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Calling at all stations: tube passengers to get 4G reception from next year

Technology | The Guardian

4G mobile technology will launch on Jubilee line and will be extended to other lines

London Underground passengers will be able to use their phones in tunnels between stations from early next year, removing one of the last major public places in Britain without phone reception and creating new challenges to commuter etiquette.

Transport for London confirmed to the Guardian that 4G mobile phone technology would go live in tunnels on most of the Jubilee line from March 2020 and on other lines in the coming years.

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July 18th 2019, 7:24 pm

Quantum leap from Australian research promises super-fast computing power

Technology | The Guardian

‘Ruthlessly systematic’ research achieves qubit communication 200 times faster than ever before

An Australian research team led by the renowned quantum physicist Prof Michelle Simmons has announced a major breakthrough in quantum computing, which researchers hope could lead to much greater computing power within a decade.

Simmons, a former Australian of the Year, and her team at the University of New South Wales announced in a paper published in Nature journal on Thursday that they have been able to achieve the first two-qubit gate between atom qubits in silicon, allowing them to communicate with each other at a 200 times faster rate than previously achieved at 0.8 nanoseconds.

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July 18th 2019, 2:22 pm

FaceApp row: UK watchdog monitoring privacy concerns

Technology | The Guardian

Information Commissioner’s Office says people should check how apps use their data

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is considering allegations that FaceApp, the face-ageing photo app that has gone viral, is misusing personal data.

“We are aware of stories raising concerns about FaceApp and will be considering them,” a spokesperson for the information watchdog said on Thursday. “We would advise people signing up to any app to check what will happen to their personal information and not to provide any personal details until they are clear about how they will be used.”

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July 18th 2019, 9:50 am

Automatic for the people? Experts predict how AI will transform the workplace

Technology | The Guardian

As artificial intelligence is increasingly introduced into business, an expert panel – hosted by the Guardian – forecast how it will change our working lives

Workplaces should use automation technologies to enhance employees’ jobs rather than to replace humans, according to speakers at an event held by the Guardian on 11 July. However, they saw problems in the introduction of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robots, the latter including software as well as physical machines.

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July 18th 2019, 8:15 am

Is this the future – five-year-olds designing smart technology? | Anna Bawden

Technology | The Guardian

Mihika Sharma’s smart stick, which helps blind people cross the road, is one of the winning entries in this year’s Tech4Good awards

Nine months since the government unveiled its social prescribing strategy to tackle loneliness, progress is still patchy. One in 20 adults in England feel lonely often or always, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. And two-thirds of disabled people report feeling lonely. Part of the problem is that efforts are being hampered by austerity: figures out this month showed that £7.7bn has been cut from adult social care budgets in England, and the number of daycare centres has fallen by more than 40% from 2010 levels.

Technology is already at the forefront of efforts to reduce loneliness, but the winners of this year’s Tech4Good awards, announced on Wednesday, show how innovative use of technology can improve access to cultural and leisure activities, which are an excellent way to bring people together.

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July 18th 2019, 8:15 am

What's the best mini-laptop for YouTube and writing reports?

Technology | The Guardian

Peter wants a mini-laptop to go with his old BlackBerry phone. What are his options?

I’m old-school now at 71, but I’m still designing and working as a consultant. I had nothing but BlackBerry smartphones for years. Then it all went wrong. My boring Samsung J-something does most things but I miss my BlackBerry. I found an old one in a drawer, and it fits nicely in my pocket when off out. However, when I’m in a coffee place or relaxing, I’d like a big screen for YouTube, WhatsApp links, and writing reports. I’m thinking of rebooting my nice small BlackBerry and putting a smallish mini-laptop in my bag. Any thoughts? Peter

BlackBerry lost its premier position in the market – when its phones were used by everyone from Paris Hilton to then US president Barack Obama – but you can still buy BlackBerry phones. The company licensed its name and technology to China’s TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited (TCT), which sells phones under the TCL, BlackBerry Mobile and Alcatel brand names. It also makes TV sets, soundbars, headphones, air conditioners and dehumidifiers. (The BlackBerry name has also been used by Optiemus Infracom, selling phones as BlackBerry Mobile India, and BB Merah Putih, which briefly served the Indonesian market.)

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July 18th 2019, 3:14 am

Is FaceApp an evil plot by 'the Russians' to steal your data? Not quite | Arwa Mahdawi

Technology | The Guardian

Following the panic over this viral app, the moral of the story is: don’t worry too much about ‘the Russians’. You should worry about everything

Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened old self on the internet and everyone laughs uproariously. You get a small surge of dopamine from gathering a few online likes before existential ennui sets in once again. Challenge completed.

On Monday, as the #faceappchallenge went viral, Joshua Nozzi, a software developer, warned people to “BE CAREFUL WITH FACEAPP….it immediately uploads your photos without asking, whether you chose one or not”. Some media outlets picked this claim up and privacy concerns about the app began to mount.

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July 18th 2019, 2:26 am

Kindle 2019 review: Amazon's cheapest e-reader gets adjustable frontlight

Technology | The Guardian

Amazon’s basic Kindle lights up with a better screen to close the gap with the Paperwhite

Amazon’s cheapest, most basic Kindle now has a light and a better screen, which makes it very nearly the new default ebook reader. The new Kindle 9 – which is, confusingly, one of the new 10th generation of Kindles alongside the fourth-generation Paperwhite and third-generation Oasis – looks very similar to the previous version.

The sides of the reader feel as though they have been softened slightly. It has been made 2mm narrower and 0.4mm thinner but 13g heavier than the previous version. The Kindle 9 is easy to hold for extended periods and feels fairly robust.

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July 18th 2019, 1:27 am

Instagram hides number of 'likes' from users in Australian trial

Technology | The Guardian

Social media giant says the trial, which rolls out Thursday, will ‘reduce pressure’ on users of the platform

Instagram users in Australia will no longer be able to see how many likes a post has a received under trial changes to “remove pressure” on the digital platform’s users.

Instagram will on Thursday begin rolling out the trial update removing the total number of likes on photos and viewings of videos on user feeds and profiles, and permalink pages.

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July 17th 2019, 5:50 pm

'I don't think you should launch Libra': US lawmakers hammer Facebook over currency

Technology | The Guardian

House members challenge company over its plans to protect data and question its goals in latest clash on Capitol Hill

Facebook once again faced intense questioning from US lawmakers over the future launch of its cryptocurrency project Libra, in a combative hearing that highlighted deep skepticism over the tech firm’s possibly entering the banking world following a slew of privacy scandals.

Members of the US House financial services committee grilled the Facebook executive David Marcus for more than five hours on Wednesday, asking him how the company plans to protect user data, challenging its purported goals of bringing banking services to underserved populations, and demanding more accountability to regulatory bodies.

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July 17th 2019, 5:04 pm

FaceApp denies storing users' photographs without permission

Technology | The Guardian

App was launched by Russian developer in 2017 and uses AI to change people’s features

The developer of a popular app which transforms users’ faces to predict how they will look as older people has insisted they are not accessing users’ photographs without permission.

FaceApp, which was launched by a Russian developer in 2017, uses artificial intelligence allowing people to see how they would look with different hair colour, eye colour or as a different gender.

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July 17th 2019, 1:46 pm

Amazon faces EU inquiry over treatment of small retailers

Technology | The Guardian

Investigation into possible anti-competitive behaviour is likely to spark US anger

The European Union has launched a formal investigation into Amazon, opening a new front against US tech giants.

Announcing the decision, the European commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager, said she wanted to take “a very close look” at whether Amazon’s business practices broke EU anti-trust rules.

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July 17th 2019, 7:56 am

Elon Musk's Neuralink unveils effort to build implant that can read your mind

Technology | The Guardian

Elon Musk’s secretive “brain-machine interface” startup, Neuralink, stepped out of the shadows on Tuesday evening, revealing its progress in creating a wireless implantable device that can – theoretically – read your mind.

At an event at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Musk touted the startup’s achievements since he founded it in 2017 with the goal of staving off what he considers to be an “existential threat”: artificial intelligence (AI) surpassing human intelligence.

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July 17th 2019, 3:09 am

Bianca Devins murder: Instagram under fire over shared images of dead teen's body

Technology | The Guardian

Alleged killer Brandon Clark’s post with the caption ‘I’m sorry, Bianca’ shared and reposted hundreds of times

Social media companies have come under fire after images of a murdered teenage girl’s body were posted online and were widely shared on Instagram as well as other sites including Discord and 4chan.

Bianca Devins, a 17-year-old girl from Utica in New York, was brutally murdered on Sunday. Police allege she was killed by Brandon Clark, 21, after the pair, who met on Instagram, attended a concert together.

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July 17th 2019, 1:33 am

OnePlus 7 review: competition-beating performance for less

Technology | The Guardian

A little less ‘Pro’ means the regular OnePlus 7 is smaller and lighter, offering a top experience for £500

The OnePlus 7 is basically the OnePlus 6T with the guts of the OnePlus 7 Pro, which sounds like a bad thing, but for £500 it is arguably the best bang for your buck going.

There was nothing wrong with the design of the 6T, so there isn’t with the 7. The 6.41in AMOLED display is bright and crisp, filling most of the front of the phone with a small chin at the bottom and a teardrop notch in the top for the selfie camera.

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July 17th 2019, 1:20 am

UberEats to change 'unfair' contract that forces restaurants to pay all refunds

Technology | The Guardian

After ACCC action the delivery giant agrees to stop making local restaurants pay even when they are not at fault

UberEats in Australia has agreed to change an “unfair” contract that forced local restaurants to pay for all customer refunds – even if they were not at fault – after an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Previously, if a customer requested a refund, that money came out of the restaurant’s pocket – even if the deliverer or Uber itself made the mistake.

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July 16th 2019, 11:50 pm

Government agencies pushing for longer mandatory metadata retention

Technology | The Guardian

Home affairs says agencies are pushing for data to be held for more than two years for complex investigations

Government agencies are pushing for telecommunications companies to be forced to retain customer data for law enforcement agencies for longer than the current two-year requirement.

Under the mandatory data retention legislation that passed in 2015, companies such as Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are required to store customer metadata, like number dialled, time of call and call location for two years.

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July 16th 2019, 3:16 pm

Trump claims he will investigate Google for 'treasonous' China ties

Technology | The Guardian

US president vows to look into claim over firm’s relationship with Chinese government

Donald Trump has suggested Google might be working treasonously with China and claimed he would look into the matter.

In a tweet on Tuesday the US president – claiming to quote Fox News – said the tech billionaire Peter Thiel “believes Google should be investigated for treason. He accuses Google of working with the Chinese government.”

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July 16th 2019, 12:42 pm

Facebook launches UK reporting tool to clamp down on scam ads

Technology | The Guardian

Social media firm to investigate users’ complaints and take down violating posts

Fresh efforts to tackle scam adverts across Facebook are being introduced in the UK following action taken by the consumer champion Martin Lewis.

The social media company is releasing a scam ads reporting tool, with a specially trained team investigating alerts raised by users, reviewing reports and taking down violating posts to clamp down on potentially misleading adverts.

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July 16th 2019, 3:20 am

Big tech behemoths face grilling from US lawmakers as hearings kick off

Technology | The Guardian

A Senate banking committee will question Facebook on its Libra project, while the House takes aim at Google, Apple and Amazon

Big tech will be in the hot seat this week as US lawmakers turn their attention to the growing power of these corporate behemoths in two days of hearings.

Facebook will face scrutiny on Tuesday morning, when lawmakers in the Senate’s banking committee are set to question the company’s executives on its cryptocurrency project, Libra. On Tuesday afternoon, representatives of Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon will face questions on online monopolies at the House subcommittee on antitrust, commercial and administrative law. And on Wednesday morning, it will be the House’s turn to probe Facebook over its cryptocurrency venture.

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July 16th 2019, 1:19 am

Google whistleblower launches project to keep tech ethical

Technology | The Guardian

Jack Poulson’s non-profit group Tech Inquiry aims to make it easier for coders to speak out

Employees of tech companies should have the right to know when they are working on projects they may find ethically unacceptable, a former Google whistleblower has said.

In 2018, Jack Poulson hit headlines after he resigned from his job at Google over the company’s (now-scrapped) plan to build a censorship AI for the Chinese search market. Now, he wants to make sure that other tech workers can fight for what’s right without having to put their livelihood on the line.

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July 15th 2019, 4:47 am

Confusion in Sydney as new WestConnex tunnel missing from Google Maps

Technology | The Guardian

Motorists sent up the garden path as controversial M4 East tunnel from Homebush to Haberfield fails to display

Google Maps is working to resolve an issue where Sydney’s newly opened WestConnex M4 East motorway – part of Australia’s largest transport infrastructure project – does not display on its map.

The 5.5km tunnel, from Homebush to Haberfield, opened on Saturday after controversy over its impact on health, traffic and the mandatory acquisition of homes.

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July 15th 2019, 2:45 am

Prime Day: activists plan protests in US cities and a boycott of e-commerce giant

Technology | The Guardian

Immigrants and workers say Amazon should cut ties with federal deportation agencies and provide better work conditions

Activists, immigrants and Amazon employees are planning actions against the e-commerce giant on its annual Prime Day, to protest against its labor practices and its involvement with US authorities’ deportation efforts.

The protests on Monday are set to take place in at least seven US cities, and will coincide with the yearly sale that made the company more than $4bn in 2018.

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July 15th 2019, 1:46 am

Finding dark patterns online: Chips with Everything podcast

Technology | The Guardian

Jordan Erica Webber teams up with Science Weekly host Ian Sample to find out more about how companies use various techniques to trick us into buying something we may never have needed, or wanted

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July 15th 2019, 1:46 am

Accounts posing as Dominic Raab and Liam Fox among Twitter takedowns

Technology | The Guardian

MoD, DExEU and DHSC lodged complaints requesting removal of fake accounts pretending to be associated with government

Twitter accounts masquerading as official outlets for Dominic Raab and Liam Fox were revealed as among those the UK government succeeded in shutting down after complaining to the social media company.

Details of complaints to Twitter by various departments about suspected fake accounts posing as original have been revealed by freedom of information requests from the Guardian, showing it has not always gone in favour of the UK government.

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July 14th 2019, 12:32 pm

Craigslist's Craig Newmark: 'Outrage is profitable. Most online outrage is faked for profit'

Technology | The Guardian

The founder of the online classifieds site is a survivor from the era of internet optimism. He has given significant sums to protect the future of news – and rejects the idea his website helped cause journalism’s financial crisis

As the Craig in Craigslist, the free online noticeboard that changed everything, Craig Newmark can surely get his hands on just about anything. His new home in Greenwich Village, New York, contains everything from an ancient Roman mosaic to 18th-century British portraits to Simpsons figurines to artworks by his beloved Leonard Cohen. But something is missing. Something vital.

“We’re low on bird seed now,” Newmark observes anxiously. “That’s a crisis.”

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July 14th 2019, 9:28 am

The five: genetic fixes for the climate crisis

Technology | The Guardian

Scientists are discovering innovative ways to help the natural world adapt to environmental change

Last week, scientists from the University of Texas identified a gene in a species of coral that is activated when coral becomes heat stressed. Warmer waters as a result of climate change often cause stressed coral to expel the algae they depend upon for energy in a process known as bleaching, leading to mass coral decline. Scientists believe this gene to be present in many coral species and hope to use it to detect stressed coral before bleaching occurs, allowing them to prioritise conservation of these species.

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July 14th 2019, 2:08 am

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 4-Door: ‘Is this family hatch too hot to handle?’

Technology | The Guardian

The top-of-the-range model does 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds. Should get you down the supermarket sharpish…

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 4-Door
Price
£121,350
0-62mph
4.5 seconds
Top speed
177mph
MPG
31
CO2
215g/km

People behaving rather inappropriately in cars is nothing new. But this is the first time in which the vehicle itself has behaved questionably, and come over all handsy. “Dad,” laughs my 17-year-old daughter, “your Mercedes is creepy. It has issues with consent…” She’s referring to its “dynamic self-bolstering” seats. When you corner, an air bladder on the outside edge automatically inflates to hold you in position. It feels like a large hand curling unexpectedly around your side. Once you know what’s going on, it’s quite relaxing, particularly on long, twisting journeys. Slaloming up and over the Alps, for instance. The smart seats are actually minor miracles and this entire review could easily focus just on them. They can be heated or cooled; they have 19 different air chambers each of which can be minutely adjusted; there are multiple massage functions to choose from, too. They’re incredibly comfortable – though my wife claims the ones at her nail bar are even better.

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July 14th 2019, 1:08 am

Margaret Hamilton: ‘They worried that the men might rebel. They didn’t’

Technology | The Guardian

The trailblazing computer scientist talks about being in charge of the software for the 1969 Apollo moon landing

Computer pioneer Margaret Hamilton was critical to landing astronauts on the moon for the first time on 20 July 1969 and returning them safely a few days later. The young Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) computer programmer and working mother led the team that created the onboard flight software for the Apollo missions, including Apollo 11. The computer system was the most sophisticated of its day. Her rigorous approach was so successful that no software bugs were ever known to have occurred during any crewed Apollo missions. “She symbolises that generation of unsung women who helped send humankind into space,” said President Barack Obama in 2016 when he awarded Hamilton the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian award. In 2017, she was one of a handful of Nasa women to be immortalised as a Lego figurine.On the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Hamilton, 82, looks back on her trailblazing work in computing.

What got you into software engineering? There were no computer science degrees when you were starting out…
I got married in 1958, just after I graduated in math with a minor in philosophy from Earlham College [in Indiana]. We both had assistantships to attend graduate school – me in abstract math and my husband in chemistry – but in the meantime I had taught high school for a year, we had my daughter, and my husband decided he wanted to go to law school at Harvard. I found a job to support our family at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was in the laboratory of Prof Edward Lorenz, the father of chaos theory, working on a system to predict weather. He was asking for math majors. To take care of our daughter, we hired a babysitter. Here I learned what a computer was and how to write software. Computer science and software engineering were not yet disciplines; instead, programmers learned on the job. Lorenz’s love for software experimentation was contagious, and I caught the bug.

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July 13th 2019, 12:17 pm

Facebook to be fined $5bn for Cambridge Analytica privacy violations – reports

Technology | The Guardian

The $5bn fine would be the largest ever levied by the Federal Trade Commission against a technology company

The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly voted to approve fining Facebook roughly $5bn to settle an investigation into the company’s privacy violations that was launched following the Cambridge Analytica revelations.

The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, both citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter, reported Friday afternoon that the settlement was approved by a 3-2 vote that broke along party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.

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July 12th 2019, 5:45 pm

Apple's spaceship HQ valued as one of the world's most expensive buildings

Technology | The Guardian

The company paid more than $5m into a housing crisis fund but will still owe at least $40m in property taxes

Apple’s donut-shaped headquarters in Cupertino, California, has been valued at $4.17bn, according to a new assessment this week – making it one of the most expensive buildings in the world.

David Ginsborg, deputy assessor of Santa Clara county, where Cupertino is located, said that the unconventional 2.8 million-square-foot property was a challenge to evaluate.

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July 12th 2019, 5:45 pm

#couscousforcomment: the hashtag shaming Instagrammers who demand free food

Technology | The Guardian

Chefs around the world are fed up with so-called social media influencers offering ‘exposure’ – and they’re biting back

One day in April Duncan Welgemoed, chef and part owner of Africola, was checking his emails when he saw a request from a contestant on the Australian reality TV cooking show My Kitchen Rules. She wanted to dine for free in his restaurant. In return she would post some stories on Instagram, giving him exposure.

Africola didn’t need the exposure. It’s one of Australia’s hottest restaurants. Celebrities such as Katy Perry dine there when in Adelaide and pay for their food. And anyway Welgemoed had a direct line to the MKR hosts. Plus his own Instagram account had far more followers than the influencer.

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July 12th 2019, 4:28 pm

$32m stolen from Tokyo cryptocurrency exchange in latest hack

Technology | The Guardian

Bitpoint suspends services after apparent theft of virtual monies including bitcoin

A cryptocurrency exchange in Tokyo has halted services after it lost $32m (£25m) in the latest apparent hack on volatile virtual monies.

Remixpoint, which runs the Bitpoint Japan exchange, discovered that about ¥3.5bn in various digital currencies had gone missing from under its management.

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July 12th 2019, 8:22 am

Superhuman offers users a shortcut to empty inbox nirvana

Technology | The Guardian

The Silicon Valley startup makes bold claims for its slick technology that aims to rid people of torrents of unread emails

In many ways, Superhuman is your archetypal Silicon Valley darling. It was founded by a brilliant Cambridge graduate who sold his first company to LinkedIn in 2012 then quit to start another one. It has attracted a cult following among early users, whose lives it promises to revolutionise (and who often insist it really has done so). And now it has scored a $33m investment from Andreessen Horowitz, the influential venture capital outfit that was an early backer of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and almost every other major startup going since it was formed in 2009.

But, in other ways, Superhuman is nothing like its peers. For one thing, it charges for what it makes: an eye-watering $30 a month. For another, it’s taking the opposite route to the growth-at-all-costs mindset of so many startups: the Guardian first tried to sign up in 2016, and sat on the waiting list for almost three years before giving up and pulling strings to get VIP access. Oh, and it isn’t building an AI blockchain for using augmented reality to run your biotech, or anything trendy like that. No, it makes an email client.

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July 12th 2019, 2:33 am

Who is paying $30 for 'gamer girl' Belle Delphine's bath water?

Technology | The Guardian

Delphine, 19, a social media star with an enormous global following, was mocked for the sale – but it sold out quickly

Belle Delphine, the social media star and so-called “gamer girl”, made headlines this week for selling her used bath water online.

Delphine, 19, who has a global following (4.2 million on Instagram), announced she would be selling $30 bottles of “bath water for all you thirsty gamer boys” in an Instagram post that garnered more than 500,000 likes.

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July 12th 2019, 1:16 am

Twitter outage affects users across the US

Technology | The Guardian

The company says it is investigating the problem after a disruption that began Thursday afternoon

Twitter says it is investigating a problem with its service after users across the US and elsewhere reported not being able to access the platform.

The company is not saying how widespread the outage is. The disruption appears to be affecting both web and mobile app users. The outage began before noon PT.

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July 11th 2019, 5:14 pm

Google workers can listen to what people say to its AI home devices

Technology | The Guardian

Company admitted that contractors can access recordings made by Assistant, after some of its recordings were leaked

Google acknowledged its contractors are able to listen to recordings of what people say to the company’s artificial-intelligence system, Google Assistant.

The company admitted on Thursday that humans can access recordings made by the Assistant, after some of its Dutch language recordings were leaked. Google is investigating the breach.

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July 11th 2019, 5:14 pm

My poker face: AI wins multiplayer game for first time

Technology | The Guardian

Pluribus wins 12-day session of Texas hold’em against some of the world’s best human players

Rack up another win for the machines. An artificial intelligence called Pluribus has emerged victorious from a marathon 12-day poker session during which it played five human professionals at a time.

Over 10,000 hands of no-limit Texas hold’em, the most popular form of the game, Pluribus won a virtual $48,000 (£38,000), beating five elite players who were selected each day from a pool who agreed to take on the program. All of the pros had previously won more than $1m playing the game.

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July 11th 2019, 2:56 pm

How do I remove malware from my Windows laptop?

Technology | The Guardian

Don’s laptop is infected with malware and he’d like a clean machine, what’s the best way?

What’s the cheapest way to get my Windows laptop swept and cleaned out of malware etc? Don

There are two obvious ways to clean a Windows laptop, and both of them are free. The first is to run a number of anti-malware programs to find and remove the bad stuff. The second is to reset it to factory condition.

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July 11th 2019, 3:14 am

NSW suggests facial recognition could replace Opal cards in 'not too distant future'

Technology | The Guardian

Labor says transport minister’s speech ‘curious’ and plan would carry major privacy risks

Facial recognition could be used to replace swipe cards on public transport, the New South Wales government has suggested, but the opposition and digital rights groups say it would pose a risk to privacy.

The transport minister, Andrew Constance, said on Tuesday he wanted commuters “in the not too distant future” to be able to board trains using only their faces, with no need for Opal cards, barriers or turnstiles.

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July 11th 2019, 2:44 am

Need for speed: is the 'Netflix effect' to blame for the NBN's failures?

Technology | The Guardian

The NBN says Netflix has put pressure on its fixed wireless service, but the growth in streaming has been anticipated for years

Politicians, tech experts and even the NBN itself talked up the arrival of Netflix and other streaming video services years before the government-owned company blamed it for speed issues on the wireless network. But just how responsible is Netflix?

On ABC’s 7.30 program on Monday night, NBN’s head of stakeholder relations, Sam Dimarco, attributed people not being able to get fast download speeds on the 4G fixed wireless network, a part of the NBN, to the “Netflix effect”.

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July 10th 2019, 11:30 pm

Microsoft to open first European store in central London

Technology | The Guardian

Firm shows commitment to UK with shop, which features a gaming lounge and AR devices

Microsoft is opening its first European store on Oxford Street, in London featuring a McLaren Senna car customised as an Xbox driving simulator, a gaming lounge and a community education centre where children can learn to code.

The 22,000 sq ft shop is a block away from the Regent Street Apple store, which, when it opened 15 years ago, set the bar for tech retailing.

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July 10th 2019, 11:40 am

LinkedIn Legends: making the corporate world better – one humblebrag at a time

Technology | The Guardian

The business networking site has grown to 610 million members, but now a Twitter feed is calling out some of its most shameless self-promoters

Name: LinkedIn Legends.

Occupation: Imagineers.

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July 10th 2019, 10:08 am

NHS teams up with Amazon to bring Alexa to patients

Technology | The Guardian

Voice assistant enlisted to aid elderly and blind patients who cannot easily search for advice

The NHS has teamed up with Amazon to allow elderly people, blind people and other patients who cannot easily search for health advice on the internet to access the information through the AI-powered voice assistant Alexa.

The health service hopes patients asking Alexa for health advice will ease pressure on the NHS, with Amazon’s algorithm using information from the NHS website to provide answers to questions such as: “Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?”; ‘Alexa, what are the symptoms of flu?’; and “Alexa what are the symptoms of chickenpox?”

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July 10th 2019, 3:49 am

Honor 20 review: Huawei's first new phone during Trump dispute

Technology | The Guardian

Top performance and a good camera make the £400 Honor 20 tempting. But will the US-China trade war hit software updates?

The Honor 20 is the first smartphone launched and put on sale by Huawei since Trump’s blacklisting of the company in May.

In effect this is one of the phones Trump tried to ban, but as it happened the Honor 20 had already passed through the Android certification process before Google was forced to stop working with Huawei.

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July 10th 2019, 2:15 am

‘Google's power is extraordinary’: businesses turn to the courts over bad reviews

Technology | The Guardian

Negative comments and low star ratings can make or break a company. But as Google finds itself embroiled in legal action, it warns defamation law could suppress consumer rights

Mark Fletcher says he never paid much attention to Google reviews left by customers for his Victorian-based software business Tower Systems – until five months ago.

He was told he had lost a sale due to a negative review from a person called Ashley T.

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July 9th 2019, 6:24 pm

New encryption powers used at least five times by federal and NSW police

Technology | The Guardian

Commonwealth Ombudsman calls for Peter Dutton’s ability to censor its reports on the process to be revoked

New encryption powers to seek assistance from tech companies to spy on users have been used at least five times by federal and New South Wales police.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has revealed to an inquiry into the encryption act that agencies are already using the powers and called for the home affairs minister Peter Dutton’s ability to censor its reports on the process to be revoked.

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July 9th 2019, 2:05 pm

Instagram's anti-bullying AI asks users: 'Are you sure you want to post this?'

Technology | The Guardian

Instagram said early tests found it encourages users to ‘share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect’

Instagram is inviting users to think again before posting unkind comments with a new tool designed to curb bullying on the social media platform.

The company is rolling out a new feature that uses AI to identify negative comments before they are published and asks “are you sure you want to post this?” before it is shared on another person’s post.

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July 9th 2019, 11:03 am

Former Tesla workers claim they were fired for using maternity and sick leave

Technology | The Guardian

Current and former workers also claim point-system attendance policy penalizes employees for use of paid time off

In February 2018, Devon Beccera started working at the Tesla Giga factory in Sparks, Nevada. A few months into her employment she was promoted to supervisor , making about $25 an hour. She found out in July that year that she was pregnant, and informed management she planned on taking maternity leave in February, 2019, once she became eligible.

Instead, on 14 December 2018, Beccera was fired.

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July 9th 2019, 2:15 am

Meet the millenials pretending to be baby boomers on Facebook

Technology | The Guardian

Online, you can be anyone. So why are millennials choosing to roleplay as baby boomers?

You know it when you see it: a couple of extra commas following a thought, a private message or search entry accidentally made public, a comment on a friend’s new profile picture telling them to “say hi to Joe and the kids for me,,, love! You”.

This is a baby boomer posting to Facebook. It could be your parent, an uncle, a family friend, a grandparent; if you were born between 1946 and 1964, it could be you.

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July 9th 2019, 1:45 am

Bose Frames review: smart audio sunglasses are a blast

Technology | The Guardian

Music without earbuds looks and sounds surprisingly good, making these smart glasses the antithesis of Google Glass

The Bose Frames are the answer to the question: what if your sunglasses were also a set of smart, hidden headphones with no earbuds or no bone-conduction system, just a set of personal speakers?

As a wearer of true wireless earbuds, that’s not a question I ever thought I would ask. But the Bose Frames are delightful and leaving your ears free of buds or headphoneshas a clear and obvious case.

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July 8th 2019, 2:11 am

Blockchain as art: Chips with Everything podcast

Technology | The Guardian

With the launch of the Facebook cryptocurrency Libra, Jordan Erica Webber revisits an old Chips episode looking at how artists are using blockchain to answer the big questions, like ‘what is the value of a human life?’

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July 8th 2019, 1:11 am

Nissan e-NV200 van: ‘The UK’s first zero-emission ice-cream van’

Technology | The Guardian

Time to phase out old vans with their engines idling, churning out foul emissions for kids to breathe in

Nissan e-NV200
Price
from £20,005
0-62mph 14 seconds
Top speed 76mph
Range 199.6 km (battery only)
Battery 40kWh

The heatwave means that the queues for cooling ice-creams will be longer than ever this weekend. But the old vans with their idling engines are also churning out harmful emissions to the parents and kids waiting in line. Close your eyes and you can almost hear the throb of the engine and taste the smell of diesel exhaust in the back of your throat.

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July 7th 2019, 2:11 am

Warning: free hotel wifi is a hacker’s dream

Technology | The Guardian

Hotel systems are so leaky it’s worth investing in your own virtual private network

You’ve just arrived at the hotel after a delayed flight and a half-hour wrangle with the car-hire firm. And then you remember that you’ve forgotten to pay last month’s credit card bill, and there’ll be an interest charge if you wait until you’re back at base. But – hey! – you can do it online and help is at hand. The receptionist is welcoming and helpful. They have wifi and it’s free. Relieved, you ask for the password. “Oh, you don’t need one,” he replies. “Just type in your room number and click the box.”

Phew! Problem solved. Er, not necessarily. At this point the human race divides into two groups. Call them sheep and goats. Sheep are sweet, trusting folks who like to think well of their fellow humans. Surely that helpful receptionist would not knowingly offer a dangerous service. Also, they find digital technology baffling and intimidating. And they cannot imagine why anything they do online might be of interest to anyone.

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July 7th 2019, 2:11 am

UK mobile operators ignore security fears over Huawei 5G

Technology | The Guardian

Firms pushing ahead with Chinese tech giant to set up new network

Huawei is helping develop 5G networks for all four of the UK’s major mobile phone operators – even though the government has yet to confirm whether the controversial Chinese technology company will be permitted to build the next generation of wireless infrastructure.

The revelation threatens to exacerbate tensions between the UK and the US, which has taken a firm line against the company amid claims, strongly denied, that it is controlled by the Chinese government and that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies.

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July 6th 2019, 9:17 am

'Adults don't get it': why TikTok is facing greater scrutiny

Technology | The Guardian

Success of video-sharing app among young has brought with it investigations over child safety

The most downloaded app on the App Store for the last year makes almost no money, is barely understood by anyone over 25, and has already faced investigations, fines and bans on three continents.

TikTok’s success has taken regulators, parents and its competitors by surprise. But with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK now investigating the company over its handling of young users’ private data, can reality catch up with the viral smash?

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July 5th 2019, 9:47 am

Corbyn wishes Amazon 'many happy tax returns' on its 25th anniversary

Technology | The Guardian

Labour leader sends barbed message to the online retailer’s founder, Jeff Bezos

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has sent a barbed birthday card to Jeff Bezos to mark Amazon’s 25th anniversary, wishing the him “many happy tax returns” and demanding the company pays more UK tax, pays its staff better and improves working conditions.

Amazon UK paid only £1.7m in tax in 2017, its most recent annual public filing at Companies House, as pre-tax profits tripled to £72m. Turnover at its British business, which handles the packing and delivery of parcels and functions such as customer service, rose 35%, from £1.46bn to £1.98bn.

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July 5th 2019, 6:00 am

Facebook ads funded by 'dark money' are the right's weapon for 2020

Technology | The Guardian

The right and conservative media are using the untraceable ads to push a rightwing agenda and get Donald Trump re-elected

In the weeks leading up to a tightly contested 2018 midterm election in Virginia, a Facebook page called “Wacky Wexton Not” ran an ad that pictured Democratic congressional candidate Jennifer Wexton next to Nazi troops. Another labeled her an “evil socialist”. Yet another referenced Nazi uniforms, stating, “Wexton and her modern day brown shirts. They Are Evil. They Hate America. They Hate You.”

You can still have a huge impact by spending very little.

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July 5th 2019, 2:13 am

Slow NBN speeds: modems partly to blame for poor performance

Technology | The Guardian

Copper wiring and fibre-to-the-node are not the only issues, some modems are just not up to the job, a new study has found

Poor NBN speeds are often blamed on the government’s decision to scale back the fibre-to-the-premises roll out and switch to the cheaper fibre-to-the-node, but a study commissioned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (Acma) proves part of the problem can lie closer to home.

Acma commissioned testing lab Enex to test run 43 modems on the market or sold by internet service providers when people sign up for the NBN on a fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-building service. This means that at least for part of the connection, the legacy copper line is used in addition to the new fibre.

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July 4th 2019, 11:42 pm

Can I buy a phone that doesn’t use anything from Google or Apple?

Technology | The Guardian

Steve does not like firms slurping up his data, so wants a device that respects his privacy

I have concerns about the likes of Google and Apple slurping up as much info as they can about me from my phone. I’ve tried looking online for alternatives and found mentions of things like /e/, Lineage, Sailfish OS etc, but they assume a level of tech knowledge far above what I have as a layman. So, are there any phones that are 100% free from Google and Apple software and hardware? How easy are such phones to obtain? Steve

Very easy. You can pick up a Nokia 105 (2017 edition) for about £15 or a dual-sim Nokia 106 (2018 edition) for about £16. These are only 2G phones but they have built-in FM radios, they can send texts, they are great for making phone calls and they are not based on Google or Apple technologies. A 3G or 4G phone would cost a bit more …

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July 4th 2019, 3:57 am

Could ‘fake text’ be the next global political threat?

Technology | The Guardian

An AI fake text generator that can write paragraphs in a style based on just a sentence has raised concerns about its potential to spread false information

Earlier this month, an unexceptional thread appeared on Reddit announcing that there is a new way “to cook egg white[s] without a frying pan”.

As so often happens on this website, which calls itself “the front page of the internet”, this seemingly banal comment inspired a slew of responses. “I’ve never heard of people frying eggs without a frying pan,” one incredulous Redditor replied. “I’m gonna try this,” added another. One particularly enthusiastic commenter even offered to look up the scientific literature on the history of cooking egg whites without a frying pan.

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July 4th 2019, 2:24 am

ACCC sues Samsung for 'misleading' water-resistant claims on Galaxy phones

Technology | The Guardian

Australia’s consumer watchdog alleges electronics giant deceived customers with claims made in more than 300 ads

The consumer watchdog is taking Samsung to court, accusing the technology company of misleading consumers by telling them that many of the four million Galaxy phones sold in Australia were water resistant, while knowing they were not.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted federal court proceedings against Samsung, alleging the electronics giant misled and deceived customers with its claims about various Galaxy phones across more than 300 advertisements since February 2016.

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July 3rd 2019, 11:07 pm

Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook hit with media messaging outage

Technology | The Guardian

Facebook says it is addressing issues faced by users on several of its services, mainly in Europe and US

Facebook said on Wednesday it is working to resolve issues faced by some users while sending media files on its social media platforms including WhatsApp and Instagram.

More than 14,000 users reported issues with Instagram, while more than 7,500 and 1,600 users reported issues with Facebook and WhatsApp, according to the outage tracking website Downdetector.com.

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July 3rd 2019, 3:49 pm

Police face calls to end use of facial recognition software

Technology | The Guardian

Analysts find system often wrongly identifies people and could breach human rights law

Police are facing calls to halt the use of facial recognition software to search for suspected criminals in public after independent analysis found matches were only correct in a fifth of cases and the system is likely to break human rights laws.

Academics from the University of Essex were granted access to six live trials by the Metropolitan police in Soho, Romford and at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, east London.

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July 3rd 2019, 2:19 pm

FCA proposes ban on cryptocurrency products

Technology | The Guardian

Financial Conduct Authority says cryptoassets are ill-suited to small investors and very volatile

The UK’s markets regulator has proposed a ban on financial instruments linked to digital “cryptocurrencies” such as Bitcoin, warning that such products could cause huge losses for retail consumers unlikely to understand their risks or value.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said products such as derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) that reference cryptoassets were “ill-suited” to small investors.

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July 3rd 2019, 7:31 am

Libra: US Congress asks Facebook to pause development

Technology | The Guardian

Legislators say they need time to investigate cryptocurrency and its potential impact

The US Congress has asked Facebook to pause development on its Libra cryptocurrency until lawmakers have had more time to investigate the ramifications of the company’s actions.

In a letter from the Democratic heads of the house committee on financial services and its subcommittees, the legislators ask the company to “immediately cease implementation plans”.

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July 3rd 2019, 7:31 am

'There's no way to stop this': Oakland braces for the arrival of tech firm Square

Technology | The Guardian

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has signed a deal to move his payments company to Oakland – which activists say will only exacerbate an already brutal housing crisis

Photographs by Jason Henry

The knocks on Maria Espinoza’s front door became a nightly occurrence.

If the 60-year-old Oakland woman wasn’t home, her frightened partner would turn off the lights and TV and remain silent. On evenings Espinoza did answer the door, her new landlord would be outside with the same question: when are you moving out?

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July 3rd 2019, 5:59 am

Facebook warned Libra cryptocurrency will come under close scrutiny

Technology | The Guardian

UK financial regulator highlights concerns over consumer protection and privacy

Facebook’s plans for a global cryptocurrency, Libra, will warrant close scrutiny by governments across the world, according to one of the UK’s most senior financial regulators.

Christopher Woolard, the executive director of strategy and competition at the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) highlighted a series of potential issues with the digital currency, from consumer protection and privacy concerns to financial market stability.

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July 3rd 2019, 5:59 am

How Chinese spy app allows officials to harvest personal data

Technology | The Guardian

Intrusive software collects emails and texts and could be used to track movement

The tourists travelling into China were never supposed to know their phones had been compromised.

The surveillance app being installed on their devices should have been removed by the border officers tasked with the job. But their apparent carelessness has provided a rare insight into the techniques used by China to snoop on visitors and the kind of information being harvested from their phones.

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July 3rd 2019, 5:59 am

George Felton obituary

Technology | The Guardian

Pioneering computer scientist who became the UK’s foremost software authority

George Felton, who has died aged 98, was the doyen of computer-industry software designers. In the early 1950s the term “software” had not been invented, and for most computer manufacturers responsibility stopped with delivering the hardware – programming the computer was the customer’s problem. Felton helped change that perception.

He managed, and largely implemented, the programming scheme for the Ferranti Pegasus computer, first delivered in 1956. It was a programming regimen of unprecedented completeness that made life a great deal easier for computer users. He went on to become the UK computer industry’s foremost software authority.

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July 2nd 2019, 2:36 pm

TikTok under investigation over child data use

Technology | The Guardian

UK inquiry looking at whether video-sharing app breaches data protection law

The video-sharing app TikTok is under investigation in the UK for how it handles the personal data of its young users, and whether it prioritises the safety of children on its social network.

Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, told a parliamentary committee the investigation began in February, prompted by a multi-million dollar fine from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for similar violations.

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July 2nd 2019, 9:17 am

Adidas under fire for racist tweets after botched Arsenal launch

Technology | The Guardian

Company automatically posted pictures of new shirts with offensive Twitter handles on back

Adidas UK has come under fire after a social media gambit backfired spectacularly, leading to the company tweeting out pictures of its shirts with racist and offensive slogans on the back.

The error came as Adidas launched a social media campaign, #DareToCreate, in conjunction with its release of the new Arsenal home kit.

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July 2nd 2019, 5:15 am

Bitcoin price falls below $10,000 as boost from Facebook's Libra fades

Technology | The Guardian

Cryptocurrency climbed to nearly $14,000 on news social network was launching rival

The price of bitcoin has fallen back below $10,000, down 30% from last week’s peak of nearly $14,000.

Continuing its wild ride, the digital currency dropped to $9,717 on Tuesday, down 8.1% on the day. Last Wednesday, the cryptocurrency shot up to $13,879, breaking through the $12,000 and $13,000 levels in less than two hours.

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July 2nd 2019, 4:31 am

Google tweaked algorithm after rise in US shootings

Technology | The Guardian

Mass murders present challenge for search engine to deliver accurate results

Misinformation is so common after mass shootings that Google has had to tweak its algorithm to compensate, a senior search engineer at the company has revealed.

Pandu Nayak, who joined the company 14 years ago to work on its search engine, told the Guardian that mass murders presented an increasing challenge for the search engine to deliver accurate results.

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July 2nd 2019, 3:13 am

Lyft donates $150,000 in rides to immigration activists

Technology | The Guardian

The ride-hailing company Lyft will be donating $150,000 in ride credits to a not-for-profit organization providing legal services to immigrants and will allow riders to contribute to the organization when using the Lyft app.

With the tagline “America is an idea, not a geography”, the Lyft campaign shares the stories of drivers who work for the company and have come to the US from other countries.

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July 1st 2019, 5:37 pm

Facebook ban on white nationalism too narrow, say auditors

Technology | The Guardian

Company policy prohibits praise or support for specific term ‘white nationalism’

Facebook’s new policy banning white nationalism from its site has been undercut by the company’s decision to ignore content that does not use the term “white nationalism”, according to an external audit.

The auditors, appointed by Facebook in 2018 to oversee its goals of “advancing civil rights on our platform”, said Facebook’s overly narrow implementation of its own rules was hampering moderation.

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July 1st 2019, 11:32 am

Futuristic sounds to make electric buses safer hit wrong note

Technology | The Guardian

Fears ‘spaceshippy’ proposals by TfL to make vehicles audible could confuse pedestrians

Transport for London has been warned that proposals put forward for a safety feature to make electric buses more audible risk confusing vulnerable road users.

TfL has commissioned Aecom to come up with a recognisable noise that will help alert pedestrians and cyclists to the presence of vehicles that can be dangerously quiet.

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July 1st 2019, 10:31 am

'We all suffer': why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed

Technology | The Guardian

San Franciscans have long complained that tech workers ruined their city, driving up rents and homelessness and eliminating diversity. Now even the tech workers agree

Photographs by Jason Henry

It was a beautiful winter day in San Francisco, and Zoe was grooving to the soundtrack of the roller-skating musical Xanadu as she rode an e-scooter to work. The 29-year-old tech worker had just passed the Uber building when, without warning, a homeless man jumped into the bike lane with his dog, blocking her path.

She slammed on the brakes, flew four feet into the air and landed on the pavement, bleeding. “It was one of those hardening moments where I was like, ‘Even I am being affected,’” she recalled.

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July 1st 2019, 3:57 am

Is YouTube proud? – Chips with Everything podcast

Technology | The Guardian

Jordan Erica Webber looks at why some people, such as Carlos Maza, say YouTube needs to do more to protect minorities from hate speech. The Guardian’s UK technology editor, Alex Hern, joins in on the conversation

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July 1st 2019, 2:27 am

White House insists Trump Huawei reversal not 'catastrophic mistake'

Technology | The Guardian

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow insisted on Sunday Donald Trump is not backing off national security concerns, despite agreeing to allow US companies to sell some components to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

Related: US-China trade talks back on track, says Trump

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June 30th 2019, 3:34 pm

Amazon's Jeff Bezos pays out $38bn in divorce settlement

Technology | The Guardian

Ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos will become world’s fourth-richest woman but has promised to give away half of award

The world’s biggest divorce settlement will be made official this week as Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos hands over a 4% stake in the online shopping giant to his soon-to-be ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos.

A judge is expected to sign legal papers transferring the Amazon shares – worth $38bn (£29bn) – into MacKenzie Bezos’s name. It is by some distance the largest divorce settlement in history the previous record was $2.5bn paid to Jocelyn Wildenstein when she divorced art dealer Alec Wildenstein in 1999.

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June 30th 2019, 11:18 am

'Things are changing so fast': the benefits and dangers of robots in the UK workplace

Technology | The Guardian

Politicians, trade unionists and experts have set out to learn more about the new industrial landscape

“We are under the threat of closure all the time,” says Andrew Peters without a hint of fear in his voice.

As though repeating himself for the hundredth time, the managing director of Siemens’ Congleton factory in Cheshire explains his workers are battling for survival. Competition in this historic market town at the foothills of the Pennines, where lush green hills rise to the craggy moorlands of the Peak District, is increasingly global.

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June 30th 2019, 8:30 am

The five: extinct megafauna

Technology | The Guardian

Following last week’s discovery of the remains of a giant bird, we look at some of the most formidable beasts on record

Last week, researchers published a paper about the remains of a giant flightless bird found in a Crimean cave. Pachystruthio dmanisensis is believed to be from a family of prehistoric birds with powerful legs and large beaks, present across North America, Asia and Europe. The gigantic creature could grow to 3.5 metres in height and weigh about 450kg. By contrast, the ostrich is the largest living flightless bird and can reach 2.7 metres and weigh 150kg. The exact reason for Pachystruthio’s extinction is unknown, though it may have been due to some of the deadliest predators of the last ice age.

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June 30th 2019, 2:25 am

The robots are definitely coming and will make the world a more unequal place | John Naughton

Technology | The Guardian

New studies show that the latest wave of automation will make the world’s poor poorer. But big tech will be even richer

So the robots are coming for our jobs, are they? Yawn. That’s such an old story. Goes back to Elizabeth I and the stocking frame, if my memory serves me right. Machines have been taking our jobs forever. But economists, despite their reputation as practitioners of the “dismal science”, have always been upbeat about that. Sure, machines destroy jobs, they say. But hey, the new industries that new technology enables create even more new jobs. Granted, there may be a bit of “disruption” between destruction and creation, but that’s just capitalist business as usual. Besides, it’s progress, innit?

We have now lived through what one might call Automation 1.0. The paradigmatic example is car manufacturing. Henry Ford’s production line metamorphosed into Toyota’s “lean machine” and thence to the point where few humans, if any, are visible on an assembly line. Once upon a time, the car industry employed hundreds of thousands of people. We called them blue-collar workers. Now it employs far fewer. The robots did indeed take their jobs. In some cases, those made redundant found other employment, but many didn’t. And sometimes their communities were devastated as a result. But GDP went up, nevertheless, so economists were happy.

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June 30th 2019, 2:25 am

Toyota Corolla: ‘Nothing has been left to chance’ | Martin Love

Technology | The Guardian

Quiet, composed and resolutely unshowy… Would you guess this is the world’s bestselling car?

Toyota Corolla
Price
from £21,305
0-62mph 10.9 seconds
Top speed 124mph
MPG up to 62.7
CO2 from 76g/km

The Toyota Corolla is only a little car, but it bristles with some very big numbers. The biggest of which is that it is the bestselling car on the planet. Another big number is that it also tops the list of the world’s all-time bestselling cars, ahead of the classic Ford F-Series pickup and VW’s enduring Golf. Since its launch in 1966 more than 44m have been sold. That figure is now out of date (the exact number sold this year has not yet been calculated – maybe the numbers are just too big to keep up with), but it’s estimated that Toyota is fast closing in on building its 50 millionth Corolla. The model is so endlessly popular and has been bought in such massive volumes that it’s been the world’s bestselling car since 1974. As you can imagine, the sales records the Corolla has gathered since then are dizzying, but one that Toyota is particularly proud was achieved in 2015 when the Corolla became the first and only vehicle ever to sell more than 1.3m units in a single year – that’s about one every 25 seconds.

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June 30th 2019, 1:25 am

Ruha Benjamin: ‘We definitely can’t wait for Silicon Valley to become more diverse’

Technology | The Guardian

The sociologist on how prejudice is embedded in technology – and how we go about building a fairer world

Ruha Benjamin is an associate professor of African American studies at Princeton University, and lectures around the intersection of race, justice and technology. She founded the Just Data Lab, which aims to bring together activists, technologists and artists to reassess how data can be used for justice. Her latest book, Race After Technology, looks at how the design of technology can be discriminatory.

Where did the motivation to write this book come from?
It seems like we’re looking to outsource decisions to technology, on the assumption that it’s going to make better decisions than us. We’re seeing this in almost every arena – healthcare, education, employment, finance – and it’s hard to find a context which it hasn’t penetrated.

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June 29th 2019, 10:15 am

An app using AI to 'undress' women offers a terrifying glimpse into the future | Arwa Mahdawi

Technology | The Guardian

Unless we start taking online misogyny seriously, we are going to face a future where women may not be able to exist online

Sign up for the Week in Patriarchy, a newsletter​ on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday.

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June 29th 2019, 8:45 am

The female game designers fighting back on abortion rights

Technology | The Guardian

Through video games, live-action role-playing games and interactive documentaries, developers are challenging the conversation around reproductive rights

The year is 1972. You’re part of an underground network of feminists in Chicago that provide illegal (at the time) abortion services to vulnerable, pregnant people with few options. Despite the risk of imprisonment, and the ways that your personal experiences may not always perfectly align with your activism, you persist.

It’s emotionally complicated. It’s politically fraught. It’s a live-action roleplaying game by Jon Cole and Kelley Vanda called The Abortionists, which requires three players, one facilitator, six hours and a willingness to dig deep into the painful history of reproductive rights in the United States. That history has terrifying relevance in 2019, as numerous states pass laws that put their residents in a reality where abortion is functionally illegal. Based on the real-life work of a 1970s activist group called Jane, it challenges its participants to think about the “internal landscapes” of its players, and how they deal with the larger political and personal landscape of their world.

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June 29th 2019, 5:41 am

Jony Ive: 8 hits and 8 misses from 20 years at Apple

Technology | The Guardian

Sir Jony Ive is stepping down as head of Apple’s product design after more than 20 years. We look at the key hits and big misses of the world’s largest firm, from the company-revolutionising iMac G3 to the iPhone via the iPod Hi-Fi, the butterfly keyboard and the ill-conceived Magic Mouse 2

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June 28th 2019, 9:13 am

You can't enforce a ban on mobile phones in the classroom – we should teach kids to hate them instea

Technology | The Guardian

Ours is a desperate hour, we can try to learn to read phones, cynically and powerfully

The Australian state of Victoria has just banned mobile phones in the classroom. This is a noble intention, but a missed opportunity. Really, they should have smashed the machines, every one.

The logic of the state government’s decision is faultless. Mobile phones distract children from classroom learning, and undermine teacher authority. They are poisonous crucibles for bullying, the means of image-based abuse, and a popular media for peer humiliation. Much is being learned about the affect of the palm-held contagion on human cognition – the erasure of skills in basic orientation and location awareness, their addictive appeal to dopamine in the teenage brain, their nasty impact on body confidence and sexual perception.

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June 28th 2019, 3:55 am

Facebook and Google likely to face new regulators for news and ads

Technology | The Guardian

ACCC report argues for an authority to monitor ads to ensure tech giants do not break anti-competition laws

Facebook and Google are likely to face a strong push for new regulators in Australia to oversee news and advertising on their platforms following the completion of the competition regulator’s inquiry into the tech giants.

In December 2017, then-treasurer Scott Morrison directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to look at the impact that search engines, social media platforms and other online aggregation sites were having on competition in media and advertising.

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June 28th 2019, 3:55 am

Jony Ive, Apple designer behind iPhone and iMac, to exit company after 30 years

Technology | The Guardian

Ive to remain ‘very involved’ with Apple as he launches new creative company

Jony Ive, the chief architect of Apple’s groundbreaking and distinctive designs from the iMac to the iPhone, announced Thursday that he is leaving the company after nearly 30 years.

Ive’s departure, which was announced Thursday in an exclusive interview with the Financial Times, is sure to set off shock waves in the tech and design worlds, but the 52-year-old Brit will remain involved with Apple. He plans to launch a new creative company called LoveFrom – and said Apple will be his first client.

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June 27th 2019, 5:42 pm

The Trump rule? World leaders that violate Twitter rules will get warning label

Technology | The Guardian

Move is a shift in efforts to balance its ideological commitment to free expression with rules against harassment and hate speech

Call it the Trump rule.

Twitter will attach a special label to tweets by major political figures if their content violates the site’s rules but the company believes deleting them is not in the public interest.

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June 27th 2019, 2:42 pm

Uber settles with UK women who accused driver of sexual assault

Technology | The Guardian

Firm had contested allegations but has reached undisclosed out-of-court settlements

Uber has reached out-of-court settlements with two women who alleged they were sexually assaulted by the same driver in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in the UK against the company.

The cases were taken by two women who had ordered vehicles using Uber’s app during nights out in Leeds in December 2015, but told police they were sexually assaulted by the driver. They are both five-figure settlements.

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June 27th 2019, 10:28 am

EU to run war games to prepare for Russian and Chinese cyber-attacks

Technology | The Guardian

Ministers to be put in fictional scenarios after series of hacking incidents

The EU is to conduct war games to prepare for Russian and Chinese cyber-attacks, in response to a series of incidents that alarmed European governments.

Pekka Haavisto, Finland’s foreign minister, said an increase in the prevalence of meddling required a reaction from the 28 member states. During meetings in Helsinki in July and September, EU interior and finance ministers will be asked to manage fictional scenarios.

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June 27th 2019, 8:58 am

Tired of Google following you? It is now easier to clear location data

Technology | The Guardian

New functionality automatically deletes history of places users have visited

It is now slightly easier to opt out of Google’s panopticon, with the introduction of new controls from the search engine to automatically clear your data after a set period of time.

By default, Google saves a permanent history of everything a user has searched for, every website they have visited, activity from any other app, site or device that uses Google services, and a record of their physical movements gleaned from using Google Maps or an Android device.

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June 27th 2019, 8:39 am

What’s the best cheap tablet or e-reader for PDF files?

Technology | The Guardian

Thomas needs a device to read A4 PDFs of technical papers that is cheaper than a good laptop

I am looking for an e-reader for technical papers. These are usually only available in fixed, non-reflowable, PDF format and sized for printing on A4 paper. They cannot be read on a typical e-reader such as a Kindle because the text is too small. I don’t need the fancy note-taking capabilities of options such as the Remarkable PDF reader. Can you recommend something that doesn’t cost as much as a decent laptop? Thomas

The main attraction of Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) is that people can read the files on almost any kind of device. The corollary is that almost any device will work as a PDF reader, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops running almost any operating system. Indeed, so many people need to read PDF files for business and educational research purposes, there are e-readers designed for the task.

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June 27th 2019, 3:19 am

Abortion clinic ads blocked in Australian search results fixed, Google says

Technology | The Guardian

Abortion providers in Australia noticed a sharp drop in traffic from Google ads in the last week

Google says it has corrected a mistake that blocked ads for abortion providers from appearing in search results in Australia.

Abortion clinics in Australia reported a significant drop in traffic in the last week, as first reported by the ABC, with clinics such as the Macquarie Street clinic in Sydney stating their bookings had dropped and the phones had stopped ringing due to their paid ads not appearing in Google search results.

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June 26th 2019, 10:47 pm

Facebook says it can't handle election misinformation crisis alone

Technology | The Guardian

Speaking at Aspen Ideas Festival, Mark Zuckerberg says private companies shouldn’t have ‘final word’ on such decisions

Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook cannot be expected to manage the crisis around election misinformation campaigns on its own.

The Facebook CEO, speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Wednesday, said that while the company was focused on questions of election security and interference before the 2020 US presidential election, “those are really hard questions to answer”.

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June 26th 2019, 8:46 pm

Schoolchildren to get online safety advice on catfishing and fake news

Technology | The Guardian

Education secretary says guidelines will ‘somewhat future proof’ young people against online harms

New guidance on teaching online safety in schools to make children more resilient to catfishing, fake news and other online harms has been announced by the education secretary.

The guidelines will combine teaching on relationships, citizenship and computing to help students understand the technology behind targeted advertising, fake profiles and other digital issues.

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June 26th 2019, 1:26 pm
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