Jul 18, 2018

Elon Musk apologises to Thai cave diver for Twitter attack

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has apologised to a British cave diver he called a "Pedo guy" in a row over the cave rescue in Thailand. He said he had "Spoken in anger" after Vern Unsworth ridiculed a mini-submarine he had commissioned for the rescue effort as a "PR stunt". Mr Unsworth told reporters on Monday he was considering legal action. "His actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologise," Mr Musk said.

Jul 18, 2018

Hong Kong National Party: Move to ban pro-independence group 'concerns' UK

The UK has said it is "Concerned" after police in Hong Kong requested a ban on a small political party that campaigns for the territory's independence. Officials in Hong Kong say a request to outlaw the Hong Kong National Party is being considered on security grounds. "We note with concern... plans to prohibit the continued operation of the Hong Kong National Party," the UK Foreign Office said in a statement on Tuesday. It said that individuals' rights to stand for election, free speech and...

Jul 17, 2018

Amazon faces web issues around the world on Prime Day

US shoppers are struggling to access Amazon's website as one of its biggest annual sales, Prime Day, gets underway. Some reported the e-commerce platform had crashed, showing them only an error message that read: "Sorry, something went wrong on our end". According to the website DownDetector.com, which tracks outages, the website has not been working properly since 3:04 pm eastern time. In a tweet the Amazon said it was working to resolve the issues and many were "Shopping successfully". In...

Jul 17, 2018

Apple unveils its latest emojis on World Emoji Day

All of the above have made it into the latest batch of Apple emojis, unveiled to mark "World Emoji Day" on Tuesday. The coming of the colourful characters was announced back in February by the Unicode Consortium, the group that decides on new emojis. Jeremy Burge, creator of World Emoji Day, said the ginger emojis were expected to draw the most love from users. Back in March, Apple said it wanted to bring in emojis that better represent people with disabilities. The company observed that very...

Jul 17, 2018

Amazon boss's wealth tops $150bn

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is now worth $150bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. This places his worth higher than that of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who has previously topped the rich lists - even at his peak in 1999. Mr Bezos says he is selling about $1bn of Amazon stock every year to fund Blue Origin, the project he has founded to develop commercial space travel. It's not the first time Jeff Bezos has topped the world's rich list - in July 2017, he briefly overtook Bill...

Jul 16, 2018

British caver 'could sue' Elon Musk over Twitter attack

A British cave diver who helped rescue 12 Thai boys from deep within a cave has said he is considering suing tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. In now-deleted tweets, Mr Musk had called Vern Unsworth a "Pedo guy" after the cave expert ridiculed a mini-submarine built by the Tesla CEO for the rescue effort as a "PR stunt". Elon Musk, who regularly takes on journalists and other critics on Twitter, on Sunday tweeted a response to Mr Unsworth, without using his name but calling him a "British expat...

Jul 16, 2018

Airbnb told to be clearer on total cost of bookings

The European Commission has told the firm to tell consumers up-front the total cost of renting a property, including service and cleaning charges. The European Commission has raised various other points with Airbnb on which it is not complying with EU law, including denying consumers the basic legal right to sue a host in case of personal harm or other damages. "Consumers must easily understand what for and how much they are expected to pay for the services and have fair rules, eg on...

Jul 16, 2018

Racially abused German woman blocked by Facebook for Austria post

A black German woman has launched an anti-racism blog after Facebook removed her description of racial abuse she suffered in Austria. She is a 25-year-old IT professional now living in Vienna where, she told the BBC, the level of racism is not as bad as in small-town Austria. Speaking to the BBC, she said she was aware of "Everyday racism" not only in Austria, but also in Bavaria. "Basically it's the same, because Bavaria and Austria are very similar - there's not a big difference when it...

Jul 16, 2018

Netflix shares plunge as subscriber growth stalls

Netflix shares plunged by more than 13% in after-hours trade on Monday, after the firm reported disappointing subscriber growth. Netflix said it added 5.2 million subscribers in the three months to the end of June, the same number it did during the period last year. The firm had forecast growth of 6.2 million. The decline in share price follows a successful run for the stock, which had roughly doubled so far this year.

Jul 13, 2018

Fake Twitter users: Celebrities lose followers amid crackdown

Some of the world's biggest celebrities have lost millions of Twitter followers after the company cracked down on "Locked" accounts. It follows renewed scrutiny over fake news and users on social media. The new measures mean that any user whose account is locked for unusual activity - such as being blocked or sending unusual volumes of Tweets - and who did not respond to a prompt to verify their identity would be excluded from Twitter follower counts. The head of the company's legal team,...

Jul 12, 2018

Facebook ruling: German court grants parents rights to dead daughter's account

Germany's highest court has ruled that the parents of a dead daughter have the rights to her Facebook account under inheritance law. A lower German court backed the parents in 2015, supporting the claim that Facebook data was covered by inheritance law as the equivalent of private correspondence. An appeals court backed Facebook and overturned the ruling, on the grounds that any contract between the girl and the company ended with her death and could not pass on to the parents. The case went...

Jul 10, 2018

Apple store robbery caught on camera

Security cameras inside an Apple store in California captured a group of brazen thieves in action.

Jul 9, 2018

Nissan admits falsifying emissions tests in Japan

Nissan has admitted that results from exhaust emissions tests on cars built at most of its Japanese factories have been deliberately falsified. The firm did not disclose how many cars were involved, but said emissions and fuel economy tests had "Deviated from the prescribed testing environment". The carmaker added that inspection reports had been "Based on altered measurement values". Nissan pledged there would be a "Full and comprehensive investigation".

Jul 9, 2018

France's Marine Le Pen condemns €2m party funding block

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen says her National Rally party is being "Assassinated" by judges who blocked €2m of public funding for it. Ms Le Pen and seven RN colleagues are members of the French parliament. In a tweet on Monday Ms Le Pen said: "Two judges have decided, in violation of the presumption of innocence, without any court ruling, to assassinate France's leading opposition party." Ms Le Pen said seizing the RN's public subsidy "Puts democracy at risk - it's also a matter for...

Jul 9, 2018

Twitter 'shuts down millions of fake accounts'

Twitter has shut down up to 70 million fake and suspicious accounts since May, according to the Washington Post. "Until recently, Twitter did not think bots were a problem on its platform and did not lead a strong bot-detection effort," he told the BBC. "It was only after Brexit and the 2016 election, where these bots became a liability and Twitter, as well as Facebook began taking them seriously." A spokesman for Twitter said the Washington Post report was "Nothing new" and added that the...

Jul 9, 2018

Facebook launches services for Inuit speakers

Facebook has announced that it is setting up services to allow Canadian Inuit people to use the social media platform in their own language. To help build the new service, Facebook is reaching out to Inuktut speakers to help crowd-source the new interface with correct translations of words and phrases currently used on the site. Inuktut is the region's majority language, and many people use Facebook to connect with family and sell items, Aluki Kotierk, president of the region's indigenous...

Jul 6, 2018

What tech giants really do with your data

Tracking your phone's gyroscope, scanning your messages and giving your data to third-party companies. If having to read the tech giant's terms itself wasn't enough, you might also have to read those of other companies that deal with your data. The EU's General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force in May, does not order companies to list these third parties in their terms. "Privacy policies can be overwhelming, but it is really important to take the time to look not only at what...

Jul 5, 2018

Empty Macy's is turned into a homeless shelter in Virginia

One of the corners of what used to be a Macy's store at a mall in Alexandria, Virginia, has become a temporary home to 60 homeless people. The Carpenter's Shelter moved into the empty store in early June and will occupy the space for 18 months, while its new headquarters is built.

Jul 5, 2018

Second civil war letters: Alex Jones conspiracy ignites a parody conflict

The US did not descend into a second civil war on 4 July. Why is this news? Because right-wing US broadcaster and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones told his 830,000 Twitter followers to expect exactly that, with a dire warning issued three days before: "BREAKING: Democrats Plan To Launch Civil War On July 4th". According to Jones, anti-Republican elements were massing to overthrow President Trump on Independence Day. "My Dear John," began Twitter user Amanda Blount, "The war isn't going as...

Jul 5, 2018

Facebook finds Independence document 'racist'

Facebook's algorithms have ruled that parts of the US Declaration of Independence are hate speech and removed excerpts of them posted to the platform. In the run-up to Independence Day, a US community paper based in Texas had been posting small daily chunks of the historic document on its Facebook page. The Liberty County Vindicator had been sharing excerpts from America's founding document to its Facebook page in an attempt to encourage historical literacy among its readers. Part 10 did not...

Jul 5, 2018

Michael Cohen scrubs 'Trump lawyer' Twitter bio

Michael Cohen has deleted a line in his Twitter bio saying he is the "Personal attorney to President Donald J Trump". Mr Trump has repeatedly referred to the Mueller investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election as a "Witch hunt" and denies any wrongdoing. Mr Cohen had previously said he was so loyal to Mr Trump he would "Take a bullet for him". The latter is understood to relate to Mr Cohen paying off porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016...

Jul 4, 2018

Sony accidentally posts whole movie

Thousands of people watched a film posted in its entirety to YouTube by its US distributor before the apparent mistake was tackled. Sony Pictures Entertainment had labelled the video as being a trailer for the movie Khali the Killer. Its 90 minute duration acted as a giveaway that the upload contained more than just highlights from the film. The low-budget film - which is about a Los Angeles-based hitman - had previously attracted little attention, despite having already been released in...

Jul 2, 2018

UN declares Colombia's Chiribiquete park world heritage site

The United Nations has placed Colombia's Chiribiquete national park on its list of world heritage sites. The park, which straddles the southern provinces of Caquetá and Guaviare, is the country's largest and has one of the highest rates of plant diversity in the northern Amazon. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the park would be extended by 1.5 million hectares on Monday, a decision he had announced back in February. Chiribiquete was first declared a national park in 1989. Because...

Jul 2, 2018

Anger at Uganda's tax on social media

Ugandans have taken to Twitter to complain about the imposition of a 200 Uganda shilling tax on the use of social media. Parliament approved the tax in May after President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the changes, arguing that social media encouraged gossip. In a letter to the finance minister in March, Mr Museveni said a social media tax could boost government revenue, and so reduce borrowing and aid money. Many say the tax is politically useful as social media is often used for critical...

Jul 2, 2018

Roger Federer drops decades-old Nike partnership for Uniqlo

Tennis legend Roger Federer has signed a deal with Japanese clothing company Uniqlo after ending his decades-long partnership with Nike. The new contract is reportedly worth $300m over the next 10 years and was signed after Feder's deal with Nike expired in March. The tennis star donned the Japanese brand at his Wimbledon match on Monday, but for now has kept his Nike shoes. The sports news website also said Nike had been given the chance to match the new contract but declined. As the...

Jul 1, 2018

National Redress Scheme: Australia sex abuse compensation scheme begins

Australia has begun a compensation scheme for victims of institutional child sex abuse. Financial redress was a key recommendation of a Royal Commission into decades-long child abuse in Australian institutions. The Commission spent five years investigating suffering and abuse in religious organisations, schools, charities, sports clubs and the military. Doug Goulter faced years of sexual abuse in a Melbourne children's home and then in a Sydney jail from the age of 17. Some lawyers say the...

Jun 28, 2018

Elon Musk accused of stealing farting unicorn image

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has been accused of using an image of a farting unicorn for his business without permission or compensation. Last year, Mr Musk tweeted the original image, which featured on a mug by Colorado potter Tom Edwards. On Thursday morning, Mr Musk tweeted a journalist saying: "I offered to pay the guy who drew it twice already for something I don't even want." In February 2017, Mr Musk shared the "Whimsical drawing" of a unicorn farting electricity to power an...

Jun 28, 2018

Queer Eye host backs viewers on Netflix subtitle change

Karamo Brown, a host on the hugely successful makeover show Queer Eye, has vowed to pressure streaming service Netflix into improving its subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing watchers after a social media debate over their quality. While regulations are in place for closed captioning subtitles on typical television services, many on-demand services still lag behind. One YouTube vlogger, Rikki Poynter, has dedicated years to working on accessibility on the platform, lobbying it to improve...

Jun 24, 2018

Woman 'humiliated' by Walgreens over drugs to end pregnancy

An Arizona woman has said she was left "In tears and humiliated" after a staff member at US pharmacy chain Walgreens refused to give her prescription medication to end her pregnancy - even though her doctor had said she would ultimately have a miscarriage. Knowing her two-month pregnancy would not run to term, she was given a choice to end it through a surgical procedure or prescription medication, and chose the latter. "I left Walgreens in tears, ashamed and feeling humiliated by a man who...

Jun 22, 2018

BMW joins Airbus in Brexit warning

It makes the Mini and Rolls Royce in the UK. Earlier, Airbus warned it could leave the UK if it exits the European Union single market and customs union without a transition deal. The customs union brings together the EU's 28 members in a duty-free area, in which they pay the same rate of duty on non-EU goods. Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out staying in the customs union. Mr Robertson said he needed to know what the government's preferred position is on customs and trade within months...