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Tech News

Nokia 8110 4G review: a nostalgia trip too far
Posted on Thursday August 16, 2018

The original was made famous by The Matrix, and some might want to drop this reboot out of the nearest window too

The new Nokia 8110 4G is the latest nostalgia trip from HMD Global, but is it more than just a remake of that “banana phone” from the Matrix?

HMD had a hit on its hands with the new Nokia 3310 from last year, which was a surprisingly charming dumbphone that cost slightly more than other basic Nokias because of the name.

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I want to boycott US PC hardware, software and services. Is it possible?
Posted on Thursday August 16, 2018

Ian doesn’t like the way the US is going, and wonders if he could avoid using the country’s PC products. Good luck with that

If I wanted to show my distaste for the direction the US is going by boycotting American PC hardware, software and services, could it be done? Ian

You could certainly eliminate a lot of American products, but you might be giving up features without getting any ethical benefits. For example, more than a billion people already manage without a lot of American technology because they live in China or Russia. While I share your distaste for the Trump regime, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are not exactly choirboys.

And while Trump is scapegoating immigrants, more than half of America’s top technology companies were co-founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Do you really want to punish them for Trump’s misdeeds?

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Facebook struggling to end hate speech in Myanmar, investigation finds
Posted on Thursday August 16, 2018

Misinformation has lead to violent attacks against Rohingya but report says company has been slow to respond

Facebook’s efforts to crack down on hate speech in Myanmar, which has contributed to violent attacks against the minority Muslim population, have been inadequate, according to a Reuters investigation.

The social media company has faced warnings from human rights groups and researchers that its platform was being used to spread misinformation and promote hatred of Muslims, particularly the Rohingya, since 2013. As Facebook has grown its user base in the country to 18 million, hate speech has exploded, but the company has been slow to respond to the growing crisis.

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Twitter suspends Infowars' Alex Jones for abuse
Posted on Wednesday August 15, 2018

Far-right conspiracy theorist will not be able to tweet, retweet or favourite tweets for seven days

Controversial Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been suspended from Twitter for up to seven days.

The suspension has put Jones into what Twitter describes as “read-only mode” preventing him from tweeting, liking or retweeting, but not removing his tweets or personal account from the social network. The Infowars Twitter account remains unaffected.

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Elon Musk's tweets investigated for possibly breaking law: reports
Posted on Wednesday August 15, 2018

SEC is reportedly investigating whether the Tesla CEO’s tweets about going private may have violated US securities law

The US’s top financial watchdog has reportedly sent subpoenas to Tesla regarding chief executive Elon Musk’s plans to take the company private.

Fox Business Network reported on Wednesday, citing sources, that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is formally investigating Musk’s recent tweets that he had “secured” funding to take the troubled electric vehicle company private.

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Sadiq Khan wants to restrict number of Uber drivers in London
Posted on Wednesday August 15, 2018

London mayor says cap on new licences would mean less congestion

The London mayor is seeking powers to limit the number of Uber drivers operating in the capital, blaming a surge in private hire drivers for the city’s increasing congestion and pollution.

Sadiq Khan said a cap on new licences was an urgent and necessary step. But unlike New York, which announced a cap last week, he is unable to impose restrictions.

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Contribute to a podcast on the impact of artificial intelligence
Posted on Wednesday August 15, 2018

In our next We Need to Talk About podcast, we’ll consider the key questions surrounding AI. What are your views?

If 2017 was the year artificial intelligence rose to prominence, 2018 is when we’re seeing it go mainstream. Whichever area you work in, it’s likely AI will become increasingly prevalent in your everyday activity. Wherever you are in the world – whether you are an expert in AI, someone whose job increasingly uses AI or simply an interested reader we would like to hear from you.

Earlier this year, the Guardian published a long read that asked: Has technology evolved beyond our control? Its author, James Bridle, argued that “our technologies are extensions of ourselves, codified in machines and infrastructures, in frameworks of knowledge and action. Computers are not here to give us all the answers, but to allow us to put new questions, in new ways, to the universe.”

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Facebook buys rights to show La Liga games in India
Posted on Tuesday August 14, 2018

Company signs exclusive three-year agreement to screen all 380 Spanish top-flight football matches across south Asia

Facebook has bought the rights to show Spanish top-flight football in the Indian subcontinent in the latest move by a US technology company into sports rights.

The company has signed an exclusive agreement to show La Liga games featuring Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and other stars for the next three years. The deal will allow Facebook to show all 380 matches for the new season, which starts on Friday, to users in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

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Chelsea Manning to discuss Cambridge Analytica during London visit
Posted on Tuesday August 14, 2018

The whistleblower will speak in October at the Institute of Contemporary Arts dinner

Chelsea Manning will discuss the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other issues around technology and democracy during her first appearance in the UK later this year.

Manning was released from prison after being sentenced in 2013 in violation of the US Espionage Act for disclosing classified government documents to WikiLeaks. In October, she will be the main guest at the Institute of Contemporary Arts dinner, which is being held in her honour.

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Facebook exec: media firms that don't work with us will end up 'in hospice'
Posted on Monday August 13, 2018

Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships, tells publishers that without Facebook’s help their businesses will die

A senior Facebook executive told Australian media companies that if they didn’t cooperate with the social network, their businesses would die.

According to a report by The Australian, Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnerships, told a group of more than 20 broadcasters and publishers that she wanted to help media companies develop sustainable business models through the platform.

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Samsung launches Galaxy Note 9 with big screen and Fortnite
Posted on Thursday August 09, 2018

Top-of-the-range Android smartphone has new Bluetooth stylus and intelligent dual camera system with dual aperture lenses

Samsung’s latest flagship Android smartphone is the productivity-focused Galaxy Note 9: a larger, longer-lasting version of its stylus-touting phablet.

Announced at an event in New York the Note 9 resembles last year’s Note 8, replete with glass front and back, curved edges and slide-out S Pen stylus.

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What’s the best gaming PC for under £1,000?
Posted on Thursday August 09, 2018

BML wants to buy her son a gaming PC that will also be good for school work, but doesn’t want to pay over the odds

My son has an Xbox but would like a gaming computer. I would like a PC that he can use for his school work. He is starting his GCSEs this year. I don’t want to spend more than £1,000. Could you recommend something which will do both jobs? BML

PC manufacturers love the gaming market, which is growing strongly and worth more than $30bn a year. Most PCs outperform their users, and the processor goes to sleep between keystrokes. Gamers, by contrast, never have enough power, and will pay more for better performance. This translates into higher prices and better profit margins. They also like cases that look like props from science-fiction movies.

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Which ThinkPad should I buy to replace my MacBook Air?
Posted on Thursday August 02, 2018

AB wants a new laptop for his studies and has narrowed the choice to two Lenovo ThinkPads. Which would suit him best?

I enter grad school this fall, and plan to upgrade my 2015 MacBook Air. After a lot of research, I’ve narrowed it down to the ThinkPad T480 and the sixth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon. With modifications and warranties, both fall within my €1,800 (£1,599) budget, with the T480 being marginally cheaper. However, being a student, portability is a major priority. The X1 is certainly lighter at about 1.2kg, but how much of a difference will this make in practical terms?

Keyboard quality is another prerequisite, with reviews proving inconclusive. Which device would be a better bet?

These two 14in laptops should not be comparable, because they are based on completely different design philosophies. It’s a testament to the progress made in reducing the size and weight of traditional laptops that they are now surprisingly close.

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Which stereo speakers should I buy for my old hi-fi set?
Posted on Thursday July 26, 2018

Maggie would like some affordable loudspeakers to work with her retro amp, CD player and TV

I have a Rotel RA-810A amplifier – recently serviced and in good working order – and a Yamaha CDX-730 CD player but no speakers. They were originally linked to some Tannoys but I didn’t bring them with me from South Africa.

I want to be able to play my CDs and DVDs with the speakers linked up to the TV. I’m not a purist and don’t want to pay top price. If you could point me towards a few alternatives, I can then make the decision what to pay. Maggie

The Rotel RA-810A is a classic stereo amplifier from the late 1980s. I remember it as being well made and having a decent sound. However, it does have a couple of drawbacks.

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What’s the best laptop for £300?
Posted on Thursday July 19, 2018

Jacy wants a laptop to run Excel spreadsheets but her budget is only £300. What are the best options?

What’s the best laptop for £300?

I saw your article helping someone find the right laptop for under £700, which I found very useful. I also need a laptop, mainly to run Microsoft Excel. I’d like a big screen and plenty of storage for under £300. Jacy

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Does the banning of Alex Jones signal a new era of big tech responsibility?
Posted on Friday August 10, 2018

With the removal of the conspiracy theorist’s material from key platforms, firms have changed their tune on ‘free speech’ – but some see the move as more about money than morality

At this very moment, the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is almost certainly sitting in front of a camera, shouting that he has been silenced. If you are so inclined, you can easily watch and listen along, either by going to his website, downloading his iPhone and Android apps, or following him on Twitter.

Related: Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify ban Infowars' Alex Jones

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From Virgin to Tesla: why companies go cool on public ownership
Posted on Thursday August 09, 2018

There are many reasons why entrepreneurs get frustrated by the demands of the markets

Elon Musk’s announcement that he was considering taking Tesla off the stock market should not have been a total surprise.

Related: Tesla shares soar after Elon Musk floats plan to take company private

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A withering verdict: MPs report on Zuckerberg, Russia and Cambridge Analytica
Posted on Saturday July 28, 2018

Select committee criticises Facebook response and urges tighter internet regulation

The DCMS select committee’s far-reaching interim report on its 18-month investigation into fake news and the use of data and “dark ads” in elections offers a wide-ranging, informed and sustained critique that carries with it the full weight of parliament. The verdict is withering: Facebook failed. It “obfuscated”, refused to investigate how its platform was abused by the Russian government until forced by pressure from Senate committees and, in the most damning section, it aided and abetted the incitement of racial hatred in Burma, noting that even the company’s chief technical officer, Mike Schroepfer, called this “awful”.

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Tech firms fear regulation nightmare if MPs get their way
Posted on Friday July 27, 2018

Report into fake news could put legal burden on firms such as Twitter and Facebook to remove harmful and illegal content

Facebook, Twitter and Google could face their worst regulation nightmares if the recommendations of parliament’s report into fake news, based on a leaked version published on Friday by the former campaign strategist for Vote Leave, come to pass.

The report is expected to call for the creation of a new legal framework for regulating technology firms, tightening their liabilities and imposing a requirement for them to take down “harmful and illegal content”. It will argue for the end of “safe harbour” provisions, whereby platforms are not liable for content hosted by them until it is flagged to them as problematic.

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How to turn off Google's location tracking
Posted on Tuesday August 14, 2018

Turning off location history won’t hide where you are when you use search, Maps or weather. Here’s how to stop being tracked

When you turn off “location history” Google still tracks your location when you use several of its key services including Maps, search and the weather. Here’s how to really turn all of it off.

A report from the Associated Press has highlighted that the feature called location history is just one of the systems that Google uses to track your location for personalised services, local search and other purposes such as advertising.

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