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Month: September 2017

Amazon revamps Echo smart speaker family

Image caption Amazon unveiled three new Echo speakers at its Seattle event Amazon has announced new versions of its Echo smart speakers that promise improved sound and voice recognition. The basic model also allows its shell to be changed to give it different looks – a feature already offered by Google’s rival Home device. A larger Echo Plus adds a “home hub”, letting it control smart light bulbs and other third-party products without a separate […]

Uber's London woes boost rival taxi apps

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Uber has been downloaded millions of times in the UK The decision not to renew Uber’s licence to operate in London has given rival apps a boost, research suggests. In the 48 hours following the decision, Addison Lee, Gett and MyTaxi all saw a spike in downloads, according to analytics company App Annie. All saw thousands more downloads than usual, despite Uber continuing to operate in London as usual […]

IPhone X to use 'black box' anti-spoof Face ID tech

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Apple explained it had trained Face ID with 3D masks to ensure it can spot spoof attempts Even Apple will not be able to explain how its forthcoming iPhone X can spot some efforts to fool its facial recognition system. The firm has released a guide to the Face ID system, which explains that it relies on two types of neural networks – one of which has been specifically […]

BT tops broadband and pay-TV complaints again

Image copyright BT Image caption BT attracted a high level of complaints despite promising users “faster wi-fi connections” than rivals BT has continued its run as the UK’s most complained about home broadband provider, according to data from the regulator Ofcom. The company attracted 28 complaints per 100,000 customers for the service across the months of April to June. That meant BT was ranked worst out of the UK’s major six providers for the fifth […]

Twitter trials 280-character tweet limit

Image copyright Reuters Social media site Twitter is trialling longer character limits to help users “easily express themselves”. Twitter currently limits tweets to 140 characters, but has doubled that to 280 characters for a small group of users. The current character limit was “a major cause of frustration” for some users, the firm said in a blog post. The firm has been suffering from slowing growth and the shift could be one way for the […]

Dyson to make electric cars from 2020

Image copyright Heathcliff O’Malley Image caption Sir James Dyson accused the mainstream car industry of polluting the world with diesel emissions Dyson, the engineering company best known for its vacuum cleaners and fans, plans to spend £2bn developing a “radical” electric car. The battery-powered vehicle is due to be launched in 2020. Dyson says 400 staff have been working on the secret project for the past two years at its headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. However, […]

Equifax boss leaves after data breach

Image copyright EPA Image caption Equifax’s share price has fallen by more than a third since the data breach US credit report giant Equifax has announced that its chairman and chief executive, Richard Smith, is stepping down with immediate effect. The move comes as Equifax struggles to rebuild its reputation after it emerged earlier this month that the firm had suffered a massive data breach. Data on up to 143 million Americans may have been […]

Search on for personal flying machine

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Humans have long harboured a desire to fly, but few have conquered the conundrum The search is on for a mass market personal flying machine, with a $2m (£1.4m) competition to “make the dream of personal flight [a] reality”. Sponsored by Boeing and run by start-up GoFly, the competition will encourage teams from around the world to come up with designs. Entries must be capable of carrying a person […]

Dubai tests drone taxi service

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The drone taxi could be up and running within five years Dubai has conducted its first test of a drone taxi service that it hopes will become a viable transportation system in the city. The two-seater, 18-rotor unmanned vehicle took off for a five-minute flight above a strip of sand on the Gulf coast. The flight was watched by Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed. Dubai has big ambitions for […]

Uber: London Mayor Sadiq Khan backs talks after firm's apology

Image copyright Stefan Rousseau Image caption London Mayor Sadiq Khan chairs Transport for London London Mayor Sadiq Khan has asked the city’s transport regulator to meet Uber’s boss after the firm apologised for the “mistakes” it has made. Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi issued the apology after the taxi-hailing firm lost its London licence. Mr Khosrowshahi said in an open letter that Uber would appeal against the city’s decision, but accepted the company “must change”. […]

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