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Farts away! Plane makes unscheduled stop after man won't stop guffing

Flatulence takes the wind out of budget Dutch airline's wings


An elderly man's flatulence forced his flight to make an emergency stop after a fight broke out over his barrage of bottom burps.

Passengers flying with budget Dutch airline Transavia from Dubai to Amsterdam were reportedly put out by the man's continued farting, and asked him to stop.

But the man failed to hold it in, and when even a direct order from the pilot didn't take the wind out of his sails, two particularly incensed passengers took matters into their own hands.

Local media reported that two Dutchmen sat next to the trumper started a fight with the man, which escalated to the point where the pilot was forced to make an unscheduled stop.

On landing in Vienna, armed police boarded the plane to remove the men who caused the ruckus, along with two sisters who were seated next to them.

The four weren't arrested, but the StraitsTimes reported that they were banned from the airline for misbehaviour and verbal abuse. Transavia didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's not the first time that farts have been blamed for flight disruption: last year there were reports that an American Airlines flight had been evacuated due to a foul-smelling fart, but the airline said it was a mechanical fault.

And back in 2006, the same airline brought on bomb-sniffing dogs after passengers warned of a sulphurous smell from burning matches... however, the cause was less sinister. It turned out a woman was attempting to mask the smell of her trump by striking the match. ®

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AWS growing so fast its revenue makes it bigger than Cisco or HP

Nobody wants to run their own data centers anymore, says CFO

Amazon.com has released its Q2 2021 earnings, and revealed that revenue from its cloud business Amazon Web Services has jumped 37 per cent to an annualized rate of $59 billion – a figure that takes it past Cisco's annual revenue and puts it within striking distance of Lenovo.

In Thursday's investor earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said:

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We can't believe people use browsers to manage their passwords, says maker of password management tools

You just save it in Chrome or Firefox? Ugh. And then it autofills when you need it again? Oh the horror

It seems some of us are, in the year of our lord 2021, still reusing the same password for multiple sites, plugging personal gear into work networks, and perhaps overly relying on browser-managed passwords, judging from this poll.

ThycoticCentrify, formed from a merger between two computer access management firms, said it surveyed about 8,000 people, and reports just under a quarter admitted they reuse passwords across multiple websites – a cybersecurity no-no because it opens you up to credential stuffing.

Meanwhile, about half of those working for large (5,000+ headcount) companies said they hadn't received cybersecurity training in the past 12 months, even as the vast majority of all those polled said they'd seen an increase in the volume of phishing messages their org had received over the past year.

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Giant Tesla battery providing explosion in renewable energy – not as intended

Toxic smoke from fire forces Australian residents indoors just two days after COVID lockdown lifted

Tesla's battery technology is extremely hot in Australia right now – but not in a good way. A 300-megawatt lithium-ion battery built in the state of Victoria using Tesla tech is literally on fire.

The "Victorian Big Battery" – an installation due to come online later this year – was commisisioned by authorities "to boost the state's energy reliability, drive down electricity prices and support Victoria's transition to renewable energy – as well as creating local jobs as we take steps towards a COVID normal."

The battery is currently succeeding on the jobs front: The Register understands that over 20 fire brigade units have scrambled to extinguish the blaze.

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The Register just found 300-odd Itanium CPUs on eBay

We mention this because Intel stopped shipping them yesterday, ending a strange story

Intel has stopped shipping the Itanium CPU.

In January 2019 the company issued an advisory [PDF] warning that last orders for the CPU must be lodged by January 30th, 2020, and that final shipments would head out the door on July 29th, 2021.

Which was yesterday.

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Communism never looked so good: China cracks down on pop-up ads

Developers accused of ignoring regulations and adding adware where it's not allowed

China has cracked down on big tech again, this time telling some of its biggest players to get rid of pop-up ads in apps.

A Wednesday edict from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology points out that it strongly suggested that pop-ups should disappear way back in 2017, and has revisited the subject several times during 2021 with reviews of popular apps.

The latest notice states the Ministry's ongoing app inspection program has found 14 apps getting in users' faces with inappropriate pop-ups, and suggests that developers know their obligations but have chosen to re-code their wares to include ads.

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International Space Station stabilizes after just-docked Russian module suddenly fires thrusters

Crew not in danger, NASA insists

The International Space Station tilted 45 degrees today after Nauka, a just-docked Russian module, suddenly and unexpectedly fired its thrusters.

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Even after the vehicle finally managed to dock, problems did not stop there. Within hours of it attaching itself to the space station, its engines began aimlessly firing. The generated thrust caused the whole space station to lose attitude control, according to NASA:

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Google Play puts Android apps on notice: No naughty JavaScript, Python, Lua

And come April next year, accurate disclosures of personal data usage will be required

Google's pending Play Store policy changes are bringing various privacy improvements – but also include a security enhancement and disclosure requirement that deserve mention.

First, there's a specific ban on the deceptive use of interpreted languages like JavaScript, Python, and Lua. This is more of a refinement and tightening of prior policy than a new rule.

Starting October 15, 2021, Google said, "We're clarifying the Device and Network Abuse policy to prohibit apps or SDKs with interpreted languages (e.g., JavaScript) loaded at run time from violating any Google Play policies."

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Huawei says its latest flagship smartphones lack 5G, blames US sanctions

Qualcomm tells us it has permission to provide 4G-only Snapdragon 888 chip

Huawei officially announced its latest flagship smartphones on Thursday, both lacking 5G capabilities due to ongoing US sanctions.

The handsets – the P50 and P50 Pro – max out at 4G/LTE, putting them behind rival higher-end devices.

They also both run Huawei’s HarmonyOS 2, which is the open-source Linux kernel and core of Android wrapped in Huawei's proprietary mobile apps and software store. Though this OS does run Android apps, it does not come with Google's proprietary suite of Play, Gmail, etc.

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Time for a 'great experiment' says Cisco as it lets team leaders set place of work

Fewer than one-in-four staff want to be in the office for more than three days a week

Less than a quarter of Cisco's 77,000-strong workforce want to spend three days or more in their office when COVID-19 restrictions lift – and so Switchzilla is embarking on a "great hybrid work experiment."

“We know that the office has changed forever, and we won’t be returning to the office or using physical space in the same way as before,” wrote Francine Katsoudas, Cisco exec veep and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer.

“While about half of our employees were in the office four to five days a week pre-pandemic, less than a quarter want to be in an office three or more days a week when offices re-open.”

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Privacy proves elusive in Google's Privacy Sandbox

Like FLoC, FLEDGE isn't yet ready to fly for web-based ads, judging from this proof-of-concept exploit code

Google's effort to build a "Privacy Sandbox" – a set of technologies for delivering personalized ads online without the tracking problems presented by cookie-based advertising – continues to struggle with its promise of privacy.

The Privacy Sandbox consists of a set of web technology proposals with bird-themed names intended to aim interest-based ads at groups rather than individuals.

Much of this ad-related data processing is intended to occur within the browsers of internet users, to keep personal information from being spirited away to remote servers where it might be misused.

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Thanks for the memory: Add Samsung to the list of tech giants raking it in despite supply concerns

Turns out that Austin factory shutdown was nothing but a blip

Samsung Electronics is flying high on the back of a surge in memory prices and demand expected to remain strong for the rest of 2021.

The South Korean tech monster reported record-breaking group revenue of ₩63.67trn ($55.5bn) for Q2 2021, up by a fifth year-on-year, as most business units surpassed the best estimates of senior management.

The chaebol also recorded [PDF] a 54 per cent leap in operating profit of ₩12.57trn, with more than half of this attributed to its semiconductor business.

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