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Tech News

Tesla whistleblower claims company is 'doing everything it can to silence me'
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

The electric carmaker is suing a former technician for alleged hacking, but he says he’s being scapegoated for leaking concerns

On Wednesday morning, Martin Tripp was an out-of-work Tesla technician trying to figure out what to do next.

By the end of the day, he had been sued by his former employer for alleged hacking and theft, engaged in a hostile email exchange with Elon Musk, come out as a whistleblower, and was being patted down by sheriff’s deputies over allegations that he was threatening to go to his former workplace and “shoot the place up”.

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What is Google doing with AI? Chips with Everything podcast
Posted on Friday June 22, 2018

Jordan Erica Webber chats to a panel of artificial intelligence experts about what Sundar Pichai’s seven objectives could mean in practice

Subscribe and review: Acast, Apple, Spotify, SoundCloud, AudioBoom, Mixcloud. Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter or email us at

In April 2017, the US Department of Defense launched an Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team, otherwise known as Project Maven. The project uses Google’s artificial intelligence to analyse drone footage.

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Driver was streaming The Voice when Uber self-driving car crashed, say police
Posted on Friday June 22, 2018

Rafaela Vasquez looked up half a second before Arizona crash that killed woman, report says

The “safety” driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber that hit and killed a pedestrian was streaming the television show The Voice on her phone at the time of the crash, police have said.

The collision that killed Elaine Herzberg, 49, who was crossing the road at night in Tempe, Arizona, was “entirely avoidable”, a police report said, if Rafaela Vasquez had been paying attention.

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The truth about gaming disorder, from Fortnite to World of Warcraft
Posted on Friday June 22, 2018

As the number of young gamers has risen sharply, so have addiction narratives

Gaming disorder may be a newly recognised condition, but disordered gaming is anything but new. In 2010, a Korean couple was arrested for fatal child neglect spurred by an obsession with Prius Online. Five years earlier, another Korean man collapsed and died after a 50-hour session playing StarCraft in an internet cafe.

In the west, World of Warcraft, released in 2004, was one of the first games to trigger addiction narratives in the mainstream press, with the game blamed for causing college students to drop out of university and others losing careers and families.

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'He was terrified of people': when gaming becomes an addiction
Posted on Friday June 22, 2018

Huge popularity of online games sparks fears over young people’s mental health

Kendal Parmar’s son went from being a sporty and sociable boy who loved school, to a child who would stay in his room and rarely go outside.

The change in his personality was down to a gaming disorder that crept up on him at the age of 12, when he started secondary school. Three years later, Joseph is still struggling with the problem.

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The engineering sector needs more women | Letters
Posted on Friday June 22, 2018

Young women should be inspired to work on some of the world’s most exciting innovations, says Yasmin Ali

On Saturday (International Women in Engineering Day) we celebrate the many achievements of female engineers globally. This is a welcome time to reflect, yet here in the UK, just 11% of engineers are women. Engineering is behind many of the things we take for granted, such as roads, bridges, railways, electricity generation and clean water, but it is also behind AI, robotics, smartphones and wearable technology – some of the most exciting recent technological developments. To get more women into engineering, we must communicate its many applications more clearly to young women. Through doing so we can inspire many more to join a profession that can see them working on some of the world’s most exciting innovations. Once there, we must do all we can to challenge and inspire female engineers.

The Create the Future report, a 10,000-person global study by the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, found 92% of respondents felt engineering had an impact on people’s daily lives. Yet only through a better-balanced sector will we be able to build a world fit for the future.
Yasmin Ali
Ambassador, Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

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Tesla downsizing residential solar business bought for $2.6bn
Posted on Friday June 22, 2018

Company to close facilities and end Home Depot partnership after buying company founded by Elon Musk’s cousins

The electric car maker Tesla is sharply downsizing the residential solar business it bought two years ago in a controversial $2.6bn deal, according to three internal company documents and seven current and former Tesla solar employees.

The latest cuts to the division that was once SolarCity – a sales and installation company founded by two cousins of Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk – include closing about a dozen installation facilities, according to internal company documents, and ending a retail partnership with Home Depot that the current and former employees said generated about half of its sales.

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Intel CEO Brian Krzanich quits over relationship with employee
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

Tech firm says relationship was in violation of the company’s non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers

Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich is resigning after the company learned of a consensual relationship that he had with an employee.

The company, one of the world’s largest makers of semiconductor chips, said that the relationship was in violation of the company’s non-fraternization policy.

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Smartphone use in NSW schools could be restricted after review
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

Victoria says it will stick with decisions being made by individual schools

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The New South Wales government has announced a comprehensive review of smartphone use in schools, but the Victorian government says it is unlikely to follow suit.

On Thursday the NSW education minister, Rob Stokes, said the review – to be headed by a child psychologist, Michael Carr-Gregg – would examine the prevalence and effect of technology in classrooms, and would consult parents, teachers and education groups.

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Instagram launches long-form videos in bid to lure YouTube generation
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

Videos of up to an hour are effort to pull young users away from rival, and to allow Facebook to sell more ads

Instagram will increase its video time limit from one minute to 10 minutes for most users, in an attempt to lure younger viewers away from YouTube.

In the expansion, announced Wednesday, Instagram accounts with large audiences will be able to go as long as an hour. Video will be available through Instagram or a new app called IGTV. The video will eventually give Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, more opportunities to sell advertising.

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iOS 12: everything you need to know about new iPhone features
Posted on Tuesday June 05, 2018

Apple has unveiled its new OS for its smartphones and tablets. What does it mean for notifications, privacy and emoji?

Apple has unveiled all the new features heading to iPhones and iPads at its developer conference in San Francisco on Monday, including speed boost for even older devices, improved privacy and a host of new features.

The look of iOS 12 will be very familiar, with the company focusing on improving the experience and the underlying software rather than simply splashing on a new coat of paint.

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What is the best laptop drive for students?
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

James wants to know whether he should opt for an SSD or HDD to save his files on

I am hoping to go to university this year and am looking for a laptop. What’s the difference between an SSD and an HDD, and which would be better for a student? From what I’ve seen, you can get roughly four times as much storage on an HDD as you can on an SSD for the same price, so it seems an HDD would be the better option. James

The laptop market is moving from traditional “spinning rust” hard disk drives (HDDs) to chip-based, solid-state drives (SSDs) for several reasons. SSDs are more responsive; they consume less battery power; they are less likely to break when dropped and they take up a lot less space.

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Are there any laptops with decent keyboards?
Posted on Thursday June 14, 2018

Julia would buy a MacBook Pro Retina but she doesn’t like the latest version’s keyboard. What are the alternatives?

I recently upgraded to a used early-2015 MacBook Pro Retina because of Apple’s recent redesign of the MacBook Pro, which sliced off a little bit of thickness at the cost of various ports and the very reliable keyboard with scissor mechanism. Apple is facing class-action lawsuits over the new butterfly keyboards’ untimely breakage, and as my computer’s main job is to be a writing tool, I didn’t want to risk ending up with non-functional keys. Also, I have tried the new keyboard and I did not like the feel of it: travel seems too short and rather “flat” for my taste.

However, I find laptop keyboards across all platforms are becoming flatter and slimmer, and the only ones that appear to offer mechanical keyboards are flashy gaming laptops. There aren’t any for writers.

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How can I back up my holiday photos without using a laptop?
Posted on Thursday June 07, 2018

Graham and his wife take thousands of photos while travelling but aren’t always near wifi – is there a cloudless alternative?

We take thousands of photos on our caravan holidays, and I like to back them up every day or so. At present, I take a laptop and an external hard drive, so I have a copy on the laptop in the caravan plus a copy on the hard drive in my car.

Is there a way to make backups from SD cards to hard drives without carrying a laptop? I should add that many of the caravan sites we visit do not have wifi, so cloud backup is not practicable. Graham

Backing up photos used to be a problem for people taking exotic holidays. I thought it had gone away, thanks to advances in technology.

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How can I get faster broadband in a rural area?
Posted on Thursday May 31, 2018

Broadband is slow on June’s farm and BT wants £16,000 to install something faster. What are the options?

We’re a rural family of six with three businesses on site and we have three landlines in order to be able to use broadband. It is a disaster – usually less than 1MB, peaks occasionally at 4MB – and sometimes the kids have to go to the village to do homework.

Why isn’t BT forced to enable rural homes with the same deals that city people get? BT wanted to charge £16,000 to connect us!

BT isn’t forced to offer rural homes the same deals as city people because – as your £16,000 quote illustrates – it would cost too much. BT is busy extending its high-speed network to rural areas but the British government, via the DCMS’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme, and local authorities are contributing to the cost.

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Fears mount over WhatsApp's role in spreading fake news
Posted on Sunday June 17, 2018

App blamed for circulating false information in India, Brazil, Kenya and now the UK

Abijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das were driving back from a visit to a waterfall in the Indian province of Assam earlier this month when they stopped in a village to ask for directions. The two men were pulled out of their car and beaten to death by a mob who accused them of stealing children.

“The villagers got suspicious of the strangers as for the last three or four days messages were going around on WhatsApp, as well as through word of mouth, about child lifters roaming the area,” Mukesh Agrawal, a local police officer said.

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Whatever happened to that $35,000 Tesla Model 3 you still can’t buy?
Posted on Friday May 25, 2018

As tax credits threaten to run out and more powerful and expensive versions launch, buyers are still waiting

This week saw Tesla’s enigmatic chief executive Elon Musk take to Twitter to announce two more powerful, and more expensive, versions of the auto firm’s Model 3 – the much lauded “mass market” vehicle that appears, for now, to be veering further and further away from its $35,000 price tag.

The new dual-motor Model 3 and its souped-up range-topping “performance” version, which costs $78,000 and, as Musk claims, will be 15% quicker than German rival BMW’s $66,500 (£59,905 in the UK) M3, are not unexpected. Tesla did a similar thing with its Model S, launching dual-motor and performance versions with ever more dizzying price tags.

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Five things we learned from Mark Zuckerberg's European parliament appearance
Posted on Tuesday May 22, 2018

The format didn’t let MEPs question the Facebook boss too deeply – but there were worries over its monopoly

1. The European Parliament’s chosen format was a terrible way to elicit answers from one of the most powerful people in the world.

Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance in front of the European parliament’s conference of presidents was a long-awaited opportunity to press the founder of the world’s biggest social network – which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp – on his company’s global influence and use of personal data following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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Tories will struggle to turn desire to regulate internet into policy | Jim Waterson
Posted on Sunday May 20, 2018

Matt Hancock wants to rein in internet excess – just don’t ask him how it will work in reality

Towards the end of the Conservatives’ 2017 general election manifesto was a largely overlooked chapter setting out the party’s stance on the future of the internet.

“Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet,” it said. “We disagree.”

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'Facebook is taking everything': rising rents drive out Silicon Valley families
Posted on Wednesday June 20, 2018

Property companies advertising their proximity to Facebook’s campus are giving low-income residents a choice: pay a huge rent increase or move out

Sandra Zamora is quitting Facebook. Not because of Russian election interference, misuse of personal data or any of the social network’s other scandals.

For the 29-year-old, it’s personal: Facebook is her neighbor, and the company’s presence, she said, is wreaking havoc on her community.

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Arizona Uber crash driver was 'watching TV'
Posted on Friday June 22, 2018

The police report suggests the safety operator was streaming The Voice just before a fatal collision.

YouTube fans to fund favourite film-makers
Posted on Friday June 22, 2018

The site will let video-makers charge fans a monthly fee for exclusive content.

'Dangerous' carbon monoxide alarms removed from Amazon and eBay
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

Consumer watchdog Which? finds carbon monoxide alarms on sale online fail British safety tests.

Cyan colour hidden ingredient in sleep
Posted on Friday June 22, 2018

Adding or removing the colour cyan can have an impact on sleep, according to biologists.

The man who was fired by a machine
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

When a machine decided Ibrahim Diallo no longer worked at his office there was little any human could do.

Instagram star Daryl Aiden Yow used stock image photos
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

Big brands including Sony and Uniqlo had worked with Daryl Aiden Yow because of his online fame.

Wimbledon tennis to be screened in 4K HDR by BBC
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

The World Cup 4K HDR trial is being extended to Wimbledon - Sky Q viewers will also benefit.

Fake Fortnite Android apps spread across internet
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

Security experts warns the fake apps look realistic but in fact only make money for scammers.

Intel chief Brian Krzanich resigns over relationship
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

The company says Brian Krzanich is leaving because of "a violation of Intel's non-fraternisation policy".

Xbox steps back on VR plans
Posted on Thursday June 21, 2018

There are "no plans" for virtual reality on Xbox One X after all, Microsoft confirms.


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