The Independent


Headspace: How the meditation app turns your stressful phone into a source of calm

The Independent

Meditation and mindfulness have been around for thousands of years. But the advent of smartphones and computers led to a new phenomenon: the mindfulness app. There are a few to choose from, including the punchy, assertive 10% Happier, the elegant and placid Calm and the first app that really brought mindfulness to our phones, Headspace. Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk who went on to run a meditation clinic in London, met a new business partner, Richard Pierson, and launched Headspace in 2010. The company began as an events organisation and led to the now-ubiquitous app in 2012.


Facebook expecting $5bn fine for privacy violations

The Independent

Facebook has said that it expects to be fined up to $5bn by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations. The penalty would be a record by the agency against a technology company and a sign that the United States was willing to punish big tech companies. The social network disclosed the amount in its quarterly financial results on Wednesday, saying it estimated a one-time charge of $3bn to $5bn in connection with an "ongoing inquiry" by the commission. Facebook added that "the matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome". We'll tell you what's true.


Apple will now fix broken MacBook keyboards within a day, leaked memo suggests as problems continue

The Independent

Apple is prioritising repairs to its controversial MacBook keyboards as it attempts to deal with concern about just how many of them are breaking. When Apple introduced the new design for its MacBooks, they also brought a new keyboard design. The company said that the new mechanism would save space in the keys, allowing the laptop to be smaller and lighter. But the new keys have proved controversial among users who say they are given to breaking, in many cases leaving them unable to type certain letters. We'll tell you what's true.


Robotic Tesla taxis will be roaming the streets very soon, Elon Musk says

The Independent

Tesla plans to have a fleet of robotic taxis roaming the streets without drivers next year, Elon Musk has said. The claim is just the latest in a series of exciting pronouncements from the chief executive, who has repeatedly missed his own targets. But he has bet a considerable part of his business on the technology underpinning it. As well as allowing for the robot taxis that will drive themselves around the streets, Mr Musk says that by next year there will be a million Tesla cars on the streets that have full autonomous technology and are able to drive themselves. We'll tell you what's true.


Nike NEXT%: Marathon running shoe so good it became controversial has been improved, company says

The Independent

Two years ago, Nike unveiled what has been called the fastest shoe on the planet. It proved that claim last year, when it carried Eliud Kipchoge across the finish line at the Berlin Marathon, more quickly than ever before, not just breaking the world record but shaving a minute and 18 seconds off it all in one go. That shoe, the elite version of Nike's Zoom Vaporfly 4% Flyknit, even became controversial because it seemed to be just so good. The 4 per cent in its name referred to the extra efficiency boost it gave to its wearer – that in turn led to concern that the shoe was making its runners too fast, to an extent that almost seemed unfair. Now, Nike says it has made yet another step forward.


Tesla bursts into flames, prompting investigation by electric car firm

The Independent

Tesla has sent a team of investigators to China after a video emerged appearing to show one of its electric cars bursting into flames. Smoke billows from beneath a parked Model S in Shanghai, before flames appear and the vehicle appears to explode. CCTV footage of the incident was posted on Chinese social media. "After learning about the incident in Shanghai, we immediately sent the team to the scene last night," Tesla said in a statement shared on the social media platform Weibo. "From what we know now, no one was harmed."


Elon Musk says Neuralink machine that connects human brain to computers 'coming soon'

The Independent

Elon Musk has revealed his Neuralink startup is close to announcing the first brain-machine interface to connect humans and computers. The entrepreneur took to Twitter to tell followers the technology would be "coming soon" – though he failed to provide details. Neuralink was set up in 2016 with the ambitious goal of developing hardware to enhance the human brain, however, little about how this will work has been made public. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.


From '12345' to 'blink182', the most hacked passwords revealed in warning over cyber-security

The Independent

Using easily guessed passwords across multiple accounts is a major gap in the online security habits of British people, a government study has found. The survey by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) found that many internet users did not know the best ways to protect themselves from cybercrime, with 42 per cent expecting to lose money to online fraud. Only 15 per cent of the survey's 2,500 respondents said they knew "a great deal" about how to protect themselves from harmful activity online, while fewer than half of respondents said they do not always use a strong, separate password for their main email account. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.


Porn ban: Twitter, Reddit and Imgur can still show adult videos without age ID checks

The Independent

The UK government's plan to prevent children and teenagers from viewing pornographic content online has a major flaw that means not all porn will be blocked. Critics have called the so-called porn ban "disastrous" for people's privacy, as it will require people to share their personal data online in order to visit porn sites. But the new rules, which come into effect on 15 July, can be skirted by visiting sites that are not subject to the age verification checks. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.


Apple shows off robot for tearing down iPhones as it reveals new recycling programs

The Independent

Daisy, one of Apple's most valued resources, eats iPhones. She's very, very good at it, and getting better: trained with a precision that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. She is a robot, with a variety of tools built to rip the phones apart. That includes, for instance, a tool that can chill phones down so that the battery holding the glue inside becomes brittle, and it can be knocked out with two aggressive bangs; precise pins that can pick the display off the housing that surrounds it; drills that can punch into the phone and drive out the things that might make it difficult to recycle. It won't surprise anyone to hear that Apple is pretty good at making iPhones.