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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Google slams secret Hollywood attempt to ‘censor the internet’

Search company hits out at the Motion Picture Association of America after claims it is trying to revive the failed Stop Online Piracy ActGoogle has accused Hollywood of attempting to “secretly censor the internet” by reviving the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) to enable wholesale site-blocking.The search company alleges that Hollywood studios, through the Motion Picture Association

Bitcoin hit with tax blow in Australia

Purchases of bitcoin will now be viable for sales tax, making life more difficult for startups Australia’s tax authorities have ruled that bitcoin transactions are subject to the goods and services tax (GST), suggesting that the cryptocurrency is not likely to be classed as “money” in the near future.The ruling mainly applies to Australian businesses running bitcoin exchanges, which let cu

Why smartphone scent transmission will not be the next big thing

Sending aromas alongside messages in cyberspace is said to be one of the digital trends for 2015, but smartphone users may disagree Having your smartphone recreate the smell of bacon sizzling on the hob; a wild-flower meadow in summer; or a bubbling pan of mulled wine, might not be at the top of your wishlist for new technology.But that has not deterred Nesta, the “innovation charity that

Minecraft: Story Mode spin-off game announced by Mojang

The block-building mega-hit is getting an episodic adventure courtesy of Walking Dead developer, TelltaleFans of the block-building phenomenon Minecraft will soon have a new way to explore the game’s chunky universe. Developer Mojang has announced that a new spin-off title, Minecraft: Story Mode, is in development. The narrative-driven adventure series is being created by TellTale Games, a

Instagram purge costs celebrities millions of followers

The photo-sharing app has upset high-profile users by cracking down on spam accounts and bots, with Justin Bieber hardest hitTeenagers and celebrities are up in arms after photo sharing app Instagram scrubbed millions of spam accounts and bots.The crackdown has been called the “Instagram Rapture” or “Instagram Purge” as accounts dropped thousands, and even millions, of followers overnight.

Uber’s Portland division to temporarily stop operations after being sued

Cab service agrees to cease services in Oregon city for three months after being sued for failing to comply with local lawsUber has agreed to stop operating in Portland for three months just days after the city sued the ride-sharing service for failing to comply with local laws.It had been operating in areas around Portland, but only began offering rides in the Oregon city on Friday last wee

Apple under fire again for working conditions at Chinese factories

BBC investigation finds excessive hours and other problems persist despite promises to clean up act after Foxconn suicidesWorkers in Chinese factories making Apple products continue to be poorly treated, with exhausted employees falling asleep on their 12-hour shifts, the BBC has said after an undercover investigation.Reporters who took jobs at the Pegatron factories found workers regularl

Amazon Prime two-hour delivery service to be trialled in Manhattan

E-retailer to introduce same-day service in Manhattan before rolling out to other US cities next yearAmazon is attempting to make Prime membership even more alluring by promising free deliveries within two hours in Manhattan. The move is the online retailer’s latest attempt to become the only place that consumers think of when buying almost anything on the internet. It offers groceries to

Driverless cars: a retrospective from the year 2035 on what went wrong – video

A look back from the year 2035 back at what was once seen as the pinnacle of automotive utopia – the self-driving car. Seen as as ultimate in tech innovation, traditional car makers were overtaken by Google in the battle for some 'hands-off' on-road action. But as with every utopia, stuff went wrong. Digital disruptor Ollie Peart reports from the future• Watch Ollie on Hashtags and YouTube Conti

The 25 best video games of 2014

Our critics chose their favourite game releases of the year, starting with Respawn Entertainment’s mech blaster, TitanfallHere we go again. From blockbuster mainstream hits to lesser-known indie gems, these are the 25 games that have kept our reviewers glued to their gigantic HD televisions this year. As ever, it’s a highly subjective list, based on the titles we genuinely played and playe

Twitter should ban racist words, says MP

Luciana Berger, shadow minister for public health, received 2,500 hate messages at height of online campaign against herRacist words should be blocked by Twitter, a Labour MP who was a victim of online anti-Semitism has said.Luciana Berger, shadow minister for public health, said she received 2,500 hate messages at the height of an internet campaign against her. Continue reading...

Russian Facebook blocks event page for opposition rally

Page inviting Alexei Navalny’s supporters to attend a rally on the day his case’s verdict is announced is blocked to Russian users Continue reading...

The NHS’s chaotic IT systems show no sign of recovery

Paperless patient records are a necessity, but a new, US–made system at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge is a chronic misreading of patient needs Continue reading...

The Observer quiz of the year 2014

Scotland said ‘No’, Suarez bit off more than he could chew and Kim Kardashian revealed all… But how well do you remember the other stories that made the news? Euan Ferguson sets the questions. (Answers are at the end) Continue reading...

Why the sharing economy could be the internet’s most divisive revolution yet

Concerns are growing that the supposedly benign philosophy behind the new wave of internet star names such as Airbnb and Uber simply disguises a rapacious business model Continue reading...

Mississippi attorney general calls 'time out' in legal battle with Google

*Jim Hood had challenged search engine to limit third-party information*Internet giant says request was made at behest of Hollywood lobby firm Continue reading...

From the Moon to mongooses, crowdfunding rescues science research

Online donors have pledged more than £3bn to help science studies Continue reading...

Is California's Hyperloop train closer to reality? Startup CEO has 'no doubt'

The 800mph train still sounds like the stuff of science fiction – Los Angeles to San Francisco in 35 minutes – but it’s found a new champion in crowdfunded engineer collective Continue reading...

On the road: Smart ebike – bike review

It may be big and burly, but there’s a lot to like about the Smart ebike Continue reading...

The best video games of 2014

A recap of the best games of the year, from the family-friendly weaponry of Mario Kart 8 to Alien: Isolation’s calmly murderous androids Continue reading...

BlackBerry hit by worse than expected sales

Smartphone maker slashes losses to $148m for three months to 29 November but sales of $793m disappoint analysts*BlackBerry Classic goes back to the old way of doing things Continue reading...

Apple chief: Panorama report on Chinese workers deeply offensive

Tim Cook hits back at claims in undercover BBC report that workers in iPhone and iPad factories are being mistreated Continue reading...

Flickr scraps plan to sell users' photos as wall art after licensing row

Company apologises for service that profited off its sharing community and admits it wasn’t in the “spirit” of Creative Commons•Facebook has likes. Instagram has hearts. But Flickr had them (and me) first Continue reading...

Scissr dating app: the new Tinder for lesbians?

It’s the latest dating app for women seeking women, but what’s the app, named after a lesbian sex position, all about?It’s being tipped as the lesbian equivalent of Grindr, but “classier”, a dating app “for lesbians, by lesbians”: introducing, the none-too-subtly named, Scissr.The free app, which will be available on iOS and Android, will fill a gap in the women-seeking-women app sector.

Apple faces Canadian investigation into iPhone deals

Competition authority orders company to hand over documents relating to agreements struck with mobile network operatorsApple has been ordered to hand over documents in an investigation into whether the company used unfair tactics to boost iPhone sales in Canada.The country’s competition bureau said agreements that Apple struck with mobile networks may have encouraged the operators not to r

Tim Cook makes personal donation to gay rights campaign

Apple CEO’s contribution amount not disclosed, but the $8.5m three-year initiative intends to build acceptance throughout the American south*Tim Cook: ‘I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me’Apple chief executive Tim Cook, the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 1,000 company, is donating money to help fund a gay rights initiative in his native Alabama and two other S

Spotify CEO wants 'to do a better job' convincing musicians of its value

But Daniel Ek says his company remains unwilling to let Taylor Swift and her peers choose to keep their music off Spotify’s free serviceAfter a bruising year for streaming music service Spotify, chief executive Daniel Ek admits the company is thinking hard about how to convince artists like Taylor Swift of its value to their careers.“What it has highlighted for us is we need to do a better

Belarus blocks online sites and closes shops to stem currency panic

Country’s government imposes draconian measures after currency is dragged down by Russian ruble slide Continue reading...

Madonna: I did not say, ‘Hey, here’s my music, and it’s finished.’ It was theft

In an exclusive interview, the singer defends her description of the leak of demos from her new album as ‘artistic rape’ Continue reading...

US may put North Korea back on state terror list after Sony 'cybervandalism'

*Obama says North Korea’s Sony Pictures hack was not an act of war*North Korea warns ‘toughest counteraction will be boldly taken’*US seeks China help on North Korea cyber-attacks*Sony considers YouTube release for The Interview Continue reading...


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