Aug 3, 2021

Twitter works with news sites to tackle disinformation

"Rather than waiting until something goes viral, Twitter will contextualize developing discourse at pace with or in anticipation of the public conversation," Twitter said. In a blogpost, Twitter said the new programme would "Increase the scale and speed" of this work by increasing their "Capacity to add reliable context to conversations happening on Twitter". The post said material from Reuters and AP would improve information credibility on the platform when Twitter's Curation team "Doesn't...

Aug 3, 2021

Official recommends rerun in Amazon union fight

An official examining a landmark Amazon union election in Bessemer, Alabama, has called for a rerun. Amazon appeared to have stopped a union from forming, winning a vote on the issue by a margin of two to one. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union alleged that Amazon had illegally pressured its workers. The union specifically alleged that employees were pressured to drop ballots into a mailbox that was in view of Amazon cameras. Amazon had said the post box was installed to give...

Aug 1, 2021

Tom Daley knits while watching Olympic springboard final

The moment came ahead of the third round of dives, shortly after China's Shi Tingmao completed her second dive, cementing her lead. No British divers were competing. "There's Tom Daley - he's got his knitting needles out," said BBC commentator Katherine Downes, during live coverage on Sunday morning. The British diver, who won his first Olympic gold alongside Matty Lee in the synchronised 10m platform event last Monday, has called knitting "His secret weapon". "The one thing that has kept me...

Jul 30, 2021

Australia to return 14 artworks of disputed provenance to India

The National Gallery of Australia is to return 14 works of art to India that are suspected of having been stolen, looted or exported illegally. All but one of the works are connected to Subhash Kapoor, a former New York art dealer and alleged trafficker. Kapoor, who is awaiting trial in India, denies all charges. Some of the disputed pieces date back to the 12th Century, when the Chola dynasty presided over a flourishing of Hindu art in Tamil Nadu.The Canberra gallery has already returned...

Jul 30, 2021

Amazon hit with $886m fine for alleged data law breach

Amazon has been hit with an $886.6m fine for allegedly breaking European Union data protection laws. A spokeswoman told the BBC there had been "No data breach". The EU's General Data Protection Regulation rules requires companies to seek people's consent before using their personal data or face steep fines. The Luxembourg data protection authority, also known as Commission Nationale pour la Protection des Données, issued the fine to Amazon on 16 July, according to a US Securities and Exchange...

Jul 29, 2021

Netflix US cast and crew must be vaccinated to work

The actor Sean Penn wants the policy extended for all members of production, not just those classed as "Zone A".He recently said that he would not return to work on the drama Gaslit, which is backed by the studio NBC Universal, unless all cast and crew receive the jab. Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a blog post that "Anyone coming to work on our campuses will need to be vaccinated". People in special circumstances can apply to work from home until the end of 2021.However, any...

Jul 22, 2021

Major websites hit by global outage

Many popular websites fell offline on Thursday in a widespread global outage of service. Affected services included Airbnb, UPS, HSBC bank, British Airways and the PlayStation network used for online games. One popular DNS provider, Akamai, reported "An emerging issue" with its Edge DNS service. Previously it said the issue had been a "Partial outage" - and some users reported being able to access some compromised services in different regions. Gaming services including Steam, Call of Duty,...

Jul 21, 2021

British man arrested in Spain over Twitter hack

AFP/REUTERS. Spanish police have arrested a 22-year-old UK citizen in connection with the hacking of 130 high-profile Twitter accounts, including those of Elon Musk, Barack Obama and Kanye West.The hacked accounts tweeted followers, encouraging them to join a Bitcoin scam, in July last year. Also charged with hacking TikTok and Snapchat, Joseph O'Connor faces charges including three counts of conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorisation and obtaining information from a...

Jul 20, 2021

Twitter suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene over 'misleading' Covid posts

Twitter has temporarily suspended Republican lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene for posting "Misleading" information about coronavirus. Ms Greene was suspended from Twitter in April, but the company later rescinded the ban, saying it was a mistake caused by its automated moderation system. Last week, Democratic President Joe Biden urged social media firms to take more action against the spread of false information on their platforms about coronavirus and vaccines. Twitter has repeatedly banned...

Jul 20, 2021

China says Microsoft hacking accusations fabricated by US and allies

China has slammed "Groundless" claims that it carried out a major cyber-attack against tech giant Microsoft. A group of Western countries had accused China of hacking Microsoft Exchange - a popular email platform used by companies worldwide. On Monday, New Zealand joined the group of countries including the UK, US and Australia in blaming Chinese state-sponsored actors for "Malicious cyber activity" in the country, including the Microsoft attack. Microsoft blamed a Chinese cyber-espionage...

Jul 20, 2021

Biden rows back on Facebook 'killing people' comment

US President Joe Biden has issued a statement clarifying that "Facebook isn't killing people", following his earlier criticism. President Biden's initial remarks were off-the-cuff comments to a reporter, who'd asked about his message to "Platforms like Facebook". "Facebook isn't killing people, these 12 people are out there giving misinformation," he said. "Anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. It's killing people."My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally, that...

Jul 20, 2021

Nike trainer output at key factory hit by Covid outbreak

Production at some of Nike's largest plants in Vietnam has been disrupted as Covid has spread through factories. Nike said the company would continue to work with its suppliers to support them in response to the rise in Covid cases. In a statement, the country's health ministry said Pou Chen's Pouyuen Vietnam factory would be suspended for 10 days. Samsung makes around half of its phones in Vietnam and has had to stop work at three factories in Ho Chin Minh City. Bu, Dr Perry said that Nike's...

Jul 20, 2021

Netflix to include mobile games for subscribers

Netflix has confirmed that it will include video games as part of subscription packages at no extra cost. In a letter to investors, it said it was in the early stages of expanding into games and those for mobile would be added to the platform first. "The time is right to learn more about how our members value games," it said on Tuesday. Netflix shares dipped in after-hours trading after it missed a target on subscriptions. Netflix has recently announced a number of moves in order to aid its...

Jul 19, 2021

China accused of cyber-attack on Microsoft Exchange servers

The attack targeted Microsoft Exchange servers, affecting over a quarter of a million servers around the world. The countries have also said the Chinese Ministry of State Security was responsible for other espionage activity. In the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre issued tailored advice to over 70 affected organisations to deal with the attack. "The cyber-attack on Microsoft Exchange Servers by Chinese state-backed groups was a reckless but familiar pattern of behaviour," Foreign...

Jul 17, 2021

Covid misinformation on Facebook is killing people - Biden

Facebook says it is taking "Aggressive action" to protect public health. Earlier on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Facebook and other platforms were not doing enough to combat misinformation about vaccines. A spokesman for Facebook, Kevin McAlister, said the company would "Not be distracted by accusations which aren't supported by the facts". Facebook has faced criticism for its moderation, and misleading content about the pandemic is still widely available on its...

Jul 14, 2021

Nicolas Cage's Tiger King TV drama scrapped by Amazon

The Oscar-winning star says the streaming service's executives think the show is "no longer relevant".

Jul 14, 2021

Facebook 'expert' feature raises trust concerns

Facebook is rolling out a way to designate topic "Experts" inside user-run Facebook groups. Facebook said groups were subject to its community standards - and that people who had received more than three "Strikes" for violating those standards in the past 90 days, would not be eligible to be marked as "Experts". As part of the rollout, Facebook said it is also experimenting with ways to let group admins find true experts on a topic to invite to their groups. So while Facebook's plan to allow...

Jul 13, 2021

Ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn: How I escaped Japan in a box

In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Mr Ghosn tells how he disguised himself to slip unnoticed through the streets of Tokyo, why a large music equipment box was chosen to smuggle him out of Japan and the elation he felt when he finally landed in his native Lebanon. For more than a year, Mr Ghosn spent long periods in custody or was held under house arrest in Tokyo after being bailed. Mr Ghosn would have to swap the suits he'd worn for years as a high profile executive in the global...

Jul 9, 2021

Toyota halts donations to Republican election objectors

Toyota has said it will halt donations to members of the US Congress who voted against certification of President Biden's election victory. Toyota donated more than $50,000 to Republicans who tried to block approval of the US President's win in some states, it emerged last month. The decision came after Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in June reported that Toyota directly contributed a total of $56,000 to 38 of the 147 Republican lawmakers who voted against President...

Jul 7, 2021

Global chip shortage: Samsung forecasts 53% jump in quarterly profit

Tech giant Samsung Electronics has said it expects its quarterly profit to rise by 53% amid a global chip shortage. The world's biggest memory-chip and smartphone maker forecast operating profit of $11bn for the three months to the end of June.It said strong demand for memory chips had offset weaker sales of devices due to the shortage of components. Since then demand for electronics components has surged as people shifted more of their lives online, while many chip makers struggled to keep...

Jul 7, 2021

Trump sues Twitter, Google and Facebook alleging 'censorship'

Former US president Donald Trump has announced plans to sue tech giants Google, Twitter and Facebook, claiming that he is the victim of censorship. The class action lawsuit also targets the three companies' CEOs.Mr Trump was suspended from his social accounts in January over public safety concerns in the wake of the Capitol riots, led by his supporters. On Wednesday, Mr Trump called the lawsuit "a very beautiful development for our freedom of speech". In a news conference from his golf resort...

Jul 6, 2021

Pentagon cancels $10bn 'Jedi' contract

The Pentagon is scrapping a multibillion dollar cloud computing contract, which sparked a row between Microsoft and Amazon. After Microsoft won the massive Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, it drew complaints and a legal challenge from tech rival Amazon, which claimed that the choice was politically motivated. After the work was awarded to Microsoft in 2019, Amazon - which was seen as the favourite for the project - filed a legal challenge to object. Mr Trump referred to the...

Jul 5, 2021

Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon boss

Bezos steps down from Amazon on Monday - exactly 27 years after he founded it. Last month, a bombshell article from ProPublica claimed to have seen Bezos' tax returns - and alleged Mr Bezos paid no tax in 2007 and 2011. Amazon Web Services, the astoundingly successful cloud computing service, on the face of it didn't have much to do with Amazon's core business: e-commerce. Bezos backed the idea, giving his trusted employee Andy Jassy the freedom, and capital, to go about creating a company...

Jul 2, 2021

Parents of children called Alexa challenge Amazon

Parents of children called Alexa say their daughters are being bullied because it is the same name that Amazon uses for its virtual assistant. Some have even changed their child's name because they say the barrage of Alexa jokes is "Relentless". The problem, which has attracted complaints since Alexa's launch in 2014, is not confined to the UK.Lauren Johnson, from Massachusetts, USA, has started a campaign called Alexa is a Human. Since Amazon's Alexa devices were introduced in the UK in...

Jul 2, 2021

India Covid-19: AI shows Pakistani Twitter prayed for neighbour

An artificial intelligence-driven study which looked at thousands of tweets from Pakistan posted between 21 April and 4 May says an overwhelming number were indeed positive. The researchers then ran the text from these tweets into a "Hope speech classifier" - a language processing tool that helps detect positive comments. Their study found that tweets containing supportive hashtags originating in Pakistan heavily outnumbered those containing non-supportive hashtags and also had substantially...

Jul 1, 2021

The Amazon sellers who sold up and became millionaires

The sheer scale of Amazon means that if they get the products and the marketing right, small sellers can find themselves selling huge amounts quite quickly. Two years ago, when Ms Venton sold up, it was relatively rare to sell businesses based entirely on selling via Amazon. Over the past year, a new generation of firms has sprung up to offer Amazon entrepreneurs like Ms Venton a way to sell their businesses. "Back then [in 2018], it took seven months to sell a company, there were more...

Jun 28, 2021

Jack Dorsey: Unpicking Twitter boss's passion for Nigeria

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is no stranger to controversy but in Nigeria he has become embroiled in the battle between the country's tech-savvy youths and a ruling class that is seen to be out-of-touch with their thinking. Far from being intimidated by the Twitter ban, Mr Dorsey has kept tweeting about Nigeria and has captivated many here. Mr Dorsey's defenders argue that while he is advancing his business interests, he also appears to be genuinely interested in Nigeria - even though he...

Jun 28, 2021

US judge throws out Facebook anti-trust lawsuits

A US federal court has dismissed two separate anti-trust lawsuits filed against Facebook. In the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruling, Judge Boasberg wrote that the FTC's complaint was "Legally insufficient" and had to be dismissed, because the FTC had "Failed to plead enough facts" to back up its claim that Facebook was stifling competition. "The FTC's complaint says almost nothing concrete on the key question of how much power Facebook actually had, and still has, in a...

Jun 27, 2021

US and Canada heatwave: Pacific Northwest sees record temperatures

Parts of the US Pacific Northwest have been hit by a sweltering heatwave, with temperatures in Portland, Oregon, at a record 108F on Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings and watches across nearly all of Washington and Oregon state. Multnomah county, in Oregon, has warned of "Life-threatening" heat. Temperatures are expected to soar 20 - 30F above average in Washington and Oregon states. Oregon's health authority has removed Covid capacity limits at large...

Jun 27, 2021

France elections: Far-right National Rally fails in key regional battles

Marine Le Pen's National Rally had hoped to win a regional powerbase ahead of next year's election.