Brexit, Chicken and Ulysses Pacts: the negotiating theory behind the UK-EU stalemate

Ever since Thomas Schelling -- an advisor on Dr Strangelove! -- published his work on negotiating theory and nuclear deterrence, we've developed a rich vocabulary for describing negotiating tactics and their underlying theories. Read the rest

Britons: don't let Trump mine your data

Charlie from Open Rights Group writes, "'I have made it clear in my campaign that I would support and endorse the use of enhanced interrogation techniques.' - Donald Trump, 15/2/2016." Read the rest

Accounting fraud admission wipes £5.5b off BT's valuation

The former UK national phone company BT announced that it's writing down the value of its Italian operation by £530m because it has been committing accounting fraud for years, triggering a mass sell-off of its shares, wiping £5.5b off the company's valuation. Read the rest

Bristol cops mistake their own race relations advisor for a suspect, taser him in the face at the gate of his home

Judah Adunbi is a 63-year-old black man who lives in Bristol, England, where he volunteered as chairman of the independent advisory group on race relations; police confronted him while he was walking his dog in front of his home on Saturday. When he refused to show them ID, they tasered him, sending him crashing to the ground, cracking his head on the pavement. Then they charged him with "assaulting a constable in the course of his duties." Read the rest

Germany, France and the UK are moving the EU to continuous, unaccountable, warrantless mass surveillance

Recent surveillance laws in Germany, France and the UK require online service providers to store (undoubtedly leaky and infinitely toxic) databases of everything you do online, and allow government agencies to raid these databases without accountability or meaningful oversight). Read the rest

Liberty is crowdfunding a lawsuit to challenge the Snoopers Charter

Liberty UK and The Civil Liberties Trust are raising funds online to fund high-stakes litigation against the UK government over the Snoopers Charter, a mass-surveillance law that requires tech companies and telcos to retain everything you do online and hand it over to government, law enforcement, and private contractors without warrants or even minimal record-keeping. Read the rest

One year 40% HIV infection dropoff in London attributed to grey-market generic pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs

Taking pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs like Truvada before having unprotected sex with HIV+ people can significantly reduce the risk of infection (the drugs can also be taken after potential exposure); though this use is approved in England, the NHS does not yet cover Truveda prescriptions, so people who wish to take the drug are expected to pay £400/month. Read the rest

24 hours of the BBC's Radio Four, in four minutes

Jake Yapp is a British comedian who specialises in doing high-speed summaries of pop culture phenomena, like this Radio Four in 4 Minutes sketch, which is a work of genuine genius, especially the radio drama bits. Read the rest

Laser-cut, wall-mounted Millennium Falcon clock

The $38 Millennium Falcon wall clock is handmade to order from plywood, birch and MDF by Hamstercheeks in Nottingham, UK, who uses a laser-cutter to turn orders around in 2-5 business days (the clock itself is an AA-powered quartz sweep movement). (via Geekymerch) Read the rest

The average FTSE 100 boss earns as much in 2.5 days as his (yes, his) median employee earns in a year

The great recession and austerity have been very good to the chief executives of Britain's biggest companies: according to the High Pay Center, the average compensation for FTSE 100 CEOs rose 10% in 2015, to £5.5m -- meanwhile, UK workers' wages have stagnated year on year, averaging £28,200. Read the rest

Drive a nail through 2016 with Charlie "Black Mirror" Brooker's Screenwipe

Literally one of the most exciting moments I had in 2016 was the realization, well into the year, that Charlie Brooker -- creator of Black Mirror, Nathan Barley and TV Go Home -- was going to have to make sense of the entire annus horribilis in his annual Screenwipe special (previously). Read the rest

Uber's VAT-avoidance means it owes millions to EU states and will face huge cuts to future EU profits

The 2015 UK Employment Tribunal case that determined that Uber drivers were employees means that Uber will have to give the UK government 16.67% of its drivers' earnings for Value-Added Tax, going back four or more years (that would be £20M for 2015 alone); and the ruling will likely apply to Uber's EU-wide rules (because VAT rules are harmonized across the EU) -- so not only does Uber owe hundreds of millions to EU governments for the past 4+ years' earnings, but it will face a 16.67% (or more) reduction to all future earnings. Read the rest

Europe's top court says UK surveillance rules are unconstitutional

Last July, the European Court of Jutice's Advocate General ruled that the UK's mass surveillance regime was unconstitutional, triggering an appeal to the ECJ itself, which has affirmed that under European law, governments cannot order retention of all communications data; they must inform subjects after surveillance has concluded; must only engage in mass surveillance in the pursuit of serious crime; and must get independent, judicial authorization. Read the rest

Europe's Brexit negotiators will offer Britons the right to opt into EU citizenship

The European Parliament's Chief Negotiator plans to offer British nationals the right to opt into "associate citizenship" in the EU, with the right to travel and work in the continent. Read the rest

Macabre chocolates: bird skulls, conjoined fetal skulls, and dolls-head lollies

Annabel Lector of Conjuror's Kitchen makes rather spectacular, macabre chocolates: gilded crow's skulls, kitten's skulls, conjoined fetal skulls, barn owl skulls and even a chocolate life-mask of Vincent Price and doll head lollipops. (via Wil Wheaton) Read the rest

In Africa, British spies target allied leaders, executives, and telcoms engineers

Le Monde has published a new collection of documents from the whistleblower Edward Snowden, showing that the British spy agency GCHQ targeted the leaders of allied countries in Africa, as well as business executives and employees of telecommunications companies, whose accounts were a means to gaining access to communications infrastructure across the continent. Read the rest

UK cops beat phone encryption by "mugging" suspect after he unlocked his phone

Detectives from Scotland Yard's cybercrime unit decided the easiest way to get around their suspect's careful use of full-disk encryption and strong passphrases on his Iphone was to trail him until he made a call, then "mug" him by snatching his phone and then tasking an officer to continuously swipe at the screen to keep it from going to sleep, which would reactivate the disk encryption. Read the rest

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