This year marks the 200th anniversary of Regent Street. It takes its name from the Prince Regent who later became George IV. He instructed his architect John Nash to design London’s first purpose-built shopping street. It’s now, of course, a world famous destination right in the heart of the capital. All kinds of celebrations are planned – this year’s Christmas lights are said to be spectacular – but for car lovers the Regent Street Motor Show will be a high point. Now in its third year, the event is Britain’s biggest free car show, with hundreds of vehicles old and new displayed along Nash’s beautiful curve. As usual there will be a presentation of dozens of extraordinary pre-1905 pioneers taking part in the Veteran Car Concours d’Elegance. They then head off on their annual rally to Brighton at first light the next morning, with many competitors dressed in period costume. At the other end of the spectrum, there will also be a look into what the future holds in terms of low-carbon personal transportation. This year the show also has plenty of razzmatazz as there is an Illinois Route 66 theme – the highway is often called the ‘Main Street of America’. Expect hot dogs and hot rods as you stroll down Nash’s boulevard.
Apple is building a new base while selling expensive hardware to users, and taking a 30% cut from developers
Apple had few treats for those avid followers who tuned in to the company’s press event this week. Three new phones, all thoroughly leaked in advance; a new basic iPad with a slightly larger screen; and a new Apple Watch with a face that never turns off.
Not everything was predictable. It’s just we had to take the surprises where we found them.
New S-Pen Air gestures, enormous screen, triple camera, longer battery hope to convince Samsung super fans to upgrade
The king of Samsung smartphones has finally arrived, but is the Galaxy Note 10+ and its S-Pen stylus really still the super phone for super fans of the South Korean brand?
For a long time the Galaxy Note line was used to push the boundaries of what could be done with a smartphone, siring the big-screen “phablet” category in the process. I’m sad to report that’s no longer the case. The £999 Note 10+ might technically be the biggest screen on a Samsung flagship phone, but it’s really only by a smidgen.
Bill’s Acer Chromebook C720 will not receive further updates. It works well so can he still use it?
I have recently got the message that my Acer Chromebook C720 will not be receiving any further updates as Google no longer supports Chromebooks older than six years. I use mine for surfing the internet, email and creating documents, which I send as email attachments. The machine still works as well as when I first bought it, and I’m reluctant to dump it for a new one.
I understand that I can install a new operating system myself but I really can’t be bothered. The reason I bought a Chromebook in the first place was because of ease of use, simplicity and reliability. What are the risks if I just continue to use it without receiving any more updates? Bill
Vlogger embraced by far right apologizes for planned donation to Anti-Defamation League, after fans claim conspiracy
YouTuber Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has withdrawn a $50,000 pledge to an anti-hate group, which he had dedicated as a means of atoning for past accusations of racism and antisemitism, after backlash from his fans.
TheSwedish vlogger had promised funds received from a sponsorship deal to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a not-for-profit organization that fights antisemitism. But he apologized to fans, who had been developing conspiracy theories that he had been pressured to make the donation, in a video uploaded on Thursday.
Mariela Castro and state media journalists were also blocked in move Cuban Union of Journalists called ‘massive censorship’
Twitter has blocked the accounts of the Cuban Communist party leader Raúl Castro, his daughter Mariela Castro and Cuba’s top state-run media outlets, a move the Cuban Union of Journalists denounced as “massive censorship”.
Israeli PM has denied writing inflammatory post about ‘Arabs who want to destroy us all’
Facebook has suspended a chatbot on Benjamin Netanyahu’s official page after it breached hate speech policy by sending visitors a message warning of Arabs who “want to destroy us all”.
Battling a tight election race in the run-up to the 17 September polls, the Israeli prime minister has sought to appeal to far-right religious and nationalist voters who fear the political influence of Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Apple made its most ambitious pitch yet for the iPhone as a device for professional photographers and videographers at a launch event in Cupertino on Tuesday, underscoring new camera and editing capabilities.
The newly announced iPhone 11 comes in six colors and boasts two cameras and longer battery life. At $699, it is also $50 cheaper than the starting price of the iPhone XR.
Apple has launched a bigger version of its cheapest iPad. The seventh-generation iPad features a 10.2in screen, up from the 9.7in size used since the launch of the original iPad in 2010.
The updated iPad has a faster A10 Fusion processor, which should make it better for games. Greg Joswiak, the head of iOS at Apple, said: “The new seventh generation iPad is up to two times faster than the top-selling PC in the US.”
Apple has launched a new version of its popular smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 5, with an always-on display.
Unveiled on stage at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, on Thursday, the new version features a similar design to the Apple Watch Series 4 launched this time last year but with a new screen that can remain on all the time.
Apple’s all-you-can-eat game subscription service, Arcade, will cost $4.99 a month in the US and will be available in more than 150 countries from 13 September.
Arcade, which was demonstrated during the unveiling of Apple’s latest iPhones on Thursday, is an attempt to turn the mobile gaming industry on its head and add an extensive new revenue stream to the company’s books.
Social network and its subsidiary to crack down on potentially dangerous content
Facebook will no longer allow graphic images of self-harm on its platform as it tightens its policies amid growing criticism of how social media companies moderate violent and potentially dangerous content.
It also said self-injury-related content would become harder to search for on Instagram, and such images would not appear as recommended content.
Commission says invigilators cannot tell which devices are connected to internet
All watches should be banned from exam halls as more devices become connected to the internet, an inquiry into cheating has found.
The Independent Commission on Examination Malpractice, set up by exam boards to investigate the prevalence of cheating in public exams, warned that invigilators increasingly could not tell the difference between smartwatches and traditional watches.
On 20 September, more than 1,000 Amazon staffers will walk out of their offices to demand action. Rebecca Sheppard is one of the strike’s organizers
Since late last year, a group of workers within Amazon have been organizing to push the company to radically reduce its carbon emissions. Yesterday, they announced a major new action: on 20 September, Amazon workers around the world will walk out of their offices to join the Global Climate Strike. So far, over 1,000 workers have pledged to participate. The organizers have three demands. They want the company to commit to zero emissions by 2030, to have zero custom cloud computing contracts with fossil fuel companies, and to spend zero dollars on funding climate-denying lobbyists and politicians.
Vodafone says it would be ‘commercially crazy’ for TPG to create a fourth network
Allowing a $15bn merger between telecommunications companies TPG and Vodafone would snuff out the prospect of a new mobile network to challenge the industry’s dominant players, Telstra and Optus, the competition regulator has told a court.
Appearing before the federal court on Tuesday, counsel for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Michael Hodge QC, said it was “entirely commercially realistic” to say that TPG would resume previous plans to roll out a network if the merger was stopped.
As Apple prepares to launch a new iPhone, Alex Hern explores the privacy scandal around its automated personal assistant, Siri. Plus, Polly Toynbee on why Jeremy Corbyn is preventing Boris Johnson from calling an election
The Guardian’s UK technology editor, Alex Hern, talks to Anushka Asthana about the fallout from his revelations that contractors working for Apple were listening to voice recordings of Siri users in order to grade them. The company’s voice-automated personal assistant had recorded confidential information, illegal acts and even Siri users having sex. It subsequently issued an apology and pledged to change the way Siri is run.
In the run-up to Apple’s annual product launch, Hern discusses why the Siri privacy breach is just one of the company’s many recent challenges.
Regulators are growing more concerned about company’s impact on smaller companies striving to compete in Google’s markets
Fifty US states and territories, led by Texas, announced an investigation into Google’s “potential monopolistic behavior”.
The Monday announcement closely followed one from a separate group of states Friday that disclosed an investigation into Facebook’s market dominance. The two probes widen the antitrust scrutiny of big tech companies beyond sweeping federal and congressional investigations and enforcement action by European regulators.
The retailer reported a pre-tax loss of €493m despite sales rising by 11.6% to €28bn
Amazon received more than €200m in tax credits last year that it can deduct from future bills for its European business, despite efforts by authorities in Brussels to ensure the company pays more tax.
Amazon Europe, which is based in Luxembourg and aggregates the billions of pounds of sales the retailer makes from individual countries across the continent, received the €241m credit after reporting a pre-tax loss of €493m in 2018.
This week Jordan Erica Webber is joined by Alex Hern, as they look at the scandal that rocked the voice assistant world, and ask whether or not we can trust that voice assistants aren’t eavesdropping on our most private moments
E-safety commissioner given power to monitor sites and order offending websites to be blocked
Australian internet service providers have been ordered to block eight websites hosting video of the Christchurch terrorist attacks.
In March, shortly after the Christchurch massacre, Australian telecommunications companies and internet providers began proactively blocking websites hosting the video of the Christchurch shooter murdering more than 50 people or the shooter’s manifesto.
Forget Apple’s much-vaunted iOS safeguards – attackers have been quietly breaking and entering for years
Whenever there’s something that some people value, there will be a marketplace for it. A few years ago, I spent a fascinating hour with a detective exploring the online marketplaces that exist in the so-called “dark web” (shorthand for the parts of the web you can only get to with a Tor browser and some useful addresses). The marketplaces we were interested in were ones in which stolen credit card details and other confidential data are traded.
What struck me most was the apparent normality of it all. It’s basically eBay for crooks. There are sellers offering goods (ranges of stolen card details, Facebook, Gmail and other logins etc) and punters interested in purchasing same. Different categories of these stolen goods are more or less expensive. (The most expensive logins, as I remember it, were for PayPal). But the funniest thing of all was that some of the marketplaces operated a “reputation” system, just like eBay’s. Some vendors had 90%-plus ratings for reliability etc. Some purchasers likewise. Others were less highly regarded. So, one reflected, there really is honour among thieves.
Latest developments in the pipeline for those struggling with mobility, sight, hearing or speech
Nine years ago, David Mzee was left paralysed by a gymnastics accident and told he would never walk again. Last week, he competed in a charity run during which he walked 390 metres, thanks to an experimental treatment that uses electrical stimulation of the spinal cord to rejuvenate dormant circuits in patients whose spinal breaks are not complete.
The Galaxy deserves to be so much more than an airport cab – it’s a star in its own right
Ford Galaxy Price £29,960 0-62mph 10 seconds Top speed 122mph MPG 38 CO2 170g/km Eco score ★★★☆☆
“So, the only difference between this car and an Addison Lee,” chortles my neighbour, “is that your car doesn’t have a big white AL sticker in the back window!” He’s delighted with himself, but I’m nonplussed. How can he be bothered to make such a lame joke and does he think the ubiquitous minicab is an actual car brand? I also feel a bit defensive on behalf of my handsome, gleamingly black MPV. Ford’s hard-working, ultra-reliable Galaxy is a fleet favourite up and down the country. There are few large MPVs more well known. There can hardly be a person in Britain who hasn’t at some point sat in a Galaxy and given thanks for its 24-hour ability to get you home without a word of thanks or even a glance of acknowledgement. All it asks is that you aren’t sick in its footwells. Ford’s Galaxy wears its brilliance lightly. The fact it balances a winning combination of low running costs with an ability to swallow a huge number of people and suitcases means most of us take it for granted.
State attorneys general are opening the latest inquiries into the companies’ practices as government scrutiny grows
Attorneys general in a number of US states are opening antitrust investigations into Facebook, New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, announced on Friday. A separate inquiry into Google is expected to be announced Monday.
The new investigations mark yet another blow to the major tech players, which have faced increasing scrutiny from the government – most prominently an antitrust investigation by the Department of Justice.
New York state attorney general said bipartisan coalition investigating if Facebook stifled competition and put users at risk
Dozens of US states are set to launch antitrust and privacy investigations into Facebook and Google as scrutiny of the big tech firms increases in the US.
The investigation into Alphabet’s Google unit will examine the search giant’s affect on the digital advertising market and its impact on consumers. In a separate but overlapping investigation the states’ leading law enforcers will investigate Facebook’s privacy record and its advertising model.
Leaked papers show project to rewrite voice assistant’s scripts wrestled with ‘sensitive topics’
An internal project to rewrite how Apple’s Siri voice assistant handles “sensitive topics” such as feminism and the #MeToo movement advised developers to respond in one of three ways: “don’t engage”, “deflect” and finally “inform”.
The project saw Siri’s responses explicitly rewritten to ensure that the service would say it was in favour of “equality”, but never say the word feminism – even when asked direct questions about the topic.
The company has touted its new privacy and security features but critics are skeptical given Facebook’s track record on user data
Facebook announced on Thursday it is rolling out its newest service across the US, a platform for dating. What could go wrong? A lot, it turns out.
The new service, Facebook Dating, can be accessed in the Facebook app but requires users to create a separate dating-specific profile. It then links users with potential matches based on location, indicated preferences, events attended, groups, and other factors. Facebook Dating will integrate with Instagram and offer a feature called Secret Crush, which allows users to compile a list of friends they have an interest in, to be matched with if the crush lists them as well.
Being a YouTuber is now the most popular aspiration for children today, according to a recent survey. In 2018, the site’s highest earner was a seven-year-old American toy reviewer. But the video platform has been mired in controversy over its failure to protect children. Richard Sprenger meets some of the children plying their trade on YouTube, viral sensation Rebecca Black, and visits a Los Angeles summer camp where kids as young as six learn the tricks of the trade
Windows Update tells Frank that Windows 10 is up to date, but he still needs to install a new version
Why does my HP Pavilion laptop tell me that Windows 10 is up to date, but at the same time tells me I’m running a version that’s nearing the end of support, and recommends that I update to the most recent version? Frank
First, some background. Microsoft used to provide new versions of Windows every three or more years, and support them for 10 years. Examples included Windows XP and Windows 7. They didn’t change unless Microsoft released a service pack update, such as Windows 7 SP1.
AI and brain-scanning technology could soon make it possible to reliably detect when people are lying. But do we really want to know? By Amit Katwala
We learn to lie as children, between the ages of two and five. By adulthood, we are prolific. We lie to our employers, our partners and, most of all, one study has found, to our mothers. The average person hears up to 200 lies a day, according to research by Jerry Jellison, a psychologist at the University of Southern California. The majority of the lies we tell are “white”, the inconsequential niceties – “I love your dress!” – that grease the wheels of human interaction. But most people tell one or two “big” lies a day, says Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire. We lie to promote ourselves, protect ourselves and to hurt or avoid hurting others.
The mystery is how we keep getting away with it. Our bodies expose us in every way. Hearts race, sweat drips and micro-expressions leak from small muscles in the face. We stutter, stall and make Freudian slips. “No mortal can keep a secret,” wrote the psychoanalyst in 1905. “If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips. Betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.”
The information was stored in an online server that was not password protected, according to a report from TechCrunch
Hundreds of millions of Facebook users’ phone numbers were exposed in an open online database, the company confirmed Wednesday, in the latest example of Facebook’s past privacy lapses coming back to haunt its users.
More than 419m Facebook IDs and phone numbers were stored in an online server that was not password protected, the technology website TechCrunch reported. The dataset included about 133m records for users in the US, 18m records for users in the UK and 50m records for users in Vietnam.
Users of Zao can now add themselves into the scenes of their favourite movies. But is our desire to insert ourselves into everything putting our privacy at risk?
‘You oughta be in pictures,” goes the 1934 Rudy Vallée song. And, as of last week, pretty much anyone can be. The entry requirements for being a star fell dramatically thanks to the launch, in China, of a face-swapping app that can decant users into film and TV clips.
Zao, which has quickly become China’s most downloaded free app, fuses the face in the original clip with your features. All that is required is a single selfie and the man or woman in the street is transformed into a star of the mobile screen, if not quite the silver one. In other words, anyone who yearns to be part of Titanic or Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory or the latest J-Pop sensation can now bypass the audition and go straight to the limelight without all that pesky hard work, talent and dedication. A whole new generation of synthetic movie idols could be unleashed upon the world: a Humphrey Bogus, a Phony Curtis, a Fake Dunaway.
Big update adds gestures, dark theme, smart replies, emoji, privacy and parental controls
Google has released its big new update to Android 10, and for the first time it is available for more than just a couple of Google-made smartphones.
Announced in May, Android Q – known as Android 10 – ditches the pudding-based names that have been used for versions of Google’s software for the past 10 years including Marshmallow, Nougat, Oreo and Pie.
New technology is rolling out across the country, despite concerns over privacy
China’s shoppers are increasingly purchasing goods with just a turn of their heads as the country embraces facial payment technology.
In a country where mobile payment is already one of the most advanced in the world, customers can make a purchase simply by posing in front of point-of-sale (POS) machines equipped with cameras, after linking an image of their face to a digital payment system or bank account.
Firm attacked for underpayment even though it says its contribution rose by nearly £10m from the £4.7m paid in 2017
Amazon has been accused of continuing to underpay corporation tax in the UK despite nearly tripling the payment from a key British division to £14m.
Amazon UK Services, the company’s warehouse and logistics operation that employs more than two-thirds of its 27,500-plus UK workforce, said its corporation tax contribution had risen by nearly £10m in the year to December 2018 from the £4.7m paid in 2017.
Companies are creating new technology to mine baby boomers’ golden years and address the challenges of growing older
Silicon Valley has long sought to disrupt virtually every aspect of modern life. Now comes technology’s final frontier: old age. Tech that’s specifically designed for seniors is a growing market, fueled by inexorable demographic trends – about 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day.
Senior tech is increasingly showing up in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. A company called It’s Never Too Late proffers a massive 70in high-definition touchscreen computer that provides older people with little prior tech experience easy access to everything from travel videos and music playlists to a library of college lectures. Paro, a robotic seal stuffed with sensors and actuators that react to voice, light and touch, is being used to help those experiencing memory loss and social withdrawal.A movie system called 3Scape provides immersive 3D filmed content for the elderly and mobility-challenged in order to stimulate cognitive function and relieve depression and anxiety.
Surveillance software switched off at prestigious development after backlash
Facial recognition technology will not be deployed at the King’s Cross development in the future, following a backlash prompted by the site owner’s admission last month that the software had been used in its CCTV systems.
The developer behind the prestigious central London site said the surveillance software had been used between May 2016 and March 2018 in two cameras on a busy pedestrian street running through its heart.
Zao lets users superimpose themselves on to celebrities but critics warn of data threat
A new Chinese app that lets users swap their faces with celebrities, sports stars or anyone else in a video clip racked up millions of downloads on the weekend but was swiftly criticised over privacy issues.
The app’s surge in popularity and sudden backlash from some users highlights how artificial intelligence (AI) technologies raise concerns surrounding identity verification.
Kashmiris have not had access to the internet for nearly a month. The blackout, from the start of August, is the 77th of the year so far in India. Jordan Erica Webber looks at the personal, legal and societal fallout of government-ordered shutdowns around the world
You may want sexy, but when it comes to everyday life you’ll find dependable is far better in the long run
Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer Price £21,945 0-62mph 9.6 seconds Top speed 131mph MPG 49 CO2 121g/km Eco score ★★★★☆
“What’s the best car you’ve driven?” is a very different question to “What’s the car that would be best for you?” I often get asked the former. My answers range from a 1956 Jaguar D-Type and the first Land Rover Defender, with its iconic number plate HUE 166, to the futuristic VW XL1 that’s so aerodynamic it has a fuel range six times that of a Golf. But I rarely get asked the latter. Matters of reliability, load space, comfort, safety, wipeable surfaces and nonslip storage caddies aren’t nearly so sexy. And yet these are the factors that will determine the car we buy, drive and live with. Chuntering past a showroom-fresh Porsche stranded on the hard shoulder is the actual definition of schadenfreude.
Up to 10 million people in the UK are in precarious work, juggling low paid jobs as cleaners, Deliveroo riders and Uber drivers. But a movement is under way to rewire the economy from within
Fatima, from Guinea-Bissau, wakes up in the early hours of the morning to be in with a chance of being able to use the bathroom at her small house in Stratford, east London, which she shares with nine strangers – some are Italian, she thinks, and some might be eastern European, but nobody socialises as they are all too busy working, so she can’t really be sure. Almost every possession Fatima owns remains permanently packed in two large suitcases, because she knows what the landlord is capable of: he demands payments in cash and retains a personal key to every room. “When he throws me out on to the street, I’ll be ready,” she explains. By 6.30am she’s on the tube and heading to the Ministry of Justice headquarters near St James’s Park for the first of two jobs. Over the next nine hours she will walk up and down 16 floors of UK government office space, cleaning each of the male and female toilets on every floor five times per working day. She will walk for miles and miles, until 5pm, when she will walk down the road for half a mile more, and begin another set of cleaning rounds – this time at the supreme court. For all this, she will be paid £7.83 per hour, the legal minimum wage for her age. By the time she gets home, it will be past 9pm, and she will be exhausted. “It isn’t any kind of life,” she says.
But today is a different kind of life. Today, she is spinning in the middle of a Westminster pavement as rain pours from the sky, with glitter on her face and strips of ticker tape in her hair. She is blowing a horn and dancing deliriously, flanked by a line of security guards on one side and police officers on the other. The air is thick with music and shouting and flare smoke and promise, and Fatima, 55, is at the heart of it all.
Mate 30 won’t have licensed access to any Google apps, thanks to ongoing dispute between US and the Chinese smartphone maker
Huawei, the number two smartphone maker in the world, will launch its next flagship device without licensed access to the number one smartphone operating system in the world – Google’s Android – or any of Google’s ubiquitous apps.
The 5G-capable Mate 30 will be revealed at a 19 September event in Munich, Germany, CNBC reported on Friday. But the launch by a company that saw its share of the European smartphone market soar by 55.7% in 2018 is approaching under a cloud of uncertainty, thanks to the actions of the US government.
Life’s about how you see it. Petra Leary sees the world from
above, seeking startling heights to create stunning art, all
while trying to make sense of the complex and challenging
world around her. Having pushed back against traditional
education and now an ADHD NZ ambassador, Petra sets out
with her skateboard, drone and dog Kodak to defy the odds
and create her own artistic legacy
Tweets sent from account Friday afternoon included racial slurs, profanity and a reference to ‘a bomb at Twitter HQ’
The Twitter account of Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive officer, appears to have been hacked in an embarrassing security lapse for the social network.
At 12.44pm Pacific time on Friday, the account @jack began publishing a series of tweets that appear to be from the hackers, who self-identified as “Debug, Corey, NuBLoM, Joe, Owen, & Aqua” or the “ChucklingSquad”. The rapid stream of tweets included racial slurs and profanity and a reference to “a bomb at Twitter HQ”.
Ring shapes communications of police agencies it works with. Critics fear it’s building up a for-profit private surveillance network
Ring, Amazon’s camera-connected smart doorbell company, has cameras watching hundreds of thousands of doorsteps across the US. It’s also keeping an eye on what local police say online.
Records obtained through an information request show how Ring uses corporate partnerships to shape the communications of police departments it collaborates with, directing the departments’ press releases, social media posts and comments on public posts.
Assembly Bill 5 would enact protections for workers, requiring them to meet three standards to be considered a contractor
California legislators are set to decide on legislation that would fundamentally change the way tech giants like Lyft and Uber engage with workers.
Assembly Bill 5 would change the way businesses classify employees and dramatically expand protections for gig workers. If it passes, the legislation would represent a big win for labor advocates across the state.
Company commissions series on science, philosophy and history in part to refresh image
YouTube has stepped on the BBC’s toes by commissioning a series of educational programmes aimed at British audiences, partly in an attempt to improve the site’s image following a run of negative press.
YouTube Originals has ordered programmes on the fall of the Berlin Wall, a science series fronted by the former T4 presenter Rick Edwards and a philosophy series from a business founded by Alain de Botton, as the company increasingly blurs the lines between an online platform and a traditional broadcaster.
Johnny’s 13-year-old daughter needs a new PC for Adobe’s Premiere Pro costing about £1,000. What are the options?
My 13-year-old daughter is showing a real interest in, and talent for, video editing. We got her a student subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud so she could learn and use After Effects and Premiere Pro. Our three-year-old laptop is just about coping with the demands of the software, but as she becomes more proficient, I know it will struggle or give up entirely.
What would be the best solution – either laptop or desktop – that will also last a good few years? Our budget is around £1,000. I was considering building a PC to suit, but not sure if this would be a step too far. Johnny
There is a growing interest in video editing, possibly because video is becoming ubiquitous, and cheap. You no longer need to buy a video camera, a projector, a screen and a cement splicer, which is how we edited home movies in the old days.
US court orders Craig Wright to share cryptocurrency haul with the estate of American programmer David Kleiman
The Australian man who claimed to have invented cryptocurrency bitcoin has been ordered to hand over half of his alleged bitcoin holdings, reported to be worth up to $5bn.
The IT security consultant Craig Wright, 49, was sued by the estate of David Kleiman, a programmer who died in 2013, for a share of Wright’s bitcoin haul over the pair’s involvement in the inception of the cryptocurrency from 2009 to 2013.
Anthony Levandowski worked on autonomous vehicles at Google for nearly a decade before going to work for Uber
Federal prosecutors charged Anthony Levandowski, the pioneering self-driving car engineer, with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets from Google on Tuesday.
The criminal indictment is the latest twist in a years-long dispute over intellectual property between Google, where Levandowski worked on autonomous vehicles for nearly a decade, and Uber, which purchased a self-driving startup from Levandowski for a reported $680m in August 2016.
Views via recommendations of such ‘borderline’ videos were halved in similar US trial
YouTube is experimenting with an algorithm change to reduce the spread of what it calls “borderline content” in the UK, after a similar trial in the US resulted in a substantial drop in views.
According to the video sharing site’s chief executive, Susan Wojcicki, the move is intended to give quality content “more of a chance to shine” and has the effect of reducing views from recommendations by 50%.
A pioneer in computer graphics and human-computer interaction, my friend William Newman, who has died aged 80, was, during the 1970s, a member of the team at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in California that conceived and developed the kind of personal computers and local networks that people use today.
He refined and demonstrated the advantages of the “frame buffer” graphics display technology that is now operated universally, developing, in 1975, one of the first interactive programs for producing illustrations and drawings. He went on to help and inspire many others in the field of computer graphics and graphical interaction through the publication of the first textbook on the subject, Principles of Interactive Computer Graphics (1973), which he co-wrote with Robert Sproull.
It’s a design classic, but in these days of ubiquitous mobile phones, only 10,000 of the red kiosks remain on the streets. Can they survive the next decade?
John Farmer, who describes himself as an activist shareholder, is a man with a mission – to save Britain’s red phone boxes. These were once a feature of every high street in the country, but now number only 10,000 or so (and half of those are decorative rather than operational). At the recent annual general meeting of British Telecom, which even in the age of the mobile phone has a statutory obligation to maintain a payphone network, Farmer demanded that more be done to maintain the traditional red boxes. It was a point he has made at past AGMs – always, he says, to audience applause.
‘Threads’ will encourage ‘frictionless’ data sharing with selected followers on Instagram
Facebook is reportedly preparing to take on Snapchat yet again, with a new app built on top of Instagram to facilitate ever more intimate sharing of information between close friends.
The new app is called “Threads”, according to tech news site The Verge, which broke the news of its existence. The app, which is being tested internally at Facebook, builds on the “Close Friends” feature introduced in Instagram last year, which allows users to specify a subset of their followers with whom they are comfortable sharing more private posts and stories.
Scores of super masts could be built across Britain to get rid of mobile phone blind spots
Scores of taller phone masts could be built across the British countryside as part of government plans to eliminate mobile reception blind spots.
The digital secretary, Nicky Morgan, said she wanted to shake up planning restrictions to allow mobile phone networks to build ground-based masts exceeding the current rules prohibiting structures over 25 metres on public land.
26 August 1959: The Austin Seven and Mini-Minor - two versions of the same car - can carry four passengers with speed and economy
The British Motor Corporation to-day announces two new small cars which provide striking evidence of the new thinking that has gone on within the industry. In its Morris Mini-Minor and its Austin Seven, the corporation is offering vehicles that can carry four passengers with speed and economy and can fairly claim to be called family cars.
The Guardian’s UK tech editor, Alex Hern, joins Jordan Erica Webber to discuss the imminent end to the iTunes store as we know it. They also take a nostalgic look at some of the other software we’ve lost
Controversial gaming vlogger, 29, is owner of second most popular channel by subscribers
The gaming vlogger Felix Kjellberg, AKA PewDiePie, has surpassed 100 million subscribers on YouTube.
Kjellberg, the owner of the channel with the second most subscribers on the video sharing site, built a legion of young fans with his “let’s play” game commentaries, but he has also attracted controversy.
The tiny Fiat 500 celebrated a big birthday last summer. The little car has now been adding a large helping of four-wheeled jollity to journeys and holidays for more than 60 years. Travel to any Italian city and you’ll still see the bug-eyed cuties trundling down cobbled streets, looking like extras from a Fellini movie. The original roofed versions spawned dozens of quirky variations over the years, but one in particular became a bit of a touchstone: the 1962 ‘Jolly’ Spiaggina. It was a doorless beach buggy conversion with a fringed fabric roof that looked like it was made from an old deckchair. The word La Spiaggina is tricky to translate, but means something like ‘beach-ette’. Early models were relatively pricey and were bought by the rich and famous (Aristotle Onassis, Yul Brynner) as yacht tenders, golf carts and runabouts.
The technology behemoth is preparing a move into the healthcare market, but critics fear profit will come before patients and privacy
Enthusiasts predicted the plan would relieve the pressure on hard-pressed GPs. Critics saw it as a sign of creeping privatisation and a data-protection disaster in waiting. Reactions to news last month that Amazon’s voice-controlled digital assistant Alexa was to begin using NHS website information to answer health queries were many and varied.
US-based healthcare tech analysts say the deal is just the latest of a series of recent moves that together reveal an audacious, long-term strategy on the part of Amazon. From its entry into the lucrative prescription drugs market and development of AI tools to analyse patient records, to Alexa apps that manage diabetes and data-driven experiments on how to cut medical bills, the $900bn global giant’s determination to make the digital disruption of healthcare a central part of its future business model is becoming increasingly clear.
Forget sponsoring Bob in accounts to run a charity marathon: these days you can ask anyone for anything
Iwan Carrington wanted AirPods but he couldn’t afford them, and for most 16-year-old boys that’s where the story would end. Since their release in December 2016, Apple’s £199 wireless Bluetooth earbuds have become a status symbol among teens: after all, only the wealthy can afford tiny, untethered headphones that are so easy to lose. As an ordinary Welsh schoolboy, Carrington wasn’t rich enough to buy them, and he was growing increasingly jealous of his friend’s pair. So in January this year, he came up with a solution.
With just a few clicks on his computer, Carrington created a page on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe, set a fundraising goal of £100 (he had saved the rest from Christmas), and titled it simply and honestly: “I am desperate for AirPods. Help a brother out.” The plea was simple and unvarnished: “I am like any other teenager except I would love some Apple AirPods. I was sat on the bus untangling my earphone wires and thought how great it would be to have AirPods. I ask for any help. Please.” The first comment underneath was similarly direct: “This is a shameless act of self-promotion. I totally support it.” Eight donors and a few days later, Carrington had raised the money he needed.
Internal correspondence provides new insight into how Facebook staff reacted to concerns about use of user data by political campaign consultants
Internal Facebook correspondence from September 2015, released as part of a US government lawsuit on Friday, reveals new details about Facebook’s early knowledge of potentially improper data collection by Cambridge Analytica.
The existence of the internal discussion was first reported by the Guardian in March 2019. That report marked Facebook’s first acknowledgement that some of its employees were aware of concerns about improper data practices by Cambridge Analytica four months before the Guardian’s 11 December 2015 article exposed them.
Wall Street Journal found that more than 4,000 items for sale on Amazon have been declared unsafe by federal agencies
Amazon has removed hundreds of toxic and unsafe products from its site after a Wall Street Journal report found thousands of listings from third-party sellers don’t comply with federal safety standards. Thousands of problematic products remain.
More than 4,000 items for sale on Amazon have been declared unsafe by federal agencies, including 2,000 listings for children’s toys and medications. The Journal also identified 157 items Amazon had already banned still listed on the site, and one product it tested had lead levels that exceed federal limits.
Judge told Grant West he would face four more years in jail if he refused to comply
A judge has ordered the confiscation of bitcoin worth more than £900,000 from a jailed hacker in the first case of its kind for the Metropolitan police.
Grant West, 27 – previously described as a “one-man cybercrime wave” – had about £1m-worth of the cryptocurrency seized from a number of accounts after his arrest in September 2017, but the value of bitcoin has since fluctuated radically, complicating attempts to compensate victims.
There are regional variations in how easy it is to pass your practical driving test – but there is also the theory part. Could you still pass?
Newly released figures show that there are some areas of the country where it appears to be much easier to pass your driving test than others. But, regardless of where you take the practical test, would-be drivers in Great Britain are required to take a theory test as well before getting their driving licence.
But, once we are out on the road, not all of us can remember every detail. And some of us started driving long enough ago that the theory test didn’t exist.
Google-owned service says it discovered channels ‘behaved in a coordinated manner’ against pro-democracy protests
YouTube has disabled 210 channels that appeared to be part of a coordinated influence campaign against pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
The action by the Google-owned service came as Twitter and Facebook accused the Chinese government of backing a social media campaign to discredit Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and sow political discord in the city.
Social media was supposed to liberate us, but for many people it has proved addictive, punishing and toxic. What keeps us hooked? By Richard Seymour
We are swimming in writing. Our lives have become, in the words of the author and academic Shoshana Zuboff, an “electronic text”. Social media platforms have created a machine for us to write to. The bait is that we are interacting with other people: our friends, colleagues, celebrities, politicians, royals, terrorists, porn actors – anyone we like. We are not interacting with them, however, but with the machine. We write to it, and it passes on the message for us after keeping a record of the data.
The machine benefits from the “network effect”: the more people write to it, the more benefits it can offer, until it becomes a disadvantage not to be part of it. Part of what? The world’s first ever public, live, collective, open-ended writing project. A virtual laboratory. An addiction machine, which deploys crude techniques of manipulation redolent of the Skinner Box created by behaviourist BF Skinner to control the behaviour of pigeons and rats with rewards and punishments. We are users, much as cocaine addicts are users.
David W Peters has been set a unique task: travel to a growing suburb in Austin, Texas, and get the people there to join him in starting a church. “I’m sort of making it up as I go along,” says the author, Episcopalian priest and one-time marine. “I’ve never done it before.”
The practice is officially known as “church-planting” and is not easy, least of all in a divided country and an age defined by mainstream suspicion of organised religion. But modern problems call for modern solutions, and Peters has struck upon one of the most modern of all.
Lyndsay wants people to post better pictures on Facebook. Here’s how to get the shot right on your phone or camera
So many people post pictures on Facebook with very advanced cameras, eg from iPhones. Alas, many do not crop their photos, the horizon is not horizontal, there are dark shadows … Some people do not even know the camera can face outwards: I notice so many selfies! I think a gentle article from Jack Schofield on how not to disappoint your friends with holiday pics would be wonderful. Lyndsay (via Facebook)
There are some terrible photos on Facebook, but I think the average level is very high. Back in the dark ages BC (before computers), I edited several photographic magazines and a partwork, You and Your Camera. Then, the quality of the average enprint, as enlarged prints were called, was extremely low, and you couldn’t edit pictures unless you printed them yourself. Photos taken with small-frame film formats – like the 110 cartridges used by Kodak’s Pocket Instamatic cameras, introduced in 1972 – could be dire.
Company’s S-line king joins the handful of good 5G phones in the UK, but is only for big-phone lovers
The Galaxy S10 5G is the largest, most advanced and most expensive smartphone in Samsung’s current lineup, aimed not just at being “the 5G one” but also the best one.
Unlike the OnePlus 7 Pro, which comes in either 4G or 5G versions that are identical in size, weight and features, the S10 5G is its own phone. It’s bigger, heavier, thicker and has more cameras and sensors on the back and front than the S10+.
Vulnerability could be exploited to gain control of iPhone, users are warned
Apple users are being warned to exercise particular caution over their cybersecurity for the next few days, after the company mistakenly reopened a security flaw in the latest version of iOS.
In iOS 12.4, released last month, Apple fixed a number of security bugs, as well as enabling support for the Apple Card in the US. But in doing so, the company accidentally reversed a security fix it had previously patched in iOS 12.3 at the end of April.
Use of plastic envelopes branded a ‘major step backwards’ in fight against pollution
Amazon has been criticised by environmental groups and customers after introducing a range of plastic packaging that cannot be recycled in the UK.
While supermarkets and other retailers have been reducing their use of single use plastics, the world’s biggest online retailer has started sending small items in plastic envelopes, seemingly to allow more parcels to be loaded on to each delivery truck.
Company also suspends thousands of accounts as it reports ‘state-backed information operation’
Twitter has removed nearly 1,000 accounts and suspended thousands of others tied to a campaign by the Chinese government against protesters in Hong Kong, the company announced on Monday.
Twitter disclosed a “significant state-backed information operation” originating from within the People’s Republic of China (PRC) targeting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. It removed 936 accounts and suspended approximately 200,000 accounts its investigation found were illegitimate.
Advertising Standards Authority to investigate whether claims breach code
The first hostilities have broken out among telecoms rivals over who offers the best 5G to customers, with EE seeking an advertising ban against claims by Three UK that it offers the only “real” next-generation service.
BT-owned EE is understood to have lodged a complaint with the advertising watchdog over an ad campaign by Three UK implying that 5G services offered by rivals are inferior.
You can now have personal trainers in your headphones, or set up a mirror that beams classes into your home. The options are limitless. But can they ever beat the camaraderie of working out with other people?
Chessie King whoops, flipping her ponytail out of her face. Her partner, Mathew Lewis-Carter, grunts with the exertion, sweat pouring from his brow. Five cameras pick up every move, as they lunge and thrust in front of a pulsating LED screen at the east London studio where they are filming a high-intensity workout class for at-home fitness pioneers FIIT.
The footage will be broadcast via the FIIT app as a live class. Users will be able to join from the comfort of their own homes. If they choose to wear the heart-rate monitor provided, they can compete with other users on a live leaderboard. There are also classes available on demand, for the less competitive.
This week, Jordan Erica Webber talks to Anna, whose ex-partner surveilled her every move by using ‘stalkerware’ apps. Jordan also talks to MIT Technology Review journalist Charlotte Jee about what tech companies like Apple and Google could be doing to stop the proliferation of these apps