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Technology | The Guardian

Latest Technology news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Published: Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:07:34 GMT2018-02-25T17:07:34Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2018

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ launched with first dual-aperture camera

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:00:15 GMT2018-02-25T17:00:15Z

Revamped all-screen design brings new AR emoji, stereo speakers, new 960fps slow-mo and potentially game-changing camera

Samsung has launched its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9, with a familiar all-screen design but its re-invented camera system could be a game-changer.

Announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday, the new top-end Android device comes in two varieties, following in the footsteps of last year’s popular Galaxy S8 in both look and feel. They have glass front and back, metal frames, curved edges, are water resistant, have wireless charging and a headphone socket.

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MateBook X Pro: Huawei attempts to out-Pro Apple's MacBook Pro

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 13:30:11 GMT2018-02-25T13:30:11Z

New machine has a 14in screen squeezed into a 12in laptop frame, a discrete GPU and a camera that pops up from beneath the keyboard

Following Huawei’s attempts to directly challenge the dominant smartphone players Samsung and Apple, now the Chinese technology firm is going after laptops with the MateBook X Pro, attempting to out-“Pro” the MacBook Pro.

The new thin and light laptop follows on from Huawei’s MateBook X from 2017, released in 2017 and looks strikingly familiar to Apple’s top-of-the-line notebook, with an aluminium body that’s available in silver or “space grey” – just like the MacBook Pro – a chiclet keyboard and large trackpad.

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Smart speakers: a buyer’s guide

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 09:30:06 GMT2018-02-25T09:30:06Z

They can do everything from playing your favourite tunes to turning on the lights. But which should you get? We test the four leading models

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'We're watching a company explode': is Snapchat becoming irrelevant?

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 06:00:10 GMT2018-02-24T06:00:10Z

A diss from Kylie Jenner, an ‘annoying’ redesign, competition from Facebook and ... why does Snapchat keep getting it wrong?

More than 1.2m Snapchat users signed a petition urging the company to reverse its “annoying” redesign – but it was a single tweet from Kylie Jenner that may have caused real damage.

After the celebrity tweeted “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me” to her 24m followers, shares of the app’s parent company Snap plummeted 6% – a $1.3bn drop in market value that launched a fresh cycle of embarrassing headlines.

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Facebook sees backlash after demoing VR shooter game at conservative event

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 23:56:10 GMT2018-02-23T23:56:10Z

In light of the Florida massacre, the company expresses ‘regret’ over its decision to bring the game to CPAC

Facebook is facing backlash for bringing a virtual reality shooting game to a rightwing conference where the National Rifle Association (NRA) has promoted gun rights in the wake of a Florida school shooting.

The social media company, which has since removed the demonstration game and expressed “regret”, was already facing scrutiny for attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a high-profile event that featured speeches attacking gun control advocates and a renewed call from Donald Trump to arm school teachers.

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How white is the tech sector? - Chips with Everything podcast

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:05:52 GMT2018-02-23T18:05:52Z

Has the technology industry truly embraced diversity? What more needs to be done to make it a more inclusive industry? Inspired by Black History Month, Jordan Erica Webber and Chella Ramanan try and answer these questions.

Subscribe and review on Apple, Spotify or on your favourite podcasting app and join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

This week’s episode is inspired by Black History Month, which is celebrated every February in the U.S. and other countries around the world. Jordan Erica Webber is joined by special guest host Chella Ramanan and together they look at some of the best past and present examples of black tech innovators.

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SsangYong Rexton review: ‘It’ll go anywhere and you can’t break it’ | Martin Love

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 06:00:02 GMT2018-02-25T06:00:02Z

This large and comfortable 4x4 from Korea has established itself as a contender in the UK mud-wrestling world

SsangYong Rexton
Price £27,995
0-62mph 11.5 seconds
Top speed 116mph
MPG 35.8
CO2 208g/km

It’s the last day of the Winter Olympics. Were you hooked? Or did it all slide past you as silently as a chubby German lying on a frictionless carbon sled? I’ve felt a strong sense of connection with the event this year as for the past week I’ve been at the wheel of the all-new SsangYong Rexton, a barnstorming beast of a 4x4 that also hails from the Korean peninsula. Not that there is anything acrobatic about the Rexton. It’s a thick-set, old-school offroader in the mould of a traditional Toyota Land Cruiser or Land Rover Discovery – without any of the drawbacks of delicacy. It doesn’t so much grip the road as lie unyieldingly upon it. It’s like a giant car-shaped paperweight that’s not going to be blown off course, ever.

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Apple devices make hundreds of false 911 calls from refurbishment centre

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 11:23:21 GMT2018-02-23T11:23:21Z

Emergency services in California field 1,600 calls and describe hearing people talking about maintenance and repairs, but cause is a mystery

Around 20 false emergency calls a day have been made from one of Apple’s refurbishment centres since October – and it’s not clear how.

Emergency dispatchers in California have fielded in the region of 1,600 accidental calls originating from a repair and refurbishment centre in Elk Grove, with no one on the other end.

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Kylie Jenner helps to wipe $1bn from Snapchat with tweet over redesign woes

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 09:06:29 GMT2018-02-23T09:06:29Z

Users rebel against social media app’s new features while celebrities dump platform as it tries to appeal to new users

More than $1bn was wiped off Snap Inc’s market value on Thursday, in one of the company’s worst trading days since it went public last year – and the rout was led by a bored tweet from a member of the Kardashian clan.

Kylie Jenner, one of the first wave of celebrities whose fame grew primarily on Snapchat over other social media firms, shared her disappointment with the app on Twitter late on Wednesday: “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me ... ugh this is so sad,” she said. “[S]till love you tho snap ... my first love”.

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Steve Jobs’s pre-Apple, error-strewn CV could fetch $50,000 at sale

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 04:50:37 GMT2018-02-23T04:50:37Z

Résumé listed Jobs’s phone number as ‘none’; auction also includes letter from Amy Winehouse to Blake Fielder-Civil

A job application filled out by Steve Jobs more than four decades ago that reflects the Apple founder’s aspirations to work in technology and design will go up for auction next month.

With an estimated value of $50,000, the one-page application from 1973, complete with spelling and punctuation errors, lists his name as Steven jobs and address as “reed college”, the Oregon college he attended briefly, Boston auction house RR Auction said.

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Growth of AI could boost cybercrime and security threats, report warns

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 06:01:13 GMT2018-02-21T06:01:13Z

Experts say action must be taken to control artificial intelligence tech

Wanton proliferation of artificial intelligence technologies could enable new forms of cybercrime, political disruption and even physical attacks within five years, a group of 26 experts from around the world have warned.

In a new report, the academic, industry and the charitable sector experts, describe AI as a “dual use technology” with potential military and civilian uses, akin to nuclear power, explosives and hacking tools.

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Study reveals North Korean cyber-espionage has reached new heights

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:31:41 GMT2018-02-20T12:31:41Z

Spying unit is widening its operations into aerospace and defence industries, according to US security firm

An increasingly sophisticated North Korean cyber-espionage unit is using its skills to widen spying operations to aerospace and defence industries, a new study has revealed.

FireEye, a US private security company that tracks cyber-attackers around the world, has identified a North Korean group, which it names APT37 (Reaper) and which it says is using malware to infiltrate computer networks.

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Huge cryptojacking campaign earns just $24 for hackers

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 12:46:41 GMT2018-02-14T12:46:41Z

Though 5,000-site attack suggests forcing visitors to mine cryptocurrency offers scant reward, it hasn’t stopped news platform Salon

A malware attack that turned thousands of websites into cryptocurrency mining engines made just $24, according to the company that develops the software used.

On Sunday, hackers compromised an accessibility plugin, BrowseAloud, which is used to offer screen-reading services on a number of websites including the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Student Loans Company and several English councils.

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Cryptojacking attack hits Australian government websites

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 01:48:04 GMT2018-02-12T01:48:04Z

Hackers used plug-in to force computers to secretly mine cryptocurrency

A series of Australian government websites, including the Victorian parliament’s, have been compromised by malware that forces visitors’ computers to secretly mine cryptocurrency, as part of a worldwide security breach.

The process, known as cryptojacking, forces a user’s computer to mine cryptocurrency without their permission, generating profits for the hacker.

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Lauri Love has avoided a US trial – so why have others been extradited? | Robert Verkaik

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 10:30:30 GMT2018-02-07T10:30:30Z

Three white men backed by strong campaigns have recently succeeded in halting extradition. Syed Talha Ahsan was less fortunate

A court’s decision to block the extradition of an alleged computer hacker with Asperger syndrome highlights once again the compassionate quality of British justice. Judges sitting in the high court have spared Lauri Love the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence and a penal ordeal regarded as one of the harshest in the world. He must now take his chance in a British court.

Love is the last of a trio of high-profile UK citizens who have avoided being sent for trial in America in the past five years. The other two are Gary McKinnon, accused of hacking US military computers, and Richard O’Dwyer, who faced criminal copyright charges.

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Lauri Love ruling 'sets precedent' for trying hacking suspects in UK

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 16:50:47 GMT2018-02-05T16:50:47Z

Rights groups and lawyers for 33-year-old welcome landmark judgment against extradition to US

A high court ruling blocking extradition to the US of Lauri Love, a student accused of breaking into US government websites, has been welcomed by lawyers and human rights groups as a precedent for trying hacking suspects in the UK in future.

The decision delivered by the lord chief justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, is highly critical of the conditions Love would have endured in US jails, warning of the risk of suicide.

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'Happy and relieved': hacking suspect Lauri Love emerges from court after win

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 13:32:20 GMT2018-02-05T13:32:20Z

Lauri Love will not face extradition to the US, the high court has ruled. The British student is accused of hacking into US government websites. Speaking outside court Love said he was thankful for the support he received 'without which I'm not sure I would have made it this far'

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Car-sharing company GoGet took seven months to tell customers of data hack

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 00:03:31 GMT2018-01-31T00:03:31Z

Day after man arrested, company says police advised that notifying affected customers sooner may have jeopardised the investigation

Car-sharing company GoGet has received praise from New South Wales fraud detectives for being “proactive” following a data hack last year, despite waiting nearly seven months to advise customers.

The company emailed users on Wednesday morning to apologise for the breach, a day after a 37-year-old man was arrested by the riot squad at Penrose, in the state’s southern highlands.

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Australian retailers resilient as they face down 'Amazon effect'

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 23:19:29 GMT2018-02-13T23:19:29Z

Analysts say local competitors are as profitable as before the global giant’s ‘underwhelming’ launch – but for how much longer?

Three months after the launch of Amazon in Australia, local competitors say they are still waiting for the dreaded “Amazon effect” to hit their sales.

Analysts, and some of the retailers themselves, say they are still as profitable as before Amazon’s “underwhelming” launch – for now.

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Bitcoin: what have experts said about the cryptocurrency?

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 17:02:25 GMT2018-02-08T17:02:25Z

The most memorable comments on the cryptocurrency from senior figures in world finance

•ECB official backs bitcoin clampdown

Bitcoin’s gyrations have attracted a lot of attention over the past year. Here are some of the most memorable comments from senior figures in world finance.

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How Tesla's big battery is bringing Australia’s gas cartel to heel

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 02:40:13 GMT2018-02-06T02:40:13Z

South Australia’s big gamble on grid-scale battery storage may pay for itself in just a year if it continues to prevent massive price spikes

• Giles Parkinson is editor of RenewEconomy

On Sunday 14 January something very unusual happened.

The Australian Energy Market Operator called – as it often does – for generators in South Australia to provide a modest amount of network services known as FCAS, or frequency control and ancillary services.

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May calls again for tech firms to act on encrypted messaging

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 15:56:34 GMT2018-01-25T15:56:34Z

Focus shifts to smaller platforms that can ‘quickly become home to criminals and terrorists’

Theresa May has signalled her desire to crack down on encrypted messaging apps, arguing that the services provide a safe haven for terrorists and extremists and hinting that the government may take more concrete action if developers do not act themselves.

Sound familiar? The prime minister has had her favourite dead horse shipped out to Davos, ready for another flogging.

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No, Mr Trump, video games do not cause mass shootings | Katherine Cross

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:00:34 GMT2018-02-23T12:00:34Z

After the Florida school shooting, attempts to deflect the blame on to video games rather than guns are a jarring hypocrisy

With Donald Trump, everything old is new again, it seems. His latest effort to grapple with the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, sees him joining his fellow Republicans, such as the Kentucky governor, Matt Bevin, in resuscitating a long-dormant culture war, blaming video games for mass shootings.

“I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” Bevin said this week at a White House meeting on school security, where he also launched into a tirade about violent films. This echoes the thoughts of Wayne LaPierre, the president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), in 2012 when he tried to pin the Sandy Hook shooting on “vicious violent video games, with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse”.

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Florence review – powerfully relatable snapshots of first love

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 06:00:06 GMT2018-02-23T06:00:06Z

iPhone, iPad; Mountains/Annapurna Interactive
This graphic novel-style chronicle of twentysomething romance uses a delicate aesthetic and clever interactions to keep you emotionally invested

Florence has a lot in common with graphic novels – except that there are barely any words. A story of falling in love for the first time structured as a series of little moments, it will inevitably surface your own memories as you play. You could race through Florence in less than an hour, but you won’t want to, because each interactive snapshot speaks volumes with a soft, sketched aesthetic and light use of animation. Like many acclaimed narrative video games, Florence’s intimate personal story isn’t particularly interesting as a series of events – 25-year-old Florence goes to work, calls her mother, reminisces about her childhood, dates a man – but it’s told through clever and affecting use of all the tools a game designer has at their disposal.

Colour plays an important role. Early scenes of a commute and office desk are mostly black and white, while moments with more emotional intensity are brighter. There’s minimal text, so it stands out when it appears. In scenes where Florence speaks to her mother, each response is written in English and in her native tongue. The few sound effects – like the noise of a vacuum cleaner – ground the relatable story. The instrumental soundtrack highlights different instruments to match the tone of the scene, surfacing playful piano to accompany Florence’s memory of making art as a kid, or cello for a romantic moment.

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Fe review – dreamlike forest quest loses its way

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 15:20:14 GMT2018-02-22T15:20:14Z

PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch; Zoink/Electronic Arts
Befriending the animals and learning their languages while you avoid the marauding Silent Ones is too much like hard work

For a game about a fox-like creature exploring a living forest and using song to unite its inhabitants, Fe is weirdly mechanical. There is something lovely about singing gently with animals, as you coax your controller’s right trigger into producing just the right frequency to harmonise with a young bird or deer. But these animal friendships are fundamentally a cog in the game’s machine. It’s plausibly a commentary on the nature of an ecosystem, but the emotional reward doesn’t compensate a player for the amount of busywork.

The overarching motivation for Fe’s adventure is the threatening presence of armoured bipeds called the Silent Ones, though this arbitrary narrative actually provides little real motivation. Your journey is gated by plants that each offer a new way to progress. Big orange flowers produce a draft that lifts Fe into the air so you can reach higher places; green buds produce explosives that Fe can throw at certain barriers. Each plant only responds to one of six languages that Fe can learn from the matriarchal adult version of each of the forest’s creatures.

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British Games Institute cements UK cultural hub for video games

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:31:51 GMT2018-02-21T13:31:51Z

BGI merger with Nottingham’s National Videogame Arcade creates ‘centre of gravity’ for the UK’s £1bn-plus games industry – but it’s still seeking government support

The recently formed British Games Institute, which aims to become a video game equivalent of the BFI, is merging with the National Videogame Foundation to create a new body dedicated to supporting and promoting game development and culture in Britain.

The British Games Institute will be housed at the NVA’s National Videogame Arcade building in Nottingham, where a games museum as well as cultural and educational programmes have been in operation since 2016.

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Tech billionaire, ordered to reopen public beach, appeals to supreme court

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 21:51:47 GMT2018-02-23T21:51:47Z

Investor Vinod Khosla has battled regulators for years over Martin’s Beach, which can only be reached by road on his property

A Silicon Valley billionaire who was ordered by California courts to restore public access to a popular surfing beach is seeking to take his case to the US supreme court.

The case could entirely upend public access to beaches in a state with more than 1,000 miles of shoreline.

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As Peter Thiel ditches Silicon Valley for LA, locals tout 'conservative renaissance'

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 21:47:35 GMT2018-02-16T21:47:35Z

The outspoken libertarian’s departure is a sign of the times, say LA conservatives, as Silicon Valley faces criticism for silencing alternative viewpoints

If the billionaire tech investor and noted libertarian Peter Thiel really does leave Silicon Valley for Los Angeles to escape what he views as an increasing intolerance for conservatives, the city’s growing community of conservatives will be there to welcome him.

Among LA’s right-leaning residents are the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, the political commentator Dave Rubin and the blogger Bill Whittle. There’s also the former members of the defunct Friends of Abe, a secretive group of Hollywood conservatives that fractured in 2016 over the candidacy of Donald Trump.

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Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:00:08 GMT2018-02-15T06:00:08Z

How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific

If you’re interested in the end of the world, you’re interested in New Zealand. If you’re interested in how our current cultural anxieties – climate catastrophe, decline of transatlantic political orders, resurgent nuclear terror – manifest themselves in apocalyptic visions, you’re interested in the place occupied by this distant archipelago of apparent peace and stability against the roiling unease of the day.

If you’re interested in the end of the world, you would have been interested, soon after Donald Trump’s election as US president, to read a New York Times headline stating that Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, considered New Zealand to be “the Future”. Because if you are in any serious way concerned about the future, you’re also concerned about Thiel, a canary in capitalism’s coal mine who also happens to have profited lavishly from his stake in the mining concern itself.

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How an ex-YouTube insider investigated its secret algorithm

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 12:00:28 GMT2018-02-02T12:00:28Z

The methodology Guillaume Chaslot used to detect videos YouTube was recommending during the election – and how the Guardian analysed the data

YouTube’s recommendation system draws on techniques in machine learning to decide which videos are auto-played or appear “up next”. The precise formula it uses, however, is kept secret. Aggregate data revealing which YouTube videos are heavily promoted by the algorithm, or how many views individual videos receive from “up next” suggestions, is also withheld from the public.

Disclosing that data would enable academic institutions, fact-checkers and regulators (as well as journalists) to assess the type of content YouTube is most likely to promote. By keeping the algorithm and its results under wraps, YouTube ensures that any patterns that indicate unintended biases or distortions associated with its algorithm are concealed from public view.

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Profile review – Skyping-with-Isis thriller dials up the suspense

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:44:40 GMT2018-02-20T10:44:40Z

Timur Bekmambetov’s film about a journalist investigating women online being lured to Syria is silly but effective

Cinema is currently deciding how it meets the challenge of representing the way modern life and modern experience is increasingly happening online. The recent supernatural horror-thriller Unfriended had the ingenious idea of playing out its entire drama on one computer screen in real time, a kind of found-footage 2.0, switching between Facebook, Skype and instant messaging, the various prompts all bleeping and pinging away disturbingly as a sinister presence looms up. Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (who went to Hollywood in the last decade for brash and crass movies such as Wanted) has applied this approach to a thriller that asks the eternal question: what happens when cops or reporters with unsatisfactory home lives go undercover among people who actually treat them rather well?

Profile is based on the 2015 non-fiction bestseller In the Skin of a Jihadist by a French journalist who now has round-the-clock police protection and has changed her name to Anna Erelle. She was investigating the phenomenon of young European women being radicalised online and lured to Syria; Erelle created a fake profile on Facebook and began chatting to a senior Islamic State commander who then tried to lure her over, repeatedly promising her that she would be his “bride”. A very dangerous game.

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Sonos One review: the best smart speaker for audiophiles

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:00:09 GMT2018-02-15T07:00:09Z

The company’s first foray into smart tech adds Amazon’s Alexa to a great wireless speaker to create a formidable combo

Having practically invented the multi-room wireless speaker category in 2005, Sonos has lagged behind in the race to become smart. Now the Sonos One is here, packing Alexa in the top and premium audio in the bottom.

The Sonos One is very deliberately designed to look, feel and sound like the company’s successful Play: 1 – a compact wireless speaker launched in 2013 at about £150 that was arguably the best for the money for years. Side-by-side they look identical apart from the top of the speaker, which is flat on the One, perforated by holes for the microphones that enable the voice assistant to hear you.

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Apple HomePod review: Siri lets down best sounding smart speaker

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 07:00:08 GMT2018-02-13T07:00:08Z

It’s the wifi speaker to beat in terms of audio but being locked in to Apple services is frustrating and its voice assistant is lacking

After much anticipation, and speculation that Apple has missed the boat and handed victory to Amazon’s champion Echo, the HomePod smart speaker is finally here. But is it actually any good? And why exactly does it cost four times as much as an Echo?

The HomePod is a voice-controlled speaker that listens out for its wake word “Hey, Siri” and then starts streaming what you say to Apple to interpret your commands and play whatever it is you wish. The fabric-covered cylinder stands an iPhone X-and-a-bit tall (172mm) with a diameter of an iPhone X (142mm), weighing 2.5kg (14.4 times the iPhone X).

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Honor 10 View review: cut-price top smartphone with two-day battery life

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 07:00:49 GMT2018-02-09T07:00:49Z

It might only come in blue but you’d have to spend a lot more than £449 to find a better smartphone than this

The Honor 10 View’s all-screen design, great performance and stellar battery life puts rival phones retailing at twice the price to shame, making you question why you’re paying any more for a top-end smartphone in 2018.

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Amazon Echo Spot review: cute smart speaker with a screen

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 09:00:51 GMT2018-02-05T09:00:51Z

The firm’s latest Alexa-powered addition to its Echo range adds a clock and touchscreen interface to the mix

Amazon’s new Echo Spot is one of the most novel takes on a smart speaker yet, and while it is certainly more than just a smart clock, that’s what it’s best at – an attractive voice-assisted smart desk or bedside-table accessory.

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Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World by Snigdha Poonam – review

Sun, 04 Feb 2018 08:00:21 GMT2018-02-04T08:00:21Z

A perceptive account of the challenges India faces in dealing with the aspirations of its growing young population

In 2014, in the 16th general election since winning independence from Britain in 1947, India voted for a new leader. The choice was a relatively simple one. The election pitted the centre-left Congress party, whose de facto candidate for prime minister was Rahul Gandhi, the lacklustre scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, against the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), led by Narendra Modi, a polarising but charismatic rightwing activist turned politician from a poor provincial family.

Covering the election for the Observer, I travelled from Delhi, the Indian capital and my base as South Asia correspondent, to Meerut, a small city an hour or so north, to attend a Modi rally. The meeting was vast, with tens of thousands hanging on the BJP leader’s every word. He promised a national regeneration, an India that stood up to its neighbours, was proud of its Hindu heritage, and which offered a hand-up to those who worked hard but had little sympathy with anyone who expected a hand-out.

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Ring Video Doorbell 2 review: deal with doorsteppers from your sofa

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 07:00:09 GMT2018-02-01T07:00:09Z

This smart doorbell connects to your phone – but you might want to disable notifications when at work

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 adds the convenience of a front-door intercom to pretty much any home, and with minimal DIY skills required, meaning it’s never been easier to get rid of doorsteppers.

There have long been wifi-connected doorbells, for those envious of flat-dwelling friends with video intercoms adding that extra barrier between them and the outside world, but most of them require some sort of wiring to install.

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Monster Hunter World review – feast of fun and fury where you're on the menu

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 09:31:11 GMT2018-01-30T09:31:11Z

PlayStation 4, Xbox One; Capcom
Pitting you against everything from fire-breathing dinosaurs to fluffy bird-wyverns, this is destined to be one of 2018’s best games

It’s rare that a video game forges a connection with nature, but Monster Hunter World does so by returning players to a time when humans were a part of the food chain, casting you simultaneously as a hunter-gatherer and zoologist. Like a virtual Attenborough, the hunter heads out into stupendously gorgeous places, rich with natural life and untouched by human influence, to track and observe extraordinary creatures, gathering local plants, bugs and mushrooms to study their healing or offensive properties. Then, distinctly unlike Attenborough, they must battle to the death.

Monster Hunter’s foes range from fire-breathing dinosaurs to building-size elder dragons to fluffy bird-wyverns that look like a cross between a hamster and a bat. They are realised so convincingly, with such personality, that it’s easy to believe that they could be real creatures despite their fantastical appearance. Each of them exists within a natural hierarchy, feeding on smaller monsters and fleeing when larger ones appear in the middle of a fight. And beginners beware: they will feed on you, too, given half a chance.

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When man meets metal: rise of the transhumans

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 08:00:22 GMT2017-10-29T08:00:22Z

At the borderline of technology and biology, ‘bodyhacking’ pioneers are defying nature to redesign their own bodies. Is this really the future?

Earlier this year I went to an event in Austin, Texas, billed as a sneak preview of the evolution of our species. The #Bdyhax Conference, which took place in a downtown exhibition complex, promised a front-row insight into the coming “singularity” – that nirvana foretold by science fiction in which biology and technology would fuse and revolutionise human capability and experience.

The headline acts of the conference were mostly bodyhackers – DIY experimenters who, in their basements and garages, seek to enhance their own flesh and blood with biometric implants and cognitive enablers. These brave pioneers were extending their senses, overcoming physical limitation, Dan-Daring themselves and the rest of us into the future.

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'Much work needed' to make digital economy environmentally sustainable

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:01:27 GMT2018-02-20T00:01:27Z

MPs cast doubt on whether energy efficiency gains can keep offsetting rising power demand

A cross-party group of MPs has raised doubts over whether the growing energy demand from digital technology and the proliferation of internet-connected gadgets can continue to be offset by energy efficiency improvements.

More efficient smartphones, networking gear and data centres have so far largely staved off increased power demand from the internet and computing – which now accounts for about 6% of global electricity use.

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Eve V review: upstart Windows tablet for power users has great potential

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 10:46:54 GMT2018-01-22T10:46:54Z

This crowdfunded and croudsourced machine could offer something special if its niggles are ironed out

On paper the Eve V reads like it should be the king of Windows tablets – a Surface Pro but with more ports, longer battery life and more features.

What makes the V more surprising is that it actually exists. It is not only a crowdfunded machine but also crowdsourced, meaning that, in Eve Tech’s own words, it was created by “over 1,000 minds working together as one”.

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Would a cheap refurbished laptop run Photoshop?

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 10:56:32 GMT2018-02-22T10:56:32Z

Yuri needs a laptop to run Adobe Creative Suite but is short of funds. Could he get an old machine that will do the job?

I’m a graphic designer with a long-term health condition that regularly puts me in hospital. At home I work on a desktop, but when I’m on the ward, I’m forced to use my partner’s laptop. I need a PC that can run the Adobe Creative Suite, including 3D in Photoshop when necessary, support a second monitor and store large files. It also has to be pretty solid as it will travel to and from hospital often. Times are tough financially, but last week you suggested refurbs. Can you recommend a laptop that would suit me? Yuri

Last week’s answer covered desktop PCs, which become available as refurbs after they have been retired from corporate use after three or four years. There are even more refurbished laptops, which can do sterling work for people who don’t need the latest and greatest specifications.

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Meet the Musks: who's who in Elon’s extended family?

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:54:54 GMT2018-02-21T14:54:54Z

The entrepreneur’s brother, Kimbal, is making the news, but since mother Musk flew around the world in a propeller plane, the whole clan has been involved in eye-catching initiatives

We know plenty about Elon Musk, the South African-born erstwhile teen mega-nerd, PayPal co-founder and Tesla boss turned tunneller, space coloniser and battery tycoon. But what about all the other Musks? Because while Elon revels in the success of his recent rocket launch, and a car-based publicity stunt that made Richard Branson look like Derek Trotter, little brother Kimbal is now making news, too. Time for a quick climb up the Musk family tree.

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Elon Musk’s dream ideas

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 06:59:37 GMT2018-02-18T06:59:37Z

From superfast trains to colonising Mars – a selection of Elon Musk’s extraordinary ideas

Musk’s SpaceX enterprise was founded with the intention of making space travel affordable. By extension, Musk has stated that he hopes human beings will one day become a “multi-planetary species”. At the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide last September, Musk said he hopes to send cargo ships to the Red Planet within the next five years, with humans settling by 2024.

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Temple Cycles Adventure review: ‘Perfect for hill passes, pints and pasties’ | Martin Love

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 06:00:36 GMT2018-02-18T06:00:36Z

Whatever two-wheel adventures you are planning, this classy take on the all-round gravel bike will make the ideal companion

Temple Cycles Adventure Disc
Price £1,595,
Frame Reynolds steel
Gears Shimano 105
Saddle Brooks
Brakes TRP Spyre

If you’ve cycled in the West Country, you’ll know it’s all about hills, hills, more hills and then, always, a flagstoned pub with a pint waiting for you at the end of a long day’s ride. It’s pain followed by pleasure. Chuck in a cheese and onion pasty and you’ve got the full “proper job”.

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'Parents killed it': why Facebook is losing its teenage users

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:08:09 GMT2018-02-16T16:08:09Z

This year more than 3 million under-25s in the UK and US are expected to leave the site

When Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook he was a 19-year-old living in a dorm in his second year at university. Fast-forward 14 years and it is the young people he was so successful in luring to Facebook to propel it to become the world’s biggest social networking site that are now his biggest problem.

This year more than 3 million under-25s in the UK and US will either quit Facebook or stop using it regularly, and they are pretty vocal about why.

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