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Updated 2017-11-19 16:01
How Brexity is your vacuum cleaner?
Staunch leaver James Dyson has said Britain should walk away from talks with the EU. Here’s where other dust busters stand on the issue
The week in radio and podcasts: Haunted; The Inspection Chamber; A Culture of Encounter
A podcast has deep thoughts on the paranormal, while the BBC’s foray into interactive storytelling does a little too much askingHaunted | iTunes
Disruption games: why are libertarians lining up with autocrats to undermine democracy?
In the era of digital politics, an odd alliance has sprung up: anti-state campaigners and Moscow-backed nationalists are combining to disrupt liberal institutionsAt a time when strange alliances are disrupting previously stable democracies, the Catalan independence referendum was a perfect reflection of a weird age. Along with the flag-waving and calls for ‘freedom’ from Madrid, the furore that followed the vote unleashed some of the darker elements that have haunted recent turbulent episodes in Europe and America: fake news, Russian mischief and, marching oddly in step, libertarian activism.From his residence of more than five years inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange tweeted 80 times in support of Catalan secession, and his views were amplified by the state-run Russian news agency, Sputnik, making him the most quoted English-language voice on Twitter, according to independent research and the Sydney Morning Herald. Continue reading...
The 40 best gadgets of 2017
From smart-speakers and virtual bikes to robot vacuums and indestructible cables, here is the year’s most covetable technologyYou can assemble one of three robots with this Lego-like kit, each fully mobile and equipped with an infra-red sensor to help it detect and interact with its environment. Best of all, it can then be programmed using the child-friendly block-programming app, opening limitless opportunities. Continue reading...
‘Amazon’s Alexa is now part of the family – I just hope she doesn’t replace me’
In 2017 voice recognition has gone mainstream, with the Echo, Google Home and other smart speakers all competing for space in your lifeThe most futuristic thing I have ever bought used to be a Sonos music player. I’d have people over just to show it off. “Name a song,” I’d say. “Go on, any version of any song by any act that ever lived. I dare you.” So they would, and I’d pull out my phone and – hey presto – seconds later, that song would boom out across my living room like magic. No ungainly wires. No battery-draining Bluetooth connection. When friends moved house, I’d see their stupid boxes of old CDs and laugh. “You antiquated morons,” I’d gloat. “When I move house, I’ll be able to fit every song ever recorded into a shoebox. I live in the distant future and you are a bone-throwing ape, and it’s all thanks to my Sonos.”I hate my Sonos player now. Continue reading...
VW Golf GTI: ‘Freakish attention to detail’ | Martin Love
It was already the world’s best hatchback. Now VW has gone and made the Golf GTI even betterPrice: £28,345
The 20 best apps to improve your smartphone
Whether you want an alarm that syncs with your body clock or a to-do list you can speak to, these are the apps you’ll need to make your smartphone smarterThe latest generation of smartphones comes with a panoply of apps to get you started, from email and photography to navigation, weather and video-calling services. But every one of those default apps has at least one alternative on the app stores, and there are often dozens more that can represent a big upgrade.Here are 20 examples that will improve your smartphone’s stock features, and in some cases provide the functionality that is puzzlingly missing from apps in 2017’s starter packs. A number of them also have smartwatch extensions, providing an upgrade on your Apple Watch or Android Wear timepiece’s features too. Continue reading...
Xbox One X review: a perfect pitch to a demanding demographic
The Xbox One X is sleek and significant upgrade that should edge Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro down the wishlistIts creators claim it is one of the most powerful gaming consoles on Earth, now the newly launched Xbox One X from Microsoft is after a new accolade - to beat its rival Sony to dominate Christmas wishlists and the hearts of video game players.Microsoft’s new console, a substantial upgrade to the original Xbox One released in 2013, comes almost exactly a year after Sony delivered a similar performance boost with its PlayStation 4 Pro. Continue reading...
Bitcoin breaks $8,000 barrier amid speculation over spin-off
One unit of the cryptocurrency now valued at more than six times an ounce of gold, after tenfold rise since start of 2017The price of the virtual currency bitcoin has broken the $8,000 barrier for the first time, prompting speculation that it could soar past $10,000 by the end of the year.The rise means one unit of the world’s first major cryptocurrency is now valued at more than six times an ounce of gold, traditionally seen as a safe-haven investment in times of economic turmoil. Continue reading...
Seeing a GP on a smartphone sounds wonderful – but it's not
The new GP in Hand app fails to provide equality of access and undermines practice revenuesLast week, with very little warning – even to those of us working in general practice – along came GP at Hand. Private doctor provider Babylon caused shockwaves with its offer to sign up patients from across London to its online GP service as a replacement for their regular NHS practices, with plans to expand to the rest of England. GP at Hand promises that patients will be able to “book an appointment within seconds” via its smartphone app and have a video consultation with a GP typically within under two hours of booking “anytime, anywhere”. Those who need it can then see a GP face to face within 48 hours at one of six sites across London.On the surface, GP at Hand sounds wonderful – the NHS finally embracing technological advances in IT, offering almost immediate access when some are waiting three weeks for a non-urgent GP appointment. But while anyone can join its service, the website says it may not be suitable for “complex mental health problems or complex physical, psychological or social needs”. Or if you’re pregnant or older and frail, and as long as you don’t have dementia or learning difficulties or safeguarding issues. This new service is cherry-picking its target population. Continue reading...
Siri is my agony aunt – but is telling big tech my innermost feelings a bad idea?
People are increasingly using virtual assistants as their closest confidantes and Apple, Google and Amazon are responding. But are we telling them too much?It’s three in the morning and my room is bathed in the glow of my phone. Like one in three people, I check my smartphone when I wake up in the middle of the night. I can’t sleep and so wander from one social-media app to another, my thumbs scrolling through what feels like miles of emptiness. “Siri, what is the meaning of life?” I ask without thinking. “I have stopped asking myself this kind of question,” she answers. I ask again, because I like it better when she says “nothing Niestzche wouldn’t teach you”.I am not the only one turning to Siri for life advice. Apple is currently recruiting a Siri engineer with a background in psychology to help make its virtual assistant better at answering these sorts of questions. Continue reading...
Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: 'The system is failing'
The inventor of the world wide web remains an optimist but sees a ‘nasty wind’ blowing amid concerns over advertising, net neutrality and fake newsSir Tim Berners-Lee’s optimism about the future of the web is starting to wane in the face of a “nasty storm” of issues including the rollback of net neutrality protections, the proliferation of fake news, propaganda and the web’s increasing polarisation.The inventor of the world wide web always maintained his creation was a reflection of humanity – the good, the bad and the ugly. But Berners-Lee’s vision for an “open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries” has been challenged by increasingly powerful digital gatekeepers whose algorithms can be weaponised by master manipulators. Continue reading...
I'm a pacifist, so why don't I support the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots?
A new campaign is calling for a ban on autonomous weapons. But a ban is not the solution – neither is inflaming the public with dystopian visions of the futureThe Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has called on the UN to ban the development and use of autonomous weapons: those that can identify, track and attack targets without meaningful human oversight. On Monday, the group released a sensationalist video, supported by some prominent artificial intelligence researchers, depicting a dystopian future in which such machines run wild.I am gratified that my colleagues are volunteering their efforts to ensure beneficial uses of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. But I am unconvinced of the effectiveness of the campaign beyond a symbolic gesture. Even though I identify myself strongly as a pacifist, I have reservations about signing up to the proposed ban. I am not alone in this predicament. Continue reading...
Pokémon fans in shock as Pikachu speaks English in latest movie
Audible gasps and expletives at screenings as the best known Pokémon departs from the convention of being able to say only his namePokémon fans around the world have been left in shock by a controversial scene in the series’s latest animated movie in which Pikachu is seen to speak English.The iconic Pokémon, who has functioned as the series mascot since the late 1990s, has traditionally been unable to speak human languages. Like most other Pokémon, he could only repeat his own name. Continue reading...
Jaron Lanier: ‘The solution is to double down on being human’
He’s the Silicon Valley visionary who gave us virtual reality. Now, in a new memoir-cum-manifesto, Jaron Lanier recounts his sad, unusual childhood and calls for a re-evaluation of our ties with the digital environment Jaron Lanier has written a book about virtual reality, a phrase he coined and a concept he did much to invent. It has the heady title Dawn of the New Everything. But it’s also a tale of his growing up and when you read it, what you really want to talk to him about is parenting. Lanier is 57, but his childhood as he describes it was so sad and so creative and so extreme, it makes him almost seem fated to pursue alternative worlds.Lanier’s parents met in New York. His mother, Lilly, blond and light-skinned and Jewish, had somehow talked her way out of a “pop-up concentration camp” in Vienna after the Anschluss, aged 15. The family of his father, Ellery, had escaped a murderous pogrom in Ukraine. They met as part of a circle of artists in Greenwich Village in the 1950s. Lilly was a painter and a dancer, Ellery an architect, but when Jaron was born in 1960 they moved to El Paso, Texas, right on the border with Mexico. Lanier was never sure why, but he believes it was an effort, given their own childhoods, to “live as obscurely as possible”, off grid. His mother did not trust American schooling, so he went across the border to a Montessori school in Mexico each day; then, after a change of heart, to a Texas public high school, where he was bullied. Continue reading...
Skoda Kodiaq car review: ‘It easily swallows all your kit and clobber’ | Martin Love
Calm, comfortable and bursting with useful tech… Skoda’s first seven-seat SUV is every harassed parent’s dreamPrice: £22,190
Everything you wanted to know about bitcoin but were afraid to ask
The value of cryptocurrencies is rising fast. But is it sustainable? And how does it work, anyway? These questions, and many more, answered…The money has become too much to ignore and so bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are back in the news. You may have heard about Ethereum, a cryptocurrency that has risen in value by more than 2,500% over the course of 2017. Or maybe you’ve heard about one of the many smaller cryptocurrencies that raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the first few days they were on sale, during their “initial coin offering”. Or you’ve just spotted that bitcoin, which made headlines in 2013 for hitting a high of $200, is now worth nearly $7,000 (£5,250), making a lot of people very rich in the process.Are these cryptocurrencies simply speculative bubbles or will they actually transform our financial system? It’s time to answer a few common questions about this new technology – and assess whether a lot of people have just pulled off the investment of their lifetime or made a huge mistake. Continue reading...
Swift action needed to set framework for AI and machine learning | Letters
Professor Ottoline Leyser puts the case for a stewardship body for data useMachine learning and artificial intelligence have the potential to make significant improvements to our lives in areas such as health and public services. However, as Ian Sample points out (Computer says no: why making AIs fair, open and accountable is crucial, 6 November), there are real concerns about fairness and accountability. The Royal Society and the British Academy, in Data Management and Use: Governance in the 21st century, make the urgent case for a stewardship body for data use. The governance response must be driven by the overarching principle of human flourishing – recognising that humans do not serve data, but that data must be used to serve humans and human communities. A number of principles follow from this, including the need to protect individual and collective rights and interests. We need an independent, interdisciplinary stewardship body that can identify where there are governance gaps, with the power to urge the right bodies to fill those gaps. Swift action is needed to ensure that this important area of technology operates in a way that deserves and secures public trust.
The doctor, and Facebook, will see you now… | Brief letters
Scottish golf courses | Data protection | Rail strikes | John Lewis Christmas ad | Sheep and celebrities | Rappers’ monikersYour article (Trump’s resort ‘has ruined protected Scottish dunes’, 9 November) could well have also drawn attention to the current application by two US multimillionaires to similarly develop the Coul links on the Sutherland coast, north of Dornoch. This is a most beautiful, unspoilt stretch of sand dunes; an SSSI and a haven for many varied and rare species of flora and fauna. Lessons must be learned from Trump’s Aberdeen fiasco. Full details and video can be found on the protester’s website at notcoul.com.
YouTube to clamp down on disturbing kids' videos such as dark Peppa Pig
Site announces measures to flag, review and restrict content that is inappropriate for children but doesn’t breach wider guidelinesYouTube has announced a clampdown on disturbing and inappropriate children’s videos, following accusations that the site enabled “infrastructural violence” through the long-run effects of its content recommendation system.The new policy, announced on Thursday evening, will see age restrictions apply on content featuring “inappropriate use of family entertainment characters” like unofficial videos depicting Peppa Pig “basically tortured” at the dentist. The company already had a policy that rendered such videos ineligible for advertising revenue, in the hope that doing would reduce the motivation to create them in the first place. Continue reading...
Where Alexa gets her smarts: inside Amazon's Cambridge development centre – in pictures
Jeff Bezos’s company has opened a new ‘innovation hub’ in the UK, where 400 staff will work on next big things, from drone deliveries to ever-smarter AI Continue reading...
Self-driving bus company says vehicle safe following crash – video
A self-driving shuttle bus crashed in Las Vegas on Wednesday within two hours of setting off on its trial journey. The vehicle collided with a lorry that was reversing at the time. One passenger, Jenny Wong, escaped uninjured but noted that the bus could not reverse. Chris Barker of the transport company Keolis North America, a partner in the pilot project, said the bus was safe and had performed the way it was designed• Self-driving bus crashes less than two hours after Las Vegas launch Continue reading...
Can I use a cheap USB flash drive to run Windows and use as a local hard drive?
Roger is looking at a 1TB USB memory stick and wonders if he could use it as a day-to-day driveI have just had to replace my 1TB hard drive, which cost £25 all done and dusted, but I notice you can now get a 1TB USB Flash drive for £8.99. Could you use one of those as a normal day-to-day drive? I will use one as a backup, but if I mirror my drive on it, could I switch over to it if my drive goes down again? RogerI was surprised – shocked! – to discover that you could buy a 1TB flash drive for less than a tenner, because I’ve been paying more than that for 16GB and 32GB versions. As mentioned in the comments below, this is almost certainly a scam, because the old computer industry adage still applies: “cheap, fast, good – choose any two”. Continue reading...
Uber signs contract with Nasa to develop flying taxi software
Ambitious plans for electric drone-like flying cabs take step forward as Uber announces plans to test flights in LA in 2020Uber has taken a step forward in its plan to make autonomous “flying taxis” a reality, signing a contract with Nasa to develop the software to manage them.
Here's how Twitter should do longer text, and it doesn't take 280 characters
Give the people what they want: my pitch for how Twitter should host lengthy contributions without sacrificing brevityIn urban planning, there is the concept of a “desire path”.
Twitter to introduce expanded 280-character tweets for all its users
Company says trial move of allowing some tweeters to have double-length character counts is to be rolled out to everyoneTwitter’s trial of a 280-character tweet limit is to be universally expanded, the social media network has announced.The move comes after a limited experiment which began in September to see if a larger character count reduced “cramming” and led to users better expressing themselves. Continue reading...
So Generation Mute doesn’t like phone calls. Good. Who wants to talk, anyway? | Andy Dawson
With millennials increasingly preferring to message, it won’t be long before the call becomes a pursuit solely for cranks who like the sound of their own voiceIn the opening scene of Channel 4’s brilliant new comedy-drama series The End of the F***ing World, lead character and latent rage vessel Alyssa snaps when a friend sends her an instant messages using her smartphone as the pair sit facing each other at a table. Seconds later her phone is lying in pieces on the floor. Alyssa, however, is an anomaly. Verbal communication is on the way out, and nowhere more than on the telephone.Without us really noticing it, the phone call has been slowly fading out over the past few years, and a new survey by Ofcom shows that only 15% of 16 to 24-year-olds consider it the most important method of communication, compared with 36% who prefer instant messaging. Continue reading...
Twitter apologises for 'technical issue' that blocked searches for 'bisexual'
‘Out of date’ list of terms associated with explicit content blamed for blocking of search keywordTwitter has apologised for blocking the word “bisexual” from search results, saying that it was wrongly included in an “out of date” list of terms associated with explicit content.The company says the extent of the block was a “technical issue”, which will be fixed in the next day, adding that some terms in particular were “incorrectly included”. Continue reading...
US internet firms drop opposition and back bill to fight online sex trafficking
Experts warn about security after Donald Trump's Twitter account briefly deleted
The deactivation of @realDonaldTrump – apparently by a rogue employee – prompted much online mirth but raised concern about more sinister possibilitiesFor 11 hushed minutes, much of the world got to read the words they had waited to see since last November: “@realDonaldTrump does not exist”.It wasn’t fake news. It wasn’t even a glitch. Twitter pulled the plug on the hyperactive president on Thursday evening.
Shotgun shell: Google's AI thinks this turtle is a rifle
MIT researchers managed to confuse artificial intelligence into classifying a reptile as a firearm, posing questions about the future of AI securityIf it is the shape of a turtle, the size of a turtle, and has the patterning of a turtle, it’s probably a turtle. So when artificial intelligence confidently declares it’s a gun instead, something’s gone wrong.But that’s what researchers from MIT’s Labsix managed to trick Google’s object recognition AI into thinking, they revealed in a paper published this week. Continue reading...
Amazon wants goodies and tax breaks to move its HQ to your city. Say no thanks | Noam Maggor
Urban leaders must reject the race to the bottom that these scrambles to please corporations generate – as 19th-century mayors did during the rise of capitalism
Russian hacking went far beyond US election, digital hitlist reveals
AMP among companies affected by data breach of 50,000 staff records
Australian government employees also hit by breach after third-party contractor misconfigures form of cloud storageThe personal details of more than 4,000 government employees have been exposed in a massive data breach of 50,000 staff records from various companies across Australia.
ACCC to review NBN after 'high number' of consumer complaints
Meanwhile, Malcolm Turnbull’s Sydney home is not connected to the network, despite it being available in his streetThe consumer watchdog will review the standard of service NBN Co delivers to retailers amid an influx of customer complaints about connecting to the network.The announcement came on the same day a Senate committee heard Malcolm Turnbull’s private Sydney home is not connected to the national broadband network, despite it being available in his street. Continue reading...
Divisive Russian-backed Facebook ads released to the public
Ads released by US lawmakers appear to have targeted both liberals and conservatives on hot-button issues and attempted to sow discord during electionUS lawmakers have publicly released a selection of Facebook ads bought by Russian operatives and a list of imposter Twitter accounts, revealing how foreign actors sought to sow division among American citizens.The ads and Twitter profiles appeared to target liberals and conservatives on a range of hot-button topics, including police brutality, immigration, race relations, Islamophobia and LGBT rights. Continue reading...
Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! review – a cute corporate rebranding exercise
The 20th feature-length promo tool for the Pokémon phenomenon is a reboot, all about the very first meeting of Ash and likable company mascot PikachuThe – get this – 20th feature-length promotional tool for the media-spanning collectibles phenomenon turns out to be a reboot of the series entire. We are returned to the very first meeting between 10-year-old everykid Ash and totemic cat-bug-baby creature Pikachu, thereby allowing the rules of the game to be explained to a whole new generation with disposable income to squander.As rebranding exercises cinemagoers are expected to underwrite go, I Choose You! forms a modest improvement on those headachy spinoffs that bedevilled the world around the last millennium. Though the Poké-matches rely on generic, TV-standard animation and become repetitive, occasional flourishes (some black-and-white backstory, a computer-assisted bad dream) suggest that those responsible may some day make art once they’re done bolstering a leisure conglomerate’s stock options. Continue reading...
Sony brings its AI-infused robotic dog Aibo back from the dead
Japanese firm looks to rekindle its innovative spirit with reboot of pioneering robot pet after nearly a decade on holdPets are great, but in our modern hectic lives it’s increasingly difficult to give them the love and attention they deserve without paying someone else to do it. But what if you never needed to feed them, walk them or worry about them tearing up the house? Maybe that’s why Sony is bringing its robotic dog Aibo back from the dead.The Japanese electronics firm, once a pioneer in home robotics, announced that after more than a decade its robot canine pal will return to shelves with artificial intelligence-infused upgrades. Continue reading...
Apple can see all your pictures of bras (but it’s not as bad it sounds)
The company’s Photos app includes AI that can recognise thousands of search terms. Should we worry that one of those is ‘brassiere’?Don’t freak out, but your iPhone knows all about your underwear selfies. On Monday, a viral tweet led to thousands of users discovering that the Photos app, on Apple’s iOS and macOS operating systems, knows what a bra looks like – and lets you search for it.Apple being Apple, it’s vaguely classy, of course: the app will only give responses for “brassiere”. But type that into the search bar and there, in all their glory, are likely to be a fair few pics of people – maybe you – in various states of undress. Continue reading...
Living my anxiety dream: taking a ride in a Google self-driving car
Waymo’s vehicles may not have the cool quotient of Tesla’s Model S, but they manage to navigate a minefield of potential accidentsOf all my recurring anxiety dreams, my least favorite is the one where I’m in a car. It always begins with me driving, but eventually I realize that for some reason I’m sitting in the back seat. My arms can’t reach the steering wheel, my legs can’t reach the pedals, and I’m stuck in a spiral of terror, careening around turns and accelerating toward obstacles until, gasping, I wake up.This is a bit like the passenger experience in Waymo’s self-driving cars. You climb into the back seat of a minivan, and watch in awe – or horror – as the wheel turns itself above an entirely empty driving seat. Continue reading...
Samsung makes record profit of $109m a day as chip demand soars
Electronics giant makes $10bn profit in just three months on the back of strong sales and relaunch of Galaxy smartphonesSouth Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics logged a record profit of 11.2trn won – $10bn (£7.6bn) – in the July to September period, it said on Tuesday, its best for any quarter.The world’s biggest memory chip and smartphone maker had its de facto leader jailed in August for bribery and faced a recall of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 device. Continue reading...
Russia-backed Facebook posts 'reached 126m Americans' during US election
Facebook expected to present testimony on Russian content on Tuesday, after three Trump aides indicted as part of inquiry into interference in 2016 voteRussia-backed content reached as many as 126 million Americans on Facebook during and after the 2016 presidential election, according to the company’s prepared testimony submitted to the Senate judiciary committee before hearings this week.Facebook believes 120 fake Russian-backed pages created 80,000 posts that were received by 29 million Americans directly, but reached a much bigger audience by users sharing, liking and following the posts. Continue reading...
Why we need a 21st-century Martin Luther to challenge the church of tech
It’s 500 years since Martin Luther defied the authority of the Catholic church. It’s time for a similar revolt against the hypocrisy of the religion of technologyA new power is loose in the world. It is nowhere and yet it’s everywhere. It knows everything about us – our movements, our thoughts, our desires, our fears, our secrets, who our friends are, our financial status, even how well we sleep at night. We tell it things that we would not whisper to another human being. It shapes our politics, stokes our appetites, loosens our tongues, heightens our moral panics, keeps us entertained (and therefore passive). We engage with it 150 times or more every day, and with every moment of contact we add to the unfathomable wealth of its priesthood. And we worship it because we are, somehow, mesmerised by it.In other words, we are all members of the Church of Technopoly, and what we worship is digital technology. Most of us are so happy in our obeisance to this new power that we spend an average of 50 minutes on our daily devotion to Facebook alone without a flicker of concern. It makes us feel modern, connected, empowered, sophisticated and informed. Continue reading...
Dr Google knows best: how technology is disrupting our relationships with GPs
The ability to self-manage our health could break down barriers to efficient healthcare, but only if doctors embrace the technologyHealthcare is the fastest rising cost to taxpayers in advanced western economies. The ability to self-manage our health is one of the best ways to rein in the rising costs. And the obstacles to bringing these costs down for consumers are often the medical practitioners who insist the only way to practise is to exchange letters with each other, to write illegible prescriptions and to refer patients to specialists for information they can now gather on their smartphones.Dr Eric Topol, an American cardiologist and professor, raised the ante on this in his 2015 book The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands. His observations about digital disruption in the healthcare system offer an insight into how doctors have been slow to embrace new technologies. Topol was alerted to this when he received a text message from a patient with a screenshot of an electrocardiogram he’d run on himself from a smartphone app. “I’m in afib [atrial fibrillation]. Now what do I do?” the patient asked. Continue reading...
'Sorry I threw up': new Uber feature reveals passenger confessions
Driver reviews intended to provide insight into the person picking you up often say more about who they have had in the back of their carA new Uber feature allowing users to check previous reviews of their drivers has opened up a world of drunken apologies, private confessions and angry complaints.The feature, rolled out to users worldwide on Friday, is intended to provide more insight into who will be picking customers up. It helps align the app with Uber’s long-running claim to be simply a middleman, linking what the company calls “driver-partners” with “riders” in a largely hands-off manner. Continue reading...
Google: Pixel 2 XL screen burn 'should not affect day-to-day user experience'
Company says only a small handful of review devices have been affected and that tests show device behaves same as other OLED-based devicesFollowing reports of defective screens in the first batch of Pixel 2 XL smartphones, Google says that its tests show so-called burn is not a widespread issue.
Uber unveils former banker as new UK chairwoman
Former Bank of England adviser and ex-M&S executive Laurel Powers-Freeling named as new chair of embattled taxi appUber has unveiled former Bank of England adviser Laurel Powers-Freeling as the new chair of its UK operations, as it battles to stave off a ban on operating in London.Powers-Freeling, who was born in the US but took British citizenship in 2003, will oversee operations at the ride-hailing app at a crucial juncture for the business that claims to have 5 million customers in the UK, served by 50,000 drivers. Continue reading...
Nazis as the bad guys in videogames? How is that controversial? | Tauriq Moosa
White grievance is on the rise around the world – even in the non-real world, as criticism of the latest instalment of the Wolfenstein game demonstratesWolfenstein has been around longer than I’ve been alive. What began as two innovative anti-Nazi stealth video games for the Apple II and Commodore 64 became id Software’s famous first-person anti-Nazi shooter. The game popularised the first-person shooter, giving rise to household names like Doom and Call of Duty. The latest iteration is released this week and, for the first time, some people are offended by its opposition to Nazis. How on earth have we got here?Related: Is there a neo-Nazi storm brewing in Trump country? Continue reading...
Google Home Mini review: a brilliant little £50 voice assistant speaker
Condensing everything that’s good about the bigger Google Home into a small pin-cushion-like speaker works great, but it won’t blow you away for musicGoogle Home Mini is the company’s new smart speaker that shrinks down all the intelligence into a cheaper, smaller package.
Apple has Netflix and Amazon in sights as it hires British TV executive
Channel 4’s Jay Hunt who poached Bake Off from BBC and commissioned hit shows like Sherlock appointed creative chief of European video operationsApple has hired the television executive who masterminded Channel 4’s £75m poaching of The Great British Bake Off from the BBC, in an ambitious move to take on traditional broadcasters and digital rivals Netflix and Amazon.The US tech firm has hired Jay Hunt, who has held top roles at Channel 4, the BBC and Channel 5, and whose credits include British hits such as Sherlock, Luther, Humans and Gogglebox. She was also behind deals to bring US series such as Homeland and The Handmaid’s Tale to the UK. Continue reading...
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