General

Russia threatens to block Facebook unless it starts storing Russian users’ data there

In its latest attempt to wrest control of the internet, Russia’s communications agency has threatened to block access to Facebook if the company refuses to store its data locally. Alexander Zharov, chief of the Federal Communications Agency, told Russian news agencies Tuesday that they will work to “make Facebook comply with the law” on personal data, which obliges foreign companies to store it in Russia. Critics have slammed the law, which took effect in 2015, for potentially exposing the data…

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Lyft IPO puts investors in self-driving cars as well as ride services

DETROIT (Reuters) – An initial public offering by Lyft Inc will give investors a way to jump into self-driving cars, although the ride services company and rival Uber Technologies Inc may have to wait years before sending a driverless robotaxi to a customer. On Thursday, Reuters reported that San Francisco-based Lyft is close to hiring an IPO advisory firm as a first concrete step toward becoming publicly listed. Lyft would establish a public valuation for ride services startups that has…

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Assassin’s Creed: Origins will introduce a new Egypt discovery mode in 2018

Assassin’s Creed publishers Ubisoft are planning a new mode to let players learn the history of Egypt. Usually users run around ancient cities doing battle with a secret organisation called the Templar Order. That will still be the case in the next title in the series, but you’ll also be able to treat the game as a playable museum from 2018. For the first time ever you’ll be able to explore without being constrained by combat or the storyline. Set…

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Thrustmaster announces T.Flight Hotas One Xbox One, Windows joystick

Peripherals specialist Thrustmaster has announced the impending launch of a new entry in its T.Flight Hotas range, offering official support for the Xbox One console for the first time – with particular focus on fans of Frontier’s Elite Dangerous. Based almost entirely upon the company’s existing T.Flight Hotas joystick design, the Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas One differs only in the addition of the extra buttons required of an officially-licensed Xbox One controller. Naturally, these don’t come at the cost of Windows…

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Cowboys’ uncontroversial move is becoming the universal tactic in NFL

Eric Christian Smith/AP After last week’s widespread demonstrations during the national anthem by players, coaches, and owners across the NFL, many teams attempted more generic displays of unity during Week 4. As the afternoon games kicked off on Sunday, many teams opted to take the strategy that the Cowboys took on Monday Night Football last week — kneeling together before the anthem, and then standing while the song played. It’s a move that seemingly attempted to please all and offend none,…

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Uber hits minicab firms – but helps disabled people | Letters | Technology

My company, Embassy Direct, which is based in Hanwell, west London, has been trading for 50 years in the private hire transport sector. It has been said that banning Uber (Report, 30 September) would put “40,000 people out of work”. But all this would do is give us, the independent private hire operators, our drivers back. Many companies’ doors have closed and those that are left have struggled just to stay afloat in this industry. I think there will be…

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How you could help stop a flu pandemic

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionHannah Fry needs your smartphone and your help to run the project We seem to be suffering from a global amnesia. Ask any passerby – as we did – “What was the most catastrophic cause of death in the last 100 years?” and you receive the usual suspects: WWII, perhaps WWI. There are also some less obvious replies: Chernobyl, the Boxing Day Tsunami, Hiroshima. Very, very rarely will anyone say Spanish Flu,…

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Microsoft and Facebook’s Marea subsea cable is finally complete – General

The cable stretches more than 4,000 miles (6,600km) and weighs the same as 34 blue whales. The 4,000-mile long subsea cable connecting Spain to the east coast of the US is ready for business. Called Marea, after the Spanish word for “tide”, the subsea cable is a joint project between Microsoft, Facebook and Telxius. The trio began work on the cable in August last year and the speed of completion is said to be three times faster than typical subsea…

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End of the iPod: Goodbye to the little box that changed everything

Technically, the iPod was little different than any other device on the market that played digitally compressed music. Aesthetically, though, it was a revelation: smaller and lighter than its competitors, sporting an external design inspired by Dieter Rams and, yes, dead simple to operate. It also benefited from the Apple marketing mystique: The first iPod commercial featured nothing more than a man dancing to a track by an obscure electronica band. What made the spot memorable was the promise in…

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Intel makes the case for wireless PC-based high-end virtual reality

Intel recently hosted a 100-year-old man at its virtual reality lab in Hillsboro, Oregon. Lyle Becker was a big fan of the VR flight simulator, which reminded him of the planes that he flew in World War II. That kind of first-time experience evokes a sensor of wonder at the immersiveness of VR, and that’s why Kim Pallister, director of VR excellence at Intel, believes so much that VR will be a transformative medium. While VR is off to a slow…

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