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Indonesia's Sinabung volcano unleashes towering ash column

Indonesia's Sinabung volcano unleashes towering ash column

Technology
Rumbling Mount Sinabung on the Indonesian island of Sumatra shot billowing columns of ash more than 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) into the atmosphere and hot clouds down its slopes on Monday. There were no fatalities or injuries from the morning eruption, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said. The volcano, one of three currently erupting in Indonesia, was dormant for four centuries before exploding in 2010, killing two people. Another eruption in 2014 killed 16 people, while seven died in a 2016 eruption. Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said hot ash clouds traveled as far as 4,900 meters southward. The regional volcanic ash advisory center in Darwin, Australia, issued a "red notice" to airlines. Some 30,000 people have been forced to leave homes around the mountain in t...
Rent-a-church spire plan to boost mobile phone coverage

Rent-a-church spire plan to boost mobile phone coverage

Technology
Church spires could be used to boost mobile and broadband coverage in rural areas under an agreement between the UK government and the Church of England.The government has committed to achieving good-quality mobile connectivity across the UK by 2022.While the agreement encourages churches to sign up, they will still have to negotiate the usual planning process.Digital analysts welcomed the development but said "the devil would be in the detail"."Getting access to suitable sites, particularly in rural areas, has been a real challenge for mobile operators, so any initiative aimed at improving this will be welcomed by the industry," said Matthew Howett, principal analyst at research firm Assembly.Local agreements"What's not clear, though, is what the commercial relationship looks like. There ...
Thirteen charged with US election interference

Thirteen charged with US election interference

Technology
Charges have been filed against 13 employees of a Russian troll factory which is accused of attempting to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.It is the first legal document to name the Internet Research Agency, a private organisation based in St Petersburg, of illegally interfering in US politics - although a declassified intelligence community assessment had previously asserted the organisation's attempts at interference.The 13 individual defendants and three Russian entities are accused of engaging in operations to "spread distrust" in the US and its democratic systems.After media reports that Facebook was working with the US Special Counsel investigating interference during the election, the defendants allegedly began to destroy evidence linking them to the influence campaigns...
Facebook told to stop tracking in Belgium

Facebook told to stop tracking in Belgium

Technology
Facebook has been ordered to stop tracking people without consent, by a court in Belgium.The company has been told to delete all the data it had gathered on people who did not use Facebook. The court ruled the data was gathered illegally.Belgium's privacy watchdog said the website had broken privacy laws by placing tracking code - known as cookies - on third-party websites. Facebook said it would appeal against the ruling.The social network faces fines of 250,000 euros (£221,000, $ 311,000) a day if it does not comply.The court said Facebook must "stop following and recording internet use by people surfing in Belgium, until it complies with Belgian privacy laws"."Facebook must also destroy all personal data obtained illegally."The ruling is the latest in a long-running dispute between the
Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

Technology
Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids, despite child experts who have pressed the company to shut it down and others who question Facebook's financial support of some advisers who approved of the app. Messenger Kids lets kids under 13 chat with friends and family. It displays no ads and lets parents approve who their children message. But critics say it serves to lure kids into harmful social media use and to hook young people on Facebook as it tries to compete with Snapchat or its own Instagram app. They say kids shouldn't be on such apps at all — although they often are. "It is disturbing that Facebook, in the face of widespread concern, is aggressively marketing Messenger Kids to even more children," the Campaign For a Commercial-Free Childhood said in a statement t