ShinyShiny snippets: Batteries thrown in household waste cause hundreds of fires

Batteries thrown in household rubbish bins cause about 700 fires every year in dustcarts and waste-processing centres, local authorities say. Lithium-ion batteries can explode if damaged or crushed. The Environmental Services Association says resulting fires cost fire services and waste operators some £158m a year. Non-profit organisation Material Focus, which surveyed local authorities, runs an online search tool to help people find their nearest recycling point. Found in small, rechargeable devices such as toothbrushes, toys, phones and laptops, lithium-ion batteries have become more powerful in recent years. Smaller, frequently used and cheaper devices – even some musical greeting cards – often have “hidden batteries”. BBC 

Elon Musk’s satellite Starlink technology is to be part of a UK government trial to get better internet connectivity to remote parts of the country. The technology, which uses more than 3,000 low Earth orbit small satellites to beam a broadband signal and is operated by the firm SpaceX, will initially be trialled at three remote locations – Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire Moors national park, Wasdale Head in the Lake District and two sites within Snowdonia national park, the government said. Recent tests have shown that in many locations, Starlink satellites can deliver internet speeds of up to 200 megabits a second – four times faster than the current UK average broadband speed. Guardian

Password management giant LastPass has suffered a breach of customer information in an attack that may be linked to a previous security breach in August, the firm revealed yesterday. LastPass CEO, Karim Toubba, said in a notice that there’s an ongoing investigation into the incident led by Mandiant, and that law enforcement had been notified. “We recently detected unusual activity within a third-party cloud storage service, which is currently shared by both LastPass and its affiliate, GoTo,” he revealed. Infosecurity

A crypto entrepreneur says his net worth has fallen from more than $26bn to $100,000 after his company imploded. Sam Bankman-Fried admitted it has been a “bad month” after FTX collapsed into bankruptcy, leaving thousands of people frozen out of their savings. The 30-year-old, who once positioned himself as a saviour for stricken firms, has been accused of misusing customer funds and moving $10bn out of the company in secret. At least $1bn is reported to have vanished. Speaking at the New York Times’ DealBook summit, Mr Bankman-Fried insisted that he has never tried to commit fraud and said he was “shocked” at how the crisis unfolded. Sky News 

BBC iPlayer
, the BBC’s streaming service, will soon get a major boost to its content library, thanks to an Ofcom approval which was given today. As part of the BBC’s approved proposal, the broadcaster will be able to increase the number of older shows and boxsets, from the vast BBC archives, that are available on iPlayer – making the app a better streaming destination for viewers. As it stands, when a new season of an established show debuts on the BBC, its past seasons are not always available on iPlayer. Cordbusters

Amid the spectacular fallout from the implosion of the crypto exchange FTX, the boss of buy-now-pay-later champion Klarna was quick to warn about the dangers of an over-reaction from regulators.  Sebastian Siemiatkowski said he was fearful that there could be a broader financial sector backlash at a time when “we need more competition in banking”. It’s a fair point but the Swedish payments giant, which allows consumers to defer bills and pay in installments, is among a new class of fintech hopefuls that have been threatening to upend the staid world of high street banking since the financial crash – with limited success it has to be said. Telegraph 


Chris Price