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  • By Andy Slaughter MP

    The lord chancellor, Chris Grayling, is no friend to those of modest means seeking justice from his courts. He has cut a quarter of the legal aid budget, set court and tribunal fees at unaffordable levels, and exposed claimants to eye-watering costs bills that wealthy defendants often run up.

    Now he has judicial review in his sights, the legal mechanism by which an individual can hold the executive – whether that is a local council, government department or hospital trust  - to account.

    Judicial review is not an easy procedure. A judge must look at your case and decide if you have a runner.  You must raise the funds to fight your corner, weighing up the risks and deciding whether you – on your own or as a group – can really take on and beat the state.

    It  is particularly hard for those fighting planning consents for major developments, which can threaten to blight the lives or even destroy whole communities, where the council, developer and increasingly the

    Read More »from In Grayling’s Britain only the very rich can afford justice
  • Montana congressional candidate Matt Rosendale swears he doesn’t have a problem with drones.

    “I actually consider myself to be very supportive of technology,” Rosendale told Yahoo News in an interview on Tuesday.

    Still, the question had to be asked after Rosendale on Monday released a new campaign ad in which he used a hunting rifle to shoot down a drone.

    The ad opens with an overhead camera angle, with the drone menacingly hovering over the state senator.

    “I’m Matt Rosendale and this is how I'd look from a government drone,” the candidate says as he’s framed dead to rights in a digital set of crosshairs.

    “And this is what I think about it,” Rosendale says as the camera cuts to him cocking and firing a rifle. The camera switches back to the drone pilot’s point of view, with text reading “SIGNAL LOST,” after the simulated gunshot impact shatters the drone’s lens.

    Rosendale, a rancher by trade, is currently running against four other Republicans in a primary contest to replace outgoing

    Read More »from Congressional candidate shoots down drone with hunting rifle in new ad
  • By now you've surely seen dozens of news reports about the Heartbleed bug. The viral threat has led to the shutdown of various websites, widespread paranoia about password re-setting and verified attacks on Mumsnet and the Canadian social security system. But what is Heartbleed, exactly?

    There are lengthy explanations out there on how it's a bug in OpenSSL encryption, allowing for malicious parties to snoop into supposedly secure data. But one of the best and simplest explanations has come from popular web comic XKCD, who has summed up in very basic terms how the bug works, and how it can be a bad thing for you:

    The comic XKCD offers one of the most simple and straightforward explanations of the Heartbleed bug.

    Check out more xkcd comics.

     

    [ Related: What is Heartbleed, and what should you do about it? ]

    So there you have it. Of course, it's a lot more complicated than that, but at least now you have a better idea of why you're going to be spending a day changing everyone one of your passwords.

    Need to know what’s hot in tech?
    Follow
    @YRightClick on Twitter!

    Read More »from Heartbleed web comic offers the most straightforward explanation of the virus
  • By Adam Bienkov

    There is a killer that roams the streets taking tens of thousands of lives every year. This killer sneaks into our children's playgrounds, schools and even our homes.

    In London alone, this killer is responsible for around 4,000 deaths every year. But its deadly fingers extend well beyond the capital.

    In the West Midlands, 3,714 people died as a result of air pollution in 2010 according to Public Health England. In the North West, the number reached almost 5,000.

    In fact in every corner of the country, from Inner London to rural Wales, our reliance on motor cars and heavy industry is silently throttling us.

    The elderly and the young are most at risk, with studies showing that children's lungs are being permanently damaged by the rise in air pollutants.

    Across the UK, more than one in twenty deaths each year are now caused in part by air pollution. That's almost 30,000 people whose deaths could be avoided.

    But while politicians queue up to warn about the
    Read More »from Car pollution: The invisible killer politicians daren’t talk about
  • Neil Diamond (Wikimedia Commons)

    Neil Diamond can sing. He can play. He can entertain. And he can also inspire a British woman vacationing in South Africa to download his greatest hits on her phone, leading to an incredible $4,350 bill, the Telegraph reports.

    Of course, the woman, Katie Bryan, wasn't aware what the download would cost her. The math instructor told the Telegraph she discovered the data charge when she returned to the U.K. and received her cellphone bill.

    Bryan, 43, told the Telegraph, "People were playing music through their iPads or on phones through an iPod dock. Someone had put on the Traveling Wilburys but I just fancied hearing some Neil Diamond. I don't know why. He's more my boyfriend's musical taste and I'm more of a James Blunt fan."

    And so Bryan downloaded Diamond's greatest hits for what she thought was £8.99 ($15). Alas, she didn't count on the data charges. The Telegraph reports that Bryan was charged "£8 per megabyte once her 10MB monthly foreign allowance had been used up." All told,

    Read More »from Not-so-sweet Caroline: Woman billed more than $4,000 for Neil Diamond download
  • San Francisco skyline (Mike Krumboltz/Flickr)

    Landlords are supposed to want tenants to stay. Right?

    Welcome to San Francisco, where things don't always make perfect sense. Rent-controlled apartments, where city laws prevent the price of rent increasing by too much, don't come along every day in S.F. If a person has one and they've lived there for years, motivation to move out can be low. Why leave a place with below-market rent in a booming city where new residents are paying through the nose?

    Some landlords, eager to get long-term tenants out so they can raise the rent on a new tenant, are offering residents tens of thousands of dollars to hit the bricks, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. While the practice isn't new, it is seeing a renaissance in light of the recent influx of tech workers willing and able to pay more rent.

    This is a controversial topic in San Francisco, where the city has become divided over whether the resurgence of tech workers is hurting the city's culture.

    So what is a rent-controlled apartment and how

    Read More »from Some landlords in SF offering tenants big bucks to move out. Here's why
  • By Nathan Dabrowski

    To call them unlikely bedfellows would be an enormous understatement. Hard-line Conservative MPs have made a mission out of pushing for a British exit, or 'Brexit', from the European Union, threatening the very cohesion of their party. But in an especially ironic twist, the recent parliamentary skirmish over plain packaging for tobacco products could find the eurosceptics on the same side as the eurocrats.

    After what has been largely billed as a government U-turn, plain packaging is officially back on the table. The policy, based on the idea that flashy colourful pack designs are partly responsible for stubborn smoking rates in the UK, would force tobacco countries to remove any branding from their products (colours, logos, trademarks, or corporate logos). All tobacco products would henceforth be sold in standardised drab packages (a purposely 'unattractive' colour is chosen, usually black, brown or a urine-tinged yellow) with graphic images and health warnings
    Read More »from Brussels bureaucrats and Tory eurosceptics can work together to defeat plain packs
  • First lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" anti-obesity campaign released a totally '90s video promoting the White House's forthcoming Easter Egg roll.

    Creators of the video used radical graphics and standard-def 4:3 footage to make the promo look like a '90s sitcom. But instead of "Saved by the Bell" stars Mario Lopez and Tiffani Amber Thiessen, this "show" features Jim Carrey, Bo and Sunny, the "first dogs," Michelle and Barack Obama, Ariana Grande, and, last but never least, Cookie Monster.

    The party will take place April 21 on the White House South Lawn and will be live-streamed for those unable to attend.

    Online reaction to the delightfully cheeseball promo was, to use a phrase appropriate to the era depicted, "hella positive."

     

    Read More »from 'Cheesetastic' '90s-style Easter Egg roll promo from first lady's 'Let's Move' campaign
  • She Ping covered with a swarm of bees in southwest China (AFP)

    Whatever you do, don't sneeze.

    Beekeeper She Ping of Chongqing, China, managed to stand still while 100 pounds of bees (approximately 460,000 stingers) swarmed and crawled over his body, according to local media reports cited by Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

    And, yes, he did it on purpose. What can we say? The man loves bees.

    The feat was accomplished with queen bees. The queens drew hundreds of thousands of worker bees toward the intrepid She.

    Assistants use burning incense and cigarettes to drive bees away from the face of She Ping. (Reuters/China Daily)

    Helpers used incense and smoke to keep the bees away from the beekeeper's face until he was ready. We're willing to bet She buys his aloe by the gallon.

    Beekeeper She Ping (AFP)

    As for why She subjected himself to hundreds of thousands of swarming bees with the potential to leave marks, it was all done in the name of commerce. He told AFP that although he was "very nervous," he did it to promote his honey.

    "It hurt but I didn't dare to move," She told AFP.  "The main preparation is avoiding taking a shower, especially avoiding using soap because it can excite the

    Read More »from Don't sneeze! Beekeeper wears 100 pounds of bees
  • Courage of three cancer-fighting girls captured in photograph

    'Sometimes strength comes in knowing that you are not alone'

    A photograph of three young girls battling different forms of cancer has drawn hundreds of comments and  thousands of likes and shares on Facebook.

    The photo, taken by Lora Scantling, shows 3-year-old Rylie, 6-year-old Rheann and 4-year-old Ainsley sharing a tender moment. They didn't know each other before the photo was taken, but their bond seems timeless.

    Rylie is battling kidney cancer. Rheann has brain cancer. Ainsley is fighting a form of leukemia. The three girls have already come a long way and are sure to continue to fight, knowing they aren't alone.

    "I just wanted something that showed the strength and the bond and that they weren't alone," Scantling told KOCO.com.

    Rheann's mom, Valeria Franklin, told KOCO, "The girls had a lot of fun. ... It was just very moving watching their bond form."

    You can follow Rheann, Ainsley  and Rylie on Facebook.

    Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

    Read More »from Courage of three cancer-fighting girls captured in photograph

Pagination

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