg Leaks
    • Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet, two whistleblowers who revealed the Luxembourg Leaks financial scandal, are found guilty of leaking the documents and are given a 12 and nine month suspended sentence and fined 1,500 and €1,000 respectively, while Edouard Perrin, the journalist who was given the leaks, is acquitted of all charges. (BBC)
Politics and elections

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October 6, 2016

Top News Stories –

Recruitment agency criticised for job ads specifying bra size –
A recruitment agency has been criticised for advertising jobs only for “attractive women”, as well as specifying bra size. Matching Models in London describes itself as “an international temp agency for beautiful and talented people”. It advertised for a personal assistant with “a classic look, brown long hair with b-c cup”. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called it “appalling, unlawful and demeaning to women”. The agency’s founder Nathalie Jansen said: “Our clients are important to us – and looks are important.” Another job advert on the agency’s website asks a “sexy female driver” to drive a Porsche Cayenne two days a week for between £40,000 and £50,000-a-year for a Knightsbridge-based businessman and polo team owner. [BBC]

Hurricane Matthew: At least 100 people killed in Haiti devastation –
Hurricane Matthew has left at least 108 people dead in Haiti, the country’s interior minister says. Some 50 people were reported to have died in the southern town of Roche-a-Bateau alone. New images from remote and cut off areas in the south-west of the country show scenes of devastation. The hurricane has again been upgraded to a Category Four storm, the second highest hurricane classification, as it heads for the US state of Florida. [BBC]

hurricane-matthew-nasa-image Hurricane Matthew image by NASA

Video of the Day –

Underwater Explosions at 120,000fps – The Slow Mo Guys

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  • Pakistan‘s government removes a loophole allowing those behind so-called honor killings to go free with the new legislation instead requiring a mandatory life sentence. (BBC)
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