North America


Apple unveils TV subscription service with help from Oprah Winfrey

The Guardian

Apple unveiled a host of new subscription services at a star-studded event in Cupertino, California, on Monday morning. The event marked the debut of a new era for a company that built its brand on hardware and software; just last week, Apple announced new products with little fanfare, saving its firepower for Monday's celebration of services, from its attempt to take on Netflix to a new Apple credit card. Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carrell, Kumail Nanjiani, and Big Bird were on hand to promote new creative projects that will be released through Apple's new subscription television service, Apple TV . Spielberg's Amazing Stories will resurrect the 93-year-old brand of a science fiction magazine that inspired the director as a child. Witherspoon and Aniston announced The Morning Show, described by Aniston as "an honest look at the complex relationship between women and men in the workplace".


Smart talking: are our devices threatening our privacy?

The Guardian

On 21 November 2015, James Bates had three friends over to watch the Arkansas Razorbacks play the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Bates, who lived in Bentonville, Arkansas, and his friends drank beer and did vodka shots as a tight football game unfolded. After the Razorbacks lost 51–50, one of the men went home; the others went out to Bates's hot tub and continued to drink. Bates would later say that he went to bed around 1am and that the other two men – one of whom was named Victor Collins – planned to crash at his house for the night. When Bates got up the next morning, he didn't see either of his friends. But when he opened his back door, he saw a body floating face-down in the hot tub. A grim local affair, the death of Victor Collins would never have attracted international attention if it were not for a facet of the investigation that pitted the Bentonville authorities against one of the world's most powerful companies – Amazon. Collins' death triggered a broad debate about privacy in the voice-computing era, a discussion that makes the big tech companies squirm.


The $70,000 smoothie-making ROBOT that can blend drinks in 2 minutes or less

Daily Mail

It's official: you can now add smoothie-making to the increasingly long list of tasks commandeered by robots. A one-armed autonomous robot designed by California-based startup Blendid was recently rolled out at the University of San Francisco and is capable of making a dozen different blended drinks in about two minutes, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Customers of Blendid's smoothie robot are able to order on their mobile device via the company's app, or at one of several tablet kiosks nearby. An autonomous robot arm is automating the smoothie world, blending customers drinks in 2 minutes or less. Blendid is an automated smoothie-making robot that can whip up an array of drinks in 2 minutes or less.


The War to Remotely Control Self-Driving Cars Heats Up

WIRED

Even in the middle of the day, the 50-mile trip from San Francisco to San Jose is a pain. Like a toddler, Bay Area driving toggles between slumber (rush-hour slogs) and frenzy (passing-happy speeding). It's enough to make one eager for the day when robots rule the roads. And it's more than enough to make me envy Evan Livingston, who doesn't have to show up in person this meeting, held in a Lincoln MKZ sedan roaming downtown San Jose. No, Livingston is sitting comfortably in his office in Portland, Oregon, when he appears on the screens inside the car and announces he'll be our teleoperator this afternoon.


Apple streaming event: New News service asks people to pay for magazines, premium articles and websites

The Independent

Apple has unveiled a complete update to its news offering, known as News, which allows people to pay to subscribe to magazines as well as newspapers. The company suggested that the new service is the best way of reading magazines online, as well as offering a way for news organisations to sell premium subscriptions. People will pay just $9.99 per month and get access to all of the magazines and news organisations available through the app. Subscribing to the various outlets included in the service would cost over $8,000 per month, it said. We'll tell you what's true.


Apple updates TV app so people can watch original shows and host of other channels on iPhones and Macs

The Independent

Apple has announced a complete update for its TV app – as well as changes that will bring it to other company's smart TVs. The update brings the company's new streaming service, known as Apple TV, to all of the supported devices. But it also allows for new ways of watching content from other companies, too, allowing people to watch video from companies such as HBO or Amazon Prime. Unveiling that Apple TV service, it said it had worked with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston among others. We'll tell you what's true.


Apple Arcade: New game subscription service for iPhones, iPads and Mac to 'redefine games'

The Independent

Apple has unveiled its widely-rumoured game subscription service, hailed as the "Netflix of games". Designed for mobile devices, desktop computers and "living room" devices, Apple Arcade, will "redefine games", the tech giant claimed, adding that will be curated on originality, quality and creativity. However, the price and release date still remain a mystery. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.


Apple streaming event sees launch of TV, news and games subscriptions – but few details about how they will work

The Independent

Apple has launched a whole host of new services, intended to make more money from the people who have already bought its products. In what was hailed as one of the most significant Apple events in years, the company did not reveal new products or software but instead a range of premium services, intended to counter a drop in iPhone sales by bringing in revenues after people buy their products. There are news subscriptions, TV and games – as well as a new way to pay for anything, with a titanium credit card. The highlight of the announcement was Apple TV, a streaming service built to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Apple invited many of the world's biggest stars and directors on stage to talk about its TV shows, on which the company is thought to have spent billions of dollars.


Huawei P30 Pro leaked images reveal nearly everything about new flagship Android - except the price

The Independent

The world's second biggest smartphone maker is about to unveil its latest range of flagship phones, but an inundation of leaks mean there is little to reveal that is not already known. Huawei will show off the P30, P30 Pro and P30 Lite - as they are expected to be called - in what the Chinese manufacturer hopes will offer a trio of rivals to Apple's iPhones and Samsung's Galaxy range of smartphones. The latest leak of the new phones, which comes just hours before the 26 March unveiling event in Paris, shows complete front and rear images of the three Huawei devices. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.


EU passes 'meme ban' copyright rules that could change the way the internet works

The Independent

The European Union has passed controversial copyright rules that campaigners claim could change the way the internet works. The suite of reforms include rules that could force internet companies to ban memes and to stop them showing links in the way they do today. Supporters claim the rules are required to ensure that music companies and news outlets are properly paid for the content that technology companies distribute. But opponents, who assembled in force, allied with those tech firms to argue that it could change the way the internet works and destroy some of its fundamental principles. We'll tell you what's true.