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Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast • The Register

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We know how much most of you Reg readers enjoy a full English breakfast. The crispy saltiness of the bacon. The savoury runniness of the fried egg. The soft sweetness of the baked beans. A proper full English fry-up is a work of culinary art when done well.

But depending on how many elements you choose to include, the timings on when to start cooking each individual ingredient can be difficult to manage.

Can you just chuck everything in together, or do you need to cook in stages according to cooking times for each piece? How long should you cook the mushrooms for? Do they go in before or after the eggs? You only only get one shot at this and you don’t want to mess it up, because a ruined breakfast is not an option.

Fortunately, our fellow fry-up connoisseurs at The Mirror have worked out the perfect timings for a full English so that everything cooks together and comes out piping hot at the same time, meaning all you have to do is drop the lot on a plate and tuck in.

Some of these suggestions will be controversial, but then discussing the merits of different full English constituents and the techniques for preparing them is surely one of those perennial pub conversations, like the best build for a PC within a certain budget, or the best five Fall songs*.

So let’s get cracking. Where do we start?

Step 1: Sausages, bacon, and hash browns

First up is the meat. Controversial start, as they suggest putting these in the oven. While this will reduce the amount of fat required, making breakfast healthier, literally nobody eats a full English for the associated health benefits. However, it also frees up pan and hob space, so there may be method in this madness.

Anyway, whack the oven on to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark six and pop the sausages in first (for 20 minutes) and the bacon in five minutes later (for 15 minutes).

Frozen hash browns (I believe frozen is the only kind, as that’s how they grow in the wild) go in the oven at the same time as the sausages. You will need to adjust cooking times according to the instructions.

OK, what’s next?

Step 2: Mushrooms, eggs, and tomatoes

You should probably take a few minutes to prep as you need, but these three all take around the same time to cook – about five minutes – so they should all go on when the bacon, sausages, and hash browns have about five minutes to go.

Put the mushrooms stalk-side up on the grill, cook for 1-2 minutes, then turn and cook for 2-3 minutes. Try not to move them about too much as you’ll release the juices and make them soggy.

Do the same with the tomatoes for the same amounts of time, starting cut-side down, and again try not to move them about too much.

Put enough oil into a pan to lightly coat the base. Heat it on a low-medium heat. Pop the eggs in and cook until the white is set, but the yolks are still runny.

Step 3: Beans

Beans are easy. They need to go into a pan on the hob for 3-4 minutes, while being stirred constantly. Or you could put them in the microwave for a couple of minutes. They’re beans. It’s not like you can get them wrong.

Step 4: Toast

Ah, the wonder and complexity of toast. The simplest of the ingredients to prepare, yet the most fascinating in its creation. I have no doubt you already have your toaster aligned to the optimum setting, so take the bread of your choice, pop it in for a minute or two, and let the Maillard reaction do the rest. Butter or not, according to taste. This is also a good process to delegate out to anybody else who might be hanging about. A child, for example. Or a butler.

And there you have it. If you follow these steps then every element of your glorious full English breakfast should arrive at the same time, lovely and hot and ready to put on the plate. Just serve and add condiments to taste.

Bon appétit! ®

* Personally, I’d say:

1. ‘Winter (Parts 1 and 2)

2. ‘Blindness (Peel Session Version)

3. ‘Fantastic Life

4. ‘New Face In Hell

5. ‘C ‘n C’s Mithering

But I’d probably say something different tomorrow.

Other choices and inebriated discussions are obviously available.

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UK competition watchdog unveils advice for antivirus firms • The Register

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The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has unveiled compliance principles to curb locally some of the sharper auto-renewal practices of antivirus software firms.

The move follows the watchdog baring its teeth at McAfee and Norton over the issue of automatically renewing contracts.

The CMA took exception to auto-renewal contracts for antivirus software that customers in the UK signed up for and found difficult to cancel. Refunds and clearer pricing information (including making sure consumers were aware that year two could well end up considerably costlier than the first) were the order of the day.

Today’s principles build on that work, and are aimed at helping antivirus companies toe the line where UK consumer law is concerned. They are a bit more detailed than a simple “stop being horrid.”

The focus remains on auto-renewing contracts, where a customer signs up for a fixed period, then is charged again for subsequent periods. The CMA acknowledges that such arrangements are convenient, but they risk the consumer being locked into an agreement they no longer want or that they get stung with higher fees at renewal time.

While the principles are intended to be helpful, lurking in the background is consumer law and the threat of a potential trip to court for vendors stepping out of line.

First up comes a requirement to make sure customers are informed about auto-renewal, rather than hiding the detail in an End User Licence Agreement (EULA) or burying it in hard-to-read text through which a user must scroll.

Price claims must be “accurate” and “not mislead your customers” – so only show discounts against the normal price. It must also be possible to turn off the auto-renew easily, keep auto-renew turned off once it is off and, if on, make sure customers are reminded in good time that an auto-renew will happen.

Getting a refund must be easier and customers should be able to change their mind when auto-renewal happens. If the customer has stopped using the product, safeguards are needed around auto-renewal.

The last principle could pose a few challenges – how does a vendor become aware that a customer is not using its product? The suggestion from the CMA is to check if software updates are being received rather than simply charging users year after year.

The Register contacted McAfee and Norton for their thoughts on the principles, and will update should the companies respond. ®

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Grocery start-up Gorillas raises nearly $1bn in round led by Delivery Hero

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Just a few months after hitting unicorn status, Gorillas has raised another major round of funding from big-name investors.

German start-up Gorillas has raised nearly $1bn to expand its on-demand grocery delivery business.

The Series C funding round was led by Delivery Hero, the German food and grocery delivery giant that recently took a stake in Deliveroo.

Gorillas also received backing from existing investors including Coatue Management, DST Global and Tencent, as well as new investors G Squared, Alanda Capital, Macquarie Capital, MSA Capital and Thrive Capital.

The fresh funding comes just a few months after the company’s $290m Series B, which brought its valuation to more than $1bn.

Gorillas was founded in Berlin in 2020 by Kağan Sümer and Jörg Kattner, promising grocery deliveries in as little as 10 minutes.

It now operates more than 180 warehouses and has expanded to more than 55 cities in nine countries, including Amsterdam, London, Paris, Madrid, New York and Munich.

The company plans to use the latest funding for its next phase of development. This includes reinforcing its footprint in existing markets and investing in operations, technology and marketing.

“The size of today’s funding round by an extraordinary investment consortium underscores the tremendous market potential that lies ahead of us,” said Sümer, who is CEO of the start-up.

“With Delivery Hero, we have chosen a strong strategic support that is deeply rooted in the global delivery market, and is renowned for having unique experience in sustainably scaling a German company internationally.”

On-demand grocery delivery is a growing area in Europe that’s attracting investor attention.

Swedish start-up Kavall raised $5.8m in August, Czech player Rohlik hit unicorn status after its €100m Series C round in July, and Spain’s Glovo secured a €450m Series F round in April to expand in the grocery market.

Gorillas differentiates itself from other players in the market, such as Deliveroo, by employing its delivery drivers rather than relying on gig workers.

However, as the start-up has scaled rapidly over the past year, it has seen delivery workers protest over working conditions and pay, and been put under the spotlight for its treatment of employees.

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

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ICO to step in after schools use facial recognition to speed up lunch queue | Facial recognition

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The Information Commissioner’s Office is to intervene over concerns about the use of facial recognition technology on pupils queueing for lunch in school canteens in the UK.

Nine schools in North Ayrshire began taking payments for school lunches this week by scanning the faces of their pupils, according to a report in the Financial Times. More schools are expected to follow.

The ICO, an independent body set up to uphold information rights in the UK, said it would be contacting North Ayrshire council about the move and urged a “less intrusive” approach where possible.

An ICO spokesperson said organisations using facial recognition technology must comply with data protection law before, during and after its use, adding: “Data protection law provides additional protections for children, and organisations need to carefully consider the necessity and proportionality of collecting biometric data before they do so.

“Organisations should consider using a different approach if the same goal can be achieved in a less intrusive manner. We are aware of the introduction, and will be making inquiries with North Ayrshire council.”

The company supplying the technology claimed it was more Covid-secure than other systems, as it was cashless and contactless, and sped up the lunch queue, cutting the time spent on each transaction to five seconds.

Other types of biometric systems, principally fingerprint scanners, have been used in schools in the UK for years, but campaigners say the use of facial recognition technology is unnecessary.

Silkie Carlo, the director of Big Brother Watch, told the Guardian the campaign group had written to schools using facial recognition systems, setting out their concerns and urging them to stop immediately.

“No child should have to go through border-style identity checks just to get a school meal,” she said. “We are supposed to live in a democracy, not a security state.

“This is highly sensitive, personal data that children should be taught to protect, not to give away on a whim. This biometrics company has refused to disclose who else children’s personal information could be shared with and there are some red flags here for us.”

The technology is being installed in schools in the UK by a company called CRB Cunninghams. David Swanston, its managing director, told the FT: “It’s the fastest way of recognising someone at the till. In a secondary school you have around about a 25-minute period to serve potentially 1,000 pupils. So we need fast throughput at the point of sale.”

Live facial recognition, technology that scans crowds to identify faces, has been challenged by civil rights campaigners because of concerns about consent. CRB Cunninghams said the system being installed in UK schools was different – parents had to give explicit consent and cameras check against encrypted faceprint templates stored on school servers.

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire council said its catering system contracts were coming to a natural end, allowing the introduction of new IT “which makes our service more efficient and enhances the pupil experience using innovative technology”.

They added: “Given the ongoing risks associated with Covid-19, the council is keen to have contactless identification as this provides a safer environment for both pupils and staff. Facial recognition has been assessed as the optimal solution that will meet all our requirements.”

The council said 97% of children or their parents had given consent for the new system.

A Scottish government spokesperson said that local authorities, as data controllers, had a duty to comply with general data protection regulations and that schools must by law adhere to strict guidelines on how they collect, store, record and share personal data.

Hayley Dunn, a business leadership specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “There would need to be strict privacy and data protection controls on any companies offering this technology.

“Leaders would also have legitimate concerns about the potential for cyber ransomware attacks and the importance of storing information securely, which they would need reassurances around before implementing any new technology.”

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