Tech Digest daily round up: #TuringChallenge marks £50 launch
GCHQ has created its toughest puzzle ever in honour of Alan Turing appearing on the new £50 note. The Bank of England revealed the note’s design featuring the scientist and mathematician on Thursday, as GCHQ officials said their new treasure hunt involving 12 puzzles “might even have left him scratching his head”. Mr Turing was a pioneer of modern computing and hugely instrumental in breaking the German Naval Enigma cipher in 1942, at Bletchley Park – GCHQ’s wartime home. For more information go to GCHQ’s Turing Challenge.
OneWeb, the satellite firm which was rescued by the UK Government last year, has today confirmed the successful launch of 36 new satellites to grow its total constellation to 146. The satellites are expected to be part of a low-earth orbit fleet of 648 satellites which will help deliver high-speed internet across the world. OneWeb is planning for its services to cover all regions above 50 degrees latitude by the middle of this year, which includes countries such as the UK, Canada and Alaska. It is expecting to have a global reach by 2022. The Government has a 20pc stake in OneWeb. Telegraph
Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it had blocked a group of hackers in China who used the platform to target Uighurs living abroad with links to malware that would infect their devices and enable surveillance. The social media company said the hackers, known as Earth Empusa or Evil Eye in the security industry, targeted activists, journalists and dissidents who were predominantly Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group facing persecution in China. Facebook said there were less than 500 targets, who were largely from the Xinjiang region but were primarily living abroad in countries including Turkey, Kazakhstan, the United States, Syria, Australia and Canada. France 24
Penises are shrinking and genitals becoming malformed because of pollution, an environmental scientist has warned in a new book detailing the challenges facing human reproduction. Dr Shanna Swan writes that humanity is facing an “existential crisis” in fertility rates as a result of phthalates, a chemical used when manufacturing plastics that impacts the hormone-producing endocrine system. As a result of this pollution, a growing number of babies are being born with small penises, Dr Swan writes. Sky News
An image that captures streaks of polarised light swirling around a supermassive black hole is providing new insight into how galaxies can project streams of energy thousands of light-years outward from their core. Black holes are places where the pull of gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape. Most surrounding matter gets sucked in, but some particles escape just moments before they are captured and are blown far out into space. These bright jets of energy and matter are one of the galaxy’s most mysterious features. Researchers suspect the jets are launched and shaped by magnetic fields, but the evidence for this is limited. Guardian
Labour’s shadow business minister Ed Miliband has called for interest-free loans to help low and middle-income families purchase a new electric vehicle (EV). The Minister has also suggested that a new national scrappage scheme should be introduced as part of efforts to deliver on the UK’s ambitious Road to Zero plan to reduce CO2 emissions, claiming that Government was currently “asleep at the wheel” in its facilitation of the shift to EVs. Parliament’s opposition party is taking the opportunity to highlight the importance of support for EV sales just a week after the Conservative Government cut the plug-in car grant (PiCG) from £3,000 to £2,500 – the second cut to the incentive in a year – while also lowering the cap for eligible vehicles from £50,000 to £35,000. Automotive Management