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Jeff Bezos forgets to take mic off mute in congressional hearing

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jeff bezos forgets to take mic off mute in congressional hearing

Jeff Bezos fumbled his way through a high-profile virtual congressional hearing on Wednesday as he struggled with technical difficulties and was caught sneaking a snack on camera. 

The billionaire Amazon CEO appeared before the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel via videoconference alongside Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google‘s Sundar Pichai and Apple’s Tim Cook. 

The highly anticipated hearing, which had been postponed by two days, was plagued with technical difficulties and awkward pauses. 

During the first part of the hearing, Bezos’ image was never shown full-screen like his fellow witnesses, forcing the panel to take a 10-minute break to fix a technical issue.

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Hungry? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was caught snacking during a virtual congressional hearing on Wednesday

Hungry? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was caught snacking during a virtual congressional hearing on Wednesday

Hungry? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was caught snacking during a virtual congressional hearing on Wednesday 

The billionaire escaped questioning for about an hour due to a technical glitch

The billionaire escaped questioning for about an hour due to a technical glitch

The billionaire escaped questioning for about an hour due to a technical glitch 

He suffered another embarrassing gaffe while responding to Rep. Greg Steube (pictured) and forgetting to turn on his mic

He suffered another embarrassing gaffe while responding to Rep. Greg Steube (pictured) and forgetting to turn on his mic

He suffered another embarrassing gaffe while responding to Rep. Greg Steube (pictured) and forgetting to turn on his mic 

He managed to escape questioning for about an hour due to the glitch and was seen casually snacking on camera while lawmakers quizzed his counterparts.  

Bezos was grilled intensely later on in the hearing but continued to struggle with technology – at one point forgetting to take his microphone off mute.  

The world’s richest man suffered the embarrassing gaffe while responding to a question from Rep. Greg Steube and forgetting to turn off his mic.   

After quizzing the three other tech CEOs Steube asked Bezos for his remarks but was met with awkward silence. 

‘Mr Bezos?….. ‘You’re on mute,’ Steube said.  

Of the witnesses, Bezos is the only one who had not previously been to Congress to testify regarding tech issues

Of the witnesses, Bezos is the only one who had not previously been to Congress to testify regarding tech issues

Of the witnesses, Bezos is the only one who had not previously been to Congress to testify regarding tech issues

During the first part of the hearing, Bezos' image was never shown full-screen like his fellow witnesses ¿ and eventually the panel had to take a 10-minute break to fix a technical issue

During the first part of the hearing, Bezos' image was never shown full-screen like his fellow witnesses ¿ and eventually the panel had to take a 10-minute break to fix a technical issue

During the first part of the hearing, Bezos’ image was never shown full-screen like his fellow witnesses – and eventually the panel had to take a 10-minute break to fix a technical issue

Bezos quickly turned his mic back on and apologized for the error before giving his response. 

Lawmakers focused on asking the CEOs of Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc a barrage of questions on alleged abuses of market power.

Poor audio quality, flat-screen televisions going off and chief executives appearing together as thumbnails on a large screen led to observers on Twitter and frustrated viewers to mock the virtual set-up.

The committee did not immediately comment on the issue.

‘Worst zoom quiz night ever,’ tweeted Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, sharing a screenshot of the executives shown in small side-by-side boxes.

Viewers were frustrated with the virtual hearing that was plagued with technical difficulties

Viewers were frustrated with the virtual hearing that was plagued with technical difficulties

Viewers were frustrated with the virtual hearing that was plagued with technical difficulties 

The CEOs were later shown individually on large screens, leading some viewers to call on the Twitter account @ratemyskyperoom to judge their surroundings. 

Others criticized the executives’ sound quality or delayed audio.

It was not clear what happened with Amazon’s virtual feed, according to a congressional aide with direct knowledge of the matter.

Amazon did not immediately comment on the issue.

The committee also took a 10-minute break to fix technical issues for those in the hearing room.

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Zoo keeper savagely mauled by GORILLA and left with two broken arms, chest and head injuries

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zoo keeper savagely mauled by gorilla and left with two broken arms chest and head injuries

A zoo keeper has been savagely mauled by a 31-stone gorilla that she raised from its birth. 

The woman, 46, was left with two broken arms and chest and head injuries after the attack at the Madrid Zoo this morning.   

Malabo, a 29-year-old male gorilla, managed to  break through three doors to get to the indoor facilities of the zoo while the zookeeper was getting on with the usual breakfast routine.  

The zookeeper was stabilised by paramedics at the scene before being rushed to the Madrid Clinical Hospital in a serious condition. The Municipal Police of Madrid have taken over the investigation as it is classified as a work accident.

A statement just issued by the zoo said: ‘Given the event that occurred this morning with a gorilla keeper from the Madrid Zoo, we share our official note and our wishes for a speedy recovery for this worker.

The woman, 46, was left with two broken arms and chest and head injuries after the attack at the Madrid Zoo this morning. Pictured: Malabo the gorilla who attacked her

The woman, 46, was left with two broken arms and chest and head injuries after the attack at the Madrid Zoo this morning. Pictured: Malabo the gorilla who attacked her

Malabo, a 29-year-old male gorilla, managed to break through three doors to get to the indoor facilities of the zoo while the zookeeper was getting on with the usual breakfast routine. Pictured: Emergency services at the scene

Malabo, a 29-year-old male gorilla, managed to break through three doors to get to the indoor facilities of the zoo while the zookeeper was getting on with the usual breakfast routine. Pictured: Emergency services at the scene

‘The events took place this morning, around 10am when a keeper with 19 years of experience at the zoo accessed the indoor facilities for the usual breakfast routine, cleaning and preparing the facilities.

‘Upon entering a bounded area with a triple door, the caretaker met Malabo, a 29-year-old male gorilla, who had accessed it. 

‘The reasons why the animal was able to access the area are being investigated internally. However, the judicial investigation will determine the exact details. 

‘It should be noted that this interior area is for driving, with no exit to the public area and in this sense, the emergency protocol was quickly activated, notifying the Samur emergncy team and the municipal police. 

The zookeeper was stabilised by paramedics at the scene before being rushed to the Madrid Clinical Hospital in a serious condition

The zookeeper was stabilised by paramedics at the scene before being rushed to the Madrid Clinical Hospital in a serious condition

The Municipal Police of Madrid have taken over the investigation as it is classified as a work accident

The Municipal Police of Madrid have taken over the investigation as it is classified as a work accident

‘The zoo team managed to remove the animal and later, the veterinary team anaesthetised the animal with a tranquilliser dart, which was transferred to its interior bedroom and at the moment, it is calm.’

‘Note that Malabo has been raised by his caregivers since he was born with a protective behaviour towards the group and close to his caregivers. At this time, the caregiver has a reserved prognosis and the first thing is to wish her speedy recovery.’

‘Today, the gorilla facilities will remain closed so that both Malabo and the rest of the group are calm.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Retired lawyer quoted over half a MILLION pounds to install reliable broadband at his home

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retired lawyer quoted over half a million pounds to install reliable broadband at his home

A retired lawyer was quoted £502,586 by BT to install a reliable broadband connection at his rural Cumbria home. 

David Roberts, 65, had requested a broadband service fast enough for making uninterrupted video calls to his family and to watch All Creatures Great and Small. 

He currently pays £70 every month for a 0.9Mbps download speed and had to wait three hours to download a 20-minute video his cousin sent him of a holiday in Germany.   

The speed is well below the UK average of 64Mbps. This means he struggles with viewing standard web pages – while a Zoom meeting or a Netflix subscription is completely out of the question.

David Roberts, 65, had requested a broadband service fast enough for making uninterrupted video calls to his family and to watch All Creatures Great and Small and was given a quote of £502,586 by BT

David Roberts, 65, had requested a broadband service fast enough for making uninterrupted video calls to his family and to watch All Creatures Great and Small and was given a quote of £502,586 by BT

Mr Roberts, who lives in the hamlet of Isel, near Cockermouth in Cumbria, hoped for improvement when the government announced a ‘Universal Service Obligation’ scheme, which gives people a legal right to ‘decent and affordable’ broadband.

It obliges the government to contribute up to £3,400 towards each installation. 

However, he would still be left to foot a bill of £499,186. 

Last August he co-ordinated a group of the 29 households in the hamlet to fulfill their WiFi dreams

He was quoted £380,000 for the whole 29 houses to be supplied when he inquired last year.

Mr Roberts, who lives in the hamlet of Isel, near Cockermouth in Cumbria, hoped for improvement when the government announced a 'Universal Service Obligation' scheme, which gives people a legal right to 'decent and affordable' broadband

Mr Roberts, who lives in the hamlet of Isel, near Cockermouth in Cumbria, hoped for improvement when the government announced a ‘Universal Service Obligation’ scheme, which gives people a legal right to ‘decent and affordable’ broadband

But this year, he was staggered to get a quote back from telecoms giant BT of £502,586.40 for just his house.

Mr Roberts, who has lived in the village with his wife for 33 years, said: ‘I laughed out loud when I saw the quote. It is just ridiculous. Nobody is going to pay that.

‘The annoying thing is that the village next to us, Blindcrake, just one and a half miles away, had BT fibre broadband installed two years ago completely free of charge.

‘This is a real problem for us here, it is not just a case of wanting to be able to watch old movies on TV, but having the real need to be connected.’ 

The hamlet where Mr Roberts lives doesn’t have a shop, pub or post office, meaning its residents are already cut off from the outside world.

He said: ‘With fibre-optic broadband, rural areas are being left out in the cold.’

A BT spokesperson said: 'We're sorry for the disappointment the quote has caused Mr Roberts'

A BT spokesperson said: ‘We’re sorry for the disappointment the quote has caused Mr Roberts’

Their current broadband connection hangs by a thread as the cable is often damaged by farm machinery and has had to be repaired countless times, weakening the strength even further.

The coroner, who presided over the deaths of those killed by serial killer Derrick Bird in a shooting spree 2010, said: ‘The government’s scheme clearly isn’t working.

‘Local people don’t have that kind of money to splurge on broadband.

‘Nobody has explained to me why Openreach quoted me a figure of £380,000 to supply 29 properties with broadband and yet when it was a quote to supply just me the figure came out as just over £500,000.’

Local councillor Ron Munby and his wife Helen live nearby. Mrs Munby, 69, said: ‘We have broadband but it’s pathetic.

‘We’ve lived at Isel for 24 years now and the phone-line has always caused problems.

‘Now, of course, the broadband is carried along the same lines and the phone line was condemned years ago by Openreach engineers who say it’s been fixed so many times it’s exhausted its lifespan.’

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson was sympathetic to the affected residents and vowed to continue fighting to bring affordable broadband to Cumbria.

He suggested that the issue was linked to there being a broadband ‘infrastructure monopoly’.

The spokesman added: 'His property is several kilometres away from our nearest usable network, which means significant civil engineering, build and cabling work is needed to provide a connection.' Pictured: Lake District

The spokesman added: ‘His property is several kilometres away from our nearest usable network, which means significant civil engineering, build and cabling work is needed to provide a connection.’ Pictured: Lake District

A BT spokesman said: ‘We’re sorry for the disappointment the quote has caused Mr Roberts.

‘His property is several kilometres away from our nearest usable network, which means significant civil engineering, build and cabling work is needed to provide a connection.

‘Mr Roberts could reduce the cost by exploring other opportunities such as joining up with other homes nearby and seeing if a Community Fibre Partnership is viable – they could also use Government vouchers for this to further reduce the cost.

‘Ninety-five percent of UK homes already have access to Superfast Broadband of 30 Mbps and above and we’re working closely with Government to find other solutions for the very hardest to reach.’

Residents of Michaelston-y-Fedw, near Newport in Wales, banded together to raise money to boost download speeds from 8Mbps to 940Mbps – among the fastest speed in the UK. 

David Schofield, 56, a retired repairer of electronics, headed the group. He told The Sunday Times: ‘We did everything ourselves, all the cabling, digging up the roads and connecting the cables to a Newport hub.’

They started digging in February 2018 and had their first connection in June that year. They now have about 240 customers who each pay about £30 a month.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Leading state and private schools joint fight to scrap ‘unfair and unreliable’ GCSE exams

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leading state and private schools joint fight to scrap unfair and unreliable gcse

Leading state and private schools across the country will today launch a campaign to scrap ‘unfair and unreliable’ GCSE exams. 

More than 20 top names in education and institutions have joined together in a group called Rethinking Assessment and have written an open letter detailing their frustration with the ‘mutant exam system’. 

The former education secretary who introduced GCSEs in 1988, Lord Baker, has also signed the letter as he thinks the exams are ‘no longer needed’. 

Institutions including Eton and St Paul’s Girls’ School, claim the system ‘neither measures the right things nor is very reliable and leaves in its wake a trail of stress and unfairness’. 

Leading state and private schools across the country will today launch a campaign to scrap 'unfair and unreliable' GCSE exams. Stock picture

Leading state and private schools across the country will today launch a campaign to scrap ‘unfair and unreliable’ GCSE exams. Stock picture

The campaign to axe GCSEs comes from fears that children in the UK are some of the most-stressed in Europe.    

One in ten of those aged 5-16 have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem such as an eating disorder, depression or tendency to self-harm, according to The Sunday Times. 

The former education secretary who introduced GCSEs in 1988, Lord Baker (pictured), has also signed the letter as he thinks the exams are 'no longer needed'

The former education secretary who introduced GCSEs in 1988, Lord Baker (pictured), has also signed the letter as he thinks the exams are ‘no longer needed’

Tony Blair’s former speechwriter Peter Hyman, who is the co-director of Big Education and co-founded of School 21, also signed the letter, seen by The Sunday Times.  

Eton said the national exam system holds children back from finding their talents and passions while the headmistress of St Paul’s Girls’ School in Hammersmith said GCSEs suppress children’s creativity.  

Exam board sources have claimed that officials are already coming up with plans for pupils to sit next summer’s GCSE and A-level exams from home by doing them online – if the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t allow for testing in schools. 

However, Ofqual has said it doesn’t think online tests are the way to go so predicted grades may be used again.   

The letter warns: ‘Many young people find the relentless practice and planning for exams increasingly stressful; depression and self-harm statistics confirm this. The UK has the lowest happiness levels in Europe, according to OECD statistics. Thirty or more GCSEs in one month — intense, high-stakes, written exams couldn’t be designed better to induce anxiety.

Institutions including Eton (pictured) and St Paul's Girls' School, claim the system 'neither measures the right things nor is very reliable and leaves in its wake a trail of stress and unfairness'

Institutions including Eton (pictured) and St Paul’s Girls’ School, claim the system ‘neither measures the right things nor is very reliable and leaves in its wake a trail of stress and unfairness’

‘More than that, all pupils, however successful they are at exams, leave school with only a partial record of their strengths. No credit is given to those who are skilled communicators, thoughtful team players, clever problem solvers or creative thinkers.’

A Department for Health spokesman said: ‘Exams and assessments are the best and fairest way of judging students’ performance. We reformed GCSEs and A levels to improve education standards, so they better prepare pupils for further study and employment.

‘We expect exams to take place next year and are working with Ofqual and the exam boards on our approach, recognising that students will have experienced considerable disruption to their education in the last academic year.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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