Lifestyle

Solo, yet tutti: App puts orchestra in your living room

Aix-en-Provence, France (AFP) – It’s a musician’s dream — rehearse alongside a full orchestra, but in your own living room. And the immersive experience is possible because, yes, there’s an app for that, courtesy of a French start-up, Digital Music Solutions. “NomadPlay” is all down to an algorithm which separates out the sound components of a score to remove any instrument as desired, fading out an oboe or piano part for instance, and allowing the […]

Media group study finds Google makes billions from news

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Google took in some $4.7 billion in revenue in 2018 from “crawling and scraping” news websites without paying publishers, according to an industry-sponsored study released Monday which was disputed by the tech giant and media analysts. The study by the News Media Alliance underscores industry arguments about Google and other online giants harming traditional news organizations by dominating the internet news ecosystem and ad revenues generated through it. According […]

Microsoft gives glimpse of new Xbox console

by Glenn CHAPMAN LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Microsoft on Sunday gave the world a first glimpse of a powerful next-generation Xbox gaming console that it aims to release late next year. Xbox head Phil Spencer pulled back the curtain on “Project Scarlett,” the creation of a successor to the Xbox One that will give game makers “the power they need to bring their creative visions to life.” No pricing plans for the new […]

US schools reckon with social stress: ‘I’m on my phone so much’

  By CAROLYN THOMPSON Associated Press BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — High school biology teacher Kelly Chavis knew smartphones were a distraction in her class. But not even her students realized the psychological toll of their devices until an in-class experiment that, of course, was then spreading on social media. For one class period, students used a whiteboard to tally, in real time, every Snapchat, Instagram, text, call or other notification that popped up. Students were […]

YouTube to ban ‘hateful,’ ‘supremacist’ videos

  by Rob Lever Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — YouTube announced Wednesday it would ban videos promoting or glorifying racism and discrimination as well as those denying well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. The announcement by the Google-owned video-sharing platform was the latest of a series of tech industry moves to filter out hateful and violent content, which have spurred calls for tougher regulation. “YouTube […]

Apple iTunes to play last song

  by Glenn CHAPMAN Agence France Presse SAN JOSE, United States (AFP) — Apple on Monday announced the demise of its groundbreaking iTunes platform in favor of three more tailored apps, as it refines its offerings to be a stage for digital music, films, podcasts and more. iTunes transformed the way people buy and listen to music after its launch in 2001, but is now being phased out, Apple senior vice president of software engineering […]

Breakup isn’t the answer: Facebook’s Zuckerberg

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday rejected the idea of breaking up the social media giant as off-target, saying it could hamper the fight against deceit and harmful online content. The Facebook co-founder’s defense of the leading social network came as it reported it recently disabled billions of bogus accounts set up by “bad actors” and that five percent of active accounts are likely fakes. Facebook and its family […]

‘Plan B’: Huawei’s operating system headache after Android ban

by Qasim NAUMAN HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Google’s decision to partially cut off Huawei devices from its Android operating system has presented the Chinese tech titan with one of its most dramatic challenges yet: how to keep up with the competition if it cannot use the platform that powers nearly every other smartphone in the world? It is a possibility for which the Shenzhen-based firm, the world’s second-largest smartphone maker by sales, has been […]

‘From mama with love’, food parcels for Libya front line

by Nawas al-Darraji MISRATA, Libya (AFP) – A villa in Misrata is abuzz with activity as mothers prepare food parcels with poems and messages of love attached for sons battling on the outskirts of the Libyan capital. More than 10,000 food parcels are being sent each day from home, 200 kilometres (120 miles) away, to the battle front south of Tripoli against Libya’s military strongman Khalifa Haftar. In their fourth war since 2011, Misrata’s men […]

Huawei ban a salvo in widening US-China standoff

by Shaun TANDON WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — In effectively banning tech giant Huawei, President Donald Trump has fired a new salvo against China as the United States increasingly sees confrontation as the best way to curb the rising power. The Trump administration has waged an intense global campaign against Huawei and last week hit it hard with orders that restrict the company’s US sales and make it difficult for the company to buy critical […]

Google and Android system start to cut ties with Huawei

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — US internet giant Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones, said Sunday it was beginning to cut ties with China’s Huawei, which Washington considers a national security threat. In the midst of a trade war with Beijing, President Donald Trump has barred US companies from engaging in telecommunications trade with foreign companies said to threaten American national security. The measure targets Huawei, a Chinese […]

Facebook tightens live-streaming in crackdown on violence

by Glenn CHAPMAN SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Facebook announced Wednesday it is tightening access to livestreaming to prevent the rampant sharing of graphic video as took place with the Christchurch massacre. People who have broken certain rules, including those against “dangerous organizations and individuals,” will be restricted from using the Facebook Live streaming feature, said vice president of integrity Guy Rosen. “Following the horrific recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand, we’ve been reviewing […]