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Month: December 2018

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UK invests millions in micro-robots able to work in dangerous sites

Devices could be deployed in underground pipe networks, reducing need for roadworksThe UK government is investing millions in the development of micro-robots designed to work in underground pipe networks and dangerous sites such as decommissioned nucle…

Louis Theroux among those hit by Twitter hack exposing security flaw

Cyber firm was able to post tweets on celebrities’ accounts without entering passwords

Louis Theroux and Eamonn Holmes are among celebrities whose Twitter accounts were compromised after a security company was able to post tweets on their behalf without entering a password.

The documentary maker and the news anchor were two of the individuals targeted by Mike Godfrey, who runs the British cybersecurity business Insinia.

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Folding screens and 5G: what’s coming in smartphones in 2019?

After the notch, phone makers are turning to hole-punch selfie cams and bigger screens

From the launch of 5G to phones with large folding screens, more cameras and fingerprint scanners under the screens, 2019 looks set to transform the smartphone in more ways than one.

2018 produced phones with notches hiding selfie cameras and sensors in the top of the screen. While not quite the innovation most were likely seeking, notches allowed manufacturers to remove everything from the front that wasn’t screen.

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Instagram update: change to horizontal scrolling prompts online uproar

Picture-sharing platform retracts horizontal-scrolling feature within an hour of ‘mistaken’ rollout to users

The photo-sharing social media site Instagram has apologised after rolling out a major change to the way users interact with its app to more users than intended – leading to an online outcry and the system being switched back within an hour.

The change meant that instead of scrolling through a feed of pictures from friends, as the app has worked since its launch in 2010, users had to tap to see more pictures.

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Elon Musk files to dismiss ‘pedo’ defamation lawsuit by British diver

Lawyers say Musk’s comments about man who helped rescue Thai team were free speech protected by the first amendment

Elon Musk has asked a US judge to dismiss a lawsuit by a British diver who helped rescue a boys soccer team trapped in a Thailand cave and said Musk defamed him by calling him a paedophile and child rapist.

Related: Elon Musk apologises for calling Thai cave rescuer a ‘pedo’

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Amazon Alexa crashes after Christmas Day overload

Number of users plugging in products using virtual assistant causes outage in Europe

Thousands of people plugging in new smart speakers on Christmas Day were greeted by a less than smart response after Amazon’s voice-controlled virtual assistant Alexa crashed.

Servers controlling the digital butler were overloaded with questions and requests, prompting Alexa to tell some users: “Sorry, I’m having trouble understanding you right now.”

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Top Amazon boss privately advised US government on web portal worth billions to tech firm

Exclusive: Emails show how tech firm has tried to gain influence and potentially shape lucrative government contractsA top Amazon executive privately advised the Trump administration on the launch of a new internet portal that is expected to generate b…