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I left Russia to escape Putins assault on reason. Now I fear the UK is on the same path | Peter Pomarentsev

We need to develop a more collaborative political discourse, built on facts, not spin Nothing is true and everything is possible. That was my one-line attempt to sum up the politics and propaganda that enveloped Russia at the start of the 21st century. It was a world where politicians no longer cared whether they were caught lying; where old ideologies were dead and conspiracy thinking had become the new way to explain the world; where all the old political categories (socialist and liberal, conservative and communist) seemed utterly meaningless and…

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After Caroline Calloway: should ghostwriters speak out against their subjects?

Natalie Beachs tell-all about the controversial influencer wasnt the first case of a ghost exposing their subject, following Julian Assange and Donald Trump Thirty years after ghostwriting Donald Trumps The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz described the experience as like putting lipstick on a pig. He felt a deep sense of remorse at helping bring the man who would become president gain wider attention. Andrew OHagan famously detailed the extraordinary essay in influencer Caroline Calloway: from Instagram captions to the aborted book that once attracted a $375,000 (300,000) publishing…

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Australian who says he invented bitcoin ordered to hand over up to $5bn

US court orders Craig Wright to share cryptocurrency haul with the estate of American programmer David Kleiman The Australian man who claimed to have invented cryptocurrency bitcoin has been ordered to hand over half of his alleged bitcoin holdings, reported to be worth up to $5bn. The IT security consultant Craig Wright, 49, Australian Taxation Office over his involvement with bitcoin with his Sydney home raided by the Australian federal police, leading to speculation he might be Nakamoto. In 2016, Wright questioned the evidence he provided. He promised to provide…

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Uber to ban riders with low ratings: will you pass the test?

Failure to tip, a refusal to chat even where you sit could influence how drivers rate you and under a new policy could see you banned Will your Uber rating be docked if youdont tip? What side of the car should you sit on? Small talk or silence? Since Uber first began to allow users to check their ratings on the app in 2017, riders have harbored growing anxiety about how many stars their behavior in the back seat will earn them. Now those are being magnified by another new…

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Great fanfare as Uber gets its stock on the road, but app stalls in New York

Could this be the moment the sentiment on Wall Street turned against the tech sector? Ubers stock market debut came with all the usual razzmatazz of a big American technology IPO. The chief executive spent weeks making sweeping statements about how the business was just getting started and had new worlds to conquer everything from pizza delivery to international freight. In the background, investment bankers whipped up buyers for the transportation stock of the 21st century. And, when immediately went into reverse. Priced at $45 a share, valuing Uber at…

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Still boiling rice rather than steaming it? How old-fashioned

Joyoungs slick, advanced, gigantic S5 rice cooker promises perfect fluffy rice. But is it worth the gulp 310 pricetag? In the great war between kitchen gadget fanciers and kitchen gadget cynics, one thing rarely comes up: the rice cooker. Ive heard more domestic arguments about Brevilles than I have about these wonders, even though the toastie is a much less aspirational foodstuff than perfect, fluffy rice. Rice cookers dont have to be expensive, and you can do plenty of things in them that arent rice, such as vegetables and even…

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Spotify reaches 100m paying subscribers worldwide

Streaming service boosted by better-than-expected performance in US and Canada Spotify has reached 100 million paying subscribers, in a landmark for the music streaming service as it faces competition from major tech firms. The number of users willing to pay for the service soared 32% in the first three months of 2019 compared with a year earlier, Spotify said on Monday. The Swedish company, which owned by Jay-Z, Beyonc and other stars. Last month, Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with European regulators, alleging that the US tech firm limits…

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Alphabet: Google parent company’s shares drop after latest earnings report

Report comes as company faces internal worker turmoil, and a recent $1.7bn fine from the EU Google shares slumped on Monday after the company failed to beat analyst predictions, following a year of internal turmoil, privacy concerns, and several international fines. The companys stock was down 7% in after-hours trading after it reported first quarter revenue of $36.34bn, lower than the $37.33bn revenue forecast by analysts. The quarter one earnings represent a 17% increase from the same time last year, in which it reported $31.15bn in revenue. In a call…

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Tesla gets restraining order against alleged harasser

Carmaker says man trespassed on factory in California and drove at security guard Tesla has been granted a temporary restraining order to prevent an alleged harasser from approaching the carmakers California factory. The electric carmaker claimed in its application for the order that the man had repeatedly harassed its employees. He allegedly controls a Twitter account which frequently claimsthat Tesla engages in fraud and which claims to be betting that Tesla shares will fall. The man, a resident of Fremont, California, is named in the order, granted by a court…

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Samsung Galaxy S10+ review: a simply stunning screen

A fantastic display bolted to great cameras, a strong battery, an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner and even a headphone socket The Galaxy S10+ may be Samsungs most important phone in years, but at 899 does the huge screen, triple camera and fancy ultrasonic fingerprint scanner make for a worthy upgrade? One thing is obvious: the Galaxy S10+ is not the Galaxy Fold and Honors View20 had this hole-punch notch design first, but Samsungs made it its own with a screen that is easily the unlike last years S9+, but its there…

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Odds and Ends 

Vinli raises $13.5M Series B to expand its vehicle data intelligence platform

Connected-car service provider Vinli today announced it closed a $13.5 million Series B financing round. The company says this infusion of capital allows it to broaden its mobility services and integrations as it attempts to connect cars around the world. The funding came from new and existing investors and brings the total amount the company raised to more than $20 million. Based in Dallas, TX, Vinli launched in 2014 in TechCrunch Startup Battlefield as a direct consumer company that allowed owners to add cloud services to automobiles. It was a…

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Argo AI acquires permit to test autonomous vehicles in California

Argo AI, the self-driving car startup that burst onto the scene in 2017 with $1 billion in backing from Ford, has obtained a permit to test its autonomous vehicles in California. The permit, issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, is for one vehicle and two drivers. Unlike other self-driving car companies, California isn’t the first, or even third, market where Argo AI is testing its tech. The company, founded by former Google self-driving project veteran Bryan Salesky and Uber Advanced Technologies Group’s former engineering lead Peter Rander, has…

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Samsung fakes test photo by using a stock DSLR image

Samsung’s Malaysian arm has some explaining to do. The company, in an effort to show off the Galaxy A8 Star’s amazing photo retouching abilities, used a cleverly shot portrait, modified it and then ostensibly passed it off as one taken by the A8. The trouble began when Serbian photographer Dunja Djudjic noticed someone had bought one of her photos from a service called EyeEm that supplies pictures to Getty Images, a renowned photo reseller. Djudjic, curious as to the buyer, did a quick reverse search and found her image —…

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In venture capital, its still the age of the unicorn

Howie Xu At the time, the piece defined a new breed of startup — the $1 billion privately held company. When Lee did her first count, there were 39 “unicorns”; an improbable, but not impossible number.. Today, the once-scarce unicorn has become a global herd with 376 companies on the roster and counting. But the proliferation of unicorns begs raises certain questions. Is this new breed of unicorn artificially created? Could these magical companies see their valuations slip and fall out of the herd? Does this indicate an irrational exuberance…

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A Twitter employee groomed by the Saudi government prompted 2015 state-sponsored hacking warning

An explosive report in The New York Times this weekend sheds new light on the apparent targeting of Twitter accounts by “state-sponsored actors” three years ago. It comes in the wake of the confirmed death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday, two weeks after he disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi had long been a target of a Saudi troll army, according to the report, which employed hundreds of people to stifle the speech of government critics, like Khashoggi, who left the kingdom to live and…

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