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Meerkat live-streaming app ‘dead’

Live-streaming app Meerkat has been pulled from the app store, following stiff competition from Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook’s live-streaming services. The app attracted much attention when it was launched at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, last year. The firm behind it – Life on Air – has instead been …

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Panasonic reveals bendable battery at Ceatec

Mass market bendable devices may be a step closer as Panasonic unveils a flexible lithium ion battery at Japanese technology fair Ceatec. The battery could be used in wearables such as watches, fitness bands and smart-clothing. Its capacity is small, meaning it would not be suitable for power-intensive smartphones at …

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Amazon ban on incentivised reviews

Amazon is cracking down on the practice of companies offering free products to customers in exchange for a review. In future, such reviews can only come via the online store’s own program, Amazon Vine. A recent study suggested that those who received free or discounted items were much more likely …

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Google Pixel phones and Home speaker take on Siri and Echo

Google has placed a virtual assistant at the heart of its latest smartphones and first voice-activated speaker. The two Pixel handsets are the first mobiles to trigger Google Assistant by pressing their home buttons, somewhat like Apple’s Siri. The Home speaker lets the same artificial intelligence tool be controlled without …

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Yahoo ‘secretly scanned emails for US authorities’

Yahoo secretly scanned millions of its users’ email accounts on behalf of the US government, according to a report. Reuters news agency says the firm built special software last year to comply with a classified request. “Yahoo is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United …

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Twitch to start offering a virtual currency

Video game streaming site Twitch is to introduce its own virtual “currency”, says its owner Amazon Game Studios. “Stream+ is a loyalty points system where players can earn points by watching streams,” said Patrick Gilmore of Amazon Game Studios. He said points could be used in “polls and wagering” and …

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Bid to block US net handover rejected

A judge in Texas has rejected a last-ditch legal challenge to halt the final handover of internet naming power from the US government to a non-profit group. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has administered the naming system since 1998. But from Saturday it will operate without …

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Guilty plea for Syrian Electronic Army accomplice

A Syrian man has pleaded guilty to charges of helping the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) extort cash from hacking victims. Court papers reveal that Peter Romar offered to aid the SEA after it carried out hack attacks on US firms and organisations. He helped run a campaign of extortion, seeking …

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Army of webcams used in net attacks

One of the biggest ever web attacks – in which more than one terabit of data was fired at a website to knock it offline – has been reported. Web hosting company OVH said it had been attacked by a botnet (zombie army) of hacked devices such as webcams. The …

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