Apple delays launch of smart speaker

Apple is delaying the release of its HomePod smart speaker until 2018. The electronics giant said the device, which was due to be released in December this year, still needed development work. It said the HomePod would be ready to go on shop shelves in the US, UK and Australia “early in 2018”. The news […]

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Germany bans children’s smartwatches

A German regulator has banned the sale of smartwatches aimed at children, describing them as spying devices. It had previously banned an internet-connected doll called, My Friend Cayla, for similar reasons. Telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency urged parents who had such watches to destroy them. One expert said the decision could be a “game-changer” […]

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Gamers’ anger halts Star Wars Battlefront II payments

Games publisher EA has suspended in-game purchases in its latest Star Wars title Battlefront II, following criticism from players. Gamers had complained that unlocking popular characters such as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader took too long unless they paid for in-game credits. EA said in-game purchases would be halted because it did not want the […]

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Fullscreen ‘YouTube Red rival’ to close in January

Online talent management firm Fullscreen is closing the subscription video platform it set up last year to rival YouTube’s premium tier. The service promised to produce “higher quality” programmes featuring popular YouTube and social media stars. Fullscreen said it had attracted “hundreds of thousands” of paying customers but wanted to focus its investment in areas […]

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Twitter says it will judge verified users’ offline behaviour

Twitter’s announcement yesterday that it would begin removing verification badges from some accounts had an immediate impact, as the company stripped the blue checkmark from a handful of accounts associated with the far right. But the announcement, which arrived via five tweets and an update to a Twitter support page, left much unanswered. The most […]

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Tommy Robinson loses Twitter verified tick

English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson has had his “verified” badge removed on Twitter, after the website changed its verified profiles policy. The blue badge was first introduced to indicate the authenticity of prominent profiles on the social network. But Twitter said it was being interpreted as an “endorsement or an indicator of importance” and […]

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Cyber-bullying: Prince’s ‘stop, speak, support’ code of conduct

Facebook and Snapchat are trialling a new, more direct way to help young people bullied online, following an intervention by Prince William. The social media platforms will put those in need of emotional support in touch with a counsellor from Childline. The prince, together with tech firms, children’s charities and parents, is also introducing the […]

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Google Docs offline for ‘significant’ number of users

Google Docs was inaccessible for a “significant subset” of users on Wednesday. The company confirmed the issue on its status page but did not offer more information. Docs is a core feature of Google’s cloud computing service. Advertisement A spokeswoman for Google would not confirm to the BBC how many users encountered the problem, but […]

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Star Wars Battlefront II game faces further backlash

Games publisher EA has faced further criticism over its latest Star Wars game, Battlefront II. Many players were unhappy about the credits that unlock key Star Wars characters. The number required has now been reduced but so has the number that can be earned through gameplay. The alternative is to purchase them. Others have complained […]

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