London Mayor sends VW a £2.5m bill for Dieselgate cheaters' Congestion Charges

Drivers in London have to pay a daily "congestion charge" intended to encourage the use of public transit and bicycles, but low-emission vehicles are exempt, and so for years, drivers of VW diesels got free rides thanks to the company's fraudulent claims about their cars' pollution. Read the rest

The Snoopers Charter is now law in the UK: "extreme surveillance" rules the land

Britain's love-affair with mass surveillance began under the Labour government, but it was two successive Conservative governments (one in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, who are nominally pro-civil liberties) who took Tony Blair's mass surveillance system and turned it into a vicious, all-powerful weapon. Now, their work is done. Read the rest

Science fiction short shot with semi-autonomous drones

Tim Maughan writes, "Thanks to all the Boing Boing crew that checked out the trailer for our Detroit LIDAR film, it'll be out soon - in the meantime our film IN THE ROBOT SKIES is now up to stream. The first narrative film shot entirely by semi-autonomous drones, it's a love story set on a highly surveilled housing estate in London. Written by me, directed by Liam Young, with music by Forest Swords." Read the rest

UK hospitals shut down by malware, advise patients to go somewhere else for the duration

3 NHS hospitals under the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust have been infected by "a virus" that administrators detected on Sunday; the hospitals are on limited operations and turning away patients until the hospitals can "isolate and destroy" the malware. Read the rest

Typical English village mystified by its cult status among Chinese tourists

Kidlington is a village of 13,723 people in Oxfordshire where nothing much happens. Read the rest

Teasmade: the classic British bedside tea-brewing alarm-clock, now available in the USA

A decade ago, I made note of the fact that the iconic UK Teasmade alarm-clocks (which automatically brew a cup of tea using an improbable, Wallace-and-Grommity/Heath Robinson set of mechanical actions) were to be reissued, and today I come to find that they now exist and can be purchased in a model that runs on US electrical current. Read the rest

UK MPs realise that age filtering won't work so now they just want to block all porn in the UK

Jim from Open Rights Group sez, "MPs have worked out that attempts to verify adult's ages won't stop children from accessing other pornographic websites: so their proposed answer is to start censoring these websites." Read the rest

EU lies and the British tabloids who told them

Last June, the Economist ran this chart: "Lies, Damned Lies, and Directives," which documents decades of flat-out lies about EU regulations that were published in the tabloid press (many invented by the UK's post-Brexit foreign minister and Trumpian hairclown Boris Johnson, whose press colleagues considered him most reckless confabulist on European matters in their ranks). Read the rest

Partially nude dead Briton with cold-cuts on his buttocks and his penis in a tuna can found tied up outside Malaga airport

No one is sure how 51 year old British man ended up dead, pantsless, tied to a bench in front of the Malaga airport with luncheon meat on his buttocks and his penis in a can of tuna fish. Read the rest

Tory minister's filibuster kills Turing's law and pardons for 65,000 persecuted gay men

Conservative justice minister Sam Gyimah staged a sucessful filibuster during the Parliamentary debate over "Turing's law", which would make the 65,000 men convicted of "gross indecency" under various UK anti-sodomy laws eligible for pardons, clearing their criminal records. Read the rest

Great post-mortem on The Inbetweeners USA vs. UK

The Inbetweeners is a great British comedy series that bombed when remade for an American audience. How can the same characters, plot lines, and jokes work so well in one case and fail in the other? YouTuber JackWolf dissects some examples, brilliantly explaining the essence of good comedic directing and editing. Read the rest

Grass sprouted in worn Persian rugs

Austrian artist Martin Roth created an installation of grass sprouted in worn Persian rugs at the UK's Korean Cultural Centre; the grass sprouts, dies, and ruins the rugs. In between, the room looks and (apparently) smells amazing. Read the rest

Turing's law: UK to retroactively pardon thousands of men prosecuted for having sex with men

When the Crown pardoned codebreaking war-hero and computer science pioneer Alan Turing in 2013, we noted that 50,000 other British men who were also convicted of "sodomy" remained criminals in the eyes of the law. Read the rest

UK government proposes issuing Britons with unique porn-viewing ID numbers

The UK government says it wants to stop people under 18 from looking at pornography, and so it's going to make all the porn sites operating in Britain collect some kind of age-verification in order to make this happen, on pain of being blocked by the UK's Great Firewall. Read the rest

UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal says GHCQ illegally spied for 17 years

The independent tribunal ruled on a case brought by Privacy International, concluding that the UK spy agency GCHQ was acting illegally for 17 years while it amassed huge databases of "bulk collection" data of cellphone location and call-data -- a practice revealed by the Edward Snowden docs. Read the rest

Wikileaks: Assange's internet access was cut off by Ecuador

Following on their earlier statement that "Julian Assange's internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party," the Wikileaks organization has accused Ecuador of being that state party. Read the rest

Lawsuit would force Parliament to vote on Brexit

Gina Miller, an "investment manager," has brought a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Brexit referendum, arguing that UK law requires a Parliamentary vote on the matter before the government can act on it. Read the rest

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