Taiwanese electronics manufacturer and Apple supplier Pegatron has issued a statement on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSWE) to refute reports it was forced to suspend operations after Chinese authorities stopped supplies reaching its facilities. “In response to today’s media reporting that factories in China were forced to suspend production and shipments, Pegatron would like to clarify that our operations in China currently are running as usual, there’s no suspension on productions and shipments,” wrote Pegatron. The report Pegatron mentioned was in Japanese outlet Nikkei and claimed cartons delivered to Pegatron’s Suzhou facility in mainland China carrying the words “Taiwan” or “Republic of China” were delayed after receiving extra scrutiny from Chinese customs officials. The report drew connections to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taipei where Pegatron vice chairman Jason Chen attended a lunch and posed for photos with Pelosi and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company execs. Chinese state-sponsored media derided Pelosi’s efforts to meet with TSMC execs, in particular, as a “photo-op.” Taiwanese military reports DDoS in wake of Pelosi visit TSMC reports record profits as customers hoard chips US, Europe move to secure access to Taiwanese tech Microsoft Bing censors politically sensitive Chinese terms Nikkei Asia reported that shipments received in mainland China cannot contain the words “Republic of China," "R.O.C." or "Taiwan” on their documents or boxes. “These rules have existed for years, but they have been enforced more frequently as tensions between Beijing and Taipei have increased, creating more trade barriers, according to multiple suppliers and logistics companies,” the outlet stated. Taiwan's first semiconductor company United Microelectronics Corporation, was also reportedly on the defensive after its founder, Robert Tsao, criticized Chinese show of force via military drills surrounding the island during the visit. Tsao reportedly vowed at a press conference to donate over $100 million to bolster Taiwan's defenses against China, releasing a statement the next day callin
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Capcom has shared a small Tekken 8 teaser at Evo 2022. This clip shows Kazuya carrying Heihachi up to the edge of a cliff and depositing him off the side, before smiling at the camera. Some Tekken 7 gameplay. The scene then cuts to a close-up of a new model of Kazuya doing the same smile, before the teaser tells us all to "get ready". You can see it for yourself at the end of the clip below. This brief preview of things to come was then quickly reshared by The Game Awards Twitter account. Putting two and two together, many fans now assume that Tekken 8 will be fully unveiled at The Game Awards 2022. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Tekken 7 is now the best-selling game in the series. As of June, it has sold an impressive 9m copies worldwide, with the series as a whole selling 53m copies. I am not Tekken the piss! Meanwhile, if you want to add some Elden Ring to your Tekken gameplay (because why not
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In front of a microphone with the cameras on him, Alex Jones looked comfortable on his first day of testimony. The delusional provocateur and conspiracy peddler sauntered to the witness stand in an Austin, Texas, courtroom, shirt unbuttoned without a tie, and introduced himself to the jury with his characteristic, gravelled intonation.“I actually feel good because I have a chance to say what’s really going on instead of the corporate media and high-powered law firms manipulating what I actually did,” Jones said. “My big frustration is people saying I’m personally going after them, when I question every event.”Jones, who has stoked dangerous fires of disinformation and distrust on the far right for decades, was facing trial last week to determine how much he owes families of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting – which he long proclaimed was a hoax.Outside the courtroom last week, a new documentary that casts him as a free-speech activist was released. Throughout, Jones has continued to broadcast lies and disinformation to a huge audience online.'Your attorneys messed up': how Alex Jones's texts were sent to Sandy Hook family's lawyers – videoIn court, however, he was held to a different standard. After testifying for two days – including a rigorous cross-examination that left Jones sweating and visibly uncomfortable – a Texas jury ordered him to pay a total of $49.3m (£40.8m) in damages to the parents of one of the Sandy Hook victims. He still faces several lawsuits from other families.The judge, Maya Guerra Gamble, scolded Jones, after he told untruths at least twice on the stand. “It seems absurd to instruct you again that you must tell the truth when you testify, but here I am: you must tell the truth while you testify,” she said. “This is not your show.”Jones tried to interject, saying he had only said what he believed to be the truth.“You believe everything you say is true, but it isn’t. Your beliefs do not make something true. That is what we’re doing here,” the judge said.The new documentary, Alex’s War, was directed by Alex Lee Moyer and made with the cooperation of Jones. It charts his rise from a fringe public-access TV host to leader of rallies on 6 January 2021 that ended in a violent insurrection at the US Capitol.Jones says in the documentary that he grew up a voracious reader. Starting with comic books and science-fiction, an obsession with history books began when he read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. He lists a number of books written about the second world war and the Nazi regime that he read as a young man. Among the ones that most shaped his thinking, he says, was None Dare Call it a Conspiracy, by Gary Allen, a prominent member of the ultraconservative John Birch Society. The book claims that an all-powerful group of businessmen, communists and socialists are secretly trying to take control of the world.But Jones didn’t take to the airwaves with his conspiracy theories until after the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco, Texas, a few hours north of Austin. The botched raid, in which four federal officers and 82 civilians were killed, stirred up anti-government sentiment in many far-right circles. For Jones, it was a call to action.The Branch Davidian Mount Carmel compound in Waco in 1993. Photograph: Fort Worth Star Telegram/Sipa/REX/ShutterstockHe began hosting a show on Austin’s public-access television station, where he was a fringe personality who ranted about impending martial law, and began developing the on-air persona that would make him rich later in life.After the domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh said he bombed an Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 as retribution for the Waco raid, Jones began interviewing people who claimed the government had staged the attack. Apparently unable to accept that he shared the same view as McVeigh, he rationalised the Oklahoma bombing as a false-flag operation.He moved his show to Austin’s talk radio station in 1996, and helped raise $93,000 to memorialise the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. His show was cancelled in 1999 because his views made it difficult for the station to find sponsors.But in the early days of the internet, Jones set up shop in a spare bedroom of his Austin home and started broadcasting online with a new name – Infowars – and sold his show to nearly 100 FM and AM stations across the US.After the 9/11 attacks, he began spreading more theories that the terrorist attacks were staged. He lost some syndication for his wild views, but online, his popularity continued to grow. “I don’t do it for the monetary thing. I do it for the truth,” Jones said at his trial last Tuesday, “and the monetary thing comes with it because people can tell I’m not reading from a script. I’m not lying like the corporate media on purpose.”On his regular Infowars show, Jones is bombastic and animated. He gets worked up into fierce diatribes about such matters as demons and politics, fluoride in the water supply and an interlinked global conspiracy that is responsible for everything from Covid to gun control.During the Obama administration, Jones ramped up racist and virulent rants against the nation’s first Black president. His influence and audience continued to grow, bolstered by, and helping to spread, a bigoted and nationalistic “alt-right” movement.Jones also continued to spread untrue theories about terrorist attacks, mass shootings and major tragedies, claiming they were false-flag events where paid crisis-actors showed up to promote an agenda from a globalist new world order. “When I say staged, I mean they knew it was going to happen and stood back and let it happen,” Jones testified last week. “That’s what I thought about Sandy Hook.”Jones purports to be a free speech advocate, and that the lies he spreads are protected by the US constitution. But limits to the first amendment include speech that defames someone or is dangerous.“​​In some ways, there is no question that Alex Jones exercises his first amendment right to express himself and raise questions about public events,” says Roy Gutterman, director of the the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University. “But this case also shows that the law of defamation does limit what false and potentially harmful statements some speakers may make.”Jones speaking to Trump supporters on election day in 2020. Photograph: Olivier Touron/AFP/Getty ImagesThe Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks hate and extremist groups in the US, calls Jones “the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America”. Michael Edison Hayden, an investigative reporter and spokesman for the SPLC, says Jones’s ability to influence a huge audience makes his speech dangerous. “He is an amusing carnival barker so we kind of ignore many of the things that are staring us right in the face about how hateful he is,” Hayden says. “​​He has probably done more to further the cause of hate in this country than almost anyone outside of Donald Trump himself.”Jones has been able to grow his Infowars platform through a lucrative sales model where he hawks specially made products on air, such as a variety of survivalist gear and a line of “overpriced and ineffective” vitamins and supplements. He testified last week that the company raked in $165m in sales between September 2015 and December 2018. “With Jones, fascism is a business,” Hayden says.As the Infowars audience grew in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, Jones also gained a new fan and regular guest: Trump. “He ramps up his grift through the rise of extremist activism under Trump and sort of hitches his wagon of sales to Trump’s rise,” Hayden says. “To me, that’s Jones in his final form, which is just coming from this libertarian, entrepreneurial, conspiracy-obsessed world to becoming something that is much more what we would call fascist.”Dan Friesen had heard of Alex Jones before the 2016 election, but had mainly seen his conspiracy videos in online rabbit holes, not taking him terribly seriously. The Chicago comedian was surprised t
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The US federal circuit court has confirmed that AI systems cannot patent inventions because they are not human beings. The ruling is the latest failure in a series of quixotic legal battles by computer scientist Stephen Thaler to copyright and patent the output of various AI software tools he’s created. In 2019, Thaler failed to copyright an image on behalf of an AI system he dubbed Creativity Machine, with that decision upheld on appeal by the US Copyright Office in 2022. In a parallel case, the US Patent Office ruled in 2020 that Thaler’s AI system DABUS could not be a legal inventor because it was not a “natural person,” with this decision then upheld by a judge in 2021. Now, the federal circuit court has, once more, confirmed this decision. Writing in the court’s opinion, judge Leonard P. Stark notes that, at first glance, one might think that resolving this case would require “an abstract inquiry into the nature of invention or the rights, if any, of AI systems.” However, says Stark, such “metaphysical matters” can be avoided by simply analyzing the language of the relevant statue: the Patent Act. The Patent Act clearly states that only human beings can hold patents, says Stark. The Act refers to patent-holders as “individuals,” a term which the Supreme Court has ruled “ordinarily means a human being, a person” (following “how we use the word in everyday parlance”); and uses personal pronouns — “herself” and “himself” — throughout, rather than terms such as “itself,” which Stark says “would permit non-human inventors” in a reading. “Statutes are often open to multiple reasonable readings. Not so here,” writes Stark. “This is a case in which the question of statutory interpretation begins and ends with the plain meaning of the text ... [T]here is no ambiguity: the Patent Act requires that inventors must be natural persons; that is, human beings. “ The ruling confirms the status quo for AI patent law in the US, and shores up what is slowly consolidating as international legal opinion. Both the EU’s patent office and Australian High Court have made similar rulings in recent years (though, in A
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A fragile cease-fire deal to end nearly three days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza held into Monday morning — a sign the latest round of violence may have abated.The flare-up was the worst fighting between Israel and Gaza militant groups since Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers fought an 11-day war last year, adding to the destruction and misery that have plagued blockaded Gaza for years.Since Friday, Israeli aircraft had pummeled targets in Gaza while the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group fired hundreds of rockets
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Who, Me? Brickbats and bouquets are the way of things in the world of IT. Consider today's Who, Me? entry where our hero nearly fell on his sword when a bug bounty might have been more appropriate. Our story goes back to the mid 2000s, when "Bill" (not his name) was working in the information security department of a large retailer. "One of my many responsibilities was to implement a vulnerability management system," he said, "Everything was going fine: all testing of Windows and Unix systems had been successful, and we had placed it into production. The last step was to roll the system out t
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It’s quite a feat for a British ensemble older than the Proms to be making its debut at this year’s festival, but such is the case of Tredegar Town Band. Formally constituted in 1876, and with a performing CV stretching from Rambert Ballet to Matthew Warchus’s Bafta-winning film Pride, there’s a sense of making up for lost time with not one, but two Tredegar Proms this week . First, the band teams up with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Ryan Bancroft for Gavin Higgins’ massive Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra, then there’s a late-night Prom of their own the following evening.You have to go back to 1989 and Charles Groves with the National Youth Brass Band for the last time the BBC Proms dedicated an entire concert to brass band music. Why the wait? “I wonder if it’s an image problem,” Higgins says, “and people still think it’s a bit twee, that brass bands are just the Hovis advert. I also think some assume that, because it’s amateur, essentially, that means it’s not going to be as good.”‘People still think that brass bands are just the Hovis advert.’ Gavin HigginsThis couldn’t be further from the truth. This is music of tremendous dexterity and huge power with the potential to overwhelm when heard live, something Higgins’ multi-ensemble composition – the first Proms commission of its kind – augments with added orchestral oomph.But brass bands’ enduring image is a difficult one to reckon with for those questioning what “banding” (a popular collective term that suggests a holistic process similar to Christopher Small’s “musicking”) means among Britain’s network of music makers today. The UK’s brass band movement is inextricably linked with a well-established cluster of symbols. From its roots in heavy industry, to today’s collection of uniforms, crests, mottoes and banners, and regular appearances on bandstands and at union rallies, there’s a danger of it becoming shackled by history, particularly as the traditional links to vocation have dissolved.“Brass bands are no longer a preserve of the working class,” Higgins says. (That banding has been a traditionally working-class activity is perhaps chief among the reasons for the form’s historic neglect by Proms programmers.) Like many of the composers now writing regularly for bands, Higgins’ family were all involved in the local b
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For decades ecologists have been warning about the homogenisation of diversity – species becoming more alike – in the living world. Now, researchers at the University of Sheffield have published research predicting that bird species with striking and extreme traits are likely to go extinct first. “The global extinction crisis doesn’t just mean that we’re losing species,” says the study’s leader, Dr Emma Hughes. “It means that we are losing unique traits and evolutionary history.”This shows that human activity is not just drastically reducing numbers of species, it is probably disproportionately destroying the most unique, unusual and distinctive creatures on Earth.What would it mean to no longer share a planet with the toucan, and its bodacious bill four times the size of its head, even if you never see one in real life? Or the elegant Bengal florican, which looks like a walking treble clef. Or the iridescent hummingbird? Or the bird of paradise, with its rococo coiled plumes?A puffin at Bagh Mhiughlaigh (Mingulay bay). Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The GuardianMany of the potential impacts are unpredictable, but bleak. As Hughes says, we are losing species that could “confer unique benefits to humanity that are currently unknown”. And we already know the knock-on effects of species loss can be catastrophic. The decline of vultures in India and the loss of their scavenging, carrion-eating niche has already had negative consequences for human populations, including the spread of disease.This will not just affect faraway places with higher numbers of unusual species. “The extinction crisis will lead to a loss of morphological diversity in the UK too,” Hughes says. Unfortunately, the Atlantic puffin, one of Britain’s most-loved birds, and other unique seabirds such as the black-legged kittiwake and Leach’s storm petrel, are vulnerable.Losing any species is tragic, but we’re also facing a decline in the species that inspire the most awe in humans. In short, we can expect the world to become “really simple and brown and boring”, Dr Eliot Miller, of the Cornell lab of ornithology, told the New York Times. More sparrows; fewer puffins.A male peacock spider. Photograph: BIOSPHOTO/AlamyIf you were captured by an alien and asked to make the case for why the Earth shouldn’t be blown apart, what would you say? As much as I love little brown jobs, I would think about the species so beautiful and unusual you can barely believe they are real.I would tell them about the mandrill with its bright blue and pink face and rump. I would tell them about the hornbills that look as if they’re balancing a banana on their head. I’d mention the atlas moth that’s as big as a human hand. The peacock jumping spider, the Christmas-tree worm, the elf owl. I would tell them about the curlew, with its extraordinary curved beak; the kingfisher that bolts down the river like a turquoise meteor; the flamboyant antlers of a stag. I would tell them about mountain gorillas and blue whales and golden eagles. Baobabs, frogs and diatoms. Toucans! We have toucans!It wouldn’t be difficult to argue, for the exuberant diversity of life on Earth is
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The elevator pitch for Skate Story is the kind of tantalising soundbite that instantly pricks up the ears: it’s a “vaporwave skateboarding game,” says 28-year-old developer Sam Eng.Amazingly, the trailer released last month during game publisher Devolver Digital’s June showcase suggests the game, scheduled for release in 2023, could be even better than the pitch. A glimmering, glass figure pushes off on a board, the camera tracking them at a low angle just as it would in a skate film. The rumble of the wheels on the concrete is authentically loud, the accompanying beats delightfully chill, and towering purple buildings refract trippily in the background.Despite the glitch-art aesthetic and hellish premise – it has you skating through nine layers of the underworld as a demon made of glass – Skate Story appears grounded in a way Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, with its superhero combos and outlandish air-time, never has. You’re more likely to do a simple kickflip rather than a 900. “I wanted to make something that feels real,” Eng says. “Something genuinely relatable for myself, and the kid who has just got to grips with a skateboard. Whenever I say ‘skateboarding game,’ a specific image pops into people’s heads. This skateboarding game isn’t just about tricks.”Like so many kids of Eng’s generation, his interest in skateboarding was piqued by Tony Hawk’s franchise in the late 90s and early 2000s. Having played a demo of the first game as a six-year-old, he begged his mum to buy him a $5 board from a discount store. “I tried skateboarding for at least a couple of minutes before I fell and just gave up,” he laughs. He tried again a few years later, with scarcely better results. “I just got so frustrated with it,” he says. “The idea of skateboarding in my head was this crazy Tony Hawk-esque flying, half pipe thing.” It wasn’t until he lived alone in Manhattan in his early 20s that he picked up the board again, mainly as a way to travel around his neighbourhood.If Skate Story is anything like how Eng describes his own experiences skateboarding then it will be a stripped-back, vibe-first game. “The thing I love about skateboarding is that it’s just me, the board, and the terrain,” he says. “No one can do that kickflip for me.”Eng is a nerd when it comes to skateboarding media. He can’t help but enthuse about the “timbre” of old skate videos, the way “audio compression impacts the sound of the board”. That said, there’s often a melancholic quality to the portrayal of skateboarding in wider culture – the documentary Minding the Gap, for example. For the group of young friends who star in that film, skateboarding is a means of escape from the heaviness of everyday life. There are tantalising hints that Skate Story might explore comparable territory; Eng talks about the player becoming “friends with failure”.Regardless of how far these heavier themes are pushed, Skate Story is a visually inventive take on skateboarding, one born from Eng’s genuine and long-term love of the sport. “Skateboarding just really speaks to me,” he says. “It demands things from me that improve me as a
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I made the program with Adam D'Angelo, which you can verify on the team page [synapseai.com]. I want to offer the following information about the project. The majority of development effort went into building the Brain. The Synapse player is just something we threw together to get the most from the Brain's functionality. We will probably never port Synapse to other systems since more than enough players already exist. Synapse does work under Wine though. We do have plans to bring the Brain to other systems, and we've begun by writing a plugin for Winamp 2.x, which you can get here [synapseai.com]. An XMMS plugin is coming soon, and then hopefully there will be one for iTunes in the
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Key eventsWhen Nick Robinson put it to Brandon Lewis on the Today programme that a worker on the national living wage would only gain £59 from Liz Truss’s plan to reverse the national insurance inc
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John Oliver took a closer look at the monkeypox outbreak ― and, more specifically, just how badly the federal government has handled it so far. One reason for it, he said, is because many of those affected are gay men. “You have to believe that if monkeypox were spreading largely through heterosexual sex, things would be drastically different,” he said. “By now, you’d probably be able to get a ‘free vax with purchase’ at every J. Crew in the country.” Oliver said it’s not homophobic to recognize those most impacted by the outbreaks, such as gay men and sex workers. “What is homophobic is when you blame or shame the people who are suffering or you decide you don’t need t
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Michigan’s attorney general called for a special prosecutor to probe allegations her Donald Trump-backed opponent led an effort that gained unauthorized access to voting equipment during a hunt for
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Key eventsShow key events onlyPlease turn on JavaScript to use this featureHockey: We’re back under way in the men’s bronze-medal match, England and South Africa locked at 3-3. Terry Hee and Jessica Tan win the badminton mixed doubles for Singapore!They win nine straight points to go from 11-12 down to 20-12 up, clinch the second set, and take the gold. Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith of England must settle for silver; Ellis won the men’s doubles in 2018, but Smith now has six Commonwealth medals, none of them the biggun. Hockey: It’s England 3-3 South Africa at half-time. The final two quarters should be great. Table tennis: Wales take the first set, but now trail 5-4 in the second. Hockey: This is a real Mexico 86, France v Belgium of a third-place playoff; South Africa have equalised from a penalty corner, making it 3-3. and we’re almost at half-time. Table tennis: I should’ve said, Hursey is just 16. Wikipedia says:She is thought to be the youngest person to represent Wales at senior level in any sport, having been aged just 10 when she competed for Wales in a European Championship qualification match against Kosovo in 2017.That is absolutely wild. Table tennis: In the women’s doubles bronze-medal match, it’s Carey & Hursey of Wales v Wong & Zhou of Singapore. Singapore lead 12-11. Hockey: Sam Ward scores for England! Following a penalty corner, he drags a long way and wellies a finish high into the net. This is a great game, and we’ve still got five minutes to go before half-time. Badminton: Hee & Tan of Singapore are playing Ellis & Smith of England in the mixed doubles final. Currently, Hee & Tan lead 1-0, 9-7, so the English pair have a lot of work to do. Hockey: What a goal! Ansell beats a man moving across the face of the circle, gets just inside it, and leathers home a brilliant finish! England 2-2 SA, 6.25 left in Q2. Hockey: England are playing South Africa in the bronze-medal match and have just conceded, indecision at the back allowing SA to take a 2-1 lead. PreambleAfter 10 days, 268 gold medals and innumerable memories, here we are on day 12 with our athletes competing in our final 12 events. And with the closing ceremony schedul
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Consistent Error Handling Error handling in firmware is a difficult task. If you decide to ignore errors, the best you can expect is ...Read More Use Enum with More Class! You may be familiar with enum values, but do you know about enum classes? This great feature was introduced with ...Read More C++ Templates for Embedded Code (Part 2) Templates are a powerful feature of the C++ language, but their syntax can be complex. Here I will continue with ...Read More Bit Manipulation using Templates Did you read my article about C++ templates for embedded code? You learned how to use function templates. This post ...Read More C++ Templates for Embedded Code Templates are a powerful feature of the C++ language but their syntax can be complex. This causes some developers to ...Read More Auto and Structured Binding This article is just a short follow-up article for “Write Less Code using the ‘auto’ Keyword”. Structured binding is something ...Read More Guide to Modular Firmware This article is for embedded software developers with a solid working knowledge of C or C++, but who struggle with ...Read More It’s Time to Use #pragma once In my opinion, preprocessor macros and the outdated #include mechanism are one of the worst parts of the C++ language ...Read More Write Less Code us
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So we're into the Conservative Party leadership run-off campaign, and the two candidates are throwing policies at the base that, to outsider ears, sound increasingly bizarre. But there's a lot we can learn from them about how the Conservative elite perceive the state of the UK today, and some of it (who am I kidding? Most of it!) is disturbing. In the latest move, potential Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (the richest MP in parliament, a former Goldman Sachs employee and hedge-fund manager who married a billionaire) has vowed to phase out university degrees that do not improve students' "earning potential": ... Yeah, I know what you're thinking: "train the serfs for work, actual education is for the wealthy elite". But there's a lot more to it than that. The Guardian: Rishi Sunak vows to end low-earning degrees in post-16 education shake-up For starters, "earning potential" is only testable in hindsight. Work is changing, many jobs are being automated, and the earnings of graduates with a given degree over the previous decade is not a good predictor for the success of new graduates with that degree. I have two STEM degrees from the 1980s which are totally obsolete now and of almost no relevance to my current occupation. You can't predict educational outcomes for future employment on the basis of priors because, like the old "job for life" culture, the degree-for-life has died. Personal anecdote: after a regrettable initial career choice—nobody needs a pharmacist with ASD/ADHD, it's a really bad combination of personality traits for that career—I returned to university (something I wouldn't be able to do today) and graduated for the second time, with a CS degree, in '90, right in the middle of a recession. The only work I could find was as a technical author (I had the writing chops and bluffed my way in). I have worked as a programmer since then, but only for 5 years out of the past 33. For 18 out of those 33 years, my occupation has had almost nothing to do with either degree. And today, a 1990 CS degree is about as useful in the CS workplace as a 1923 aerospace engineering degree (if such a thing existed). Priors are not
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Incidents of DIY dentistry, including people using superglue to stick homemade teeth to their gums, are increasing across Britain as more than nine in 10 NHS dental practices are unable to offer appointments to new adult patients, the director of the Healthwatch England watchdog has warned.According to a survey by the British Dental Association and the BBC, 91% of NHS practices across England were not accepting new adult patients, with this figure rising to 97% in the east midlands, and 98% in the south-west, north-west and Yorkshire and the Humber.Across Northern Ireland, 90% of NHS practices were not accepting new adult patients, while the figure stood at 82% in Scotland, and 93% in Wales.The survey also found that of the practices that were not taking on new adults in England, only 23% had an open waiting list, and 16% said the waiting time was at least a year, or were unable to give an estimate as to how long it would be.Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Louise Ansari, the national director of Healthwatch England, said the results of the survey showed that the state of dentistry in the UK was “dire”, and that she had heard of people pulling out their own teeth.Ansari said: “I think the research really does confirm and amplify what we’ve been saying for a couple of years and the situation is pretty dire.“So many people can’t get an NHS dentist appointment, they’re in pain, they’re anxious, some people can’t eat or speak properly.She added: “And suddenly, indeed, it’s not unusual for us to hear stories of DIY dentistry, things like making teeth out of resin and sticking them in to their gums with superglue, which is an absolute desperate situation for somebody to be in.”The health secretary has said a “real sprint” would be needed before winter to ensure the NHS was able to deal with the pressures from seasonal flu, coronavirus, and the cost of living crisis.Sign up to First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BSTSpeaking to the Telegraph, Steve Barclay said: “We have very real challenges coming down the track in the autumn and winter, and as far as I’m concerned there needs to be a rea
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MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan warns not to dismiss right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones just because of how out-there his rantings and ramblings are. Jones, he said, has real influence. “His ravings are untethered from reality, yes, but with each viral broadcast he infects more Americans with his hate and his paranoia,” Hasan said, then played a clip of some of Jones’ more unhinged moments. Jones just lost a series of rulings that will cost him more than $45 million for his lies about the Sandy Hook massacre, and is known for mixing racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and more into his conspiracy theories. Yet as Hasan noted, Jones has been embraced by some of “the most powerful figures within the U.S. conservative movement” including Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson.“If you want
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While it feels as though Europe should be starting to see the end of its heatwaves, scorching temperatures are expected to continue across the north and west of the continent this week. As high pressure becomes established, parts of France and Spain could experience temperatures of 38C (100.4F) between Wednesday and Saturday. A prolonged hot period is also forecast to hit the UK with temperatures exceeding 30C, and maximum temperatures possibly hitting as high as 35C.Meanwhile, low pressure and a slack south-westerly wind across the East China and Yellow seas will bring heavy rain across the Korean peninsula over the coming week, the second monsoon spell of the season. Daily rainfall totals of 100mm to 150mm could hit South Korea’s capital, Seoul, on Monday, with high levels of precipita
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Students of game console history will reach back into the 1970s for the primordial machines, tracing from the Magnavox Odyssey onwards, and thence via the Fairchild Channel F into the world of microprocessors and the chain of machines that lead us to those we enjoy today. In the early days there was a parallel evolution for a few years of dedicated video game consoles with no interchangeable cartridges or microprocessors, these took their inspiration from the legendary PONG arcade game and used dedicated non-programmable hardware in custom chips to create their video. But was there a programmable PONG chip lurking among all the others? [Old VCR] takes a look. Many readers will be familiar with MOS Technology as the originator of the 6502 processor used in so many 8-bit home computers. But perhaps many of our attention spans will have passed over another of their products, the MOS 7600 and 7601. These were the chip company’s entry into the surprisingly congested mid-70s PONG-in-a-chip market, and the article investigates the question of whether they might in fact be mask-programmed microcontrollers masquerading as dedicated chips. It’s a fascinating tour thro
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Key eventsFashion retailer Joules, founded in 1989, could receive an investment from Next. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PAShares in London-listed fashion retailer Joules have jumped by a quarter after it confirmed that it is in talks with the FTSE 100’s Next over a £15m investment.Joules describes itself as a “contemporary country living” brand (although the Press Association previously summed it up as a “posh wellies” retailer). The Guardian’s Mark Sweney reports:Joules, whose share price has slumped by almost 90% over the last year, said it was in talks with Next about raising the sum in a deal that would result in the clothing and homeware retailer taking a strategic minority investment in the company. Under the terms of the deal, Next could take a stake of about 25%, according to Sky News. Last month, Joules hired KPMG to assist with efforts to improve “profitability, cash generation and liquidity headroom”. Joules, which has about 130 stores and employs more than 1,000 people, also announced it was in talks to use Next’s online platform to run its digital operations. Next already sells Joules clothing through its own website. The deal will involve the transitioning of Joules’s existing online operation, warehouse, distribution and logistics to use Next’s services, Total Platform, to run its retail websites and back-end operations.You can read the full story here:SoftBank suffers losses of £18bn amid tech stock routSoftBank Group chief executive Masayoshi Son at a news conference in London in July 2016. Photograph: Neil Hall/ReutersJapanese investor SoftBank has reported investment losses worth £18bn between April and June, as its massive
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The debt collectors arrived when Laura Kennedy* was out. They left a letter to say they would be back to claim payments owed to Scottish Power.Kennedy has never been a customer of Scottish Power and the bills were not in her name, but that hadn’t stopped the demands and threats pouring through her letterbox for 18 months. She is so terrified that bailiffs will enter her home and seize her goods that she is now moving out.Utilities customers are already struggling with soaring bills after the regulator, Ofgem, raised the energy price cap by 54% in April. And now many are paying an additional price for technical and bureaucratic errors by suppliers. Faulty smart meters, incorrect billing and unpaid credit are leaving some households thousands of pounds out of pocket.One reader who contacted the Observer was faced by a £1,300 bill after his smart meter stopped relaying readings last October. His supplier back-billed him for his energy consumption over the winter using new, inflated tariffs introduced in April.Ofgem recently ordered five suppliers to take urgent action after a review found that misapplied direct debits were overcharging some customers and undercharging others, leaving them with large deficits. It also said it was concerned that half a million households had seen their direct debits double, and was requiring companies review their calculations.Complaints website Resolver reports a rise in billing errors and in failure of customer services to address problems. S
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unblob is an accurate, fast, and easy-to-use extraction suite. It parses unknown binary blobs for more than 30 different archive, compression, and file-system formats, extracts their content recursively, and carves out unknown chunks that have not been accounted for. Unblob is free to use, licensed with the MIT license. It has a Command Line Interface and can be used as a Python library. This turns unblob into the perfect companion for extracting, analyzing, and reverse engineering firmware images. See more at https://unblob.org. Demo
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At the start of this excellent film about El Sistema, the revolutionary music-education programme from Venezuela, founder José Antonio Abreu testifies to the “spiritual richness” music brings those from impoverished backgrounds. Of course he is right, but as we follow three students from 2009 to 2019 while Venezuelan society crumbles, Marianela Maldonado’s documentary tests that liberal piety in the face of daily hardships that grow to crushing proportions.The trio are from the city of Valencia and they are hoping classical music will be their way out from their crime-ridden barrio, Las
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A house has collapsed amid a fire and explosion in Croydon.Firefighters were called to the scene at Galpin’s Road in Thornton Heath shortly after 7am on Monday. London fire brigade (LFB) said the cause of the fire and explosion was not known.Six fire engines and about 40 firefighters were sent to the scene where a terraced house had collapsed.LFB said it had taken 13 calls about the incident since 7.08am.Fire crews from Norbury, Mitcham, West Norwood, Woodside and surrounding fire stations were sent to the scene.
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Britain is braced for another heatwave that will last longer than July’s record-breaking hot spell, with highs of up to 35C expected over the next week, forecasters have said.Temperatures over the coming days will remain lower than the 40.3C reached in July, the hottest temperature on record, but the heatwave will continue over a “prolonged period”, the Met Office has said.People have been urged not to have barbecues in the tinder-dry conditions after people from 15 homes were evacuated after a garden fire that spread out of control in Essex.Essex county fire and rescue service said about 40 people were forced to flee properties due to a blaze that damaged more than a dozen homes on Saturday.Neil Fenwick, the service’s area manager, said: “While summer weather usually provides th
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Next is in talks to take a £15m stake in the struggling high street retailer Joules.Joules, whose share price has slumped by almost 90% over the last year, said it was in talks with Next about raising the sum in a deal that would result in the clothing and homeware retailer taking a strategic minority investment in the company.Under the terms of the deal, Next could take a stake of about 25%, according to Sky News.“Joules confirms it is in discussions with Next about a potential equity investment raising proceeds for Joules of circa £15m at no less than Joules’ current market price, which would result in Next becoming a strategic minority shareholder in the group,” the company confirmed in a statement on Monday. “The equity investment would be subject to approval by Joules’ sha
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Over the course of their two-decade career, Iowa heavy metallers Slipknot have stayed so laser-focused on their modus operandi – channeling messy anger into face-melting rock songs while dressed in jumpsuits and pungent-looking Halloween masks – that they’ve become essentially impervious to music’s changing tides. Their last three albums all topped the US Billboard charts, while the accompanying tour for next month’s seventh album, The End, So Far, finds the octet playing arenas everywhere from the Czech Republic to Brazil.Mainstream success hasn’t quelled their ability to cause controversy, however. The End, So Far – rumoured to be their final album on long-term label Roadrunner – was heralded late last year by frenetic single The Chapeltown Rag. Written by frontman Corey
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India will tweak the incentive scheme it offers to manufacturers of enterprise hardware after disappointing uptake. "The IT hardware is not a high growth market, it is a very set market," IT minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar told India's Business Standard "There are only four to five players and almost all of their manufacturing is in China. The players are known – HP, Dell, and Apple, among others, and some Chinese brands," he added, concluding "Therefore, there is not much incentive for too many companies to come here and make investments and the first round of PLI reflected that." India can point to some successes in its effort to have multinationals make more kit on its soil: Apple has moved more work to India and over the weekend was rumored to be relying on the nation for early
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Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) shared a video of herself pacing the stage at CPAC as she ranted against Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden and a popular talking point in right-wing circles. Just one problem: In a tweet with a clip of the rant, Boebert apparently wanted to call him “compromised,” but instead called him “comprised.” Dictionary.com subtweeted Boebert with an explainer on the word: Many of you have been looking up "comprised" on our website this evening. It means "formed, put together, or constituted; made up of a number of different parts or individuals." https://t.co/Ve0cHQ5vlF— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) August 8, 2022 She deleted the tweet, but the screenshots live on:Lauren BoebertHuffPostThe typo caused “comprised” to trend on Twitter with commen
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When science fiction writers imagine great, grandiose methods of social control – matrixes! Microchips! Really big bros! – they ignore one powerful form that already exists: the humble calorie.Very little is more distracting, maddening, soul-destroying or totalitarian than the seemingly random number (egg: 155! Freddo: 95!) that is assigned to everything we eat. It is a number that will affect your body and – although it shouldn’t be the case – the way others around you value it. If you have ever counted your calories, and if you ever restricted them, then you have lived under a brutal regime. I’m really, truly sorry. I wish no one had ever told you that calories exist.I feel this way because calories once consumed me. As an anorexic teenager I knew the number assigned to lettu
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1Martínez fails to convinceIt is unfair to pick out one player from Manchester United’s dire opening display under Erik ten Hag but Lisandro Martínez seriously struggled against Brighton. These are, of course, the earliest of days for the new centre-back but he will have to learn fast. The diminutive Argentinian is a footballer the manager knows well but there are question marks over his stature. There will be serial aerial bombardment this season of the type he failed to deal with against Brighton, with Danny Welbeck rising highest above him when missing a close-range header in the second half. Martínez might also have conceded a penalty when bundling over the same player in a performance that did nothing to suggest the 24-year-old can help plug United’s leaky rearguard. Jamie Jack
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It is the best walk in football. Out of Putney Bridge station, up Ranelagh Gardens, through the underpass, through Bishops Park with the Thames to your left and the sun overhead, past rows of pristine Victorian and Edwardian terraced housing and towards Craven Cottage, which even in the midst of major redevelopment remains a beautifully quaint sporting venue. There really is nothing like going to Fulham on a summer’s day.And so it was on Saturday as the club hosted Premier League football for the first time since sweeping to the Championship title last season. It was a glorious afternoon in southwest London, perfect in many ways, and the excitement was tangible. Liverpool were in town, this was what it meant to be back in the big time, and it was impossible not to get swept up in it all
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Ahmedou Ould Boukhary knows he can get the call at any time, day or night from the local authorities in Bassikounou, a town in the south-east of Mauritania. Someone has spotted a fire in one of the villages perched on the edge of the Sahara. How soon can he and his men be there?Boukhary leads the Brigade Anti-Feu – the Anti-Fire Brigade – a volunteer force of about 500 Malian refugees living in M’bera camp, towards the border with Mali, 11 miles (18km) from the town. When the call comes, teams of between 50 and 70 men pack themselves into the backs of pickup trucks and zoom out of the camp to deal with the blaze. Sometimes they travel up to 20 miles to put out fires. Clockwise from top left: an aerial glimpse of the Sahara close to Bassikonou and M’bera camp; refugees queue outsi
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Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter had a lot in common. Both changed the way plays are written and perceived, both were Nobel prize winners and both had a passion for cricket. That last link is a crucial factor in a new play by Shomit Dutta, Stumped, which will be streamed live from Lord’s.Produced by the Original Theatre Company, it will star Stephen Tompkinson as Beckett and Andrew Lancel as Pinter, and is described by Dutta as “a caprice, a shared dream”. Imagine Waiting for Godot crossed with The Dumb Waiter in a cricketing context and you get the general idea.Dutta is a multifaceted figure who has written an original play about the Trojan war and translated Greek drama, he teaches classics at a London school and is a former captain of the cricket team, the Gaieties, that was Pinte
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The first song I remember hearingI had to call my mum, and she says the first song she remembers me reacting and moving to was The Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson.The first single I boughtA seven-inch single of Push It by Salt-N-Pepa, aged five or six, from a car boot sale in Shepherd’s Bush, that came with a foldout poster. It’s regarded as a rap classic, but it’s actually a dance song – there are only two or three little raps and the rest is just instrumental. It’s all about the bassline and the sample.The song I do at karaokeRegulate by Warren G and Nate Dogg, because I can do the voices really easily. Nate Dogg sings a bit like me, and Warren G is a bit more raspy.The song I inexplicably know every lyric toI was a massive fan of Wu-Tang Clan at secondary school. There was
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and how to do the oppositeAugust 7, 2022Ever had “hiring manager’s remorse”? It’s where you regret hiring someone immediately after they start. It could be that you don’t like their face, or just want to see the world burn. Worse, they might have mentioned they like jazz. Whatever the reason, this post is here to help you make them quit on their own by picking the worst starter project for them.Don’t wait until they’ve settled inThey didn’t get a monitor yet? The PM haven’t gotten around to showing them the product your team is working on? Their badge doesn’t work and they have to ask for teammates to walk them to the bathroom? This is the perfect time to sit them down and explain all the details of the new project. Is there some component that they haven’t ramped u
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With the long school summer holiday well under way, you may need a bit of help keeping the kids entertained. From walkie-talkies and cameras to tablets, robot toys and fitness trackers, here are some of the best kid-aimed tech to keep the little (and not-so-little) ones occupied.Robot toysSphero Mini – about £50Sphero Mini robotic ball. Photograph: Bryan Rowe/SpheroLots of tech toys are fads but my longtime favourite has stood the test of time as a modern update to remote control fun. Sphero is a ball you control using a smartphone or tablet, and has hidden depths, with games and educational elements also available.The mini Sphero ball is a lot of fun to drive around and small enough that overexuberant indoor excursions won’t result in broken furniture and scuffed-up paintwork. The Sphero Play app has games, while the Sphero Edu app is great at fostering creative learning.Kids or big kids can learn to program, follow examples, get the robot to do all sorts of things, or go deeper and write some code for it in JavaScript. Higher-end versions such as the £190 BOLT take the educational elements to the next level, too.TabletsAmazon Fire 7 Kids – about £110Amazon Fire 7 Kids edition tablet. Photograph: AmazonIf you would rather not lend your precious breakable phone or iPad to your little ones, Amazon’s practically indestructible Kids edition tablets could be just the ticket.The cheapest and smallest Fire 7 has just been updated and is available in a range of bright-coloured cases with a pop-out stand. If your offspring do manage to break it, Amazon will replace it for free under its two-year “worry-free” guarantee.It does all the standard tablet things such as
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Campaigners have begun a legal challenge against the government’s decision to give the Sizewell C nuclear power station the go-ahead amid warnings that UK nuclear plants will be on the frontline of climate breakdown.Citing the threat to water supplies in an area officially designated as seriously water stressed, the threats to coastal areas from climate change and environmental damage, the challenge is the first step in a judicial review of the planning consent.The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, overruled the independent Planning Inspectorate to grant permission for the new nuclear reactor in Suffolk in July. Kwarteng is pushing ahead with government plans to approve one new nuclear reactor a year as part of an energy strategy that aims to bolster the UK’s nuclear capacity, with the hope that by 2050 up to 25% of projected energy demand will come from it.But Sizewell C has faced stiff opposition from local campaigners, and environmental groups both for its cost and the environmental impact.In a letter to Kwarteng outlining their legal challenge Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) argues that the permission by the government for the plant was given unlawfully. Represented by Leigh Day solicitors and supported by Friends of the Earth, the group says there was a failure to assess the implications of the project as a whole, by ignoring the issue of whether a permanent water supply could be secured, a failure to assess the environmental impact of that project and the suggestion that the site would be clear of nuclear material by 2140, which was not upheld by evidence showing highly radioactive waste would have to be stored on site until a much later date.The Planning I
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Key eventsShow key events onlyPlease turn on JavaScript to use this featurePro-Russian forces say Ukraine has again struck Antonivskiy bridge in occupied KhersonA key Russian-held bridge into the occupied southern city of Kherson has been hit again overnight by Ukrainian forces, according to reports from the Russian-imposed administration there.Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the pro-Russian administration imposed on occupied Kherson, told the Interfax news agency:The blow was struck on the Antonivskiy bridge. The equipment of the builders who are repairing the bridge burned down, there are no critical damages. But the opening of the bridge is slightly delayed.Ukrainian forces have repeatedly targeted the bridge with high-precision weapons as it is one of only two permanent re-supply routes over the Dnieper River, linking the occupied city with the rest of Kherson region and down to annexed Crimea in the south.The claims have not been independently verified.Ivan Fedorov, Ukraine’s elected mayor of Melitopol, has posted to Telegram overnight about the situation in the occupied city, which he is in exile from. He told his supporters on Telegram:Today, high-precision Himars missiles fired at the points of temporary deployment of the occupying forces at industrial sites in various districts of the city of Melitopol. Last week, the occupiers redeployed a significant part of air defence from Melitopol to Kherson. Tonight is the most effective and shows that the existing enemy air defence units are no longer able to resist Himars. The weakening of the air defence system creates the necessary prerequisites for a successful counteroffensive in the direction of Melitopol.The claims have not been independently verified. This is Martin Belam taking over the live blog for the next few hours. You can reach me at martin.belam@theguardian.com Grain carrying ship that departed from Ukraine on Sunday, carrying 33,000 tons of corn to Ireland. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesTwo more grain carrying ships have sailed from Ukraine’s Black sea ports, Reuters reports. The Sacura, which departed from Yuzni, is carrying 11,000 tonnes of soybeans to Italy, while the Ari
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FoodTraditional Lithuanian food is not particularly thrilling to look at, but it reminds me of my youth. Žemaičių Asotis in uptown Vilnius is the place I usually go to when I want to eat some cepelinas (potato dumplings stuffed with minced pork) or vedarai (potato sausage stuffed into the large intestine of a pig). This is Lithuanian comfort food. All the dishes served here are what you would find outside the city. It’s basically our version of a traditional British pub, where local people gather and eat.InspirationThe hill of Gediminas and its tower, once part of a castle, defines the city, and is probably the most significant landmark in Vilnius. Everybody here knows the legend about the iron wolf and the founding of Vilnius. It’s said that Gediminas, the Grand Duke of Lithuania in the early 14th century, was sleeping near the hill after a successful day’s hunting in the Šventaragis Valley and dreamed about an iron wolf, howling at the top of it. When he awoke, he was told by a priest that this meant he should build a castle on the hill and that it would be a castle that could not be conquered, and the site of a great capital. Lithuanians all learn this story at kindergarten.NeighbourhoodThere is a renaissance happening in the uptown area of Naujamiestis, around the c
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A platform that makes it easier for cyber criminals to establish command-and-control (C2) servers has already attracted 3,000 users since launching earlier this year, and will likely expand its client list in the coming months. Called Dark Utilities, the service provides a full range of C2 capabilities to give attackers an easier and inexpensive platform for launching remote access, command execution, cryptocurrency mining, and distributed denial-of-services (DDoS) attacks. The operators of the service also provide technical support and help for platform users via communities created on the Discord and Telegram messaging apps. Dark Utilities is the latest example of malware-as-a-service (MaaS) and ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) that diversify cyber criminals' revenue by letting them profit from less-skilled programmers on top of their own exploits. It also echoes other trends including the rise of initial access brokers, who compromise systems and then sell that access to others who use it to launch attacks. C2 servers act as the hub for cyber criminals during attacks, enabling them to manage their malware by sending commands and payloads and receiving data that is exfiltrated from infected systems. Through Dark Utilities, adversaries get a platform that supports payloads for Windows, Linux, and Python-based attacks without having to create channels to a C2 server. "It's a key component to expedite the development of and lower the bar to RaaS and MaaS infrastructure," Andrew Hay, COO for LARES Consulting, told The Register. "With such an easy-to-use platform, developers need only worry about building or modifying the malware components of their attack." It's also inexpensive and appears to be a volume play. According to researchers from Cisco's Talos threat intelligence organization, users can get access to the platform – which is hosted on the clear internet and Tor network – along with the associated payloads and API endpoints for €9.99 ($10.17). In a blog post, the Talos researchers wrote that in the months since the C2 platform was established, it has generated about €30,000 – more than $30,500. "Given the
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Covid-19 became the equal leading cause of death in New Zealand for the first time in July, overtaking stroke and drawing even with ischaemic heart disease as the country’s No 1 killer.Michael Baker, an epidemiologist and public health professor, said that for a period in July-August Covid appeared to be causing at least as many deaths as heart disease.Baker said that in mid-July, Covid deaths made up almost 15% of deaths overall, referring to data analysis by the New Zealand Herald that compared confirmed Covid deaths against overall deaths in July. Baker said those deaths were likely a slight undercount, as some people would have died of Covid-19 without being tested.Baker said that toll would place Covid as “at least six times higher, it might be 10 times higher than the road toll”. If the pandemic’s current trajectory continued, annual Covid deaths would be about five times influenza deaths – the disease once used as “benchmark” for Covid 19. Heart disease typically accounts for about 15% of New Zealand deaths, and stroke about 8%.“Mortality in this wave has reached a new peak in New Zealand,” Baker said. “[But] at the point where we’re seeing peak mortality, we’ve seen, seemingly, public interest and concern dropping to quite a low level – and I find that paradoxical. Of course we all want the pandemic finished, but we can’t wish it away.”On Monday, the ministry of health reported 1,638 deaths had been attributable to Covid-19 since the outbreak began. Those are deaths where Covid was either the underlying cause of death or a contributing factor to death.The ministry reported 4,006 active cases of Covid-19 and 654 hospitalisations. Overall, Covid cases in New Zealand are trending down: the seven-day rolling average of case numbers was 5,288, compared with 6,990 last Monday. A child under the age of 10 was among the 13 daily deaths linked to Covid in the latest update.Baker said that with Covid cases decreasing from a peak of infections in July, he would not expect it to remain the leading cause of death across the year, but it would probably be in the top two or three.“At the moment excess mortality in New Zealand is running
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Taiwan is preparing air-raid shelters in underground spaces such as basement car parks, the subway system and subterranean shopping centres as fears of a Chinese attack increase. The capital, Taipei, has more than 4,600 such shelters that can accommodate 12 million people, more than four times its population. Reporting by Yimou Lee and Fabian Hamacher/Reuters
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I’ve started wearing shorts for the first time, aged 39. I’ve got some serious legs on me – and by serious, I mean funny. They’re short, they’re thick, they’re hench. They’re the sort of legs that when people see them, they think: “I might have ham for lunch.”But with adulthood comes a heady and increasingly confusing relationship with pride. My legs are massive whether I do weightlifting or not, but I do lift weights and it brings me extreme joy. On a good day, I can squat 1.5 times my bodyweight, which I’m aware is a mega-brag. So I’m proud of these mighty jambons. I’
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“This is sugar-rush policymaking. It grabs a headline but has no real substance.” Such was the verdict of one leading figure in the world of education to the policy promises on schools and universities from the two candidates in the Conservative leadership race.Education may not have been a key battleground in the campaign so far, but a number of eye-catching themes have already emerged. First, grammar schools. Both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak would like to see more of them. Is it feasible? Will it happen, and what would the impact be?Currently, it is illegal to open new grammar schools, thanks to a Labour ban, which has been in place since 1998. The selective system was phased out in most parts of the country from the 1960s amid concerns that it entrenched inequality and those concerns persist.About 160 grammar schools remain in England, and in recent years pupil numbers at those schools have swelled significantly as the Tories have toyed with further expansion of selection, allowing existing schools to grow. Theoretically, the ban could be lifted, and there have indeed been calls for it to be written into the government’s recent schools bill.All the evidence suggests, however, that grammar schools harm poorer children’s life chances, and any attempt to lift the ban would meet with fierce opposition. Critics say that working-class children do worse in areas of the country that have retained grammar schools and that disadvantaged children are severely underrepresented in grammar schools. Just 8.3% of grammar school pupils attract the additional pupil premium funding available to the most disadvantaged pupils, compared with a national average of 27.6% in secondary schools in England.Sir Chris Husbands, who is vice-chancellor at Sheffield Hallam and an expert in education policy, said: “Areas with selective schools tend to have a competitive economy of private tutoring – one reason why children of the affluent middle classes tend to dominate in grammar schools.“The heyday of grammar schools was two generations ago, when psychologists believed that intelligence was fixed and unchanging, and so could be reliably assessed at any age. We know now that this is simply wrong.”He added: “It’s difficult to fathom the electoral appeal in defining four-fifths of children as ‘failures’ at 11 – especially for a party of ‘aspiration’. Politicians
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There are tales of pilfering from the cathedral larder, of smuggling trips and constables chasing layabouts off the manicured lawns – even a crime of passion that ended with a 16th-century dean only just escaping with his life.The archivist and volunteers at Salisbury cathedral have been combing through the great church’s records to create a history of crime within the building’s magnificent close.Their idea is to remind people that the cathedral and its environs are not just the spire, cloisters and nave, nor the worship that happened within them, but are also a part of the lives of the ordinary folk who lived around it for more than 800 years.“A lot has been written about the cathedral’s architecture and the great and good, but much less about the everyday people and communities here,” said Emily Naish, cathedral archivist and collections manager.Because the close was effectively within the cathedral’s jurisdiction for many years – a separate legal entity from the rest of the Wiltshire city – the archive has rich records of the crimes that were committed there, as well as a pair of handcuffs and truncheons that its own constables were equipped with.Emily Naish, the archivist and collections manager at Salisbury cathedral, holding one of the institution’s many records. Photograph: Martin Godwin/The GuardianSome entries show the cost of living crisis is nothing new, such as the theft by one Frances Wines from the dean’s pantry in October 1818. Wines swiped a loaf, mutton and a couple of kidneys and wrapped them up in a bundle, which she tried to hide in a hen coop. The records are depositions rather than records of the full proceedings, so we don’t
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When Linda Parker turned 60, she made a list. For the past 30 years, she had looked after other people, first as a carer for her dad, and then as a single parent of a daughter. Now she wanted some fun for herself alone. The first thing she wrote down was “microblade eyebrows”.Before her birthday, she had looked in the mirror and seen a face she says she “barely recognised. I had no eyebrows. I had completely lost them. I felt pallid and invisible.” She has no idea “where or when” her brows disappeared – they must have gone gradually – but she thinks stress may have been to blame.Microblading involves tattooing hair-like strokes, “little tiny cuts with a teeny tiny machine,” says Parker. When she told her daughter, Lara, her plan, she told her to be careful. “Right up to the day before, I thought, ‘I’m not sure I’m going to do this,’” says Parker. She braced herself for pain, but the discomfort was less than she had expected.Her new eyebrows were “the first positive step” towards a new way of living. The swelling quickly subsided and the scabs dropped off. That one small step triggered several large leaps.“Having eyebrows back gave me the confidence to apply for another job,” says Parker. At the time, she was working as a learning support assistant for children with special needs; she had sought a job in education after her partner left when Lara was three months old. By then, she had cared for her father, who had suffered a serious brai
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Hungary hopes to strike a deal with Brussels on blocked EU funds by the end of the year, as it races against the clock to unlock billions that have been frozen over concerns about state-captured institutions and corruption.If Budapest fails to reach an agreement with the European commission by the end of 2022, it stands to lose €4.64bn (£3.91bn) in Covid recovery funds, while questions remain over a potential €24.3bn six-year funding programme to upgrade its national infrastructure.While Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has previously suggested he did not need the EU’s Covid recovery grants, he has sent top officials to Brussels on a charm offensive to unlock the funds.Hungary’s chief negotiator, Tibor Navracsics, told the Guardian he was optimistic about an agreement on the Covid recovery plan worth a potential €15bn by the end of the year. He also hopes Hungary can strike a “partnership agreement” in early autumn to secure €24.3bn of “cohesion funds”, mostly from the EU.Both agreements are tangled up with an unprecedented disciplinary process launched against Hungary in April that could lead to the suspension of EU funds because of violations of the rule of law. “[Resolving] the rule of law conditionality procedure might be a pre-condition for having an agreement on the cohesion money, or the RRF [Covid recovery] money,” Navracsics said. The Hungarian government has been given a 22 August deadline to respond to a lengthy letter from the commission warning of “remedial measures”, if Budapest fails to address longstanding concerns about the rule of law.Hungary has received billions of EU funds since it joined the bloc in 2004, but concerns have spiralled about alleged misuse of EU cash to enrich Orbán’s friends and family. During Orbán’s 12 years in power, independent media has withered and checks and balances have weakened.Navracsics – a Hungarian former EU commissioner, who was appointed minister for regional development in May – has been sent to Brussels to persuade officials to unfreeze the funds. His low-key charm offensive has been overshadowed by Orbán’s attacks on EU sanctions policy and inflammatory speeches, including an address on so-called race mixing that prompted a leading adviser to quit denouncing “pure Nazi” rhetoric.Senior EU officials believe Orbán needs EU money, as he grapples with soaring inflation, a plunge in the Hungarian forint and the threat of severe recession. The darkening economic outlook has forced the Hungarian prime minister to scrap energy price caps and hike small business taxes, leading to days of protests in Budapest last month, where people chanted “Orbán get lost”.Analysts have cited the lack of agreement with the EU as one of the sources of economic pressure on the fragile Hungarian economy.EU officials sense a moment of leverage to push the government to reform its institutions. But they also mistrust Orbán, renowned for his so-called “peacock dance”, ie, offering cosmetic concessions or a minor tactical withdrawal, while continuing to make Hungary an illiberal state. “Our experience has been over a decade that they say they abide, t
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Last summer, Shakespeare’s Globe reopened after its pandemic closure with a party-popper version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring water pistols, a piñata donkey and a deliriously funny Pyramus and Thisbe. This summer, the theatre has had a bright idea for its indoor playhouse. What if, a year after the events of that play, the mechanicals were back to perform again for the Duke and Duchess, this time with a show “less tragic, more magic” to celebrate their first anniversary?Liberating Bottom and co from Shakespeare’s play appeals to my eight-year-old daughter, Hilda, as we make our way there. She has seen the Dream on TV and reckons it’s “more confusing than Diana Wynne Jones”. Aimed at the over-fives, Midsummer Mechanicals is presented by the Globe and Splendid Productions, whose artistic director, Kerry Frampton, is the co-writer (with Ben Hales), co-director (with Lucy Cuthbertson) and an affably silly host as Bottom. With caterpillar eyebrows and bushy sideburns, Frampton makes the young audience feel right at home. Ribbons are tied around the theatre’s pillars and silky bunting hangs across the stage. Although “it’s not very comfy, is it?” mutters Hilda as she gets used to the playhouse’s austere benches.The script puts the Dream’s themes and storyline in a spin, resulting in the mechanicals’ performance of The Adventures of the Weaver and the Fairy Queen. The first half is backstage drama, as Bottom, Peter Quince, Francis Flute and Patience (wife of Tom) Snout limber up for their performance; the set is then transformed for the play-within-the-play in the second half.Affably silly … Kerry Frampton as Bottom in Midsummer Mechanicals. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/the GuardianI think the first half drags a little but Hilda disagrees. As a fan of The Play That Goes Wrong, she also enjoys the similar am-dram gags as the show comes undone through lines being read in the wrong order, thespy pretensions and pratfalls. Bottom has some fine malapropisms as he boasts about his drama of “historic impotence”; the audience are required to rally the nervous Quince (a richly warm performance from Jamal Franklin); and this time it’s Flute (bombastically funny Sam Glen) who wants to play the lion, too, attempting to hog any spare parts. Hilda thinks Flute’s Fairy Queen is a hoot, but the character this audience really get behind is Patience (Melody Brown, detonating her deadpan asides). You sense their outrage at the very idea that as a woman she is not allowed to act on stage.References abound to other plays, including King Lear and Hamlet, and Hilda enjoys the bear’s pursuit from The Winter’s Tale, with the creature almost swinging off the side of the stage. “It’s like Romeo and Juliet!” she whispers as we’re given a recap from Pyramus and Thisbe. Older viewers will recognise references to the Dream’s darker themes, including entrapment.This playhouse is a place for young audiences to fall in love with stagecraft, and Bottom’s opening speeches really get us thinking about the space. Hilda likes Rose Revitt’s designs (especially the forest of the second half) and is intrigued by the use of
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I was setting up a community cooking school when the pandemic struck, and during the crisis we used our kitchens to run a surplus food project instead. It was used by thousands of people, and Facebook played a vital role in our success.I’m back working on the original plan for the social enterprise but this week we suffered a big blow as I discovered my personal Facebook page, and the page for the cooking school, had been disabled.The message says: “You cannot use Facebook or Messenger because your linked Instagram account is disabled.”There was a link to Instagram’s help centre where I could appeal, but it was unsuccessful. I was told the account had been deleted because of activity
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In Mogadishu, the charcoal trade is thriving on the city’s streets, prompted by the sharp rise in gas prices over the past two years. As more Somalis turn to charcoal as an affordable energy option,
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Q My husband and I are selling our flat to move to a different city. We’ve accepted an offer but there is nothing currently on the market that we want in the area we want to move to, so we’re planning to rent there until we find something. What should we do with the money we will have left after paying off our mortgage (about £500,000)? I’m aware that if a bank collapsed, only £85,000 is protected. Does that mean we should open five bank accounts? I am very risk averse and scared of losing our assets if there was another banking disaster – the world feels very turbulent at the moment.DLA For the first six months after selling your flat, you don’t need to worry about losing your m
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Good Grief With Reverend Richard Coles10pm, Channel 4After the death of his partner in 2019, the Rev Richard Coles found himself in a rage with a lorry driver outside a McDonald’s at the A43 service
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The eyes of the world have been on Birmingham as the city hosts the Commonwealth Games. But in one of the most diverse cities in the world, questions have been raised about what the Commonwealth means in the 21st century. As the event enters its final day, five Birmingham residents reflect on what it means to them:Kashee Mistry, 23, accountant from SolihullMy grandparents moved here in the 1960s from Kenya. They were born in India and moved to Kenya for work, as many people moved across to other British empire countries for jobs.The Commonwealth Games is an exciting event, there’s a lot of celebration around it, as there should be. But if you think about the history of the Commonwealth and why it came about, for me, it’s not all celebratory. When people from Commonwealth countries started moving to Britain after the war, they weren’t accepted, they weren’t embraced.Birmingham was the place where Enoch Powell made his “Rivers of Blood” speech and that was directly criticising some of the mass immigration from the Commonwealth. I think those parts of history should be remembered, we shouldn’t just ignore them because they’re uncomfortable and they don’t fit with our values today.I know that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the British empire. But while I was at university and I was studying the empire for the first time – because we’re not taught about it in schools – I learnt about its brutal dark past, all the violence and subjugation, and how the legacy of that is the Commonwealth.I’m so excited that the games are in Birmingham, but they were only in Scotland four years ago. How often are they in smaller, less well-known Commonwealth countries?Kamani Anderson. Photograph: Kamani AndersonKamani Anderson, 23, master’s student I grew up in south Birmingham in Balsall Heath, but I’m from the Caribbean community. The majority of us are from Handsworth and Lozells, which is where everyone moved when they came over here in the 60s onwards.The city has never had a great reputation. Everything from how it looks, to the accent, people have always got their opinions of Birmingham. But the city is absolutely buzzing at the moment, I’ve never seen anything like it, and I feel like it deserves it so, so much.The Caribbean is the powerhouse of world athletics. I think there is a sense of that diaspora pride, especially in a place like Birmingham, which has the one of the largest Jamaican communities in England.But they’ve taken the actual Commonwealth out of the games, in my opinion. The political and historical aspects have been taken away.We saw in the opening ceremony a celebration of how diverse Birmingham is. Almost a majority of the population is non-white and most of those communities are from Commonwealth countries, particularly India, Pakistan, Jamaica. But we don’t talk about why, what brought us here, why we’re here and everything that we went through as those communities.Zafar Hussain. Photograph: Fabio de paolo/The GuardianZafar Hussain, 36, owner of Shababs restaurant in the balti triangle My father came over to Birmingham from Kashmir in Pakistan in 1961 to work in the factories. The plan then was
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Most of the robot arms we see are cool but little more than toys. Usually, they use RC servos to do motion and that’s great for making some basic motion, but if you want something more industrial and capable, check out [Pavel’s] RR1 — Real Robot One. The beefy arm has six degrees of freedom powered by stepper motors and custom planetary gearboxes. Each joint has an encoder for precise position feedback. The first prototype is already working, as you can see in the video below. Version two is forthcoming. When you see the thing in action, you can immediately tell it is
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It is the ceremonial opening of the culture war games. Rishi Sunak, late to start but making up ground, showed up in earnest at the end of July with what has become the first ritual, the kicking of the asylum seeker. Liz Truss pledged to send even more of them abroad. Sunak, unable to outdo Truss by pledging to fire them into outer space, said hear me out: cruise ships. How about we house asylum seekers in a sort of floating prison while they are processed?This didn’t do the trick, and so Sunak effectively relaunched his campaign last week, pivoting towards a fight with “leftwing agitators
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In the late 80s and early 90s, when the electropop band Erasure were, says Andy Bell, “kind of the darlings for a while”, they reached what he calls “saturation TV”. Bell, Erasure’s vocalist, means they were big and mainstream enough to get on daytime television. And then, says Bell, “that all changes, the media changes, and they don’t want you any more. It makes you realise your life isn’t measured by how many people know you and stuff like that. In the end, it’s the songs that count.”And what songs they are. Bell and Vince Clarke wrote brilliant, enduring pop songs – so catchy, I realise, that I’ve had A Little Respect going round in my head for most of my life, ever since the fateful afternoon I taped it off the Radio 1 chart show sometime in late 1988. Despite Clarke’s history as the synth-pop pioneer who had already had hits with Depeche Mode and Yazoo, at some point in the 90s, Erasure became rather uncool and never really recovered. Blame the daytime TV appearances perhaps, combined with a burgeoning laddish Britpop era that couldn’t handle Bell’s sequins and camp. But their biggest hits – among them Sometimes, Stop! and Blue Savannah – stand up.“When I think about songs like Chorus, and Ship of Fools and Breathe, we do have standout songs,” says Bell. He seems to agree when I imply they have been dismissed as being a bit frothy and lightweight (even if their songs have tackled everything from a post-industrial Britain, to lost love affairs and homophobia), but he doesn’t seem bitter about it. “I just think, wow, that’s a hell of a lot of work we’ve done. And I think it’s great.”The new Erasure album, Day-Glo (Based on a True Story), is not a return to those poppy hits but an experimental album, akin to 1995’s Erasure, which all but blew up their mainstream appeal. It’s a layered, and often gorgeous, selection of digital tracks, largely made up of manipulated songs from their previous album, The Neon (which gave them their first Top 10 album since the 90s), and created as a sort of companion piece. Clarke put it together at the studio at his house in Brooklyn during the lockdowns, and Bell wrote and recorded the vocals later. Clarke told him he could do anything he liked. “And I did. I only wanted to do poems, off the top of my head, and backing vocal sections,” he says. “I was like, I wonder how Enya does it.” He laughs. “A few of the songs have poems on them and I think [Clarke] thought maybe they were a bit rough, because I didn’t really know what they were about.”Bell is at home in Miami (he splits his time between there and London, with his husband, Stephen, though they are about to move to Atlanta for a while, he says) when we speak over Zoom. He is warm and funny, wearing a vest top that shows tattoos over both arms, his face still boyish, even if the concessions to age include spectacles and some greying stubble. “I love performing live, I love my voice,” he says, of where his career is now. “I think we have been really lucky. I’m just glad that I met Vince and stayed with him.”Erasure … Bell with Vince Clarke. Photograph: Graham Tucker/RedfernsBell
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It’s been two decades since Burning Spear set foot on a UK stage and almost as long since he took on anything that could qualify as a tour: a remarkable state of affairs for the man who has been Jamaica’s most exhilarating performer for half a century.With an agenda that was equal parts celebration, Black history lesson and pulpit preaching – immersed in horn-drenched music that was at once modern and ancient – Burning Spear entranced and energised audiences across the world. Subdued lighting, smoke (much of which came from the crowd) and live dub versioning built the atmosphere around roots reggae’s greatest voice as he offered hope for the future while addressing the injustices of the past.Throughout Spear’s career his music has been motivated by his devout Rastafari faith, looking towards African culture as the roots of Black consciousness, and sowing cerebral salvation throughout the diaspora: roots reggae was a vital, joyous contemporary expression of what was forcibly stolen 400 years ago. Burning Spear and his fellow Rastas celebrated the Black separatist activist Marcus Garvey and railed against the evils of slavery and colonialism, warning that a slavery of the mind can be more dangerous than physical subjugation. His goal has been to uplift.“The time was right,” he says of his return to the UK this week at the age of 77, speaking on the phone from his New York home. “Look at the last two years – nobody going no place, nobody doing things together, nobody even shaking hands! If somebody stand next to you in a line and that man sneeze, everybody look at him with a bad eye! Now, as things start to come around again, the time is right to be playing my music live in a way that will bring people together.‘People knows what to expect from me’ … Burning Spear performing in Atlanta in 1981. Photograph: Tom Hill/Getty Images“It’s not like I retired, but it’s best sometime to hold back. These shows are going to be amazing because people haven’t seen me for a while and that means we’re going to have a stronger force of energy in the place.”Doing what he believes to be the right thing, as opposed to the most lucrative, has been a Burning Spear characteristic since he was still known as Winston Rodney. It’s a motivation that took him in and out of Jamaica’s legendary Studio One record company at the start of his career in the late 1960s.A tiler by trade, Rodney arrived in Kingston from St Ann parish on Jamaica’s rural north coast in his early 20s, armed with an acoustic guitar and some self-penned hymns to Rastafari. Although the faith had been present on the island since the 1930s, it was still widely despised in the broadly Christian, British-ruled country – particularly in the embryonic music business. Coxsone Dodd of Studio One (“the best musicians, singers, engineers were in there,” Spear says) was the only producer in town that encouraged Rastas. Spear has mixed memories of his time there. “Remember your first day going to school? You’re shy, you don’t know how to communicate, you don’t know who is a friend – that was what going to Studio One was like. I knew if I don’t say somet
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A white octopus sat on the seabed, gently waggling its short, stubby arms and peering with beady eyes into the camera of a deep-diving robot.It was 2016, in waters off Hawaii, at a depth of 4,290 metres (2.6 miles). No one had ever seen an octopus like it, and certainly not so deep. Based on its ghostly appearance, it was nicknamed Casper.Until then, the only cephalopods filmed at such depths were Dumbo octopuses, named after another cartoon character, seen swimming around as deep as 6,957 metres, with elegant, ear-like flaps on either side of their heads.Q&AWhat is the Discovered in the deep series?ShowThe ocean is one of the world’s last truly wild spaces. It teems with fascinating species that sometimes seems to border on the absurd, from fish that look up through transparent heads to golden snails with iron armour. We know more about deep space than deep oceans, and science is only beginning to scratch the surface of the rich variety of life in the depths.As mining companies push to industrialise the sea floor and global leaders continue to squabble over how to protect the high seas, a new Guardian Seascape series will profile some of the most recently discovered weird, wonderful, majestic, ridiculous, hardcore and mind-blowing creatures. They reveal how much there is still to learn about the least known environment on Earth – and how much there is to protect. The sighting of Casper was a striking moment for Janet Voight, associate curator of invertebrate zoology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. “This is totally new and different,” she says, recalling the discovery.That first glimpse of Casper threw up many tantalising mysteries. Why is it so pale? Most other octopuses have colourful chromatophores in their skin which change their appearance in an instant and act as camouflage to confuse predators.Even in the deep sea, octopuses can be colourful, like the purple, warty Graneledone. Some use a cloak of dark skin pigments, seemingly to hide glowing, bioluminescent prey they grab in their arms and thus avoid alerting other predators. Voight guesses that Casper’s pallor may come down to a lack of pigments in its food.Another puzzle is the short arms, although Casper is not alone in having a limited reach. “The shallower and more tropical you are, the longer and thinner your arms,” says Voight.This trend towards shorter arms in deep-dwelling octopuses doesn’t have a definite explanation. Voight thinks that, rather than stretching out to grab food, they evolved an alternative tactic of twisting their bodies around so that their mouths, on the underside of their bodies, are directly over their food.Scientists have learned more about Casper by scouring five years of archived footage gathered on deep-sea surveys across the Pacific. They spotted dozens more like Casper perched on the seabed, from two distinct species.Unusually, the Caspers appear to lay eggs on tall sponges, rather than rocks. Photograph: MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)“It could be that they’re fairly common,” says Voight. “It’s just an indicator of how little we know about what’s down there.”For Voight, especially e
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Many may struggle to sympathise – far less laugh – with “Strictly Come Dancing love rat” Seann Walsh, who in 2018 snogged his married partner on the show and was accused of coercive control by his betrayed ex. But there’s no doubting the whole affair deeply affected the 36-year-old, who toured three years ago addressing its fallout, and addresses it again at this year’s fringe. Is that because, as Walsh testifies here, it has taken that long to overcome the most traumatic experience of his life? Or because he’s in a deep public relations hole, and it’s going to take a lot of digging to get out?It would be hard to stay cynical after watching the show, which rejoices in the tit
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Colombia’s first leftist president has been sworn into office, promising to fight inequality and bring peace to a country long haunted by bloody feuds between the government, drug traffickers and re
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She has played the role of the redoubtable matriarch Peggy Woolley in The Archers for more than 70 years.But at the age of 103, June Spencer is finally retiring from the BBC Radio 4 soap.Spencer featured in the very first episode of the show in 1951. Her final performance was broadcast on Sunday 31 July.Spencer said: “In 1950 I helped to plant an acorn. It took root and in January 1951 it was planted out and called ‘The Archers’.“Over the years it has thrived and become a splendid great tree with many branches. But now this old branch, known as Peggy, has become weak and unsafe so I decided it was high time she ‘boughed’ out, so I have duly lopped her.”In Monday’s episode Peg
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A visit to Solomon Islands by senior US diplomats included a touching personal moment, as Caroline Kennedy, the new US ambassador to Australia, met with the children of two men who saved the life of h
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India’s small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) made a spectacular debut launch on Sunday, but the mission fell short of overall success when two satellites were inserted into the incorrect orbit, rendering them space junk. The SSLV was developed to carry payloads of up to 500 kg to low earth orbits on an “on-demand basis”. India hopes the craft will let its space agency target commercial launches. Although it is capable of achieving 500 km orbits, SSLV's Saunday payload was an 135 kg earth observation satellite called EOS-2 and student-designed 8 kg 8U cubesat AzaadiSAT. Both were intended for a 356 km orbit at an inclination of about 37 degrees. That rocket missed that target. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) identified the root cause of the failure Sunday night: a failure of logic to identify a sensor failure during the rocket stage. (1/2) SSLV-D1/EOS-02 Mission update: SSLV-D1 placed the satellites into 356 km x 76 km elliptical orbit instead of 356 km circular orbit. Satellites are no longer usable. Issue is reasonably identified. Failure of a logic to identify a sensor failure and go for a salvage action — ISRO (@isro) August 7, 2022 ISRO further tweeted a committee would analyse the situation and provide recommendations as the org prepared for SSLV-D2. Indian government tells Starlink to refund pre-orders placed before licences approved India's return to space fails after first locally built cryogenic engine experiences 'anomaly' Pull jet fuel from thin air? We can do that, say scientists SpaceX demonstrates that it too can shower the Earth with debris ISRO Chairman S Somanath further explained the scenario in a video statement, before vowing to become completely successful in the second development flight of SSLV. “The vehicle took off majestically,” said Somanath who categorized the three rocket stages and launch as a success. “However, we subsequently noticed an anomaly in the placement of the satellites in the orbit. The satellites were placed in an elliptical orbit in place of a circular orbit,” caveated the chairman. Somanath said the satellites could not withstand the atmospheric drag in t
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Kenyans are heading to the ballot box on Tuesday after a campaign season marked by a shift in ethnic alliances and two big-ticket issues: the cost of living crisis and high unemployment.The race pits presidential frontrunners Raila Odinga, the former prime minister, and deputy president William Ruto against each other in a hotly contested race. Polls place Odinga in the lead.Odinga has run for the presidency four other times in races that were just as tight. This time, however, he’s going in backed by an unexpected ally: his longtime political rival, President Uhuru Kenyatta.The two united after a public handshake in 2018, signifying an end to their long political hostility. The handshake between the two leaders, who come from Kenya’s legacy families, took the nation and the pair’s supporters by surprise. Odinga and Kenyatta are from the Luo and Kikuyu ethnic communities, which have long been on opposing political sides. In Kenya’s ethnic-driven political landscape, their alliance is seen as the card that could make Odinga fifth-time lucky, with Kenyatta’s backing expected to draw in a part of the Kikuyu vote. But observers are unsure whether the alliance can bridge a decades-long ethnic divide.“A big number of Kikuyus revolted against the alliance,” says Gabriel Mu
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China’s defence ministry defended its shelving of military talks with the United States in protest against Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei last week, as its military said it would continue drills around Taiwan on Monday.The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) posted online that it would practise anti-submarine attacks and sea raids on Monday, following four days of unprecedented drills around the self-ruled island.Defence ministry spokesperson Wu Qian defended the decision to suspend military channels, saying in an online post on Monday: “The current tense situation in the Taiwan Strait is entirely provoked and created by the US side on its own initiative, and the US side must bear full responsibility and serious consequences for this.“The bottom line cannot be broken, and communication requires sincerity,” Wu said.Pelosi’s visit last week infuriated China, which regards Taiwan as its own and responded with test launches of ballistic missiles over Taipei for the first time, as well as ditching some lines of dialogue with Washington.Four days of drills had been scheduled to end on Sunday but Chinese authorities did not officially confirm it, sparking fears among some security analysts that the situation in the Taiwan Strait, particularly near the unofficial median line buffer, could escalate further.About 10 warships each from China and Taiwan manoeuvreed at close quarters around the line on Sunday, according to a person familiar with the situation who is involved with security planning.The island’s defence ministry said Chinese military ships, aircraft, and drones had simulated attacks on the island and its navy. It said it had sent aircraft and ships to react “appropriately“.China called off formal talks involving theatre-level commands, defence policy coordination and military maritime consultations on Friday as Pelosi left the region.Pentagon, state department and White House officials condemned the move, describing it as an irresponsible overreaction.China’s cutting of some of its few communication links with the US military raises the risk of an accidental escalation over Taiwan at a critical moment, according to security analysts and diplom
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Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the U.S. can still “catch up” on its effort to contain the growing outbreak of monkeypox, but warned officials needed to dramatically ramp up testing if the country hopes to keep the virus from becoming an endemic threat.Gottlieb made the remarks on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday as cases of the disease continue to spread around the country. The Biden administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency on Thursday, and there are now more than 7,500 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States, the most of any nation.“I think there’s a potential to get this back in the box, but it’s going to be very difficult at this point,” Gottlieb said Sunday. “We’re continuing to look for cases in the community of men who have sex with men. It’s primarily spreading in that community. But there’s no question that it’s spread outside that community at this point. And I think we need to start looking for cases more broadly.”Gottlieb went on to say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been reluctant to broaden testing recommendations to include patients that present with other ailments such as atypical cases of shingles or herpes. The agency, he said, has been testing about 8,000 people a week for monkeypox out of a potential capacity of 80,000 tests in that time period.There is still the potential to get monkeypox "back in the box," fmr. FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb says. But Gottlieb adds, the U.S. needs to "substantially" boost testing.“If we’re going to contain this...we need to start testing more broadly.” pic.twitter.com/Nw7A3TyLnN— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) August 7, 2022 So far, cases have been almost exclusively among gay and bisexual men, but officials have urged the public that anyone is vulnerable. Dr. Anthony Fauci has said the U.S. should work to remove any stigma around the disease, but there is concern among the LGBTQ community that President Joe Biden’s administration had moved too slow to contain the spread of monkeypox. Vaccines are still difficult to come by, and The New York Times reported last week
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UN secretary general António Guterres has called for international inspectors to be given access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over the shelling of Europe’s largest atomic plant at the weekend.“Any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing,” Guterres told a news conference in Japan on Monday, two days after attending the Hiroshima peace memorial ceremony to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing.Guterres said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) needed access to the plant. “We fully support the IAEA in all their efforts in relation to create the conditions of stabilisation of the plant,” Guterres said.Ukraine said renewed Russian shelling on Saturday had damaged three radiation sensors a
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Daily stand-ups are a classic example of learned helplessness. We all know they’re useless, but we tell ourselves “that’s just how things are” and do nothing about it. These days, we do stand-ups because that’s what we’re told to, not because they solve any particular problems. The software industry has been doing daily stand-ups for so long that it doesn’t remember why they exist. At some point along the way, stand-ups went from a solution to a meaningless dogmatic ritual. Here are symptoms which indicate you’re doing your stand-ups in the wrong way, for the wrong reasons: Stand-ups take more than 15-minutes People talk about their work instead of talking about goals People stop showing up regularly People talk to their manager (or “scrum master”)
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities investigating whether the killings of four Muslim men are connected said Sunday that they need help finding a vehicle believed to be connected to the deaths in New Mexico’s largest the city.Albuquerque police said they released photos of the vehicle suspected of being used in the four homicides, hoping people could help identify the car. Police said the vehicle sought is a dark gray or silver four-door Volkswagen with dark tinted windows, and appears to be a Jetta.Police did not say where the images were taken or what led them to suspect the car was involved in any of the crimes.“We have a very, very strong link,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said Sunday. “We have a vehicle of interest … We have got to find this vehicle.”Police still are trying to determine if there are any connections among the killings. A Muslim man was killed Friday night in Albuquerque and ambush shootings killed three Muslim men over the past nine months.Police said Saturday that the victim in the latest killing was a Muslim from South Asia who is believed to be in his mid-20s.The man, whose identity hasn’t yet been confirmed by investigators, was found dead
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China has issued two licences for robot taxi operations, according to local tech giant Baidu. In a statement sent to The Register, Baidu claimed its Apollo robot taxis have won the right to operate in parts of the cities of Chongqing and Wuhan. The licences issued apparently do not require the presence of a human driver. China's organic cabbies don't have a lot to worry about – for now – because the services are geo-fenced, as was the case when Baidu was allowed to operate tests in Beijing. The licences also restrict operations to daylight hours. In Wuhan the robot rides will therefore only operate in a 13 square kilometre block of the Wuhan Economic & Technological Development Zone, between 9:00AM and 5:00PM. In Chongqing's Yongchuan District robots will roll across 30km2 from 9:30AM to 4:30PM. Each city will also get just five robot taxis. Pony.ai lassos China's first autonomous taxi licence Driverless car first: Chinese biz recalls faulty AI Driver in Uber's self-driving car death goes on trial, says she feels 'betrayed' But Baidu's Wei Dong, who serves as vice president and chief safety operation officer at the company's Intelligent Driving Group, has hailed the issue of the permits as an important step. "We believe these permits are a key milestone on the path to the inflection point when the industry can finally roll out fully autonomous driving services at scale," he sad in a canned statement. Those words aren't just hyperbole. Baidu says it has a million orders on the books for its robo-cabs and recently introduced a vastly cheaper model it expects will spur further adoption and provide additional revenue streams t
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Over the last month, the race to become Conservative party leader has been whittled down from eleven candidates to two. There has been one other figure, however, who has loomed large over the contest: Margaret Thatcher. While the former chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged to “govern as a Thatcherite”, the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has been forced to deny dressing like the Iron Lady. Both of the remaining candidates have cited Thatcher as the party’s greatest prime minister. As the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee explains, it all points to a party that, in harking back to a leader who came to power more than 40 years ago, is badly out of touch with Britain in 2022.
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Sisyphus is an art installation by [Kachi Chan] featuring two scales of robots engaged in endless cyclic interaction. Smaller robots build brick arches while a giant robot pushes them down. As [Kachi Chan] says “this robotic system propels a narrative of construction and deconstruction.” The project was awarded honorary mention at the Ars Electronica’s Prix Ars 2022 in the Digital Communities category. Watch the video after the break to see the final concept. [Kachi Chan] developed the installation in pre-visualizations and through a series of prototypes shown in a m
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Russia is strengthening its positions and numbers on Ukraine’s southern front to ready itself for a Ukrainian counteroffensive and is likely to be preparing the ground to attack, according to British and Ukrainian military authorities. “Russian troops are almost certainly amassing in the south, either waiting for a Ukrainian counteroffensive or preparing to attack. Long convoys of Russian military trucks, tanks, artillery and other things continue to move from the Donbas to the south-west,” the UK’s defence ministry said. Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for renewed shell
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2022-08-07 There’s a javascript emulator for the TI83+, TI84+, and TI84+CSE calculators called jsTIfied, which was written by Christopher Mitchell, founder of the calculator fan site cemetech.net. There’s not a whole lot of reasons to use it over something else if you’ve got a native option available, but if you don’t it’s pretty great. I got interested because it was the first emulator to support the TI84+CSE when that calculator was released in the early 2010s. The CSE was exciting because it retrofitted a 320x
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Here’s a not-so-brief story about troubleshooting a problem that was at times vexing, impossible, incredibly challenging, frustrating, and all around just a terrible time with the bare-metal STM32G4 firmware for the moteus brushless motor controller. Background First, some things for context: moteus has a variety of testing done on every firmware release. There are unit tests that run with pieces of the firmware compiled to run in a host environment. There is a hardware-in-the-loop dynamometer test fixture that is used to run a separate battery of tests. There is also an end-of-line test fixture that is used to run tests on every board and some other firmware level performance tests. Because of all that testing, we’re pretty confident to release new firmware images o
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LG is today announcing two new sets of wireless earbuds. First up are the Tone Free T90 buds, which now become the company’s flagship pair. They still have the signature bacteria-killing UVnano charging case. And like the previous Tone Free FP9, the case can also double as a Bluetooth transmitter, letting you run an aux cable to devices that might lack wireless connectivity — like a treadmill — and still use the earbuds like normal. According to LG’s press release, the noise-canceling T90s have “a new internal structure with larger drivers that helps generate deeper, more satisfying bass.” But what’s more interesting is that they support Dolby Head Tracking “across your favorite content and devices.” Here’s how LG describes that experience: Dolby Head Tracking reca
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Barely a year has passed since the Tokyo Olympics were promoted as a celebration of diversity. In June, the Japanese capital became the latest city to recognise same-sex partnerships, and recent upper house elections featured a record four candidates from the LGBT community.Yet Japan’s official resistance to same-sex unions is as fierce as ever.It is the only country in the G7 that denies LGBT couples the right to marry, three years after Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage.While opinion polls show more than 60% of the public support same-sex marriage, critics say opposition in the ruling Liberal Democratic party (LDP), the dominant force in the country’s postwar politics, is condemning same-sex couples to a life as second-class citizens.Lenna Kawazu cha
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Asia In brief India's parliament will this week debate a bill that would see the nation's competition regulator add officers with technology industry expertise to its ranks, and gain the power to review and veto takeovers. The Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022 would give India's Competition Commission the opportunity to consider any mergers or acquisitions that involve upwards of $200 million of Indian assets. Reviews must be concluded within 150 days. The Commission's officers assessing mergers and acquisitions will also be required to have tech biz expertise – a sign the bill aims to increase the regulator's ability to consider tech takeovers. The proposed powers would apply to any transaction that touches India – a hypothetical Microsoft acquisition of a networking company
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Heatwaves sweeping Europe this summer have brought not just record high temperatures and scorched fields: the drought-stricken waters of Italy’s river Po are running so low they revealed a previously submerged second world war bomb.Military experts defused and carried out a controlled explosion on Sunday of the 450-kg (1,000-pound) bomb, which was discovered on 25 July near the northern village of Borgo Virgilio, close to the city of Mantua in the country’s north.“The bomb was found by fishermen on the bank of the river Po due to a decrease in water levels caused by drought,” Colonel Marco Nasi said.The Italian Army detonates a second world war bomb discovered in the dried-up Po in the country’s north. Photograph: Italian Army/ReutersIt was no easy task to clear the bomb.About 3,
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It might be time to tone down the steamy scenes, according to Matt Smith. In a recent interview with British Rolling Stone, the “House of the Dragon” actor revealed that he thinks the slew of sex scenes his character appears in is “slightly too much, if you ask me.”“House of the Dragon“ is the prequel to “Game of Thrones,” and tells the story of the Targaryen civil war that took place about 300 years before events portrayed in the popular 2011 series. Smith plays Prince Daemon Targaryen in the upcoming show that is based on parts of George R.R. Martin’s 2018 novel “Fire & Blood.” Just as the GOT series featured numerous sex scenes throughout its run, it appears the ten episode season prequel will take the same hot-blooded path. When asked whether his character has a s
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The children’s commissioner for England has denounced the Metropolitan police’s record on child protection after new data revealed that 650 children were strip-searched over a two-year period and the majority were found to be innocent of the suspicions against them.Dame Rachel de Souza said she was not convinced that the force was “consistently considering children’s welfare and wellbeing” after police data showed that in almost a quarter of cases (23%) an appropriate adult was not present during the search, despite this being a requirement under statutory guidance.She was also concerned by ethnic disproportionality after the data showed that of children aged 10 to 17 who were strip-searched between 2018 and 2020, almost three out of five (58%) were black, as described by the off
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The beta for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is set to arrive next month, with PlayStation players getting access first, followed by those on Xbox and PC. Infinity Ward shared the news at its CDL Champs (Call of Duty League Championship) tournament. As with its previous betas, the dates are separated by console and whether you preordered the game or not. The first early access beta kicks off on September 16th to 17th for PlayStation 4 and 5 players who preordered the game. This is followed by the open beta for all PlayStation players, which begins on September 18th and ends on the 20th. The crossplay beta for players who preordered the game on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC will last from September 22nd to 23rd, while the open crossplay beta for all platforms starts on September 24th and end
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Victims of street harassment such as cyberflashing and upskirting are being encouraged to report offences to police, amid concerns there is a lack of awareness that such behaviour can amount to criminality.The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for England and Wales has published new legal guidance on public sexual abuse, which also includes exposure of genitals, to clarify the law and “send a clear message that this intimidating behaviour can be a criminal offence”.The move, the first time the CPS has published specific guidance on public sexual abuse, comes after a report published by the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for UN Women last year found most women have lost faith that abuse will be dealt with.The APPG found that 71% of women in the UK had experienced some form of sexual
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City workers received double-digit wage rises while people on the lowest incomes were paid annual increases of just 1% in the last year, according to a study that illustrates the ability of better-paid workers to protect themselves from the cost of living crisis.The CEBR (Centre for Economics and Business Research) said workers in the banking and insurance sector had secured inflation-busting increases together with lawyers, accountants and professional services staff, mainly among those working in London’s financial district.The economic consultancy described the figures as illustrating a “tale of two labour markets” where the “highest earners now enjoy annual pay growth of 10%, while lowest earners see just a 1% rise”.Segregating monthly pay data into income groups, it said off
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Debt repayments, staff shortages and rising energy bills have pushed almost two-thirds of the UK’s top 100 restaurants into the red, according to research that reveals the impact of the pandemic, Brexit and the cost of living crisis on the hospitality sector.With a recession looming and further increases in energy bills weighing on businesses, a separate report found that £700m of business rates relief remains unpaid with only half of English councils paying out the support funds.A record 64% of the biggest restaurant companies are now making a loss, according to the accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young. Several have suffered heavy losses due to major restructuring programmes undertaken following the pandemic, and because of debt repayments, particularly to landlords.The restaurant sector
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Jorja Smith, Laura Mvula and UB40 will be among the acts performing at Monday’s Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, which will also include a nod to the hit TV show Peaky Blinders.The ceremony in Birmingham, celebrating the musical heritage of the West Midlands, marks the end of 11 days of sporting action in which 4,500 Commonwealth athletes competed across 19 sports and eight para sports.Other acts performing at the event taking place at the Alexander Stadium include Beverley Knight, Dexys Midnight Runners, Goldie and Musical Youth, best known for their 1982 hit, Pass the Dutchie.Recognising the cultural impact of Peaky Blinders – one of Birmingham’s major exports of the past decade – there will be a sequence from the theatre show Peaky Blinders: the Redemption of Thomas Shelby,
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Phone networks are taking advantage of post-Brexit deregulation to baffle customers into racking up large roaming bills on EU holidays, consumer rights champion Martin Lewis has warned.At the end of June, a range of consumer protections that had been introduced after Brexit expired. As a result, phone networks are no longer required to send customers a message with pricing details when they begin roaming, nor to cap the maximum data roaming fees that can be charged monthly. Networks also no longer need to provide protections against inadvertent roaming.In an age of data-hungry smartphones, consumers can build up huge bills in a matter of minutes without even being aware they are using their phone at all, as apps connect to the internet to check for updates after a flight or during a journey.Lewis, who leads the consumer group MoneySavingExpert.com, warned that mobile networks had shown that they could not be trusted to self-regulate and since Brexit, some operators had pledged not to reintroduce roaming fees, only to renege on those promises. The only option was for the government to step in, he said.“I’ve no faith in mobile firms to self-regulate. When we left the EU, they promised not to reintroduce European roaming charges … yet most of the big networks have broken that promise,” he said.Martin Lewis: ‘We need to reintroduce formal, compulsory consumer protections.’ Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Guardian“So our report calls on Ofcom to not trust voluntary promises – we need to reintroduce the formal, compulsory consumer protections.”As well as imposing large top-line costs, mobile networks were taking advantage of ambiguities that individual consumers
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Polynomials can be represented in various forms. The most common ones are those I call the "sum of powers" (for example f(x)=ax³+bx²+cx+d) and the "root factors" (for example f(x)=(x-r)(x-s)(x-t), where r, s and t are the roots). The process of transforming the former into the latter is called "root solving"; the goal is to find all the x that satisfy f(x)=0. This is a field of research that has been going on for hundreds of years. But what about the reverse operation? Roots finding Most of the literature circles around roots finding. Analytic solutions to obtain these roots exist up to degree 4 (f(x)=ax⁴+bx³+cx²+dx+e), and at each degree the complexity increases dramatically. Starting degree 5 it is proven that no analytical solution can exist and we must rely on trial and error methods. It is interesting to note that even thought we've known how to find these roots mathematically for about 500 years, it is still a huge challenge for computers, mainly because of the arithmetic instabilities when working with IEEE 754 floating points. Aside from the multiple analytic solutions, many algorithms continue to appear to this day to address these shortcomings, with mixed results. In order to evaluate these algorithms, I need to build polynomials in their "sum of powers" form using generated/known roots. More on that particular project in a future blog post, but the point is that the automation of the inverse operation is essential. Roots concealing If we were to transform the degree 4 polynomial f(x)=(x-r)(x-s)(x-t)(x-u) into f(x)=ax⁴+bx³+cx²+dx+e, we could just do it manually with basic arithmetic. It's a bit laborious, but there is nothing really difficult about it.
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The government has sought to allay pupils’ fears over GCSE and A-level results, which are expected to be lower in England this summer after two years of record increases, reassuring them that universities will “adjust accordingly”.The schools minister Will Quince said it was important to “move back to a position where qualifications maintain their value” and reassured students that grades will still be higher than in 2019, before the pandemic.Quince also criticised what he described as union “scaremongering” after staff at the country’s largest exam board, AQA, announced a second strike over a pay dispute, from 12 to 15 August, triggering concerns that results will be disrupted.With less than a fortnight to go until A-level results are published, Quince said: “I think young people have enough to worry about and be concerned about ahead of examination results anyway.“To add this into the mix, as a potential worry about whether their papers will be marked and their results will come through on time, is totally unnecessary.”He added: “I’ve had assurance that they won’t have any impact, but unfortunately scaremongering of this sort of nature by unions is deeply regrettable.”This year’s candidates are the first to sit exams since 2019, because of the pandemic, which resulted in exams being cancelled and pupils being assessed by their teachers.The government has said grades will be brought down to pre-pandemic levels in two stages. Very few schools and colleges will get better results this summer than in 2021, and grades will drop further in 2023 to bring them back into line with 2019 results.In an interview with the PA Media news agency, Quince said: “Over the past couple of years, we’ve had extraordinary times because of the pandemic and we’ve had to take extraordinary steps, quite exceptional steps, which have led to higher grades.“Actually, what young people and universities and employers are telling us [is] that exams are the best and fairest method for assessment and that it’s really important that we move back as quickly as possible to a position where qualifications maintain their value and that’s really important fo
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President Joe Biden on Sunday said his administration “stands strongly with the Muslim community” in the wake of the killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico, over the past nine months in suspected targeted attacks.Biden, in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday, said he’s “angered and saddened by the horrific killings.” He added that “these hateful attacks have no place in America.”“While we await a full investigation, my prayers are with the victims’ families, and my Administration stands strongly with the Muslim community,” he said.The president’s comment comes two days after a fourth Muslim man was found dead. Both federal and local authorities have said that they are still investigating whether this latest death is linked to the three others, while the state’s governor has described all four men as “targeted.”The first three killings, which took place respectively on Aug. 1, July 26 and Nov. 7, involved the victims being fatally shot in an ambush-style attack, authorities have said.People sprinkle dirt over the grave of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, in Albuquerque during a funeral service Friday for him and Aftab Hussein, 41. Both Muslim men were shot and killed near their homes only six days apart.via Associated PressDetails about
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Skin cancer cells produce “molecular drills” to penetrate healthy tissues and spread around the body, according to research that raises the prospect of new therapies for the disease.Researchers used robotic microscopy to capture the formation of the drills by melanoma cells that were being grown in 3D skin-like material in the laboratory.The drills help tumour cells to attach and punch holes in surrounding cells and structures, allowing the cancer to move beyond the site where it forms and reach into other tissues and organs.“This is the first time this type of cell shape change has been associated with any type of metastatic cancer,” said Chris Bakal, professor of cancer morphodynamics at the Institute of Cancer Research in London.Rates of melanoma have more than doubled in the UK since the 1990s, with more than 16,000 people newly diagnosed with the disease each year. In the early stages, tumours can often be removed by surgeons, but the cancer becomes more difficult to treat as it spreads to other parts of the body.Bakal and his colleagues grew melanoma cells in a 3D matrix rich in collagen, one of the main proteins found in skin. By depleting genes in the cancer cells one by one, they discovered a particular gene, ARHGEF9, which was crucial to the formation of the molecular drills.The gene is found in all human cells, but in adults it tends only to be turned on in brain cells to help them make new connections. Much earlier in human development, the gene allows neurons to produce their own drill-like structures, which help the cells to spread through the body and wire up the nervous system.Writing in the journal iScience, the researchers describe how disabling the ARHGEF9 gene in melanoma cells destabilised the molecular drills so the cancer could no longer attach and bore into neighbouring tissues.The finding raises hopes of new therapies for melanoma and possibly other cancers, such as neuroblastoma, that may spread in the same way. Although mutations in the ARHGEF9 gene are linked to a wide range of neurological disorders, the gene is thought to be more important during early development than in adulthood. If that is the case, developing drugs to i
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If you ever needed proof that class-action lawsuits are a good deal only for the lawyers, look no further than the news that Tim Hortons will settle a data-tracking suit with a doughnut and a coffee. For those of you who are not in Canada or Canada-adjacent, “Timmy’s” is a chain of restaurants that are kind of the love child of a McDonald’s and a Dunkin Donut shop. An investigation into the chain’s app a couple of years ago revealed that customer location data was being logged silently, even when they were not using the app, and even far, far away from the nearest Tim Hortons. The chain is proposing to settle with class members to the tune of a coupon good for one free hot beverage and one baked good, in total valuing a whopping $8.68. The lawyers, on the other hand, will be pulling in $1.5 million plus taxes. There’s no word if they are taking that in cash or as 172,811 coffees and doughnuts, but we think we can guess. If you’ve ever wondered what’s involved with the recovery of data from busted SD cards, check out this brief but fascinating video of the process. First, the plastic enclosure of the memory card is ablated by a laser engraver, which exposes the traces within. A series of probes are then lowered onto various pads within, presumably to bypass a defective controller and access the memory directly. We’re not sure if this is the standard method used when a whoopsie befalls an SD card, but it sure is interesting. If anyone knows of a full-length video or has more information on this method, send it along — we’d love to do a more in-depth article. If your personal edification shortlist includes understanding quantum programming, you could do worse than watching New Mind’s latest video on the subject. Where this one stands out for us is in the comparison of quantum concepts to what most of us already know about how digital computers work — how normal gates compare to quantum gates, for instance. We have to admit that the first watch-through didn’t entirely sink in — we’ll be giving it another go soon, hopefully before the next part is released. And finally, who says scientists don’t have a sense of humor? At l
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A programming and hobby blog. gRPC comes up occasionally on the Orange Site, often with a redress of grievences in the comment section. One of the major complaints people have with gRPC is that it requires HTTP trailers. This one misstep has caused so much heart ache and trouble, I think it probably is the reason gRPC failed to achieve its goal. Since I was closely involved with the project, I wanted to rebut some misconceptions I see posted a lot, and warn future protocol designers against the mistakes we made. Mini History of gRPC’s Origin. gRPC was reared by two parents tryin
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. 2007 Jan-Apr;22(1):11-5. Affiliations PMID: 17509238 Andrea Eugenio Cavanna et al.
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The Senate on Sunday passed the Inflation Reduction Act — a bill meant to provide key funding for clean energy investments and measures to reduce prescription drug costs, after an hours-long vote-a-rama. The marathon session that started Saturday continued into Sunday afternoon, with senators voting on a number of amendments to the 755-page legislation, including a failed provision offered by Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) that would have capped the cost of insulin products at $35 per month for those with private insurance. Still, despite the bill’s fraught journey and many compromises, there are some victories that should have a tangible effect on the average American. On Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote to launch a full day of debate over the bill — as well as several last-minute amendments Republican senators were floating. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) warned his colleagues in the Democratic Caucus not to fall for Republican senators’ “fake amendments,” since no Republican planned to vote for the IRA under any circumstance. Despite this, my R friends have made clear they’re completely unwilling to support this bill under any condition. None of their amendments would change that. For this reason, I’ll vote to protect the integrity of the IRA regardless of the substance of their fake amendments.— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) August 7, 2022 For most of Sunday, the Democratic Caucus seemed to be following his admonition to vote against Republican amendments — and for that matter, any amendment that could throw off the balance of the carefully-calibrated bill. This included those by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sanders stood alone on proposed amendments to reinstate the child tax credit and a guarantee that Medicare drug costs wouldn’t exceed what the Department of Veterans Affairs pays for the same medications, CQ Roll Call reported. The legislation is a pared-down version of the Build Back Better Act, the Democrats’ ambitious agenda to fund health care, education, and clean energy that Manchin effectively killed back in December. Manchin announced on Fox News that he wouldn’t vote for the legislation as it stood then because of concerns about entrenched inflation. At the time, Manchin released a statement saying that the true cost of BBB would far outstrip its initial $1.5 trillion price
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I started this game back in 2020 as a fun little side-project to pass the time during the pandemic with lots of help from my son. Back then we didn’t even expect it to be playable, never mind it turning into a real game with 100+ levels and being released on Steam/PC. But even after that milestone, I never dreamed my son and I would be able to play it together around the TV on our favourite console! In the beginning… …my son Ben (19) had no idea I was working on a game. When I first sat down to start planning it out on the 4th of January 2020, I originally wanted to make a 2D platformer game. Super Mario World is my favourite game of all time and I still remember being totally in awe of the World Map the first time I played it as a kid and I wanted to use that as inspiration for my game. As I played around with several concepts, I stuck with the platforming vibe for a few days before I found the game suddenly began to morph into a puzzle game before my eyes. This was a very strange thing to behold – I don’t even typically like puzzle games! It was like the creative process was taking on a mind of its own!  Here is the first mock-up for the game that I drew 3 days into development:  Given how much things changed during development, it’s quite remarkable how accurate this initial drawing turned out to be. Here is a screenshot of the first level in the finished version of the game: Phase 1 – Core gameplay Of course, it took months before the game started to look anything like this. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out how to get anything anywhere near resembling a playable game. I spent months trying to learn Game Mak
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What was the last naval battle of World War 2 ? When was the last battle between sailing ships? When was the last time that the United States boarded an enemy ship in combat? Would you be surprised if all three of those things occurred simultaneously? In today’s article, we look at one of the most bizarre naval battles of all time. Navy Lieutenants Livingston Swentzel Haimen and Stuart Pittman were traveling to Shanghai, China from Haimen, China. They were each in command of a Chinese junk. All together, the ships were manned by seven Americans and twenty Chinese soldiers. A typical Junk . The basic design has remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years. The journey was largely uneventful until August 21, 1945 when they spotted another junk off in the distance. Upon noticing the American ships, the mystery Junk immediately came about and opened fire. This junk was crewed by five Japanese officers and seventy-eight enlisted men. It was also heavily armed with a 75mm pack howitzer, six machine guns, and over one hundred rifles. The Japanese opened fire with the howitzer first and then followed up with machine gun fire. The first howitzer round struck Swentzel’s junk, cutting down its foremast. The crew began to panic, but Swentzel took over the helm and rallied his men. Both of the American junks had radio equipment and Swentzel was able to coordinate with the other junk and prepare for a counterattack. Luckily, the American ships were armed as well. Between the
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Labour has hit out at 15 Whitehall consultations being left unanswered by what it called the “zombie government”, as Boris Johnson arrived back at work from a nearly week-long holiday.After being criticised for reportedly heading to Slovenia while his chancellor was also away despite dire economic warnings and calls to help those struggling with the cost of living crisis, the outgoing prime minister was told to “get on with running the country”.It was revealed over the weekend that in more than half of the government’s key departments, ministerial announcements were pulled at short notice, legislation had stalled and deadlines missed on the publication of policy documents.The latest criticism levelled at the government was for not responding to more than a dozen consultations, which are used to provide feedback on plans for overhauling and improving policies.Treasury minister Alan Mak admitted to the shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, that in the current parliamentary session, which began on 10 May, “we have identified 15 calls for evidence or consultations which are closed, but which government has not yet responded to”.In response to criticism of Mak’s admission, a Treasury spokesperson said they kept consultations on tax issues “under review” to ensure policies are “fair and fit for purpose”. Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said the country was “grinding to a halt under the Conservatives” and that the consultations were “just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the poor track record of the Conservatives to deliver on their promises”.She added: “They make empty promises, open pointless consultations, then hope the public won’t notice when they fail to actually govern.”She took aim at Tory leadership contenders Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak for appearing to be “more interested in announcing unfunded fantasy economics than gripping many of the problems facing our country”.Rayner said rather than attacking each other and with the government having “checked out”, the Conservatives “should get on with running the country”.Sign up to First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BSTJohnson is due to start work again in Downing Street from Monday, while the chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, is also expected to be back in the office later in the week.Though the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, admitted “I don’t know where Boris is” when the prime minister was reportedly holidaying with his wife, Carrie, in Slovenia, Kwarteng did insist his boss was “on top of what’s happening”.Johnson had been “nowhere to be seen”, according to Liberal Democrat spokesperson Christine Jardine. She said: “People are worried sick about soaring bills and a recession around the corner.“We have a zombie government and a prime minister missing in action. The country deserves better during this time of national crisis.”Johnson still has four weeks left in Downing Street as prime minister while the contest to replace him continues.When he resigned on the steps of No 10, Johnson admitted it was “painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself” a
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For the latest news and updates, see the blog.  Medianism simply aims for economic policies that benefit the majority of ordinary people.  This simply applies democratic norms to economic questions. Democracy prioritizes the preferences of the median voter, and medianism extends this idea to economics. For example, when economists think about how “the economy” is doing, they have traditionally focused on total income (GDP) or per-capita income (mean GDP) as the most important measure. But GDP is biased in favor of rich elites because even if 90% of people’s incomes drop, if the richest 10% are getting a lot richer, GDP can still grow and it can look like “the economy” is doing great even though most people are doing terrible. A much better measure of “the economy” is median income because that is a more accurate reflection of the economic well being of most people.  Policies that improve median income are more likely to benefit the majority of the population (and get democratic approval) than policies that boost mean GDP.  Unfortunately, median income has been ignored relative to GDP and because it has been neglected, it is poorly measured, so our first priority should be to try to measure it with at least as much precision as we achieved long ago in measuring GDP. The mechanics of how to measure median income need better protocols and more international agreement so that statistical agencies can measure it more reliably.  For example, it would be easy to incorporate life expectancy with median income and thereby gain a more comprehensive measure of wellbeing by measuring MELI (Median Expected Lifetime Income).  The MELI FAQ explains why MELI is better than GDP for most (but not all) applications and why it will be more successful at replacing GDP than other attempts such as the United Nations’ efforts with the HDI. Medianism seeks to replace the primary moral philosophy that governs economics and business: money-metric utilitarianism or mmutilitarianism.  Mmutilitarianism is the idea that total income is what matters even if most people get nothing and all the benefits go to the rich.   It over-emphasizes the welfare of elites and medianism seeks to find ways to refocus our energies towards the economic well being of the average people (near the median income) and seek policies that benefit a majority of people. Mainstream economists often recommend policies that benefit an elite minority because of unthinkingly following mmutilitarian ideas. Using GDP for economic welfare is a prime example of mmutilitarian ideology, and the methodology of cost-benefit analysis and the way efficiency is defined and adulated in economics are additional ethical issues that medianism seeks to reform.  Cost-benefit analysis has become a pervasive ethical standard that determines how the law is interpreted and it is increasingly required of most government programs and regulations. As with GDP, cost-benefit analysis is biased in favor of wealthy people.  If a government regulation benefits Bill Gates $10 billion and every single American $20, then it is a great deal for America according to cost-benefit analysis because th
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As Sean Lazzerini fought his way into a Commonwealth Games final on Saturday afternoon, the biggest day of his budding career so far, he approached the moment with unrelenting confidence: “I’m on fire,” he said. “And everyone is getting it.”A day later, as he stared down Taylor Bevan of Wales to win the men’s light heavyweight final, he lived those words to the full. In a close and competitive battle the intelligent Lazzerini used every ounce of his experience to edge past the highly rated Bevan, pulling off a small upset as he was crowned Commonwealth Games champion.Lazzerini, a European bronze medallist this year who had been plagued with chronic hand issues after fracturing it
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Erik ten Hag admitted Manchester United lost belief in their 2-1 home defeat against Brighton on Sunday and described his challenge at Old Trafford as a “hell of a job”.The visitors dominated thro
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Mike Tyson is squaring up with Hulu over the new series “Mike.” In a series of statements posted on his social media accounts Saturday, the famous boxer aired out the company for allegedly producing the biographical series without his approval and not providing compensation.In an Instagram post, Tyson noted he doesn’t support Hulu’s upcoming limited series about his life and career: “Hulu is the streaming version of the slave master. They stole my story and didn’t pay me.”The former undisputed world heavyweight champion also expressed his disdain for the upcoming show on Twitter. Hulu stole my story. They’re Goliath and I’m David. Heads will roll for this.— Mike Tyson (
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Ten years ago, on Memorial Day 2012, I authored JSON5, an open-source project that aimed to fix a small problem I felt when writing certain software.I’d been chewing on the problem for a year when I
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