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Author: Kevin Rawlinson

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Digital assistants like Siri and Alexa entrench gender biases, says UN



Female-voiced tech often gives submissive responses to queries, Unesco report findsAssigning female genders to digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa is helping entrench harmful gender biases, according to a UN agency.Research relea…

Huawei founder: US cannot crush technology firm



Ren Zhengfei hits back at criminal indictments he calls politically motivated

The US cannot crush Huawei, the company’s founder has insisted, as he hit back against criminal indictments levelled at the firm and allegations that it poses a security threat.

Washington has warned allies off using Huawei products in recent weeks. But Ren Zhengfei, whose daughter Meng Wanzhou – a fellow senior Huawei executive – is among those charged by US prosecutors, told the BBC on Monday that the firm would survive the pressure.

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Amazon to be told to ditch ‘guaranteed next-day delivery’ claim



Advertising Standards Authority set to rule on claims about retailer’s Prime service

Amazon is to be told to stop claiming its Prime service guarantees next-day delivery by the UK advertising regulator after customers complained it was failing to provide their goods on time in the run-up to Christmas, it has been reported.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is expected to rule that the firm’s claims to be able to operate an “unlimited one-day delivery” service are misleading in the case of some items.

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Tommy Robinson permanently banned by Twitter



Former English Defence League leader banned for violating rules governing ‘hateful conduct’

The former leader of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson has been permanently banned from Twitter.

It is understood that the rightwing extremist fell foul of Twitter’s rules governing “hateful conduct”.

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Amber Rudd to tell tech firms: do more to combat terrorism



Home secretary summons Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook for discussion on encrypted messages and extremist propaganda

The home secretary, Amber Rudd, will tell tech bosses they must do more to tackle terrorism during a private meeting on Thursday.

The firms, including Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook, are being hauled before the home secretary days after she criticised some of them over their adoption of encryption techniques that mean users’ messages cannot be accessed. The move was prompted by the announcement by police that Khalid Masood had used one such app – WhatsApp – prior to carrying out the attack in Westminster that killed four people on Wednesday 22 March.

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Ed Sheeran apologises after bot banishes busker fan from Facebook



Charlotte Campbell was locked out of her account after posting video of her version of Castle on the Hill

Ed Sheeran has apologised to a London busker after she complained that she had been temporarily banned from Facebook for posting a video of herself singing one of his songs.

Charlotte Campbell criticised the singer in a video, saying “he isn’t Ed Sheeran … he’s just a brand”. But the star blamed his record label, insisting that he had not reported her to Facebook over the brief clip of her singing his song Castle on the Hill.

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Fake news is ‘killing people’s minds’, says Apple boss Tim Cook



Apple chief calls on governments and technology companies to crack down on misinformation in public discourse

Fake news is “killing people’s minds”, Tim Cook, the head of Apple, has said. The technology boss said firms such as his own needed to create tools that would help stem the spread of falsehoods, without impinging on freedom of speech.

Cook also called for governments to lead information campaigns to crack down on fake news in an interview with a British national newspaper. The scourge of falsehoods in mainstream political discourse came to the fore during recent campaigns, during which supporters of each side were accused of promoting misinformation for political gain.

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UK homes lose internet access after cyber-attack



Talk Talk and the Post Office among firms affected by Mirai worm malware

More than 100,000 people in the UK have had their internet access cut after a string of service providers were hit by what is believed to be a coordinated cyber-attack, taking the number affected in Europe up to about a million.

Talk Talk, one of Britain’s biggest service providers, the Post Office and the Hull-based KCom were all affected by the malware known as the Mirai worm, which is spread via compromised computers.

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