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Tech News

Does Amazon have answers for the future of the NHS?
Posted on Saturday August 24, 2019

The technology behemoth is preparing a move into the healthcare market, but critics fear profit will come before patients and privacy

Enthusiasts predicted the plan would relieve the pressure on hard-pressed GPs. Critics saw it as a sign of creeping privatisation and a data-protection disaster in waiting. Reactions to news last month that Amazon’s voice-controlled digital assistant Alexa was to begin using NHS website information to answer health queries were many and varied.

US-based healthcare tech analysts say the deal is just the latest of a series of recent moves that together reveal an audacious, long-term strategy on the part of Amazon. From its entry into the lucrative prescription drugs market and development of AI tools to analyse patient records, to Alexa apps that manage diabetes and data-driven experiments on how to cut medical bills, the $900bn global giant’s determination to make the digital disruption of healthcare a central part of its future business model is becoming increasingly clear.

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PewDiePie surpasses 100m subscriber mark on YouTube
Posted on Sunday August 25, 2019

Controversial gaming vlogger, 29, is owner of second most popular channel by subscribers

The gaming vlogger Felix Kjellberg, AKA PewDiePie, has surpassed 100 million subscribers on YouTube.

Kjellberg, the owner of the channel with the second most subscribers on the video sharing site, built a legion of young fans with his “let’s play” game commentaries, but he has also attracted controversy.

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Got a grand for my cat's gap year? The unstoppable rise of 'I want' crowdfunding
Posted on Saturday August 24, 2019

Forget sponsoring Bob in accounts to run a charity marathon: these days you can ask anyone for anything

Iwan Carrington wanted AirPods but he couldn’t afford them, and for most 16-year-old boys that’s where the story would end. Since their release in December 2016, Apple’s £199 wireless Bluetooth earbuds have become a status symbol among teens: after all, only the wealthy can afford tiny, untethered headphones that are so easy to lose. As an ordinary Welsh schoolboy, Carrington wasn’t rich enough to buy them, and he was growing increasingly jealous of his friend’s pair. So in January this year, he came up with a solution.

With just a few clicks on his computer, Carrington created a page on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe, set a fundraising goal of £100 (he had saved the rest from Christmas), and titled it simply and honestly: “I am desperate for AirPods. Help a brother out.” The plea was simple and unvarnished: “I am like any other teenager except I would love some Apple AirPods. I was sat on the bus untangling my earphone wires and thought how great it would be to have AirPods. I ask for any help. Please.” The first comment underneath was similarly direct: “This is a shameless act of self-promotion. I totally support it.” Eight donors and a few days later, Carrington had raised the money he needed.

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'I hereby order': Trump mocked for highly formal, meaningless decree
Posted on Friday August 23, 2019

Trump’s demand that US companies boycott China, which he doesn’t have the power to enforce, inspired responses on Twitter

Leaning further into a burgeoning economic war with China of his own design, Donald Trump on Friday levied a series of bizarre demands of American companies who do business in the country.

They included an order for American firms to cease production in China.

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Document reveals how Facebook downplayed early Cambridge Analytica concerns
Posted on Friday August 23, 2019

Internal correspondence provides new insight into how Facebook staff reacted to concerns about use of user data by political campaign consultants

Internal Facebook correspondence from September 2015, released as part of a US government lawsuit on Friday, reveals new details about Facebook’s early knowledge of potentially improper data collection by Cambridge Analytica.

The existence of the internal discussion was first reported by the Guardian in March 2019. That report marked Facebook’s first acknowledgement that some of its employees were aware of concerns about improper data practices by Cambridge Analytica four months before the Guardian’s 11 December 2015 article exposed them.

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The machine always wins: what drives our addiction to social media
Posted on Friday August 23, 2019

Social media was supposed to liberate us, but for many people it has proved addictive, punishing and toxic. What keeps us hooked? By Richard Seymour

We are swimming in writing. Our lives have become, in the words of the author and academic Shoshana Zuboff, an “electronic text”. Social media platforms have created a machine for us to write to. The bait is that we are interacting with other people: our friends, colleagues, celebrities, politicians, royals, terrorists, porn actors – anyone we like. We are not interacting with them, however, but with the machine. We write to it, and it passes on the message for us after keeping a record of the data.

The machine benefits from the “network effect”: the more people write to it, the more benefits it can offer, until it becomes a disadvantage not to be part of it. Part of what? The world’s first ever public, live, collective, open-ended writing project. A virtual laboratory. An addiction machine, which deploys crude techniques of manipulation redolent of the Skinner Box created by behaviourist BF Skinner to control the behaviour of pigeons and rats with rewards and punishments. We are users, much as cocaine addicts are users.

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Samsung Galaxy S10 5G review: bigger, faster and lasts longer
Posted on Wednesday August 21, 2019

Company’s S-line king joins the handful of good 5G phones in the UK, but is only for big-phone lovers

The Galaxy S10 5G is the largest, most advanced and most expensive smartphone in Samsung’s current lineup, aimed not just at being “the 5G one” but also the best one.

Unlike the OnePlus 7 Pro, which comes in either 4G or 5G versions that are identical in size, weight and features, the S10 5G is its own phone. It’s bigger, heavier, thicker and has more cameras and sensors on the back and front than the S10+.

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Why emoji use could lead to more sex
Posted on Tuesday August 20, 2019

A study claims that adding emojis to communications allowed people to reach a deeper level of intimacy with one another

Name: Sexy emojis.

Appearance: Irresistible.

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Shock! Horror! Do you know how much time you spend on your phone?
Posted on Wednesday August 21, 2019

Writer Adrienne Matei spends two hours and 20 minutes a day on her phone – which might seem fine, until you realize it amounts to 35 full days a year. What’s your number?

Before beginning to write this article, I spent 20 minutes doing, if I’m honest, sort of nothing on my phone. Prior to that, I checked emails, read the news and browsed social media in bed. My phone is usually within arm’s reach, which seems to me fairly typical of everyone, old and young, who includes a phone in their essential trifecta of belongings, alongside their keys and wallet.

I spend an average of two hours and 20 minutes a day on my phone, according to my iPhone’s Screen Time function. As someone who writes about internet ephemera for a living, I feel justified in my habit of filter-feeding through social media like a megamouth shark. Yet it’s somewhat more difficult to be nonchalant when I realize my daily habits amount to me spending 35 days a year, or over five (five!) years of my remaining life, on my phone.

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The rise of digital fitness: can the new wave of high-intensity home workouts replace the gym?
Posted on Monday August 19, 2019

You can now have personal trainers in your headphones, or set up a mirror that beams classes into your home. The options are limitless. But can they ever beat the camaraderie of working out with other people?

Chessie King whoops, flipping her ponytail out of her face. Her partner, Mathew Lewis-Carter, grunts with the exertion, sweat pouring from his brow. Five cameras pick up every move, as they lunge and thrust in front of a pulsating LED screen at the east London studio where they are filming a high-intensity workout class for at-home fitness pioneers FIIT.

The footage will be broadcast via the FIIT app as a live class. Users will be able to join from the comfort of their own homes. If they choose to wear the heart-rate monitor provided, they can compete with other users on a live leaderboard. There are also classes available on demand, for the less competitive.

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Best smartphone 2019: iPhone, OnePlus, Samsung and Huawei compared and ranked
Posted on Tuesday July 23, 2019

Our updated list of the top iOS and Android mobile phones – at the best prices right now

Need a new smartphone but don’t know which one is the very best? Here’s a guide comparing the current top-end smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus and others to help you pick the best handset for you.

There has never been a better time to buy a new flagship smartphone with many quality handsets available at a wider range of prices than ever before. Whether your priority is two-day battery life, fantastic camera performance or a spectacular screen, there’s plenty to choose from.

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Honor 20 Pro review: it’s all about the camera
Posted on Friday August 16, 2019

The best camera in the mid-range market, backed by good performance and long battery life

The Honor 20 Pro is the new flagship phone for Huawei’s cheaper offshoot, offering some of what made the Chinese firm the camera master but at £550 it is a little overpriced.

The Honor 20 Pro is essentially the same phone as the £400 Honor 20 with a better camera on the back, a slightly larger battery and more storage. It was meant to be released alongside its cheaper sibling, but Donald Trump’s Huawei blockade caused it to be delayed.

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OnePlus 7 review: competition-beating performance for less
Posted on Wednesday July 17, 2019

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

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

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

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Honor 20 review: Huawei's first new phone during Trump dispute
Posted on Wednesday July 10, 2019

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

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

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

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Samsung Galaxy S10e review: the cheaper one
Posted on Tuesday June 18, 2019

Smallest, cheapest Samsung flagship has most of what makes the S10 line good, but with a flat screen and one camera fewer

The Galaxy S10e is Samsung’s attempt to offer a flagship smartphone experience in a smaller body and at a lower cost, which mostly works.

The formula is simple: take the same processor, reduce the memory a little and squeeze it into a smaller, less complicated body.

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Beats PowerBeats Pro review: Apple's fitness AirPods rock
Posted on Monday August 19, 2019

Bluetooth earbuds have long battery life, rock-solid connectivity and stay firmly planted on your ear

The PowerBeats Pro are Apple-owned Beats’ first true wireless Bluetooth earbuds that cut the cable and seek to be the ultimate running and gym earphones.

As with Apple’s original AirPods, which looked like a set of the firm’s standard EarPods with the cables cut off, the £220 PowerBeats Pro are basically the firm’s popular PowerBeats 3 neckband Bluetooth earbuds without the cables joining the pair.

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Sony WF-1000XM3 review: updated noise-cancelling earbuds sound great
Posted on Wednesday August 14, 2019

True wireless buds are Sony’s best yet, but where is the volume control?

Sony’s latest true wireless WF-1000XM3 earbuds offer both noise cancelling and top-end sound quality while undercutting premium rivals on price.

The replacement for the WF-1000X, which were some of the first noise cancelling true wireless earbuds available, the new “M3” portion of the model number denotes the company’s third generation of active noise cancelling technology and the QN1e chip, which is rivalled only by Bose.

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Ikea Symfonisk speaker review: Sonos on the cheap
Posted on Monday August 12, 2019

At £99, Ikea’s wifi speaker provides a cheaper way to experience Sonos and sounds good too

There’s a new, cheaper way to buy a Sonos wifi speaker and it’s from Ikea.

The Symfonisk bookshelf speaker is the second of two new products born of a partnership between the Swedish furniture manufacturer Ikea and the American premium multiroom audio specialists Sonos.

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Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019 review: the most paper-like reader yet
Posted on Thursday August 08, 2019

Luxury model has colour-changing frontlight that gets warmer as the sun sets

Amazon’s most expensive, luxury e-reader, the Kindle Oasis, has taken a leaf out of the modern smartphone’s book for 2019 with a colour adjustable light that gets warmer as the sun sets.

It’s a small thing that makes quite a difference to the reading experience, which is just as well as the rest of the £230 Oasis is basically the same as it was two years ago.

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'He feels like any other nine-year-old': how technology helped open up the world to my son
Posted on Wednesday July 03, 2019

Nikki Hunter-Pike explains how accessibility technology has opened up the online world to her son, who has cerebral palsy

It’s Saturday morning at Nikki Hunter-Pike’s home. While she prepares breakfast, and her husband Daniel plays with their daughters Brooke and Harper, her son Chase is engrossed in sending an email to his beloved stepgrandfather, “Pops”, his face a study in intense concentration.

Nine-year-old Chase, who has the neurological condition cerebral palsy, cannot walk, talk, feed himself or pick up a pen. Yet, thanks to technology that’s widely available, he can communicate, learn and explore the online world from his family’s home in Northfleet, Kent.

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Instagram influencers: Have we stopped believing?
Posted on Saturday August 24, 2019

Instagrammer Tiffany Mitchell has been forced to deny faking a road crash for likes.

Airport security: 3D baggage scanners could end liquid restrictions
Posted on Sunday August 25, 2019

Airports must introduce 3D baggage screening before the end of 2022, the government announces.

Tesla and Walmart address solar panel fire issues
Posted on Friday August 23, 2019

The supermarket chain had issued a lawsuit against Tesla over a series of solar panel fires.

Android ditches desserts as Q becomes 10
Posted on Thursday August 22, 2019

The next version of the Android operating system (OS) will not be named after a dessert.

Apple Card can be damaged by wallets and jeans
Posted on Thursday August 22, 2019

Apple advises owners of its new credit card to keep it away from leather and denim.

Nintendo Switch: Exchange deal is fake news
Posted on Wednesday August 21, 2019

Rumours online that gamers could swap their Switch for an updated version turns out to be untrue

Bionic seagull takes flight in Beijing
Posted on Thursday August 22, 2019

A robot bird is one of the innovations on show at the World Robot Conference in Beijing.

Spotify sued over 'billions of Eminem streams'
Posted on Thursday August 22, 2019

Eight Mile Style is seeking £30m from the music streaming service.

Fake news is 'reinforced by false memories'
Posted on Thursday August 22, 2019

Research during Ireland's abortion referendum highlights risks for social networks.

Facial recognition technology aims to cut passport queue times
Posted on Thursday August 22, 2019

The UK Home Office is considering a system which would let you walk through immigration without showing your passport.


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