Smurfs vs phones: GCHQ's smartphone malware can take pics, listen in even when phone is off


In a new episode of the BBC's Panorama, Edward Snowden describes the secret mobile phone malware developed by GCHQ and the NSA, which has the power to listen in through your phone's mic and follow you around, even when your phone is switched off. Read the rest

100 bold ideas the BBC can use to fight back


With five more years of Tory government on the horizon, the BBC is at its most perilous moment. Government ministers are attacking it in every way, from wanting to cut the license fee to demanding that it end all popular programming so as not to "compete" with the private sector. Read the rest

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UK bigotry party hates Time Lords, too

UK Independence Party Nigel Farage is an equal-opportunity bigot, hating Gallifreyans just as much as he hates Bulgarians and Romanians. Read the rest

The BBC made a 'controversial' new game about Syria


Games aren't just playful -- they let players inhabit characters, visit unfamiliar places or practice problem-solving within complicated systems. Read the rest

This baby goat will crash your cute-o-meter

It doesn't get cuter than Benjamin the baby goat. This BBC video has been making the rounds on social media, and you can practically hear the collective "SQUUUUUUEEEEEEE!" Read the rest

Englandland: BBC plans a theme-park

The BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, is in plans to build a themepark in the Thames estuary, in cooperation with a Kuwaiti property developer and Paramount Pictures. Read the rest

Pufferfish are amazing artists

When threatened by predators, they can inflate themselves into giant balloons that are too large to swallow. Parts of their bodies are highly poisonous. But did you know what males of one species of pufferfish do to attract mates? Create icthyological masterpieces under the sea. Read the rest
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BBC and FACT's daleks exterminate Doctor Who fansite, steal domain

One of the operators of Doctor Who Media -- one of the oldest, most respected Doctor Who fansites -- had reps from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (who produce the awful "You Wouldn't Steal a Car" ads) and the BBC thunder at his door and tell him he'd be served with a warrant if he didn't shut down the site immediately and transfer his domain to FACT. Read the rest

Brits trust Wikipedia more than the BBC, "serious" newspapers

According to a Yougov poll, 64% of Britons believe Wikipedia tells the truth "a great deal" or "a fair amount." Read the rest

How to save the CBC, making it a global online participatory leader

In my latest Guardian column, What Canada's national public broadcaster could learn from the BBC, I look at the punishing cuts to the CBC, and how a shelved (but visionary) BBC plan to field a "creative archive" of shareable and remixable content could help the network lead the country into a networked, participatory future. Read the rest

50,000 march against austerity in London, BBC doesn't notice

Joly writes, "It seems the BBC are capable of tracking down a single Scot in Brazil who cheered a goal against England but fail to notice 50,000 demonstrating on their doorstep." The Guardian noticed. There's much bigger stuff -- likely too big for the Beeb to ignore -- coming in October.

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Orphan Black turns into a high-stakes comedy of errors this week [S2E7]

Caroleine Siede reviews the latest episode of the BBC's clone drama

Premier League orders censorship of Radio Times and other legit sites, blasts ISPs for correcting their error

In the UK, rightsholders have the power to demand arbitrary censorship of websites they dislike, and ISPs are required to block those sites. The Premier League -- the multibillion-dollar football organization -- carelessly added the IP address of a major web-host to its censorship list, and as a result blocked The Radio Times (the BBC's former listing service now operated by a private company), Galaxy Zoo (an important astronomical research project), and many other legitimate sites. People who tried to visit those sites instead saw a warning saying that the sites were devoted to copyright infringement and that anyone visiting them was also infringing copyright.

ISPs were flooded with complaints, and began to unblock the sites themselves. But the Premier League is outraged at this. They say that even if the Premier League censored the wrong sites, it isn't up to the ISPs to uncensor them -- the ISPs are supposed to comply with the lists they get from rightsholders, no questions asked. Read the rest

Classic British sci-fi show Blake's 7 returns ... to Xbox

Blake's 7, the classic BBC science fiction show, is coming back.

A Microsoft-funded reprise of the 1978-1981 series is headed to the Xbox Live service, according to The Financial Times (paywall), replacing earlier plans to revive the show on the SyFy channel. SyFy's choice of director, Martin Campbell, will still helm the new production. Read the rest

Slurring BBC radio presenter yanked from air

The BBC, in an unbylined report:

"Paula White was removed after 30 minutes of her afternoon show on Friday, which was to be her last show in that slot. ... A BBC spokesman said she had been "unable to continue as she was under par". The spokesman would not say if any other action had been taken."

"I'm not drunk. I've had a couple of drinks, but I'm not drunk! [squeaks]" Read the rest

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