Category Archives: Technology

Snapchat redesign is here to stay despite 1.2m signature petition against it

Users rebel against social media app’s new features while celebrities including Kylie Jenner dump platform as it tries to appeal to new users

Snapchat has said its redesign is here to stay, in spite of a petition from more than 1.2 million users begging the company to reconsider and celebrities such as Kylie Jenner abandoning the platform.

“We completely understand the new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many,” the company said in response to the petition. However, it added, “this new foundation is just the beginning and we will always listen closely to find new ways to make the service better for everyone”.

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Source: gadt

Would a cheap refurbished laptop run Photoshop?

Yuri needs a laptop to run Adobe Creative Suite but is short of funds. Could he get an old machine that will do the job?

I’m a graphic designer with a long-term health condition that regularly puts me in hospital. At home I work on a desktop, but when I’m on the ward, I’m forced to use my partner’s laptop. I need a PC that can run the Adobe Creative Suite, including 3D in Photoshop when necessary, support a second monitor and store large files. It also has to be pretty solid as it will travel to and from hospital often. Times are tough financially, but last week you suggested refurbs. Can you recommend a laptop that would suit me? Yuri

Last week’s answer covered desktop PCs, which become available as refurbs after they have been retired from corporate use after three or four years. There are even more refurbished laptops, which can do sterling work for people who don’t need the latest and greatest specifications.

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Source: gadt

Ex-engineer sues Google, saying he was fired for condemning diversity memo

Tim Chevalier says he lost his job over posts on internal forums amid controversy following James Damore’s comments on gender

A former Google engineer has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was fired for speaking out against James Damore’s controversial memo about gender, the latest development in a litigious battle over diversity and speech at the technology company.

Tim Chevalier, a site reliability engineer who worked for Google until November 2017, sued his former employer in California state court on Wednesday. Chevalier, who identifies as queer, disabled and transgender, alleges that Google terminated him over posts he made on internal forums advocating for diversity at Google and criticizing Damore.

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Source: gadt

YouTube promotes conspiracy videos attacking Florida's shooting survivors

Site removes video that became No 1 trending clip as search results lead to claims students are ‘crisis actors’

YouTube is promoting conspiracy theory videos claiming that survivors of last week’s Florida school shooting are “crisis actors”, in the latest example of technology companies failing to tackle disinformation.

Related: Crisis actors, deep state, false flag: the rise of conspiracy theory code words

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Source: gadt

Ebooks are not 'stupid' – they're a revolution

The head of publisher Hachette has claimed ebooks are a failure – but as an author and a reader, they’ve completely changed my life

I was a relatively late convert to the e-reader, getting my Kindle five years ago when it became clear that reading 600-pages of A Suitable Boy while breastfeeding wasn’t going to work. After a frenzied few months of almost exclusive e-reading, I returned largely to the traditional printed book for a number of reasons: screen fatigue, a tendency to scrawl in margins, because I want my kids to see me reading, and because I’m a passionate supporter of bookshops and booksellers. Hachette Livre CEO Arnaud Nourry recently called ebooks “stupid” – but last summer, they changed my life.

Related: ‘Ebooks are stupid’, says head of one of world’s biggest publishers

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Source: gad

Meet the Musks: who's who in Elon’s extended family?

The entrepreneur’s brother, Kimbal, is making the news, but since mother Musk flew around the world in a propeller plane, the whole clan has been involved in eye-catching initiatives

We know plenty about Elon Musk, the South African-born erstwhile teen mega-nerd, PayPal co-founder and Tesla boss turned tunneller, space coloniser and battery tycoon. But what about all the other Musks? Because while Elon revels in the success of his recent rocket launch, and a car-based publicity stunt that made Richard Branson look like Derek Trotter, little brother Kimbal is now making news, too. Time for a quick climb up the Musk family tree.

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Source: gadt

British Games Institute cements UK cultural hub for video games

BGI merger with Nottingham’s National Videogame Arcade creates ‘centre of gravity’ for the UK’s £1bn-plus games industry – but it’s still seeking government support

The recently formed British Games Institute, which aims to become a video game equivalent of the BFI, is merging with the National Videogame Foundation to create a new body dedicated to supporting and promoting game development and culture in Britain.

The British Games Institute will be housed at the NVA’s National Videogame Arcade building in Nottingham, where a games museum as well as cultural and educational programmes have been in operation since 2016.

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Source: gadt

RaceRunner: can an old-school runner learn to love the smartphone app?

The app offers to ‘gamify running’ by pairing runners to race each other wherever they are in the world. A self-confessed sceptic gives it a go

OK, I’m biased, I won’t lie. I really wasn’t expecting to like RaceRunner. It’s everything I’m not keen on: it’s smartphone-centric, it involves teaming up with unknown “buddies” and it treats the notion of solitude (“Never run alone again”) as some kind of malady.

Here’s the two-line pitch: “We have gamified running, and have made it more stimulating and engaging. How? We pair users up against each other, and through the app they run virtual races in real time, anywhere in the world.”

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Source: gad

Boston Dynamics is teaching its robot dog to fight back against humans

‘Testing robustness’ apparently crucial to SpotMini’s development, with machine showing it won’t be perturbed by human interference

It appears that, just like their flesh and blood counterparts, you just can’t put a good robot dog down, even if you’re a human fighting it for control of a door.

Boston Dynamics’ well-mannered four-legged machine SpotMini has already proved that it can easily open a door and walk through unchallenged, but now the former Google turned SoftBank robotics firm is teaching its robo-canines to fight back.

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Source: gadt

Citymapper launches bus-taxi hybrid Smart Ride in London

Exclusive: transit app firm says new service has stops like a bus, is bookable like a cab and runs on a network like a tube train

London-based transit app Citymapper is today launching Smart Ride, a hybrid bus and taxi service that will take riders around a fixed network in the capital.

The company is operating the service under a private hire licence from Transport for London, following a pair of trial “smart bus” routes in the capital. The new licence limits the firm to operating vehicles that can carry eight or fewer people, but frees it to run future routes that can change dynamically as demand shifts, rather than being legally mandated to stick to specific timetables and stopping patterns.

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Source: gadt