Parking-ticket bot will now help homeless people get benefits

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Stanford computer science student Joshua Browder, whose DoNotPay bot helps you fight parking tickets in London and New York (it's estimated to have overturned $4M in tickets to date) has a new bot in the offing: a chatbot that helps newly homeless people in the UK create and optimise their applications for benefits. Read the rest

#Slaveroo: Crowdsourcing a strike-fund for exploited gig economy workers

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"Gig economy" scooter drivers for London's Deliveroo service earn £7/hour plus £1/delivery, and that's nowhere near a living wage: but rather than giving their a pay rise (£9.40/hour, plus £1/delivery, plus petrol, plus tips), Deliveroo wants to cut them all to zero-hours contracts with no hourly wage and £3.75/delivery and they fired all the drivers who asked for a living wage, so naturally, drivers are crowdfunding a strike-fund to fight back. Read the rest

Burying the past in glass coffins: Victoria & Albert museum bans sketching in temporary exhibitions

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London's Victoria and Albert Museum, one of the world's great museums devoted to material culture and design, has joined a long line of museums who've allowed the owners of loaned items for temporary exhibitions to require them to ban photography and sketching of these items. Read the rest

London luxury property prices plummet after Brexit vote

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A Russian home-buyer pulled out of a "agreed offer" of £6.95m for a six bedroom Kensington flat, now it's listed for £6.75m; a three-bedroom in Swiss Cottage is down to £1.05m from £1.5m; a £1.1m 2-bedroom in Whitechapel is now £720,000; a 2bm maisonette in Notting Hill fell from £1.59m to £1.35mk; a £1.3m 5br in St. Reatham is down to £850,000 and estate agents have mutually agreed to go back to calling it Streatham. Read the rest

Post-Brexit, white-power handbills blanket a north London street

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Twitter user LDLDN posted this image of a racist National Front poster on a lamppost in Camden, a neighborhood in north London -- a relatively affluent, diverse neighborhood dominated by a giant subculture market, two huge train stations (St Pancras and King's Cross), a university, and the British Library. Read the rest

Crowd boos Boris "Leave" Johnson as he leaves his home

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Old Etonian and former London Mayor Boris Johnson -- a kind of English Trump figure -- campaigned heavily for the Leave side in Brexit, making it a proxy war for his struggle to discredit his old school rival David Cameron and wrest control of the Tory party for his faction. Read the rest

Transport for London blames Tube delays on "wrong type of sun"

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The agency says that the angle of the sunlight that strikes its tracks creates glare that blinds the CCTVs that train-drivers use to ensure that the platform is clear before pulling out of the station. Read the rest

Trump is ‘Ignorant About Islam’ and his extremism helps ISIS, says London's new Muslim mayor

Sadiq Khan, Britain's Labour Party candidate for Mayor of London, speaks to the media at Canary Wharf in London, Britain May 4, 2016.  REUTERS

The new mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says his election in a divisive campaign that drew attention to his faith should send a message to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump that Islam and Western values get along just fine.

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Sadiq Khan elected London mayor, becomes first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital

Sadiq Khan, Britain's Labour Party candidate for Mayor of London, speaks to the media at Canary Wharf in London, Britain May 4, 2016.  REUTERS

The practicing Muslim son of Pakistani immigrants has been elected mayor of London. Labour Party politician Sadiq Khan's win today is a major political milestone in the Western world.

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Tube map of "lost" London

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London is a ghost of all the things that were once there, and The Lost London Tube Map shows off some of the most famous forgotten landmarks. Biscuit Town and Bedlam are long gone, but others (like Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens) are still around to be rediscovered.

Some losses are definitely for the best. Few would welcome back the public horror of Tyburn gallows, or the miserable Marshalsea Prison. Other losses are a cause of some regret: Euston Arch and the Astoria, for example. Imagine a city where Whitehall Palace still stands, and Old London Bridge yet straddles the Thames. Of course, we're barely scratching the surface. We've not included the Overground or DLR, and have limited the scope to (roughly) zone 1. A whole heap of buildings such as Watkin's Folly and the White City Olympic stadium are left out, and we don't have room to include all the important stuff lost from central London.

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To do in London: digital storytelling with Rhianna Pratchett and Leigh Alexander

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Alice writes, "Held at BAFTA (195 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LN) Level Up will boast a discussion and celebration of digital storytelling in gaming led by a panel of renowned author-gamers, including academic and children's author Gabrielle Kent, script writer Rhianna Pratchett, and journalist Leigh Alexander." Read the rest

Lineup for London's "The Story" conference

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Matt Locke from London's "The Story" conference writes, "We've just announced the final lineup for The Story 2016, including poet Musa Okwonga, CEO of Canongate Jamie Byng, games designer Hannah Nicklin, founder of Iron Circus Comics Spike Trotman, Wolfgang Wild (@retronaut) and Dallas Campbell, who will be talking about the history of the spacesuit." Read the rest

London: the urban explorer/jewel thief's guide

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In April, Geoff "BLDGBLOG" Manaugh will publish A Burglar's Guide to the City, a new book about London's rich history of heists and the network of tunnels, catacombs, sewers, and caves that London such a paradise for would-be superthieves. Read the rest

Cybercrime 3.0: stealing whole houses

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Articles in the UK and US press describe fraudsters who used public document registries to steal entire houses, using forged documents to list the houses for sale, transferring title to them, and disappearing (or attempting to) with a lot of money in their pockets.

Iconic 1960s spaceship house now a venue for discussing the future

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Craig Barnes, a grad student at Central St Martins in Kings Cross, London, bought and refurbished one of the last 60 Futuro houses, originally designed in the 1960s as modular ski chalets by famed Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. Read the rest

A beautiful data-driven Tube ad from 1928

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This 1928 London Underground ad is a beautiful and witty example of using data to help people get the best use out of public services. By listing the tube's load at different times of the day, LU helped riders figure out how to avoid crushes, and by making the descriptions funny and insightful, the poster's creators created memorable hooks for putting the info in context. Read the rest

Police end round-the-clock Assange detail at London's Ecuadorian embassy

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Three years and £12 million later, London's Metropolitan police has ended its 24/7 surveillance of the Ecuadorian embassy, through which officers kept vigil for the day that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange would leave the building. Read the rest

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