Technology

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Lyft taxi app boosted by $1bn investment from Google-led consortium

Funding round led by CapitalG takes valuation of ride-hailing company up to $11bn<p>The US ride-hailing company Lyft has secured a $1bn (£760m) investment from a Google-led consortium, a considerable war chest that will help finance its challenge to Uber in the US – and possibly overseas.<p>The funding …

Uber

The death of the startup: is big tech squeezing out the competition?

Young firms struggle to compete as deep-pocketed companies like Facebook and Amazon clone products and consolidate their power<p>Facebook has been breathing down the neck of the group video-chat app Houseparty for over a year. The app, developed by the San Francisco startup Life On Air, has been a hit …

Startups

UK mobile customers stung by 'sharp practices' says consumer group

Citizens Advice calls for regulator to act after finding Vodafone, EE and Three charge customers for handsets after phones paid off<p>Three of Britain’s biggest mobile phone networks keep charging customers extra for their handsets after they have been paid off, leaving them up to £38 a month worse …

Mobile

Artificial intelligence commission needed to predict impact, says CBI

Business group urges government to launch commission to assess consequences of AI on jobs and increasing productivity<p>Britain’s biggest employers are calling for a commission to examine the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs.<p>Amid predictions of a workplace revolution threatening one in five …

Artificial Intelligence

Surveillance capitalism: why governments should protect us from big tech

The health of our democracy demands that we consider treating Facebook, Google, and Amazon with the same firm hand that led government to wage war on major monopolies<p>In our day, we can’t quite see anything wrong with monopoly. We’re certain that our tech giants achieved their dominance fairly and …

Privacy

Tesla workers claim anti-LGBT threats, taunts, and racial abuse in lawsuits

Exclusive: A factory worker says he was harassed for being gay. A father and son say they faced daily racial epithets. Each claims that Tesla failed to stop it<p>Soon after he started working on the assembly line at Tesla, Jorge Ferro said he was taunted for being gay and threatened with violence. …

Tesla

'Big tech has been rattled. The conversation has changed'

When the author Franklin Foer first raised concerns about Silicon Valley’s power players, ‘people looked at me funny’. Now his work appears prophetic<p>Extract: why governments should protect our privacy from big tech<p>The admission by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg was alarming.<p>“Things happened on our …

Journalism

Google and Facebook under pressure after helping anti-refugee campaign

Secure America Now received targeted help to efficiently use its millions of dollars in ad-spending ahead of US general election in 2016, reports say<p>An anti-refugee campaign, Secure America Now, received targeted help from Facebook and Google to achieve the most efficient use of its millions of …

Mark Zuckerberg

What’s the best cheap compact camera with image stabilisation?

Antonella wants a reasonably priced compact camera with an image stabiliser that’s good for night shots. Something like the Sony RX100, but cheaper …<p>I’m struggling to find the perfect camera for my needs. I watched a YouTube video by one of my favourite photographers, and she suggested the Sony …

Cameras

Twitter further tightens abuse rules in attempt to prove it cares

Company updates rules on hate speech, revenge porn and violent groups to counter perceptions social network is not doing enough to protect users<p>Twitter is introducing new rules around hate symbols, sexual advances and violent groups, in an effort to counter perceptions that the social network is …

Censorship

Domino's blames data breach on former supplier's systems

Customers complain about ‘eerie’ personalised spam emails and lack of communication from pizza seller<p>Domino’s Australia has blamed a system “issue” of a former supplier for a leak of customer personal information to spam email lists.<p>The pizza seller has called in the Australian information …

Security

World's first 3D-printed bridge opens to cyclists in Netherlands

Crossing printed from 800 layers of concrete could take weight of 40 trucks, designers say<p>Dutch officials have toasted the opening of what is being called the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists.<p>There was applause as officials wearing hard hats …

Cycling

Malcolm Turnbull says he expects more complaints about NBN

Total national broadband network complaints soar from 10,487 to 27,195, according to annual report<p>The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has conceded complaints about the national broadband network will increase as more people are connected, with the latest figures showing complaints about internet …

Malcolm Turnbull

Amazon Studios head Roy Price quits after sexual harassment claims

Price was put on leave last week and company says it has accepted resignation Producer Isa Hackett said Price had repeatedly propositioned her in 2015<p>Amazon Studios says it has accepted the resignation of its top executive, Roy Price, following sexual harassment allegations made by a producer on …

Amazon Studios

UK spy agencies may be circumventing data-sharing law, tribunal told

Challenge brought by Privacy International alleges MI5 and MI6 data-sharing regimes and legal oversight system are illegal<p>MI5 and MI6 may be circumventing legal safeguards when they share bulk datasets with foreign intelligence services and commercial partners, a court has been told.<p>Most of the …

Surveillance

Facebook is buying anonymous teen compliments app TBH

App that avoids bullying behaviour by offering pre-checked questions is latest popular social-media app owned by company after 1bn messages were sent<p>Facebook has acquired TBH, an app that allows teens to send anonymous compliments to each other. The cost has not been announced, but is reportedly …

Bullying

Google Pixel 2 XL review: the best big-screened Android experience yet

The fastest and smoothest Google Android device has a cracking camera, squeezable sides, great battery life and baked-in AI<p>Google’s direct challenger to the iPhone 8 Plus and upcoming iPhone X is the Pixel 2 XL, and you may be blown away by the sheer speed of the thing.<p>The Android-maker has removed …

Phones

US civic groups urge Amazon tax pledge: 'We expect you to pay your fair share'

Plans to open second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, spark bidding frenzy Open letter demands Amazon be transparent about tax breaks it receives<p>As US cities throw billions in tax breaks and build war rooms to strategize on how best to lure Amazon to their city, civic leaders on Tuesday called on the tech …

New Jersey

Alphabet tests Project Wing drones by delivering burritos and medicine

Google’s parent company drops takeaway food and also medication into back gardens in rural Australia as project enters new phase<p>Google parent Alphabet has begun a new phase of testing its hybrid drones, dubbed Project Wing, by delivering burritos and medication to customers in rural Australia in a …

Drones

iPhone X: how to sell your old device in preparation for Apple's new release

Apple’s hotly anticipated smartphone is coming in November and selling your existing iPhone is one way of paying for it. But timing is everything<p>The iPhone X is coming soon, and if you want to be able to afford it, you have three options: travel back in time and buy a shedload of bitcoin; sell a …

IPhone X

'All wifi networks' are vulnerable to hacking, security expert discovers

WPA2 protocol used by vast majority of wifi connections has been broken by Belgian researchers, highlighting potential for internet traffic to be exposed<p>The security protocol used to protect the vast majority of wifi connections has been broken, potentially exposing wireless internet traffic to …

Information Security

Huawei launches Mate 10 Pro with built-in AI to challenge Apple and Samsung

Top-end phone with premium design and big battery looks to lead new trend of baking AI in locally to make smartphones smarter and with greater privacy<p>Huawei’s new Mate 10 Pro takes aim squarely at Samsung, Google and Apple with a large screen, competition-beating big battery and AI baked in.<p>The …

Tablets

Tesla Motors fires hundreds of workers after performance reviews

Maker of electric cars under pressure to deliver Model 3 sedan Employees tell newspaper as many as 700 have lost jobs<p>Tesla Motors fired hundreds of workers after completing its annual performance reviews this week, even though the electric automaker is trying to ramp up production to meet the …

Tesla

Chinese messaging app error sees n-word used in translation

WeChat is blaming machine learning for erroneously converting a neutral phrase meaning ‘black foreigner’ into something far more offensive<p>Chinese messaging app WeChat has reportedly apologised after an AI error resulted in it translating a neutral Chinese phrase into the n-word.<p>The WeChat error was …

Machine Learning

Games reviews roundup: Marvel vs Capcom Infinite; SteamWorld Dig 2; Kingdom: New Lands

Playability, creativity and decision-making are to the fore in the best of this week’s games releases<p><b>Marvel vs Capcom Infinite</b><p><b>PS4, Xbox One, PC, Capcom, cert 12</b> <b><br>★★★★</b><p>After what can best be described as a skeletal launch for <i>Street Fighter V</i>, Capcom have at least ensured that this gameships with all …

Nintendo Switch

Rose McGowan suspended from Twitter after Ben Affleck tweets

Actor who has spoken out in Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal is banned in move that will reignite controversy around Twitter abuse rules<p>#WomenBoycottTwitter: McGowan’s suspension prompts protest All the women who have accused Harvey Weinstein so far Could Weinstein be jailed?<p>Actor Rose …

Rose McGowan

Airbnb select to offer loans and advice to hosts under new scheme

The trial, dubbed Airbnb Select, will see rental firm provide home improvement loans as it seeks to standardise offerings<p>Airbnb is looking to take an increasingly active role in ensuring the homes it offers for rent on its site are pleasant to stay in, from offering loans to hosts for home …

Hospitality

Amazon to create 1,200 jobs with new Bolton warehouse

Warehouse will be third in north-west and will be next-generation facility with staff working alongside robots<p>Amazon is to create a further 1,200 new jobs with a warehouse in Bolton as it continues its rapid UK expansion.<p>The warehouse, which will be the third to open in the north-west, will be one …

Amazon

Uber launches appeal against loss of London licence

Ride-hailing service hopes to reverse TfL ruling that it is not ‘fit and proper’ company to run taxi services in capital<p>Uber has lodged its legal appeal against Transport for London’s decision not to renew its private hire licence, as the ride-hailing app steps up its campaign to keep operating in …

Uber