We're obliged this grey Monday morning to reader Andy Cook for bringing to our attention a delightful piece of spam which brings a whole new meaning to the term "pump and dump":
Enough said. Get in there quick before ARSS blows. ®
The European Parliament's new Digital Markets Act, adopted as a draft law this week, could compel big platforms owned by large firms including Apple, Google, and Facebook to make their tech interoperable.
Among other things, this might mean forcing the tech vendors' messaging apps to allow communication with other services.
If the EU deems a company to be what it calls a "gatekeeper", it could impose "structural or behavioural remedies" – compelling the largest outfits to allow interoperability, or imposing fines. The Act would also restrict what companies could do with personal data – not the first time it's tried.
The directors general of Sweden's Financial Supervisory Authority and Environmental Protection Agency have called upon both the EU and Sweden's government to ban cryptocurrency mining.
Analysis Linux cross-platform packaging format Flatpak has come under the spotlight this week, with the "fundamental problems inherent in [its] design" criticised in a withering post by Canadian software dev Nicholas Fraser.
Fraser wrote in a blog published on 23 November that "these are not the future of desktop Linux apps," citing a litany of technical, security and usability problems. His assertions about disk usage and sharing of runtimes between apps were hotly disputed by Will Thompson, director of OS at Endless OS Foundation a day later in a post titled: "On Flatpak disk usage and deduplication," but there is no denying it is horribly inefficient.
Most people don't care about that any more, one could argue. But they should.
The EU needs more cybersecurity graduates to plug the political bloc's shortage of skilled infosec bods, according to a report from the ENISA online security agency.
The public sectors of EU countries should "support a unified approach" to infosec-focused higher education, it says, addressing an issue that is by no means unique to the bloc.
In a new report titled "Addressing the EU Cybersecurity Skills Shortage and Gap Through Higher Education", academics Jason Nurse and Konstantinos Adamos, together with ENISA's Athanasios Grammatopoulos and Fabio Di Franco, said the European Union needs to get more students signing up for cybersecurity degrees.
UK nuclear fusion outfit Pulsar Fusion has fired up a chemical rocket engine running on a combination of nitrous oxide oxidiser, high-density polyethylene fuel and oxygen.
The acceptance tests of the UK-built rocket were conducted at COTEC, a UK Ministry of Defence site at Salisbury Plain in southern England.
We spoke to CEO of the company, Richard Dinan, in 2018, when he discussed the prospects for fusion power, and the use of the technology for space travel as well as electricity generation. In 2020 he was showing off an ion thruster with plasma running at several million degrees and particles fired at speeds over 20km per second.
Managers of large Chinese state-run companies have told employees to delete, shutdown and discontinue use of Tencent messaging app Weixin for work purposes, citing potential security breaches, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The news outlet named China Mobile, China Construction Bank and China National Petroleum among nine companies that confirmed the communication policy change, although none have officially gone on record.
Employees have reportedly also been warned to beware Weixin's sister app, WeChat. No details were given regarding what communication tools personnel were directed to use instead.
The torrid tale of Google's Privacy Sandbox took another turn today with the UK's Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) saying it has "secured improved commitments" from the ad giant over the cookie crushing tech.
The CMA's claims come in the wake of yesterday's call by the UK's data watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), for Google and co to sort out the privacy risks posed by ads. The ICO continues to work with the CMA to review the plans of the Mountain View gang.
The investigation by the competition regulator kicked off in January amid worries that Google's intention to change its Chrome browser and phase out third party cookies in favour of a so-called Privacy Sandbox would, in fact, strengthen the megacorp's grip on the online ad ecosystem.
A company repeatedly endorsed by ministers backing the UK's Online Safety Bill was warned by its lawyers that its technology could breach the Investigatory Powers Act's ban on unlawful interception of communications, The Register can reveal.
SafeToNet, a content-scanning startup whose product is aimed at parents and uses AI to monitor messages sent to and from children's online accounts, had to change its product after being warned that a feature developed for the government-approved app would break the law.
SafeToNet was hailed this week by senior politicians as an example of "new tech in the fight against online child abuse," having previously featured in announcements from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport over the past 12 months.
"The goal is to recreate the TP experience as much as possible, while incorporating the latest CPUs and technology," XyTech's Xue Yao writes. "As the motherboard is not from [Lenovo], it will require quite a bit of hands-on from the user to get the best experience out of the machine. It will be as stable as any other computer motherboard but will not have original TP software support and features."
XyTech is not alone. CnMod is another small Chinese business that updates teenaged – and by laptop standards, that's positively geriatric – ThinkPads. The replacement motherboards come from cottage-industry scale manufacturers on the forums at 51NB.com. They offer replacement motherboards for various classic ThinkPads, including the X200, X201 and X62, updating them with modern processors, memory and storage. There's also the X330, which combines the classic keyboard of the X220 with the faster mainboard of an X230.
Something for the Weekend, Sir? I could just do with some popcorn right now.
I am loitering among the sick and deranged. The selfish fools decided to pile into the chemist's at 9am, the very moment I sensibly chose to visit. Half of them seem to be loitering around the entrance, jabbing urgently at their smartphones and muttering to themselves.
The popcorn? It will not cure my ailment but, despite research from the Rotterdam School of Management that claims otherwise, popcorn would enhance my user experience (UX) of waiting in the queue.
Episode 21 I've got nothing against conspiracy theories in general because if they didn't exist the PFY would probably have to join a book club or a sewing circle. But even the PFY will admit there's a limit, and at lunch today we think we found it ...
"So let me get this straight," I say. "The vaccine contains tiny … robots …"
"Nanobots," the bloke across the table from me chips in.
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