BBC fires UK government's Meterological Office, opens up weather prediction to global firms

It's a complex story -- partly about the Beeb facing privatisation and being required to bid out its work; partly about the Met having made some spectacular recent blunders in providing the weather. Read the rest

British intelligence's use of persuasion psychology

The documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed a division of British intelligence focused on the use of psychological science to influence, deceive, and infiltrate suspected terrorist cells, hostile states, criminal gangs, and activist groups. Vaughan "Mind Hacks" Bell investigates, and notes that some of their techniques draw heavily from the work of Robert Cialdini, author of Influence, an absolute must-read classic book about techniques of persuasion. Read the rest
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Tritensil: a usable spork

London's Map Project studio created the bio-plastic Tritensil for notorious tax-dodging luxury department store Fortnum & Mason, where it is provided as a disposable all-purpose cutlery item in the store's picnic hampers. Read the rest

UK govt wants your opinion on sending file-sharers to jail for 10 years

Jim from Open Rights Group writes, "Should file-sharers be threatened with up to 10 years in prison? The UK's Intellectual Property Office are consulting on this idea." Read the rest

3D maps of London Underground stations

The axonometric, not-to-scale diagrams are pretty sweet -- like the castings made of underground ant-colonies, cross with the insane arcology furutism of Paolo Soleri. Read the rest

UK ECHELON journalist: "Snowden proved spies need accountability"

Legendary investigative journalist Duncan Campbell describes his life of being kidnapped by the London Metropolitan Police's Special Branch, being surveiled and harassed by UK spies and ministers, and reveals the identity of the whistleblower who leaked the details of ECHELON to him. Read the rest

David Cameron will publish the financial details and viewing habits of all UK porn-watchers

That's not what he says—all porn sites will have to gather and retain proof of customer identity. But everything leaks, so it's what he meant.
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UK restricts dissident artist Ai Weiwei's stay over his “criminal record” in China

Ai Weiwei posted this picture on Instagram on Wednesday after the Chinese authorities returned his passport.
The artist is scheduled to be in the UK in September for a big exhibition at London's Royal Academy of Arts.

Gin with distilled wood ants

Each bottle of Nordic Food Lab's Anty Gin contains formic acid distilled from approximately 62 wood ants. Read the rest

London terror cops forced to admit they're still investigating journos who reported Snowden leaks

London Metropolitan Police anti-terror squad had refused to make any comment on whether they were investigating the reporters who broke the Snowden story for two years, but now a court has ordered them to answer -- and they've copped to it. Read the rest

How .uk came to be (and why it's not .gb)

Matt Locke writes, "It's the 30th anniversary of the .uk domain this week, so here's an oral history of the internet pioneers who made it happen, and how they fought with the US internet gurus to make it .uk, not .gb" Read the rest

UK tabloid publishes 1933 film of Edward VIII teaching Nazi salute to Queen

The Sun keeps it classy.
God save the Queen.

UK schools' "anti-radicalisation" software lets hackers spy on kids

The spyware that Impero supplies to UK schools -- which searches kids' Internet use for "jihadi" terms -- uses "password" as its default password, and the company has threatened brutal legal reprisals against the researcher who repeatedly demonstrated their total security negligence. Read the rest

UK Tories launch quiet inquiry into privatising the NHS

David Cameron repeatedly promised to protect "our NHS" but now the world's most beloved healthcare system is on the chopping block, thanks to a quiet inquiry in the unelected House of Lords. Read the rest

Little Library: miniature book-charms for necklaces, bracelets and earrings

From Abigail in Sterling, Scotland: tiny, adorable, books you wear: The Hobbit, The Little Prince, Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, Sherlock Holmes, The Fault in Our Stars, Alice in Wonderland, and any other book you desire. Read the rest

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