Technology | The Guardian13:27 Текст источника в новой вкладке
Latest Technology news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice
Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017

 
 
1. Lord Adonis says Ofcom must tackle 'deplorable' mobile coverage11:05[−]

Infrastructure adviser’s warning comes as regulator reveals signal from all four mobile operators is available across just 43% of UK geographically

Urgent action is required by the UK communications watchdog to tackle “deplorable” mobile phone coverage, the head of the government’s infrastructure adviser has warned.

Lord Adonis, the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), has written to Ofcom urging the regulator to put all options on the table, including changes to the law, to improve poor services across the country.

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2. Universal basic income is no panacea for us – and Labour shouldn’t back it | Sonia Sodha09:00[−]

What used to be a pet project of libertarians is gaining wider support. But a poverty backstop is no alternative to the economic and social reform we need

There aren’t many ideas that unite trade unionists, the libertarian right, the green movement, and the Silicon Valley tech scene . But that’s the rainbow alliance backing a universal basic income, a centuries-old idea posited as the solution to a range of 21st-century problems. Is its surprising coalition of bedfellows a sign of an idea whose time has at last resoundingly come – or a symptom of a catch-all, superficial fix in search of a problem?

Universal basic income, sometimes called a citizens’ income, is the idea that the state should pay every adult citizen a regular, modest income. It is a no-strings payment, so unlike benefits currently available to people of working age, it is not means tested. You get it regardless of whether you have a job, are looking for work, or whether you are even willing to work.

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3. Amazon Prime could face investigation over delivery complaintsВс., 17 дек.[−]

Advertising watchdog is considering whether to look into company’s claims that it offers ‘unlimited one-day delivery’

Amazon could face an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority over complaints that its premium service is failing to deliver on time in the run-up to Christmas.

Amazon Prime claims to offer “unlimited one-day delivery” but customers have contacted the advertising regulator to say it is falling short of what is promised.

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4. Is Monzo the Facebook of banking?Вс., 17 дек.[−]
It is a truly unusual thing – a bank young people are excited about. But while its speed and ease of use are impressive, there is a problem – it’s not making money

A letter from the bank tends to arouse dread. In these mostly paperless days, it usually means you’ve gone overdrawn again or the interest rate on your savings account has moved even closer to zero. Best not open it now; stick it on the pile for later-slash-never. But when my new Monzo bank card landed on the doormat one morning, I felt a frisson of excitement. Perhaps it was the six-week waiting list: there were 66,000 people ahead of me in the queue when I applied. Maybe it was just the hot pink debit card, the millennial’s answer to the black Amex.

Monzo, a smartphone-only “challenger” bank, has this effect on a lot of people. In its first round of crowdfunding, in March 2016, it raised ?1m in 96 seconds, the fastest crowdfunding campaign ever. In a more recent campaign, the singer Tom Odell and Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, came on board as investors and the company raised ?70m. Wired magazine asked if Tom Blomfield, Monzo’s 32-year-old British founder and chief executive, would become “the Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg of banking”.

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5. Uber stole trade secrets, bribed foreign officials and spied on rivals, filing saysСб., 16 дек.[−]

Document by former Uber security manager details company’s alleged ‘unethical, unlawful’ practices amid legal battle with self-driving car company Waymo

Uber allegedly engaged in a range of “unethical and unlawful intelligence collections”, including the theft of competitive trade secrets, bribery of foreign officials and spying on competitors and politicians, according to an explosive legal document published on Friday.

It’s the latest chapter in the discovery process for the company’s messy legal squabble with Waymo, Google’s driverless car spin-off, which has accused Uber of stealing trade secrets.

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6. Facebook admits it poses mental health risk – but says using site more can helpПт., 15 дек.[−]

Company acknowledges ‘passive’ consumption of material can make people ‘feel worse’ but argues more engagement could improve wellbeing

Facebook has acknowledged that social media use can be bad for users’ mental health, a sign the company is feeling pressure from a growing chorus of critics raising alarms about the platform’s effect on society.

Researchers for the social network admitted in a blogpost Friday that studies have found that spending time on Facebook “passively consuming information” can leave people “feeling worse”, but also argued that part of the solution is to engage and interact more with people on the platform.

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7. Cryptocurrencies: City watchdog to investigate new fundraising trendПт., 15 дек.[−]

FCA to escalate scrutiny of initial coin offerings in currencies such as bitcoin, increasingly used by startups

The City regulator is intensifying its scrutiny of initial coin offerings (ICOs) in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to establish if new rules are needed for the fast-growing market.

Celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Floyd Mayweather and Harry Redknapp have associated themselves with ICOs, which can be used to raise money for internet startups. Hilton, though, is reported to have deleted some of her tweets.

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8. More than 1m 'forgotten homes' in UK do not get fast enough broadbandПт., 15 дек.[−]

Ofcom report finds 4% of UK properties cannot access speeds of at least 10Mbps deemed necessary for modern internet use

More than 1m “forgotten homes” across the UK are unable to get sufficiently fast broadband to meet a typical family’s needs, from watching Netflix to browsing YouTube.

Ofcom, the communications regulator, said 4% of UK homes and offices, about 1.1m properties, could not access broadband speeds of at least 10Mbps.

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9. Triton: hackers take out safety systems in 'watershed' attack on energy plantПт., 15 дек.[−]

Sophisticated malware halts operations at power station in unprecedented attack which experts believe was state-sponsored

In what experts are calling a watershed moment, hackers have infiltrated the critical safety systems for industrial control units used in nuclear, oil and gas plants, halting operations at at least one facility.

The attackers, who are believed to be state-sponsored, targeted the Triconex industrial safety technology made by Schneider Electric SE, according to security firm FireEye and Schneider, who disclosed the incident on Thursday.

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10. US regulator scraps net neutrality rules that protect open internetПт., 15 дек.[−]
  • Decision a major victory for FCC chair and Trump appointee Ajit Pai
  • Critics warn plan will hand control of the web to big cable companies

The US’s top media regulator voted to end rules protecting an open internet on Thursday, a move critics warn will hand control of the future of the web to cable and telecoms companies.

At a packed meeting of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, the watchdog’s commissioners voted three to two to dismantle the “net neutrality” rules that prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from charging websites more for delivering certain services or blocking others should they, for example, compete with services the cable company also offers.

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11. iMac Pro: Apple releases its most expensive computer – starting at ?4,899Чт., 14 дек.[−]

The desktop computer is aimed at Apple-using creative professionals, and the top-spec machine costs ?12,279

Apple has a very expensive last-minute Christmas present for you. The just released iMac Pro is the company’s “most powerful Mac ever” – and the most expensive, starting at ?4,899.

Having been unveiled in June at Apple’s developer conference, the iMac Pro is squarely aimed at Apple-using creative professionals who until now have had to make do with the ageing and comparatively cheap (?2,999) Mac Pro or the even cheaper consumer version of the ?1,749 5K iMac.

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12. Is there an easy way to delete masses of emails in Gmail?Чт., 14 дек.[−]

Alan’s Gmail inbox needs tidying up, and it’s easy to sort emails and save space using built-in search commands. But not before he makes a back up

Is there an easy way of doing mass deletes in Gmail? I’ve rather let the inbox grow, and I would like to trim it. Manual deletion would take forever. Yes, I know I should have archived important, useful emails. Slapped wrists! Alan

You may be surprised at how easy it is to delete thousands of Gmail messages with just a couple of clicks. The tricky bit is deleting the emails you don’t want while keeping the ones you do. Computers are stupid and do what you tell them to do, which may not be what you intended. This is why you should take a backup before embarking on an email delete-fest, but I’ll discuss that later.

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13. Humans 2.0: meet the entrepreneur who wants to put a chip in your brainЧт., 14 дек.[−]

Bryan Johnson’s company, Kernel, aims to improve mental function and treat disorders by creating a brain interface

Bryan Johnson isn’t short of ambition. The founder and CEO of neuroscience company Kernel wants “to expand the bounds of human intelligence”. He is planning to do this with neuroprosthetics; brain augmentations that can improve mental function and treat disorders. Put simply, Kernel hopes to place a chip in your brain.

It isn’t clear yet exactly how this will work. There’s a lot of excited talk about the possibilities of the technology, but – publicly, at least – Kernel’s output at the moment is an idea. A big idea.

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14. The new cold war: how our focus on Russia obscures social media's real threatЧт., 14 дек.[−]

We should welcome politicians’ growing skepticism about Silicon Valley – but not if it means authoritarian interventions into our digital lives

Washington used to worship Silicon Valley. Few things made politicians’ hearts beat faster than the bipartisan love for big tech. Silicon Valley was building the future. Government’s role was to offer compliments and get out of the way.

Recently, however, the mood has shifted. Both sides of the political divide seem to be awakening to the possibility that letting the tech industry do whatever it wants hasn’t produced the best of all possible worlds. “I have found a flaw,” Alan Greenspan famously said in 2008 of his free-market worldview, as the global financial system imploded. A similar discovery may be dawning on our political class when it comes to its hands-off approach to Silicon Valley.

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15. The top 10 video games of 2017Ср., 13 дек.[−]

Mario ran amok in New Donk City, a cat dropped out of college, and Angel Carter haunted What Remains of Edith Finch. But it was the mighty Zelda who took video gaming – and cooking – to a new dimension

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16. Former Facebook executive: social media is ripping society apartВт., 12 дек.[−]

Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice-president of user growth, expressed regret for his part in building tools that destroy ‘the social fabric of how society works’

A former Facebook executive has said he feels “tremendous guilt” over his work on “tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works”, joining a growing chorus of critics of the social media giant.

Chamath Palihapitiya, who was vice-president for user growth at Facebook before he left the company in 2011, said: “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.”

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17. Hey Alexa, is it true you’re a lefty feminist?Вт., 12 дек.[−]
Amazon’s virtual assistant is winding up the US far-right with her answers to questions on feminism and the Black Lives Matter movement

Name: Alexa.

Age: Three.

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18. Poppy is a disturbing internet meme seen by millions. Can she become a pop sensation?Пн., 11 дек.[−]

The character played by 22-year-old Moriah Pereira is a childlike, robotic-sounding woman with friends who include a basil plant. Now she’s trying to become the first pop megastar to be born on YouTube

I’m Poppy,” says Poppy, often. In one of her hundreds of videos on YouTube, she repeats those two words in her childlike monotone for 10 minutes. This has been viewed more than 12.6m times.

Poppy has about 300 videos on her channel, which have received a combined 235m views, increasing by 250,000 a day; YouTube says her subscribers have grown 260% in the past year. Her videos are the sort you stumble upon while following links blindly down an online rabbit hole: portals to a pastel-washed parallel universe populated by platinum-blond Poppy and her fellow characters – a basil plant and a mannequin called Charlotte.

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19. Missed the bitcoin boom? Five more baffling cryptocurrencies to blow your savings onПн., 11 дек.[−]

Regretting not spending a few hundred quid on bitcoin five years ago? Get ahead of the speculators by spending thousands of dollars on a imaginary cat or the Paris Hilton-backed LydianCoin

If you are worried you’ve missed out on making millions by betting on bitcoin, don’t worry: there will be plenty more bizarre, borderline-incomprehensible digital bubbles in the future, and their value is only going to go up (until it all comes crashing down, that is). Here are five assets each competing to be the next bitcoin.

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20. Games reviews roundup: Dimension Drive; Xenoblade Chronicles 2; Oh My GodheadsПн., 11 дек.[−]
A sophisticated space arcade experience, a Xenoblade instalment pushing the Switch to great things, and head-rolling fun in an unlikely multiplayer mashup

Switch, Linux, Mac, PC, 2Awesome Studio, cert: 7
????

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21. Better loving through technology: a day at the sex-toy hackathonВс., 10 дек.[−]

Sound-controlled vibrators, 3D-printed clitorises and ‘Michael Gove’ as a safe word: coders and inventors try to find the future of sex in south London

Twelve years of Catholic school prepares you for a lot of weird things, but walking into a church to find 50 people testing vibrators on each other’s noses, strapping each other into inflatable hug machines and flinging around bits of deconstructed sex toys under a huge stained-glass window that reads THOU ART THE KING OF GLORY O CHRIST is not one of them.

I am at Goldsmiths, University of London, in the church of what used to be St James Hatcham but was transformed, some years ago, into an arts “hub”. Hacksmiths, the student-run tech society at the university, runs “hackathons” – invention marathons – where over the course of three days, attendees of varying skills and backgrounds camp out on air beds and eat pizza while brainstorming and building machines. For this event, the theme was sex technology.

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22. Simon Parkin’s best video games of 2017Вс., 10 дек.[−]
An immersive, interactive exploration of life on Earth and Nintendo’s resurgent flights of escapism were among the highlights of the gaming year

• Observer critics’ reviews of the year in full

As social media shrinks and quickens the world, and the threats we face seem to grow ever taller and closer, the relevance of entertainment (and, whisper it, art) appears to diminish. Surely the king’s ransom it takes to fund a blockbuster film would be more usefully and perhaps profitably applied to combating climate change, or Boris Johnson’s gaffes? What is a commissioned oil portrait if not the most extravagant of all selfies, taken in a world to whose indignities and injustices no one can claim to be blind? In this context, video games can seem like the hollowest endeavours of all. They cost ever larger sums to build, require ever greater numbers of talented minds to make, and distract ever more humans from the practical issues of reality.

And yet in video games we often perceive some of the mathematical building blocks of existence, often follow the logical chains of cause and effect that follow our actions and reactions, and occasionally catch ghostly, flitting shadows of how life works and maybe even what it means.

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23. What computer should I buy to run Minecraft?Чт., 07 дек.[−]

Craig wants to buy his game-playing son a laptop for up to ?500, while other readers want cheaper machines

Could you provide an update to your previous articles on the system requirements for Minecraft? I would love a recommendation on a laptop for my 10-year-old son. I have a ?500 budget, and I would have no problem with a refurbished device. Craig

This is a frequently-asked question, and similar queries have come from Jo (seven-year-old son, ?450 budget), Lauren (13-year-old son), Ronda (12-year-old daughter), and Natalie (11-year-old son, ?200 to ?250 budget). I answered much the same question in December last year ( What’s the best cheap laptop for running Minecraft?), in December 2015 ( What’s the best laptop for running Minecraft?) and earlier. The principles have not changed, so you may still find them useful. However, the products change, which is why the question keeps coming up.

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24. Let's roll: the best board games for Christmas 2017Ср., 06 дек.[−]

Sick of charades? Tired of Trivial Pursuit? Here’s our guide to the games that will make Christmas with your family fly by

Christmas and board games go together like turkey and stuffing. But if the prospect of endless rounds of Monopoly and Cluedo fills you with dread, there are some far better alternatives. Here’s our rundown of some of the best games to play with your family this festive season.

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25. Amazon Echo, Google Home or Sonos One: which smart speaker should I buy?Пт., 01 дек.[−]

Voice-control devices that can play music, answer questions and buy goods are one of the hottest gifts this Christmas. Here’s what they can do – and our pick of the best buys

Smart speakers are set to be the hottest Christmas gift this year. On Black Friday, Amazon dropped the price of its core Echo product to ?79 (it is back up to ?90 now), while Google slashed the cost of its Home device from ?129 to ?77.50 at most outlets (it is also back up now). Meanwhile, Apple is promising to launch its version, HomePod, although the price point is rumoured to be significantly higher.

With the pre-Christmas launch of the Echo Show, which ups Alexa’s game with a built-in screen, are they the next must-have device? A simple voice command can fill your room with music – and change tunes whenever you wish. They will answer questions on a vast range of topics, set alarms, tell you the weather and what your commute holds in store. Some can order almost any goods over the internet for delivery within hours or days. Hooked up with other devices, they turn lights on and off and control the heating. But they have also been accused of making fake purchases and snooping on your conversations.

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26. Amazon Kindle Oasis 2017 review: the Rolls-Royce of e-readersПт., 01 дек.[−]

The new top-end Kindle is an indulgent purchase, but with added water resistance and other refinements it’s still the one to beat

Amazon’s new top-end e-reader is now water resistant, but is the all aluminium Kindle Oasis still the luxury option to buy?

While the original Kindle Oasis was a big step forward in e-reader design, the 2017 Oasis is more of a refinement with fewer of the compromises made last year for fit and form.

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27. My laptop no longer works. How can I erase my personal data?Чт., 30 нояб.[−]

Colin’s old laptop has a faulty motherboard. If he junks it or sells it, how can he erase the data that’s still on the hard drive?

I am unable to power on my Acer laptop, and the technician says the motherboard is faulty. I am planning to sell it. Will the buyer be able to retrieve my data after changing the motherboard? If so, how do I erase it? Colin

If you are literally scrapping an old PC or laptop, you should either remove the hard drive or destroy it to protect your data. People have been known to scavenge hard drives from tips and retrieve sensitive personal, medical and financial information.

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28. Uber had special team to obstruct legal cases and spy on rivals, court toldСр., 29 нояб.[−]
  • Ex-employee says unit worked to ‘impede, obstruct or influence’ investigations
  • Uber-Waymo trial delayed after revelations Uber withheld evidence

Uber had a team of employees dedicated to spying on rival companies and “impeding” legal investigations into the company, a former employee testified in federal court Tuesday.

Related: Uber faces slew of investigations in wake of 'outrageous' data hack cover-up

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29. Which Windows laptop should I buy for ?500?Чт., 23 нояб.[−]

Stuart is looking for a high-spec laptop at a low price. There are some good options, and Black Friday may reveal a few more

If you were in the market for a new laptop, what would you buy if your absolute maximum budget was ?500?

I’ve always liked 17in widescreen laptops but will switch to 15in, preferably with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard disk. Stuart

My first thought was that your best bet was a refurbished ThinkPad from Tier1Online, but it turns out that you really can buy new laptops with your preferred specification for less than ?500, especially if they are older models at discounted prices. There may be even more examples around tomorrow, which is Black Friday, and over the weekend.

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30. Sky Soundbox review: the all-in-one TV speaker that won't annoy the neighboursЧт., 23 нояб.[−]

Tired of reaching for the remote whenever something explodes in a film? The compact Soundbox might be your saviour – but it’s pricey if you don’t have Sky

Sky has partnered with French audio-firm Devialet to create the Soundbox, an all-in-one TV speaker that promises to squeeze full-range, powerful sound into a small box that, in theory, won’t annoy the neighbours.

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31. Net neutrality: why are Americans so worried about it being scrapped?Ср., 22 нояб.[−]

Most of the world won’t be affected by the changes, so are they a problem? No, if you are a tech monopoly – but yes if you don’t want a two-tier internet

Ajit Pai, head of the US telecoms regulator, revealed sweeping changes on Tuesday to overturn rules designed to protect an open internet.

The regulations, put in place by the Obama administration in 2015, enshrined the principle of “net neutrality” in US law. Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers should not interfere in the information they transmit to consumers, but should instead simply act as “dumb pipes” that treat all uses, from streaming video to sending tweets, interchangeably.

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32. OnePlus 5T review: premium full-screen experience at half cost of iPhone XПн., 20 нояб.[−]

OnePlus has done it again, producing a smartphone with almost its rivals’ high-end features, including 36-hour battery life, at an affordable price

The OnePlus 5T propels the Chinese company into the brave new era of full-screen smartphones, with a new 6in minimal bezel display squeezed into the body of a 5.5in device.

The 5T is OnePlus’s fourth phone in two years. Unlike the OnePlus 3 to 3T upgrade in 2016, the internal components for the 5T have mostly stayed the same as those of the OnePlus 5, with the screen and camera the biggest differences.

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33. Be very afraid … robots can now do backflips - videoПт., 17 нояб.[−]

Not content with simply walking or carrying objects, Atlas, made by the robotics firm Boston Dynamics, can now jump across gaps, jump and spin 180°, and – most impressive of all – it can backflip, even using its arms to balance after landing just like a real gymnast

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34. Elon Musk unveils new Tesla Semi electric truck – videoПт., 17 нояб.[−]

The Tesla CEO makes an entrance in the company's latest electric vehicle, the Semi, at a launch event in Hawthorne, California. After driving into the arena, he asked the audience to look at the trucks for a moment. The goods vehicles are expected to start production in 2019

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35. Falling for the joke: the risk of using Twitter as a news sourceСр., 15 нояб.[−]

The BBC was left red-faced after quoting a parody account in its Zimbabwe coverage, exposing the danger of journalists relying on social media

The trouble that the BBC got itself into on Wednesday morning, when both online and on air it referred to tweets from a parody Zanu PF account, illustrate the complexities of using social media as a reporting resource. This can be especially true in fast-moving news situations, where news organisations may have few reporters directly on the ground.

While many parody accounts on social media are used simply for humour, they can frequently be utilised for deliberate mischief.

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36. Where Alexa gets her smarts: inside Amazon's Cambridge development centre – in picturesПт., 10 нояб.[−]

Jeff Bezos’s company has opened a new ‘innovation hub’ in the UK, where 400 staff will work on next big things, from drone deliveries to ever-smarter AI

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37. iPhone X review: Apple finally knocks it out of the parkПт., 10 нояб.[−]

The company’s most important smartphone in years does not disappoint, with Face ID and an all-screen design that spells the end of the home button

The iPhone X is Apple’s most important – and most expensive – new smartphone in four years, bringing with it a significant change to the design, dumping the home button to usher in a full-screen experience. Thankfully, Apple nailed it.

After four years of the company recycling the design of the iPhone 6, the iPhone X is a breath of fresh air. The beautiful OLED screen takes up pretty much the whole front of the device. It’s one of the best displays I’ve ever seen on a smartphone, and while it’s not quite as bezel free at the sides as Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Note 8 devices, it’s a giant leap forward for Apple.

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38. How Malcolm Turnbull, GetUp and Adani are using Facebook ads to push their agendaВт., 24 окт.[−]

The nature of Facebook ads makes it difficult to see when political ads go out, which groups are campaigning for which cause and fact-check what they’re saying

If you’re over 25, live in Australia and have a family then you might have seen Malcolm Turnbull pop up in your Facebook feed last week, with a video spruiking the new energy policy.

This video and text post was “sponsored” – that is, someone from the prime minister’s office paid to promote the post as an advertisement.

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39. Google Pixel 2 XL review: the best big-screened Android experience yetВт., 17 окт.[−]

The fastest and smoothest Google Android device has a cracking camera, squeezable sides, great battery life and baked-in AI

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.

The Android-maker has removed the gloves, thrown down the jacket and is seemingly ready for a straight-up fight with Apple, despite the ramifications of inevitably competing directly with Google’s partners such as Samsung and other key Android smartphone manufacturers.

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40. Google Pixel Buds: is Babel fish dream of in-ear translation now a reality?Чт., 05 окт.[−]

AI-powered translation piped through wireless earbuds is another big step towards the removal of the language barrier

Alongside the new Pixel 2 smartphones Google unveiled on Wednesday night, the company also launched a set of Bluetooth earbuds called the Pixel Buds with one standout feature: instant translation between 40 different languages using a Pixel smartphone.

In a live demo on stage, the Pixel Buds were shown translating short phrases back and forth between English and Swedish using Google Translate running on a Pixel 2 smartphone.

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41. Amazon Fire HD 8 review: easily the best tablet you can buy for ?80Вт., 27 июня[−]

The Fire HD 8 has always played second fiddle to its smaller sibling, but with twice the storage, better screen and speakers, that’s no longer the case

Amazon’s bigger, 8in HD version of its rock-bottom tablet, the Fire HD 8, has always played second fiddle to the ?50 Fire 7, but not any more.

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42. Samsung Galaxy S8 review: the future of smartphonesПт., 21 апр.[−]

Korean firm’s infinity display pushes smartphone design forward, and its new device is packed with the latest technology encased in a metal and glass shell

Following the Note 7 debacle, Samsung really needs a home run to keep its lead in the smartphone market. Is the almost all-screen Galaxy S8 it?

It seems so. The Galaxy S8 ( find here) is arguably the best improvement in smartphone design in years and the biggest step forward to the holy grail of an all-screen phone.

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43. Virtual reality by the GuardianЧт., 10 нояб. 2016[−]

Welcome to the Guardian’s home for virtual reality. You will find all of our pieces here along with information on how to watch

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