Top Twenty Stories

Artist's view of a binary black hole. Pic credit: NASA, ESA and G Bacon (STScI)

Boffins clock MONSTER BLACK HOLES inside quasar-hosting galaxy near Earth

Scientists have spotted two central black holes raging and skating around each other in Markarian 231 (Mrk 231) – the nearest galaxy to Earth that hosts a quasar.
Team Register, 29 Aug 2015
Uber launch party by https://www.flickr.com/photos/5chw4r7z/ CC2.0 sharelalike attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Uber pulls up to the bumper, plonks Jeep hackers into driving seat

Uber has hired two security researchers as it shifts gears on its biz strategy with plans to develop driver-free cars.
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Aug 2015
Richard Pryor ...Is It Something I Said?

Black and blue: The rise of the riotous Richard Pryor

Feature Readers are advised that a number of the video clips featured in this article contain colourful language of a NSFW nature.
Phil Strongman, 29 Aug 2015

FORKING BitcoinXT: Is it really a coup or just more crypto-FUD?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Bitcoin is about to fork off. Too forking right, some of you may cheer. But a great many Bitcoin “users” – miners, developers, retailers and spenders – are against the idea. If you ask them about it, they’ll tell you they don’t like being forked about. Some of them say they couldn’t be forked.
Alistair Dabbs, 29 Aug 2015
Microsoft monopoly

US trade watchdog deep-sixes patent infringement claim against Microsoft

Microsoft has swerved a potentially crushing blow to its vanishingly small mobile biz, after a US watchdog swiped away a request to block the import of its Lumia handsets into the country.
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Aug 2015

Dropbox DROPS BOX as service GOES TITSUP worldwide

Dropbox suffered a major outage across the globe today – the company blamed "routine internal maintenance" for the significant wobble, which appears to be ongoing.
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Aug 2015
Human cannonball

So, was it really the Commies that caused the early 20th Century inequality collapse?

Worstall @ the Weekend What with both the Corbynistas and Sandersistas on their various sides of the pond bringing back into the political mainstream the somewhat discredited ideas of state directed economies and socialism lite, perhaps it's time to have a look at one of the arguments used to bolster those ideas.
Tim Worstall, 30 Aug 2015
Roadside Advice in South Dakota by https://www.flickr.com/photos/plannerjohn365/ cc 2.0 attribution noderivs generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

In redneck heaven, internet outages are the American Way

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our regular reader-contributed tale in which we reveal the odd things you've been asked to do at all hours.
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2015

Jeep Cherokee 2.2: Capable, comfortable ... but just not very Jeep

Vulture at the wheel Ever since Fiat became FCA – Fiat Chrysler Automotive – there has been something a bit incongruous about the mix of brands. An Italian Jeep takes a bit of getting used to. Refined ride, exceptionally nice leather, a responsive automatic gearbox, multi-link rear suspension.
Simon Rockman, 29 Aug 2015
New Horizons spacecraft approaching Pluto

NASA names New Horizons' next target

NASA has tentatively named the next target for its New Horizons' probe.
Elton John as Pinball Wizard in the 1975 movie Tommy

Don't go breaking my shrimp: Boffin names crustacean after Elton John's appendage

Elton John's appearance as the Pinball Wizard in the 1975 movie Tommy has inspired a scientist to name a newly-discovered crustacean after the British rock star.
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Aug 2015
NVIDIA GRID old kepler models

NVIDIA reveals GPUs for blade servers, Linux desktop support

VMworld 2015 NVIDIA has announced the second version of its Grid desktop virtualisation software, complete with a pair of GPUs for blade servers.
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2015
Battery_Andy_Armstrong_CC_2_Flickr

Slip-streaming Tesla, Oz battery-maker plots home-biz launch

Australian battery researcher and manufacturer Redflow is hoping to get a jump on Tesla, prepping its own entry into the residential battery market.

Friday beers scam up 240 percent, inflicts $1.2 billion in damages

Fake email supplier scams are booming and have inflicted $1.2 billion in damages to businesses globally in the past year according to the FBI.
Darren Pauli, 31 Aug 2015

Boffins laugh at Play Store bonehead security with instant app checker

An armada of university researchers have devised a novel method of detecting malicious applications on Android app, and by way of demonstration have dug up 127,429 shady software offerings, including some bearing exploits for a whopping 20 zero days.
Darren Pauli, 31 Aug 2015

Linux Foundation releases PARANOID internal infosec guide

Linux Foundation project director Konstantin Ryabitsev has publicly-released the penguinistas' internal hardening requirements to help sysadmins and other paranoid tech bods and system administrators secure their workstations.
Darren Pauli, 31 Aug 2015
still_life_with_skull_cropped_648

Cisco ISE carries HTML authentication bug

Cisco's identified a bug in its Identity Services Engine: its admin portal doesn't properly authorise HTML requests, and that can let an attacker see custom pages an admin has created.

Ruskie ICS hacker drops nine holes in popular Siemens power plant kit

Ilya Karpov of Russian security outfit Positive Technologies has reported nine vulnerabilities in Siemens industrial control system kit used in critical operations from petrochemical labs and power plants up to the Large Hadron Collider.
Darren Pauli, 31 Aug 2015
A-10 Warthog - US Air Force image

US to stage F-35-versus-Warthog bake-off in 2018

US brass-hats have decided when the F-35 “Joint Strike Fighter” will finally be ready to take on the ancient A10 “Warthog”: in another three years, give or take a little.
MIAOW architecture

Boffins unveil open source GPU

It's a kitten rather than a roar right now, but if the MIAOW project unveiled at last week's Hot Chips conference can get legs, the next year could see the launch of the world's first “open GPU”.