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19/05/2019 09:29:27  

President Xi appeared open to discussing Tibet but the Dalai Lama’s hosts in Delhi were not so keen, a book reveals

China’s President Xi Jinping agreed to meet the Dalai Lama during a state visit to India in 2014, but the plan was quashed by Delhi, the Buddhist spiritual leader has said.

The bombshell claim, which could signal that in the early years of his term Xi was open to the most radical shift in China’s Tibet policy in decades, was made during an interview for a book by Indian journalist Sonia Singh, an executive at the Delhi-based television channel NDTV.

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19/05/2019 07:30:09  

Russell T Davies’s state of the nation drama traces the Lyons family fortunes with wit and thrills, while Stephen Graham is shockingly good as a traumatised man seeking his past

Years and Years BBC One | iPlayer
The Virtues Channel 4 | All4
Mum BBC Two | iPlayer
Game of Thrones Sky Atlantic

In Years and Years, the sheer gleeful inventiveness of Russell T Davies is allowed to run right off the leash and bounce like a lolloping puppy over the hills and far away. Among its many virtues, the drama has the power to splenetically enrage the most swivel-eyed outposts of both left and right. It is Davies’s state-of-the-nation attempt to distil, via a sharply clever timeline and a cast to die for, our unhinged times. It works, with splendour.

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19/05/2019 06:30:20  

The many naysayers, including myself, were wrong – it’s the best channel on TV

A shoestring revolution is happening beneath the noses of most of Scotland’s population. It’s why I watched a Glaswegian hairdresser last night discussing sex, religion and politics as he bobbed and weaved with scissors around his customer’s salt and pepper hair.

I came to bury this show but I am enchanted. The revolution is unfolding nightly on the BBC’s new Scotland channel, launched three months ago amid industry pessimism and the wide-angle cynicism of commentators like me.

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17/05/2019 20:29:20  

Separation anxiety, weight problems and a tendency to poo on the kitchen floor ... puppies and their owners submit to three months of training-cum-therapy in this new series

‘Being a puppy parent is hard work,” says the narrator in the opening seconds of Puppy School (Channel 4). This pass-the-sickbag sentiment manages to be both gratingly twee and hard to credit. The puppy’s real parent, after all, is not its owner – it’s a dog that gave birth to five others on the same day, before they were all kidnapped.

Still: puppies. An hour of watching them getting trained is bound to be cute, not to say mildly therapeutic, and involve rather less jeopardy than a Bake Off highlights reel. Canine behaviour expert Hannah rattles off the first three rules of Puppy School. “There are no bad dogs,” she says. “And there are no bad owners, and there are no stupid questions.” I very much hoped none of these things would be true.

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17/05/2019 14:30:26  

The term, we believe, is 'rekt': GPU giant loses nearly $1bn in sales, profits fall 68%

It might be a new financial year for Nvidia but familiar problems still dog the GPU specialist: the channel remains filled with too much stock and some hyperscale cloud providers aren't opening their wallets.…

16/05/2019 17:28:59  

Tycoon provided Farage with Chelsea home, car and money to promote him in US, Channel 4 News claims

Nigel Farage was lavishly funded by Arron Banks in the year after the Brexit referendum, Channel 4 News has alleged, with the insurance tycoon providing him with a furnished Chelsea home, a car and driver, and money to promote him in America.

According to invoices, emails and other documents, Banks, who regularly bankrolled Farage’s former party, Ukip, spent about £450,000 in the year after the referendum, when Farage had quit as Ukip leader, the programme said.

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16/05/2019 09:29:33  

The Labor leader summons up the legend of 1972 in Blacktown speech amid rallying cry to party faithful

The T-shirts said “it’s time” but the energy in the room followed up with a question mark. Could it really be this time?

Inside the low slung hall, you could have been in any Australian town, city or rural. But Bowman Hall, Blacktown, was deliberately chosen, a building as talisman from 1972 for Bill Shorten’s last big speech before the election.

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16/05/2019 07:29:38  

At least four ads on Cory Bernardi’s party’s page use graphics or videos from Liberal ads, and two link to a Liberal website or YouTube channel

The Victorian branch of the Australian Conservatives party has been paying to run Liberal party ads from its Facebook page.

Guardian Australia has identified at least four ads run on Facebook by the Australian Conservatives which use graphics or videos from Liberal party ads, and in two cases link directly to a Liberal party website or YouTube channel.

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15/05/2019 11:29:15  

I hated my job, scouring deprived areas for guests and whipping up their anger, and handed in my notice. It shouldn’t have taken a death for the show to get axed.

I ended up working on Trisha by accident. The show’s producers contacted my university looking for graduates, and I was offered an interview. It was an amazing opportunity to break into television – I couldn’t believe my luck. My wide-eyed enthusiasm clouded my vision from the awful reality of what was to come. (I worked on the show after it switched from ITV to Channel 5, from 2005 to 2006).

Alarm bells should have rung during “training week”, when I was paired up with a colleague for some role play. I had to imagine she was 23st, and persuade her to wear a bikini on the show. A few months later, I put this training to practical use when I succeeded in convincing a real-life plus-sized woman to do this. She walked on stage to ridicule. I was told I was great at my job.

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14/05/2019 21:28:39  

Trump gets a second term, robots perform sexual favours and humans can upload their minds to the cloud in Davies’ thrilling new show, which follows one family from 2019 to 2034

I don’t feel we deserve Russell T Davies. We don’t deserve his talent, his generosity, his glee, his unabashed joy in everything. And we don’t deserve his ceaseless willingness to pour them all out before us in endlessly glorious TV dramas, from his singlehanded resurrection of Doctor Who to Queer as Folk, last year’s magnificent A Very English Scandal – and now, Years and Years.

The new six-part drama on BBC One follows the fortunes of three generations of one Manchester family, the Lyons, from 2019 through to 2034. The intertwined personal lives of close-knit siblings Stephen (financial adviser and loving family man, played by Rory Kinnear); Daniel (Russell Tovey), a housing officer who realises his husband Ralph is not the man he should have married; Rosie (a fun-loving single mother, with none of the stereotyping that implies – she has spina bifida – played by Ruth Madeley); and political activist Edith (played by Jessica Hynes). Together with various offspring and their grandma Muriel (Anne Reid), it is all played out against a bleak backdrop that sketches out our (realistically) imagined future.

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14/05/2019 17:29:18  

Intel CPUs dating back a decade are vulnerable to latest cousin of Spectre

Intel on Tuesday plans to release a set of processor microcode fixes, in conjunction with operating system and hypervisor patches from vendors like Microsoft and those distributing Linux and BSD code, to address a novel set of side-channel attacks that allow microarchitecture data sampling (MDS).…

14/05/2019 17:28:04  

Academics have discovered a new class of vulnerabilities in Intel processors that can allow attackers to retrieve data being processed inside a CPU. From a report: The leading attack in this new vulnerability class is a security flaw named Zombieload, which is another side-channel attack in the same category as Meltdown, Spectre, and Foreshadow. Just like the first three, Zombieload is exploited by taking advantage of the speculative execution process, which is an optimization technique that Intel added to its CPUs to improve data processing speeds and performance. For more than a year, academics have been poking holes in various components of the speculative execution process, revealing ways to leak data from various CPU buffer zones and data processing operations. Meltdown, Spectre, and Foreshadow have shown how various CPU components leak data during the speculative execution process. Today, an international team of academics -- including some of the people involved in the original Meltdown and Spectre research -- along with security researchers from Bitdefender have disclosed a new attack impacting the speculative execution process. This one is what researchers have named a Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) attack, and targets a CPU's microarchitectural data structures, such as the load, store, and line fill buffers, which the CPU uses for fast reads/writes of data being processed inside the CPU. [...] In a research paper published today, academics say that all Intel CPUs released since 2011 are most likely vulnerable. Processors for desktops, laptops, and (cloud) servers are all impacted, researchers said on a special website they've set up with information about the Zombieload flaws.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

14/05/2019 13:28:49  

Actor Ian McElhinney, who played Ser Barristan Selmy in HBO’s adaptation, claimed last month that the author had ‘struck an agreement’ with the TV channel

George RR Martin has rebuffed the rumour that he has secretly finished the final two books in his Song of Ice and Fire series, after a Game of Thrones actor made the claimlast month.

Speculation began spreading online after actor Ian McElhinney, who played Ser Barristan Selmy in the HBO adaptation, made the claim on 29 April at a fan convention in Russia. “George has already written books six and seven … but he struck an agreement with David and Dan, the showrunners, that he would not publish the final two books until the series has completed,” he told the audience at EPIC Con 2019.

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14/05/2019 10:29:10  

Our cartoonist on the Premier League’s final day, channel-hopping and Tranmere’s top boy

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14/05/2019 07:28:45  

I am in a near-sexless marriage but this is making me feel like a lovesick teenager. How can I channel these thoughts into something positive?

I am a woman in my early 40s and have been married for almost 20 years. Over the past few years we have rarely had sex. This hasn’t really bothered me – I’d decided I had turned asexual. We had problems conceiving, which was a bit of a passion killer, but did eventually have a baby eight years ago (also a bit of a passion killer!). Our relationship isn’t great in other ways, as we are impatient and irritable with each other. I have long wondered if we will not stay together once our son is older, but so far, so ordinary.

A month ago I started having sexual fantasies about a man I say hello to on the school run. I feel like a lovesick teenager in that I can’t stop thinking about him, to the extent that I can’t sleep at night. It is almost like a switch has been turned back on as I haven’t had such thoughts for years and now I feel consumed by them. I recently initiated sex with my husband but it was perfunctory and unsatisfying. I have no intention of pursuing the school dad – who I barely know – as I assume he is just a representation of desire. But I feel guilty that I am thinking about him, as he is married with young children, and also confused that I am having such thoughts at all. Is it normal to suddenly feel desire again – and for an almost stranger – after so long of being not bothered? I don’t know how to stop the thoughts or channel them into something more positive.

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14/05/2019 06:29:16  

Rightwing extremists are now being deprived of their income stream from YouTube advertisements. Not to do so would be worse

Alphabet, the company that owns Google and YouTube, has quietly become one of the most powerful gatekeepers of permitted speech on the planet, along with Facebook and – within China – the Chinese government. This isn’t entirely a bad thing. Everyone agrees there are some things that have no place online, although different cultures and different countries have varying and often entirely incompatible rules about permissible speech. But an entirely uncensored internet would be a disaster for society, as everyone now acknowledges. Governments want their rules enforced, and the advertising businesses that have become the giants of social media are the players who can enforce them. If Google, Facebook, and Twitter all decide to ban a person their public profile will be extinguished and they will, in effect, disappear. Such a person may still exist on the internet, but only on the margins.

There is a halfway house between complete extinction and freedom: YouTube can choose, as a private company, not to show any advertisements against a particular channel, and even to keep for itself the donations some people make to see their comments prominently featured below a video. These sanctions were last week imposed on Carl Benjamin, the Ukip candidate for MEP, who has repeatedly discussed raping the Labour MP Jess Phillips; it is right that he should not be able to profit from such disgusting misogyny.

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13/05/2019 21:28:30  

This English remake of a Welsh drama is a splendidly wrought mass of poisonous secrets and lies festering within a family. So who did the shooting?

The only issue I really have with 15 Days (Channel 5) is timing. With its brooding air and claustrophobic setting (a huge Welsh farmhouse where the cosiness is rendered toxic by so many family members and their poisonous secrets) it is perfect midwinter rather than springtime fare.

But – and particularly for someone temperamentally better suited to colder, bleaker times – ’twas no matter. Channel 5’s four-part English-language remake of the Welsh production Diwrnod 35 (35 Days) is simultaneously satisfying and moreish at any time of year. It is intriguing without being overcomplicated and – perhaps in view of its instant digestibility – someone has made the wise decision to strip it over four nights rather than four weeks. I should think everyone who sticks with it will breathe a deep sigh of gratification rather than frustration at the end.

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13/05/2019 10:27:30  

Channel 4 execs were busy celebrating their BAFTA victory last night for their Cambridge Analytica exposé, despite mysteriously failing to put any real scrutiny on the key person at the heart of it all. Sadly one person who wasn’t sharing the love was Pulitzer-nominated journalist Carole Cadwalladr, who bitterly complained: “Its fine, lads. You take […]

The post Carole’s Bitter BAFTA Barb at Channel 4 appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

13/05/2019 02:27:53  

The Guardian profiles stay-at-home mom Jessa Jones, who taught herself how to fix her daughter's iPhone with online tutorials, eventually leading to motherboard repair work that she found through eBay. "After recruiting other stay-at-home moms in her neighborhood and teaching them electronics repair, she launched a small business from her dining room called MommyFixits. 'Suddenly our play dates became moms sitting around the dining table fixing mailed-in iPhones,' she told me." As Jones's expertise grew, she discovered that technology manufacturers used underhanded techniques to discourage independent repair. Phone and tablet parts were glued together, causing components to break when pried apart. Schematics and manuals were copyrighted and kept under trade secret. Apple even used their own proprietary "pentalobe" screws, which cannot be removed with common screwdrivers. Despite these barriers to repair, Jones knew that fixing things independently, instead of taking them back to the manufacturer, was almost always possible and often cheaper. To spread her knowledge, she started a YouTube channel called iPad Rehab, which offered step-by-step repair tutorials for other DIY enthusiasts... According to Nathan Proctor, director of the Campaign for the Right to Repair at the US Public Interest Research Group, this YouTube community is an integral part of a broader political movement that is attempting to wrest consumer agency from an increasingly consolidated electronics marketplace. Proctor says that while in the past there was a legal balance between protecting manufacturers' intellectual property and empowering consumers to tinker with, modify, and repair their own products, the rise of software in electronics has shifted power to manufacturers. Not only are the products more complex and harder to fix, the line between self-repair and hacking has become nebulous, meaning that manufacturers have been able to use digital copyright law to gain a legal monopoly over repair. This, in turn, has created a broader cultural anxiety around self-repair, a sense that when our devices malfunction, the problem can only be dealt with by so-called experts at a specific company. According to Proctor, YouTube channels such as Jones's are useful in disrupting this dynamic. "I frequently will talk to people who had something break on their phone and were told that they had to replace it with the manufacturer," he said. "But then they go on YouTube and watch a video and realize that fixing it isn't impossible, that you could learn how to or find someone who can." As a result of this, those at the forefront of the online repair community are sometimes met with hostility from manufacturers. Apple has brought suits against unauthorized repair shops and have had their intellectual property lawyers directly contact some YouTube tinkerers. "What we're giving up when we lose the right to repair," Jones tells the Guardian, "is this sense of investigation and wonder and tinkering. "We're made to see our devices as if they are these sacrosanct objects but really, they're just a battery and a screen, something that a stay-at-home mom can learn how to fix in her dining room."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

12/05/2019 13:24:17  

Coastguard called to assist Border Force as two dinghies spotted in the English Channel.
12/05/2019 07:29:00  

Toronto’s documentary festival showcased harrowing stories from Syria and Afghanistan, alongside life-affirming tales

It was a strong year for North America’s biggest documentary festival, HotDocs, in Toronto. Unlike most documentary festivals, this one offers free daytime screenings for students and senior citizens, engaging the public and paving the way for lively post-film conversations. The main buzz was created by Knock Down the House, a film about congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which launched on Netflix during the festival; and nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, about generations of injustice against the First Nations people in Canada.

But for me, two self-shot stories about heartbreak and losing everything stood out. For Sama rightly won the festival’s special jury prize for international feature documentary. It was made from video diaries shot in Aleppo by the young journalist Waad al-Kateab, whose harrowing hospital videos of the aftermath of bombings were previously broadcast to much acclaim on Channel 4 News. Co-directed with Edward Watts, For Sama follows Kateab’s story from the early days of the uprising to the fall of her city. What comes in between is hard but important to watch, with her doctor husband and his colleagues attending to the dusty, traumatised bodies of babies and children. There’s a near-constant soundtrack of the wailing of parents whose worlds have collapsed.

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12/05/2019 06:28:31  

Unleash your inner daredevil on a rough rider built for fun

Jamis Dakar MTB
£880, evanscycles.com
Frame Aluminium
Gears Shimano 10-speed
Brakes Hydraulic disc
Weight 14.3kg

I’m watching a YouTube tutorial on how to cycle down stairs. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. But my lifelong fear of falling on to concrete and smashing my front teeth out has held me back. This week, however, I’m riding a tank-like mountain bike (MTB) that is blessed with the sort of heavy-duty suspension that makes you think you could pedal off a cliff, land like a springbok and then scamper off to your next vertical drop. The video has been uploaded by Chris Carter. He has a mellifluous drawl and an upbeat, can-do delivery. He makes me believe cycling down a steep flight of stairs could, actually, be a bit of a doddle. He also keeps calling us, his viewers, “groovers”. And I feel, like… hey… dude, I’m part of this whole mountain bike gang thang.

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11/05/2019 16:29:10  

8 min: A beautiful flowing move by Derby, Mount at the centre of it. Wilson then sails in from the right flank and plays a cute pass down the channel for Nugent, whose shot is deflected over for a corner. Nothing comes from the set piece, but that’s very promising for the home side.

7 min: Bogle shuttles in from the right and rolls a pass across to Lawrence, who hits a first-time curler towards the top right. It’s always going to be miles wide, and Casilla ushers it calmly out of play.

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11/05/2019 14:28:00  

From Toby Jones’s Don’t Forget the Driver to Ricky Gervais in After Life, a new breed of ‘dark comedy’ is wowing TV critics and audiences

Rope in hand, a lone middle-aged man tramps glumly across his garden towards the sturdy bough of a tree, clearly ready to end his life. A bit melancholy for a sitcom, yes, but also very much the prevailing mood of the latest in British television entertainment.

The scene from the opening episode of the second series of the Channel 4 sitcom Flowers last year featured Julian Barratt, famed funny performer from The Mighty Boosh, but it did not begin with a laugh, or even a wry smile. Similarly, the second season of the acclaimed Fleabag this year started with a miscarriage, while Ricky Gervais opened his new Netflix series, After Life, with the depiction of a man deep in mourning – and also considering suicide. Miri, the lead character in Daisy Haggard’s Back to Life, faces a challenge almost as grim. She has returned to her home in a seaside town after serving out a lengthy prison sentence.

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11/05/2019 13:24:04  

Border Force intercepts a small boat heading towards the Kent coast with 16 people on board.