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Tech firms to remove extremist posts within hours

In Business by BBCLeave a Comment

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Tech giants including Facebook, Twitter and Google have agreed to do more to remove extremist content within hours of it being posted.The accord was decided at a two-day meeting between the G7 nations and the tech firms, hosted on the Italian island of Ischia.The aim, according to officials, is to remove jihadist content from the internet within two hours.In a tweet, Twitter said the talks had been "important and productive". Twitter and Google declined to give further comment. Italy's interior minister Marco Minniti said they were "important first steps".In September, U... Read More
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Mobile companies overcharging customers after contracts end

In Government, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Vodafone, EE and Three are continuing to charge customers for the mobile phones they buy as part of a contract, even after the cost of the handset has been paid off, research suggests.Citizens Advice found that customers who do not take out a new contract are paying an average extra £22 a month.The government said the mobile firms needed to inform customers when they had paid for their handsets.The operators said that their billing systems were fair.Digital skills minister Matt Hancock said: "It's only right that mobile customers should be notified when they have paid off the price o... Read More
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Native American tribe sues Amazon and Microsoft

In Business, Government, Legal by BBCLeave a Comment

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A Native American tribe is suing Amazon and Microsoft for infringing data-processing patents it is holding.The patents were assigned to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe by technology company SRC Labs, and it will receive a share of any award.Tribal sovereignty means that the patents cannot be reviewed by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.A similar deal has drawn criticism from US lawmakers, who claim it is a loophole to avoid patent scrutiny.Democratic US senator Claire McCaskill drafted a bill this month, in response to another attempt to transfer patents to the same tribe.In that... Read More
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YouTube star Casey Neistat attacks video site’s leaders

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One of YouTube's most influential vloggers has attacked the service's leaders, claiming they are failing many of their most popular video creators.Specifically, Casey Neistat criticised the way the platform had made it impossible for some videos to generate advertising revenue, without clearly explaining the rules to its community.One of his own videos - an interview with Indonesia's president - was temporarily "demonetised" last week.YouTube has said it is listening."We wa... Read More
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Twitter pledges tougher action against abuse

In Government, Legal by BBCLeave a Comment

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Twitter is planning to impose new restrictions on pornographic and hateful imagery as part of a renewed effort to tackle abuse on its social network.The US company has also said it intends to review user complaints more quickly.The efforts are outlined in a leaked email from the company's head of safety, which was published by Wired.But one UK charity has already said the company needs to go further than "tinkering" with its existing rules.... Read More
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Child safety smartwatches ‘easy’ to hack, watchdog says

In Finance, Legal, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Some smartwatches designed for children have security flaws that make them vulnerable to hackers, a watchdog has warned.The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) tested watches from brands including Gator and GPS for Kids.It said it discovered that attackers could track, eavesdrop or even communicate with the wearers.The manufacturers involved insist the problems have either already been resolved or are being addressed. UK retailer John Lewis has withdrawn one of the named smartwatch models from sale in response. The smartwatches tested essentially serve as basic smartphones, allowing pa... Read More
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Google removes cupcake calorie counter from Maps

In Business, Government, Healthcare by BBCLeave a Comment

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Google has decided to remove an update to Maps that shows users how many calories they would burn if they walked to their destination.It follows what the search giant described as "strong user feedback" with many criticising the feature as patronising, shaming and a possible trigger for eating disorders.The pink cupcake calorie counter was also lambasted as being unscientific.It will be removed by the end of the day, Google has confirmed.The experimental feature was rolled out on the iOS version of Google Maps, beneath walking directions.It told people how many calories they wo... Read More
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UK TV drama about North Korea hit by cyber-attack

In Government, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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North Korean hackers targeted a British television company making a drama about the country, it has emerged. The series - due to be written by an Oscar-nominated screenwriter - has been shelved.In August 2014, Channel 4 announced what it said would be a new "bold and provocative" drama series. Entitled Opposite Number, the programme's plot involved a British nuclear scientist taken prisoner in North Korea. The production firm involved - Mammoth Screen - subsequently had its computers attacked. The project has not moved forward - because of a failure to secure funding, the comp... Read More
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Wi-fi security flaw ‘puts devices at risk of hacks’

In Business, Education, Government, Legal, Mobile Technology, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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The wi-fi connections of businesses and homes around the world are at risk, according to researchers who have revealed a major flaw dubbed Krack.It concerns an authentication system which is widely used to secure wireless connections.Experts said it could leave "the majority" of connections at risk until they are patched.The researchers added the attack method was "exceptionally devastating" for Android 6.0.The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (Cert) has issued a warning on the flaw."US-Cert has become aware of several key management vulnerabilities in the four-way handsha... Read More
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Why Pinterest boss Tim Kendall takes a daily ice bath

In Government by BBCLeave a Comment

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When you think of the giants of Silicon Valley, Pinterest may not immediately spring to mind. But with 200 million active users and a recent valuation of $12.3bn (£9bn), the platform that started out in 2012 as a quirky online scrapbook has quietly become a hot commodity for advertisers and investors alike. Perhaps that's why Pinterest president Tim Kendall chooses to keep his cool with a daily ice bath. And the BBC's Zoe Kleinman found out that's not his only unusual routine...Zoe Kleinman: Is it true that you have an ice bath every morning?... Read More
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Branson’s Virgin Group invests in Hyperloop One

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The Virgin investment group has taken an undisclosed stake in Hyperloop One, one of several companies trying to create a pod-based transport system.The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.Virgin's founder, Sir Richard Branson, is joining the Los Angeles-based firm's board as part of the deal, and it is rebranding itself as Virgin Hyperloop One.One expert suggested the tie-up would help raise the company's profile."This is unproven technology and there's a long way to go before it ever finds itself in use in the real world," commented Prof David Bailey from Aston Business School.... Read More
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Facebook ‘fully committed’ to sharing Russian ad data

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Facebook is "fully committed" to providing detailed information about ads bought in Russia during the US election, says Sheryl Sandberg.The ads, pages they linked to and who they were targeted at have been given to investigators, said Ms Sandberg.The ads and the fake accounts used to get them on Facebook had been found and removed, she said. However, she added, if the ads had been placed by real accounts, Facebook would not have removed them.Bad actors"Things happened on our platform in this election that shouldn't have happened," said Ms Sandber... Read More
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Facebook bans rapper Lil B for ‘hate speech’ posts

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US rapper Lil B, known for his outspoken views on social media, is facing a 30-day ban under Facebook's hate speech policies.The musician has expressed anger over the suspension and fans have criticised the ban on Twitter.Facebook said some of his posts violated its policies on hate speech.The posts, according to publications with which he later shared the messages, related to white people and gun violence.Political news website ... Read More
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Google disables touch function on Home Mini

In Business, Government, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Google has stopped its Home Mini speakers responding when users touch them.It permanently turned off the touch activation feature after it found that sensors primed to spot a finger tap were too sensitive. Early users found that the touch sensors were registering "phantom" touches that turned them on. This meant the speakers were recording everything around them thousands of times a day.Google said it disabled the feature to give users "peace of mind".Google's Hom... Read More
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Apple’s Tim Cook prefers augmented reality to VR

In Business, Education, Gaming, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Media playback is unsupported on your device Apple's chief executive has suggested he is not very enthusiastic about virtual reality.Tim Cook said that he felt that the technology could isolate users and voiced a preference for augmented reality instead.AR involves mixing graphics and real-world views together rather than solely filling a person's view with computer-generated images.One expert suggested Mr Cook's view was becoming more popular in tech circles.Mr Cook expressed his opinion at an event hosted by the University of Oxford, in response to a stude... Read More
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Unsent text accepted as dead man’s will by Australian court

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A court in Australia has accepted an unsent, draft text message on a dead man's mobile phone as an official will.The 55-year-old man had composed a text message addressed to his brother, in which he gave "all that I have" to his brother and nephew.The message was found in the drafts folder on the man's phone after he took his own life last year .Brisbane Supreme Court ruled that the wording of the text indicated that the man intended it to act as his will.In the message, the man gave details of how to access his bank account and where he had hidden money in his house."Put my ashes i... Read More
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Israeli spies ‘watched Russian agents breach Kaspersky software’

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Israeli spies looked on as Russian hackers breached Kaspersky cyber-security software two years ago, US media report.The Russians were allegedly attempting to gather data on US intelligence programs, according to the New York Times and Washington Post.Israeli agents made the discovery after breaching the software themselves.Kaspersky has said it was neither involved in nor aware of the situation and denies collusion with authorities.Last month, the US government decided to stop using t... Read More
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Equifax data hack affected 694,000 UK customers

In Government, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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The beleaguered credit reference agency Equifax has now admitted that 694,000 customers in the UK had their data stolen between May and July this year.The firm's original estimate of its UK cyber-theft victims, made last month, was fewer, at nearly 400,000.Equifax now says that it will contact its affected UK customers by letter to offer them help.It admits they may be at risk of "possible criminal activity".Patricio Remon, Equifax's chief European executive, said: "Once again, I would like to extend my most sincere apologies to anyone who has been concerned about or impacted by this ... Read More
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Facebook and Twitter could face ‘online abuse’ tax

In Business, Education, Gaming, Government, Legal, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Facebook and Twitter could be asked to pay a tax to help fund educational campaigns about internet abuse.It is among ideas suggested by the UK government as it considers its safer internet strategy.It also proposed that social media platforms reveal the true scale of online hate and how much content is removed each year.And it wants a code of practice to ensure providers offer adequate online safety.The measures are intended to address the issues of:cyber-bullying trolli... Read More
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Mum identifies child sex abuser from daughter’s image

In Government, Legal, Science & Nature by BBCLeave a Comment

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A mother has recognised her own four-year-old daughter after German police released a still image of a child in an attempt to find her abuser.The picture was taken from videos and images circulating on the dark web.A 24-year-old man has now been arrested.The police said that they took the unusual step of releasing the image because they had been unable to identify the attacker.They received "numerous" responses from the public, following the release of the image.The man - from Wesermarsch - faces charges of the serious sexual abuse of children plus the production and distributi... Read More
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Microsoft gives up on Windows 10 Mobile

In Mobile Technology, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Microsoft appears to have abandoned its smartphone operating system ambitions.The company's Windows 10 chief has tweeted that developing new features and hardware for the Mobile version of the OS was no longer a "focus".Joe Belfiore added that he had also switched to Android himself.Windows 10 Mobile tried to attract users by letting them run the same "universal apps" on both their PCs and handsets, but the concept failed to catch on.The OS accounted for just 0.03% ... Read More
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Apple investigating swollen batteries in iPhone 8 Plus handsets

In Business, Legal, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Apple is investigating a series of reports about battery problems with some of its new iPhone 8 Plus phones.Over the last week, six reports have come to light which show the phones splitting apart soon after they start to be used.In all cases the battery inside the phone has swollen rendering the phone unusable.It is not yet clear whether the swollen batteries are a few isolated cases or are indicative of a bigger issue.The first report about an affected iPhone 8 Plus came from Taiwan. Phones with similar problems have now emerged in Japan, China, Canada, Greece and Hong Kong.I... Read More
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Websites hacked to mint crypto-cash

In Education, Government, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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School, charity and file-sharing websites have been caught out by scammers who are using them to generate crypto-cash.Hackers have managed to install code on the sites that uses visitors' computers to "mine" the cyber-currencies. One scan of the most popular websites found hundreds harbouring the malicious mining code.By getting lots of computers to join the networks, attackers can quickly generate cash."This is absolutely a numbers game," said Rik Ferguson, vice-president of security research at Trend Micro. Malicious useMr Ferguson said ... Read More
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100 Women: Five things I learned as a woman in Silicon Valley

In Business, Government, Science & Nature by BBCLeave a Comment

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Media playback is unsupported on your device The BBC's 100 Women 2017 season is tackling some of the biggest issues facing women around the world and has given teams of experts a week to change the world. It kicked off by challenging women working at the home of hi-tech industries in California's Silicon Valley to smash the glass ceiling, as the BBC's Nuala McGovern reports. Here are her five findings: 1) They will show upWe gave our team of four women just five days to make a product that would change women's lives in th... Read More
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Scam baiter: Why I risk death threats to expose online cons

In Business, Education, Events, Government, Legal, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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In the flesh, Wayne May (not his real name) is an affable gentleman in his late 40s, softly spoken with a lilting Welsh accent. When we meet he's casually dressed in jeans and a Batman T-shirt. He works full-time as a carer.On the net, he's a tireless defender of scam victims and a fearless scam baiter - a person who deliberately contacts scammers, engages with them and then publishes as much information about them as possible in order to warn others. He regularly receives death threats, and his website, Scam Survivors, is often subjected to attempted DDoS attacks - where a site is malicious... Read More
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Internet speed guarantees must be realistic, says Ofcom

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Internet users are to be granted more rights on connection speeds as Ofcom imposes tougher rules on how ISPs advertise broadband services.The proposals give consumers the right to exit contracts penalty-free if speeds fall below a guaranteed minimum.Ofcom says there is a mismatch between what is advertised, and the speeds customers receive.But experts say speeds are affected by different factors, and are not strictly a measure of connection to a device. A ... Read More
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Elon Musk says he can rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid with solar

In Business, Emerging Technology, Energy, Government, Science & Nature, Start Up by BBCLeave a Comment

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Renewable energy entrepreneur Elon Musk says he could rebuild Puerto Rico's shattered electrical infrastructure with his solar energy technology.The vast majority of the island territory remains without power, weeks after it was hit by Hurricane Maria.On Twitter, Mr Musk said his technology, which powers several smaller islands, could be scaled up to work for Puerto Rico.The island's governor responded to Mr Musk with the message: "Let's talk"."Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your Tesla technologies? Puerto Rico could be that flagship project," the Governor ... Read More
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Asphalt helps batteries charge more quickly

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Government by BBCLeave a Comment

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Lithium batteries can be made to charge 10 to 20 times faster by using asphalt, suggests US research.Scientists at Rice University speeded up the charging time by making one component of a battery using carbon derived from the viscous liquid.In tests, batteries made using asphalt charged to full power in minutes, said the researchers.They also found that using asphalt stopped the formation of deposits that can shorten the life of a battery.Faster fuelling"The capacity of these batteries is enormous," ... Read More
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Netflix raises prices for first time in two years

In Business, Education, Events, Government by BBCLeave a Comment

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Netflix has raised prices in countries including the UK and US for the first time in two years. The streaming video service will also increase subscription charges in some European countries, a spokeswoman said.A standard UK plan will rise 50p to £7.99 a month, while a premium subscription for four simultaneous users, jumps £1 to £9.99 a month.The standard US plan increases by $1 to $10.99 a month, with a $2 rise to $13.99 for the premium option.The increases apply immediately for new customers, while existing users will be notified of the change 30 days in advance. Germany ... Read More
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Instagram polls expose voters’ ’embarrassing’ choices

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Instagram has been criticised after adding a feature to its app that reveals which way people have voted.Users can add a poll when adding a picture to their Instagram "story", and can see what their followers choose.Many users said they did not realise their choice would be visible to the poll instigator, and some said they had made embarrassing mistakes.Instagram did mention that votes would be public when it announced the feature on its blog and... Read More
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Drink-drive rules ‘need updating for autonomous car era’

In Government, Legal by BBCLeave a Comment

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Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs should be exempt from drink-drive laws if they are using autonomous cars, an Australian report has suggested.The National Transport Commission (NTC) has recommended the change, comparing it to someone getting into a taxi.Current laws could be a "barrier" to the adoption of such vehicles, it said.Many countries are considering updates to the laws of the road to accommodate autonomous vehicles.The NTC has been tasked with looking at the legislative changes necessary as self-drive vehicles become common on Australia's roads.Such cars... Read More
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Google Pixel 2 phones take portrait-mode selfies

In Business, Government, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Media playback is unsupported on your device Google's second-generation Pixel mobile phones are able to take "portrait mode" photos via both their front and rear single-lens cameras.Other handsets have been able to auto-blur image backgrounds for some time, but they typically rely on using two-lens cameras on the phones' backs to create realistic effects.Google said its innovation meant it could make more space for the battery and introduce front-facing speakers.But it has dropped the headphone jack.Instead of using a dedicated 3.5mm port, users will either ... Read More
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US couple stole goods worth $1.2m from Amazon

In Business, Gaming, Government, Legal by BBCLeave a Comment

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A couple in the US have admitted stealing goods from Amazon valued at more than $1.2m (£910,000) by repeatedly pretending that items they ordered were damaged in the post.Erin Joseph Finan, 38, and Leah Jeanette Finan, 37, from Indiana, have pleaded guilty to postal fraud and money laundering. The couple face fines of up to $500,000, as well as prison sentences of up to 20 years.They will be sentenced on 9 November. According to local newspaper the ... Read More
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Net neutrality debate ‘controlled by bots’

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More than 80% of the comments submitted to a US regulator on the future of net neutrality came from bots, according to researchers.Data analytics company Gravwell said only 17.4% of the comments were unique.Most of the 22 million comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission over the summer had been against net neutrality, it suggested.One expert said the findings posed a risk to future polls.The Trump administration wants to roll back the pro-net-neutrality rules that were voted for under President Obama.The analytics team behind the latest bot research said most... Read More
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Snapchat exhibits virtual Jeff Koons sculptures

In Business, Emerging Technology, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Snapchat is displaying virtual sculptures by the artist Jeff Koons at nine locations across the world.The artworks - which include a version of his giant bubble dog and a large multi-coloured pile of Play-Doh - are shown as augmented reality exhibits superimposed over real-world views captured by smartphone cameras.Facebook announced plans for a similar feature earlier t... Read More
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Samsung Odyssey virtual reality headset announced for Windows

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Samsung has unveiled a virtual reality rig designed for use with Windows PCs.HMD Odyssey joins previously announced VR headsets and hand controllers from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer and Asus to form the launch hardware line-up for Microsoft's new Mixed Reality platform.Unlike earlier PC-based VR kit, the new products are able to track their wearers' movements in a room without requiring additional external sensors.But experts have questioned whether the market will support so many brands.Until now, HTC's Vive and Facebook's Oculus Rift have had most of the market in high-end PC-based VR he... Read More
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National Theatre specs create floating subtitles

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The National Theatre in London is testing mixed-reality glasses that can make subtitles float on the stage, to help those with a hearing impairment.The BBC's Chris Foxx tried out the glasses and asked the National Theatre's Jonathan Suffolk whether they were better than existing options.... Read More
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Instagram urged to act on sloth selfies

In Business by BBCLeave a Comment

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The trend for tourists taking selfies with local creatures is fuelling a rise in animals being snatched from the wild by irresponsible tour operators, according to animal charity World Animal Protection.The charity found a 292% increase in the number of wildlife selfies posted on Instagram since 2014.It is asking the site to take action to "protect animals on their platform".Instagram said it was working with experts to address the issue."We prohibit the use of Instagram to facilitate or organise criminal activity that causes physical harm to animals," the company said."We remo... Read More
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Fresh twist in Facebook data transfer row

In Business, Finance, Government, Legal, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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The Irish High Court has referred a case about the way Facebook transfers user data across the Atlantic to the US to the EU's highest court.The outcome, which could take months to be resolved, could affect thousands of companies who use similar systems.It is the latest twist in a long-running legal dispute between Austrian law student Max Schrems and the social-media giant.One expert said that there was "much at stake" in the case.This particular part of what has become the fiendishly complex case of Facebook v Schrems hinges on so-called standard contract clauses (SCCs) and how the s... Read More
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Companies face 50m euro fines in Germany for hate speech

In Business, Legal by BBCLeave a Comment

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A law has come into effect in Germany requiring social media companies to remove "obviously illegal" posts or pay fines of up to 50m euro (£44.3m). Companies with more than two million German users will have 24 hours to remove posts containing hate speech or other criminal material.The law is among the toughest of its kind in the world. Critics have said the law's tight time limits are unrealistic and may lead to accidental censorship. Theresa May told the United Nations General As... Read More
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Microsoft axes Groove Music service

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Microsoft is to close its last remaining music streaming and download service, Groove Music.From 31 December, customers will no longer be able to buy music downloads, and streaming subscriptions will end.People will be prompted to move their music collection to Spotify, while eligible Groove Music Pass subscribers will be offered a 60-day free trial of Spotify's premium tier.Microsoft thanked customers for their "support on this journey".The company has struggled to create a music service to match the popularity of rivals such as Spotify, Google Play Music and Apple's iTunes.Groove ... Read More
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Equifax raises the impact of US data breach

In Business, Government, Legal, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Equifax has revealed 2.5 million more Americans than previously thought may have had information compromised in a huge cyber security breach at the firm. The credit report giant said on Monday about 145.5 million of its US customers might have been affected, up from a previous estimate of 143 million. The update came a day before former boss Richard Smith testifies in Congress about the attack.Mr Smith apologised ahead of the hearing for the firm's failin... Read More
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Tesla: World’s biggest battery half-built

In Emerging Technology, Government, Start Up by BBCLeave a Comment

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Tesla has reached the half-way point in its plan to build the world's biggest battery, in South Australia.The plan to build the 100MW (129MWh) lithium battery grew out of a Twitter bet between Tesla boss Elon Musk and Australian software entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes.Mr Musk said Tesla would build the wind-charged battery in 100 days or the state would not have to pay for it. It is designed to help prevent power cuts that regularly hit the region. Critics have said the area's reliance on renewable energy sources has left it vulnerable. The Twitter conversation kicked off a f... Read More
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Social media warned to crack down on hate speech

In Government by BBCLeave a Comment

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The EU is urging social networks to be more proactive in both preventing and swiftly removing hate speech.It has produced a list of guidelines that include the increased use of automation to stop removed content being reposted, and removing flagged content more quickly.Tech firms will be monitored by the EU in the coming months, the commission said.One MEP said automation should not determine the suitability of content.The commission, which said it might also consider further regulation, also urges social platforms to work more closely with authorities and to invest more in automated tools... Read More
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Twitter’s Russia briefings ‘inadequate’ – US senators

In Business, Government, Legal by BBCLeave a Comment

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Media playback is unsupported on your device The US Senate Intelligence Committee has criticised Twitter for offering an "inadequate" appearance in briefings on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Democratic Senator Mark Warner said the briefings were "deeply disappointing".The social network earlier said it had shut down about 200 accounts linked to a Russian misinformation campaign.It follows a review by Facebook which found Russian-funded adverts helping to spread false misinformation online.Twitter said it found a match for 22 of roug... Read More
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Net ‘not ready’ for vital security update

In Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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A plan to update the security around some of the net's core address books has been delayed.Net administrative body Icann put its plans on hold after it emerged that some ISPs and large firms were not ready to make the change.It feared that tens of millions would lose net access if the change went ahead as planned on 11 October.Icann said it was working with ISPs to update software and ensure everyone is ready to switch next year."It would be irresponsible to proceed wit... Read More
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Social media terms ‘jargon-busted’ for teens

In Business, Government, Legal, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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A set of jargon-busting guides that teach children about their rights on social media sites has been published.Children's Commissioner Anne Longfield said Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and YouTube had "not done enough" to clarify their policies.She simplified the websites' terms and conditions with privacy law firm Schillings.But Instagram said the simplified version of its terms contained "a number of inaccuracies". The slimmed-down guides are a response to the Commissioner's ... Read More
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Drone detects heartbeat and breathing rates

In Education, Emerging Technology, Government, Healthcare, Science & Nature by BBCLeave a Comment

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Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed drones that can remotely measure heart and breathing rates.Image-processing systems combined with specially created algorithms allow the drones to detect vital signs in several people at once, while they are moving.The drones could be deployed in nursing homes, on hospital wards and in war zones.One expert said it could be "game-changing".The system detects movements in human faces and necks in order to accurately source heart and breathing rates. In trials, the drones took measurements from a distance of three metres but... Read More
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HSBC Beta app will ‘nudge’ over-spenders

In Business, Education, Gaming by BBCLeave a Comment

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HSBC UK is testing a new smartphone app that will help people track what they spend money on, and will "nudge" them if they exceed their spending limits.Customers will also be able to add accounts from 21 rivals including Lloyds and NatWest, to keep track of all their balances in one app.The app will be trialled with 10,000 customers before launching in 2018.Similar money-tracking features have proved popular for smaller start-up banks such as Monzo and Yolt.Those apps let people break down their spending into easily visible categories such as groceries, entertainment, coffee and utility b... Read More
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Amazon revamps Echo smart speaker family

In Business, Government, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Amazon has announced new versions of its Echo smart speakers that promise improved sound and voice recognition.The basic model also allows its shell to be changed to give it different looks - a feature already offered by Google's rival Home device.A larger Echo Plus adds a "home hub", letting it control smart light bulbs and other third-party products without a separate data-linking device.And the Echo Spot has a screen, making video calls and camera feeds possible.Amazon has never released sales figures for the earlier Echo line-up.But researchers suggest it and its smaller si... Read More
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Uber’s London woes boost rival taxi apps

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The decision not to renew Uber's licence to operate in London has given rival apps a boost, research suggests.In the 48 hours following the decision, Addison Lee, Gett and MyTaxi all saw a spike in downloads, according to analytics company App Annie.All saw thousands more downloads than usual, despite Uber continuing to operate in London as usual while it appeals the licence decision.The rival apps remain dwarfed by Uber, which was still downloaded the most.Figures from App Annie suggested that, when added together, downloads of the three apps were up at least 159% compared with the s... Read More
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IPhone X to use ‘black box’ anti-spoof Face ID tech

In Business, Education, Mobile Technology, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Even Apple will not be able to explain how its forthcoming iPhone X can spot some efforts to fool its facial recognition system.The firm has released a guide to the Face ID system, which explains that it relies on two types of neural networks - one of which has been specifically trained to resist spoofing attempts. But a consequence of the design is that it behaves like a "black box".Its behaviour can be observed but the underlying processes remain opaque.So,... Read More
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Tweeters get cheeky after Twitter ups character limit

In Business, Government by BBCLeave a Comment

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Twitter has announced it is trialling a new 280-character limit to allow users to "easily express themselves" - but the site's users have been predictably snarky. The fun started when Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey took to the social media platform on Tuesday to announce the change. ... Read More
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Twitter trials 280-character tweet limit

In Business, Government by BBCLeave a Comment

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Social media site Twitter is trialling longer character limits to help users "easily express themselves".Twitter currently limits tweets to 140 characters, but has doubled that to 280 characters for a small group of users.The current character limit was "a major cause of frustration" for some users, the firm said in a blog post.The firm has been suffering from slowing growth and the shift could be one way for the firm to wid... Read More
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Bill Gates switches to Android phone

In Business, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has revealed he uses an Android-powered smartphone, rather than a Windows one."Recently, I actually did switch to an Android phone," he said, speaking on Fox News Sunday.Microsoft's own Windows-powered phones have failed to make a significant impact on the smartphone market, which is dominated by devices running Google's Android operating system.However, Mr Gates said he had installed lots of Microsoft apps on his phone.When asked whether he also had an iPhone, perhaps as a secondary device, he replied: "No, no iPhone."He did not reveal which particul... Read More
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Search on for personal flying machine

In Emerging Technology, Government, Science & Nature by BBCLeave a Comment

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The search is on for a mass market personal flying machine, with a $2m (£1.4m) competition to "make the dream of personal flight [a] reality".Sponsored by Boeing and run by start-up GoFly, the competition will encourage teams from around the world to come up with designs.Entries must be capable of carrying a person 20 miles without refuelling or recharging, with a vertical or near vertical take-off and landing.A "fly-off" will take place in 2019.GoFly founder Gwen Lighter told the BBC: "I was one of those kids who was always making crazy contraptions and throwing themselves out of trees."I, like millions of people... Read More
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Dyson to make electric cars from 2020

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Science & Nature by BBCLeave a Comment

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Dyson, the engineering company best known for its vacuum cleaners and fans, plans to spend £2bn developing a "radical" electric car.The battery-powered vehicle is due to be launched in 2020.Dyson says 400 staff have been working on the secret project for the past two years at its headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.However, the car does not yet exist, with no prototype built, and a factory site is yet to be chosen.Sir James declined to give further details of the project. "Competition for new technology in the automotive industry is fierce and we must do everything we can to keep t... Read More
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Dubai tests drone taxi service

In Education, Emerging Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Dubai has conducted its first test of a drone taxi service that it hopes will become a viable transportation system in the city.The two-seater, 18-rotor unmanned vehicle took off for a five-minute flight above a strip of sand on the Gulf coast.The flight was watched by Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.Dubai has big ambitions for becoming a smart city, with drones and robots central to its plans.The drone was designed by German firm Volocopter and the firm said it hopes to have the taxis up and running within five years."Implementation would see you using your smartphone,... Read More
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Trump’s North Korea tweet ‘newsworthy’

In Business, Government by BBCLeave a Comment

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Twitter has been forced to clarify why it does not believe a tweet from President Donald Trump violated its terms and conditions.In the tweet in question, President Trump appeared to directly threaten North Korea with destruction.Many argued that the statement was in breach of Twitter's terms, which forbid violent threats, and should be removed.Twitter said the tweet remained online because it was "newsworthy".The tweet at the centre of the row read:In a series of tweets aimed to deflect the ensuing row among users, Twitter sought to clarify its rules: "Some of you have been as... Read More
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Gatorade settles over ‘misleading’ Usain Bolt water game

In Business, Gaming, Healthcare, Legal by BBCLeave a Comment

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Sports drink Gatorade has agreed to pay $300,000 (£220,000) to the state of California over an app called Bolt! which featured a character based on Olympic medallist Usain Bolt.In the game Bolt had to drink Gatorade to enhance his performance while water slowed him down.Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the game made "misleading statements" about water.The app was released in 2012 and is no longer available to download.It was only available on Apple's operating system and was downloaded 2.3 million times from 2012 to 2013. It was briefly made available again in 2017.Playe... Read More
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Poor coding limits IS hackers’ cyber-capabilities, says researcher

In Emerging Technology, Events, Government, Legal, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Hackers working for the so-called Islamic State are bad at coding and hiding what they do, suggests research.They produce buggy malware and easily crackable encryption programs, said senior security researcher Kyle Wilhoit at security conference DerbyCon.In particular, he called three attack tools created by one large IS hacker collective "garbage".Their poor skills meant IS groups had switched to online services and the dark web for attack code, he said.Little harmWhile IS was very proficient at using social media as a recruitment and propaganda... Read More
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Middlesbrough trader admits selling ‘fully loaded’ Kodi boxes

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A Middlesbrough shop owner has admitted selling modified TV boxes that allow access to subscription content such as Premier League football and films.Brian Thompson, 55, had originally denied any offences and set up the prospect of a landmark court case relating to the sale of Kodi boxes.However, at Teesside Crown Court he changed his plea to admit two charges related to their sale and advertising.Kodi developers have said boxes should not be used to access blocked content. Judge Peter Armstrong told Thompson, of Barnaby Avenue in Middlesbrough, that "all sentencing options" were open... Read More
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Uber: London Mayor Sadiq Khan backs talks after firm’s apology

In Business, Government, Legal, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan has asked the city's transport regulator to meet Uber's boss after the firm apologised for the "mistakes" it has made.Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi issued the apology after the taxi-hailing firm lost its London licence.Mr Khosrowshahi said in an open letter that Uber would appeal against the city's decision, but accepted the company "must change".On Friday, Transport for London (TfL) denied Uber a new licence to operate.Uber has sa... Read More
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Deloitte hit by data breach

In Business, Education, Finance, Government, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Corporate finance giant Deloitte suffered a cyber-attack that compromised confidential data, including the private emails of some of its clients, the company has confirmed.Its system had been accessed via an email platform and "very few" clients had been affected, Deloitte said.The Guardian reported the attack had been discovered in March but could have happened months earlier. Deloitte said it had contacted those whose data h... Read More

Jared Kushner used private email for White House business

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Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner used a private email account to carry out official White House business, his lawyer said.Mr Kushner is a senior presidential adviser and is married to Ivanka Trump.His lawyer confirmed the existence of the personal email account in a statement on Sunday.During his campaign, Mr Trump repeatedly criticised rival Hillary Clinton for using a personal email account while secretary of state.The president frequently encouraged crowds at rallies to chant "lock her up", and vowed to imprison Mrs Clinton over concerns she may have mishandled classified informa... Read More

Uber using ‘aggressive’ tactics says Mayor

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan says Uber has bought "unfair pressure" on Transport for London (TfL), with an "army" of PR experts and lawyers.The Mayor says Uber has made "aggressive" threats about taking TfL to court.On Friday, TfL denied it a new licence to operate in London, citing concerns over public safety and security.However, Uber says it has followed TfL rules and works closely with the Metropolitan Police.Uber said in a series of tweets on Sunday that it would challenge the TfL decision "in the courts to defend the livelihoods of drivers and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners ... Read More
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The long wait for a Persian iPhone keyboard

In Business, Government, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Android devices as well as Apple computers have Persian keyboards, but until this week the option wasn't available on Apple phones or iPads. For years Persian speakers used the Arabic keyboard on the iPhone, which was not really ideal for writing quickly or accurately in Persian. There were lots of petitions to Apple, pressing them to add a Persian keyboard to mobile phones. That finally paid off with the latest release.Arabic and Persian keyboards are very similar. But there are two major issues - the four extra letters in Persian - and the "half space" feature needed for a well-edited Pers... Read More
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Uber London loses licence to operate

In Business, Government, Legal, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Media playback is unsupported on your device Uber will not be issued a new private hire licence, Transport for London (TfL) has said. TfL concluded the ride-hailing app firm was not fit and proper to hold a London private hire operator licence.It said it took the decision on the grounds of "public safety and security implications".Confirming it would appeal against the decision, Uber said it showed the world "far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies".TfL's concerns include Uber's approach to carrying out background checks on drivers and ... Read More
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Gym app Pact pays $1m over broken promises

In Government, Healthcare by BBCLeave a Comment

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Fitness app Pact, which promised members financial rewards for meeting their health goals, has settled accusations that it broke its promises.The app let people set exercise and dietary goals, and charged them a penalty between $5 (£3.70) and $50 if they failed to meet their target. It pledged to share some of the "fines" with members who did reach their goals.But the US Federal Trade Commission said Pact had now started to return money wrongly taken from subscribers. Pact - originally known as GymPact - was launched in 2012 to help people meet fitness goals.Pledges were verified b... Read More
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Hijacked software used to target tech giants

In Business, Government, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Hackers who booby-trapped widely used security software also used their malware to infiltrate machines at tech firms, suggests analysis.Evidence that other companies had been compromised came to light as Cisco researchers probed how attackers got at the popular CCleaner programme.Millions of people downloaded a Windows version that hackers had laced with malicious code.Cisco said the attackers were seeking valuable intellectual property.... Read More
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Gamers give their verdicts after being among the first in the UK to try the Xbox One X

In Events, Gaming, Government, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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The Xbox One X is nearly here - and fans in the UK have just been able to play it for the first time.People at the EGX games expo in Birmingham have been playing demos of new games for the follow-up to the Xbox One.Microsoft promise a more powerful processor which will be able to run games in 4K ultra-HD.Here's what gamers thought - after being some of the first in the UK to try the console.Ashley and Omick"Wow. It's mind-blowing," says Ashley, who was playing Assassin's Creed."The game really does pop out at you, whereas before you didn't get that depth of field that you get now."Omick adds: "It's definitely leaps and bounds ahead of what's cur... Read More
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Fake website fools Equifax staff

In Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Credit rating firm Equifax has apologised after it mistakenly directed some customers to an imposter website via its Twitter page.The firm recently disclosed a data breach affecting more than 143 million people, and set up a new website to share information with customers.But it mistakenly tweeted the wrong web address several times, leading some customers to a fake website.One security researcher told the BBC it was a "massive faux-pas". Following its data breach, Equifax set up a new website - equifa... Read More
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‘Payment by vein’ trialled in supermarket

In Education, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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A supermarket in London is trialling a biometric payment system that uses the unique vein pattern in fingertips to pay for goods.Costcutter said it would consider rolling Fingopay out more widely if the test, at Brunel University, was successful.An electronic reader maps the user's finger veins, generating a unique key.But one expert questioned whether biometric systems had any benefit over traditional methods of payment.During registration, users need to link their finger pattern to their credit or debit card and then they can pay for goods without the need to be carrying any cash or... Read More
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Deliveroo accounts reveal huge losses

In Business, Government, Legal by BBCLeave a Comment

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Losses have risen sharply at the gig economy food delivery firm, Deliveroo, according to its latest accounts.The company, incorporated under the name Roofoods, made a worldwide loss of £129m in 2016, up from £30m in 2015.Deliveroo made sales of £128.56m, up from £18.1m, but the cost of getting the goods to customers was £127.47m, leaving it a wafer-thin profit margin.On top of that the company has been funding an international expansion plan.Deliveroo is now in 12 countries, including Germany and Singapore. It connects thousands of bike couriers to customers wanting food from r... Read More
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WhatsApp and YouTube terror video man jailed

In Government, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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A man who filmed a drive-by video calling British soldiers "baby butchers of the Muslims" has been jailed for posting terrorist propaganda online.Taha Hussain, from Slough, Berkshire, also made a film in Windsor, saying a statue of the Queen "will be toppled" like the one of Saddam Hussain in Iraq.The 21-year-old was convicted of seven counts of disseminating terrorist publications on YouTube and WhatsApp.He was jailed for four and a half-years at the Old Bailey in London.Hussain, of Langtree Avenue, attended "road shows" and encouraged others to "prepare or commit acts of terror" in ... Read More
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Google signs $1.1bn HTC smartphone deal

In Business, Government, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Alphabet's Google has struck a $1.1bn (£822m) deal with Taiwan's HTC to expand its smartphone business. Google will not take a stake in the firm, but some HTC staff will join the Silicon Valley giant. The Taiwanese company was once a major player in the smartphone market but has struggled to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung.Google expects the deal to close by early 2018, provided it gets the all clear from regulators. Shares in HTC were suspended in Taiwan on Thursday. ... Read More
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YouTube to end paid channels service

In Business, Government by BBCLeave a Comment

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YouTube has announced the end of paid channels, which were launched in 2013 as one of the site's first attempts at charging for content.The facility let people pay a monthly fee to access individual YouTube channels from providers such as National Geographic and Sesame Street.However, the service was not popular with viewers and will end in December."It never achieved popularity with creators or users," Google admitted in a blog post.In De... Read More
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Manchester police still relies on Windows XP

In Education, Events, Government, Healthcare, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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England's second biggest police force has revealed that more than one in five of its computers were still running Windows XP as of July.Greater Manchester Police told the BBC that 1,518 of its PCs ran the ageing operating system, representing 20.3% of all the office computers it used.Microsoft ended nearly all support for the operating system in 2014. Experts say its use could pose a hacking risk.The figure was disclosed as part of a wider Freedom of Informa... Read More
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What can tech firms do to fight terror?

In Business, Government, Science & Nature, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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The prime minister wants technology companies to do more to tackle extremist content on the web. They say it's not as straightforward as it might sound.As so-called Islamic State faces defeat in the battlefield of the Middle East, British security officials know the online battle will increasingly take centre-stage. IS has shown its ability to reach out to people online and radicalise, recruit and even instruct them on how to carry out acts of violence. A report from the think tank Policy Exchange said the UK wa... Read More
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Facebook trial lets users hide alcohol adverts

In Business, Government, Healthcare, Science & Nature by BBCLeave a Comment

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Facebook is testing a tool that lets people hide advertisements for alcohol.It is the first time a social network has let people proactively block adverts on a specific topic. The move has been welcomed by Alcohol Research UK, which says social media is "saturated" with alcohol promotions.It said advertising rules were not "fit for purpose", but the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the UK had some of the strictest rules in the world. Media playback is unsupported on your device ... Read More
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Electric bus in record-breaking journey

In Emerging Technology, Healthcare by BBCLeave a Comment

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An electric bus has broken a world record by travelling more than 1,000 miles on a single charge.The 40ft Catalyst E2 Max bus - designed by Californian company Proterra - went 1,102.2 miles on a testing ground in New Carlisle, Indiana.Cities around the world are looking to use more electric vehicles for public transport, to combat air pollution.Some experts believe the bus's long journey could be a breakthrough moment for electric vehicles.The previous record of 1,013.76 miles was set by a light-duty passenger electric vehicle 46 times lighter than the bus.... Read More
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Why might Google want to buy part of HTC?

In Business, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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A Google takeover of at least part of HTC's business has been rumoured for some time.Now that the Taiwanese firm has announced its shares are being suspended, speculation is rampant that an agreement has been struck.HTC made the first ever Android handset - the Dream - and is rumoured to be the manufacturer of one of the US firm's Pixel 2 models, which is set to be announced next month.But Google has already struggled to integrate one phone-maker, Motorola Mobility, and it's not clear why it would want to repeat the experience.... Read More
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Instagram Live video ‘led to murder suspect’s arrest’

In Business, Government, Legal by BBCLeave a Comment

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US police say an Instagram Live video helped lead to the arrest of a "most wanted" fugitive earlier this week.Christopher Ricardo Gonzalez allegedly streamed footage of himself alongside several guns on the Facebook-owned app.Dallas police detectives say the feed identified the man's location and they passed these details on to the Los Angeles Police Department.The LAPD says ... Read More
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NotPetya cyber-attack cost TNT at least $300m

In Business, Events, Mobile Technology, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Delivery company FedEx says a recent cyber-attack cost its TNT division about $300m (£221m).The company was one of several to have its computer systems severely disrupted by the NotPetya ransomware outbreak in June.Company executives also acknowledged TNT had yet to fully restore all its IT operations and was expected to do so only at the end of the month.And they said deliveries and sales continued to suffer as a result.Other ... Read More
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Google launches UK ‘anti-terror fund’

In Business, Government by BBCLeave a Comment

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Google has announced it will give a total of £1m ($1.3m) to fund projects that help counter extremism in the UK.The UK fund was part of a $5m global commitment, the search giant said.Prime Minister Theresa May wants technology companies to be more proactive in shutting down spaces where extremist ideology is shared.In a speech at the United Nations general assembly, she will challenge tech firms to take down terrorist material in two hours.She is expected to urge Google, Facebook and Twitter to go "further and faster" in developing artificial intelligence tools that can spot terror p... Read More
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Smartphone sales boom with over-55s

In Business, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Smartphone sales are booming with older consumers in the UK, according to a study of the market.It indicates that 71% of 55-to-75 year olds now own an app-capable handset.The research also suggests that the age group has seen a faster adoption rate than any other over the past five years.But it also highlighted that members of the demographic tended to use their smartphones less than younger people.For instance, about 20% said they checked their phones within 15 minutes of waking compared with a national average of 56%.And about 50% had Facebook installed compared to a 70% figu... Read More
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Theresa May warns tech firms over terror content

In Business, Government, Legal, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Technology companies must go "further and faster" in removing extremist content, Theresa May has told the United Nations general assembly.The prime minister will also host a meeting with other world leaders and Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter.She will challenge social networks and search engines to find fixes to take down terrorist material in two hours.Tech giant Google said firms were doing their part but could not do it alone - governments and users needed to help. The prime minister has repeatedly called for an end to the "safe spaces" she says terrorists enjoy online.Ministers ... Read More
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Apple’s iOS 11 kills old 32-bit iPhone and iPad apps

In Business, Education, Government, Mobile Technology by BBCLeave a Comment

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Owners of iPhones and iPads who install the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system will find that some older apps will stop working.The move will generally affect apps that have not been updated in the past two years. Although many will have been abandoned by their developers, owners will still use some of them frequently.It is a consequence of iOS 11 being restricted to running apps written in what is known as 64-bit code.The number signifies how much data a processor can handle at once - the larger the figure, the faster a computer can potentially operate.Dropping ... Read More
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Is Amazon recommending bomb ingredients?

In Business, Government, Legal, Security by BBCLeave a Comment

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Amazon is to "review" how products are presented on its website, following revelations about bomb-making ingredients for sale.A Channel 4 investigation found the retailer's algorithms grouped together household ingredients that when combined could make a lethal bomb.Less than a week ago, a home-made explosive device was detonated on a London Underground train.Amazon said it now intended to display products "in an appropriate manner".... Read More
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Pepe the Frog creator in copyright fight

In Business, Government, Legal by BBCLeave a Comment

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The artist who created Pepe the Frog has issued several takedown notices against alt-right commentators he accuses of stealing his work.The cartoon frog has been hijacked by nationalists, says Matt Furie.The figure has been used to accompany hate speech.Lawyers for Mr Furie have contacted both individuals and sites such as Reddit and Amazon, where images featuring Pepe have been posted, on the grounds of breaking copyright law.One recipient, Mike Cernovich, described the action as "frivol... Read More
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Neo-Nazi site finds home in Iceland

In Business, Government, Legal by BBCLeave a Comment

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By BBC Trending Going in-depth on social media Neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer has reappeared on the publicly available internet after registering a domain in Iceland. The site was shut down at the end of August after it elicited widespread condemnation for a viral blog post mocking the death of a protestor at ... Read More
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Internet ‘having midlife crisis’, says Baroness Lane-Fox

In Business, Government, Security, Start Up by BBCLeave a Comment

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The rise of cyber-bullying and monopolistic business practices has damaged trust in the internet, pioneering entrepreneur Baroness Lane-Fox has told the BBC. The Lastminute.com founder also called for a "shared set of principles" to make the web happier and safer.She said the internet had done much good over the last 30 years.But she said too many people had missed out on the benefits and it was time to "take a step back". "The web has become embedded in our lives over the last three decades but I think it's reached an inflexion point, or a sort of midlife crisis," she told Radio 4's Today... Read More
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China orders Bitcoin exchanges in capital city to close

In Business, Government by BBCLeave a Comment

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China is moving forward with plans to shut down Bitcoin exchanges in the country, starting with trading platforms in key cities. All Bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai have been ordered to submit plans for winding down their operations by 20 September.The move follows the Chinese central bank's decision to ban initial coin offerings in early September. Top exchange BTCC said it would stop trading... Read More