May 25, 2018

Apple awarded $539m in US patent case against Samsung

A US court has ordered South Korea's Samsung Electronics pay $539m in damages for copying features of Apple's original iPhone. A year later Apple was awarded $1.05bn in damages but the pair have fought over the final amount Samsung should pay. Most of the damages payment - $533.3m - was awarded for infringing three Apple design patents. In a statement, Apple said it was pleased that the members of the jury "Agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products." Samsung said the decision...

May 25, 2018

Google and Facebook accused of breaking GDPR laws

Complaints have been filed against Facebook, Google, Instagram and WhatsApp within hours of the new GDPR data protection law taking effect. The companies are accused of forcing users to consent to targeted advertising to use the services. This, the organisation suggests, falls foul of the new rules because forcing people to accept wide-ranging data collection in exchange for using a service is prohibited under GDPR. "The GDPR explicitly allows any data processing that is strictly necessary...

May 24, 2018

US students face off in National Geographic Bee

Venkat Ranjan,13, won the title after almost three million students took part in the competition.

May 24, 2018

Netflix eclipses Disney in market milestone

Shares in the online streaming giant rose more than 2% in mid-afternoon trading, pushing the firm's market value to more than $153bn. The ascent briefly eclipsed rival Walt Disney, which has been shaken by Netflix's success at luring US households from cable TV. Netflix shares subsequently fell back, closing the day up 1.3%. Netflix, founded in 1997, debuted on the stock market in 2002 as a DVD rental service with less than one million subscribers. At the end of trading on Thursday, the...

May 23, 2018

BMW cars found to contain more than a dozen flaws

BMW's car computer systems have been found to contain 14 separate flaws, according to a study by a Chinese cyber-security lab. The researchers are holding back their full findings until 2019, to give BMW more time to tackle the problems. Several models of BMW cars are said to be affected, including at least some of its i, X, 3, 5 and 7 Series designs. "Modern cars have an extraordinary amount of software running essential systems as well as infotainment systems," said Prof Alan Woodward, from...

May 23, 2018

Sony says PlayStation 4 is in 'final phase' of its life cycle

Sony's new CEO John Kodera has announced the PlayStation 4 era could be near an end. Speaking at a company conference, he said the console, released in 2013, was in the "Final phase" of its life cycle. More than 76 million PS4's have been sold since it was released - but last year, sales were down from 20 million units to 19 million. While console sales are down - people are buying more games. That's one of the reasons Sony is thinking of releasing more games exclusively for PlayStation,...

May 23, 2018

Uber ends Arizona driverless car programme

Uber has pulled the plug on its self-driving car operation in Arizona two months after a pedestrian was killed in an accident involving one of its cars. Uber, best known for its taxi app, began testing its first self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2016, gradually expanding to other places, including Arizona, San Francisco, California and Toronto. It halted all those operations in March after the crash, which sparked debate about the readiness and safety of driverless car...

May 22, 2018

Sony takes controlling stake in EMI Music Publishing

Sony says it has agreed to buy a controlling stake in EMI Music Publishing for $2.3bn as it looks to boost its music portfolio. The deal would mean Sony would indirectly own about 90% of the record label and its some two million songs by artists from Queen and Carole King to Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams. Mubadala's private equity arm has controlled and managed EMI Music Publishing on behalf of Mubadala and other third-party investors since 2012, Sony said on Tuesday. "We are thrilled to...

May 22, 2018

Zuckerberg's European Parliament testimony criticised

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has apologised to European Parliament lawmakers for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal and for allowing fake news to proliferate on its platform. In opening remarks, shared ahead of the hearing, Mr Zuckerberg apologised for Facebook's tools being used "For harm". Mr Zuckerberg has been criticised for not taking enough care over how third-parties such as Cambridge Analytica access the information of Facebook users. "Mr Zuckerberg told European...

May 22, 2018

McDonald's workers make sexual harassment complaints

Ten workers at McDonald's fast food franchises in the US have filed complaints of sexual harassment against the firm. Similar harassment claims were lodged against McDonald's two years ago. The latest complaints, which were filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, were brought on behalf of the workers by the campaign group The Fight for $15. It says that the workers - based in cities such as Miami, Los Angeles and Detroit - were ignored or mocked when they reported instances...

May 21, 2018

U-turn over Facebook chief's EU meeting

In a change of plan, the public will be able to watch Mark Zuckerberg's response to European Parliament leaders' privacy concerns. Earlier, news that the Facebook chief's meeting with the parliament's political group leaders would be in private, had been criticised. "It is disgraceful how Zuckerberg promises more transparency, but does not want to make public statements in the European Parliament. Facebook operates a public platform and therefore has to publicly take responsibility for its...

May 21, 2018

Barack and Michelle Obama to make TV and films for Netflix

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are teaming up with Netflix to produce films and TV shows. "That's why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix - we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world." "Mrs Obama said:"Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about...

May 18, 2018

Cambridge Analytica starts bankruptcy proceedings in US

Cambridge Analytica has filed for bankruptcy in the US. The consultancy was at the centre of the Facebook data-sharing scandal in which it was accused of improperly obtaining information on users. The bankruptcy proceedings are part of the process of closing down the company and its UK parent, SCL Elections, that started in early May. The company blamed a "Siege of media coverage" for driving away customers and forcing its closure. In court papers filed with a New York court, Cambridge...

May 18, 2018

Airbnb to report homeowners' income to Danish tax authorities

Airbnb will automatically report homeowners' income to tax authorities in Denmark under a landmark move. Danish tax minister Karsten Lauritzen said the country wants a "Sharing economy" to flourish, but on condition taxes are paid. The move - which needs clearance in parliament - comes as several countries try to rein in Airbnb tax evaders. This week, German tax officials asked Airbnb to surrender all data on its country's users to help track down tax evaders. In China the company has agreed...

May 17, 2018

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams helps sick patient on Delta flight

"Is there a doctor on board?" the flight crew asked, when a passenger lost consciousness before takeoff on board a US Delta Air Lines plane. US Surgeon General Jerome Adams helped with a medical emergency on Wednesday on board the aircraft, which was due to leave Florida for Georgia. The passenger is reported to be in a stable condition following the incident on board the Delta flight, which was due to leave Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida bound for Atlanta, Georgia. "Yesterday I had the...

May 17, 2018

China car app Didi updates safety measures after murder

Didi Chuxing claims to be the world's largest ride-hailing service, with more than 450 million users and 21 million drivers. The driver - a 26-year-old male who abandoned his vehicle and jumped in a river - has since also been found dead, according to the South China Morning Post. The Hitch service has previously faced criticism from users who complain that the app allows drivers to leave comments on their profiles regarding their appearance. Currently drivers are vetted through verification...

May 15, 2018

Pakistan activists targeted in Facebook attacks

The messages weren't coming from a fan of Mrs Saeeda's activism - instead they were the start of a sustained campaign of digital attacks attempting to install malware on her computer and mobile phone to spy on her and steal her data. The attackers targeting Mrs Saeeda made crucial mistakes that allowed researchers from human rights group Amnesty International to trace a number of individuals linked either to the operation or to the malware used. She says the malware attacks were more invasive...

May 15, 2018

Amazon and Starbucks blast Seattle tax to fight homelessness

Amazon and Starbucks have hit out at a decision to impose a new tax on firms based in Seattle to help fight homelessness. Seattle City Council voted unanimously for the tax, saying it will raise $47m to tackle a housing affordability crisis due to a recent economic boom. Supporters of the tax cite data showing Seattle's median home prices have soared to more than $820,000, and more than 41% of renters are classed as "Rent-burdened". Seattle is also home to the third-largest concentration of...

May 15, 2018

Frogs and goats banned on American Airlines

Starting 1 July, passengers on American Airlines flights will be prohibited from flying with frogs, hedgehogs, and goats even if they are therapy animals. The airline published a new policy on Tuesday in response to a rise in people flying with so-called emotional support animals on board with them. The new ruling expands the airline's banned creatures list to include amphibians, spiders, goats, snakes, "Non-household birds", or any smelly or unclean animal. "We support the rights of...

May 14, 2018

DR Congo: Why tourists go to Virunga National Park

One of Africa's most stunning parks - Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo - has suffered a major blow following the killing of a ranger, and the abduction of two British tourists, who were later released. The lawlessness in the park is linked to DR Congo sliding into chaos as the Mobutu regime lost his grip on power, before he was finally toppled in 1997. "Virunga suffered terribly. Poaching depleted the park's large mammal populations, infrastructure was destroyed, and many rangers...

May 13, 2018

Stage invasion at Eurovision song contest

A man stormed the stage, grabbing SuRie's microphone at the competition in Lisbon. The singer was left visibly shaken, but managed to complete her performance. The European Broadcasting Union said: "The person responsible is currently in police custody." SuRie declined to perform again, saying there was "Absolutely no reason to" because she and her team were "Extremely proud of her performance". It is thought the same man invaded the stage at the National Television Awards this year and The...

May 12, 2018

Why Starbucks faces toilet trouble

Starbucks has amended its toilet policy to allow anyone to use the facilities - whether or not they purchase something - following a row over the treatment of black customers. On 12 April, the manager at a Philadelphia Starbucks called the police on two black men who had requested to use the toilet without making a purchase. The same principle has been used in the US city of Portland, Oregon, where public toilets built in 2012 specifically addressed the problems of Seattle's toilet fiasco....

May 10, 2018

US commercial drones given green light

Ten commercial drone projects have been selected to try out new ways for unmanned aircraft to be integrated into the skies. More than one million drones and 90,000 pilots are currently registered with the FAA. The UAS Integration Pilot Program is designed to tackle some of the challenges of integrating drones into national airspace, particularly how to reduce risks to public safety. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma will work on flying drones beyond a pilot's line of sight, in partnership with...

May 9, 2018

Tinder owner says it's not afraid of Facebook dating app

Match Group, the owner of dating apps including Tinder and Match.com, says it is not worried by the dating tool which Facebook unveiled last week. "We don't think Facebook will have any impact on Tinder, which is our growth engine," Match chief executive Mandy Ginsberg said. In addition to the Tinder and Match.com dating apps, Match Group also owns OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, OurTime, Meetic and Pairs. Users originally needed a Facebook profile to be able to use the app, with Tinder profiles built...

May 8, 2018

Ireland abortion poll: Facebook to block foreign ads

Facebook has said it will block ads relating to Ireland's forthcoming referendum on abortion that do not originate from advertisers inside the country. There had been worries in Ireland that foreign ads could influence the result of the vote. Facebook said that its ban on foreign ads would be effective from 8 May. The company will rely on reports from campaign groups that identify such ads. Ads uploaded to Facebook by organisations based in the country could still be funded by foreign...

May 7, 2018

Nestle pays Starbucks $7.1bn to sell its coffee

Nestle has announced that it will pay Starbucks $7.1bn to sell the company's coffee into homes. Nestle chief executive Mark Schneider described it as a "Significant step". Mr Schneider, who in 2016 became the first outsider to run Nestle in almost 100 years, is attempting to boost the company's profit through expansion. Last year, Nestle paid an estimated $425m for a 68% stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, a California-based company that sells coffee to customers online and has a number of shops in...

May 6, 2018

Facebook privacy: Survey suggests continuing US loyalty

Most Facebook users in the US remain loyal, despite the recent data sharing scandal involving a political consultancy firm, a poll suggests. Facebook admitted last month that the data of 87 million users had been improperly shared with the UK-based firm, Cambridge Analytica. A quarter of Facebook users said they used it less or had left it but another quarter said they used it even more. Asked if they were aware of their current privacy settings, 74% of Facebook users said they were, and 78%...

May 3, 2018

Cambridge Analytica: Facebook data-harvest firm to shut

Political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, the firm at the centre of the Facebook data-sharing scandal, is shutting down, it says. The firm was accused of improperly using data on behalf of political clients. Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for Cambridge Analytica, referred the BBC to a statement on the firm's website. "Over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations and, despite the company's efforts to correct the record, has been...

May 3, 2018

Sridevi Kapoor: Bollywood star wins posthumous acting gong

Bollywood actress Sridevi Kapoor, who died in February, has been awarded posthumously India's National Film Award for Best Actress. Actor and politician Vinod Khanna, who died last year, was also honoured, with India's highest film prize, the Dadasaheb Phalke award. The families of both famed actors attended the 65th annual ceremony in New Delhi to accept the awards. "Sridevi would have been very happy today," her widower Boney Kapoor told Indian media on receiving the accolade. Sridevi had...

May 2, 2018

President Trump meets heroic Southwest Airlines crew

The pilot and crew were praised for remaining calm after a catastrophic engine breakdown which killed one.