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Internet not working? A third of Britons say WiFi has slowed in lockdown, as companies insist they are withstanding demand

The Independent - Tech

A third of people say their internet has got worse in lockdown, as people rely on their WiFi tow ork and study from home. It comes despite claims from broadband providers that they are largely coping with the increased demand from people using more of their home internet. According to a YouGov survey, 28 per cent have noticed their internet connection has become slightly worse than usual, while 7 per cent said it was much worse. It comes as three quarters revealed that they were going online more heavily, as the nation attempts to work from home, carry out school remotely or simply keep in touch with loved ones over the course of the pandemic. Seven in 10 of people who experienced connectivity issues said it affected general online activities, followed by streaming at 67 per cent, video calls at 59 per cent and and work-related tasks at 52 per cent.

AI Taking A Knee: Action To Improve Equal Treatment Under The Law


In the wake of the George Floyd tragedy and so many other appalling cases like it, there is a growing question if a solution lies with robot police powered by artificial intelligence (AI.) In theory, AI cops could reduce biased and discriminatory practices and improve access to justice. Pop culture is filled with heroes like this such as Robocop and CHAPPiE. However, reality maybe a little stranger than fiction in this case as there are already some robots already in action for law enforcement. Let's start with Robo-Guard, which works in the South Korean prison system.

Apple releases iPhone update to patch 'Unc0ver' zero-day hack

The Independent - Tech

Apple has released a new version of its operating system, iOS 13.5.1, in order to provide "important security updates [that are] recommended for all users." It means Apple has patched the infamous "Unc0ver" jailbreak which allowed even the most recent iPhones to be compromised. Apple's security page states that the update was pushed out in order to stop software from "execut[ing] arbitrary code with kernel privileges" – which is how jailbreaking works. To "jailbreak" an iPhone means to remove the usual restrictions imposed by Apple, allowing users more control such as loading apps that are not available in Apple's App Store at the risk of lower device security. It was discovered that the Unc0ver jailbreak has been circulating on the internet since at least February, with some speculating that hackers and researchers had the code since December 2019.

In virus-hit South Korea, AI monitors lonely elders

The Japan Times

Seoul – In a cramped office in eastern Seoul, Hwang Seungwon points a remote control toward a huge NASA-like overhead screen stretching across one of the walls. With each flick of the control, a colorful array of pie charts, graphs and maps reveals the search habits of thousands of South Korean senior citizens being monitored by voice-enabled "smart" speakers, an experimental remote care service the company says is increasingly needed during the coronavirus crisis. "We closely monitor for signs of danger, whether they are more frequently using search words that indicate rising states of loneliness or insecurity," said Hwang, director of a social enterprise established by SK Telecom to handle the service. Trigger words lead to a recommendation for a visit by local public health officials. As South Korea's government pushes to allow businesses to access vast amounts of personal information and to ease restrictions holding back telemedicine, tech firms could potentially find much bigger markets for their artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

Glasses that can monitor your health and let you play video games with your eyes are developed

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Multifunction glasses that can monitor your health, let you play video games with your eyes and still work as sunglasses are developed by South Korean scientists. The groundbreaking new wearable tech built at Korea University, Seoul, can provide more advanced personal health data than devices like Fitbits or smart watches. Devices that measure electrical signals from the brain or eyes can help to diagnose conditions like epilepsy and sleep disorders -- as well as in controlling computers. A long-running challenge in measuring these electronic signals, however, has been in developing devices that can maintain the needed steady physical contact between the wearable's sensors and the user's skin. The researchers overcame this issue by integrating soft, conductive electrodes into their glasses that can wirelessly monitor the electrical signals.

Google to reopen offices in July after coronavirus lockdowns

The Independent - Tech

Google will start reopening its offices from July, after coronavirus lockdowns sent all of its staff home. But the plans will be very phased at the beginning, with only a small number of staff allowed in on a rotating basis, according to its chief executive. In an email sent to staff, Google boss Sundar Pichai said city-based offices will begin to open to some members of staff from July 6. He said phased reopening will allow Google staff to return on a "limited, rotating basis", for example, one day every two weeks, with offices reaching around 10% occupancy. The technology giant began urging staff to work from home in March as the coronavirus outbreak spread around the world.

Xbox Series X will be 'most compatible console ever', says Microsoft, as next-gen battle against PS5 continues

The Independent - Tech

The Xbox Series X will be the most compatible console ever, Microsoft has claimed, as its battle with the PlayStation 5 continues. The new Xbox console will be able to play games from the original Xbox and will bring players' progression in these games to the latest generation, Microsoft said in a new update. Those older games should even look better on the new hardware, even if they were made for previous generations, the company has said. The new updates come after Microsoft said that as well as allowing games from the original Xbox to work on the new one, it will also allow all accessories that currently work with the Xbox One to work with the new console too. They are in keeping with the suggestion from Microsoft that the Xbox Series X is more of an iterative update than an entirely new generation, with the name intended to suggest that it is part of a range of Xboxes that include the current generation and any more that come in the future.

Apple Mac update changes how MacBooks charge to make them live longer

The Independent - Tech

Apple has rolled out a new Mac update that changes the way its computers charge. The company says the new technology will allow those batteries – and therefore the computers they are in – to last longer. As they do, the amount of charge they can hold drops, until they eventually become so short their life is over. The new feature aims to slow down the rate at which that ageing process happens. It does so by watching how hot it gets and when it tends to be charged.

South Korean cafe hires robot barista to help with social distancing

Daily Mail - Science & tech

South Korea s top infectious disease expert says the country may need to reimpose social distancing restrictions it eased in April, with coronavirus transmissions creeping up in the populated Seoul metropolitan area and elsewhere in recent weeks. Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of South Korea s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a virus briefing on Wednesday, May 27, it s becoming increasingly difficult for health workers to track the spread of COVID-19, which has coincided with increased public activity amid warmer weather and eased attitudes on social distancing. South Korea reported 40 new cases on Wednesday, its biggest daily jump in nearly 50 days, as officials scrambled to trace hundreds of infections linked to nightspots, restaurants and a massive e-commerce warehouse near Seoul. 'We will do our best to trace contacts and implement preventive measures, but there s a limit to such efforts,' Jeong said. 'There s a need to maximise social distancing in areas where the virus is circulating, to force people to avoid public facilities and other crowded spaces.'

South Korean cafe uses robotic baristas to comply with social distancing


With its COVID-19 outbreak seemingly contained, South Korea may offer the rest of the world a glimpse of what society could look like after the pandemic ends -- and it may include robotic baristas. According to Reuters, a cafe in Daejeon, South Korea, is now using robots to prepare drinks and deliver them to customers. Proponents say the robots could encourage "distancing in daily life." The barista system consists of a robotic arm that prepares 60 different beverages and wheeled bots that deliver the drinks to customers. The system can communicate with other devices, contains self-driving tech to determine the best route around people and tables and communicates with customers via voice controls.