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Updated 2018-07-18 22:17
Elon Musk calls British diver in Thai cave rescue 'pedo' in baseless attack
Accusation directed on Twitter at Vern Unsworth, who called Tesla CEO’s offer of ‘mini-sub’ to help rescuers a ‘PR stunt’
Defunct Jawbone fitness trackers kept selling after app closure, says Which
When Jawbone liquidated its assets, its wristbands became useless without companion appFitness trackers made by the defunct wearables company Jawbone were still on sale at Amazon, Selfridges and Groupon more than a month after they were rendered useless by the closure of a companion app, according to research by the consumer magazine Which.The Jawbone UP2, first released in 2015, is a wrist-worn fitness tracker. It connects to iOS and Android phones through Bluetooth, and uploads its data to a companion app, also branded UP. But in 2017, after a run of bad financial results, the company liquidated its assets, and earlier this year it disabled the app entirely. Continue reading...
Samsung phones sent photos to random contacts, users say
Firm is investigating reports that default messaging app sent pictures without consentSamsung is investigating reports that its default text messaging app on the Galaxy S8 and S9 smartphones is sending photos to random contacts without permission.
Hoverboards: why they haven't got off to a McFlying start
The gadgets inspired by Back to the Future Part II’s floating skateboards have failed to deliverWe could start by saying “they” didn’t promise us hoverboards. People want hoverboards because they saw one in the disappointing sequel Back to the Future Part II . But that doesn’t mean people haven’t tried to make them. Like other colourful retrofuturist fantasies, hoverboards were a lustmotif that spoke to a whole generation in the way that flying cars and jetpacks did to baby boomers.Problem No 1: how would this thing hover? We have four choices: some type of thrust, a cushion of air, maglev or magic. Continue reading...
Facebook reveals it gave 61 companies access to widely blocked user data
Company tells Congress it provided Nike, Spotify, a dating app and other services with special rights to informationFacebook gave 61 businesses including Nike, Spotify, UPS and dating app Hinge special rights to access user data after blocking such access more broadly.In written responses to the US Congress on its operations, the social network revealed it granted numerous extensions to access a user’s public profile as well as some data from their friends. Continue reading...
How the EU can make the internet play fair with musicians | Letters
This week’s vote on the proposed EU copyright directive is not about censorship but support for creators and usersAfter three years of debate, one of the most controversial pieces of legislation to come before the European parliament is going to the vote on Thursday (Brussels vote may force YouTube to pay billions extra in fees, 2 July).It is about copyright, and specifically about the rights of creators versus those of the internet giants, and whether or not the internet functions as a fair and efficient marketplace. If we cave to the pressure of these giants, the future of our creative industry is at serious risk. Continue reading...
Tesla finally hits weekly production target for Model 3 cars
Firm builds 5,000 in a week but critics are sceptical over whether feat can be replicatedTesla has finally hit its weekly target production rate of 5,000 of its “mass-market” Model 3 electric car thanks to a big tent.Related: Tesla factory to be investigated over safety concerns Continue reading...
Hack, spy, swing an election: Orwell game sums up life in a tech dystopia
The terrifying extent of online government surveillance is laid bare in the Orwell game series. How complicit will you be when put in control?In March this year, it was revealed that the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had obtained data collected from tens of thousands of Facebook accounts to build a system that could create individual profiles and sway voters with personalised political advertisements. It proved to be another worrying example of the way online information is used by a system we have no knowledge of; a reminder of people’s complete lack of awareness of how their personal information is used and manipulated by powerful institutions.Orwell, an ongoing video game series, makes obvious what is hidden: that mass surveillance and data harvesting can be used in sinister ways that go further than just advertising profiles, to regulate and govern our behaviour in ways we don’t realise. It asks players to question systems of surveillance while giving an insight into our complicity within these structures. Continue reading...
Lexus RX 450hL preview: ‘A luxury seven-seat SUV for the lucky few’ | Martin Love
For families who like to travel in style, few cars will be closer to the top of your wishlistLexus RX 450hL
Why are all my weather apps different?
Forecasting is more accurate than ever, but mobile apps can still disagree wildly. What causes the difference – and which one is best?It was a tale of two storms. The first consisted of the rain and thunder forecast for Bournemouth by the BBC weather app on the Saturday spring bank holiday. The second came when the first failed to materialise and a tourism manager in the town complained that visitors who stayed away could have come after all and enjoyed sunshine and blue skies.This opportunity to rage at inaccurate forecasting, bash the BBC and highlight the grievances of small businesses did not go to waste. For the Sun, it was a “blunderstorm”. The Mail gave voice to furious social media users whose weekend had been ruined by “crap forecasting” and “total incompetence”. The Spectator even managed to use the row to take pot shots at climate-change predictions. Continue reading...
New Dark Age by James Bridle review – technology and the end of the future
The consequences of the technological revolution may be even more frightening than we thoughtI suspect your enjoyment – or otherwise – of James Bridle’s New Dark Age will depend very much on whether you’re a glass half-empty, or a glass exactly-filled-to-the-halfway-mark-by-microprocessor-controlled-automatic-pumping-systems sort of a person. I like to think that while I may have misgivings about much of what the current technological revolution is visiting on us, I yet manage to resist that dread ascription “luddite”. It’s one Bridle also wishes to avoid; but such is the pessimism about the machines that informs his argument, that his calls for a new “partnership” between them and us seem like special pleading. As futile, in fact, as a weaver believing that by smashing a Jacquard loom he’ll stop the industrial revolution in its tracks.If we’re in ignorance of what our robots are doing, how can we know if we’re being harmed? Continue reading...
A parent’s story: ‘Our son stole from us, courtesy of PayPal’
The payments service raised no alarm bells when a 17-year-old ‘betrayed’ his parents by using his father’s bank cardThis is a cautionary tale that will be of particular interest to the parents of teenagers who, having grown up in a digital age, are over-confident in their use of technology and underestimate the potential dangers of the internet.My son David is 17, and technology has always been part of his life. As a consequence, nothing fazes him about computers or the internet. He spends most of his time on his computer, primarily for gaming (though he has allegedly studied for his final year school exams, too). He is also (if I’m being honest) a bit immature for his years. And he has just demonstrated extraordinary naivety, courtesy of PayPal. Continue reading...
Indian state cuts internet after lynchings over online rumours
Mobs beat three people to death in three separate incidents in state of TripuraAuthorities in north-eastern India have cut internet access after mobs beat three people to death in lynchings sparked by rumours spread on smartphones, officials have said.They were the latest in a string of more than 25 similar killings in recent months across India, according to press reports, which have been carried out iafter false information was spread on the messaging service WhatsApp. Continue reading...
Halo video game franchise to become live-action TV series
Premium cable network Showtime announced the series, which will hope to avoid the fate of previous flawed adaptation attemptsBlockbusting video game Halo is to be adapted into a 10-part live-action series, which will aim to succeed where a doomed film project and a poorly received web series failed.In an announcement, David Nevins, the president and CEO of premium cable network Showtime, creators of the show, said that it would focus on “an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant”. Continue reading...
Can video games be addictive? Chips with Everything podcast
In June 2018, the World Health Organization released its latest version of the ICD-11. Among the new mental health disorders? Gaming disorderSubscribe and review: Acast, Apple, Spotify, SoundCloud, AudioBoom, Mixcloud. Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter or email us at chipspodcast@theguardian.com.The World Health Organization has been working on an update for its diagnostic manual, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). In June 2018 it released its latest version of the ICD-11 for implementation. Continue reading...
Tau review – Gary Oldman is an evil Alexa in another Netflix sci-fi disaster
The recent Oscar winner lends his voice to a moronic thriller about a woman trapped by artificial intelligence, which sits alongside other genre missteps on the streaming platformIt’s a long and noble Hollywood tradition: an actor scores the coveted Academy Award at long last, and then promptly squanders that industry cachet on the most mortifying work of their entire career. Mere days after picking up a statuette for Boyhood, Patricia Arquette was off solving computer-crimes on CSI: Cyber. Eddie Redmayne took home the gold for The Theory of Everything, and celebrated by bellowing his way through an utterly incomprehensible turn in Jupiter Ascending. A decade and a half out from his win for The Pianist, and Adrien Brody is still doing this.Related: Science friction: can Netflix figure out its blockbuster problem? Continue reading...
Lite fantastic: why slimmed-down phone apps are the fast way forward
Over-complicated, storage-filling apps can slow us down. Instragram Lite is the latest brand to shed unwanted features and help us work betterInstagram has become the latest app to get the so-called lite treatment – a stripped-back, cut-down reaction to the increasingly over-complicated, bloat-filled apps we’re being asked to swallow on a daily basis from the big app developers.
Facebook patents system that can use your phone's mic to monitor TV habits
System would allow Facebook to identify what adults and children are watching based on ambient noise
Can my employer read emails in my Gmail account?
Martin works for a large company that uses G Suite where the tech team can accesses employees’ emails. Can he prevent this?I work for a large company and use the Gmail set up for my account. As a senior manager, I have many confidential conversations internally and externally via email.I have found out that one of the tech guys accesses employee’s emails when requested to carry out checks by the CEO. Do they have the right to do this? I think it creates a feeling of mistrust and insecurity. Can I lock my account so only I can access it? MartinHistorically, the assumption has always been that companies own and can access mail used for company business. When I was a manager, I dictated letters to a secretary who typed them and filed copies. I never reached a level where these filing cabinets were locked and inaccessible, but they contained nothing of personal interest. Continue reading...
'I don't like the stress of dying': the game for people who don't want to fight
#SelfCare packs a ‘tend and befriend’ strategy to appeal to players who find combat titles a turn-off. Its designers, Brie Code and Eve Thomas, make the case for staying in bed all dayEve Thomas, an artist and magazine editor from Montreal, would not call herself a gamer. She played video games on a Mac as a child and enjoyed Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii, but most modern video games don’t appeal. “I don’t like the stress of dying,” she says. “And every single advert for most games presumed me to be a guy. They would presume a certain gaze. They didn’t feel like they were speaking to me.”About three years ago, Thomas got in contact with game programmer Brie Code at Ubisoft, one of the world’s biggest games publishers, hoping to profile her for a magazine. Code had been spending a lot of time thinking about why it was that the video games she loved were failing to appeal to her friends and, increasingly, to her. “I was getting bored with video games,” she says. “I thought it was a problem with me, that I was just growing up and less interested in them. But it wasn’t just me. Everyone at work was pretending they were into all the latest things coming out but later, at the bar, they would admit they barely played games any more.” Continue reading...
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit review –poignant pipe dreams
PS4, Xbox One, PC; Dontnod/Square Enix
Google Home and Chromecast outage hits millions of users worldwide
Users frustrated by length of the outage and lack of updates from Google about glitchGoogle devices and apps have experienced serious outages that lasted for more than 12 hours and affected millions of users.Related: What is Google doing with AI? Chips with Everything podcast Continue reading...
Elon Musk drawn into farting unicorn dispute with potter
Tom Edwards was thrilled to hear the CEO was a fan of his work, until he saw Tesla using a copy without permission
The Guardian view on the defence budget: be realistic | Editorial
The military has suffered from austerity and the world is a dangerous place, but that doesn’t mean the case for higher defence spending needs no interrogationIt is easier to assert that Britain needs a modern military capability than it is to say what that means. The existence of dangers – from terrorism and cyberwarfare to nuclear proliferation and a pattern of Russian provocations – is beyond question. But to identify a threat is not the same as knowing how to handle it and, since the imagination can always conjure a worst-case scenario, the shopping list of desirable hardware can be long and very expensive.But resources are finite; compromise is inevitable. Military chiefs always want bigger budgets, and ministers, keen to show voters that they take no chances with national security, are reluctant to contradict the khaki lobby. Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, has gone a step further, noisily demanding cash from the prime minister and the chancellor. Continue reading...
Sonos Beam review: a great, compact, jack-of-all-trades upgrade for your TV
The new, cheaper, more compact Sonos soundbar has full-range, room-filling sound, wifi and smart speaker functionality with built-in AlexaThe Beam is the new, more compact and cheaper soundbar from multi-room audio specialists Sonos, which promises to be a great one-box upgrade for your TV sound, with Alexa and smart speaker functionality built in.
Facebook scraps plans to build drone to deliver internet access
Facebook will not build its own aircraft due to aerospace companies’ competitionFacebook is scrapping its plans to build a high-altitude solar-powered drone that would have delivered internet access to the developing world.The drone, named Aquila by the company, was initially created by British aerospace engineer Andrew Cox, whose company Ascenta was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $20m (£15m). It was folded into Facebook’s Internet.org project, which had a stated goal of “connecting the whole world”, and was intended to be used to fly at a higher altitude than commercial planes, relaying laser-based internet signals down to base-stations on the ground. Continue reading...
Huawei wouldn't give Australian users' data to China, says chairman
John Lord says doing so would be ‘completely illegal’ and the telco would not flout Australian lawsHuawei would refuse to hand over data on Australian users to China because complying with such an order would be “completely illegal”, its Australian chairman has claimed.John Lord made the comment at the National Press Club on Wednesday, an outing in which he struggled to explain the requirements of Chinese law and to account for security assessments that have contributed to a hardening attitude to Huawei taking part in the build of the 5G network in Australia. Continue reading...
Being human: how realistic do we want robots to be?
With Google’s AI assistant able to make phone calls and androids populating households in games and films, the line between machine and man is getting scarily blurred
Uber wins 15-month probationary licence to work in London
Ride-hailing service impresses judge with sweeping changes to its practicesUber will be able to continue operating in London, after a court decided the ride-hailing firm should be awarded a new 15-month probationary licence, after being told of sweeping changes to its practices.The ride-hailing firm’s future in one of its biggest global markets had been in jeopardy after Transport for London ruled last September that it was not “fit and proper” to hold a private hire vehicles operator licence. Continue reading...
The best video games of 2018 so far
From souls in peril in a mysterious dark fantasy to a young woman falling tenderly in love – and the Norse gods going to war in spectacular styleOtherworldly and endearing, Celeste follows a pixel-art character up a mountain, encouraging you through its fiendish, treacherous areas with affirmations and optimism. Tough, but perfectly balanced. Continue reading...
iOS 12: how to install Apple’s latest iPhone software right now
Apple’s new faster update with anti-smartphone addiction features is now available to test for the iPhone 5S or newerApple has released the public beta version of the much anticipated free iOS 12 software update for iPhones and iPads, which means those eager to try it before anyone else can install it right now.
Seven cooling gadgets to beat the heat
Fans are great, but when it gets really hot all they do is push warm air around. These seven gadgets aim to cool you down without air conditioningThe British summer is a cruel mistress. It’s either dank, grey and raining, or so hot you practically melt on the way to work. An umbrella takes care of the former, but it’s difficult to stay cool in the heat.When a fan just doesn’t cut it, or simply isn’t practical, here are some of the best gadgets to keep the sweat at bay during work, rest and play. Continue reading...
European regulators report sharp rise in complaints after GDPR
Watchdogs reveal more data protection complaints and increase in breach notificationsThe first month of GDPR has seen a sharp increase in the number of complaints to regulators across Europe, showing strong public interest in the new rules.The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) told the Guardian it has seen a rise in breach notifications from organisations, as well as more data protection complaints following the activation of the law. Continue reading...
When should a tech company refuse to build tools for the government?
Silicon Valley workers are revolting against lucrative contracts with US immigration and defense agenciesDuring the second world war, IBM supplied the Nazis with technology used to help transport millions of people to their deaths in the concentration camps.The American technology company leased punch-card machines through a German subsidiary for the purpose of tabulating a population census, which allowed the Nazis to identify and track the movements of Jews all the way to the gas chambers. In 1937, Hitler awarded a medal to the company’s CEO, Thomas Watson, in recognition of his services to the Third Reich. Continue reading...
Huawei named as top corporate sponsor for MPs' paid travel
Company paid for 12 trips to China, but politicians make more trips to Israel than anywhere elseTrips to Israel top the list of politicians’ travel paid for by non-Australian government sponsors, and the Chinese company Huawei has been the top corporate sponsor, a new report has revealed.The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s report shows Israel, China and the United States are the top three destinations. Continue reading...
Ray guns: will they ever be more than cool toys?
Humans have dreamed of weaponised lasers since HG Wells first mooted them. Should we be careful what we wish for?You can thank HG Wells for the idea of a ray gun. Weaponised lasers, microwave beams, particle beams and so on ... Wells’s Martian death rays in 1897’s War of the Worlds sparked the concept.Twenty years later one Albert Einstein offered a proof of concept in 1917, and then Charles Townes finally made one (OK, a laser) in 1951. Star Trek injected further vim to the fantasy of handheld zappers with its phasers, followed by the blasters of Star Wars – enough appetite to stimulate real military research – remember Ronald “Ray gun” and his Star Wars programme? Continue reading...
Uber says it has changed as London licence ban appeal begins
Ride-hailing firm accepts TfL’s initial decision but has passed last three inspectionsUber has launched a legal fight to regain its London licence, claiming that “wholesale” changes to its business practices should allow it to continue operating in the capital – although it admitted the original decision to punish the company was right .The San Francisco-based ride-hailing firm was told last year the licence for one of its most important foreign markets would not be renewed because of concerns about public safety and security, such as background checks on drivers. Continue reading...
Ubisoft games are political, says CEO - just not the way you think
Ubisoft’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, answers recent criticism that the company has been dodging the political implications of its games, saying they give players the tools to explore issues themselvesWhen veteran publisher Ubisoft showed off its tactical online shooter, Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2, at the E3 games expo this month, the political undertones of the game and its narrative seemed obvious. This is the story of a near-future America decimated by a terrorist attack in which a deadly toxin is released into the air over several major cities. In the aftermath, players must join a secret army of highly trained soldiers tasked with restoring the power of the government against gangs of rioters. It’s typical Tom Clancy fare: paranoid, technologically driven and unquestioning in its understanding of the US military as a force for good. It is, in other words, political.Set in Washington DC, the screenshots and trailers for Division 2 are awash with provocative imagery, including a smoking White House and a downed Air Force One plane. During the E3 presentation of the game, a voiceover declares that a corrupt force within the government is looking to take control of the country, bringing about a new civil war. Given the strife in the US over Donald Trump’s presidency, and the current issues of gun control, immigration and terrorism, it feels like an even more politically charged setup. Continue reading...
Apple aims to appease customers with free MacBook keyboard repairs
Company’s admission over faulty keyboards follows litany of complaintsApple has admitted that its MacBook and MacBook Pro laptop keyboards made since 2015 are susceptible to becoming stuck or breaking, and is promising to repair them for free.
Anti-Social Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy by Siva Vaidhyanathan – review
An excellent critique of the social media giant underlines the threat it poses to us all – and suggests how it can be tamedThe best metaphor for Facebook is the monster created by Dr Frankenstein. Mary Shelley’s story shows how, as Fiona Sampson put it in a recent Guardian article, “aspiration and progress are indistinguishable from hubris – until something goes wrong, when suddenly we see all too clearly what was reasonable endeavour and what overreaching”. There are clear echoes of this in the evolution of Facebook. “It’s a story”, writes Siva Vaidhyanathan in this excellent critique, “of the hubris of good intentions, a missionary spirit and an ideology that sees computer code as the universal solvent for all human problems. And it’s an indictment of how social media has fostered the deterioration of democratic and intellectual culture around the world.”Facebook was founded by an undergraduate with good intentions but little understanding of human nature. He thought that by creating a machine for “connecting” people he might do some good for the world while also making himself some money. He wound up creating a corporate monster that is failing spectacularly at the former but succeeding brilliantly at the latter. Facebook is undermining democracy at the same time as it is making Mark Zuckerberg richer than Croesus. And it is now clear that this monster, like Dr Frankenstein’s, is beyond its creator’s control. Continue reading...
Worlds Adrift: can its billion-dollar tech make it the next Fortnite?
The massively multiplayer fantasy could be a huge hit due to groundbreaking SpatialOSAs tens of millions of gamers log on every day to play games such as Fortnite, developers are hoping their creation will become the next megahit.Worlds Adrift has elements of Fortnite - a “bright, brash multiplayer shooter” game - combined with World of Warcraft and has been spawned by a developer already used to turning simple ideas into viral smashes. Continue reading...
Facebook’s Grow magazine – for the business leader who wants to be cool as well as rich
The semi-evil social network has launched its latest venture, a lifestyle magazine for the elite. Just don’t call it a publisher ...
AΦE: Whist review – an awesome virtual-reality dance experience
Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells, London
Hertz cinema car: ‘Road movies with a difference’ | Martin Love
A novel idea from Hertz brings big screen entertainment to the back seat of your rental carHertz cinema car
Eton College pupils told to hand over their mobile phones at night
Boys’ boarding school brings in policy to combat social media pressures and improve sleepBoys in their first year at Eton College have been ordered to hand over their mobile phones at night because of concerns about the pressures of social media.Simon Henderson, the headmaster at the boys’ boarding school, said the policy had also been introduced to reduce the amount of screen time pupils are exposed to and improve their sleep. Continue reading...
Haunted by a mugshot: how predatory websites exploit the shame of arrest
Sites are collecting people’s mugshots, then charging huge sums to remove them. Should Google be doing more to stop it?Gregory Rakoczy was asleep in his van at a Maryland campsite when six police officers knocked on his door. A fellow camper had Googled his name and found a mugshot indicating he was a felon on the run. He was not.Rakoczy was arrested and held for 20 hours. Afterward he immediately Googled his own name and found that his picture had recently gone up on Mugshots.com for criminal charges he had faced 15 years ago. Continue reading...
As it happened: Day one of E3 2018 gave us new Halo, Gears of War, Fallout, and Elder Scrolls 6
The news from Bethesda and Microsoft’s E3 2018 press conferences, as it happened.5.44am BSTIf you’re just joining us, here are the key revelations from Monday’s Xbox and Bethesda presentations. Read our full summary of the day’s events right here:Related: E3 2018: Bethesda and Microsoft unveil Fallout, Elder Scrolls VI, Halo and Gears of War4.22am BSTThank you for joining us for day one of our E3 live blog! Tomorrow we’ll be back for Ubisoft and Sony’s press conferences, from 12pm to 8pm PDT. Continue reading...
Facebook shared user details with firms after cutting developers' access
Losing one’s virginity in a Morris Minor | Letters
Readers share their experiences of the classic carI own a mid-grey 1967 Morris Minor Traveller (Ian Allen’s letter, 7 June). Recently, I was returning to it in a Sainsbury’s car park in Macclesfield with some shopping. Hanging around the rear of the car I noticed an elderly lady wearing a Giles cartoon grandma-style hat with a flower in it and a dark ill-fitting coat. When I approached, she asked: “Young man [I’m 72!], is this your car?” When I replied “Yes”, she whimpered a little and shuffled around the rear of the car to peer in a side window.Then came the swinging 60s punchline: “Young man, I’d like you to know that I lost my virginity in the back of one of those.” I was a bit taken aback but managed to ask if she enjoyed the experience, to which she replied, “No, not really”, and shuffled off with her trolley! Continue reading...
Can technology help dementia patients? Chips with Everything podcast
An exhibition in London looked at how digital touch technologies could reconnect a person in care with their loved onesSubscribe and review: Acast, Apple, Spotify, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud. Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter or email us at chipspodcast@theguardian.com.Touch is a fundamental part of human interaction. Even when our communication is mitigated by technology, as it so frequently is nowadays, it’s often via some sort of touchscreen. But as far as physical interaction with other human beings in the same space, some people think we’re living through a crisis of touch, especially when it comes to older people. Continue reading...
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