Privacy advocates are concerned, saying basic security shouldn’t be a paid feature left open for the possibility of working with law enforcement
Zoom, the popular video conferencing platform, has announced it will provide end-to-end encryption after facing a litany of privacy and security concerns – but only to users who pay for it.
Eric Yuan, the company’s CEO, raised alarm among privacy advocates on Wednesday by saying Zoom planned to exclude free calls from end-to-end encryption so as to leave open the possibility of working with law enforcement. Continue reading...
June 3rd 2020, 9:40 pm
The president’s account can remain on the platform, but will not be promoted in its Discover feature
Citing a commitment not to “amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice”, Snap said Wednesday that it will no longer promote Donald Trump’s posts to users who do not already follow him, increasing pressure on Facebook over its stance on the president’s violent rhetoric.
“We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” a spokesperson for Snap said in a statement, referring to a section of the social media app where users can see content from news outlets, professional publishers, and public figures. Continue reading...
June 3rd 2020, 4:36 pm
Firm that said privacy no longer a ‘social norm’ rolls out tool to delete or archive
Facebook users no longer need to worry about their teenage posts coming back to haunt them in later life, thanks to a new tool for deleting hundreds or thousands of posts at once.
The “manage activity” feature, available now on Facebook’s mobile apps, lets users search for and remove posts from a particular time, mentioning a particular person, or within a range of dates. Continue reading...
June 3rd 2020, 12:30 pm
Google also aims to be part of rise in teleconferencing during coronavirus crisis
Zoom may be booming as the global coronavirus lockdown moves work and social life to cyberspace but deep-pocketed rivals including Microsoft, Google and Facebook are taking aim as video conferencing becomes a staple of daily life.
On Tuesday, Zoom, which has been catapulted from a relatively unknown video service to a household name during the coronavirus pandemic, reported first-quarter results that were impressive on almost every measure. Continue reading...
June 3rd 2020, 7:43 am
The teleconferencing company made $27m in the first quarter and expects sales to double despite security and privacy fears
Coronavirus latest updates
The teleconferencing company Zoom has seen a massive increase in profits and has doubled its annual sales forecast, driven by a surge in users as more people work from home and connect with friends online during the coronavirus crisis.
The once-obscure Zoom Video Communications, which has rapidly emerged as the latest Silicon Valley gold mine, released financial results on Tuesday showing the astronomical growth that has turned it into a stock market star. Continue reading...
June 2nd 2020, 8:22 pm
CEO says decision was ‘tough’ but ‘thorough’ as company faces harsh criticism and public dissent from employees
Mark Zuckerberg is standing by his decision to allow Donald Trump to threaten violence against George Floyd protesters on the platform despite harsh criticism from civil rights leaders and public dissent from his own employees, including a public resignation.
In a video conference with staff on Tuesday, Zuckerberg said that his decision to not remove Trump’s warning on social media on Friday that “when the looting starts the shooting start” was “tough” but “pretty thorough”, the New York Times reported. The company usually holds an all-staff meeting on Thursdays, but the session was moved up to address growing discontent among employees, hundreds of whom staged a “walkout” on Monday by requesting time off. Continue reading...
June 2nd 2020, 7:50 pm
Tom Cotton tells MPs the US will review intelligence sharing if firm’s kit is used
A Republican senator told MPs that using Huawei kit in 5G phone networks would be akin to allowing Russia to build submarines for western nations during the cold war, in a tense hearing that saw him clash with opposition MPs.
Tom Cotton, who represents Arkansas, said he had geopolitical and technical objections to Huawei and claimed that, if hacked, its equipment could track the movements of key parts for F35 fighter jets. Continue reading...
June 2nd 2020, 5:06 pm
Controversial feature will not be part of app’s next release following accusations of hypocrisy
Grindr is removing an “ethnicity filter” from its dating app as part of its support for the Black Lives Matter movement, the company announced on Monday.
The controversial feature, limited to those who stump up £12.99 a month for the premium version of the app, allows users to sort search results based on reported ethnicity, height, weight and other characteristics. Continue reading...
June 2nd 2020, 11:15 am
Test your knowledge of the online world – and discover how easy it is to launch a website for your business
When did the world’s first website launch?
What does SEO stand for?
Super easy online
Search engine optimisation
Seek emails only
What proportion of UK businesses have a website?
What is the No 1 reason that small businesses don’t set up a website?
They don’t have a computer
They don’t think it’s necessary
They don’t know how to do it or how to assess its effectiveness
By what name is the system that finds and classifies websites commonly known?
On average, by how much could a website increase your revenue?
Why would you use alt text on your website images?
To make your website more accessible
To make your website easier to find in search engines
In website terms, what is a hamburger?
Like a cookie, but bigger
Any fast food website
An expandable icon
7 and above.
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5 and above.
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0 and above.
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3 and above.
Bit of a browser: you have a passing knowledge of websites but could do with some pointers. Time to tap into some web expertise. Check out GoDaddy to sharpen up your skills with free web marketing tools.
GoDaddy launched the #OpenWeStand initiative offering a number of free tools, widgets, resources and blogposts at OpenWeStand.org to help small businesses keep their digital doors open while their physical doors are closed. Over 50 companies have joined the cause, including Slack, Salesforce, PayPal, and more Continue reading...
June 2nd 2020, 7:14 am
Activists say Facebook boss’s decision to leave ‘shooting threat’ up sets dangerous precedent
Civil rights leaders have criticised Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to take no action against a Facebook post from Donald Trump appearing to threaten to start shooting “looters”, after a Monday night meeting with the company’s executives ended in acrimony.
“We are disappointed and stunned by Mark’s incomprehensible explanations for allowing the Trump posts to remain up,” Vanita Gupta, Sherrilyn Ifill and Rashad Robison said in a statement. “He did not demonstrate understanding of historic or modern-day voter suppression and he refuses to acknowledge how Facebook is facilitating Trump’s call for violence against protesters. Continue reading...
June 2nd 2020, 7:14 am
Deal may allow Faculty, linked to senior Tory figures, to analyse social media data, utility bills and credit ratings
An artificial intelligence firm hired to work on the Vote Leave campaign may analyse social media data, utility bills and credit rating scores as part of a £400,000 contract to help the government deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The company, Faculty, was awarded the contract by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government last month. However the full details of its work for the government are unknown because the published version of the contract was partly redacted. Continue reading...
June 2nd 2020, 3:28 am
The company recently announced it had raised an extra $4.1bn to be used for ‘strategic’ investments
The government-owned National Broadband Network should consider buying fibre networks from Telstra and other fibre operators across Australia covering up to 300,000 homes, Labor has said.
Last month, NBN Co announced it had managed to raise an extra $4.1bn in private debt facility, pushing the total debt to be taken on by the company to $55bn. Continue reading...
June 1st 2020, 1:51 pm
Scientists use kirigami techniques to create a sole with pop-up, high-friction spikes
The Japanese art of paper cutting and folding, or kirigami, has led to mind-bending 3D structures from 2D sheets, including spectacular pop-up designs. But now researchers have been getting to grips with the technique for a very down-to-earth reason: creating non-slip shoes.
Scientists have revealed they have developed a kirigami-inspired sole, where tiny spikes pop up from its surface as the shoe is bent during walking. The team found the spikes enhance grip, which could help prevent potentially fatal falls. Continue reading...
June 1st 2020, 1:21 pm
Lockdown has been good for Jelle’s Marble Runs, with more than 1m YouTube subscribers
“Can’t believe I watched this all the way to the end,” Gary Lineker tweeted early into Britain’s coronavirus crisis. “The lack of live sport is clearly getting to me.” He attached a 2-minute YouTube video in which a handful of marbles career down a twisting channel dug into sand, accompanied by a breathless commentary: “Marbles in the blocks … and they’re off!”
Once an unseen figure sets the marbles loose, there is no human interaction in the race, the positions of the coloured competitors decided purely by chance and the chicanes of the course. The early lead is taken by a light blue marble called Comet, until an unlucky collision knocks it back to fourth place. “And now Comet, just like that, fights back to the lead,” roars the commentary. The marble goes on to finish with an emphatic win. Continue reading...
June 1st 2020, 12:03 pm
Employees make rare display of dissent after site left up post that was hidden by Twitter
Facebook employees are staging a rebellion over Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to act against Donald Trump, taking to social media to express their dissatisfaction with their boss in a rare display of dissent from within the company.
Disagreement came from employees at all levels of the company, including some senior staff. Particular criticism was levelled at Zuckerberg’s personal decision to leave up the Facebook version of a tweet sent by Trump in which the president appeared to encourage police to shoot rioters. By contrast, Twitter hid the message behind a warning. Continue reading...
June 1st 2020, 7:46 am
The NHS test and trace app fails on several counts; no wonder ministers are resorting to peer pressure to encourage uptake
The NHS Covid-19 alert app will be available nationwide in June. It’s voluntary, so those of us with smartphones must decide: should we download the app?
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, thinks we should, claiming that we would be “doing our duty and helping to save lives”. Continue reading...
June 1st 2020, 4:42 am
Apple perfects its current laptop design, with great power, battery life and now an excellent keyboard
The 2020 13in MacBook Pro is the last of Apple’s laptops to get its new and improved keyboard, banishing various issues to the rear view mirror and essentially perfecting this current design.
Despite both sharing the same name, the 2020 13in MacBook Pro is split into two lines: a cheaper version starting at £1,299 with two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports and older eighth-generation Intel chips; and a more powerful version starting at £1,799 with four USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports and the latest 10th-generation Intel chips. Continue reading...
June 1st 2020, 2:28 am
Automatons have been chipping in with the effort to beat Covid, from disinfecting hospitals to delivering groceries
Singapore park-goers have been reminded of their social distancing obligations by Boston Dynamics’ yellow “dog”. The robot hound is equipped with numerous cameras and sensors, which it can use to detect transgressors and broadcast pre-recorded warnings. The authorities have reassured locals it is not a quadruped data-collection device. Continue reading...
May 31st 2020, 12:52 am
The platform’s moves to counter the president’s disinformation may be too little, too late, but it’s something
In addition to washing your hands while singing the first two verses of The Internationale, it might be a good time also to clean out your Twitter feed. According to a recent report of a research study by Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems, about 45% of the false narratives about Covid-19 on Twitter are sent by bots.
The study examined more than 100 false Covid narratives (including the 5G conspiracy theories) pushed in over 200m tweets since January. If you’re a reader of this newspaper, the likelihood is that you never saw any of these. But that’s because you are – like me – cheerfully encased in your own filter bubble. I write with feeling on this matter, because on the morning after the Brexit referendum I went through the list of about 800 people whom I follow on Twitter, and I could not locate a single one who seemed to have been in favour of Brexit in the run-up to the vote. The shock felt by them after the vote was palpable. But it was also a salutary reminder that anyone who uses social media lives in a digital echo chamber. Continue reading...
May 30th 2020, 11:31 am
Users of the homepages of the MSN website and Edge browser will now see news stories generated by AI
Dozens of journalists have been sacked after Microsoft decided to replace them with artificial intelligence software.
Staff who maintain the news homepages on Microsoft’s MSN website and its Edge browser – used by millions of Britons every day – have been told that they will be no longer be required because robots can now do their jobs. Continue reading...
May 30th 2020, 3:54 am
Twitter responded to the president’s post, which suggested violence against protesters, by hiding it behind a warning label
As Twitter for the second time in a single week took unprecedented action against a tweet by Donald Trump, Facebook declined to take any enforcement action against the president’s statements.
Trump’s threatening statement on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on Thursday night, “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” echoed a racist 1960s police chief known for ordering patrols of black neighborhoods with shotguns and dogs. It was widely interpreted as a threat and potential incitement to violence against residents of the Twin Cities who have erupted in protest against the alleged police killing of George Floyd, a black man who begged for his life as a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. Continue reading...
May 29th 2020, 10:33 pm
Warning on ‘when looting starts, shooting starts’ post risks further escalation of row between firm and president
Twitter has hidden one of Donald Trump’s tweets behind a warning that it “glorifies violence”, further escalating the social media company’s row with the US president.
The US president’s tweet, posted on Thursday night Washington time, warned people in Minneapolis protesting against the killing of a black man, George Floyd, by a white police officer that he would send the military to intervene if there was “any difficulty”. Continue reading...
May 29th 2020, 4:54 am
Australian comedy team’s deliberately untrue post has been viewed by 1.2 million people in less than 12 hours
An Australian satirical news site crashed on Friday after it went viral for mocking Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to fact-check social media with a deliberately provocative post.
Related: Elizabeth Warren trolls Facebook with 'false' Zuckerberg ad Continue reading...
May 29th 2020, 4:06 am
Spotify data reveals shift in habits as office workers choose home-themed playlists
Work from Home, the bouncy lead single from the American girl group Fifth Harmony’s second album, has taken on a second life since its 2016 release, when it peaked at number two in the UK singles chart.
In the first month of lockdown, according to data from Spotify, the song has become a clear beneficiary of the shift in people’s listening habits as white-collar workers and schoolchildren were sent home around the world. Continue reading...
May 29th 2020, 2:51 am
Trump’s executive order on social media would undermine free speech – and probably go nowhere – but it’s an effective distraction. Still, Trump’s abuse of Twitter means it’s time to close his account. Here’s why:
More than 100,000 people in the United States have died of Covid-19, more than any other nation in the world. The figure is probably an undercount.
More than 1.7 million people in the US have had confirmed cases of Covid-19, more than any other nation in the world. The figure is almost certainly an undercount.
The US federal government completely botched the rollout of testing for the coronavirus at the beginning of the pandemic, and continues to lag in providing adequate testing for its populace.
Related: As 100,000 die, the virus lays bare America's brutal fault lines – race, gender, poverty and broken politics Continue reading...
May 28th 2020, 3:59 pm
President announced plan to strip social media companies of liability protections after Twitter factchecked his tweets
Two years after admitting under political pressure that Facebook must do more to prevent disinformation campaigns on its platform, founder Mark Zuckerberg told Fox News on Thursday that the company should step away from regulating online speech.
Related: Trump expected to sign executive order in bid to target Twitter and Facebook Continue reading...
May 28th 2020, 12:00 pm
President’s planned weakening of social media law may not have effect he thinks it will
Donald Trump’s apparent plans to punish Twitter for appending a factcheck to his claims that mail-in ballots would be “substantially fraudulent” could reshape the web – but not necessarily in the ways he or his supporters intend.
Trump’s expected avenue of attack focuses on section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That law underpins much of how the internet is regulated in the United States, by effectively creating the hybrid publisher/platform model that has become the norm for social media companies worldwide. Continue reading...
May 28th 2020, 8:55 am
Practically every running stat, great battery life, offline Spotify and comprehensive health-tracking in a small and light sports watch
The Forerunner 245 is Garmin’s excellent performance running watch and sets a new benchmark against which the competition should be measured.
Two versions are available: one which can download music and one which cannot at a recommended retail price of £299.99 or £249.99 respectively. It came out in April 2019 to replace the popular Forerunner 235. Continue reading...
May 28th 2020, 3:38 am
Decision says Meng Wanzhou’s alleged actions in the US would be considered a crime in Canada, a key condition for extradition
A Canadian judge has dealt a major blow to a senior Huawei executive’s attempts to evade extradition to the United States, ruling that the high profile case against Meng Wanzhou can proceed.
British Columbia Supreme court justice Heather Holmes ruled on Wednesday that the alleged actions of Meng would be considered a crime in Canada – a key condition for extradition to proceed. Continue reading...
May 27th 2020, 4:20 pm
Chess-playing computers were designed to entertain people who could not find an opponent. In the end, they transformed computing as we know it
When legendary chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov found himself beaten by IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer, it was seen as a seminal moment in the evolution of artificial intelligence.
It was New York, 1997 and for the first time ever a computer had beaten a world champion under tournament conditions. This was the culmination of a journey in which the first stirrings of what we now call artificial intelligence and machine learning were born. A road trodden by war heroes and student researchers alike, whose singular desire to create a program that could beat the very best in the world would shape an entire science. Continue reading...
May 27th 2020, 8:25 am
Police investigate whether fire at a telecommunications tower at Cranbourne West in Melbourne was suspicious
Australian mobile companies are seeking to head off any outbreak of anti-5G arson attacks on telecommunications infrastructure, stating they are working with police to keep an eye out for potential incidents.
Victoria police announced on Friday an investigation had commenced into a fire at a telecommunications tower at Cranbourne West in Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Continue reading...
May 27th 2020, 12:19 am
Video platform blames deletion of criticisms on an error in its automated systems
YouTube is investigating the apparently automatic removal of comments critical of the Chinese Communist party amid complaints of censorship.
The company said the filtering appeared to be “an error” amid a greater reliance on automated systems during the coronavirus pandemic because its human reviewers have been sent home. Continue reading...
May 26th 2020, 10:50 pm
At least 11 stations present story offering ‘glimpse inside’ Amazon, after company apparently sent material to reporters
Nearly a dozen local US TV channels aired segments about Amazon that included footage and a script produced by the retailer’s public relations team.
The segments, which according to the news outlet Courier appeared on at least 11 local news stations, praised Amazon’s response to the coronavirus pandemic ahead of the company’s shareholder meeting on Wednesday. The meeting takes place following weeks of controversy over the company’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis. Amazon has been accused of denying workers sick leave, failing to provide adequate protection in warehouses, and retaliating against workers who speak out against these conditions. Continue reading...
May 26th 2020, 10:03 pm
Newly discovered vulnerability allows users to bypass limitations built in by Apple
A newly discovered vulnerability in iPhones allows users to bypass Apple’s built-in limitations – known as “jailbreaking” – for the first time in four years.
The release of a functional jailbreak for iOS 13.5, the latest version of the iPhone operating system, represents a breakthrough for the small community of users who rely on jailbreaks for everything from serious security research to simply running games and software that Apple does not allow on iPhones. Continue reading...
May 26th 2020, 11:43 am
Tech entrepreneur and musician have changed their child’s name from X Æ A-12 to X Æ A-Xii, without much explanation
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and his partner Grimes have changed the unusual and largely unpronounceable name of their firstborn child. But anyone hoping that X Æ A-12 might be replaced by something a little more conventional, is going to be disappointed.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, singer Grimes confirmed that the baby formerly known as X Æ A-12, would now be known as “X Æ A-Xii.” Continue reading...
May 25th 2020, 9:46 am
Falcon 9 rocket to make history as billionaire seeks to commercialise space travel
Elon Musk’s SpaceX company hopes to make history on Wednesday by launching the first astronauts into space from US soil in nine years, as the billionaire takes the next step in his dream to commercialise space travel.
Donald Trump will be among the spectators at Kennedy space centre in Florida to witness the launch, which has been given the green light despite the coronavirus lockdown. Continue reading...
May 25th 2020, 9:17 am
Firms becoming more inventive to survive, and increasing numbers turning to the e-commerce platform
When the lockdown forced the Pizza Pilgrims chain to close, the company came up with an unusual solution to stay in business.
The company, with restaurants in London and Oxford and run by brothers Thom and James Elliot – who started out selling Neapolitan pizza from the back of a converted Piaggio Ape van – hit on the novel idea of posting pizza kits to customers. Continue reading...
May 25th 2020, 9:17 am
Government climbdown after US bans on Chinese telecoms group and pressure to strip its tech from UK networks
The National Cyber Security Agency in the UK is expected to conclude that US sanctions against Huawei will make it impossible to use the Chinese company’s technology as planned for 5G networks.
The emergency review, announced Sunday, is designed to pave the way for Downing Street to push for the total elimination of Huawei equipment in British phone networks by 2023 and quell a Conservative backbench revolt. Continue reading...
May 24th 2020, 2:50 pm
Cybercriminals are exploiting fears and chaos caused by coronavirus, says security firm
Hackers have launched a wave of cyber attacks trying to exploit British people working from home, as the coronavirus lockdown forces people to use often unfamiliar computer systems.
The proportion of attacks targeting home workers increased from 12% of malicious email traffic before the UK’s lockdown began in March to more than 60% six weeks later, according to to data from cyber security company Darktrace provided to the Guardian. Continue reading...
May 24th 2020, 8:47 am
The PM told Australians in April the contact tracing app was key to getting back to normal but just one person has been identified using its data
It was sold as the key to unlocking restrictions – like sunscreen to protect Australians from Covid-19 – but as the country begins to open up, the role of the Covidsafe app in the recovery seems to have dropped to marginal at best.
“This is an important protection for a Covid-safe Australia,” the prime minister, Scott Morrison, said in late April. “I would liken it to the fact that if you want to go outside when the sun is shining, you have got to put sunscreen on.” Continue reading...
May 23rd 2020, 4:25 pm
To have one viral sensation, Oscar Wilde might have said, is unfortunate. But to have two smacks of carelessness. And that’s what we have. The first is Covid-19, about which much printer’s ink has already been spilled. The second is Plandemic, a 26-minute “documentary” video featuring Dr Judy Mikovits, a former research scientist and inveterate conspiracy theorist who blames the coronavirus outbreak on big pharma, Bill Gates and the World Health Organization. She also claims that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (which is headed by Dr Anthony Fauci) buried her research showing vaccines weaken people’s immune systems and made them more vulnerable to Covid-19. Just to round off the accusations, Mikovits claims that wearing masks is dangerous because it “literally activates your own virus”. And, if proof were needed that the pharma-Gates-scientific-elite cabal were out to get her, the leading journal Science in 2011 retracted a paper by her on a supposed link between a retrovirus and chronic fatigue syndrome that it had accepted in 2009.
The video went online on 4 May when its maker, Mikki Willis, a hitherto little-known film producer, posted it to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and a separate website set up to share the video. For three days it built up a head of steam on Facebook pages dedicated to conspiracy theories, many of which linked to the video on YouTube. By 11 May it had been viewed more than 8m times on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and had generated countless other posts on websites and social media. Later that day YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook took down the video, and in theory it disappeared from the internet – only of course it hadn’t, in the time-honoured way of subversive material in the networked world. The cognitive pathogen had escaped into the wild and was spreading virally. Continue reading...
May 23rd 2020, 11:52 am
Chancellor says she was pained to learn outcome of inquiry pinning blame on Fancy Bear
Angela Merkel has said Russian hacking attacks on the Bundestag in which her emails were seized harmed efforts to build a trusting relationship with Moscow.
Merkel told the German parliament on Wednesday that she had been pained to learn of the 2015 hack and the perpetrator. Continue reading...
May 23rd 2020, 6:19 am
With a full return to work and social life still some way off, you may need a new computer
With a full return to work, school and spending time with family in real life rather than on a video call still not in sight, you may have finally decided that it is worth buying a new laptop. If you want an affordable computer there are lots to choose from, including Chromebooks and Windows 10 PCs.
Really cheap Chromebooks are often better than the equivalent Windows machines because Chrome OS is a lighter, low-maintenance operating system built around Google’s Chrome browser, web and Android apps. Just check how long the machine will receive updates from Google before you buy. Continue reading...
May 23rd 2020, 6:19 am
PM set to shrink Chinese firm’s involvement to zero by 2023 after caving to backbench pressure
Boris Johnson has been forced to cave into to Conservative backbench rebels opposed to the presence of Huawei in 5G networks and has drawn up plans to reduce the Chinese company’s involvement to zero by 2023.
The prime minister’s retreat is designed to stave off what could have been an embarrassing defeat when his existing proposal to reduce Huawei to a 35% market share was to be voted on in the Commons. Continue reading...
May 22nd 2020, 6:51 pm
- Health officials cite lack of cooperation by retail giant
- Amazon has acknowledged 20 cases at two facilities
Health officials in south-eastern Wisconsin have warned Amazon that if they don’t fully cooperate with state testing and tracing efforts, its Kenosha campus located 40 miles south of Milwaukee could be shut down. The announcement comes as at least 20 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus at two facilities.
Related: Amazon workers walk out over lack of protective gear amid coronavirus Continue reading...
May 22nd 2020, 6:21 pm
EasyJet hack | Johnson’s U-turn | Tights | Albino pheasants | Favourite restaurants
Your article (EasyJet hacking attack: are you affected and what should you do?, 19 May) on dealing with a suspicious phone call about fraudulent transactions suggests: “End the call and then phone the bank or card company back to check it was legitimate.” What is missing is the fact that fraudsters can “spoof” the dial tone, hold on to the line and pretend to be the bank. The correct procedure is firstly to phone a friend, who the fraudsters cannot imitate, to check the line is actually clear.
• Only the Guardian and one other paper put Johnson’s U-turn on the front page (Johnson forced to drop NHS surcharge for migrant health workers, 21 May). All those owned by Tory-funding billionaires published distraction. They couldn’t have avoided that this happened not from a change of heart but for political expediency. Continue reading...
Shoreham, West Sussex
May 22nd 2020, 12:28 pm
Lockdown fixture for millions turns sudoku into world’s most popular spectator sport
When Simon Anthony quit his lucrative but miserable job at a London investment bank to solve sudoku puzzles on YouTube, it looked like a bit of a leap. His early posts had done well to gain 100 views. Perhaps he had overestimated the demand for long videos of a 46-year-old man putting numbers in a grid from his spare room in Surrey.
A year later, Anthony is one half of an unlikely viral sensation: Cracking the Cryptic, the channel he runs with his old friend Mark Goodliffe, has become a lockdown fixture for millions. Much to the puzzlement of both men, they have turned sudoku into what right now might be the world’s most popular spectator sport. Continue reading...
May 22nd 2020, 9:55 am
Airline apologises after credit card details of about 2,200 passengers were stolen
• Q&A: are you affected and what should you do?
EasyJet has revealed that the personal information of 9 million customers was accessed in a “highly sophisticated” cyber-attack on the airline.
The company said on Tuesday that email addresses and travel details were accessed and it would contact the customers affected. Continue reading...
May 22nd 2020, 7:24 am
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he expects 50% of the company’s employees to work from home over the next five to 10 years. The social media giant will embrace remote work, even after coronavirus restrictions end, with Facebook limiting offices to 25% capacity when workers return in July.
The company has 48,000 employees in 70 offices around the world Continue reading...
May 22nd 2020, 5:50 am
A herd of New Zealand sheep are being watched over by a robotic dog called Spot. The New Zealand software company Rocos is training the Boston Dynamics-designed robot to work on farms to help 'relieve the strain of worker shortages, and create precision in farming’. Another Boston Dynamics robot is also undergoing testing in Singapore, reminding members of the public to maintain physical distancing in a public park Continue reading...
May 22nd 2020, 5:50 am
Mark Zuckerberg said the company will permanently embrace remote work even after lockdowns lift
Facebook will permanently embrace remote work even after coronavirus lockdowns ease, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees on Thursday, accelerating the tech sector’s geographic diversification away from its home in Silicon Valley.
Zuckerberg said the world’s largest social network would start “aggressively opening up remote hiring”, expecting that about half its workforce would work remotely over the next five to 10 years. Continue reading...
May 21st 2020, 5:00 pm
The famed poster CartoonsHateHer has become a viral star for her ‘good’ trolling, but not everyone finds her creations funny
The benevolent troll-queen of the internet prefers to remain anonymous, but here’s what we know: the 30-year-old US-based cartoonist and internet personality who goes by the alias CartoonsHateHer (let’s call her CHH for short) has, over the years, published hundreds of posts to online forums like Reddit under various alternate identities.
These posts have often gone viral – thanks largely to CHH’s masterly navigation of the line between absurdity and believability. Essentially, she pretends to be someone else online – for the lols. Continue reading...
May 21st 2020, 7:38 am
Engineering firm cancels order for staff to return to the office after employee mutiny
The engineering firm Dyson told staff who were able to work from home to return to the office this week, in apparent contravention of government advice, then cancelled the plan after a mutiny among dismayed employees, the Guardian understands.
Government guidelines state that people should “work from home, if you can”, with employers told to make every possible effort to allow staff to do so. Continue reading...
May 21st 2020, 6:37 am
Slim and powerful laptop with excellent keyboard and trackpad is hindered by a few small flaws
The 2020 MateBook X Pro takes a winning design and upgrades the chips to Intel’s latest for a powerful and surprisingly good-value machine.
The new MateBook X Pro starts at £1,299, and fits a pretty large 13.9in screen in the size of a laptop body that would traditionally fit only a 13in screen. Continue reading...
May 21st 2020, 2:48 am
From throwing an alpaca party to adding a goat to a work call, video calling is providing a financial lifeline for businesses
While the rest of the world has been in lockdown, the goats of Cronkshaw Fold farm in Lancashire have never been busier. In the past few weeks they’ve been to a rave in Berlin and a birthday party in New Zealand, while Mary goes to church services every Sunday – all virtually, of course.
They’re one of an increasing variety of animal breeds people can now book to join their Zoom meetings, whether it’s to break the tedium of a work conference call or to surprise someone on their birthday. Continue reading...
May 21st 2020, 1:17 am
Video calls have become part of daily life since the pandemic hit, helping the locked-down, especially elderly and disabled people, keep in touch. But there are downsides
Just before lockdown, 29-year-old Ala Uddin became ill with coronavirus-related symptoms and had to self-isolate in his London flat. “For 23 days I was relying on video calls,” he says. “I hardly used them before, but now it was the only way I could see anyone and communicate with my housemate, even though we were living in rooms next to each other.” Uddin was also regularly video-calling his parents and siblings in York, as well as family members in Bangladesh, all of whom were checking in to make sure he was coping. “Without video calls I don’t know how I could have got through that time,” he says.
Since the pandemic hit, Zoom, FaceTime, Houseparty, Microsoft Teams and all manner of other video-calling apps have become so engrained in our lives. As one of the only safe ways to communicate, it’s hard to imagine living without them. None of these have taken off quite like Zoom. At the end of December, the app reported a maximum of 10 million daily users. By March, 200 million people were on it each day to work, socialise, view lessons and lectures, sing in choirs, attend church, birthday parties and weddings, meet new babies, say final words to dying family members and observe Ramadan and Easter. So embedded are these apps in all parts of life now that when Zoom went down last weekend, it made headlines around the world and even halted the Downing Street press conference. Continue reading...
May 21st 2020, 1:17 am
Technology will detect when an app user has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for the virus
Apple and Google have released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.
Related: Apple and Google team up in bid to use smartphones to track coronavirus spread Continue reading...
May 20th 2020, 7:15 pm
Thomas le Bonniec says firm violating rights and continues massive collection of data
A former Apple contractor who helped blow the whistle on the company’s programme to listen to users’ Siri recordings has decided to go public, in protest at the lack of action taken as a result of the disclosures.
In a letter announcing his decision, sent to all European data protection regulators, Thomas le Bonniec said: “It is worrying that Apple (and undoubtedly not just Apple) keeps ignoring and violating fundamental rights and continues their massive collection of data. Continue reading...
May 20th 2020, 12:19 am
Businesses will be able to sell to customers through Shops, potentially posing a challenge to commerce rivals such as Amazon
Facebook announced Tuesday it is launching Shops, a service that will allow businesses to display and sell products on its platforms.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, is positioning Shops as a tool for small businesses, many of which have had to close their doors and move online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading...
May 19th 2020, 5:44 pm
The pandemic has forced the Unicode Consortium to delay new emojis in 2021 – but remixes of existing ones could be on their way
Covid-19 has taken so much from us, but now it’s come for our emojis too.
Related: Coronavirus US live: Trump claims to take hydroxychloroquine and threatens to withdraw US from WHO Continue reading...
May 19th 2020, 10:09 am
New model squeezes bigger screen in same body, for an excellent, affordable ultraportable PC
The Surface Go 2 is Microsoft’s second iteration of its low-cost, smaller tablet computer and continues to prove that cheap Windows PCs don’t have to be terrible.
The Surface Go 2 starts at £399, but for that you don’t get the £100 Type Cover keyboard, which is a must-have. That places the Surface Go 2 in the low-end PC bracket and makes it Microsoft’s cheapest current PC, the Surface Pro 7, by £300. Continue reading...
May 19th 2020, 2:17 am
- Kevin Mayer led successful launch of Disney streaming service
- TikTok has hinted at ambitions to build music streaming business
Walt Disney Co’s top streaming executive, Kevin Mayer, will leave the entertainment and theme parks giant to become the chief executive officer of TikTok, the popular video app owned by China’s ByteDance, the companies said on Monday.
Mayer led the successful launch of the Disney+ streaming service in November but in February was passed over as Disney’s new chief executive. Continue reading...
May 18th 2020, 8:46 pm
Journalists forced to submit written questions after outages of video conferencing platform
Users of the video conferencing platform Zoom reported outages on Sunday, with many unable to host or join meetings.
The website DownDetector said thousands of people were having issues with the service, and the UK appeared to have been particularly badly affected. Users began reporting issues with the app from 9am BST. Continue reading...
May 17th 2020, 1:51 pm
The latest attempt by the social media giant to act as a sovereign power is breathtaking in its sheer effrontery
Here we go again. Facebook, a tech company that suffers from the delusion that it’s a nation state, has had another go at pretending that it is one. Originally, you will recall, it was going to create a global currency called Libra and in effect become shadow banker to the world. Strangely, a world that normally seems hypnotised by Facebook turned out to be distinctly unimpressed by that idea; after all, who would trust Facebook with money? So the project is effectively evaporating into something that looks a bit like PayPal, which is not quite what Facebook’s supreme leader, Mark Zuckerberg, had in mind.
Nothing daunted, though, Zuck has had another hubristic idea. On the grounds that Facebook is the world’s largest information-exchange autocracy (population 2.6 billion) he thinks that it should have its own supreme court. (Yes, that’s the expression he originally used: later, wiser councils – possibly a guy called Nick Clegg – persuaded him that that might be just a tad presumptuous.) So it’s now just an “oversight board for content decisions”, complete with its own charter and a 40-strong board of big shots who will, it seems, have the power “to reverse Facebook’s decisions about whether to allow or remove certain posts on the platform”. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? But it looks rather less so when you realise what it will actually be doing. It’s actually a board for locking the stable door after the horses have bolted. Let us call the Facebook oversight board by its initials: FOB. Continue reading...
May 17th 2020, 4:44 am
From a drunk Donald Trump to storytime with Boris Johnson, women are skewering the absurdity of Covid-19 life
In the TikTok videos going viral across social media, the voices are familiar: a rambling presidential whine, or a patronising prime minister. But the people apparently speaking are altogether – and hilariously – different.
In uncannily calibrated lipsyncs, Donald Trump is shown as a hectoring schoolteacher or drunken clubgoer, while Boris Johnson reads a bedtime story to a petulant Theresa May. Continue reading...
May 16th 2020, 1:06 am
Many people in Britain lack internet access and sufficient tech skills, charities warn MPs
Ten million people in the UK risk being locked out of the Covid-19 contact-tracing app because of a “digital divide”, putting potential constraints on their ability to access work and safeguard their health, a parliamentary committee has heard.
Almost 2m households in the UK do not have any internet access, Helen Milner, the chief executive of Good Things Foundation, a digital inclusion charity, told the culture, media and sport committee. Continue reading...
May 15th 2020, 12:00 pm
Tech giant’s tax turnaround follows a government campaign to force multinationals to pay more tax
Google’s Australian arm paid $133m to the Taxation Office last year as it caught up with back taxes.
The company, one of the ATO’s most high-profile targets in a campaign to get tech giants to pay tax in Australia, declared a profit before tax of $134m in 2019, down from $156m the previous year. Continue reading...
May 14th 2020, 5:02 am
Long battery life, comfortable and secure ear hooks and great sound for exercising
Apple’s revamped Powerbeats Bluetooth workout earphones take what was great from the firm’s true wireless earbuds and add a cable, longer battery life and cheaper price.
The new £129.95 Powerbeats replace the older, more expensive Powerbeats 3, with redesigned ear hooks, cable guides and Apple’s H1 chip, which simplifies Bluetooth connectivity and gives them all the AirPods-like features Apple’s headphones have with iPhones. Continue reading...
May 14th 2020, 2:19 am
Minicab firms aim to increase coronavirus protections after data shows drivers are one of the groups most at risk
Addison Lee and Uber are to install partition screens in vehicles to protect staff and passengers from infection with coronavirus, after new data earlier this week revealed that male taxi drivers and chauffeurs are among those at highest risk of death from the disease.
London’s largest private hire car operator, Addison Lee, claims to be the first in the industry to make the move, announcing that it would be fitting screens to all 4,000 vehicles in its fleet at a likely cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Continue reading...
May 13th 2020, 7:59 pm
Great screen, performance, battery life and health tracking – but held back by small niggles
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 may not run Android, but it is the best Android-compatible smartwatch available.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 starts at £269, costing £289 as reviewed here, and is the firm’s 10th smartwatch. Samsung has been making smartwatches since 2013 and it shows – the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the most polished this side of the Apple Watch Series 5. Continue reading...
May 13th 2020, 2:14 am
The billionaire has defied shelter-in-place orders and styled himself as an anti-lockdown hero. This is how we got here
On Monday 11 May, Elon Musk attempted to fashion himself into a hero of the anti-public-health movement when he dared authorities to arrest him for restarting production at Tesla’s northern California car plant, in defiance of the local shelter-in-place order. Neither Musk nor anyone else has been arrested, but his action has placed state and local officials in the difficult situation of figuring out whether and how to enforce coronavirus restrictions against a litigious billionaire who is also a major employer.
On Tuesday, his cause gained the support of another hot-headed executive with an overactive Twitter account: Donald Trump. “California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW,” the president tweeted Tuesday morning. “It can be done Fast & Safely!” Continue reading...
May 13th 2020, 1:13 am
Federal parliamentary committee examining rollout says fears over network are being exploited, particularly on social media
Public confidence in the planned 5G network has been significantly undermined by a strong misinformation campaign, an Australian parliamentary committee has admitted.
The House of Representatives committee was established last year to examine the plans for 5G networks in Australia, currently under construction by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, but the committee received hundreds of submissions from members of the public and groups concerned about perceived health issues associated with 5G networks. Continue reading...
May 12th 2020, 11:55 pm
Each worker will get $1,000, more if they were diagnosed with a disorder as a result of the material they viewed
Facebook has agreed to pay a settlement of $52m in a court case alleging the company failed to protect workers tasked with moderating disturbing content from the grave mental health impacts of the job.
As part of the settlement, which was announced Tuesday, moderators will get a minimum of $1,000 each from Facebook with the potential for additional compensation if they have been diagnosed with mental health disorders, including PTSD. Continue reading...
May 12th 2020, 9:58 pm
The company said those who want to return to the office won’t likely do so until at least September and reopening will be ‘careful’
Twitter will allow its employees to work from home “forever”, chief executive officer Jack Dorsey said in a company-wide email Tuesday.
A spokesperson from Twitter confirmed the decision to the Guardian, saying the company was “one of the first companies to go to a work-from-home model” due to Covid-19, but does not anticipate being one of the first to return to its offices. Continue reading...
May 12th 2020, 6:40 pm
Those who stay home ‘will be on unpaid leave’, email says, as employees say company is using ‘threatening tactics’
Workers at Tesla have been told their unemployment benefits may be suspended if they refuse to return to work during the coronavirus pandemic, according to emails seen by the Guardian.
The news comes as Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, moves forward with the reopening of Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, in defiance of a local stay-at-home order. Continue reading...
May 12th 2020, 1:56 pm
CEO announces electric carmaker will begin production on Monday after company sues county over Covid-19 restrictions
Elon Musk announced on Twitter that Tesla would resume production at its northern California factory on Monday afternoon, in defiance of a local public health order designed to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules,” the billionaire CEO tweeted. “I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.” Continue reading...
May 11th 2020, 5:52 pm
Carmaker sues authorities and threatens to move factory to Texas or Nevada over coronavirus restrictions
After Elon Musk sued local authorities in California and threatened to move Tesla’s HQ to Texas or Nevada, over attempts to contain the coronavirus outbreak, one Democratic state politician had a blunt message for the electronic car magnate: “F*ck Elon Musk.”
Related: Coronavirus has Elon Musk acting like just another used car salesman Continue reading...
May 10th 2020, 10:59 am
Tesla sues state authorities over lockdown after Fremont factory stopped from reopening
Tesla is suing local authorities in California as the electric carmaker pushes to reopen its factory there and chief executive Elon Musk threatens to move the company’s headquarters to Texas or Nevada.
Musk has been pushing to reopen Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory after Alameda County’s health department said the carmaker must not reopen because local lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus remain in effect. Continue reading...
May 10th 2020, 7:28 am
The tech giant has often been accused of mistreating workers, but our desire for instant gratification is part of the problem
Tim Bray resigned as an Amazon vice-president last week. “Who he?” I hear you say. And why is this news significant? Answers: first, Bray is an ubergeek who’s an alumnus of many of the outfits in tech’s hall of fame (including DEC, Sun Microsystems, the OED project at the University of Waterloo, Google’s Android team and, eventually, Amazon Web Services); and second, he resigned on an issue of principle – something as rare as hen’s teeth in the tech industry.
In his blog, he wrote: “I quit in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of Covid-19.” It was an expensive decision. Bray said the decision to resign would probably cost him more than a million dollars in salary and shares, and that he regretted leaving a job he enjoyed, working with good colleagues. “So I’m pretty blue.” Continue reading...
May 9th 2020, 11:11 am
Want something to show for the weeks you have spent in lockdown? These apps will help you achieve your aims
In early April, one bullish American consultant suggested on Twitter that if people didn’t emerge from coronavirus quarantine having learned a new skill, gained more knowledge or having started something they’d been putting off, then “you didn’t ever lack the time, you lacked the discipline”.
As the tweet was widely shared, it met mockery and anger in equal measure, as people noted that home schooling, financial worries, stress and/or illness are making this period anything but a delightful self-improvement holiday. Continue reading...
May 9th 2020, 11:11 am
Cities like Barcelona want to use crisis to allow people to rent properties at decent rates
Airbnb has revolutionised travel and since it was founded in 2008 hundreds of thousands of property owners have used the holiday accommodation platform to make ends meet, make a living and, in some cases, make a killing.
But while hosts, as they are known, are wringing their hands over the collapse of the travel industry and their loss of income, many city authorities are rubbing theirs at the prospect of thousands of holiday lets returning to the traditional rental market. Cities complain that the highly profitable holiday lets have driven up rents and forced out residents with the knock-on effect that local businesses no longer have a community to serve. Continue reading...
May 9th 2020, 4:07 am
Juul, Yelp and hundreds of startups among tech firms cutting jobs while Amazon and Zoom see huge boosts
The economic fallout from the coronavirus has come to Silicon Valley, with major tech firms announcing layoffs in recent weeks.
On Wednesday, Uber became the latest company to announce cuts, revealing in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will lay off 3,700 workers – roughly 14% of its global workforce. Continue reading...
May 8th 2020, 6:13 am
If the UK government wants to start easing the country's lockdown restrictions, it needs to get contact tracing right. But what does that mean? What would successful contact tracing even look like? Josh Toussaint-Strauss tries to find out with a little help from Christophe Fraser, an Oxford professor and infectious disease epidemiologist, and Alex Hern, the Guardian's UK technology editor
May 8th 2020, 4:58 am
MPs and rights groups have warned lack of data protection could make UK app illegal
The government has left open the prospect of ditching its own contact-tracing app in favour of the “decentralised” model favoured by Apple and Google after it was revealed that a feasibility study into such a change is underway.
After repeated warnings that the UK will be an outlier if it insists on using its own centralised app rather than relying on Google and Apple’s technology, rights groups and MPs said on Thursday that the lack of privacy and data protections could mean that the app would be illegal. Continue reading...
May 7th 2020, 4:17 pm
Coronavirus crisis has forced musicians and others to adapt, says founder of platform
Musicians, artists and writers have turned to crowdfunding sites to make up for lost opportunities in lockdown, and their audiences have followed them, leading to a rise in contributions through platforms such as Patreon.
Since mid-March more than 70,000 extra creators have joined Patreon, which allows fans to give monthly payments to artists in exchange for exclusive content or simply out of a desire to support someone whose work they appreciate. Continue reading...
May 7th 2020, 3:05 pm
My friend and colleague Tony Morgan, who has died aged 83 after contracting Covid-19, was one of the heroes of the early days of computers. As a computer engineer from the late 1950s, he was responsible for the installation of the pioneering Leo computers worldwide, including for the GPO (now BT) for telephone billing. After a 38-year career he remained an active member of the Leo Heritage Project, using his unrivalled knowledge to identify the company’s artefacts.
Born in Kenton, near Harrow, Middlesex, to William Morgan, an architect, and Millie (nee Ferguson), Tony went to Harrow County grammar school and, after getting four A-levels, did his national service with the RAF, where he was trained as an air-radar fitter. Continue reading...
May 7th 2020, 2:19 pm
Sidewalk Labs’ CEO said unpredictabilities stemming from pandemic meant project was no longer feasible
Google’s affiliate Sidewalk Labs has abruptly abandoned its vision to transform Toronto’s waterfront into one of the world’s first “smart cities”.
In a statement released on Thursday, Sidewalk Labs’ CEO, Dan Doctoroff, said that sustained unpredictabilities stemming from the coronavirus pandemic meant that the project was no longer feasible. Continue reading...
May 7th 2020, 12:49 pm
- Ride-sharing business partners with Alphabet and Bain Capital
- Uber’s electric bike and scooter division will integrate with Lime
Uber made a $170m bet on Thursday that as the coronavirus pandemic upends its business, two wheels may be better than four.
Related: Invasion of the electric scooter: can our cities cope? Continue reading...
May 7th 2020, 12:34 pm
More protections needed before coronavirus app fully launched, says human rights committee
The NHS contact-tracing app must not be rolled out across the UK until the government has increased privacy and data protections, an influential parliamentary committee has said.
The joint committee on human rights said on Thursday it had “significant concerns” that must be addressed before it was expanded. Continue reading...
May 7th 2020, 7:18 am
The panel has the potential to reshape how Facebook shapes the world and possibly introduce a new era of social media governance
A new era of social media governance began Wednesday, when the first 20 members of Facebook’s long awaited oversight board were announced. The international panel of free expression advocates, journalists, a former prime minister, a Nobel laureate, and law professors will have final say over certain content moderation decisions for the world’s largest social media platform, independent of Facebook’s executives and staff.
This limited transfer of power to an independent entity represents something of a sea change for a company that has since its founding been under the tight control of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is chairman of the board and controls a majority of the company’s voting shares. Continue reading...
May 7th 2020, 6:18 am
California workers say the company is pressuring sick employees to show up – and flouting a California law meant to protect them from Covid-19
Amazon workers in southern California’s industrial heartland say the company’s policies are forcing sick employees to work and that warehouses are refusing to comply with a state paid sick leave law meant to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks.
In the Inland Empire region outside Los Angeles, Amazon workers told the Guardian they fear losing their jobs if they are ill and stay home. At least four Amazon warehouses in the region have recorded Covid-19 cases. Continue reading...
May 7th 2020, 6:18 am
Wireless speaker firm revamps top TV audio line, plus Sonos 5 speakers and gen 3 Sub
The wireless home-audio specialist Sonos is launching the first of its next-generation speakers with a new Dolby Atmos voice-controlled soundbar called Arc.
Arc replaces the firm’s popular Playbar and Playbase as its top-end TV sound system, re-engineered to provide a wider, more powerful sound and built on the new S2 software platform, which is due to roll out to existing speakers soon. Continue reading...
May 6th 2020, 4:17 pm
Experts say NHS relying on ‘Android herd immunity’ to overcome Apple-related issues
The NHS’s contact-tracing app will fail unless sufficient numbers of Android phone users sign up, experts who have examined its trial use on the Isle of Wight have said.
They say NHSX, the digital arm of the health service, is relying on an “Android herd immunity” strategy to overcome shortcomings in the app. A critical mass of Android users will be required to ensure iPhone owners remain covered by the app’s contact-tracing ability. If not enough Android users are in any given community, iPhones will eventually stop broadcasting the signals required for the app to work. Continue reading...
May 6th 2020, 3:06 pm
New independent board, which includes ex-Guardian editor, will rule on freedom of expression issues
Facebook has announced the members of its new oversight board, an international committee of judges, journalists and academics who will help steer the company’s policy on freedom of expression.
Among the 20 board members who have agreed to help set policy for the social network are Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the former prime minster of Denmark, the Nobel Peace laureate Tawakkol Karman and Alan Rusbridger, the former Guardian editor-in-chief. Continue reading...
May 6th 2020, 1:32 pm
Staff losing jobs receive email within hours of co-founder outlining plans in blogpost
Airbnb has set out plans to make 1,900 staff redundant, about a quarter of its global workforce, as it forecast revenues in 2020 would be half the $4.8bn (£3.9bn) generated in 2019.
Brian Chesky, its chief executive and co-founder, described coronavirus as “the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime”. He told staff: “We don’t know exactly when travel will return. When travel does return, it will look different.” Continue reading...
May 6th 2020, 9:26 am
Windows-maker updates top and cheapest PCs, plus new noise cancelling headphones
Microsoft is launching a revamped line of its most powerful and cheapest Windows 10 PCs, the Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2, as it adjusts to continue operations during the pandemic.
The new products, announced by blog post rather than an event, are Microsoft’s premium computers competing directly with the likes of Apple and Dell, but with more novel designs. Continue reading...
May 6th 2020, 9:26 am
Experts say Russia, Iran and China likely to be behind cyber-attacks on universities
Hostile states are attempting to hack British universities and scientific facilities to steal research related to Covid-19, including vaccine development, cybersecurity experts have warned.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the proportion of such targeted cyber-attacks had increased, branding the criminal activity “reprehensible”. Continue reading...
May 6th 2020, 3:39 am
Worries public will not use app after security specialists and MPs raise concerns
NHS officials are racing to introduce greater privacy safeguards for the contact-tracing app at the centre of the government’s lockdown exit strategy amid mounting concern from security experts, MPs and users.
Whitehall sources conceded to the Guardian that they were “two steps behind in public engagement” because the app – which tracks everyone a user has met and warns them to self-isolate when the user reports Covid-19 symptoms – has had to be developed at high speed. Continue reading...
May 5th 2020, 4:03 pm
At least six workers who have participated in protests or advocated for safer conditions have been fired during the pandemic
Amazon’s revenues topped $33m an hour in the first three months of the year as the coronavirus pandemic locked down large parts of the world. The sales boost has handed Amazon the biggest dilemma of its 25-year life: how to deal with a growing chorus of critics within the company. So far its reaction has only made matters worse.
Last week an Amazon vice-president, Tim Bray, resigned in protest at what he called the company’s “chickenshit” decision to fire colleagues in the company’s warehouse division who had highlighted safety issues. “Remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised,” wrote Bray. Continue reading...
May 5th 2020, 1:47 pm
Tim Bray’s departure comes as company faces increased scrutiny and employee activism around its Covid-19 response
Tim Bray, a top engineer and vice-president at Amazon, announced on Monday he is resigning “in dismay” over the company’s firing of employee activists who criticized working conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Bray’s resignation comes as Amazon faces increased scrutiny and employee activism surrounding its internal response to coronavirus. Amazon workers on Friday participated in a nationwide sick-out to protest working conditions and inadequate safety protections. Continue reading...
May 4th 2020, 5:26 pm