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Unions lobby investors to press Amazon over UK working conditions

Technology | The Guardian

GMB tells shareholders that warehouse workers endure targets that cause suffering

Trade unions are lobbying City investors to put pressure on Amazon to improve conditions for its workers in the UK.

At a meeting at the TUC’s head office this month the GMB union made presentations, including one from an Amazon employee, to a dozen leading fund managers and pension funds that own stakes in Amazon including Legal & General, Baillie Gifford and Aberdeen Standard.

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May 20th 2019, 3:33 am

Technology is messing with our emotions: Chips with Everything podcast

Technology | The Guardian

Jordan Erica Webber chats to the authors of a new book which looks into why human emotions have changed so drastically in the last couple of centuries

Susan Matt is a professor of history at Weber State University in Utah. She recently collaborated with Luke Fernandez, an assistant professor in the school of computing there, to write a book called Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stupid: Changing Feelings About Technology, from the Telegraph to Twitter.

Jordan Erica Webber chats to them about how our emotions have changed alongside technological advances, from the invention of the telegraph and the ability to write letters to the emergence of the camera and the creation of social media.

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May 20th 2019, 3:33 am

Google suspends some business with Huawei after Trump blacklist – report

Technology | The Guardian

A blow as Huawei Technologies will immediately lose access to updates to the Android operating system

Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware and software products except those covered by open source licenses, a source close to the matter told Reuters.

Related: How other countries are responding to Trump's Huawei threat

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May 19th 2019, 2:38 pm

Revealed: 5G rollout is being stalled by rows over lampposts

Technology | The Guardian

Network will need transmitters on tall structures, which has caused dozens of local disputes

The rollout of 5G telecommunications networks is being stalled by at least two years over legal wrangling about the control of millions of lampposts, the Guardian can reveal.

Lampposts have suddenly become hot property because 5G requires the installation of transmitters on a dense network of masts taller than a double decker bus. As a result, mobile network operators (MNOs) are clamouring for access to lampposts and other tall structures in cities, and are threatening legal action to any local authorities and landlords who stand in their way.

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May 19th 2019, 11:55 am

Citroën C5 Aircross: ‘An SUV that’s determined to smooth out your drive’ | Martin Love

Technology | The Guardian

A uniquely effective suspension means this easy-going family car will cope with all of life’s little bumps

Citroën C5 Aircross
Price
£23,830
0-62mph 10.5 seconds
Top speed 117mph
MPG 44.2
CO2 118g/km

In these bruisingly divisive times, there is one thing, at least, that we can agree on: potholes. “Craters”, as the tabloids call them, are a source of neverending dismay for drivers and cyclists. According to the Asphalt Industry Alliance, almost 1.7m potholes were filled in England and Wales last year – an astonishing one every 19 seconds. Sadly, the gaping cavern I have to swerve round each morning has so far evaded their attentions. And with all this rain, it’s now become a water feature. Green Flag estimates that dropping into potholes causes our cars an average of £230 per year on repairs – mostly to tyres and suspension.

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May 19th 2019, 1:03 am

Pressure mounts on Google to pull ads for anti-abortion clinics that 'deceive women'

Technology | The Guardian

‘Appalled’ Democrat urges action after Guardian revealed Google has given $150,000 in free ads to opaque anti-abortion group

Google is facing pressure in Washington to immediately remove online advertisements for “fake medical clinics” that are designed to “mislead” women who are seeking an abortion.

Related: Google has given $150,000 in free ads to deceptive anti-abortion group

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May 17th 2019, 2:57 pm

Grumpy Cat: internet’s most famous cat dies aged seven – video obituary

Technology | The Guardian

Grumpy Cat has died aged seven. She became an internet sensation in 2012 when images of her downturned mouth and unimpressed expression emerged on Reddit. She soon became the universal digital shorthand for displeasure, with thousands of memes and gifs of her being circulated online to communicate apathy or cynicism. Grumpy Cat’s online stardom quickly translated into a real-world empire with a Christmas film, a Madame Tussauds wax figure, and a range of merchandise including soft toys, clothing and  a fragrance.

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May 17th 2019, 10:22 am

Grumpy Cat dies aged seven: 'Some days are grumpier than others'

Technology | The Guardian

Internet’s most famous cat, with a face that launched a thousand gifs, has died in Arizona

Grumpy Cat – the most famous cat on the internet, whose downturned mouth and unimpressed expression was the universal digital shorthand for displeasure – has died.

The seven-year-old cat, real name Tardar Sauce or Tard, became one of the internet’s first “petfluencers” after gaining fame online for her perpetually gloomy gaze, launching an empire worth millions. She died in the arms of her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday morning after complications from a urinary tract infection.

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May 17th 2019, 7:36 am

Facebook job offers 'shunned by top talent after data scandal'

Technology | The Guardian

Recruiters reportedly say social network has suffered major decline in interest from top US schools

The fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to hurt Facebook as candidates turn down job offers from what was once considered one of the best employers in the tech sector.

Job offer acceptance rates at Facebook have significantly decreased, it has been reported, after the revelations last March that the data of up to 87 million users of the social network had been used improperly by Cambridge Analytica to target ads for Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election.

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May 17th 2019, 7:36 am

Pixel 3a XL review: the cheaper Google phone to buy

Technology | The Guardian

Great camera, top software, OK battery and performance, in a plastic body that’s a bit too wide

With a price-tag of £469, the Pixel 3a XL tries to offer the best of Google, but costing £400 less than its top-end sibling

The bigger brother of Google’s other lower-cost phone, the Pixel 3a, the new Pixel 3a XL offers the same winning combination of great camera and software. It offers practically everything that makes Google’s top £869 Pixel 3 XL good, shrunk in both cost and weight.

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May 17th 2019, 2:30 am

Huawei poses security threat to UK, says former MI6 chief

Technology | The Guardian

Report calling for 5G ban in UK comes as Netherlands said to be investigating Huawei espionage

Huawei should be completely banned from supplying 5G mobile networks in the UK because its operations are “subject to influence by the Chinese state”, according to a report by a Conservative MP and two academics.

They argue that a decision announced by Theresa May last month, following a fraught meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), to allow the company to supply “non-core” equipment should be overturned because using the company’s technology presents “risks”.

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May 16th 2019, 7:04 am

How can I increase my laptop’s storage space?

Technology | The Guardian

Marex has run out of space for music and graphic design work; thankfully, adding an SSD is easy

I use a Dell 15-5577 laptop with 8GB of memory for music production and graphic design. The problem is that its 256GB SSD is not enough to store all my projects. An external drive is not an option because I want everything in the same “drawer” and it’s a pain to carry it everywhere with me. I need help with how to swap out my existing SSD with a larger capacity one, say 512GB. While I’m at it, should I also upgrade memory? Marex

The Dell Inspiron 15-5577 was sold as an affordable 15.6in gaming laptop with an Intel Core i5 or i7 Kaby Lake (7th generation) processor and an Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics chip. It costs from £799 to £1,299 depending on the processor, graphics, storage and type of screen installed. It also has an Ethernet port, three USB 3.0 ports and a full-size SD card slot.

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May 16th 2019, 3:15 am

World TV link-up and better radio-phones may be coming – archive, 16 May 1959

Technology | The Guardian

16 May 1959: Jodrell Bank Experimental Station bounces messages off moon to US in what is seen as a great step forward in world communications

A great step forward in world communications – including television and radio-telephony – may result from the success of experiments at Jodrell Bank.

Radio signals transmitted from Jodrell Bank have been bounced off the moon and picked up by receivers at the United States Air Force research centre at Cambridge in Massachusetts. This was announced yesterday in a statement from Jodrell Bank and by the Pye Organisation, of Cambridge in England, which manufactured some of the equipment used at Jodrell Bank. The first message transmitted was in morse code and read:

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May 16th 2019, 12:56 am

Leaders and tech firms pledge to tackle extremist violence online

Technology | The Guardian

Jacinda Ardern and Emmanuel Macron host Christchurch Call summit in Paris

World leaders and heads of global technology companies have pledged at a Paris summit to tackle terrorist and extremist violence online in what they described as an “unprecedented agreement”.

Wednesday’s event, two months to the day since the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand, drew up a “plan of action” to be adopted by countries and companies to prevent extreme material from going viral on the internet.

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May 15th 2019, 4:07 pm

The secret trick used by firms helping cyberhacking victims: pay the ransom

Technology | The Guardian

Four payments sent after SamSam ransomware targeted entities across the US were traced by ProPublica to Proven Data

From 2015 to 2018, a strain of ransomware known as SamSam paralyzed computer networks across North America and the UK. It caused more than $30m in damages to at least 200 entities, including the cities of Atlanta and Newark, the port of San Diego and Hollywood Presbyterian medical center in Los Angeles. It knocked out Atlanta’s water service requests and online billing systems, prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to call in the national guard, and delayed medical appointments and treatments for patients nationwide whose electronic records couldn’t be retrieved. In return for restoring access to the files, the cyberattackers collected at least $6m in ransom.

“You just have 7 days to send us the BitCoin,” read the ransom demand to Newark. “After 7 days we will remove your private keys and it’s impossible to recover your files.”

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May 15th 2019, 5:17 am

Is Snapchat’s viral gender-swap filter problematic or just silly fun? | Arwa Mahdawi

Technology | The Guardian

I, too, wanted to see male-me, but it’s ironic that an app that encourages you to play with gender has such a binary view of it

You may remember Snapchat. The app used to be hugely popular and then suddenly became irrelevant. Thanks to its viral new gender-swapping filter, however, Snapchat is back. People are downloading the app in droves to see what they would look like as the opposite gender; even the (male) England Cricket team has got in on the action. (Honestly, if they all looked like that in real life, I would be the biggest cricket fan in the world.)

Anyway, I’ve always thought I would have made a very handsome man, so when I heard about the Snapchat filter I was quick to try it out. Well, “quick’” may not be the most accurate descriptor. Apparently, I am now “can’t-use-technology-years-old”; it took me an embarrassing amount of Googling and expletives to figure out how to download the gender-swapping function. After all that trouble I can’t tell you how upset I was to find out that male-me looks like a sex offender. An extremely disappointing result.

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May 15th 2019, 2:14 am

Uber: US labor board calls drivers contractors in blow to labor rights

Technology | The Guardian

Ruling will make it more difficult for workers to organize, secure minimum wages and other protections, labor advocates say

Uber drivers are not subject to traditional labor protections because they are independent contractors, the National Labor Relations Board said in an opinion published on Thursday.

The board’s opinion, which appears to be the first federal comment on the issue of Uber drivers’ employee status, will make it more difficult for workers to organize in unions and secure minimum wages and other protections, labor advocates say.

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May 14th 2019, 6:39 pm

OnePlus 7 Pro phone launch: massive screen and pop-up camera

Technology | The Guardian

New model joins cheaper OnePlus 7 as Chinese firm goes after Samsung and Huawei

Having made a name for itself for cut-price top-spec phones, OnePlus now has its sights set on the Samsung Galaxy S10+ and Huawei P30 Pro with its new OnePlus 7 Pro.

Costing from £649 the new premium OnePlus still undercuts the competition by about £250, but isn’t quite as value-oriented as previous offerings.

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May 14th 2019, 12:17 pm

WhatsApp spyware vulnerability: targeted lawyer says attempt was desperate

Technology | The Guardian

NSO Group technology used against lawyer involved in civil case against the Israeli surveillance firm

The UK lawyer whose phone was targeted by spyware that exploits a WhatsApp vulnerability said it appeared to be a desperate attempt by someone to covertly find out the details of his human rights work.

The lawyer, who asked not to be named, is involved in a civil case brought against the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group whose sophisticated Pegasus malware has reportedly been used against Mexican journalists, and a prominent Saudi dissident living in Canada.

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May 14th 2019, 8:44 am

A toast to the Guardian's Simon Ricketts, a Twitter folk hero

Technology | The Guardian

When the Guardian journalist died recently, it triggered a torrent of grief on social media. People felt they knew him, even if they hadn’t met. Ian Martin understands why

We lost someone special when the journalist and writer Simon Ricketts died just over four months ago. He was a 24-carat mensch. A living antidote to cruelty and heartlessness. An astonishing comet of kindness blazing across social media’s dark night skies, indiscriminately brightening the lives of everyone. His wasn’t the first high-profile death at our end of Twitter, but it was the hardest.

“Our end” – you know the end I mean. The older end. The flexitarian, smartarse, squabbling, umbrage-taking, performatively progressive end. The rainbow end. The herbivore lunch with an Armagnac at the end.

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May 14th 2019, 7:15 am

WhatsApp hack: have I been affected and what should I do?

Technology | The Guardian

Time to make sure WhatsApp is updated on your iPhone, Android or Windows device

Users are being urged to update their WhatsApp smartphone apps immediately because of a security bug that allows hackers to take over your phone by simply calling it, whether or not you answer.

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May 14th 2019, 6:45 am

Huawei founder 'would shut it down' if China asked it to eavesdrop

Technology | The Guardian

Telecoms firm insists it has never been asked to spy after political row over 5G network

The founder of the Chinese telecoms equipment firm Huawei would “shut the company down” if he was asked by the country’s communist regime to eavesdrop on mobile phone calls, according to a senior executive at the fast growing multinational.

Tim Watkins, the company’s vice-president for western Europe, said Huawei had never been asked by the Chinese government to conduct surveillance despite a recently introduced intelligence law – and insisted it never would.

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May 14th 2019, 4:40 am

Pixel 3a review: the people’s Google phone?

Technology | The Guardian

Great camera and software make a bargain, let down only by middling performance and battery

Google’s latest phone, the Pixel 3a, offers the firm’s fantastic camera and software for less than £400, cutting a few corners on the way.

The pitch for the Pixel 3a is simple: everything that made the £739 top-end Pixel 3 good, but at a lower price.

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May 14th 2019, 2:09 am

WhatsApp urges users to upgrade after discovering spyware vulnerability

Technology | The Guardian

The spyware, developed by Israeli cyber intelligence company, used infected phone calls to take over the functions of operating systems

WhatsApp is encouraging users to update to the latest version of the app after discovering a vulnerability that allowed spyware to be injected into a user’s phone through the app’s phone call function.

The spyware was developed by the Israeli cyber intelligence company NSO Group, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the vulnerability.

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May 13th 2019, 9:50 pm

Apple's iPhone cost faces sharp increase as US-China trade dispute worsens

Technology | The Guardian

Trump-imposed tariff of 25% on $200bn of goods could add about $160 to the cost of a $999 Chinese-made iPhone XS

The escalating trade dispute between the US and China could prove damaging to Apple and its customers, pushing up the cost of iPhones while driving down share prices.

According to a report by US bank Morgan Stanley, the new Trump-imposed tariff of 25% on $200bn of Chinese-made goods could add about $160 (£124) to the cost of a $999 Chinese-made iPhone XS.

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May 13th 2019, 1:14 pm

Uber's IPO flops as shares slide again

Technology | The Guardian

Downward spiral continues in early trading after stock market debut on Friday

Uber shares dropped again after Wall Street opened on Monday as demand for the taxi-hailing app’s stock continued to slump after its stock market debut on Friday.

After setting a target price of $45, Uber’s share price closed at $41.51 on Friday and continued its downward spiral in early trading on Monday, falling 9.5% to $37.68.

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May 13th 2019, 12:01 pm

Tech giants to give secret evidence at child sexual abuse inquiry

Technology | The Guardian

Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google will make submissions as inquiry looks at online abuse

Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google are to give secret evidence to the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse as it examines the growing problem of online exploitation.

Representatives of the four global tech companies will make part of their submissions in closed sessions of the inquiry, which is being held in Southwark, south London.

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May 13th 2019, 9:26 am

Is India the frontline in big tech’s assault on democracy? | John Harris

Technology | The Guardian

Social media such as WhatsApp may enable voters, but encrypted messaging polarises them and blocks public scrutiny

In 10 days’ time, two political dramas will reach their denouement, thanks to the votes of a combined total of about 1.3 billion people. At the heart of both will be a mess of questions about democracy in the online age, and how – or even if – we can act to preserve it.

Elections to the European parliament will begin on 23 May, and offer an illuminating test of the rightwing populism that has swept across the continent. In the UK, they will mark the decisive arrival of Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, whose packed rallies are serving notice of a politics brimming with bile and rage, masterminded by people with plenty of campaigning nous. The same day will see the result of the Indian election, a watershed moment for the ruling Hindu nationalist prime minister, Narendra Modi, and his Bharatiya Janata party, or BJP. Whatever the outcomes, both contests will highlight something inescapable: that the politics of polarisation, anger and what political cliche calls “fake news” is going to be around for a long time to come.

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May 13th 2019, 7:41 am

Becoming a modern-day cyborg: Chips with Everything podcast

Technology | The Guardian

Jordan Erica Webber talks to the co-host of Grindfest, a festival for which dozens of fans of a type of body modification called ‘grinding’ travelled to the Tehachapi mountains in California

Humans have been using technology to alter their bodies for decades. Many women have medical devices implanted in their arms as a form of contraception, and people with heart problems can be helped with pacemakers.

Implants such as these are considered medically necessary or helpful, but some people like to take the idea of body modification a lot further. This week, Jordan delves into the often controversial world of biohacking, to explore how, when used in the right way, technology can enhance the human form, and find out why some of the latest forms of biohacking face medical, ethical and legal challenges.

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May 13th 2019, 7:41 am

Google has given $150,000 in free ads to deceptive anti-abortion group

Technology | The Guardian

Obria Group’s ads suggest it provides abortion services, when in fact it tries to persuade women not to terminate pregnancies

Google has given tens of thousands of dollars in free advertising to an anti-abortion group that runs ads suggesting it provides abortion services at its medical clinics, but actually seeks to deter “abortion-minded women” from terminating their pregnancies.

Related: Abortion: judge strikes down Kentucky restriction but governor to appeal

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May 13th 2019, 1:08 am

Facebook: Nick Clegg rejects calls to break up company as idea spreads

Technology | The Guardian

Kamala Harris is latest convert among Democratic presidential candidates while Cory Booker expresses caution

Facebook head of global affairs Nick Clegg has rejected calls for the social media giant to be broken up, an idea gaining currency among contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, with Kamala Harris seemingly its latest convert.

Related: It's not enough to break up Big Tech. We need to imagine a better alternative | Evgeny Morozov

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May 12th 2019, 3:33 pm

The Iron Lady could keep stumm when it suited her | Brief letters

Technology | The Guardian

Huawei | IAAF ruling | Emma Thompson films | Gender inequality in salons | The royal baby

The US secretary of state says: “Ask yourself: would the Iron Lady be silent when China violates the sovereignty of nations through corruption or coercion?” (What would Thatcher do, asks Pompeo as he urges Huawei U-turn, 9 May). Perhaps. She was mostly silent when the US, on numerous documented occasions, did exactly that.
Brian Smith
Berlin

• Can we shortly expect the IAAF to insist that competitive swimmers with large feet, say size 15 or above – which we know gives them an unfair advantage – have their foot size restricted to ensure that men with small feet are not discriminated against (Letters, 4 May)? To those who are unsure, may I refer you to Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut?
Anne Smith
Royston, Hertfordshire

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May 12th 2019, 11:59 am

Great fanfare as Uber gets its stock on the road, but app stalls in New York

Technology | The Guardian

Could this be the moment the sentiment on Wall Street turned against the tech sector?

Uber’s stock market debut came with all the usual razzmatazz of a big American technology IPO. The chief executive spent weeks making sweeping statements about how the business was “just getting started” and had new worlds to conquer – everything from pizza delivery to international freight. In the background, investment bankers whipped up buyers for the “transportation” stock of the 21st century.

And, when the big day arrived on Friday, company executives rang the bell to open trading on the New York Stock Exchange while bagels were delivered to traders on the floor. All textbook stuff. Yet Uber’s arrival as a public company felt flat. It also had an end-of-an-era tone.

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May 12th 2019, 3:23 am

Capital cars: the stars of London Concours | Martin Love

Technology | The Guardian

Enjoy some of the world’s rarest and special cars in a green oasis in the heart of the city

London Concours
When
5-6 June
Where City of London
Tickets £35; students £18
Details londonconcours.co.uk

Polished metal, glinting chrome, a sward of green… The capital’s leading automotive garden party – the London Concours – returns to the idyllic lawns of the Honourable Artillery Company from 5-6 June. There will be around 100 rare and stunning vehicles on display for you to drool over. The cars are without doubt the stars of the show, but it’s almost worth going just for the chance to visit these secluded grounds. The five-acre Honourable Artillery Company HQ is in the heart of the City, a stone’s throw from Bank, Monument and Barbican, not that you’d know it. Step through the historic gates and you are on what’s often called ‘the world’s second most valuable cricket pitch’. As you stroll around, possibly with a glass of fizz in hand, you’ll be able to gaze at everything from the McLaren F1 and Aston Martin DB5 to the Lotus 79 F1 and Bugatti EB110. Then chuck in a bunch of Ferraris and Porsches, and a section dedicated to ‘Lost Marques’, including Alvis, Panhard, Frazer-Nash and Bizzarrini, and you have a splendid day to remember. Getting the tube home will soon bring you back down to earth!

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May 12th 2019, 1:39 am

Laptop, wifi, wanderlust: the rise of the digital nomad

Technology | The Guardian

From copywriters to computer programmers, people with online-based jobs are seizing the chance to take their work on their travels

I dismissed the idea at first. Over a picnic in south London’s Brockwell Park last May my friend Tom asked whether I had ever considered leaving the UK behind and continuing my football journalism career abroad.

“Nice thought, mate,” I replied. “But I can’t see it happening. How would I make it work? Besides, I’d miss you too much.”

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May 11th 2019, 12:13 pm

Five of the best wireless earbuds: a guide for all budgets

Technology | The Guardian

Our pick of the Bluetooth earbuds out there, from Apple Airpods to Samsung Galaxy Buds and more

Earbuds are great for some personal listening in the office, on the commute or at the gym, but wires are a pain, and headphone sockets are disappearing from our smartphones.

Bluetooth earbuds have long been available with a wire between them that runs round the back of your neck, but that can be frustrating as it often gets caught on clothing. The next generation of truly wireless earbuds solves the problem by getting rid of the wires entirely.

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May 11th 2019, 5:27 am

Elon Musk faces trial after calling British diver a paedophile

Technology | The Guardian

LA court rejects Telsa chief’s attempt to dismiss Vernon Unsworth’s defamation lawsuit

Elon Musk will have to go to trial to defend himself for mocking a British diver and basely calling him a paedophile.

The verbal sparring match unfolded last summer after the underwater rescue of youth football players trapped in a Thailand cave.

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May 11th 2019, 5:27 am

Uber goes into reverse as first day stock price disappoints

Technology | The Guardian

Stock traded at considerably lower than the $100bn hailing app had hoped to achieve

Uber’s hopes of a surge in the price of its shares have fallen flat, as investors gave the taxi-hailing app’s eagerly anticipated stock market float a frosty reception by sending the shares below their launch price.

Uber put a price of $45 on its shares valuing the company at $80bn (£61.4bn), well below than the $100bn it had hoped to achieve, amid jitters among investors at the lacklustre performance of rival Lyft’s shares since its own recent float.

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May 10th 2019, 12:29 pm

Android Q: everything you need to know about Google's update

Technology | The Guardian

New Android version out in public beta with smarter AI, more privacy and dark mode

Google took the wraps off the next version of Android 10 Q at its IO developer conference in California this week, introducing a whole range of new features, gestures, AI and privacy advances.

Android Q doesn’t yet have a full name, but it marks a shift-change in Google’s attitudes to how things should work on a smartphone.

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May 10th 2019, 2:24 am

Blue Origin: Bezos company aims to take people to moon by 2024

Technology | The Guardian

The Amazon CEO’s rocket company touts ‘vision of going to space to benefit Earth’

The tech billionaires’ space race is heating up.

Jeff Bezos’s aerospace company, Blue Origin, aims to take people to the moon by 2024, he announced on Thursday.

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May 9th 2019, 5:21 pm

How the UK electronics industry lost its spark | Letters

Technology | The Guardian

Blame for the fall of GEC rests with its boss, Arnold Weinstock, says Tim Webb. Plus letters on the collapse of a once-great British electronics sector from Roger Cooper, Michael Prior, Alan Burkitt-Gray and David Murray

Aditya Chakrabortty is basically correct in his analysis of the decline of Britain’s electronics industry and the central role played by Arnold Weinstock, head of GEC (Why does Britain need Huawei? The answer speaks volumes, 8 May). Weinstock was indeed parsimonious; he paid poor salaries, engineers worked in portable buildings and redundancy payments were the lowest the law would allow. In my job as a trade union official, I found him inflexible and uncompromising. Chakrabortty gives him a little too much credit for maintaining a level of research and development that was abandoned by his successors.

While his foreign competitors were selling innovative consumer electronics and products people wanted to buy, Weinstock decided it was safer to build huge cash mountains rather than invest in the civil sector. He concentrated on military production, a source of easy money, provided by his friends in the Ministry of Defence and funded by the British taxpayer. Many of these products were overpriced, delivered late and performed poorly, particularly in the field of radar.

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May 9th 2019, 1:49 pm

Dyson patents reveal plans for an electric car with off-road potential

Technology | The Guardian

Innovative vehicle, which is being designed in England, is due to go on sale in 2021

The first drafts of Dyson’s closely guarded electric car designs have emerged, showing a vehicle with unusual proportions that could be used off-road.

The patent filings are the first clue to what the “radically different” car pledged by British inventor Sir James Dyson might look like.

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May 9th 2019, 1:49 pm

Facebook co-founder calls for company to break up over 'unprecedented' power

Technology | The Guardian

Chris Hughes wrote in the New York Times Facebook’s acquisition of rival platforms has given Zuckerberg ‘un-American’ control

A co-founder of Facebook has called for the government to break-up the company, warning that Mark Zuckerberg’s power is “unprecedented and un-American”.

Chris Hughes, who helped established Facebook after meeting Zuckerberg at Harvard University, wrote in the New York Times that Facebook’s acquisition of rival platforms had given Zuckerberg unparalleled power over speech.

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May 9th 2019, 11:16 am

My data security is better than yours: tech CEOs throw shade in privacy wars

Technology | The Guardian

Apple, Google and Facebook are racing to embrace the latest buzzword, and taking swipes at each other in the process

“Privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services,” declared Sundar Pichai, the chief executive officer of Google, in a New York Times op-ed this week. “Privacy must be equally available to everyone in the world.”

Pichai’s column, published in conjunction with Google’s annual developer conference, was a two-pronged public relations offensive: an attempt by the company that has been one of the chief architects and primary beneficiaries of digital surveillance to wrap itself in the mantle of privacy, while simultaneously taking a swipe at one of its competitors.

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May 9th 2019, 6:11 am

What's the best compact camera for travelling?

Technology | The Guardian

Dave wants a point-and-shoot camera, but should he just buy a top-end smartphone instead?

I’m looking for a compact travel camera. I presently have a Canon S100 and realise it is old and out of date. In its price range to maybe double its value ($1,000 Canadian or £570), what would you recommend for a simple but good point-and-shoot that also takes top-quality video?

On the other hand, a US camera reviewer suggests buying the best quality smartphone possible, not a camera … Dave in Canada

The Canon S100 was announced in November 2011, and it was one of the best digital compacts of its day. Enthusiasts liked its ability to shoot RAW images, its full manual controls and its 5x zoom lens. It also offered HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, in-camera GPS, auto-focus tracking with face detection, and could shoot 1080p videos. It wasn’t bad value at £429/$429.95 (US dollars). Amusingly enough, I recommended the Canon S95 in Ask Jack, before your S100 replaced it.

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May 9th 2019, 3:06 am

Meng Wanzhou: Huawei CFO seeks halt to extradition after Trump comments

Technology | The Guardian

Lawyers fighting executive’s deportation from Canada to US say president’s comments prove case is politically motivated

Huawei’s chief financial officer intends to seek a stay on extradition proceedings, in part based on statements by Donald Trump about the case that her lawyers say disqualifies the United States from pursuing the matter in Canada.

Meng Wanzhou, 47, who faces charges related to Iran sanctions violations, was appearing at a Vancouver courthouse on Wednesday to set a timetable for her upcoming extradition hearing.

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May 8th 2019, 9:19 pm

Mike Pompeo invokes Thatcher in warning to UK over Huawei and China - video

Technology | The Guardian

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has invoked Margaret Thatcher as he appealed to the Conservative right to take a firmer line with China, again urging the UK to resist efforts by Huawei to gain access to Britain's new 5G network.

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May 8th 2019, 4:26 pm

Uber and Lyft offer passenger discounts as drivers strike for better wages

Technology | The Guardian

Drivers are shutting off apps in protest across more than a dozen US cities as Uber prepares to go public

Uber and Lyft are offering riders and drivers discounts and incentives to use the app on Wednesday as drivers seeking better wages strike across the US.

Uber drivers are shutting off apps in protest across more than a dozen US cities as the company prepares to go public, demanding better pay and more protections. To support the drivers, advocates have called on users to stay off the app on Wednesday. But this week, many customers of Lyft and Uber have reported receiving coupons and discount codes timed around the protest, leading many to claim the companies are trying to lure them over the digital picket line.

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May 8th 2019, 4:16 pm

Uber does not look like a business worth $90bn. Nothing like

Technology | The Guardian

As drivers protest and the IPO roadshow rolls on, investors need to ask some tough questions

Good luck to those Uber workers protesting about wages and working conditions. They picked their moment to coincide with this week’s IPO [Initial Public Offering] in New York, in which the company is set to be priced at $90bn or thereabouts, and they chose well. You do not have to be a bleeding heart liberal to think something obscene is happening when Uber drivers tell tales of sleeping in their cars to make ends meet while the founder, Travis Kalanick, sees his shareholding valued at roughly $7bn.

Financial markets don’t waste much time pondering questions of moral justice, of course, but even hard-hearted investors should ask if the implied hopes for Uber’s eventual profitability are even vaguely grounded in reality. Two passages in the IPO prospectus are striking. The first, on page 30, reveals more than Uber’s glib response to the protesters that it is continuously working to improve drivers’ “experience”. Here’s the long-term thinking:

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May 8th 2019, 1:41 pm

Mike Pompeo invokes Thatcher to push for harder line on China

Technology | The Guardian

US secretary of state again calls on UK to resist Huawei’s efforts to gain access to 5G networks

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has invoked Margaret Thatcher as he appealed to the Conservative right to take a firmer line with China, again urging the UK to resist efforts by Huawei to gain access to Britain’s new 5G network.

Insisting he felt duty-bound to raise sensitive issues with close partners, Pompeo said the telecoms company was as a matter of Chinese law required to bow to Beijing’s demands for access to its networks, adding he could see no circumstances in which the west should allow itself to become so vulnerable.

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May 8th 2019, 1:30 pm

Uber drivers strike over pay and conditions

Technology | The Guardian

Protests take place in UK, US, Brazil and Australia as ride-hailing app prepares for stock market debut

Uber drivers have gone on strike in the UK, US and other countries including Brazil and Australia to demand better pay and conditions ahead of the ride-hailing app’s stock market debut.

They protested against what one UK trade union labelled “poverty pay” ahead of Friday’s flotation, which will crystalise multi-million and multi-billion dollar fortunes for early investors, including the Uber founder, Travis Kalanick, and the Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos. Uber hopes to raise $9bn (£6.9bn) in new funds and is expected to be valued at up to $91.5bn when the valuation of the shares is announced on Thursday.

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May 8th 2019, 1:00 pm

Uber and Lyft strikes: US drivers stop taking rides in protest over pay

Technology | The Guardian

Rideshare drivers are striking and protesting in major cities across the United States, with many participating in a 24-hour strike of the Uber and Lyft apps that began at midnight on 8 May.

Cities affected by the stoppage – which varies in length from two-hour strikes to day-long boycotts – include Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Philadelphia and others. Strikes are also expected overseas in Britain, Australia and elsewhere.

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May 8th 2019, 10:41 am

Uber IPO: the rich people who will get even richer when the company goes public

Technology | The Guardian

The ride-hailing app will have one of the largest initial public offerings in history on 10 May

They are the spoons full of sugar that make the bitter taste of capitalism go down. When billion-dollar technology startups go public, the media tends to dig up a feel good story about some unlikely figure who stands to strike it rich. For Facebook, it was the graffiti artist who took his fee for decorating the company’s headquarters in stock options and ended up with shares worth $200m. For Google, it was the part-time masseuse who joined the company when it had just a few dozen employees and retired with stock options worth millions.

When the ride-hailing app Uber has one of the largest initial public offerings in history on 10 May, however, it will not be easy to identify a Horatio Alger-esque hero. Yes, the company is offering some of its most loyal drivers cash bonuses with which to purchase shares, but the rewards cap out at $10,000 for those who have completed at least 20,000 rides – the equivalent of a $0.50 tip per ride.

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May 8th 2019, 6:22 am

The Uber drivers forced to sleep in parking lots to make a decent living

Technology | The Guardian

A growing group who commute from places as far as eight hours away spend the night in their cars to pick up fares around San Francisco during the day

Every Saturday morning before the sun rises, 35-year-old Uber driver Sultan Arifi rolls up the sleeping bag in the front seat of his car, places it in the trunk, and prepares for another day of work.

He will spend the next 12 hours picking up as many passengers as he can on the streets of San Francisco before returning to a grocery store parking lot in the north of the city to sleep, often for six hours or less, rising as early as he can on Sunday to do it all again.

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May 8th 2019, 1:21 am

Sidestepping Apple: the third-party tinkerers fighting for your right to repair

Technology | The Guardian

Online repair communities are spreading repair knowledge online to place power back in the hands of consumers

When Jessa Jones’s twin daughters flushed her iPhone 4S down the toilet, she decided that she was going to fix it herself. She took the toilet apart in her backyard, retrieved the device, and then searched online for how to make it turn on again. On DIY fix-it forums, she was informed that the first step was to replace the battery. She did this with relative ease, but the phone wouldn’t charge, which suggested that the water had also seeped into the phone’s motherboard.

For most, this would mean giving up and going to the Apple store. But Jones was determined. She had no experience working with electronics but by trawling through online tutorials, she taught herself how to use a soldering iron and replace microscopic components inside the phone. She eventually succeeded and got the device working again.

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May 8th 2019, 1:21 am

Uber drivers in UK cities strike over pay and conditions

Technology | The Guardian

Drivers to take part in global protest on eve of ride-hailing app’s flotation on stock market

Hundreds of Uber drivers in Britain are to go on strike as part of an international protest against pay and conditions on the eve of the ride-hailing app’s stock market flotation.

Drivers in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow plan to withhold their services between 7am and 4pm on Wednesday, with some expected to protest outside Uber’s offices.

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May 7th 2019, 8:33 pm

Google launches cheaper Pixel 3a smartphones

Technology | The Guardian

Model has top-spec camera and software but costs more than £300 less than flagship Pixel 3

Google is looking to buck the £1,000-plus smartphone trend by launching a cheaper Pixel 3a smartphone that still offers its top-spec camera and software.

Announced at Google’s I/O developer conference in California on Tuesday, the new Pixel 3a and 3a XL Android phones are aimed at the increasingly important mid-range market. Starting at £399, they seek to offer most of what made Google’s £739-plus flagship phones good, but at a significantly reduced cost.

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May 7th 2019, 4:02 pm

Google launches bigger Nest Hub Max smart display with camera

Technology | The Guardian

Google Assistant with video calling, security camera, face recognition and hand gestures

Google is launching a larger 10in version of its smart display as it attempts to supplant Amazon’s Alexa as the top smartspeaker maker.

Announced at Google’s I/O developer conference in California on Tuesday, the new Google Nest Hub Max, which will launch on 15 July costing £219 in the UK. It spearheads the firm’s new push to combine its Nest and other smart home products into one brand.

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May 7th 2019, 4:02 pm

'They treat us like crap': Uber drivers feel poor and powerless on eve of IPO

Technology | The Guardian

Wage cuts and inadequate bonuses mean drivers are left behind as ride-hailing firm prepares for stock market debut

A lot of very rich people will get even richer when Uber goes public on 9 May in one of the most anticipated initial public offerings (IPO) to hit the stock market in 2019.

Travis Kalanick, Uber’s founder, could see his 8.6% stake in the company valued at close to $8bn if the company is valued at $90bn plus. One early investor, the Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, has a $3m stake in the company estimated to now be worth $400m. Uber’s current CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, could make at least $100m from stock options on top of his salary of $45m in 2018.

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May 7th 2019, 2:50 am

Apple braces for EU investigation after Spotify complaint

Technology | The Guardian

Streaming service accuses iPhone maker of abusing its dominance of its App Store

Apple is bracing itself for a formal antitrust investigation by Brussels after the iPhone maker was accused by the music streaming service Spotify of anti-competitive behaviour.

Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner for competition, is said to be poised to launch an inquiry over claims that the world’s most valuable company has behaved unlawfully by abusing dominance of its app store.

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May 6th 2019, 10:41 am

Google's problem with AI and ethics: Chips With Everything podcast

Technology | The Guardian

After Google’s decision to scrap its new AI ethics council, Jordan Erica Webber revisits a Chips episode from last summer that looked at Google’s AI objectives

At the end of March, Google launched a group to advise on ethical issues around artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. It called the group the advanced technology external advisory council.

A week later, Google announced it was shutting the council down. A group of Google employees had criticised the inclusion of the leader of what they considered to be a rightwing thinktank and had called for her removal because of previous remarks she had made that were thought to be anti-LGBT and anti-immigrant.

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May 6th 2019, 1:18 am

Facebook admits huge scale of fake news and election interference

Technology | The Guardian

Company deletes 2.8bn fake accounts as it pours resources into protecting EU elections

Less than three years ago, the Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, dismissed as “crazy” the idea that fake news on his platform could have influenced the election of Donald Trump as US president.

Today the company admits it is under siege from billions of fake accounts trying to game its systems to win elections, make money or influence people in other ways, and battling a tsunami of fake news, disinformation and hate speech.

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May 5th 2019, 1:58 pm

The Huawei incident points to a deeper lesson for Great Britain Larry Elliott

Technology | The Guardian

Beyond the leaks and even the data security lies a message about our attitude toward manufacturing

The debate over whether the Chinese telecoms company Huawei should be involved in building Britain’s 5G network has centred on two questions: was the former defence secretary Gavin Williamson the source of the leak from the National Security Council and would Huawei represent a security threat.

These are certainly important questions but there is a third issue that deserves an airing, namely why a country that emerged from the second world war with a technological edge in computers and electronics should require the assistance of what is still classified as an emerging economy to construct a crucial piece of national infrastructure.

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May 5th 2019, 6:23 am

Olivia Laing: ‘I was hooked and my drug was Twitter’

Technology | The Guardian

In a period of loneliness, Olivia Laing turned to Twitter. But then it trapped her…

I was a late adopter of technology. In the 1990s, I lived off-grid. If anyone wanted me, they had to call my pager. When it buzzed, I’d walk two miles across fields to ring them back from a dusty phone box on a country lane. Even after I rejoined the modern world I remained a Luddite. I was late to email and so late to laptops that I wrote all my degree coursework by hand. I was years late to Facebook and only bought my first smartphone last summer. Not, on the face of it, the most likely person to become addicted to Twitter.

My relationship with it began during a long period of loneliness about a decade ago, in my mid-30s. I was living in New York, away from my family and friends, weathering a miserable break-up. The time-zone difference meant an ongoing glitch in communicating with people back home. Skype, with its two-second time lag and perpetually frozen screens, made me feel further away than ever. I wanted to talk to people who were awake when I was.

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May 5th 2019, 5:09 am

Uber promises a bottomless well of money to investors … but not yet

Technology | The Guardian

Expect a barnstorming debut at the latest tech company listing, yet there is no sign of any profits in the near future

Who wants to invest in a company that has never made a profit, admits it may never do so and is on the brink of war with its global workforce? Probably a fair old chunk of Wall Street, as it happens. This week Uber, the ride-hailing and food delivery service, will put a price on the shares it will issue in the largest tech company float since Facebook in 2012.

The San Francisco-based company hopes to raise $10bn in a listing valuing it at $90bn. Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive, embarked on a pre-float roadshow last week, touring hotel function rooms from New York to London, addressing halls thronged with investors and asking them to give Uber a five-star rating.

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May 5th 2019, 4:24 am

How Airbnb took over the world

Technology | The Guardian

In just 11 years, it has grown from nothing to a $30bn firm. But critics say Airbnb’s rise has come at a huge cost to urban life – and cities across the planet are trying to find ways to rein it in.

Rowan Hughes stayed in Airbnb accommodation on holidays for several years before she decided to make some extra cash from her own home in south-east London. When refurbishing the property, she created a room with an en-suite bathroom and its own front door, listing it on the accommodation-sharing platform at the start of this year.

Hughes, 37, considered getting a lodger, but using Airbnb offered the flexibility to reclaim the room when her own friends and family came to stay. So far, she has mainly attracted business travellers, who prefer her homely atmosphere and £50-a-night charge to nearby chain hotels where soulless rooms cost significantly more.

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May 5th 2019, 4:24 am

Apple finds wearable ‘gimmicks’ really count as iPhone slips

Technology | The Guardian

As sales of its signature product peak a big change in strategy has emerged in the form of the Apple Watch and AirPod

If Apple wants to prove to doubters that there is life beyond the iPhone, then the wrists and ears of millions of customers could provide the answer.

Twelve years from the launch of Steve Jobs’s signature product, Apple wearables – and the services that tie in to them – have emerged as an important component of the tech giant’s profile, accounting for more than a third of sales in the last quarter.

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May 5th 2019, 2:07 am

The privacy paradox: why do people keep using tech firms that abuse their data? | John Naughton

Technology | The Guardian

Despite privacy scandals, Facebook is more profitable than ever – journalists must use the tools of tech to understand why

A dark shadow looms over our networked world. It’s called the “privacy paradox”. The main commercial engine of this world involves erosion of, and intrusions upon, our privacy. Whenever researchers, opinion pollsters and other busybodies ask people if they value their privacy, they invariably respond with a resounding “yes”. The paradox arises from the fact that they nevertheless continue to use the services that undermine their beloved privacy.

If you want confirmation, then look no further than Facebook. In privacy-scandal terms, 2018 was an annus horribilis for the company. Yet the results show that by almost every measure that matters to Wall Street, it has had a bumper year. The number of daily active users everywhere is up; average revenue per user is up 19% on last year, while overall revenue for the last quarter of 2018 is 30.4% up on the same quarter in 2017. In privacy terms, the company should be a pariah. At least some of its users must be aware of this. But it apparently makes no difference to their behaviour.

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May 5th 2019, 2:07 am

Bentley Continental GT: ‘A masterpiece to be approached with awe’

Technology | The Guardian

As Bentley celebrates its centenary, the new Continental GT shows that the great marque is showing no signs of its age or of slowing down

Bentley Continental GT
Price
£159,000
0-62mph 3.7 seconds
Top speed 207mph
MPG 23.2
CO2 278g/km

It’s a sharp spring day and we’re inching through the traffic in one of the less spiritually uplifting towns of Kent’s Medway. The car I’m driving is the pulchritudinous (thank you online thesaurus) Bentley Continental GT – known to all who reverentially whisper its name as the Conti. Its vast engine is chortling happily. It weighs more than 2 tonnes, yet it is so light on its feet that it can surge from 0-62mph in under 4 seconds, before topping out at a scarcely believable, and utterly pointless, 207mph. We slow at a junction and a shirtless man puts down his pint and walks purposefully into the middle of the road. He points at the Conti and fixes me with a menacing stare. “Oh no,” mumbles my wife nervously, “what’s he going to do?” There’s a long pause. People stare. Then the man bellows as if all England will hear: “This. Is. A. Bloooooody. Car!” He grins wildly, gives me a big thumbs-up and waves us on our way… The Conti does this sort of thing to people – and I totally get how that guy feels.

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May 5th 2019, 1:20 am

5G signal could jam satellites that help with weather forecasting

Technology | The Guardian

New mobile system to be launched this year ‘will put lives at risk’

The introduction of 5G mobile phone networks could seriously affect weather forecasters’ ability to predict major storms.

That is the stark warning of meteorologists around the world, who say the next-generation wireless system now being rolled out across the globe is likely to disrupt the delicate satellite instruments they use to monitor changes in the atmosphere.

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May 4th 2019, 10:09 am

From Eric the robot to Dorothy’s slippers: 10 years of Kickstarter

Technology | The Guardian

A decade on from the birth of the crowdfunding platform, Tim Adams talks to cofounder Perry Chen and looks back at some of its greatest campaigns

The idea of Kickstarter first formed in the mind of Perry Chen in 2001. A native New Yorker, Chen was 25, living in New Orleans, working as a musician and helping to organise the following year’s Jazz Fest. He wanted to bring a pair of DJs he loved down to headline it. He sorted out a venue, organised things with their management, but in the end the event didn’t happen – Chen didn’t have the funds to pay for the show if not enough people turned up. In his frustration, a thought occurred to him: “What if people could go to a website and pledge to buy tickets for a show? And if enough money was pledged, they would be charged and the show would happen. If not, it wouldn’t.”

Over the years that followed, Chen held on to that simple idea. He moved back to New York in 2005, still more intent on making music than starting an internet company – he had no background in technology – but the thought wouldn’t go away. He became friends with a music journalist, Yancey Strickler, who got sold on the idea, too. They talked about it with another friend, Charles Adler, a designer and DJ, and the three of them formulated ideas and spoke to mates of mates who knew code or to people who might help fund such a thing. Eventually, in April 2009, eight years after the idea had first come to Chen, the three of them launched their website and waited at their laptops to see if other people thought it was a good idea too.

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May 4th 2019, 9:23 am

Squirrel rescues and cyst extractions: my descent into YouTube addiction

Technology | The Guardian

I found myself spending days utterly alone as the hypnotic site became my drug of choice

The wild elephants turn back to salute the men who have saved their baby from the ditch. They raise their trunks aloft with wondrous grace in a moment shared between man and beast. I don’t blink, hardly twitch. Lit by the glow of the laptop screen, my face shows no flicker of emotion. The video finishes and the next one begins to load. “Electrocuted squirrel gets CPR by kind man.”

Unbeknownst to me, the daylight has faded across to the other side of the Earth, and I am in darkness. I am lying on my bed in the fetal position, as I have been for three hours straight … watching YouTube.

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May 3rd 2019, 2:17 am

Britons less trusting of social media than other major nations

Technology | The Guardian

Majority in UK favour stronger regulation of tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter

Britons trust social media platforms less than any other major nation and favour stronger regulation of Silicon Valley’s technology companies, according to a survey of 23 countries.

More than four in five Britons distrust platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, with other developed nations such as France, Germany and the US not far behind. The attitudes contrast sharply with those in middle-income countries such as Brazil, India and Mexico, where trust is far higher.

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May 3rd 2019, 1:17 am

Uber class action: taxi and hire-car drivers join lawsuit against company

Technology | The Guardian

Uber defends service, saying governments across Australia have recognised the concept of ridesharing

A class action filed on behalf of thousands of taxi and hire-car drivers against Uber alleges the global rideshare company operated illegally in Australia.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers says more than 6,000 people have joined the action, covering drivers across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

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May 2nd 2019, 10:42 pm

Facebook bans Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and other far-right figures

Technology | The Guardian

The company has struggled to control far-right hate speech on the platform in recent years

Facebook banned several prominent accounts promoting white nationalism on the platform on Thursday.

Accounts barred from Facebook, as well as its subsidiary Instagram, as part of the new enforcement include the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the neo-Nazi sympathizer Milo Yiannopoulos and the anti-Muslim figurehead Laura Loomer. Jones was previously banned from Facebook but still had an account on Instagram, which was no longer live as of Thursday.

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May 2nd 2019, 3:40 pm

Tesla seeks to raise $2.3bn after concerns it is running out of money

Technology | The Guardian

Company announced last week it had lost $702m in the first three months of the year and sold 31% fewer vehicles in the first quarter

Tesla is seeking to raise $2.3bn after its latest results heightened concerns that the troubled car company is running out of cash.

Last week, Tesla announced it had lost $702m in the first three months of the year and had sold 31% fewer vehicles in the first quarter than in the fourth quarter of 2018. The company had $2.2bn of cash at the end of the quarter, down 40% from the $3.7bn it had the previous quarter.

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May 2nd 2019, 10:50 am

Will I be forced to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10?

Technology | The Guardian

Microsoft wants Martin to upgrade Windows 7 to 10 for £120, but what if you can’t afford it or a new PC?

Microsoft has just started its bombardment about the end of Windows 7 and upgrading to Windows 10, suggesting that a new device is advisable and including links to its preferred dealers. Apart from the integrity or otherwise of this approach, I don’t think Microsoft has really thought this through, especially in relation to those who simply cannot afford the £120 upgrade even if their current machine is suitable. The fact that people chose to remain with Windows 7 rather than take the free upgrade to Windows 10 surely tells Microsoft that this forced upgrade is a step too far.

I’ve been using home computers since the late 1980s but have never felt so cornered and dictated to. Martin

Microsoft has a lot of sympathy for your point of view. Software updates are inevitable, because the world changes, new hardware technologies are developed, new features are needed to cater for new circumstances, and new threats need new defences. That’s true for every operating system in the fast-moving consumer world.

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May 2nd 2019, 3:15 am

Twitter and Facebook told they must do more to protect female MPs

Technology | The Guardian

Parliamentary committee grills company representatives over violent and misogynistic abuse

Twitter and Facebook have been accused by a parliamentary committee of failing to do enough to protect female MPs and other public figures from violent or misogynistic abuse.

Representatives of the two social media giants appeared before the joint human rights committee on Wednesday, where one member – Joanna Cherry, an SNP MP – showed examples of the type of abuse that female MPs faced.

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May 1st 2019, 6:04 pm

Will Facebook's Secret Crush end the unbearable pain of unrequited love?

Technology | The Guardian

The social media giant’s latest plan is to use its huge user base to help us find love – and it just might work

Mark Zuckerberg seems to have landed on a solution to turn around his untrustworthy and “not quite human” public image: playing Cupid.

Harking back to its humble beginnings as a tool for ranking strangers’ attractiveness, Facebook has announced a new feature called Secret Crush, wherein users select the friends for whom they carry a torch. If your crush adds you to their list – and with up to nine picks allowed, your odds aren’t bad – Facebook will reveal you to each other and love will assuredly bloom. But if the feeling is not reciprocated, they need never know your identity – just that one of their friends has added them as “a secret crush”.

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May 1st 2019, 12:34 pm

Best true wireless earbuds: AirPods, Samsung, Jabra and Anker compared and ranked

Technology | The Guardian

Our updated list of great bluetooth truly wireless earbuds – at the best prices right now

It wasn’t long ago that true wireless earbuds, those that don’t need any wires even between the earphones, weren’t very good. Solid connectivity was a challenge, dropouts were infuriatingly common and battery life was woeful.

But they all offered that taste of freedom from wires that is like a ratchet – once you’ve experienced tangle-free listening, you’ll never go back.

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May 1st 2019, 2:26 am

Microsoft joins group seeking to avoid historic climate change lawsuit

Technology | The Guardian

Legal immunity would squash raft of climate lawsuits launched by cities and counties across the US seeking compensation for damages

Microsoft has joined a conservative-led group that demands fossil fuel companies be granted legal immunity from attempts to claw back damages from the climate change they helped cause.

The stated goals of the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) include a $40-a-ton fee on carbon dioxide emissions in return for the gutting of current climate change regulations and “protecting companies from federal and state tort liability for historic emissions”.

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May 1st 2019, 1:43 am

Smart devices may have to carry labels showing how secure they are

Technology | The Guardian

Ministers consider proposals aiming to help consumers identify which products are more and which are less secure

Smart TVs and other internet-connected household devices will be made to carry labels setting out how secure they are, under proposals being put forward by the government.

Ministers want the labels introduced on a voluntary basis at first, but propose that they are eventually made mandatory. The labels would help consumers identify which products are more and which are less secure.

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April 30th 2019, 7:21 pm

If Silicon Valley were a country, it would be the second richest on Earth

Technology | The Guardian

With $128,308 per capita in annual gross domestic product, Silicon Valley residents out-produce almost every nation on the planet

Were it real, the Sultanate of Silicon Valley would be among the world’s richest countries.

Cranking out $128,308 per capita in annual gross domestic product (GDP), residents in California’s tech belt out-produce almost every nation on the planet. The valley’s output, pegged at $275m by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, is higher than Finland’s.

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April 30th 2019, 5:21 pm

Apple's iPhone sales fall 17% in first quarter as flagship product struggles

Technology | The Guardian

Quarter marked another quarterly decline in profit and revenue as the company struggled to move beyond the iPhone

Apple’s iPhone sales fell 17% in the first three months of the year as the company’s flagship product continued to struggle.

The tech company reported revenues of $31.05bn in iPhone revenues for the quarter, the majority of the $58.bn in revenues Apple brought in over the three months.

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April 30th 2019, 5:21 pm

Facebook's Zuckerberg announces privacy overhaul: ‘We don’t have the strongest reputation'

Technology | The Guardian

At annual F8 developer conference, CEO focuses on ‘sense of intimacy’ and unveils plans for payments tools

Even Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t keep a straight face.

The Facebook founder and chief executive repeatedly broke out in laughter as he announced a product roadmap for his company’s new “privacy-focused social platform” at its annual developer conference, F8, in San Jose on Tuesday.

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April 30th 2019, 4:21 pm

Alleged Huawei router 'backdoor' is standard networking tool, says firm

Technology | The Guardian

Media reports of a secret spying device in millions of domestic routers are ‘misleading’ says under-fire Chinese telco

Britain’s Vodafone discovered security failings in Huawei internet routers used by millions of people almost a decade ago.

Europe’s biggest mobile phone operator said on Tuesday that it found “vulnerabilities” in consumer equipment supplied by the controversial Chinese telecoms company to Vodafone Italia between 2009-2012.

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April 30th 2019, 2:16 pm

Google share price plunges, wiping $80bn off its market value

Technology | The Guardian

Biggest fall since October 2012 follows worse-than-expected quarterly results

Google’s share price has had its biggest fall in nearly seven years, wiping more than $80bn (£61bn) off its market value, after disappointing sales figures sparked investor fears that advertisers have been shifting their business to digital rivals like Facebook and Amazon.

Shares in Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, fell by more than 8% on Tuesday, the most since October 2012, after the company produced first quarter results on Monday that were worse than expected. Its stockmarket value fell from more than $900bn to about $823bn by lunchtime in New York. The company reported a 17% increase in revenue, to $36.3bn, its slowest revenue growth over a three-month period since 2015.

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April 30th 2019, 12:01 pm

Airbnb should be regarded as digital service provider, ECJ advised

Technology | The Guardian

Legal opinion welcome by company facing French calls for greater regulation

Airbnb has taken a step closer to avoiding onerous national regulations after an adviser to the European court of justice said the company should be regarded as a digital service provider.

Maciej Szpunar, one the ECJ’s advocates general, found that Airbnb was what Brussels would describe as an information society service, a status which comes with the right to operate freely across the EU.

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April 30th 2019, 11:31 am

US lobbies mobile phone firms in anti-Huawei campaign

Technology | The Guardian

UK telecoms operators targeted over Chinese company’s role in 5G networks

US lobbying against the use of Huawei in British 5G phone networks will step up when the embassy in London hosts an event on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the situation with telecoms companies operating in the UK.

The extraordinary meeting comes a day after an official at the US state department publicly warned that any use of Huawei technology would prompt a reassessment of intelligence sharing with the UK.

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April 30th 2019, 9:01 am

Facebook could have 4.9bn dead users by 2100, study finds

Technology | The Guardian

Deceased may outnumber the living if current growth rates continue, raising questions about what happens to our data

Facebook may eventually have more dead users than living ones.

If Facebook continues to grow at its current rate, the site could have 4.9 billion deceased members by 2100, according to a study by Oxford researchers. Even if growth had stopped entirely last year, the study finds, Facebook would be looking at about 1.4 billion dead members by 2100. By 2070, in that scenario, the dead would already outnumber the living.

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April 30th 2019, 2:41 am

How worried should we be about Huawei? – podcast

Technology | The Guardian

Theresa May has turned to her national security council to help her decide on whether to allow the Chinese firm Huawei to provide parts of Britain’s 5G network. Guardian reporters Rupert Neate, Alex Hern and Tania Branigan discuss the company at the heart of a diplomatic tussle. Plus, in opinion, David Kogan argues Labour needs clarity on Brexit to have a chance of winning power

When the government’s decision to allow Huawei to build parts of Britain’s 5G network leaked from Theresa May’s national security council it set off a furious backlash. Not just that secret cabinet discussions had been revealed, but Britain also found itself in a diplomatic tug of war between the US and China.

The US argues the Chinese tech firm is a potential security threat if it has access to critical infrastructure such as 5G networks. Huawei has said the US is creating a smokescreen for protectionism.

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April 29th 2019, 10:22 pm

Tech firm apologizes after job ad seeks 'preferably Caucasian' candidates

Technology | The Guardian

Virginia recruitment company removes discriminatory listing following a backlash on Twitter

The tech industry has long grappled with problems tied to diversity and inclusion, but a job listing this month seeking “preferably Caucasian” applicants has proved a particularly egregious example.

A job listing from Cynet Systems, a tech recruiting firm based in Virginia, sought an account manager who is “preferably Caucasian who has good technical background”. After a number of Twitter users called attention to the listing, it was removed on Sunday.

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April 29th 2019, 8:40 pm

Uber adds public transport information to London app

Technology | The Guardian

Relaunch will let users compare journeys on other services such as tube and bus

Uber is relaunching its London app to include public transport information, allowing users to compare journeys on other services, as well as its private hire cars.

The ride-hailing firm said the change, integrating publicly available Transport for London (TfL) live data, would allow its users to make the best choice of journey based on price and time.

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April 29th 2019, 7:18 pm

Google parent Alphabet's shares drop after lower-than-expected earnings

Technology | The Guardian

Earnings report comes as company faces internal worker turmoil, and a recent $1.7bn fine from the EU

Shares for Google’s parent company Alphabet fell in after hours trading after it reported lower-than-expected revenue on Monday.

The company’s stock was down 5% in after hours trading after it reported first quarter revenue of $36.34bn, lower than the $37.33bn revenue forecast by analysts. The quarter one earnings represent a 17% increase from the same time last year, in which it reported $31.15bn in revenue.

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April 29th 2019, 5:06 pm

Spotify reaches 100m paying subscribers worldwide

Technology | The Guardian

Streaming service boosted by better-than-expected performance in US and Canada

Spotify has reached 100 million paying subscribers, in a landmark for the music streaming service as it faces stiff competition from major tech firms.

The number of users willing to pay for the service rose by 32% in the first quarter of 2019 compared with a year earlier, Spotify said on Monday.

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April 29th 2019, 10:16 am

Drop Huawaei or we could cut intelligence ties, US warns UK

Technology | The Guardian

Chinese firm’s technology is a security risk, says official after ministers give go-ahead

A US official warned that the UK and any other western countries which adopt Huawei technology for 5G mobile phone networks risked affecting intelligence cooperation with the United States.

The escalation of the rhetoric comes days after a leak indicated the UK was prepared to given Huawei the go-ahead to supply “non-core” infrastructure – a security measure that the US said on Monday would not work in practice.

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April 29th 2019, 9:46 am

Lost in a Good Game: Chips with Everything podcast

Technology | The Guardian

Jordan Erica Webber talks to psychologist Pete Etchells about his new book, which explores both his personal relationship with video games and how society views – and could learn to view – this form of entertainment.

Pete Etchells didn’t understand why there was such a divide in how society viewed video games. The debates he saw were always heated. One side believed video games were brilliant and had a positive effect on our lives. The other believed they were dangerous on multiple levels for kids and adults alike.

So he did some research to try and figure out some of the biggest questions we ask when we discuss video games: do they make us violent? Do they make us anti-social? Are they addictive? The result was a book, which was published at the start of April 2019.

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April 29th 2019, 1:27 am

Russia’s great firewall: is it meant to keep information in – or out?

Technology | The Guardian

Vladimir Putin will soon sign the ‘sovereign internet’ bill to allow greater monitoring of traffic. But what are its other consequences?

Earlier this year, US officials briefed reporters on an extraordinary operation: they claimed to have launched an offensive cyber-attack against Russia to protect the integrity of the country’s midterm elections.

Government hackers from US Cyber Command had pre-emptively cut off the internet to a St Petersburg office building that houses the Internet Research Agency, better known as Russia’s troll factory, to prevent the spread of misinformation on election day in November 2018, US newspapers reported.

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April 28th 2019, 6:31 am

China urges UK to ignore pressure over Huawei 5G decision

Technology | The Guardian

Government told to make independent decision after move to involve Chinese company sparked criticism

China’s ambassador to the UK has urged the government to ignore external pressure over a politically and diplomatically charged decision to involve the Chinese firm Huawei in building the 5G communications network.

In China’s first official comments on the row, Beijing’s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, urged the UK to make the “right decision independently” over the suppliers for the new network.

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April 28th 2019, 6:31 am

Dutton Surf amphibious vehicle preview: ‘A cross between a car and a rubber duck’ | Martin Love

Technology | The Guardian

It may be a niche interest, but there are few things more pleasurably weird than driving a car into the sea

Dutton Surf
Price
£22,000
MPG 30
Top speed 85mph On sea 6mph (timdutton.com)

Is it a boat? Is it a car? Actually, it’s the best of both – an amphibious vehicle. It’s the ideal solution for anyone who fancies driving to the coast and then… well, motoring out to sea. For the past 50 years, Tim Dutton has been at the helm of his eponymous firm. He started out in 1969 and is justly proud of the fact Dutton is the oldest car company in the world still wholly owned by its founder. He is based in a workshop in the pretty village of Littlehampton where he has his own slipway into the River Arun. Visitors can take a Surf out for a test drive/cruise. You won’t be surprised to hear that owning a dinky Dutton is a niche interest – Tim sells about a dozen a year. Most drivers/captains just want to have fun – who wouldn’t in a vehicle that looks like a cross between a sports car and a rubber duck? – but there are more serious applications, too. Tim’s sold some to the military, and sailors love them as they can simply drive straight out to their yacht’s mooring. If you want to see one of these floating cars – and congratulate Tim on his half-century in the business – he’ll be at National Kit Car Show next weekend and at the Southampton Boat Show in September.

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April 28th 2019, 1:13 am
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