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11.9 items/week

US invokes emergency powers after cyber-attack on fuel pipeline

Scramble to avoid shortages after Colonial Pipeline targeted in attack on US infrastructure The Biden administration has invoked emergency powers as part of an “all-hands-on-deck” effort to avoid fuel shortages after the worst-ever cyber-attack on US infrastructure shut down a crucial pipeline supplying the east coast. The federal transport department issued an emergency declaration on Sunday to relax regulations for drivers carrying gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined petroleum prod...

UK Covid-related cybercrime fuels 15-fold rise in scam takedowns

Vaccine rollout used as a lure via email and text to harvest people’s personal information for fraud The UK’s cybersecurity agency has taken down more scams in the last year than in the previous three years combined, with coronavirus and NHS-themed cybercrime fuelling the increase. Experts oversaw a 15-fold rise in the removal of online campaigns compared with 2019, according to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Continue reading...

Shutdown of US pipeline after cyber attack prompts worry over gas prices

Prices not expected to rise unless Colonial Pipeline outage lasts more than three days, but long-term shutdown could be significant The hackers who caused the vast Colonial Pipeline to shut down on Friday reportedly began their cyberattack against the top US fuel pipeline operator a day earlier and stole a large amount of data. The attackers are part of a cybercrime group called DarkSide and took nearly 100 gigabytes of data out of Colonial’s network in just two hours on Thursday, the Bloombe...

No shame: the podcast taking on the Arab world’s sex and gender taboos

Eib is now in its seventh season, fearlessly tackling subjects from Beirut’s drag queen scene to Jordanian widows’ rights Rude, fault or blemish; flaw, disgrace or shame. The word has many shades, but nearly every woman who grows up in Arabic-speaking households knows its singular weight. “Anything related to women is eib ,” says Tala El-Issa, from her home in Cairo. “If they want to talk about...

US workers continue unionization fight – but will Amazon prevail?

Despite defeat in Alabama, workers are fighting to form and run unions at the tech giant on several fronts In the wake of a defeated attempt to unionize an Amazon warehouse in Alabama, workers are continuing to fight to form and run unions at the tech giant on several fronts. Related: Amazon had sales income of €44bn in Europe in 2020 but paid no corporation tax The only way we’re going to be protected is by forming that union Continue reading...

Cyber-attack forces shutdown of one of the US’s largest pipelines

Colonial Pipeline said it shut down 5,500 miles of pipeline, which carries 45% of the east coast’s fuel supplies One of the largest pipelines in the US has been shut down after an apparent cyber-attack, its operator has said. Colonial Pipeline said it had shut down its 5,500 miles of pipeline, which carries 45% of the east coast’s fuel supplies and travels through 14 southern and eastern US states, after the breach of its computer networks. Related: Microsoft hack: Biden launches emergency ta...

Can virtual meeting spaces save us all from Zoom fatigue?

Few of us will be back in the office full time – but does that have to mean endless video calls? Meet the weird and wonderful newcomers hoping to take a piece of the action I’m playing online Pictionary while chatting with five people I’ve never met. This is not at all how I usually spend my Thursdays. We’ve all dropped into a virtual meeting space on a site called gather.town , which provides ...

Reddit aims to double in size as social news site invests for growth

After punching below its weight for years, firm is building new tech and experimenting with charging users By any objective measure, Reddit is an internet giant. The social news site is one of the top 20 sites in the world, with more users than Twitter. They move markets, break news and source most of the viral images that float across your Facebook page a month later. Reddit’s co-founder, Alexis Ohanian , is tech royalty, not to mention Mr Serena Williams. But for years, the site has punched...

From Marilyn Monroe to the Manson Family, the dark side of Hollywood – podcasts of the week

Badlands considers crime, history and legends bubbling beneath the surface of Tinseltown. Plus: a look at the “unseen forces” around us, and just who is Matthew MaGill? Badlands: Hollywoodland Jake Brennan’s Disgraceland chronicled rock’n’roll’s most notorious moments, and now the master storyteller is turning his attention to movies. Hollywoodland mixes history, legends and – of course – true ...

The online safety bill needs to cover fraud. Why doesn’t it? | Nils Pratley

Voluntary measures have failed: Google and others will have to be forced to block scams “It is frankly absurd that the Financial Conduct Authority is paying hundreds of thousands of pounds to Google to warn consumers against investment advertisements from which Google is already receiving millions in revenue,” said Charles Randell, the chair of the chief financial regulator, last year. Absolutely right – the position is genuinely ludicrous. It would clearly be better to prevent financial scam...

Twitter launches prompt in bid to reduce abusive language

Users will be asked if they are sure they want to send a tweet that could be ‘harmful or offensive’ Many of us have dashed off a mean-spirited reply in the heat of the moment. Now, Twitter wants to appeal to the good inside even the most callous trolls in an attempt to improve the tone of its social network. From Thursday, the company will roll out a new prompt to users who are about to send a tweet that its algorithms believe could be “harmful or offensive”. Those who try to send such a mess...

‘It was exhilarating’: how the Guardian went digital – and global

Former editor Alan Rusbridger looks back on the dawning realisation that news was about to change forever A crystal ball was – at least at the outset – not required. A trip to the US in 1993 to “see the internet” left me in no doubt: the days of the daily printed newspaper were numbered. Once people learned about this thing they were calling the “world wide web”, there would be no going back. I...

Amazon had sales income of €44bn in Europe in 2020 but paid no corporation tax

Despite lockdown surge the firm’s Luxembourg unit made a €1.2bn loss and therefore paid zero corporation tax Fresh questions have been raised over Amazon’s tax planning after its latest corporate filings in Luxembourg revealed that the company collected record sales income of €44bn (£38bn) in Europe last year but did not have to pay any corporation tax to the Grand Duchy. Accounts for Amazon EU Sarl, through which it sells products to hundreds of millions of households in the UK and across Eu...

BT to offer under half-price fibre broadband to people on benefits

From June, 36 Mbps service will cost £15 a month to those on UK benefits such as universal credit BT is to offer fibre broadband at less than half price to people receiving universal credit and other state support in the UK, with more than 4 million households able to apply for the package. People eligible for the BT Home Essentials package from June will pay £15 a month for speeds of about 36 megabits per second (Mbps) while the company’s equivalent offering for those not on universal credit...

Cheugy: the word you need when passé or basic just won’t do

It’s the new buzzword for being off-trend, but if you fit the description, never fear. Being a bit cheugy is acceptable and probably unavoidable Name: Cheugy. Age: Eight. Continue reading...
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