theguardian -- Technology

Bitcoin and Ethereum tumble after renewed fears of regulatory crackdown
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:56:06 GMT

Bitcoin hits a four-week low before rebounding on Tuesday as South Korean statements send cryptocurrency markets yo-yoing

The price of bitcoin was sent plummeting 18% as it and other cryptocurrencies yo-yo in value over fears of a wider trading crackdown spurred by renewed potential of South Korean regulatory action.

Bitcoin’s slide of over over $2,200 triggered a massive selloff across the broader cryptocurrency market, with biggest rival Ethereum down 23% on the day, according to trade website Coinmarketcap, and the next biggest, Ripple, plunging 33%.

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Echo Spot: 'smart clock' launched as Amazon seeks to lock rivals out of home
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:00:20 GMT

Firm hopes to extend its market dominance further as Alexa-powered, 2.5in-screened smart speaker comes to UK

Amazon is launching its small clock-like Echo Spot in the UK, as it continues to cement its market dominance.

The Echo Spot is small sphere with a 2.5in circular screen, camera and clock face that’s capable of showing the time as well as other at-a-glance information, similar to the larger Echo Show that launched earlier in the year.

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Zooglers: why staff are paid to play in Google’s Zurich office
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 15:51:56 GMT

Not only do they have tennis, pinball, a cinema, a gym and a Lego room at their disposal – employees in the Swiss city’s office also have their own nickname

Name: Zooglers.

Origin: 75 different countries.

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Can an app that rewards you for avoiding Facebook help beat smartphone addiction?
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:00:02 GMT
The Hold app – already used by 40% of students in Norway – allows users to earn rewards such as cinema tickets for not using their phone. We put it to the test

It’s March 2012, the middle of exam term and my friend is in despair. Why? She can’t access her Facebook.

Nordic app Hold is hoping to combat such examples of student smartphone addiction. It rewards users for not looking at their phones on campus – a task so difficult for my zombified-friend that she resorted to using a website that locks her out of all social media accounts.

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So you're thinking about investing in bitcoin? Don't
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 10:00:00 GMT

A collective insanity has sprouted around the new field of ‘cryptocurrencies’, causing an irrational gold rush. I know you’re tempted, but don’t be a fool

I’ve been watching this bitcoin situation for a few years, assuming it would just blow over.

But a collective insanity has sprouted around the new field of “cryptocurrencies”, causing an irrational gold rush worldwide. It has gotten to the point where a large number of financial stories – and questions in my inbox – ask whether or not to “invest” in BitCoin.

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Hawaii missile false alarm due to badly designed user interface, reports say
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 09:51:25 GMT

Alert occurred after employer pressed button labelled ‘missile alert’, instead of the one next to it marked ‘test missile alert’

A false alarm warning Hawaiians of an incoming ballistic missile on Saturday, was reportedly issued because of a “terribly designed” user interface.

The computer system that allows the Hawaiian Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) to send emergency alerts asks employees to select the type of alert that they are sending from a drop-down menu.

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Seat Ibiza review: ‘Plenty of attacking flair’ | Martin Love
Sun, 14 Jan 2018 06:00:19 GMT

The latest version of Spain’s best-selling car has raised its game – and it’s now ready to tackle the big players

Price: from £13,410
Top speed: 104mph
0-62mph: 14.7 seconds
MPG: 57.6
CO2: 112g/km

Even if you aren’t a football fan, you’ve probably heard that FC Barcelona have lifted the beautiful game to dizzying new heights with their focus on speed, accuracy and ball skills. Now a similar transformation is sweeping over the city’s car industry. For decades, Seat was the go-to guy for steady yet uninspiring cars. If Barça were winning championships, Seat was battling to stay out of the relegation zone – but new signings, such as the Ateca and the Arona, are giving Seat plenty of attacking flair.

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Will AT&T’s call to drop Huawei end phone maker’s US hopes?
Sat, 13 Jan 2018 16:00:02 GMT
Loss of the deal with the giant mobile carrier has put a huge obstacle in the way of the Chinese firm’s ambition of conquering the American market

Amid the glitz and glamour of the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas last week, one piece of news struck a particularly sour note for Chinese phone-maker Huawei. Despite months of preparation, the giant US mobile carrier AT&T announced last Monday that it was pulling out of a deal to sell Huawei’s smartphones.

The decision was taken as a result of political pressure on AT&T by American politicians, who had written to the telecoms regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – which must approve the sale of phones and other devices in the US – saying they had “long been concerned about Chinese espionage in general, and Huawei’s role in that espionage in particular”. Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer division, was obliged to go through the motions at CES of introducing his new Mate 10 phone, having seen planned marketing spending of $100m and assurances of no government interference turn to ashes.

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I was Mark Zuckerberg's mentor. Today I would tell him: your users are in peril
Sat, 13 Jan 2018 09:00:01 GMT

Facebook is a big part of my portfolio, and I fear the dangers of tech addiction. While investors’ recent open letter to Apple is significant, more need to speak up

I am a tech investor, and Facebook is by far my largest investment. Still, for the past 15 months I have been pushing Facebook to sacrifice near term profits. The reason? I want them to address the harm the platform has caused through addiction and exploitation by bad actors. Government watchdogs barely regulate the technology sector in the United States, so investors like myself have a big role to play.

I was once Mark Zuckerberg’s mentor, but I have not been able to speak to him about this. Unfortunately, all the internet platforms are deflecting criticism and leaving their users in peril. Zuckerberg’s announcement on Wednesday that he would be changing the Facebook News Feed to make it promote “meaningful interactions” does little to address the concerns I have with the platform.

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How to quit your tech: a beginner's guide to divorcing your phone
Sat, 13 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT

Stuck on your screen? We asked six very busy people to attempt a digital detox – here’s how you can, too

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Read the news? Check your emails? Scroll through social media? Now, imagine your phone’s not in the room. If that makes you feel aimless or uncomfortable, it may be time for a digital detox.

This doesn’t have to be about giving up the digital world altogether, says Tanya Goodin, founder of digital detox specialists Time To Log Off and author of Off. “It’s about becoming aware of your own personal challenges around screens, gaining an understanding of what will help you overcome them, and learning to live with technology in a way that’s healthy. People are always amazed by how different they feel after not being on their phones and that motivates them to want to keep going.”

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