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Industry & Technology

TSB boss: We know everything's working, you just can't see that

The Register - 1 hour 17 min ago
Web banking still down for half of customers

In the latest update from TSB about its continued web wobbles, the British bank has told us that while it knows everything is working, punters might not realise that fact because... internet banking still isn't entirely working.…

Verizon says Yahoo users must waive class action rights—or stop using Yahoo

Ars Technica - 1 hour 37 min ago

Enlarge / A sign outside a Yahoo corporate building in Los Angeles. (credit: Getty Images | FG/Bauer-Griffin Getty Images | )

Verizon is forcing users of Yahoo services to waive their class action rights and agree to resolve disputes through arbitration. Yahoo users who don't agree to the new terms will be cut off from the services, though Verizon hasn't said exactly when the cutoff date will happen.

The change happens as Verizon fights lawsuits related to a 2013 data breach that affected all three billion Yahoo accounts. The company could try to use the new class action waiver to fight such lawsuits after any future incidents.

Verizon completed its $4.48 billion acquisition of Yahoo's operating business in June 2017, and the company formed a new subsidiary called "Oath" that combines Yahoo and the Verizon-owned AOL.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-576G-5762) review - CNET - Reviews - 1 hour 40 min ago
From its DVD burner and legacy ports to its discrete graphics and long battery life, this is one pretty great mainstream laptop.

BuzzFeed partners with Netflix for documentary series

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 42 min ago
The series, which launches in July, will go behind-the-scenes as journalists pursue stories.

7 ways Apple could cut the 2018 iPhone '11' price - CNET - News - 1 hour 56 min ago
Commentary: A cheaper iPhone with Face ID would require deep feature cuts.

Amazon Alexa to reward kids who say: 'Please'

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 57 min ago
A good manners feature will praise children if they ask questions politely.

Spotify's free tier has side benefit: Smarter recommendations - CNET - News - 2 hours 8 sec ago
Unlocking on-demand listening for free users means that the songs Spotify picks for you will hit closer to the bull's-eye.

ESA's new Milky Way map shines with 1.7 billion stars - CNET - News - 2 hours 5 min ago
The stars of our Milky Way are giving up their secrets to the European Space Agency's Gaia spacecraft and its stunning new star catalog.

Fitbit restores Versa connectivity after earlier outage - CNET - News - 2 hours 16 min ago
Apps for the Versa and Ionic smartwatches are working again after a glitch made them unresponsive for several hours.

World's biggest DDoS-for-hire souk shuttered, masterminds cuffed

The Register - 2 hours 19 min ago taken down by Europol plod and chums

Cops yesterday cuffed IT admins behind the "world’s biggest DDoS marketplace",, Europol has confirmed.…

Video game loot boxes are now considered criminal gambling in Belgium

Ars Technica - 2 hours 19 min ago

Enlarge / This innocuous-looking Overwatch loot box is now criminal in Belgium, according to the country's gambling regulators.

The Belgian Gaming Commission has determined that randomized loot boxes in at least three games count as "games of chance," and publishers could therefore be subject to fines and prison sentences under the country's gaming legislation.

A statement by Belgian Minister of Justice Koen Geens (machine translation) identifies loot boxes in Overwatch, FIFA 18, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive as meeting the criteria for that "game of chance" definition: i.e., "there is a game element [where] a bet can lead to profit or loss and chance has a role in the game." The Commission also looked at Star Wars: Battlefront II and determined that the recent changes EA made to the game means it "no longer technically forms a game of chance."

Beyond that simple definition, the Gaming Commission expressed concern over games that draw in players with an "emotional profit forecast" of randomized goods, where players "buy an advantage with real money without knowing what benefit it would be." The fact that these games don't disclose the odds of receiving specific in-game items is also worrisome, the Commission said.

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TSB admits its internet banking woes are not over

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 21 min ago
Crisis-hit TSB said its internet bank is working at 50% capacity, leaving half of customers locked out.

Huawei under investigation by US Department of Justice, report says - CNET - News - 2 hours 24 min ago
The Chinese company is reportedly being investigated to determine if it violated US sanctions regarding Iran.

Researchers edit coral genes, hope to understand how to save them

Ars Technica - 2 hours 27 min ago

Enlarge (credit: NOAA)

Coral reefs are the poster-organisms for ecosystem services, aiding fisheries, promoting biodiversity, and protecting land from heavy waves. Unfortunately, we seem to be repaying them by killing them. Our warming oceans are causing coral bleaching and death, rising sea levels will force them to move, and the acidification of our oceans will make it harder for them to form reefs. It would be nice if we could help them, but interventions are difficult to design when you don't know enough about coral biology.

Now scientists have announced a new tool is available to study corals: genetic editing provided by the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The ability to selectively eliminate genes could help us understand how corals function normally and could eventually provide a tool that lets us help them ride out climate change.

Coral complexities

You might think that we'd have a pretty good grasp of coral biology, given the amount of study that reefs receive. But much of that study has focused on coral reefs as an ecosystem, rather than coral as an organism. And that's a big barrier to helping these reef-builders survive in our changing world. To give one example, coral bleaching is caused by a heat-driven breakdown in the symbiosis between coral and a photosynthetic algae that provides the coral with food. Corals that live in warmer waters are clearly able to form partnerships with heat-tolerant algae, but the precise mechanics of which species partner with what algae aren't well understood.

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Amazon is rolling out an Echo Dot that brings Alexa to kids - CNET - News - 2 hours 33 min ago
Starting May 9, customers can subscribe to a version of Alexa that has audio books, games and music catered to kids. Plus, there's the Echo Dot Kids Edition.

“You may shut the f— up”: Dashcam vindicates cops confronting corruption

Ars Technica - 2 hours 41 min ago

This video was released Tuesday by Tenafly police.

Sometimes, dashcams and bodycams catch police in their worst behavior. But a video released on Tuesday shows police in Tenafly, New Jersey exercising remarkable restraint in the face of badgering by Caren Turner, a commissioner from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Turner, who was appointed to the position by former Governor Chris Christie, suddenly resigned last week.

"Commissioner Turner's resignation was appropriate given her outrageous conduct," a Port Authority official said in a statement to

Turner's daughter was riding in a friend's car on March 31 when police pulled the car over. Police decided to tow the vehicle after determining that the car's Nevada registration had expired and the driver couldn't produce proof of insurance. Turner was called to pick up the daughter and her friends, but when Turner arrived, she tried to intercede with the police officers. "I'm here as a concerned citizen and friend of the mayor," Turner told the officers. "I take full responsibility for them."

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Twitter earnings show growth, despite bot questions - CNET - News - 2 hours 45 min ago
The company’s user numbers and revenue tick up despite lingering concerns about harassment and fake accounts.

Ever wanted to see a race series just for Teslas? I’ve got good news

Ars Technica - 2 hours 47 min ago

Electric GT

Two things we love here in the four wheels-and-a-motor section of Ars are racing and electric vehicles. The former is just plain fun, the latter is just plain common sense. But there has been relatively little overlap between them, save for Formula E and the occasional entry at Pikes Peak. From November, we can add one more to the list: the Electric Production Car Series from Electric GT. It's a one-make series that will use a grid of identical Tesla Model S sedans converted for track action, and this week Electric GT confirmed the first season will start November 3 in Jerez, Spain, followed by nine other races in Europe.

We first reported on Electric GT back in 2016, when the series planned to use modified Model S P85+s and then again last year, following the news that the cars would now be the more powerful all-wheel drive P100D. Electric GT has stripped more than 1,100lbs (500kg) of weight out of the luxury EVs, ditching most of the interior comforts and replacing them with a stout roll cage. The cars also feature wheel arch extensions to allow for wider racing tires (specially made by Pirelli), as well as a front splitter and rear wing to add some downforce. Additionally, the suspension is now a double wishbone setup with pullrod dampers for better handling, and the cars feature a racing-spec braking system.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

There's just one month left 'til the big day: May 25... but don't panic!

The Register - 2 hours 48 min ago
Are you a hoopy frood?

Today, 25 April, marks exactly one month until a truly momentous milestone - but an exclusive El Reg analysis* has revealed that as many as 42 organisations are not yet full of froods.…

How mobile money could help the world's poor - CNET - News - 3 hours 2 min ago
Digital cash from PayPal, Mastercard and cryptocurrency startups have the potential to break the cycle of poverty.

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