UK inequality: top 1% owns more than bottom 20%

Oxfam has released the latest version of its ongoing series of analyses of the relative net worth of the very richest when compared to the very poorest: in this case, they found that the top 1% of Britons own more wealth than the bottom 20% of Britons combined. Read the rest

Leaked catalog from UK surveillance arms-dealer full of gadgets sold to US cops

Cobham PLC is a surveillance vendor who sells to some of the world's most egregious human rights abusing governments; in 2014, they provided a catalog of cyberweapons and spy tools to Florida Department of Law Enforcement, from whom it leaked. Read the rest

Scarfolk: Win your human rights!

The dystopian satire site Scarfolk (previously) has scored another direct hit, this time on the human-rights-hating new, post-Brexit Prime Minister and the savage faction she's stacked her cabinet with. Read the rest

They're making a Twits ale from Roald Dahl's body-yeast

Roald Dahl spent the last of his days in a special armchair that he modded to help him with back pain from a WWII injury; now, in honour of the Dinner at the Twits interactive theatre events, the craft 40FT Brewery has swabbed some yeast from Dahl's chair and cultured it to brew Mr. Twit's Odious Ale, which will be served at the event. Read the rest

Inside the "sweatshop" terminally ill Britons must call to get benefits

An anonymous phone-bank worker at Britain's Department of Work and Pensions describes the cruel system under which call are handled, designed to purge the faintest hint of sympathy and to likewise deny callers access to basic, vital information without which their benefits will not be approved, or can be terminated. The DWP is who you call if you've been widowed and need help caring for your children, or when you get a cancer diagnosis, or when your organs fail. Read the rest

UK Intellectual Property Office grants trademark on "should've"

The trademark was granted to discount eyewear company Specsavers, whose slogan is "should've gone to Specsavers." If you object, you have until October 12 to file with the IPO. Read the rest

Parking-ticket bot will now help homeless people get benefits

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

Court of Appeal reverses Labour disenfranchisement ruling, but Corbyn still likely to win

UK Labour General Secretary Iain McNichol has succeeded in disenfranchising 150,000 party members in the upcoming leadership election, having spent the party's money on an appeal of a High Court ruling saying that the dirty trick that yanked the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of new members, presumed to support Jeremy Corbyn, the besieged, left-wing leader of the party. Read the rest

UK/EU security researchers: tax-free stipend to study privacy and authentication

UC London's offering a tax-free stipend for UK/EU students to work on designing and evaluating new approaches for continuous authentication, based on a solid theoretical underpinning so as to give a high degree of confidence that the resulting decisions match expectations and requirements" as well as "ways to preserve user privacy by processing behavioural measurements on the user’s computer such that sensitive information is not sent to the online service." (Image: LordHarris, CC-BY-SA) (Thanks, William!) Read the rest

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

"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

BBC will use surveillance powers to sniff Britons' wifi and find license-cheats

If you live in the UK and watch live TV or use the Iplayer video-on-demand service, you have to pay a "license fee" that directly supports public media in the UK (in other countries, public media is funded out of the tax-coffers, but in the UK, it's a direct transfer from viewers to the media, which is meant to make the BBC independent of the whims of government and thus more able to hold it to account). Read the rest

Afterbrexit: Scotland trolls Theresa May by passing laws she has ridiculed

The Brexit vote split firmly along the Scottish-English border, with the Scottish Remain vote leaving no doubt that the region wanted to stay in the EU; it's just the latest in a series of ever-more-obvious examples of the political incompatibility of the Scottish electorate with English Toryism. Read the rest

UK gives OK to Amazon for drone delivery exploration

Amazon.com says it has entered into a partnership with the British government to get the nation's aviation authority approval for deliveries via small drones.

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Crowdfunding a second anthology of great UK sf magazine Holdfast

Laurel writes, "Holdfast is an award-winning free online speculative fiction magazine that celebrates all things fantastic. We are trying to raise enough money to pay our writers and artists for their valuable work and also print a beautiful paperback. After a successful campaign for anthology #1 and winning the British Fantasy Society award for best magazine 2015 - we're hoping to create an even bigger and better anthology this time." Read the rest

US State Department press corps grill Brexit Boris over his "lies" and "insults"

Boris Johnson, one of the leaders of the Brexit movement and a lifelong racist, xenophobic clown, is now the UK Foreign Secretary, which means that he gets to do press conferences with John Kerry in front of the US State Department press corps. Read the rest

UK Royal Society's #1 cybersecurity recommendation: don't backdoor crypto

The Royal Society, once presided over by Isaac Newton, is one of Britain's most respected learned institutions: that's why it matters so much that the organisation's new report, "Progress and research in cybersecurity," begins by demanding that government "must commit to preserving the robustness of encryption, including end-to-end encryption, and promoting its widespread use. Encryption is a foundational security technology that is needed to build user trust, improve security standards and fully realise the benefits of digital systems." Read the rest

UK PM Theresa May nukes climate change department, appoints a climate denier as Climate Secretary

One of Theresa May's first act as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was to shutter the Department for Energy and Climate Change, moving the climate change to a new entity called the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, with Andrea Leadsom -- who, as Energy Minister, celebrated her first day on the job in 2015 by asking the civil service "Is climate change real?" and giving the UK coal industry a role in answering the question -- as Environment Secretary. Read the rest

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