Robert Batten

Robert Batten

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Following 30
UK
Eben Upton talks to El Reg about hopes, dreams and solid startsThe first Pi shop has opened its doors in Cambridge and, if the first weekend of trading is anything to go by, has done rather well.Raspberry Pi Foundation supremo Eben Upton told The Register that the location had been selected because the slinger of diminutive computers reckoned the area has the right demographics of techies and those not necessarily technical, but curious enough to take the outfit's wares for a spin, and maybe drop the cost of a decent takeaway on a starter kit.He also admitted "because it's our home town" before adding: "If we can make the shop work anywhere, it will be in Cambridge."The store itself is located in Cambridge's Grand Arcade Shopping Centre, alongside department store John Lewis and eye-wateringly expensive cable shop Apple.Visitors spent the weekend enjoying some hands-on time playing with the tiny machines and browsing the shelves of handy starter packs and, of course, Pi merchandise.
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UK
Music created in the beautiful Welsh language has received a boost with the release of a playlist of the 20 most-streamed tracks on Spotify.Called Cân y Cymry, the playlist celebrates Dydd Miwsig Cymru (Welsh Language Music Day), the 8th of February.But frankly one day a year isn't enough to enjoy these tracks, which have got us wishing Wales competed separately in Eurovision.A Welsh Lordi-style rock outfit would be an amazing choice, for instance.We always want to help support music from minority languages whenever we can, and musicians performing music in the Welsh language is a particularly rich seam of talent.We have been thrilled to support a number of Welsh language artists who have broken through to international audiences on Spotify lately, including Alffa, whose ‘Gwenwyn’ has had over two million streams, and also Adwaith, who is connecting with new audiences on Spotify."
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UK phone retailers Buymobiles and Affordable Mobiles were missing just one suit in their pack of network playing cards.Already holding EE, Vodafone and Three, they now have the full house after adding O2 tariffs to their range.That means a whole host of new iPhone XR deals (from £48 per month), Samsung Galaxy S8 (from £23 per month) and S9 deals (from £28 per month), Huawei P20 Pro deals (from £30 per month) and loads more.To see all of the new tariffs, head straight to:Today's announcement means that Affordable and Buymobiles - both part of the A1 Comms group - are the only major UK retailers to have deals on O2, EE, Vodafone and Three online and instore.The likes of Carphone Warehouse, Mobiles.co.uk and Fonehouse currently only feature a combination of up to three of those networks each.
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UK
Interview The EU has not seen evidence that Huawei poses a threat to its internal markets – and says that even if it had, blocking the controversial Chinese company's products is up to EU member nations, not the political bloc.In an interview with The Register Despina Spanou, director of digital society, trust and cybersecurity within the EU's Communications Network, Content and Technology directorate, said that individual European Union countries had not raised any security concerns about Huawei."It is not the EU that decides that, they make their own assessments and decisions."Spanou's comments come hot on the heels of the American envoy to the EU publicly threatening countries within the political bloc if they dare use Huawei-made networking equipment.Those who are charging ahead blindly and embracing the Chinese technology without regard to these concerns may find themselves in a disadvantage in dealing with us."Yet the EU's public line on Huawei has been noticeably softer than that of the Five Eyes spying alliance, most of whom have condemned the Chinese company – except for the UK, though some muted criticism has made its way out.
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The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active may pack a smaller display and miss out on the rotating bezel which has been a key feature on Samsung's previous smartwatches.This latest Galaxy Watch Active leak comes via SamMobile, which claims the wearable will have a 1.1-inch display - which is notably smaller than the 1.3-inch screen on the Samsung Galaxy Watch and the 1.2-inch display on the Active's predecessor, the Gear Sport.With a smaller display, it may be a little trickier to navigate around the Watch Active's interface, with your finger potentially blocking a lot of the screen from view.You'd think then, this would be a perfect opportunity for Samsung's rotating ring bezel to shine.On previous watches such as the Galaxy Watch and Gear Sport, the rotating bezel around the display allows you to scroll through menus and messages, with a physical click allowing you to select options on screen.This keeps the screen clear, as you don't have to move your finger across it as much.
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UK
Deal may result in “a substantial lessening of competition”Plans by Sweden’s Tobii, a provider of medical technology, to buy UK-based adaptive technology rival Smartbox for £11 million in cash have fallen foul of competition authorities and been referred to a full investigation by regulators.It would see the Scandinavian eye tracking specialist buy Bristol and Malvern-based Smartbox – which sells devices globally through partners in 36 countries – in a debt-financed deal.This ran into early concerns at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which on January 25 said it was concerned that Tobii’s Smartbox acquisition would result in reduced competition and higher prices.It demanded solutions that would mitigate its concerns — and gave the two companies a week to provide them.Late last week, it said that they had failed to assuage its concerns and it would be launching a “phase two” investigation.
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Last month the Duke of Edinburgh rolled his Land Rover after reportedly being "dazzled by the sun" at an intersection.There was backlash against the royal when it was discovered that he wasn't wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, which also involved another car.Now the Duke has decided that at 97, it's time for him to stop driving altogether.Buckingham Palace released a statement over the weekend stating, "After careful consideration the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence."Local police also provided him with the "suitable words of advice" due to his lack of seat belt during the incident.Emma Fairweather, who was driving the other car, suffered a broken wrist.
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UK
Last year, Google I/O gave us a glimpse of what augmented reality in Maps might look like, teasing a future in which our phones orient us using our cameras.The demonstration showed us improved navigation tools to properly direct users as well as pop-ups indicating surrounding businesses and shops.There was even a bouncy fox guide.It looks like the Wall Street Journal was able to demo what it said is “an early version” of Maps with AR.The feature doesn’t look too different from the one Google previewed for developers last May, with Maps appearing on the lower half of the phone’s screen as the top half navigates the user’s real-world surroundings.With some minor tweaks, even the blinking arrow system used to steer users to turn looks similar to those from Google’s presentation.
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China
Editor’s note: A version of this originally appeared on Radii, a new media platform covering culture, innovation, and life in today’s China.Amid all the headlines about dystopian doomsday scenarios and mass surveillance of the populace, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that in some instances AI and facial recognition can be put to positive uses.A cuddly case in point: Chinese internet powerhouse Baidu has created an AI cat shelter.The shelter, which comes complete with toys, regular dispatches of food and water, and warm spaces to sleep, features feline facial recognition to grant access.It can also check its guests for various diseases and assess whether or not they’ve been neutered.If it identifies a sick cat, a message is sent to a nearby volunteer organization that looks after stray animals to come and administer the required help.
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You're calling me a f*cking idiot?!'Back in the late '90s, Trevor was working for a major UK ISP selling cable, which often saw him having to field complaints from irate customers that didn't want to wait for support to pick up the phone."Most callers would understand that we could not help them as we didn't even work with the same product, and were in sales not support," he said.The company's policy was that staffers couldn't hang up unless the caller was abusive, though, so they often had to deal with angry and "fairly [IT] ignorant" callers."One time, I got an extremely irate guy on the phone who had been having a hell of a lot problems with his dial-up service," Trevor told us.Vulture can't resist when a nugget suits another.
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China
More than half of world’s AI unicorns are in China, says report – SCMPWhat happened: China is home to the greatest number of artificial intelligence (AI) unicorns in the world, according to a report by research company CB Insights.Facial recognition startup Sensetime, valued at $4.5 billion, tops the list.Other companies include Yitu Technology, 4Paradigm, Face++, and self-driving firm Pony.ai.Why it’s important: Artificial intelligence has been dubbed the fourth industrial revolution, and China has set ambitious goals for its development.The country hopes to catch up with the US’ AI capabilities by 2020, make breakthroughs by 2025, and become a world leader by 2030.
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There is, of course, some overlap in genre but here are the biggest science fiction, fantasy, and genre movie milestones happening in 2019.45-Year Anniversaries (Films Released in 1974)The Texas Chain Saw MassacreBefore Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, or Jason Voorhees, Tobe Hooper introduced the world to Leatherface and his family.40-Year Anniversaries (Films Released in 1979)The gangs of New York City all team up to take down one gang in particular: The Warriors.
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China
2019 has been kind to us so far: revenue is growing, and we’re keeping operations lean and mean.TIA Subscription is also showing promising results.If you’re reading this note in full, I sincerely thank you for your support in making sure that we can continue to invest in quality journalism and exclusive content.In the interest of transparency, I want to keep you updated on a few things.First of all, I’m thrilled to share that Maria Li, an Apple and Deloitte alum, will be taking over from Andrew Wang as Tech in Asia’s new COO.This content is exclusive to subscribers.
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China
China’s copyright watchdog has vowed to take serious measures against lawbreakers following rampant piracy of Spring Festival blockbusters and the availability of illegal download resources on Chinese social media.China’s National Copyright Administration (NCAC) called on netizens to “fight against movie piracy” after finding that full-HD movies had been up for sale on messaging app WeChat and microblogging platform Weibo over the holiday season, priced at RMB 1 ($0.15) for each movie, according to The Paper (in Chinese).China’s box office totaled more than RMB 5.8 billion in the first week of the Chinese New Year (starting Feb. 5), a new record compared to the RMB 5.7 billion during the same period last year, figures from online ticketing platform Maoyan show.In a Weibo post on Sunday (in Chinese), the NCAC asked netizens to blow the whistle on movie pirates by reporting illegal download links.It said it would report offenders to the police and that multiple government departments had stepped up their attempts to curb online piracy over the holiday season.Gong Geer, producer of Chinese sci-fi blockbuster “The Wandering Earth,” shared the Weibo post, asking his followers for tip-offs to help crack down on movie pirates.
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Ariana Grande has set the record straight, after it was suggested she’d taken aim at Cardi B during this year’s Grammys.After a much-publicised row with producers, Ariana ultimately declined to appear at this year’s Grammys, but did follow the action along on social media, and she was not impressed when it was revealed that Cardi had been awarded Best Rap Album.Pacific Press via Getty ImagesImmediately after Cardi was announced as the recipient of the award, Ariana tweeted “trash”, “fuck” and “bullshit”, before quickly taking down the posts.However, when her fans picked up on what she’d written, assuming she was having a go at Cardi, Ariana quickly fired off some more tweets (which have also now been removed), insisting that she had nothing against the Bodak Yellow rapper, and was actually just disappointed that the award didn’t go to her late ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, who was also nominated in the same category.John Shearer via Getty Images
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With most of the specs, features, and designs of Samsung’s upcoming flagships already known, all that’s left to ponder is when the Galaxy S10 will land in stores and for how much.With as much as four models available, some in various configurations, it might be a somewhat daunting decision-making process.Perhaps it is good, then, that at least one of those phones will be out of the picture for at least a week.Not that many will immediately jump on a 12 GB RAM, 1 TB storage Galaxy S10+ phone anyway.Samsung has traditionally been stingy when it comes to memory, both RAM and internal storage.Despite its production capabilities via its semiconductor arm, Samsung has ironically been slow on upgrading configurations for its own flagships, leaving the likes of Vivo to flaunt ever increasing RAM capacities ahead of anyone else.
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Streaming service is where entertainment’s at these days.From music to video to even gaming, anyone and everyone want to be the next Netflix of something.So it isn’t surprising that Metro Goldwyn Mayer, more popularly known as MGM, has announced the streaming counterpart of its pay-TV EPIX network.Dubbed, what else, EPIX NOW, the streaming service promises exclusive originals for only $6 a month, including a TV adaptation of the hit political podcast, Slow Burn.Like any other streaming service, EPIX NOW will be defined by the selection of content you won’t find elsewhere.Fortunately, EPIX NOW won’t be starting from scratch because non-streaming EPIX already has quite a few that will be available on the new service.
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LG has recently reported a not so small loss in its mobile business but while that’s not going to put the entire company out of business, it still doesn’t look good.At MWC 2019 later this month, the Korean OEM will have a chance to redeem itself, at least in the public’s eyes, with the debut of the LG G8 ThinQ as well as the LG V50 ThinQ 5G.With the stakes already high, however, LG may have decided to raise it even higher by raising prices to match its rivals.To some extent, it’s actually surprising that LG managed to hold off this long.In part thanks to Apple, smartphone prices have been climbing higher and higher each year, and there doesn’t seem to be any stopping it.In contrast, while not going as low as, say, OnePlus, LG has managed to stay at most $150 cheaper than its closest competition.
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The Favourite has emerged as the big winner at this year’s Baftas - although it did not manage to take the top prize of the night.The period drama scooped seven awards at the ceremony on Sunday night, but it was Netflix film Roma that was awarded the title of Best Film.It marked the first time ever that a film made for a streaming service has taken the accolade, while it also won three other prizes.Mike Marsland via Getty ImagesDespite missing out on being named Best Film, The Favourite won the Outstanding British Film category, while stars Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz won Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively.Roma also won Best Cinematography and Best Film Not in the English Language, while there was also a win for Alfonso Cuarón as Best Director.
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US
Epix had been one of the only remaining premium cable networks that was not available to stream without a cable subscription—until today.The MGM-owned network has rolled out a direct-to-consumer offering, called Epix Now, that will allow viewers to stream Epix content for $5.99 a month.“Epix is set up for its biggest year yet,” said president Michael Wright today at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif.In early 2018, Epix was available in just 40 million U.S. homes, said Wright.That number grew to 70 million homes in June after the network struck a carriage deal with Comcast’s Xfinity TV.Now, with Epix Now, the network can be seen in 120 million households, tripling its reach in less than a year.
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