National / International News

AUDIO: College launches Beyonce course

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 04:24
An American university is launching a course where students can learn about the politics of the pop star Beyonce.

Queen to meet Pope Francis in Rome

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 04:24
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are to visit Rome for an audience with Pope Francis, Buckingham Palace says.

River body confirmed as missing man

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 04:19
The body of a man recovered from the River Usk at Caerleon last Thursday is that of a missing newspaper worker, police confirm.

UKIP expels gay blame councillor

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 04:16
A UKIP councillor who blamed recent storms and flooding on the legalisation of gay marriage is expelled from the party.

Market gloom spreads to Europe

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 04:10
Stock markets in Europe fall back, following sharp drops in Asia and on Wall Street amid worries of a US slowdown and weaker growth in emerging economies.

VIDEO: Peter Andre and Mr Peabody

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 04:07
Peter Andre talks about how he came to write a song for the new children's film Mr Peabody and Sherman

Watch five romance movies to save your marriage

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-02-04 04:06

Want to stay married?  Simply watch five movies with your spouse.  A just-published study by UCLA and University of Rochester looked at three ways to help couples stay together.   Intensive therapy sessions to help manage conflicts worked. So does compassion and acceptance training.  But what also works just as well, is way quicker, and could actually be fun is watching five movies in one month about relationships.  Movies and a little discussion cut the divorce or separation rate from 24 to 11 percent after three years.

You can try this at home by following the instructions here.

After 10 years of reminding you of other people's birthdays...

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-02-04 04:01

Happy birthday to Facebook! The social media giant turns 10 today which is like 80 in human years.

Facebook might be getting older, but it's looking good. The company just announced stellar earnings and a money-making strategy that had everyone excited. The reason: It's all about the News Feed.

When Facebook rolled out the News Feed in 2006, a lot of users were unhappy, but the idea took off and spawned dozens of imitators. Today Facebook pretty much is the newsfeed. 

"When I turn on my Facebook, I have it going right to the newsfeed," says Ira Kalb, a professor of marketing at USC, "Most people want to look at what their friends are doing and they also want to know what the latest news is."

Facebook's new winning strategy? Putting ads in the newsfeed instead of just next to it. Amy Mitchell, Director for Journalism Research at Pew Research Center says, "You're scanning across, just as you scan across all the other content in your feed."

Facebook's biggest challenge has been showing users mobile ads that aren't disruptive and annoying. USC's Ira Kalb says with News Feed, they seem to have cracked the code.

"They're like embedded and they fit in really well," Kalb says, "So that's why I think it really is effective."

All the information Facebook has on us doesn't hurt, we seem to like what we see. The number of Facebook ads we're clicking on is four and a half times higher than it was a year ago.

VIDEO: 'Huge demand for domain names'

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 03:54
The body responsible for assigning internet domain names says demand was about four times the level expected, ahead of a new rollout of suffixes.

Pupils expelled in hacking scandal

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 03:53
Eleven pupils who hacked teachers' computers and changed their grades have been expelled from a school in California.

Sochi course intimidating - White

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 03:52
Snowboard legend Shaun White says the Sochi slopestyle course is intimidating and requires further changes.

Sick Of Winter? Love It? More Snow And Ice Are On The Way

NPR News - Tue, 2014-02-04 03:50

The latest storm will spread from the Plains states to New England over the next day or two. And yet another system packing snow and ice is expected by Sunday or Monday. Are you enjoying all this? Dreaming of spring? Or laughing from somewhere sunny?

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Tube strike: 14 ways to overcome it

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 03:44
14 ways to navigate London life in a 48-hour strike

VIDEO: MP: I see why people don't like politicians

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 03:34
A Conservative MP who plans to stand again in the 2015 general election, compares life at Westminster with being a "sheep going through a sheep dip", and how party whips are able to "bully the workforce".

VIDEO: The battle for 'more relevant' biscuits

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 03:33
United Biscuits is rebranding the business following research into the emotional role played by its products.

Cee Lo Green denies spiking drink

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 03:26
The US singer appears in court to deny putting ecstasy into a woman's drink during a dinner date in Los Angeles.

When you lose $200,000 on a video game

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-02-04 03:15

If you know about Massively Multiplayer Online Games, you know that as a player, you can spend both fake and real money to develop your character and amass stuff. And in certain situations, you can lose the stuff you spend all that real and fake money on.

Eve Online is the largest science fiction game like this. And recently, there was a giant space war over territory in the game. And it cost some players a lot of real money. A few other terms you should know; some of the biggest space ships in this game are called "titans." And you'll see references to the N3 coalition, which was on the losing side of the war.

For an inside view, we spoke with Alex Gianturco who is a kind of powerplayer in Eve Online and was one of the leaders on the winning side of the battle. Click play on the audio player above to hear to the whole interview.

For a summary of the battle itself, read the official report from the game's developer, CCP Games. The short version is that a player faction forgot to pay the virtual rent on a territory they controlled, which temporarily lost them their hold on the area, which had some strategic value for moving ships around, but more importantly housed a space station storing a wealth of valuable ships and resources. A rival player faction quickly swooped in to gain control of the territory, and both sides continued to escalate the battle until it raged out of control over the course of about 12 hours. Some hightlights:

  • Over 2,000 individual players directly took part in the battle, with thousands more helping in the background.
  • 75 Titans -- the game's largest and most expensive ships -- were destroyed. Each is estimated to be worth around $5,000 in real world currency.
  • While it was the most costly battle with over $200,000 in virtual goods destroyed, it wasn't actually the largest battle in the game's history. Another battle last year involved more than 4,000 players directly fighting.

You can also watch a video summary of the battle here.

Mars rover looks to 'jump' sand dune

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 03:11
Nasa's Curiosity Mars rover looks set to try to drive over a one metre-high dune that is currently blocking its path to smoother ground and its next science target.

Warburton leads Wales against Ireland

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 03:00
Captain Sam Warburton returns to the Wales starting line-up for Saturday's Six Nations match in Ireland.

Fire breaks out at power station

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 02:51
Firefighters tackle a blaze in a turbine hall at Ironbridge Power Station in Shropshire.

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