Cable calls for ‘tech titans’ Google, Facebook and Amazon to be broken up

Liberal Democrat leader claims recent scandals have shown web companies have gone from ‘heroes to villains very quickly’

Vince Cable has compared Google, Amazon and Facebook to the US oil monopolies that exploited their market power more than a century ago – and called for them to be broken up.

In a speech in London, the Liberal Democrat leader said a series of recent scandals, including revelations about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, meant the “tech titans” had “progressed from heroes to villains very quickly”.

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Zelda? Pokémon? Spyro? Gamestruck players tweet their defining games

Under the trending Twitter hashtag #GameStruck4, video game fans have spent the day listing the four titles that defined their love of gaming. Some are predictable, others not so much

It’s a question video game fans often discuss: which games have defined your life? Now that question has become a trending Twitter hashtag, and some familiar classics are emerging as the most widely inspiring experiences.

It all started yesterday when streaming service Filmstruck took to Twitter asking people to list their four life-changing movies under a hashtag, #FilmStruck4. In response, Twitch streamer Marcus “EpicNameBro” Sanders tweeted: “I don’t watch movies, so I can’t do the whole ‘What 4 films define you’ thing. But I can do games.” He listed four titles – Final Fantasy Tactics, Demon’s Souls, Cave Story and World of Warcraft – and added the hashtag #GameStruck4.

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UK drives into e-vehicle fast lane with 11% sales rise

Detta inlägg post publicerades ursprungligen på denna sida this site ; News from, The guardian Electric vehicles’ share of new UK registrations rises to 2%, still falling far short of Norway’s 48% Sales of electric cars in the UK have risen 11% on last year, putting the country in the premier league of those ditching Läs mer…

What’s the best email service that doesn’t scan emails for ad-targeting?

Jim doesn’t want his emails scanned for targeted ads, but while there are ways to avoid it, surveillance-based advertising is rife

What’s the best free email service provider that does not scan or use the data in your emails for advertising? Jim

Free email services are usually paid for by showing you advertisements. Some email services scan your emails in order to show you personalised or targeted ads. You could argue that that’s a benefit, because you’ll see ads in which you might have some interest. You could also argue that your emails are private, so it’s an invasion of privacy. Either way, it’s different from scanning your emails to stop viruses and phishing attempts, which nobody wants to stop.

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Will Democrats be bold and pledge to break up tech monopolies? | Ross Barkan

Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple have accrued so much power, it has damaged American democracy

For those Democrats who dream of being president, it’s no longer safe to play it safe. We live in a dangerous, unstable time in a democracy that is far from healthy. Many of the forces corroding it precede Donald Trump, despite progressives who would tell you otherwise – this entire century, so far, has been a misery for many Americans.

Related: The web can be weaponised – and we can’t count on big tech to stop it | Tim Berners-Lee

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Facebook moves 1.5bn users out of reach of new European privacy law

Company moves responsibility for users from Ireland to the US where privacy laws are less strict

Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “spirit” of the legislation globally.

In a tweak to its terms and conditions, Facebook is shifting the responsibility for all users outside the US, Canada and the EU from its international HQ in Ireland to its main offices in California. It means that those users will now be on a site governed by US law rather than Irish law.

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Tesla factory to be investigated over safety concerns

California base faces claims of unreported injuries as it struggles to roll out Model 3

Tesla is facing an investigation by Californian safety regulators into reports of serious injuries at its factory in Fremont, California, where it is struggling to scale up production of its Model 3 mass-market electric car.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration said on Wednesday it had begun an inspection on Tuesday, a day after the news website Reveal alleged that Tesla failed to disclose legally mandated reports on serious worker injuries, making its safety record appear better than it was.

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Amazon Prime passes 100m subscribers mark

Service that bundles fast delivery with video and music streaming edges closer to Netflix’s 125 million subscribers

Amazon has revealed that it has more than 100 million subscribers to its Prime service, which bundles free shipping with video and music streaming services and other perks to keep shoppers locked into its brand.

Jeff Bezos, its chief executive, revealed the subscription numbers in his annual letter to shareholders. The service, which costs users £79 in the UK or $99 in the US a year, was first launched 13 years ago as a way of fostering customer loyalty.

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How Europe’s ‘breakthrough’ privacy law takes on Facebook and Google

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation is forcing big changes at tech’s biggest firms – even if the US isn’t likely to follow suit

Despite the political theatre of Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional interrogations last week, Facebook’s business model isn’t at any real risk from regulators in the US. In Europe, however, the looming General Data Protection Regulation will give people better privacy protections and force companies including Facebook to make sweeping changes to the way they collect data and consent from users – with huge fines for those who don’t comply.

“It’s changing the balance of power from the giant digital marketing companies to focus on the needs of individuals and democratic society,” said Jeffrey Chester, founder of the Center for Digital Democracy. “That’s an incredible breakthrough.”

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Flat-pack heaven? Robots master task of assembling Ikea chair

Machines programmed by engineers in Singapore complete job in just over 20 minutes

Those who fear the rise of the machines, look away now. In a laboratory in Singapore two robots have mastered a task that roundly defeats humans every weekend: they have successfully assembled an Ikea chair.

Engineers at Nanyang Technological University used a 3D camera and two industrial robot arms fitted with grippers and force sensors to take on the challenge of building an £18 “Stefan” chair from the furniture company.

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Tech firms including Facebook sign up to ‘digital Geneva convention’

Signatories including Microsoft, Arm and Trend Micro agree not to take part in cyber-attacks

More than 30 global technology firms have signed up to a “digital Geneva convention”, committing never to partake in cyber-attacks against individuals or businesses.

The signatories to the “cybersecurity tech accord”, which include Facebook, Microsoft, Arm and Trend Micro, are largely from the US and western Europe, and do not include any companies from the countries perceived to be most responsible for the recent flaring up of digital hostilities, such as Russia, North Korea and Iran.

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‘Big bitcoin heist’ suspect escapes prison and flees Iceland ‘on PM’s plane’

Sindri Thor Stefansson escaped through window before reportedly boarding same flight to Sweden as prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir

The suspected mastermind behind the theft of 600 computers used to mine bitcoin in Iceland has escaped from prison and fled to Sweden on an aeroplane reportedly carrying the Icelandic prime minister.

Sindri Thor Stefansson escaped through a window of the low-security Sogn prison in rural southern Iceland before boarding a flight to Sweden at the international airport in Keflavik located 59 miles from the prison on Tuesday. Police said he travelled under a passport in someone else’s name, but was identified via surveillance video.

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Facebook to start asking permission for facial recognition in GDPR push

Users will be asked to review information about targeted advertising but some say opting out is deliberately difficult

Facebook has started to seek explicit consent from users for targeted advertising, storage of sensitive information, and – for the first time in the EU – application of facial recognition technology as the European general data protection regulation is due to come into force in just over a month.

Although the company is only required to seek the new permissions in the European Union, it plans to roll them out to every Facebook user, no matter where they live. That follows chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s stated goal to apply the “spirit” of GDPR to worldwide.

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Facebook is a tyranny – and our government isn’t built to stop it

America’s founders didn’t envision the power of the corporation. We need a new structure for self-governance that can counter 21st-century monopolies

Last week, Senator Dick Durbin asked: “Mr Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”

The Facebook CEO froze and then answered: “No.”

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Google Chrome now blocks autoplaying video with sound

Most popular browser finally stops unwanted sound and moving image automatically on both desktop and mobile

Google’s Chrome browser now blocks auto-playing video with sound, taking a big step forward in removing one of the most irritating things about the modern web.

Originally promised to be delivered last January as part of version 64 of Chrome but delayed until now, the feature will stop any video that is set to autoplay with sound from doing so on sites where the video is not the primary purpose. That includes video reports for news sites and other ancillary video that is often played off to the side of text.

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