Feed technology-the-guardian Technology | The Guardian

Technology | The Guardian

Link https://www.theguardian.com/us/technology
Feed http://feeds.theguardian.com/theguardian/technology/rss
Copyright Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2019
Updated 2019-05-24 01:17
Unions lobby investors to press Amazon over UK working conditions
GMB tells shareholders that warehouse workers endure targets that cause sufferingTrade unions are lobbying City investors to put pressure on Amazon to improve conditions for its workers in the UK.At a meeting at the TUC’s head office this month the GMB union made presentations, including one from an Amazon employee, to a dozen leading fund managers and pension funds that own stakes in Amazon including Legal & General, Baillie Gifford and Aberdeen Standard. Continue reading...
Revealed: 5G rollout is being stalled by rows over lampposts
Exclusive: plans to put network transmitters on tall structures has caused dozens of disputesThe rollout of the 5G telecommunications network is being stalled by at least two years over legal wrangling about the control of millions of lampposts, the Guardian can reveal.Lampposts have suddenly become hot property because 5G requires the installation of transmitters on a dense network of masts taller than a double-decker bus. As a result, mobile network operators (MNOs) are clamouring for access to lampposts and other tall structures in cities, and are threatening legal action to any local authorities or landlords who stand in their way. Continue reading...
OnePlus 7 Pro phone launch: massive screen and pop-up camera
New model joins cheaper OnePlus 7 as Chinese firm goes after Samsung and HuaweiHaving made a name for itself for cut-price top-spec phones, OnePlus now has its sights set on the Samsung Galaxy S10+ and Huawei P30 Pro with its new OnePlus 7 Pro.Costing from £649 the new premium OnePlus still undercuts the competition by about £250, but isn’t quite as value-oriented as previous offerings. Continue reading...
Rage 2 review – scintillating action in a trite wasteland
PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4; Avalanche Studios/Bethesda Softworks
Elon Musk faces trial after calling British diver a paedophile
LA court rejects Telsa chief’s attempt to dismiss Vernon Unsworth’s defamation lawsuitElon Musk will have to go to trial to defend himself for mocking a British diver and baselessly calling him a paedophile.The verbal sparring match unfolded last summer after the underwater rescue of youth football players trapped in a Thailand cave. Continue reading...
My data security is better than yours: tech CEOs throw shade in privacy wars
Apple, Google and Facebook are racing to embrace the latest buzzword, and taking swipes at each other in the process“Privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services,” declared Sundar Pichai, the chief executive officer of Google, in a New York Times op-ed this week. “Privacy must be equally available to everyone in the world.”Pichai’s column, published in conjunction with Google’s annual developer conference, was a two-pronged public relations offensive: an attempt by the company that has been one of the chief architects and primary beneficiaries of digital surveillance to wrap itself in the mantle of privacy, while simultaneously taking a swipe at one of its competitors. Continue reading...
Loss-making Uber does not look like a business worth $90bn
As drivers protest and the IPO roadshow rolls on, investors need to ask some tough questionsGood luck to those Uber workers protesting about wages and working conditions. They picked their moment to coincide with this week’s IPO in New York, in which the company is set to be priced at $90bn (£70bn) or thereabouts, and they chose well. You do not have to be a bleeding heart liberal to think something obscene is happening when Uber drivers tell tales of sleeping in their cars to make ends meet while the founder, Travis Kalanick, has his shareholding valued at roughly $7bn.Financial markets don’t waste much time pondering questions of moral justice, of course but even hard-hearted investors should ask if the implied hopes for Uber’s eventual profitability are even vaguely grounded in reality. Two passages in the IPO prospectus are striking. The first, on page 30, reveals more than Uber’s glib response to the protesters that it is continuously working to improve drivers’ “experience”. Here’s the long-term thinking: Continue reading...
Uber drivers strike over pay and conditions
Protests take place in UK, US, Brazil and Australia as ride-hailing app prepares for stock market debutUber drivers have gone on strike in the UK, US and other countries including Brazil and Australia to demand better pay and conditions ahead of the ride-hailing app’s stock market debut.Thousands protested against what one UK trade union labelled “poverty pay” ahead of Friday’s flotation, which will crystalise multi-million and multi-billion dollar fortunes for early investors, including the Uber founder, Travis Kalanick, and the Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos. Uber hopes to raise $9bn (£6.9bn) in new funds and is expected to be valued at up to $91.5bn when the valuation of the shares is announced on Thursday. Continue reading...
Riot Games employees walk out over workplace harassment lawsuits
More than 150 workers at the developer’s Los Angeles HQ join protest – the largest such walkout in video game industry historyEmployees of Riot Games, makers of popular online battle video game League of Legends, staged a mass walkout on Monday to protest against the company’s handling of lawsuits brought against it alleging workplace sexism and misconduct. It is the largest such walkout in video game industry history.Around 150 workers at Riot’s Los Angeles headquarters participated in the protest, according to a report by video games website Kotaku, which also broke allegations of a sexist and often hostile work environment from dozens of employees in an investigation last year. They were protesting against Riot’s policy of forced arbitration, which strong-arms employees into company-led negotiations in the event of lawsuits, removing the right to a jury or judge-led verdict. Google recently ended forced arbitration entirely in response to protests involving 20,000 employees. Continue reading...
Inside Facebook's war room: the battle to protect EU elections
The social media firm is deleting billions of fake accounts as it takes on a torrent of fake news, disinformation and hate speechLess than three years ago, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, dismissed as “crazy” the idea that fake news on his platform could have influenced the election of Donald Trump as US president.Today the company admits it is under siege from billions of fake accounts trying to game its systems to win elections, make money or influence people in other ways, and battling a tsunami of fake news, disinformation and hate speech. Continue reading...
The privacy paradox: why do people keep using tech firms that abuse their data? | John Naughton
Despite privacy scandals, Facebook is more profitable than ever – journalists must use the tools of tech to understand whyA dark shadow looms over our networked world. It’s called the “privacy paradox”. The main commercial engine of this world involves erosion of, and intrusions upon, our privacy. Whenever researchers, opinion pollsters and other busybodies ask people if they value their privacy, they invariably respond with a resounding “yes”. The paradox arises from the fact that they nevertheless continue to use the services that undermine their beloved privacy.If you want confirmation, then look no further than Facebook. In privacy-scandal terms, 2018 was an annus horribilis for the company. Yet the results show that by almost every measure that matters to Wall Street, it has had a bumper year. The number of daily active users everywhere is up; average revenue per user is up 19% on last year, while overall revenue for the last quarter of 2018 is 30.4% up on the same quarter in 2017. In privacy terms, the company should be a pariah. At least some of its users must be aware of this. But it apparently makes no difference to their behaviour. Continue reading...
YouTube addiction: binge watching videos became my 'drug of choice'
Domingo Cullen recalls how the site’s recommendation engine left him ‘entranced by thoroughly useless information’The wild elephants turn back to salute the men who have saved their baby from the ditch. They raise their trunks aloft with wondrous grace in a moment shared between man and beast. I don’t blink, hardly twitch. Lit by the glow of the laptop screen, my face shows no flicker of emotion. The video finishes and the next one begins to load. “Electrocuted squirrel gets CPR by kind man.”Unbeknownst to me, the daylight has faded across to the other side of the Earth, and I am in darkness. I am lying on my bed in the fetal position, as I have been for three hours straight … watching YouTube. Continue reading...
Tesla seeks to raise $2.3bn after concerns it is running out of money
Company announced last week it had lost $702m in the first three months of the year and sold 31% fewer vehicles in the first quarterTesla is seeking to raise $2.3bn after its latest results heightened concerns that the troubled car company is running out of cash.Last week, Tesla announced it had lost $702m in the first three months of the year and had sold 31% fewer vehicles in the first quarter than in the fourth quarter of 2018. The company had $2.2bn of cash at the end of the quarter, down 40% from the $3.7bn it had the previous quarter. Tesla ended the quarter with about $10bn in debts. Continue reading...
If Silicon Valley were a country, it would be among the richest on Earth
With $128,308 per capita in annual gross domestic product, Silicon Valley residents out-produce almost every nation on the planetWere it real, the Sultanate of Silicon Valley would be among the world’s richest countries.Cranking out $128,308 per capita in annual gross domestic product (GDP), residents in California’s tech belt out-produce almost every nation on the planet. The valley’s output, pegged at $275bn by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, is higher than Finland’s. Continue reading...
Airbnb should be regarded as digital service provider, ECJ advised
Legal opinion welcome by company facing French calls for greater regulationAirbnb has taken a step closer to avoiding onerous national regulations after an adviser to the European court of justice said the company should be regarded as a digital service provider.Maciej Szpunar, one of the ECJ’s advocates general, found that Airbnb was what Brussels would describe as an information society service, a status that comes with the right to operate freely across the EU. Continue reading...
Tech firm apologizes after job ad seeks 'preferably Caucasian' candidates
Virginia recruitment company removes discriminatory listing following a backlash on TwitterThe tech industry has long grappled with problems tied to diversity and inclusion, but a job listing this month seeking “preferably Caucasian” applicants has proved a particularly egregious example.A job listing from Cynet Systems, a tech recruiting firm based in Virginia, sought an account manager who is “preferably Caucasian who has good technical background”. After a number of Twitter users called attention to the listing, it was removed on Sunday. Continue reading...
Tesla's Elon Musk reaches deal with SEC over Twitter use
The SEC sued Musk last year after he tweeted that he would take Tesla private, which the agency said violated securities lawsElon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, has reached a deal with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to settle a dispute over his use of Twitter, according to a court filing on Friday.Musk has agreed to submit public statements about the company’s finances to vetting by its legal counsel, the filing said. Continue reading...
Uber drivers plan shutdown over 'poverty wages' as company goes public
Drivers will turn off apps in seven US cities on 8 May as collectives condemn IPO for lining executives’ pocketsUber drivers in the US will stage a shutdown for 12 hours to protest against poor working conditions and low wages as the company goes public in May.Drivers will log off the app in seven cities starting at noon on 8 May, the day Uber is expected to make its IPO. Drivers in San Francisco will also protest in front of the Uber headquarters. The action is backed by driver collectives including Gig Workers Rising in northern California, Rideshare Drivers United in Los Angeles and Chicago Rideshare Advocates. Continue reading...
Tory MPs seek to overturn May's Huawei supply decision
Plans to encourage candidates in any leadership contest to ban ‘non-core’ 5G equipment
The local crime story that went viral: Chips with Everything podcast
Jordan Erica Webber looks at a local crime brief that defied Facebook’s 2018 algorithm change, one that promised to transform users’ news feeds.In March 2019, journalist Will Oremus was reading through a report on Facebook’s latest publishing trends. One aspect of the study caught his eye.A 119-word, local crime brief was the most shared news story on all of English-language Facebook in the first three months of 2019. Continue reading...
Beyoncé rocks, but so did Woodstock | Brief letters
Roger Waters | Rock concerts | Use-by dates | Exercise | SmartphonesRegarding Jeremy Beecham’s thoughts on Roger Waters (Letters, 19 April), I think we can take it as read Waters would not encourage Madonna to support the Assad regime by playing Damascus.
Cupra Ateca: ‘A sizzling hot SUV that is fast but not furious’ | Martin Love
The all-new Cupra Ateca is a scorchingly fast SUV that will appeal to anyone who grew up loving performance carsCupra Ateca
Where is Huawei banned from working on critical networks?
Several countries have rejected Chinese telecoms firm over national security fears
Facebook restores services after users report outages
Thousands had difficulty accessing social networks including Instagram and messaging service WhatsApp, says tracking siteFacebook has said it has restored services on Sunday after some users were unable to access its social networking site, photo-sharing network Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp. However, Facebook did not specify the cause or scope of the outages.Related: Facebook to use AI to stop telling users to say hi to dead friends Continue reading...
Keep Watching review – tech dystopia becomes a song and dance
New Diorama, London
The 20 best homes Instagram accounts
From kitchen cabinets to modernist houses, here are our top picks to followBest for kitchen hacks @reformcph
Australian Instagram personalities found to be under influence of alcohol industry
VicHealth says alcohol industry’s use of social media is ‘underhanded’ and meant to influence young peopleMost of Australia’s top 70 Instagram personalities are under the influence of the alcohol industry, with almost three-quarters featuring alcoholic drinks in their accounts in the past year.However, a study published by VicHealth on Tuesday found only one-quarter of those endorsements fully disclosed that they were a sponsored alcohol collaboration with a brand. Influencers ranged from reality television personalities to models. Continue reading...
Hadaway wi’ ya dialect confusion | Brief letters
Life before Google Maps | Stanley Kubrick’s best films | Regional dialect | Crossword | WB YeatsCharlotte Church, on getting lost in London, asks: “What did we do before Google Maps?” (I ditched my iPhone and it changed my life, G2, 8 April). We had an A to Z in our pocket, or we asked a police officer. Given the latter are now thin on the ground or bristling with weapons, an A to Z is the safest bet. A paper one obviously, not the app.
Internet crackdown raises fears for free speech in Britain
Critics say online harms white paper could lead to North Korean-style censorshipCritics of the government’s flagship internet regulation policy are warning it could lead to a North Korean-style censorship regime, where regulators decide which websites Britons are allowed to visit, because of how broad the proposals are.The mooted legislation, launched on Monday in the online harms white paper, covers any website that “allows users to share or discover user-generated content, or interact with each other online”, a definition which potentially covers vast areas of the internet. Continue reading...
Google scraps AI ethics council after backlash: 'Back to the drawing board'
Decision comes after employees called for the removal of a rightwing thinktank leader from the councilGoogle is ending a new artificial intelligence ethics council just one week after launching it, following protests from employees over the appointment of a rightwing thinktank leader.The rapid downfall of the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC), which was dedicated to “the responsible development of AI”, came after more than 2,000 Google workers signed a petition criticizing the company’s selection of an anti-LGBT advocate. Continue reading...
Hundreds of millions of Facebook records exposed on public servers – report
Material discovered on Amazon cloud servers in latest example of Facebook letting third parties extract user dataMore than 540m Facebook records were left exposed on public internet servers, cybersecurity researchers said on Wednesday, in just the latest security black eye for the company.Researchers for the firm UpGuard discovered two separate sets of Facebook user data on public Amazon cloud servers, the company detailed in a blogpost. Continue reading...
Human error, not artificial intelligence, poses the greatest threat | Letter
The risk that humanity faces comes not from malevolent machines but from incompetent programmers, writes Martyn ThomasThe long read (28 March) on the threat from artificial intelligence misses the point. In a paper written in 1951, Alan Turing demolished all the arguments against AI one day surpassing human intelligence, but there is no sign that that “singularity” is on the horizon. The imminent threat is that we’ve built a digital society on software foundations that are too vulnerable to failures and cyber-attacks, as a recent report from the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre oversight board powerfully illustrated. The risk that humanity faces comes not from malevolent machines but from incompetent programmers who leave their customers vulnerable to cyber-attacks and other failures.If we survive long enough to see truly intelligent machines, then there is no known barrier to them developing consciousness. But how could we tell?
Google staff condemn treatment of temp workers in 'historic' show of solidarity
Google issues new ‘minimum standards’ for temps after more than 900 employees sign letter criticizing abrupt firingMore than 900 Google workers have signed a letter objecting to the tech giant’s treatment of temporary contractors, in what organizers are calling a “historical coalition” between Google’s full-time employees (FTEs) and temps, vendors and contractors (TVCs).In March, Google abruptly shortened the contracts of 34 temp workers on the “personality” team for Google Assistant – the Alexa-like digital assistant that reads you the weather, manages your calendar, sends a text message, or calls you an Uber through your phone or smart speaker. Continue reading...
Chips with Everything: bonus episode –podcast
Jordan Erica Webber is joined by the product manager for the Guardian Voice Lab about a new type of technology it has built. It’s called the Guardian BriefingThe team at Guardian Voice Labs is experimenting with generating an audio news summary by blending human and synthetic voices. It’s designed for Google Assistant and based on existing Guardian journalism and curation.The idea is to capitalise on the text-to-speech technology on the Assistant platform, and create a new way for people to digest the news of the day. Continue reading...
Instagram users will be able to buy from brands on platform
‘Checkout on Instagram’ is new e-commerce service available to US customersFacebook is moving into retail, as the company partners with more than 20 brands to allow Instagram users to buy clothes, accessories and makeup on the social network without leaving the app.“Checkout on Instagram” is a step up from previous shopping features on the service, which ultimately pushed buyers to a brand’s web page to complete transactions. Users were then required to enter payment and shipping details, and often sign up for new user accounts, prompting many to bail on the transaction before completing it. Continue reading...
Apple launches second generation AirPods with wireless charging
Bluetooth earbuds have longer battery life, hands-free Siri and new wireless charging caseApple has launched a new version of its hugely popular wireless earbuds, the AirPods, with long-anticipated wireless charging and longer battery life.The second-generation AirPods look identical to the previous version, complete with a white stalk that looks like a set of earphones with the cables cut off. But now the earbuds last longer when used for phone calls between charges and support hands-free access to Apple’s Siri voice assistant. Continue reading...
Google Stadia: what developers think of the game-streaming service
Has Google got its head in the cloud, or can its sheer size help it succeed where many have failed in building a hardware-free future for gamers?Google’s announcement of game-streaming service Stadia may not have been a huge industry revelation; Google has made no secret of its ambitions to enter the video game market, and it was somewhat given away by public trials last September. Instead, it was the things that weren’t revealed at Tuesday’s Game Developers Conference keynote that took many by surprise. Ahead of the event, a long list of big-name reveals had been rumoured – but none materialised, except Bethesda’s Doom: Eternal, which was not shown actually running on Stadia. And of course everyone was on tenterhooks to find out how much it was all going to cost, information that was also absent.“There’s just so much that I didn’t learn today that I really wanted to,” says Gizmodo’s Alex Cranz. “And that makes me nervous about it.” Continue reading...
Goats, cows and Devin Nunes' mom: how a Republican's Twitter lawsuit backfired
US congressman’s action against the company and its users has led to what is known as the ‘Streisand effect’The US congressman Devin Nunes sent the Twitterverse spiraling into hilarity late on Monday with his lawsuit listing the purported crimes of Twitter users “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow”.In the lawsuit against Twitter and a handful of users, the California Republican claims to be the victim of vicious internet trolls, as well as the victim of selective censorship by the social media company. He is alleging that by “shadow-banning” his account, Twitter allowed for the selective amplification of “defamers” such as “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow”. Continue reading...
Apple launches new iPad Mini and iPad Air
Updated models bring small tablet back into line with the iPhone XS and iPad ProApple has updated its long-in-the-tooth but popular smallest tablet, the iPad Mini, and the larger iPad Air.Both models have been brought up to parity with the iPhone XS and the iPad Pro with Apple’s A12 Bionic processor, which is up to three times faster than that in previous versions, which have chips dating back to 2014. Continue reading...
Why beating your phone addiction may come at a cost
Some worry the ‘wellness’ movement and its focus on personal responsibility let the tech industry off the hookAt 9.30am on a Wednesday morning, I received a notification telling me I’d already picked up my phone 30 times that day. “11 left until you go over your goal of 41 pickups,” my screen read. “Put your phone down until 9.52am! Enjoy your time living in the moment.”These updates were sent via Moment, an app that tracks my screen time. Continue reading...
'Hire some bloody women', the gender data gap: Chips with Everything podcast
Jordan Erica Webber teams up with Nicola Davis to look at the gender data gap in both big tech and science, and the dangerous repercussions for women in a world built for menLast Friday was International Women’s Day, so Chips with Everything has teamed up with the Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast. Together, they examine the gender data gap and the dangerous repercussions of a world built for men.Jordan speaks to Caroline Criado-Perez, the author of Invisible Women, about how women are underrepresented in the tech industry, in both the hiring process and the general design of its products. From VR headsets that make women experience motion sickness to health apps that once forgot to add period trackers, Caroline breaks down the gender data gap in big tech. Continue reading...
Yohann Koshy on Dril Official ‘Mr Ten Years’ Anniversary Collection
Yoshan Koshy’s piece on a twisty, topical collection of tweets was highly commended in this year’s Observer/Anthony Burgess prize
'You don't become less ambitious': the female startup founders going public with their pregnancies
More female startup founders are blowing up conventional ideas that having a newborn and building a startup don’t mixIn late January, Amy Nelson, the founder of the Riveter co-working network, posted an ultrasound on Twitter. “That’s my baby girl,” she wrote. “She arrives in June … #proudmama.”Though baby announcements aren’t uncommon on social media, for startup world, this tweet was surprising. Female startup founders have historically shied away from going public with their pregnancies. Investors – the lifeblood of startup funding – have frequently hesitated to bet on companies whose founder might soon be juggling a newborn. Continue reading...
MWC 2019: folding wrist phones, 5G and quintuple cameras – 8 standout gadgets
Also unveiled in Barcelona: Microsoft’s Hololens 2 and phones with folding screensThe annual mobile technology jamboree in Barcelona has revealed the latest exciting developments that will feature in phones, tablets and watches over the next 12 months. From folding handsets and ultra-sophisticated cameras to brick-like smartphones with a very long battery life – here are eight of the most notable products from Mobile World Congress 2019 this week. Continue reading...
Tesseract review – strap in for the shapeshifting worlds of Charles Atlas
Barbican, London
Tesla cuts car prices, shuts stores and shifts to online-only sales
Elon Musk says move means electric vehicle manufacturer can sell Model 3 for $35,000Tesla is closing most of its stores in a cost-cutting measure, so it can lower the starting price of its Model 3 to $35,000 (£26,400).Elon Musk, the billionaire chief executive of the electric car and technology company, said a shift to selling online only was essential to make it financially viable to lower the current starting price of $42,900. Continue reading...
Facebook moderators tell of strict scrutiny and PTSD symptoms
Facebook says it has hotline for whistleblowers after report paints picture of contractors’ working conditionsFacebook has said it remains committed to ensuring that the contractors who moderate its sites are treated fairly and with respect by their employers, after a report revealed the traumatic experiences of many of the low-paid workers who keep violence, hate speech and sexual imagery off its platforms.The vast majority of the more than 15,000 people who work as Facebook moderators are employed by third-party contractors, and their working conditions are often far from the stereotype of a perk-filled Silicon Valley job. Continue reading...
Uber survives legal challenge brought by London cabbies
Judge says magistrate who awarded Uber’s 15-month permit was not biasedUber has survived a high court challenge to its licence to operate in London, after judges rejected claims of bias brought by a group of black cab drivers.In a crowdfunded legal bid, drivers had argued that Uber’s 15-month permit was decided by a magistrate with conflicts of interest, making her ruling “tainted by actual or apparent bias”. Continue reading...
Jeff Bezos: world's richest man finally tops list of biggest donors
Bezos, who holds Amazon stock valued at about $137bn, contributed a total of $2bn in 2018Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man and one frequently tagged a cheapskate when it comes to giving away money, has emerged as a leading philanthropist.Related: Jeff Bezos: the Amazon billionaire and Trump bete noire Continue reading...
Five games to play if you enjoyed Black Mirror's Bandersnatch
Zombie warfare, diligent police work and time-traveling teens … here are the gaming counterparts to Netflix’s interactive specialCharlie Brooker’s Black Mirror special Bandersnatch is Netflix’s first dive into interactive storytelling. Its success will inevitably pave the way for more ambitious creators, would-be auteurs and flagrant imitators who, just like Bandersnatch’s protagonist Stefan, are eager to explore what can happen when the outcome of their stories is decided by the viewer.Of course, video games have been playing with the power of narrative decision-making since the 1980s. There’s now a huge catalogue of interactive stories spanning genres from anime-romance to horror, crime thriller to supernatural chiller. Here are five of the best. Continue reading...
12345678910...