Skip to content

Month: April 2019

Want to advertise here? Email nathan@basitweb.co.uk to rent this space!

Uber’s self-driving car unit valued at $7.3bn as it gears up for IPO



US firm received $1bn from consortium including Toyota and Saudi Arabia

Uber’s self-driving car unit has been valued at $7.3bn (£5.6bn), after receiving $1bn of investment by a consortium including Toyota and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

With weeks to go until the loss-making San Francisco firm’s stock market float, expected to value the company at up to $100bn, Uber said it had secured new financial backing for its plans to develop autonomous vehicles.

Continue reading…

‘Companies are seldom treated like this’: how Huawei fought back



To dispel US suspicions, Chinese telecom firm welcomed dozens of journalists into its labs

A pillar box red electric train connects Paris, Verona and Grenada via Budapest’s Liberty Bridge and on to Heidelberg Castle in a 120-hectare fantasy business park dreamt up by the Chinese billionaire Ren Zhengfei.

Ren, 74, a former Red Army engineer who founded the telecommunications company Huawei in 1987 and still owns a 1.14% stake, asked the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma to recreate some of Europe’s most historic cities. He hoped to inspire an army of 25,000 research and development staff to challenge Apple, Google and Samsung.

Continue reading…

Facebook security lapse affects millions more Instagram users than first stated



News that the company had insecurely stored passwords came on the same day as the release of Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report

Facebook chose one of the busiest news days in American politics this year to admit that millions more Instagram users were affected by a security lapse than it had previously disclosed.

At 10 am ET on Thursday, as the attorney general, William Barr, wrapped up his news conference on the release of the report of the special counsel, Robert Mueller, Facebook updated a 21 March blogpost, which revealed it had mistakenly stored the passwords of hundreds of millions of users unencrypted, to include a sentence admitting that millions more Instagram accounts had been affected.

Continue reading…

Pinterest shares leap 25% in spectacular New York stock exchange debut



  • Latest Silicon Valley ‘unicorn’ valued at $15bn
  • Popular digital scrap book platform is close to making money

Pinterest, the digital pin board company, made a spectacular debut on the New York stock exchange on Thursday when its shares leapt 25% in its first few hours of trading.

The company, that allows users to “pin” and share pictures of favorite recipes, decorating tips and inspiring images, is used by 250 million users a month and reaches “eight out of 10 moms” in the US, according to its regulatory filing.

Continue reading…

Uber and Lyft drivers say apps are short-changing wages while raising fares



Drivers for both ridesharing companies say riders are paying more for price surges, but drivers aren’t receiving extra pay

Ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft have taken more than 11 billion people for a ride in their relatively short life. And yet the two companies have yet to make a cent in profits. Now, as the companies go public, some drivers think they may have spotted one way the companies plan to close that gap: increasing prices while short-changing drivers.

Related: Disgruntled drivers and ‘cultural challenges’: Uber admits to its biggest risk factors

Continue reading…

Facebook bans far-right groups including BNP, EDL and Britain First



Number of organisations and individuals permanently banned for being ‘dangerous’

Years after the company first dismissed fears it was empowering extremists, Facebook has permanently banned a number of far-right organisations and individuals including the British National party (BNP), the English Defence League (EDL) and Britain First .

The ban, which came into effect at midday on Thursday, extends beyond the groups and individuals specifically cited as hate organisations: posts and other content that “expresses praise or support” for them will also be banned, as will users who coordinate support for the groups.

Continue reading…

Galaxy Fold: Samsung investigates as screens break in first days



Flexible screen failed on several £1,800 tester devices in run-up to public release

The screen at the heart of Samsung’s new Galaxy Fold phone, which literally folds in half, has been failing in testers’ hands within days, prompting concerns about the durability of the £1,800 device.

The company distributed the device to publications across the US on Monday before its release to the public on 26 April. But within two days testers were reporting that the all-important central flexible screen started to break under normal use.

Continue reading…

Facebook uploaded email contacts of 1.5m users without consent



Company says it has stopped using password verification feature that collected data

Facebook has admitted to “unintentionally” uploading the address books of 1.5 million users without consent, and says it will delete the collected data and notify those affected.

The discovery follows criticism of Facebook by security experts for a feature that asked new users for their email password as part of the sign-up process. As well as exposing users to potential security breaches, those who provided passwords found that, immediately after their email was verified, the site began “importing” contacts without asking for permission.

Continue reading…

How do I stop old USB drives from infecting my new Windows PC?



Jason wants to protect his new high-end laptop from viruses but needs data on old SD cards

I’ve just bought a high-end Windows laptop for video editing while travelling around Europe. What steps can I take to prevent any possible infections from being passed on from previous machines on SD cards and external hard drives? Some of the external hard drives go back to machines from 2004 but I have never plugged any of them into any computers other than my own previous Macs and PCs. I work professionally with video, photography and coding, so all of this data is vital.

I have a five-machine Bitdefender licence but I’d be prepared to use another protection system, and I’ve looked at Sophos Intercept X. Jason

There are at least three things to think about. First, there’s the threat level: how at risk are you? Second, there’s provenance: how much do you know about your devices? Third, how can you mitigate any risks revealed by the answers to the first two questions?

Continue reading…

Microsoft Surface Studio 2 review: in a class of its own



Stunning all-in-one PC that slides to become drawing tablet is held back by high price and old chips

The Surface Studio 2 is Microsoft’s beautiful all-singing, all-dancing, all-in-one desktop computer that is quite unlike anything else on the market. But then it should be with prices starting at more than £3,500.

Straight out of the box it’s obvious that the Surface Studio 2 is no ordinary computer. Its gorgeous, pixel-dense 28in screen appears to float, held effortlessly by two chrome articulated arms that are invisible when you’re sitting directly in front of it. The small grey pedestal below looks like a weighted stand, but contains the full workings of the PC.

Continue reading…