How Epson's patent trolling is killing the EU market for replacement ink

If you're thinking of buying an Epson printer, think again (if you were unlucky enough to buy one already, consider switching): in an industry marked by the dirtiest of tricks to force customers to spend vast fortunes on ink that costs pennies to manufacture, Epson has marked itself out as a true innovator of sleazy tactics. Read the rest

Instagram to blur self-harm images after Molly Russell's suicide

Molly Russell, 14, took her life in November 2017.

No Deal Brexit will lead to "putrefying stockpiles of rubbish" and "slurry"

If the UK does not secure a Brexit deal, it will lose its export license for "millions of tonnes of waste," meaning that the British Isles will have to find somewhere to stockpile all that waste, with concomitant "odours" and "runoff of leachates, causing secondary pollution." Read the rest

RIP, Jeremy Hardy, one of the UK's funniest lefty comedians

I first encountered Jeremy Hardy as a panelist on Radio 4's News Quiz, where he frequently reduced me to tears of hysterical laughter; I went on to buy the full back-catalogue of his old Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation shows and devoured them, going back for several re-listens. Read the rest

Local council seeks additional funds for Thatcher statue to pay for a tall anti-vandal plinth

Margaret Thatcher is one of history's great monsters, a kind of slow-motion Stalin whose ideological extremism plunged Britain into decades of decline and inequality, and whose sympathy for genocidal tyrants like Pinochet were a key factor in the wholesale slaughter of political dissidents: so, of course, her hometown of Grantham is putting up a statue in her honour (Stalin's hometown also has a statue!). Read the rest

Tory voters: are you happy with your purchase?

British political satirist Jonathan Pie (previously) has a pointed question for Tory voters on the eve of the omnishambolic Brexit collapse: "Are you happy with your purchase? "Because this is what you get when you vote Tory." Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica pleads guilty, faces the first in a probable series of criminal convictions

EU privacy rules force European companies to surrender data they hold on anyone, anywhere; and that includes SCL Elections, which owned Cambridge Analytica, the notorious Facebook data-miner and election-manipulator that extravagantly claimed to have won the election for Donald Trump. Read the rest

London Heathrow airport departures halted after drone sighting

First Gatwick, now Heathrow. Departures at London’s Heathrow airport were stopped for some time on Tuesday after a drone sighting was reported to authorities. Read the rest

Drone sighting closes Heathrow

Last month, London's Gatwick airport (the second busiest airport in the UK) was closed for several days after drones were sighted in its airspace. Read the rest

Help Wanted: a Data and Democracy specialist for for the UK Open Rights Group

ORG -- the UK Open Rights Group (disclosure: I am a co-founder and volunteers on its advisory board) is hiring a Data and Democracy Project Officer: "responsible for delivering our work on preserving democratic integrity in the digital age. This role has two main areas of focus: 1) electronic voting and 2) the use of data in political campaigns. The Data and Democracy Project Officer will work closely with ORG’s Scotland Director, the Policy Director and the Executive Director." Read the rest

760 flights diverted from Gatwick airport after drone scare, affecting 110,000 passengers

On Wednesday night, in a "deliberate act of disruption" (but not "a terror attack") someone flew a drone of "industrial specification" into the airspace of London Gatwick airport, the city's second-busiest, causing all flights in and out of the airport to be suspended; the disruption has affected 760 flights carrying 110,000 passengers (so far) and the ripple effect is expected to last for "several days." Read the rest

Official UK investigation of $100 billion laundered through Scottish Limited Partnerships ignores all evidence

Scottish Limited Partnerships are notorious financial secrecy tools that have been used to launder an estimated $100 billion on behalf of ex-Soviet gangster-oligarchs. Read the rest

UK grocer offers strange new tea flavors: Brussels Sprouts and Pigs in Blankets

Back in October, Sainsburys grocery chain launched two new questionably-flavored teas based on UK Christmas dinner favorites: Brussels sprouts and pigs in blankets.

Metro:

Yes, you can now drink meat or vegetable flavoured tea and we’re not quite sure what to think.

In hopes of helping anyone looking for unusual gifts, Sainsbury’s decided to create a green tea which is made using actual Brussels sprouts, as well as a tea which features the smoky flavour of sausages, sage and rosemary.

The supermarket says the tea will make the ultimate stocking filler for any foodie – especially as it’s only £1 for 20 teabags.

Despite the name of the pigs in blankets flavour, it is suitable for vegans and is totally calorie free, and is apparently best enjoyed without milk.

Hard pass.

Image via Metro

Thanks, Veek! Read the rest

Theresa May faces a no confidence vote today

Today, in a debate scheduled to run between 18h-20h GMT (10AM-12PM Pacific), Theresa May's Conservative Party will vote on whether she will remain leader of the party and thus Prime Minister. Read the rest

The Occult Defence Agency Budgeting Simulator: a text adventure that pits monster-slaying against austerity

In the Occult Defence Agency Budgeting Simulator, you are placed in charge of the budget for an organisation whose mission is "defending the United Kingdom from paranormal threats. Vampire covens, stray werewolves, pixie swarms, cultists with funny robes and impractical daggers, unlicensed hauntings, and more obscure matters" -- but you are British, and that means your boss is a government minister who insists that you make headline-grabbing "swingeing cuts" every year. Read the rest

UK minister says airlines used "exploitative algorithms" to split up families unless they paid extra

UK Digital Minister Margot James has vowed to crack down on "exploitative algorithms" used by airlines that deliberately split up families' seat assignments if they did not pay for pre-assigned seats; James says that the airlines used these algorithms to coerce families into paying for pre-assigned seating. Read the rest

UN poverty envoy calls UK poverty a "political choice" that inflicted "great misery"

Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, has followed up his scorching condemnation of US poverty with an even more damning report on poverty in the UK, which he calls a "political choice" brought on by a decade of austerity at the hands of the Conservative Party. Read the rest

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