National / International News

Review into Lynette corruption trial

BBC - Thu, 2015-02-26 02:31
A QC-led review will be held into the collapse of a police corruption trial which followed the wrongful conviction of three men for the murder of a Cardiff prostitute.

'No End In Sight' For Sept. 11 Proceedings At Guantanamo Bay

NPR News - Thu, 2015-02-26 02:24

Endless preliminary motions, official shenanigans and a lack of legal precedent have mired the recently created war court in fitful proceedings. It could be years before the case ever goes to trial.

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'No End In Sight' For Sept. 11 Proceedings At Guantanamo Bay

NPR News - Thu, 2015-02-26 02:24

Endless preliminary motions, official shenanigans and a lack of legal precedent have mired the recently created war court in fitful proceedings. It could be years before the case ever goes to trial.

» E-Mail This

Sri Lanka thrash wasteful Bangladesh

BBC - Thu, 2015-02-26 02:16
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara score hundreds as Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by 92 runs in their World Cup game in Melbourne.

A big win for net neutrality

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-02-26 02:00

Update: The FCC voted to re-classify broadband under Title 2 of the 1934 Communications Act.

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on new so-called Open Internet Rules. If the vote passes, the new rules will classify internet service providers—both broadband and wireless—as common carriers under what's called Title II.

What this means in english is that the FCC will be able to regulate internet companies, making sure they deliver all data from the web to the user at equal speeds. This would be a big win for net neutrality advocates. The most famous of them being Columbia University Law professor Tim Wu, the guy who coined the phrase in the first place. So what does he think about all of this?

Click the media player above to hear more.

As easy as scanning a fingerprint

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-02-26 02:00

We're taking one of our regular opportunities to go back to Back to the Future Part II. The 1989 movie predicted a number of technological advances that would be around in 2015. And now that the real 2015 is here, we are exploring whether or not some of that predicted tech has arrived.

Today, we take a look at biometrics, as in using retinas and fingerprints for identification or passwords. In Back to the Future’s vision of 2015, fingerprint scanners are all over the place. The technology is used to identify people, collect payments, and open locked doors.

Joseph Lorenzo Hall, Chief Technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, says we shouldn’t assume that life will fully imitate art.

“Frankly I don’t think we’ll ever be there and we shouldn’t be there. The problem with these kinds of things, in terms of allowing you access to your home, is that your fingerprint is not secret. If someone were able to produce a fake finger or cut your finger off, they may be able to gain access to your house. There’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t change your fingerprints easily," he says.

So you’re saying as a security technology it’s not all that useful?

It’s very usable. The trick is that it’s really best as an addition onto some other thing, be it a passcode on a mobile platform, or a token you may have, like a security key fob or something like that. There are systems that use harder to spoof biometrics like vein patterns in your hand. That’s extremely hard to reproduce, very detailed and highly identifying.

Are there privacy issues that come up as we use our biology to identify us and to give us access?

Holding your biometric data can be a privacy problem. If it leaks out, then someone who needs to reconstruct your fingerprint or your facial pattern can do that, but luckily most companies do a very similar thing to how we work with passwords. You don’t store password as you type them. The iPhone, forr example doesn't store your fingerprint. It stores some abstraction of your fingerprint that’s very hard to back out into your actual fingerprint. So if someone were to get into your phone they couldn't actually steal your fingerprint.

We have talked about other technologies in the movie, like fax machines, that seemed futuristic at the time, but now sort of belong in the past. Would you put fingerprint scanners in that category?

No. I think that was pretty prescient. They identified something we would be using right around the time when they went “back to the future” the second time. I do think they were overzealous in how ubiquitous fingerprint scanning would be. We are a little more careful with how we use these things.

Is there a piece of technology from Back to the Future Part II that you want us to highlight? Send your ideas to delorianhistorians@gmail.com

 

Looking for signs of life at Sears

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-02-26 02:00

On Thursday, Sears reported a revenue loss of 23.5 percent in the last quarter, with U.S. sales down 4.4 percent.

One bright spot for the parent company of Sears and Kmart is its real estate. Sears has proposed creating a real estate investment trust that would buy hundreds of its stores, and then lease them back to the company. That would give Sears a cushion of cash.

“It doesn’t seem like there is going to be a ninety-degree turn on a dime for the fortunes of this company,” says David Tawil with the hedge fund Maglan Capital. “It’s going to need to buy more time by having additional liquidity.”

Click the media player above to hear more.

Pebble's grand return to Kickstarter

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-02-26 02:00

Pebble has put its new, color smartwatch called "Time" up for a funding round on Kickstarter. Three years ago, the launch of its original smartwatch broke records. This time, Pebble's return to the crowd-funding site could have more to do with the marketing than the money.

Click the media player above to hear more.

A potential big win for net neutrality

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-02-26 02:00

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on new so-called Open Internet Rules. If the vote passes, the new rules will classify internet service providers—both broadband and wireless—as common carriers under what's called Title II.

What this means in english is that the FCC will be able to regulate internet companies, making sure they deliver all data from the web to the user at equal speeds. This would be a big win for net neutrality advocates. The most famous of them being Columbia University Law professor Tim Wu, the guy who coined the phrase in the first place. So what does he think about all of this?

Click the media player above to hear more.

The Global Economy at work

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-02-26 02:00

In today’s global economy, almost everything is connected in one circuitous way or another. So here’s a riddle: What connects the following things?

  • a $500 dollar pair of sunglasses for sale at a boutique in China
  • an economic slump in Croatia
  • a pair of white inspection gloves in Berlin

 The short answer to the riddle: A woman named Nadja Tobias. Let me explain.

Tobias works at factory in Berlin, in the Quality Control Department. She controls the quality of high-end eye glasses frames, produced by a company called Mykita. Motto: "Hand Made in Berlin."

When Tobias runs her own hands along the frames and stems of the hundreds of glasses produced in this factory every day, feeling for imperfections, she wears a pair of white inspection gloves.

“So I don't leave finger prints,” she explained when I visited the factory recently. She raised a gloved finger and slid it along the stem of a pair of glasses the color of chocolate chips. “For example—here,” she said, pointing to a spot.

I tried to find it with my own finger. I couldn’t.

Tobias reassured me. Over time, she said, “You develop kind of like a micro way of looking at these small objects.”

And that micro way of looking at things—that attention to detail and quality—is part of why Tobias’s employer, Mykita, can charger $500 for a pair of sunglasses.

“That's what makes a Mykita frame a Mykita frame. Why it's worth the extra cost,” explained Chris Leicht, Mykita’s Head of Global Sales.

Of course, until recently, you couldn't sell a pair of $500 sunglasses just anywhere. These days though, Leicht has customers in countries all over the world who can pay that much. Even, say, a boutique in China. Leicht attributed that fact to the country's rising middle class.

“There is growing opportunities for us that made it possible in China for us now to be present,” Leicht said.

So that’s how the white inspection gloves in Berlin connect to the $500 pair of sunglasses in China. What about the final piece of the riddle: the economic slump in Croatia?

That brings us back to Nadja Tobias, the white gloved glasses factory worker. Tobias is originally from Croatia. She lived there until a few years ago, when she was finishing a Masters in Literature and Croatian Language. “And then,” she said. “I couldn't find a job.”

In Croatia, Tobias spent a lot of time beating herself up about being unemployed. It influenced her “everyday existential life,” she said. “I and a lot of my friend had this problem, thinking, ‘I could do more! I could work more!' And you start to blame yourself that maybe you're not doing enough.”

Like many well-educated young people in the economically depressed parts of Europe, eventually she decided to move to Germany, where she heard the economy was doing much better. “I just totally changed my life. I came with one suitcase and I said, ‘OK. Let’s do this now.’”

And it worked. Tobias found a job; first as a bar tender, then at the Mykita glasses factory. 

Once she was in Germany and employed, she saw her existential problems differently. “When I came here, I realized it's not a problem in me,” Tobias said. “I realized I can do a lot. It’s not just about you; it’s about society and how society is built.” In other words, it’s about where you happen to find yourself in the global economy.

'Jihadi John' named as London man

BBC - Thu, 2015-02-26 01:59
The Islamic State militant known as "Jihadi John", who has been pictured in videos of the beheadings of Western hostages, is named as Mohammed Emwazi from London.

Lohan to do more community service

BBC - Thu, 2015-02-26 01:55
A US judge tells actress Lindsay Lohan that community service she did in London last year did not count - and she must do 125 hours more.

Inter 'in good shape' to face Celtic

BBC - Thu, 2015-02-26 01:54
Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini is delighted with the form of his side ahead of Celtic's Europa League visit.

Sharp fall in UK business investment

BBC - Thu, 2015-02-26 01:43
Business investment in the UK falls for the second quarter in a row, recording the biggest fall since 2009.

Splitting hairs over $1.13 billion

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-02-26 01:30
15 percent

The decline in viewers aged 2 to 11 Nickelodeon saw last year, making it the number-two children's network behind the Disney Channel. Both networks are creating sponsored content arms, with new services presented to advertisers during this years upfront presentations, Ad Age reported. Nick's effort, called Nickelodeon Inside Out Solutions will focus on creating games for clients, putting clients on social media channels and more.

12 years

That's about how long its been since Columbia University law professor coined the term "net neutrality." Marketplace Tech caught up with Wu to talk about the possible big victory for advocates of classifying the internet as a utility under Title II, maintaining a so-called open internet.

7

That's how many of the 25 richest colleges in the country are "need blind" in their admissions process for all students. Sixteen more schools don't weigh the ability to pay in admissions for some but not all students. That's just one of the several subtle but important differences – call it find print – in how the wealthiest schools handle financial aid, the the Chronicle of Higher Education picks apart the distinctions in a new interactive feature. 

$500

What do a $500 pair of sunglasses on sale in China, an economic slump in Croatia, and a pair of white inspection gloves in Berlin have in common? The short answer to the riddle: A woman named Nadja Tobias. Originally from Croatia, she now lives in Berlin where she works in quality control for Mykita, a high-end glasses company. Her story is one of many about the challenges and opportunities of making it in this global economy. Find out more in this first part of our series with the BBC that we're calling "Six Routes to Riches."

$1.13 billion

That's how much investigators think has been taken from 92-year-old Liliane Bettencourt, the L'Oréal heir and second-richest woman in the world, though "a variety of schemes" by aides, lawyers, and others, the New York Times reported. The ten defendants in the very complex trial are accused of taking advantage of Bettencourt's ailing health to try and secure investments, gifts and even a place in her will.

Teeth extracted from King displayed

BBC - Thu, 2015-02-26 01:08
Teeth extracted from King John are set to go on display as part of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

Prince William begins Japan tour

BBC - Thu, 2015-02-26 01:07
The Duke of Cambridge has arrived in Tokyo as part of a week-long trip to Japan and China.

Savile 'abused 63 people at hospital'

BBC - Thu, 2015-02-26 01:06
Jimmy Savile abused 63 people from Stoke Mandeville Hospital, but the one formal complaint was ignored, a report finds.

Police failed triple murder family

BBC - Thu, 2015-02-26 01:00
Police and social services are severely criticised in reports into a man who killed three generations of a family, including his own baby daughter.

UK net migration rises to 298,000

BBC - Thu, 2015-02-26 00:54
Net migration to the UK has risen to 298,000, its highest level since before the 2010 general election.

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