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Industry & Technology

Russian spy ship sunk by sheep barge; sheep (and sailors) unhurt

Ars Technica - 38 min 50 sec ago

A veteran of the Cold War and a recent participant in Russian operations off Syria has been sent to the bottom of the Black Sea by a boat full of sheep. The 47-year-old Russian intelligence collection ship, the Liman, sank on April 27 after a collision in the Black Sea with a Togo-flagged livestock carrier carrying sheep from Romania to Jordan. The sheep-carrying Youzarsif H suffered only slight damage to its bow, but the Liman suffered a rupture in its hull below the waterline.

Designated by the Russian Navy as a "medium reconnaissance ship" ("Средний разведывательный корабль"), the Liman was smaller than more recently constructed, purpose-built intelligence ships like the Leonov (the spy ship that traveled up the US East Coast in February). Originally built as a hydrographic survey ship in 1970, it was converted in 1989 into a signals-intelligence collection ship, a class of vessels known in US naval parlance as AGIs (auxiliary, general intelligence). The conversion added passive underwater acoustic sensors along with electronic warfare equipment for collecting radio and radar signals.

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M6 crowned crappiest motorway for 4G signal

The Register - 45 min 29 sec ago
Now to find out if it has fewer crashes...

The M6 is officially the UK's worst motorway for 4G coverage.…

Google Fiber building in Louisville despite lawsuit from AT&T and Charter

Ars Technica - 49 min 32 sec ago

Enlarge / Google Fiber equipment boxes in a Kansas City home in 2012. (credit: Google Fiber | Bloomberg)

Google Fiber is getting ready to build a long-awaited network in Louisville, Kentucky despite recent layoffs at the ISP and lawsuits filed against Louisville's local government by AT&T and Charter.

"Great news today, with Google Fiber saying they now officially are coming to Louisville. We've been working on this for years," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Wednesday in a video. Google Fiber could use both fiber and wireless technologies to connect customers.

Fischer made a nearly identical statement in September 2015 when he said Louisville was "announced as [the] next Google Fiber city." But there have been a few complications since then.

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Internal Uber e-mail reveals Levandowski stepping down from self-driving car job

Ars Technica - 59 min 18 sec ago

Enlarge / Employees inspect an Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh last year. (credit: Getty Images)

Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski will be stepping back from his position as head of the company's self-driving car project.

Levandowski is at the heart of a heated trade-secrets lawsuit that Google's Waymo division filed against Uber in February. Google says Levandowski, an ex-Googler, illegally grabbed more than 14,000 files on his way out the door. Levandowski went on to create his own self-driving car startup, Otto, which Uber later bought for $680 million.

In an internal Uber e-mail, which was obtained and published by Business Insider, Levandowski said he's being removed from all work related to Lidar, a key self-driving car technology which uses lasers to map objects in the physical world.

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Uber update will make it easier to delete your account - CNET - News - 59 min 25 sec ago
The ride-hailing company will now allow users to erase their accounts from inside the app.

Airbnb agrees to let California watch for racist hosts - CNET - News - 1 hour 1 min ago
A voluntary agreement between Airbnb and the State of California will bring scrutiny to hosts accused of racial discrimination.

A sensible Internet of Things investment house? Breed Reply looks like it

The Register - 1 hour 7 min ago
So far, no silly Bluetooth toothbrushes

Internet of Things startup investment firm Breed Reply is a curious creature, pouring cash into IoT companies that aren’t punting laughably silly technology.…

Inhaled nanoparticles can clog up our arteries, spur cardiovascular disease

Ars Technica - 1 hour 8 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Getty | AFP)

Air pollution is a big killer. Researchers estimate that smog—particularly the tiniest particles in the mix—contributes to the early deaths of up to 7 million people worldwide each year. Harm to fog-filled lungs is an obvious concern, yet air pollution is notably linked to cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and stroke. And researchers have puzzled over why.

A leading theory is that the teeny particles may cause systemic inflammation and cellular stress that can wear on the cardiovascular system and muck up heart rhythms. But a new study suggests that the nanoparticles have a more direct role in the disease.

In mice and humans, air-pollution-sized nanoparticles slipped from the lungs and into the blood stream. There, they glommed onto plaques in the arteries of both species, directly contributing to atherosclerosis and deadly cardiovascular diseases, researchers report in an upcoming issue of ACS Nano.

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Mazda readies three-row CX-8 crossover for Japan - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 9 min ago
Mazda already has a CX-9, and it's built in Japan, but it's not offered for sale there.

Watch how ice cream is made, in 360 degrees - CNET - News - 1 hour 9 min ago
Step inside the Three Twins ice cream factory with our virtual tour.

NatWest and RBS banking app fails

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 14 min ago
Customers complained on social media that payments and money transfers had not gone through.

Behold BB-8 droid in Shakespeare-era garb - CNET - News - 1 hour 20 min ago
The Star Wars parody series continue with "William Shakespeare's The Force Doth Awaken -- Star Wars Part the Seventh" by Ian Doescher.

New Hyundai Kona teaser shows tiny crossover's front end - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 21 min ago
It looks way sharper than any current Hyundai.

Australian police: We illegally accessed journalist metadata - CNET - News - 1 hour 27 min ago
Two weeks after Australia's mandatory data-retention plan kicks in, federal police reveal an officer illegally gained access to a journalist's call record.

B&O Play by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P2 Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - 1 hour 28 min ago
The latest entry in B&O Play's Bluetooth speaker lineup is a flat, lightweight model that's very travel friendly.

Adorable 'Alien: Covenant' toys coming from Funko - CNET - News - 1 hour 52 min ago
Funko makes frightening facehuggers and Xenomorphs look cuddly -- well, almost -- with their new Pop Vinyl collectibles.

Microsoft's cloud feels the pinch in price war with AWS

The Register - 2 hours 2 min ago
Ah, the old 'Windows upsell' one-two

Sales of Surface, falling 26 per cent year-on-year, wasn't the only wrinkle in Microsoft's third-quarter trading period.…

SpaceX looks to break into national security launch market on Sunday

Ars Technica - 2 hours 26 min ago

For unknown reasons, the NROL-76 Mission Patch depicts Lewis & Clark heading out to explore the newly purchased Louisiana Territory. (credit: NRO)

In 2014, after perceiving that the US Air Force was unfairly favoring a competitor in the commercial launch industry, SpaceX sued the federal government. The premise of the lawsuit was that the Air Force had ordered 36 rocket cores from United Launch Alliance without considering SpaceX as a possible bidder for the launches.

The anti-competition lawsuit never moved forward, because the government and SpaceX negotiated a deal behind closed doors. Eventually, the Air Force put 14 of those missions up for bid and certified SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket as a potential provider of launch services for the military and national security agencies. On Sunday, SpaceX will make its first flight with a national security satellite as its primary payload since receiving certification in 2015.

Not much is known about the National Reconnaissance Office's NROL-76 satellite, which will launch from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch window on Sunday opens at 7am ET (12pm UK) and lasts two hours. Weather conditions are favorable. A backup launch window on Monday morning opens at 7am as well. SpaceX will then attempt a first-stage landing along the coast, at its Landing Zone 1 site.

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Amazon 'style assistant' divides opinion

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 38 min ago
Amazon's new Echo Look device takes full length photos and offers advice on outfit choices.

Just how screwed is IT at the Home Office?

The Register - 2 hours 41 min ago
Ageing systems, Brexit, exodus of contractors, delayed agile projects...

The departure of Home Office chief information officer Sarah Wilkinson after two years at the helm comes at an interesting - and crucial - time for the department.…

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