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Technology

We want a billion people in VR – Facebook

In its continued effort to take virtual reality mainstream, Facebook has announced Oculus Go – a standalone headset that will be released in 2018. Mark Zuckerberg said the device, priced at $199, would be the “most accessible VR experience ever”. Sales of the company’s VR hardware have been slow since launching the first Oculus Rift headset in March 2016. “If ...

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Andela raises $40m to connect Africa’s engineering talent

African tech platform Andela, has announced that it has secured $40 million in Series C funding. This investment is led by CRE Venture Capital with participation from DBL Partners, Amplo, Salesforce and TLcom Capital, with some investors like Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, and Spark Capital. Andela was launched in 2014 to build a network of technology leaders on the African ...

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UK: Condom-detecting fingerprint test ‘set for court use’

Fingerprint technology which can detect the brand of hair gel used by a suspect or whether they have handled a condom could soon be admissible in court. The technique uses a form of mass spectrometry to detect traces of various substances within a fingerprint. It can provide “diverse information” about a suspect, including any alcohol or drug use, researchers have ...

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Apple investigating swollen batteries in iPhone 8 Plus handsets

Apple is investigating a series of reports about battery problems with some of its new iPhone 8 Plus phones. Over the last week, six reports have come to light which show the phones splitting apart soon after they start to be used. In all cases the battery inside the phone has swollen rendering the phone unusable. It is not yet ...

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Microsoft gives up on Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft appears to have abandoned its smartphone operating system ambitions. The company’s Windows 10 chief has tweeted that developing new features and hardware for the Mobile version of the OS was no longer a “focus”. Joe Belfiore added that he had also switched to Android himself. Windows 10 Mobile tried to attract users by letting them run the same “universal apps” on ...

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Websites hacked to mint crypto-cash

School, charity and file-sharing websites have been caught out by scammers who are using them to generate crypto-cash. Hackers have managed to install code on the sites that uses visitors’ computers to “mine” the cyber-currencies. One scan of the most popular websites found hundreds harbouring the malicious mining code. By getting lots of computers to join the networks, attackers can ...

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University of Cambridge solar car crashes before race

A British solar car racing team has pulled out of a competition after the car that took two years to build crashed into a barrier during testing. The Cambridge University Eco-Racing team’s solar-powered Mirage car rolled after suffering “a sudden loss of dynamic stability” in Australia ahead of the World Solar Challenge. The damage was “irreparable”. The safety compartment protected ...

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Google to use balloons to provide Puerto Rico cell service

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said late on Friday it had approved Alphabet Inc’s application to provide emergency cellular service to Puerto Rico through balloons. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has struggled to regain communications services. The FCC said on Friday that 83 percent of cell sites remain out of service, while wireless communications company are deploying ...

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Netflix raises prices for first time in two years

Netflix has raised prices in countries including the UK and US for the first time in two years. The streaming video service will also increase subscription charges in some European countries, a spokeswoman said. A standard UK plan will rise 50p to £7.99 a month, while a premium subscription for four simultaneous users jumps £1 to £9.99 a month. The ...

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AOL Instant Messenger to shut down after 20 years

AOL today announced it is permanently shuttering AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) — its iconic chat service which debuted in 1997 and was popular in the ’00s.   All good things come to an end. On Dec 15, we’ll bid farewell to AIM. Thank you to all our users! #AIMemories https://t.co/b6cjR2tSuU pic.twitter.com/V09Fl7EPMx — AIM (@aim) October 6, 2017   Michael Albers, ...

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