Twin-screen Duo puts Microsoft back in smartphone game

by Glenn CHAPMAN SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled new Surface devices with twin-screens that open like books, including a notepad-sized version that will put it back in the smartphone game next year. Surface Duo was touted as the first device in the lineup to fit into a pants pocket, with two “paper-thin” 5.6-inch screens that unfold and work in harmony with a specially tailored Android operating system. Described as a […]

Zuckerberg to ‘go to the mat’ to fight breakup: report

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to “go to the mat” to fight a government attempt to break up the social media giant, according to a report Tuesday based on a leaked audio recording. Tech news site The Verge released leaked comments from a meeting of Facebook employees in July in which Zuckerberg said he would challenge a breakup effort, repeating his argument that splitting the company would not […]

Facebook hides ‘likes’ in Australia trial to ease anxiety

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Facebook on Friday said it began hiding the number of “likes” for posts in Australia, a trial designed to ease social pressure that could be rolled out worldwide. Account-holders across the country will also be blocked from viewing the number of reactions and video views on other people’s posts from Friday, but will still be able to see how people respond to their own. “We don’t want Facebook to feel like […]

NBA 2K league adding Shanghai team in 2020

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The NBA 2K League will add a team in Shanghai for the 2020 season, the eSports league’s first franchise outside of North America. The NBA-affiliated league announced the addition on Thursday. The Shanghai club will be operated by eSports organization Gen.G and will join 22 existing teams, all of which are operated by NBA franchises. The 2K League, run by the NBA, partnered with internet giant Tencent to stream […]

Facebook exempts political speech from fact-checking

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Facebook will not fact-check the statements politicians post to the site, the social network announced Tuesday ahead of the US 2020 elections, even as it works to discredit false information meant to manipulate public opinion. While the social network relies on third-party fact-checkers, including news organizations such as AFP, to help it discredit viral misinformation, it will stop short of wading into the veracity of political claims. “We don’t […]

Zuckerberg meets US senators, rejects call to break up Facebook

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg met privately with members of Congress Thursday on a political reconnaissance mission to Washington, where he rejected calls for him to break up the world’s biggest social network. Zuckerberg’s visit with policymakers comes as Facebook faces a myriad of regulatory and legal questions surrounding issues like competition, digital privacy, censorship and transparency in political advertising. A Facebook spokesman said discussions were focusing in part on […]

YouTube ‘creators’ fret over impact of new child protection rules

by Julie JAMMOT Agence France Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Samuel Rader quit his job three years ago to work full time on his YouTube channel, “Sam and Nia,” featuring videos of his family life. The channel created by the Texas-based couple — with videos of their Hawaii vacation, setting up their backyard pool and other content about “Christian family life” — has become one of the stars of the Google-owned video service […]

Apple cuts prices, ramps up services as iPhone 11 launches

    by Glenn Chapman  CUPERTINO, United States (AFP) — Apple unveiled its iPhone 11 models Tuesday with a price cut for the most basic models while also laying out plans for streaming and gaming services as it bids to weather the slump in the global smartphone market. Price appeared to be a key consideration as the tech giant reduced the entry level price for the iPhone 11 to $699 and undercut rivals for its […]

Coffee and quacks served up at Chengdu duck cafe

CHENGDU, China (AFP) — Crowds in a Chinese eatery ignore their drinks to gather adoringly around four fluffy white ducks, phones poised ready for pictures, at the latest addition to the country’s growing list of popular animal cafes. “Hey! We go”, a business in the center of the southwestern city of Chengdu is proving perfect fodder for the social media-savvy generation. The four call ducks — a domesticated breed imported from Europe — can retail […]

Yahoo hit by technical glitch

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — US internet search engine Yahoo suffered a technical glitch Thursday, the company said, affecting thousands of users, especially email account holders in Britain. “Most services are back online,” Yahoo tweeted around 1530 GMT while attempting to fix the problem that was first flagged more than seven hours earlier. “This is a technical issue that affected our services. We are sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as […]

Report crowns Vienna ‘most liveable city’ for second year

  VIENNE, Austria (AFP) — The Austrian capital Vienna has retained its ranking as the world’s most liveable city, according to an annual report from the Economist. Vienna once again came ahead of Melbourne — which had held the top ranking for seven years until losing it to Vienna in 2018 — according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released Wednesday. The top two were followed by Sydney, Osaka and Calgary. Each […]

Twitter revamps website in bid to mimic mobile app

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) — Twitter on Monday began rolling out an overhauled version of its website, making it more similar to the mobile version of the one-to-many messaging platform. The revamp to the Twitter page accessible on computer web browsers comes as the San Francisco-based company seeks to ramp up engagement while managing abusive content. “We are starting to roll out a new — a refreshed and updated website that is faster, easier to navigate […]