Technology

Samsung is to unveil the follow-up to its exploding Galaxy Note 7, expected to be called the Galaxy Note 8, on 23 August. The South Korean electronics firm posted to Twitter a “save the date” for the unveiling of the Note 8 at one of the company’s “Unpacked” events, complete with a gif showing a representation of the new design. Samsung Electronics (@Samsung) Save the date! August 23, 2017 #DoBiggerThingshttps://t.co/uSEvuV1QKN pic.twitter.com/9lbxtDtm0l July 20, 2017 The Note 8 is expected to take the design of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, which feature curved screens and minimal bezels both on the sides and at the top and bottom of the devices, to the next extreme. The Note series has typically been the biggest of the top-end Samsung devices, with the Note 7 having a 5.7in screen with a 16:9 ratio, making it 0.2in bigger on the diagonal than last year’s 5.5in Galaxy S7 Edge. The Galaxy …

Google’s famously simple homepage with its logo and single search box on a white background is set to undergo a radical change for the first time since its launch in 1996, with the addition of Google’s interest and news-based feed. The feed of personalised information, which has been a mainstay of Google’s mobile apps for Android and iOS since 2012 along with a home-screen page on Google’s Nexus and Pixel smartphones and tablets, will become part of the main web experience in the near future, the Guardian understands. On Wednesday Google announced it was deploying further customisation to the feed, which took over from its Google Now personalisation in December, using the company’s “advanced machine-learning algorithms”. Shashi Thakur, vice president of engineering at Google said: “You’ll see cards with things like sports highlights, top news, engaging videos, new music, stories to read and more. And now, your feed will not only be based on your …

Residents who let out their spare rooms to rowdy guests through sites such as Airbnb could be forced to pay compensation to their neighbours under a plan being considered by the New South Wales government. Apartment owners would also be forced to pay extra strata funds, and there would be limits on the number of days a property can be let out without a development application. The proposals are among several to be released for public consultation on Friday after the Berejiklian government earlier this year called for input on how to regulate the booming industry. Solutions for the private short-term rental market, which usually operates on sites such as Airbnb and Stayz, range from self-regulation to changes to strata and planning rules. One proposed strata rule change would allow owners’ corporations to ask the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to order owners to pay compensation when guest behaviour affects others in the building, or …

Elon Musk does not have government approval to build a Hyperloop tunnel from New York City to Washington DC. The Tesla executive took to Twitter this morning to tantalize his legion of fans and the tech press with the “news” that he had “just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins … City center to city center in each case, with up to a dozen or more entry/exit elevators in each city.” Lest any billionaires need to brush up on civics 101: the US system of government does not operate on “verbal government approvals”. Musk walked back his claim about 90 minutes later, tweeting: “Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly”. A lot of work is needed to receive formal approval, indeed. Musk was received with typical credulity by the tech press, and considerable …

AlphaBay and Hansa – two of the largest “dark web” marketplaces for illegal and illicit items such as drugs and guns – have been shut down, the US Justice Department said on Thursday. Police in the US and Europe, including the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Dutch National Police, partnered to shutter the sites accused of allowing thousands of vendors to sell illegal drugs, of which Europol said there were 250,000 listings on AlphaBay alone, with 200,000 members and 40,000 vendors. The sites operated on the Tor network, which helps users browse the internet anonymously. Visitors to the online marketplaces paid through digital currencies such as Bitcoin. AlphaBay mysteriously went offline earlier this month fuelling suspicions among users that law enforcement action had taken place. It was widely considered the biggest online black market for drugs, estimated to host daily transactions totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds …

London-based transport app Citymapper has announced its next product: “a social hyper-local multi-passenger pooled vehicle”. Using “geo-matching technology” to route vehicles in a way which optimises boarding while minimising waiting times, the firm hopes to enable efficient ETAs for passengers with varied demographics. Helpfully, the firm has also provided a translation out of its Silicon Valley-speak: it’s launching a bus. Bus route CM2 will run between Aldgate East and Highbury and Islington stations, every 12 minutes, on Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm to 5.30am. It will be a real London bus in almost every way: taking payment for rides; stopping at a number of normal bus stops in between its two destinations; running on a timetable; and even being … well, a bus as opposed to a coach, minibus, or electric autonomous “pod”. It won’t, however, accept Oyster cards. The pricing has not yet been announced. The company, which has been awarded a six-month …

The European court of justice (ECJ) is set to rule on a landmark case over whether or not the so-called “right to be forgotten” can and should stretch beyond EU borders. It will be the final step in a three-year legal battle between Google and France to determine how far the search engine should go to guarantee the privacy of European citizens who want their pasts to be wiped from the historical record. If Google wins, France says, then the right to be forgotten becomes meaningless. This right, a function of an ECJ ruling from May 2014, requires the search engine to remove links to pages that “appear to be inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant or excessive … in the light of the time that had elapsed.” Even accurate data which was initially legally published can be removed, the court said, since it can “in the course of time become incompatible with the directive”. …

It’s the middle of the workday when a mobile notification pops up on my phone: “Luke created ‘Rocking chairs’ in ‘Inbox’,” it reads. It’s from the Trello app, which means it’s not urgent and it doesn’t really disturb my work – I know if my partner wanted my immediate attention he’d text. For us, a Trello note is a placeholder for something to talk about later. My partner, Luke Abrams, and I use the list-making app as our common digital memory. It is where everything we need to do, buy, talk about, or remember, goes. And it updates on both our computers and phones in real time. That afternoon I add a few more notes myself – cat food, printer paper – to a list aptly called ‘Shopping’. My tool of choice used to be pen and paper before Luke introduced me to Trello. He says it’s “the best issue-tracking software out there for small …

The US Department of Labor has raised concerns that Google’s strict confidentiality agreements have discouraged employees from speaking to the government about discrimination as part of a high-profile wage inequality investigation. Following a judge’s ruling that Google must hand over salary records and employee contact information to federal regulators investigating possible systemic pay disparities, a labor department official said the agency was worried that the technology corporation’s restrictive employee communication policies could impede the next phase of the inquiry. “We have had employees during the course of the investigation express concerns about whether they are permitted by Google to talk to the government, because the company policy commits them to confidentiality,” Janet Herold, labor department regional solicitor, told the Guardian in an interview after the judge’s order. “When even a single employee expresses that, that means many more people are too concerned to make the call or have the conversation. The chilling effect is quite …

When software gets smarter, the first effect is to empower the already powerful. The fantastic powers available now to Google and Facebook, which are now in practice the publishers of most of what appears on the public internet, is one example. More sinister is the power of nation states to spy on us, to manipulate their own citizens, and to disrupt the workings of their enemies. But these advantages cannot last. Soon they have to be reinforced by law, and ultimately force, as the techniques behind them spread and hardware grows cheaper and more plentiful. The speed of technological progress, and the ease with which ideas can now spread, mean that few techniques can long remain the preserve of large firms or entities. Every advance in power and convenience available to the ordinary consumer will soon be available to criminals too. Illegal commerce, whether in drugs, forged documents, stolen credit cards or emails, is nearly …

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