Web

BBC accuses, condemns China of blocking World Service broadcasts

bbc-world_serviceThe BBC issued an official statement on Monday responding to reports that transmission of its World Service English broadcasts were being jammed in China. The broadcast follows a team of BBC journalists who were detained by the Chinese military and had their footage confiscated as the result of a recent investigation into a rumored secret branch of the military specializing in cyber espionage.

In the statement, the BBC says that although it is currently impossible to definitively identify the source of the signal jamming the World Service English broadcasts, “the extensive and co-ordinated efforts are indicative of a well-resourced country such as China.” BBC further notes that the publicly-funded broadcaster “strongly condemns this action, which is designed to disrupt audiences’ free access to news and information.”

This kind of jamming is sadly far from unknown by the BBC; recently, BBC Persian transmissions in Iran have been subject to this kind of treatment, and during the days of the Cold War, the World Service was also blocked using a similar method of jamming the shortwave frequency that the station was broadcasted on. In addition to shortwave, the World Service is transmitted across the globe on both AM and FM radio, as well as digitally and through satellite providers; All told, it is estimated to reach a weekly audience of around 239 million listeners internationally. Lastly, the corporation has found its satellite broadcasts also being jammed in recent years.

It’s unknown whether this current World Service English jamming is related to BBC Beijing correspondent John Sudworth who was detained by Chinese military last week while investigating the suggestion by Mandiant, an American cyber security firm, that one of the “most prolific” Internet threats to security is connected to (or, indeed, actually made up of) China’s second Bureau of the People’s Liberation Army. “We were stopped pretty promptly from filming,” Sudworth subsequently told BBC News about the experience. “We were briefly detained by military personnel at the gates, taken inside the base and they refused to let us go until we agreed to give up our tape.”

Officially, Chinese authorities deny Mandiant’s allegations, although on Monday, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Dianne Feinstein described the Mandiant report as “essentially correct” during an appearance on MSNBC.

Emerging Tech

Unexpected particle plumes discovered jetting out of asteroid Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx craft traveled to asteroid Bennu last year and won't return until 2023. But the mission is already throwing up unexpected findings, like plumes of particles which are being ejected from the surface of the asteroid.
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Emerging Tech

A silver bullet is being aimed at the drug-resistant superbugs on the ISS

A bacteria which is benign here on Earth can mutate into a drug-resistant superbug once it enters space. Now this problem is being tackled by a team of microbiologists who have found a way to inhibit the spread of bacteria in the ISS.
Movies & TV

In the new Hellboy clip, a giant problem leaves our favorite demon unimpressed

Hellboy is returning to the big screen in April 2019, with Stranger Things actor David Harbour taking on the title role. Here's everything we know so far about the reboot of the franchise.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Don’t be fooled! Study exposes most popular phishing email subject lines

Phishing emails are on the rise and a new study out by the cybersecurity company Barracuda has exposed some of the most common phishing email subject lines used to exploit businesses. 
Web

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Mobile

You can now listen to Google Podcasts on your desktop without the app

The Google Podcasts app is no longer entirely necessary to listen to the podcasts it offers. With a simple tweak of the sharing URL, you can listen to a Google Podcasts podcast on your desktop or laptop without the app.
Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.