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Updated 2017-07-27 00:32
The future of fake news: don't believe everything you read, see or hear
A new breed of video and audio manipulation tools allow for the creation of realistic looking news footage, like the now infamous fake Obama speechIn an age of Photoshop, filters and social media, many of us are used to seeing manipulated pictures – subjects become slimmer and smoother or, in the case of Snapchat, transformed into puppies.However, there’s a new breed of video and audio manipulation tools, made possible by advances in artificial intelligence and computer graphics, that will allow for the creation of realistic looking footage of public figures appearing to say, well, anything. Trump declaring his proclivity for water sports. Hillary Clinton describing the stolen children she keeps locked in her wine cellar. Tom Cruise finally admitting what we suspected all along … that he’s a Brony. Continue reading...
Adobe to pull plug on Flash after years of waning popularity
The media-powering technology was once inescapable – but it began to fall out of favor after Apple decided not to use it on the iPhoneAdobe Flash, a once ubiquitous technology used to power most of the media content found online, will be retired at the end of 2020, the software company announced Tuesday.Adobe – along with Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Mozilla – said support for Flash would ramp down across the internet in phases over the next three years. Continue reading...
Killer robots? Musk and Zuckerberg escalate row over dangers of AI
Musk described the Facebook CEO’s knowledge of the field as ‘limited’ after Zuckerberg publicly dismissed AI doomsday warnings as ‘irresponsible’Tech billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have entered into a public squabble about artificial intelligence in which Musk described the Facebook CEO’s knowledge of the field as “limited”.Related: Elon Musk: regulate AI to combat 'existential threat' before it's too late Continue reading...
Goodbye, my friend – Chris (Simpsons artist) on the 'death' of Microsoft Paint
The cartoonist has garnered more than 1.3 million fans on Facebook with his crude illustrations made using the painting app. Here is his response to the news that the program is being dropped from Windows Continue reading...
Amazon to double number of R&D staff in London
Company will increase number of workers focusing on Prime Video service in capital from 450 to 900Amazon is to double the number of research and development staff it employs in London.The company is increasing the number of workers at its development centre in the capital from 450 to 900 as part of a drive to expand its UK workforce to 24,000 by the end of 2017. Continue reading...
Microsoft Paint saved after outpouring of love – sort of
Microsoft says that it will put 32-year-old program on the Windows Store, but that won’t help office workers pining for some impromptu creative sessionsAfter the tremendous outpouring of love across the internet for arguably the greatest Windows program ever, Microsoft has announced that it will save MS Paint by putting it on the Windows Store.Following the company’s announcement that the 32-year-old Paint is now deprecated, meaning that it is “not in active development and might be removed in future releases”, Microsoft put out a blogpost in response to the anguished outcry at the potential removal of an old friend. Continue reading...
Share your Microsoft Paint memories and creations
As MS Paint prepares to shuffle off this mortal coil, we want your memories and shaky artworks created via this venerable graphics editing program
Pokémon Go fans enraged as first festival ends in connectivity disaster
Developer booed on stage as gamers left unable to connect to play popular augmented reality game after mobile networks and servers overloadedThe first ever, official Pokémon Go Fest collapsed into chaos on Saturday, after attendees who had queued for hours for the chance to catch Legendary Pokémon Lugia found the game almost unplayable due to overloaded mobile phone networks.Developer Niantic has apologised to fans, offering a full refund on the $20 ticket, $100 worth of in-game Pokécoins, and giving a Lugia to all registered attendees, but the event still casts a shadow over what was supposed to be a very public celebration of the game’s first anniversary. Continue reading...
'Nobody has one button': Steve Jobs opera sings Apple founder's praises – and flaws
The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, which premieres at the Sante Fe Opera this weekend, dramatizes Jobs’s life in a unique way. We spoke with one of its co-creators to find out how the idea was bornWhen San Francisco bay area-based composer and electronic music DJ Mason Bates recently visited the childhood home of Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Jobs, he was in awe.“It all started in that garage,” Bates said in a hushed, reverent voice, as we pulled up in the composer’s 1970s Alfa Romeo outside the nondescript bungalow at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos. Located on an un-trafficked suburban street, the building’s only distinguishing feature was the “no trespassing” sign on the austere patch of lawn out front. Continue reading...
Games reviews roundup: Splatoon 2; Mighty Gunvolt Burst; Kirby’s Blowout Blast
Shooting and platform classics are reworked for the Nintendo Switch with excellent results, while the 3DS gets a high-speed nostalgia tripNintendo Switch, Nintendo, cert: 7
BMW 520D SE review: ‘One of the most complete cars’ | Martin Love
The unceasing evolution of the 5-Series has resulted in a BMW of almost heroic ability. But it can’t do everything…Price: £36,025
Drones will have to be registered in UK safety clampdown
Owners of drones over 250g will need to show they understand safety and privacy laws as government acts after dozens of near-misses with aircraftDrones will have to be registered and users forced to take a safety awareness test under new regulations announced by the UK government.
Galaxy Note 8: Samsung's follow-up to exploding Note 7 to be unveiled on 23 August
Latest Samsung stylus-equipped Note phablet comes after disastrous Note 7 battery issues that led to two recalls and cost the company billions of poundsSamsung is to unveil the follow-up to its exploding Galaxy Note 7, expected to be called the Galaxy Note 8, on 23 August.The South Korean electronics firm posted to Twitter a “save the date” for the unveiling of the Note 8 at one of the company’s “Unpacked” events, complete with a gif showing a representation of the new design. Continue reading...
Game changers: how the increasing cultural significance of video games is reflected in our coverage
The Guardian has been covering video games for more than 20 years. Over that time the games, their creators and their players have matured and diversified — and so has our approach to criticism and analysis
Global network of 'hunters' aim to take down terrorists on the internet
Group of volunteers obsessively tracks and reports Isis’s most prominent recruiters and propagandists, and tries to block the spread of their propagandaColonel Kurtz used to spend hours playing social games like Farmville. Now he hunts terrorists on the internet.Related: Counter-terrorism was never meant to be Silicon Valley's job. Is that why it's failing? Continue reading...
One artist's deep dive into the online 'manosphere' – tech podcast
Angela Washko tells us how she immersed herself in men’s rights communities and made a dating simulator about pickup artistsAngela Washko is a games developer, writer and teacher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Her work on online society has given her a unique and evolving angle on the nexus of men’s rights activists, anti-feminists and “seduction coaching” communities online, and here she shares the experiences that led to her latest work: The Game – The Game, a dating simulator game starring notable pickup artists. Continue reading...
ECJ to rule on whether 'right to be forgotten' can stretch beyond EU
Final step in three-year legal battle between Google and France will determine whether nations get to choose whether data is removedThe European court of justice (ECJ) is set to rule on a landmark case over whether or not the so-called “right to be forgotten” can and should stretch beyond EU borders.It will be the final step in a three-year legal battle between Google and France to determine how far the search engine should go to guarantee the privacy of European citizens who want their pasts to be wiped from the historical record. Continue reading...
Facebook users vexed by sound on autoplaying videos – here's how to stop it
Social media company widens rollout of new feature that automatically plays videos with sound in the News Feed after ‘positive feedback’Facebook’s long-dreaded update that switches on sound for autoplaying videos by default is starting to roll out causing users to lash out on social media. Here’s how to turn it off.First Facebook rolled out autoplaying videos in the News Feed on its app by default, causing users to complain about the increased data consumption from their mobile plans. Now those same autoplaying videos will start pumping out sound in a feature, as one user put it, “literally nobody asked for”. Continue reading...
Google employees deterred from reporting discrimination, US official says
Google denies claim as US official describes ‘chilling effect’, saying employees have expressed fear company’s strict policy prevents them from speaking outThe US Department of Labor has raised concerns that Google’s strict confidentiality agreements have discouraged employees from speaking to the government about discrimination as part of a high-profile wage inequality investigation.Following a judge’s ruling that Google must hand over salary records and employee contact information to federal regulators investigating possible systemic pay disparities, a labor department official said the agency was worried that the technology corporation’s restrictive employee communication policies could impede the next phase of the inquiry. Continue reading...
Ally McLean: Carrie Fisher's The Princess Diarist is charming, devastating and relatable
In Beauty and the Books, we chat to those who love both books and beauty products. Here, game developer Ally McLean reveals her fondness for green-tea scrub and Douglas AdamsShe’s the creator of Eve Beauregard, her cosplay alter ego with more than 300,000 Facebook followers and the basis for the character of Yennefer of Vengerberg character in Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. Ally McLean is also the project lead at independent gaming studio Robot House and is launching a mentor program with the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association(IGEA) for women who want to work in the gaming industry. Here, she discusses the delights of indulgent skincare and why a copy of Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please is always nearby. Continue reading...
Facebook hires former Uber PR chief Rachel Whetstone
Whetstone, who left Uber following corporate scandals and has worked for leading Conservative politicians in the UK, will become communications VPRachel Whetstone, the former top public relations executive at Uber, is joining Facebook as vice-president of communications for Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.Whetstone, a British public relations guru who worked for some of the UK’s most powerful Conservative politicians, stepped down as head of public policy and communications at Uber in April following a string of corporate scandals. Before Uber, Whetstone worked at Google as the head of communications and public policy. Continue reading...
Why diversity matters in the modern video games industry
Playstation, Xbox and the rest have a vital role in helping under-represented people form a sense of themselves. But is the industry doing enough?When Katie Stone Perez’s daughter first tried to ride a two-wheel bicycle, the little girl took her Super Mario plush toy and put him in the basket on the front of the handle bars. Intrigued, Katie asked why it was important that Nintendo’s iconic plumber accompanied her on the ride. “Because he taught me to never give up,” her daughter said.Perez knows a thing or two about the power of video games as a reflective, empowering and emotional influence in the lives of players. While working as the senior program manager for Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program, which seeks to support independent development on the console, she worked closely with Kenny Roy, creator of forthcoming puzzle platformer I, Hope. Aimed at children affected by cancer, it’s the story of a girl who must help defend her island home against a mysterious sickness. Perez also supported the launch of We Love Chicago, a narrative game about multiracial communities living in the city’s urban areas, and right now, she’s helping out at the Xbox-sponsored Girls Make Games, a three-week summer camp dedicated to teaching young women how to code and create video games. “Diversity within the games industry is incredibly important to me,” she says. “I think we need to back away from this focus on one type of consumer or one type of developer - some of my favourite gaming experiences come from really diverse creators.” Continue reading...
Robot cop found face down in office-block fountain
Machine built to keep humans in check defeated by stairs and fountain in incident where ‘no one was harmed’The machine uprising has been dealt a serious blow after a robot cop was found face down in a fountain.Built to autonomously patrol offices and shopping malls, the Knightscope K5 security robot is meant to be able to navigate environments and keep unruly humans in check. Instead, after being deployed to a Washington DC office block, it was found drowned in a watery grave. Much like a Dalek, it appears to have been defeated by stairs. Continue reading...
Anyone home? Meet the couple revolutionising the humble doorbell
John Nussey and wife, Avril O’Neill, were inspired to create smart doorbell Ding after working on prototypes for other entrepreneursThere are few things more infuriating than arriving home to a “Sorry we missed you”card after waiting hours for a delivery. A report last year from IMRG estimated that failed deliveries are costing retailers up to £780m, not to mention the frustration and inconvenience for customers who happen to be in the shower or out when the doorbell rings.It’s a problem that the co-founder of Ding, John Nussey, was inspired to do something about. He and his wife, Avril O’Neill, have run their own business for 10 years, making product prototypes for other entrepreneurs, and began to develop their own list of ideas: “Simple, everyday things that had been forgotten about,” Nussey says. The doorbell was at the top of that list. The idea was to “make products that don’t forget the job they’re supposed to do [but] that use technology to be better”. Continue reading...
Privacy campaigners criticise UK plan for age checks on porn websites
Sites could reportedly be blocked for failing to follow government rules forcing users to provide credit card details as verificationPrivacy and free speech campaigners have criticised the government’s plans to force pornography websites to use age checks or face being blocked.Websites flouting the new rules, which are part of the Digital Economy Act, could reportedly find that a regulator has told internet service providers to prevent access to them. Those who provide payment and other services to such sites could also be asked to impose restrictions. Continue reading...
How Guardian readers arrange the icons on their smartphones
Last week Alex Hern advised how to arrange apps on your home screen. But not everybody agreed – and here are their alternatives
Games reviews roundup: Nex Machina; Tour de France 2017; Micro Machines: World Series
An old-school shooter offers demanding delights, a cycling game is a bit flat, while a retro racer can’t recapture the magicPC, PS4, Housemarque, cert: 12
Google told to hand over salary details in gender equality court battle
Judge rules tech giant must give US federal department snapshot of its 2014 pay records as part of pay discrimination caseA judge has ordered Google to hand over salary records to the government in an ongoing investigation by the US Department of Labor, which has accused the technology corporation of systematically discriminating against women.Google must provide the federal government with a 2014 snapshot of the data, along with contact information for thousands of employees for possible interviews, according to a ruling made public on Sunday. Continue reading...
Mercedes-Benz E300 Coupe AMG Line: car review | Martin Love
Mercedes-Benz is having its best ever year – and leading the charge is the imperious new E-ClassKevin Ashton didn’t take the usual route into computing. The man who coined the term “the internet of things” actually studied Scandinavian literature at the University of London. He now lives in Austin, Texas, and is one of the foremost thinkers on exactly where the internet is taking us and how it will impact on our everyday lives. In a recent interview he envisioned that in “25 years we’ll be able to live in Edinburgh and commute in our self-driving cars to London via a trunk road designed especially for the purpose, at speeds of up to 250mph.” Well, maybe… but one thing is for sure: I’ll still be stopping for a bowl of delicious home-made soup at Tebay services in the Lakes.If Kevin’s vision comes true, chances are that Mercedes will be making many of the cars we’ll be driving, I mean, that we’ll be driven in. In terms of sales, the maker has just had its most successful ever first half year (1,144,274 units sold) and most successful ever June (209,309 cars delivered). Sales are up 35% in China and 47% in South Korea. The German builder uses terms like “private retreat” and “digital living space” to describe today’s cars and its prototype luxury sedans. Continue reading...
Ten tips that will make you a master of Instagram
It is one of the fastest-growing social networks, but are you making the most of its photo and video features? Get some handy hintsWhen Instagram was launched in October 2010, it was an app for applying stylish “filters” to your photos and sharing them with friends. Six and a half years (and a $1bn acquisition by Facebook) on, it has 700m active users and a host of advanced features.It’s still simple to share a photo – or a video now – with a few taps. However, if you talk to some of the people who have tens or even hundreds of thousands of followers on the service, you’ll realise there’s a lot to learn about mastering it. Continue reading...
Genius or hubris? Why turning down Facebook may be Snapchat's big mistake
Turning down a $3bn offer made Snapchat famous for its bold vision. But now Facebook is catching up, leading some to predict a ‘long and painful death’
Our electric car is driving on sunshine | Letters
Solar-powered vehicles are here – but are they really the answer?Our solar panels occupy only a third of our roof area. Even so, on a summer day they produce about the same power our Volkswagen electric car draws as it charges from a plug in the garage.So, to the extent that we top up during the day, we are literally driving on sunshine: nil use of resources, nil pollution, and, in the context of your article (Battery cars may eat up more than Hinkley Point’s capacity by 2030, 13 July), nil load on national power generation infrastructure. Going for a drive in serene, effortless near-silence, knowing that it hasn’t cost anybody anything, is quite simply wonderful. Continue reading...
Woman's selfie causes '$200,000 of damage' to artworks – but was it a stunt?
Leaning back into a pedestal to try to get the perfect angle took out a whole row of sculptures at an LA gallery – at least that’s the way it looksA woman in Los Angeles has apparently demonstrated just how damaging selfies can be by destroying whole row of pieces of art while trying to get that perfect image.The moment, captured on video at the 14th Factory exhibition space in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles shows a woman apparently bending down to try to get the perfect angle for a selfie shot down a row of the Hypercaine exhibition by Hong Kong-based artist Simon Birch and a series of international collaborators. Continue reading...
Life hack: how to best arrange your iPhone apps, one icon at a time
After years of fiddling, I finally cracked it. This is how you should organise your home screen – and it’s advice that could be handy for Android users tooIn the 10 years since the iPhone launched, I’ve never really settled on a way to arrange my home screen that I actually like. Folders seem clunky but no folders leaves me with too many things multiple swipes away. Organising by what I use most leaves me with the rarely but rapidly needed apps buried, while organising by speed of access leaves me tapping through multiple times a day.And then there’s aesthetics. Some apps simply don’t deserve to be on my first home screen no matter how much I use them. Mostly games. Game designers can’t make an attractive icon for the life of them, it seems. Continue reading...
New law would force Facebook and Google to give police access to encrypted messages
Under government plan, internet companies would be obliged to give law enforcement agencies warranted accessThe Australian government has proposed a new cybersecurity law to force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google to give law enforcement agencies access to encrypted messages sent by suspected extremists and criminals.Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday the law would be modelled on Britain’s Investigatory Powers Act, passed in November, which gave intelligence agencies some of the most extensive surveillance powers in the western world. Continue reading...
Should I upgrade my Windows Vista PC or buy a new one?
Many readers are still using Vista despite it no longer receiving security patches, but it should still possible for them to upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 10My Windows Vista PC works perfectly well, and I have Kaspersky Internet Security. I have been told that I will need a new PC as I could get viruses now that Microsoft no longer supports Vista. A new PC to replace the one I have would cost about £1,200 and it seems a shame when I have no problems with it, but I am concerned that it could be hacked. ksallatt Continue reading...
When does following my ex online become stalking?
From celebrities to exes, we’ve always obsessed over people that intrigue us. Social media just makes that easier – but there’s still a line you can crossI follow my ex-boyfriend across four different platforms and know the name of his new girlfriend’s sister. Is this stalking?You ask a version of the two primary questions pertaining to behavior online: am I being gross? Or, more commonly, is someone being gross to me? The answer in both cases is usually yes, since the internet, if it has done anything, has liberated our grossest instincts, and I salute your attempt to police yours. Continue reading...
Radical Technologies by Adam Greenfield review – luxury communism, anyone?
A tremendously intelligent and stylish book on the ‘colonisation of everyday life by information processing’ calls for resistance to rule by the tech elite
School clamps down on phones and Fitbits to ease body image worries
Stroud high school for girls says tech gadgets and social media exacerbate pressures leading to low self-esteemA girls’ school is banning wearable activity trackers and smartwatches because of concerns that pupils are skipping lunch if they fail to meet their calorie and exercise targets.Teachers at Stroud high school in Gloucestershire fear the gadgets are exacerbating some girls’ worries about their body image. Continue reading...
Your Facebook Messenger app is about to be filled with ads
After forcing users to switch to separate Messenger app to continue chatting, Facebook will now push adverts on them in expanded trialAfter forcing Facebook users to switch to a separate Messenger app to continue chatting, the social network is about to start pushing adverts on those using the function.Facebook said on Tuesday that it was testing advertising on its Messenger app globally as the world’s largest social media company looks to further monetise its popular chat service, which has 1.2 billion monthly users. Continue reading...
Chatterbox: Wednesday
The place to talk about games and other things that matterIt’s Wednesday. Continue reading...
Trump's 'war on the open internet': tech firms join day of action for net neutrality
Amazon, Facebook and Netflix among companies demonstrating on behalf of net neutrality, in what supporters say will be biggest online protest in historyAmazon, Facebook, Netflix and a host of other tech giants will join with online activists, librarians, minority rights and free speech groups today in a day of protest against the Trump administration’s plans to roll back rules in what critics charge is a “war on the open internet”.The “day of action” – which supporters claim will be the largest online protest in history – comes as the new head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US telecoms and media watchdog, prepares to defang tough rules protecting internet access in the US following pressure from cable companies and other internet service providers (ISPs).
First Tesla Model 3 rolls off production line ... into the hands of Elon Musk
Lower-cost electric car begins delivery with first model to company chief executive as first 30 customers to get vehicles at 28 July partyThe first of Tesla’s highly anticipated lower-cost electric cars, the Model 3, has rolled off the production line to its new owner, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk.The one-man marketing machine, who also took on a large, high-profile battery project in Australia and a runs a privateer space company Space X, shared a couple of photos of the Model 3. Continue reading...
Spotify denies filling popular playlists with 'fake artists'
Streaming music company rejects accusations that it is padding out popular playlists such as Sleep and Ambient Chill with fake artistsSpotify has denied filling its most popular playlists with “fake artists”, after it was accused of creating songs to bulk out its most popular ambient playlists at low cost to itself.The allegation, first made by industry website Music Business Worldwide and brought to wider attention by culture publication Vulture, is that some playlists on Spotify are full of bands with no public profile, few songs, but millions of song plays – all as a result of their position on the service. Continue reading...
Chatterbox: monday
The place to talk abut games and other things that matterIt’s Monday. Continue reading...
Facebook village? Social media giant to build 'social housing'
The tech giant aims to build 1,500 apartments at Menlo Park after being criticised for helping to deepen the Silicon Valley housing crisisFacebook is to build its own “village” of 1,500 homes for workers struggling to pay soaring rents as the housing crisis in Silicon Valley deepens.Related: 'We will be torn apart': the battle to save Silicon Valley's oldest trailer park Continue reading...
Initial coin offerings: cryptocurrency's next high-risk big money maker
Risk-takers are cashing in millions with launches of new cryptocurrencies that make traditional initial public offerings look practically prehistoricAfter the boom and bust and boom of bitcoin, where some lost millions on discarded drives and others found forgotten wallets with enough to buy a flats in Oslo, the next big thing in the cryptocurrency is here to generate millions of pounds for the lucky few brave enough to invest: the initial coin offering (ICO).If you hang out in cryptocurrency circles, you’re used to hearing conventional wisdom being questioned. After all, the sector was born out of the idea that orthodox economics is bunk. From there, there’s nowhere to go but up. Continue reading...
How smart cities can create their own poetry – tech podcast
Artist Naho Matsuda has harnessed real-time smart city data in Manchester to create live poetry displays reflecting on what’s happening in real time
Australian internet slow and plagued by disconnections, survey finds
Consumer watchdog finds 60% of consumers have had issues with service in past six months and more than 75% of NBN customers have had problemsAustralia is plagued by internet disconnections, drop-outs and slow download speeds, a survey has found.
What's the best camera for a technophobic dad?
Jayme’s father wants a mobile phone to take photos of things when he is out and about. But would a smartphone or a compact camera be the best solution?My dad wants a mobile phone with a camera so that he can take photos of things when he is out and about. Trouble is, he is technophobic. Giving him a smartphone would, I think, be an expensive waste as the camera functions seem to be buried deep within various apps and finger swipes. Is there is a simple point-and-shoot camera that can also function as a mobile phone? So far, I have come up with the Kodak Ektra, but I haven’t held one to see how accessible the camera function is. JaymeThe simplest way to take photos when you are out and about is to use a point-and-shoot camera. Smartphones can do lots of things, but they are not as good for taking pictures as cameras designed for the job. Continue reading...
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