Author: Natasha Lomas

UK eyeing fines for social media content moderation failures

TECHCRUNCH After the UK Prime Minister Theresa May secured a joint statement from the G7 on Friday, backing a call for social media firms to do more to combat online extremism, a Conservative minister has suggested the party is open to bringing in financial penalties or otherwise changing the law in order to encourage more action on problem content from tech companies if it’s returned to government at the UK general election on June 8. The Guardian reports the comments by security minister, Ben Wallace, speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Sunday. Wallace’s words follow an exposé by the newspaper of Facebook’s moderation guidelines — which...

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Could the UK be about to break end-to-end encryption?

TECHCRUNCH Once again there are indications the UK government intends to use the law to lean on encryption. A report in The Sun this week quoted a Conservative minister saying that should the government be re-elected, which polls suggest it will, it will move quickly to compel social media firms to hand over decrypted data. The paper quoted an unnamed government minister saying: “The social media companies have been laughing in our faces for too long”, and suggested that all tech companies with more than 10,000 users will face having to significantly adapt their technology to comply with the decryption law. The relevant Statutory Instrument, to enable UK...

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UK wants G7 to take collective action on online extremism

TECHCRUNCH The UK Prime Minister is using the annual G7 summit of seven of the world’s major industrialized democracies to push for more to be done about online extremism, including co-ordinating on ways to force social media platforms to be more pro-active about removing and reporting extremist content to authorities. Theresa May is chairing a counter-terrorism session at the G7 summit today in Sicily, meeting with the leaders of the US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and representatives of the European Union. It’s a drum her own Home Secretary has been banging at home in recent months. And just the latest instance of the political...

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Raspberry Pi Foundation and CoderDojo to code club together

TECHCRUNCH The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced it’s merging with another code club charity, Dublin-based CoderDojo. The aim is to advance shared goals around furthering the march of computing education for young people. CoderDojo began in 2011, and at this point there are more than 1,250 of its code clubs across 69 countries, which it says are regularly attended by more than 35,000 young people between the ages of seven and 17. The aim of the pair joining forces is to quadruple that number — with the goal of having 5,000 CoderDojos up and running by the end of 2020. “Bringing together Raspberry Pi, Code Club, and CoderDojo will create the largest global...

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Gatwick Airport now has 2,000 beacons for indoor navigation

TECHCRUNCH Complex indoor environments such as airports and shopping malls can be a nightmare to find your way around. And while Google is eyeing smartphones with 3D sensors as one potential fix for places GPS won’t accurately reach, another approach is to kit out an interior with lots of Bluetooth beacons — giving smartphone users located-locked pings to fix onto to know where they are. The UK’s second busiest airport, Gatwick, has opted for the latter approach to power an indoor navigation system it’s launching as part of a wider, multi-year transformation program. It’s now finished kitting out its two terminals with around 2,000 battery-powered beacons so that digital map users...

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Softbank’s Nvidia stake is reportedly worth $4BN

TECHCRUNCH When Softbank announced the first close of its Vision Fund this weekend — securing an initial commitment of $93 billion, from investors including Apple, Qualcomm and Foxconn — it also quietly disclosed it had taken a stake in Nvidia. Bloomberg is today reporting the size of that stake is $4 billion, for 4.9 per cent of the company, which it says would make Softbank the fourth largest investor in the chipmaker. Albeit, not necessarily for much longer: A line in the PR for the Vision Fund close on Saturday notes that the Vision Fund will have the right to acquire “certain investments already acquired (or agreed to...

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Cera is building an AI for social care decision support

TECHCRUNCH Can AI overhaul the social care system? That’s the pitch underpinning UK home care provider Cera‘s plans. The startup has today taken the tiniest baby steps to launch an AI chatbot that it hopes will, at an unspecified point in future, be able to assist carers with recommendations for home care of people with conditions such as dementia. And even potentially steer off medical emergencies via pre-emptive alerts. The far more basic reality of the chatbot it’s launching today is that Martha (as it’s called) will be able to recommend care packages to potential customers. Which underline how the inflated promises of AI really do hinge on data...

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Chinese trio carve up a quarter of global smartphone sales in Q1: Gartner

TECHCRUNCH The global smartphone market grew 9.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year, according to Gartner’s latest stats, and growth is being driven by a trio of Chinese device makers. Smartphone sales in the quarter totaled 380 million units, with China’s top three mobile makers, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, collectively carving out almost a quarter (24 per cent) of those sales, according to the analyst, up seven percentage points year on year. The analyst says smartphone buyers are spending a bit more to get a better device, which is pushing up the average selling prices of devices and positively affecting the three...

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