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Month: May 2018

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Most GDPR emails unnecessary and some illegal, say experts

Many firms have the required consent already; others don’t have consent to send a request

The vast majority of emails flooding inboxes across Europe from companies asking for consent to keep recipients on their mailing list are unnecessary and some may be illegal, privacy experts have said, as new rules over data privacy come into force at the end of this week.

Many companies, acting based on poor legal advice, a fear of fines of up to €20m (£17.5m) and a lack of good examples to follow, have taken what they see as the safest option for hewing to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): asking customers to renew their consent for marketing communications and data processing.

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Google sued for ‘clandestine tracking’ of 4.4m UK iPhone users’ browsing data

Collective action seeking up to £3.2bn for claims Google bypassed privacy settings of Apple’s Safari browser

Google is being sued in the high court for as much as £3.2bn for the alleged “clandestine tracking and collation” of personal information from 4.4 million iPhone users in the UK.

The collective action is being led by former Which? director Richard Lloyd over claims Google bypassed the privacy settings of Apple’s Safari browser on iPhones between August 2011 and February 2012 in order to divide people into categories for advertisers.

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What is GDPR and how will it affect you?

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation comes into force this week – here’s what it means

You could be forgiven for thinking that Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a law created to fill your inbox with identikit warnings from every company you have ever interacted with online that “the privacy policy has changed” and pleas to “just click here so we can stay in touch”.

But GDPR is far more than just an inbox-clogger. The regulation, seven years in the making, finally comes into effect on 25 May, and is set to force sweeping changes in everything from technology to advertising, and medicine to banking.

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Elon Musk announces $78,000 high-performance version of Tesla Model 3

New faster dual-motor AWD variants added to lineup as firm continues battle to ramp up production of ‘mass market’ Tesla

Elon Musk has announced two new versions of the Model 3, including a high-performance model capable of hitting 60mph in 3.5 seconds, following months of production woes.

The new versions follow a similar development plan to that used by Tesla for the Model S. The first is an all-wheel drive version of the Model 3, adding a second motor to drive the rear wheels.

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State of Decay 2 review – more slapstick than horror

Xbox One, PC; Undead Labs/Microsoft
This zombie survival game tries hard to stand out from the flesh-hungry crowd, but glitches will leave players groaning

Easy as it is to look at yet another zombie apocalypse survival game and see only the generic elements, State of Decay 2 tries hard to stand out from the groaning, flesh-hungry crowd. Zombies have taken over the world, the desperate remnants of humanity gather together to stake out a new life … but State of Decay 2’s big idea is community. Rather than playing as some solo Bruce Campbell, you regularly switch between members of a group.

These characters have useful skills, but peccadillos, too: my leader is a coffee fiend whose bean skills keep everyone alert, but he’s also a depressive and grumbles a lot, lowering morale. They often have personal missions to follow, a lovely touch that delivers more interesting quests than the escalating waves of zombies that the game’s story throws at you. Sometimes a character’s trait turns out to have amusing applications, or they come out with just the right line at just the right time. But I always felt like I was supposed to care more for these ciphers than I ever did.

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OnePlus 6 review: top-end smartphone for half cost of iPhone X

Great screen, improved camera and dual-sim support make this high-performing £469 phone feel like a bargain

The new OnePlus 6 holds true to a winning formula: a premium smartphone with top-end specs that costs less than half the price of an iPhone X.

Seen next to last year’s OnePlus 5 and 5T, the OnePlus 6 looks like a logical extension of the design trend for ever larger screens fitted into the same size bodies.

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UK engineering’s gender imbalance is embarrassing, leading figure says

Britain’s record on employing female engineers is worst in Europe, says Hayaatun Sillem, CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering

The failure of British engineering companies to increase the proportion of women they employ above 10% is a source of embarrassment, one of the profession’s leading figures has said.

Hayaatun Sillem, chief executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said the gender imbalance was particularly frustrating given the significant progress made by other countries and in professions like law and medicine.

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Ignore the hype over big tech. Its products are mostly useless | John Harris

It’s years since Silicon Valley gave us a game-changer. Instead, from curing disease to colonies on Mars, we’re fed overblown promises

Back in 1999, Google hit 1bn searches a year. Wifi began to make an impact about two years later. Thanks to the pioneers of Facebook and Twitter, the age of mass social media dawned between 2004 and 2006 – and non-stop posting, messaging and following was soon enabled by the iPhone, launched in 2007. These things have changed the world and, in hindsight, the way they became ubiquitous had a powerful sense of inevitability. But the revolution they represented is old now, and nothing comparable has come along for more than a decade.

Despite this, a regular ritual of hype and hysteria is now built into the news cycle. Every now and again, at some huge auditorium, a senior staff member at one of the big firms based in northern California – ordinarily a man – will take the stage dressed in box-fresh casualwear, and inform the gathered multitudes of some hitherto unimagined leap forward, supposedly destined to transform millions of lives. (There will be whoops and gasps in response, and a splurge of media coverage – before, in the wider world, a palpable feeling of anticlimax sets in.)

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Unlikely bedmates: union strikes Airbnb deal ‘to protect delivery drivers’

Airbnb will pay union members $150 to host under deal TWU says is about ending exploitation of drivers

Airbnb will pay union members $150 to sign up as hosts under an unusual deal the Transport Workers Union says is about ending the exploitation of delivery drivers.

Under the deal, Airbnb will actively promote food and package delivery companies that do the right thing by their workers – although the union says none currently meets its standards.

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May to pledge millions to AI research assisting early cancer diagnosis

Industrial strategy plans to develop artificial intelligence using algorithms built from NHS patient data

Theresa May will pledge millions of pounds of government funding to develop artificial intelligence able to transform outcomes through early diagnosis of cancer and chronic disease.

In a speech in Mansfield on Monday that is being billed as the first of a series on industrial strategy, May will say: “Late diagnosis of otherwise treatable illnesses is one of the biggest causes of avoidable deaths.

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