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Valentine's Day prompts mini baby boom, NHS data shows

It is a day known for ostentatious displays of romance. But it appears Valentine’s Day really does lead to love in the air after new figures, for 2015, showed an increase in conceptions around the day. NHS England data shows there were an estimated 16,263 conceptions in England in the week of Valentine’s Day and 16,344 the following week. That number was higher than the weekly average of 15,427 conceptions and second only to the Christmas period. Christmas conceptions lead to baby boom Biggest UK population rise for 70 years…

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Crypto-cash boom prompts graphics card rationing

Booming interest in crypto-currencies has been blamed for pushing up the prices of graphics cards. The cards are popular because they speed up the process of minting or “mining” crypto-coins. Keen miners are buying graphics cards in large quantities and running them in parallel to boost their coin-producing efforts. Their actions have led some makers and sellers of graphics cards to limit how many people can buy at any time. Writing on PC Gamer, Jarred Walton said: “Right now is the worst time in the history of graphics cards to…

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Cyber-thieves seek to cash in on Bitcoin boom

Bitcoin’s booming value has driven a huge rise in crypto-currency themed malware, say security firms. In one month, anti-malware software company Malwarebytes said it stopped almost 250 million attempts to place coin-mining malware on to PCs. Symantec said it had seen a “tenfold” increase in the amount of malicious code connected with crypto-cash. Cyber-thieves are using both dedicated software, hacked websites and emails to snare victims. Cashing in “There’s been a huge spike,” said Candid Wuest, a threat researcher at online security firm Symantec, adding that it had been caused…

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Bitcoin boom prompts growth of coin-mining malware

The booming price of Bitcoin and other crypto-coins has kicked off a gold rush among malicious hackers keen to cash in, warn security firms. Many sites are now harbouring code that secretly uses a visitors’ computer to mine the valuable e-cash coins. The code is inserted by hackers who exploit poor site security or web software bugs. The problem has led Google engineers to consider putting protections against mining in the Chrome browser. Freshly minted Earlier this month, hundreds of websites were found to be running code created by the…

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Smartphone sales boom with over-55s

Smartphone sales are booming with older consumers in the UK, according to a study of the market. It indicates that 71% of 55-to-75 year olds now own an app-capable handset. The research also suggests that the age group has seen a faster adoption rate than any other over the past five years. But it also highlighted that members of the demographic tended to use their smartphones less than younger people. For instance, about 20% said they checked their phones within 15 minutes of waking compared with a national average of…

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Dark web markets boom after AlphaBay and Hansa busts

Trade on several of the dark web’s illegal markets has boomed since two major players were shut by the authorities last month, according to research carried out for the BBC. The US and Dutch authorities forced AlphaBay and Hansa offline to prevent the sale of drugs, weapons and malware. But over the last week of July, other sites saw their number of listings rise by as much as 28%, the study indicates. Sales of some goods do, however, appear to have been reduced. “There is growing evidence that when one…

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Travel 

News: UNWTO: International tourist arrivals continue to boom

International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by six per cent in January-April of 2017 compared to the same period last year, with business confidence reaching its highest levels in a decade. Sustained growth in most major destinations and a steady rebound in others drove results. Prospects for May-August 2017 remain high. Destinations worldwide received 369 million international tourists (overnight visitors) in the first four months of the year, 21 million more than in the same months of 2016, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. The January-April period usually represents…

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