BBC News


Lock out: The Austrian hotel that was hacked four times

BBC News

The internet of things (IoT) promises many advantages - smart cities with integrated transport systems, for instance - but it comes with a significantly increased cybersecurity risk. So how should we be tackling this new threat? Christoph Brandstatter is managing director of the four-star Seehotel, Jagerwirt, in Austria's Alps. His hotel's electronic door locks and other systems were hacked for ransom four times, between December 2016 and January 2017. "We got a ransomware mail which was hidden in a bill from Telekom Austria," says Mr Brandstatter.


Origami robot muscles lift 1,000 times its own weight

BBC News

Artificial muscles which allow soft robots to lift up to 1,000 times their own weight have been developed by researchers at the Wyss Institute at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).


Llanelli woman's nudist dating site £50,000 fraud

BBC News

A fraudster who met her victim on a dating website for naturists scammed him out of £50,000. Moira Etchells, 45, met Ian Chatting-Tonks in 2013 and persuaded him to lend her the cash to start a business artificially inseminating cows. Swansea Crown Court heard she spent £35,000 on a new Land Rover and banked the rest. Etchells, of Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, admitted fraud and got an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years. Widower Mr Chatting-Tonks, from Norfolk, went online to search for a new partner who was also interested in naturism, which is when he found Etchells' profile.


Apple Shazam: Why is the US company buying the music app?

BBC News

Scan your eyes over Apple's just-published list of the year's most popular iPhone apps, and there's one notable omission: Shazam. In fact, it's been a while since the song-identifying software squeezed its way into the iOS App Store's top 10. So, why has Apple confirmed it is "combining" its business with that of the smaller London company? It has not revealed the price it is paying, but the sum is rumoured to be as much as $400m (£300m), which would make it one of Apple's most expensive takeovers to date. The US technology giant also hasn't disclosed its motivations beyond saying that it has "exciting plans in store".


Drone flies through Norwich's Christmas tunnel of light

BBC News

The attraction, funded by local businesses, forms the centrepiece of Norwich's Christmas lights experience, with thousands of visitors stopping to take #mytunneloflight selfies.


Google's 'superhuman' DeepMind AI claims chess crown

BBC News

Google says its AlphaGo Zero artificial intelligence program has triumphed at chess against world-leading specialist software within hours of teaching itself the game from scratch. The firm's DeepMind division says that it played 100 games against Stockfish 8, and won or drew all of them. The research has yet to be peer reviewed. But experts already suggest the achievement will strengthen the firm's position in a competitive sector. "From a scientific point of view, it's the latest in a series of dazzling results that DeepMind has produced," the University of Oxford's Prof Michael Wooldridge told the BBC.


Nissan to trial robo-taxis in Japan

BBC News

Carmaker Nissan plans to test self-driving taxis on Japanese roads from March next year. The company is partnering with Japanese software company DeNA, which operates online services for the gaming, healthcare and automotive industries. It will adapt a Nissan Leaf electric car, which passengers will summon using an app. Nissan joins a growing band of carmakers trialling self-drive cars, including General Motors and Volvo. The free trials will be held over a two-week period in March in Yokohama.


Google pledges 10,000 staff to tackle extremist content

BBC News

Google will dedicate more than 10,000 staff to rooting out violent extremist content on YouTube in 2018, the video sharing website's chief has said. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Susan Wojcicki said some users were exploiting YouTube to "mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm". She said the website, owned by Google, had used "computer-learning" technology that could find extremist videos. More than 150,000 of these videos have been removed since June, she said. In March, the UK government suspended its adverts from YouTube, following concerns they were appearing next to inappropriate content.


Boat crash widow has £30,000 prosthetic legs stolen

BBC News

A woman who lost her leg in a speedboat accident that killed her husband and daughter has had prosthetic limbs worth about £30,000 stolen. Victoria Milligan, 45, lost her left leg below the knee in the accident in 2013. Thieves on mopeds stole a suitcase containing three specially-cast limbs from Ms Milligan's car. "I was left on the floor devastated and crying my eyes out when I found out," she told the BBC. "After what I've been through nothing surprises me anymore, but I couldn't believe it happened," she told BBC Radio London's Vanessa Feltz.


Ocado robot picks up and packs supermarket goods

BBC News

The pick station will be trialled at the firm's high-tech depot in Andover, southern England, which already features other automated technologies.