Sunday, December 8, 2019
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Google announced this fall to much fanfare that it had demonstrated “quantum supremacy” – that is, it performed a specific quantum computation far faster than the best classical computers could achieve. IBM promptly critiqued the claim, saying that its own classical...
The taxi app giant Uber has again lost its licence in London, if only temporarily. Uber has 21 days to appeal after Transport for London (TfL) ended a probationary extension it granted to the company in September, citing a “pattern of...
Jeremy Corbyn’s unexpected popularity in the 2017 UK general election seemed closely related to a surge in Labour’s youth vote which has often been attributed to a set of social media strategies. Labour deliberately set out to exploit young people’s engagement...
Netflix’s competitors are multiplying, and they’re ambitious. After Amazon Prime Video, YouTubeTV and YouTube Premium, Hulu, Sling TV, Now TV, Starz, Showtime Anytime, HBO Now (and soon HBO Max), and Apple TV+, the latest entrant is Disney+. After months of teasing and...
More than 200m homes now have a smart speaker providing voice-controlled access to the internet, according to one global estimate. Add this to the talking virtual assistants installed on many smartphones, not to mention kitchen appliances and cars, and that’s a lot of...
Google claims to have demonstrated something called “quantum supremacy”, in a paper published in Nature. This would mark a significant milestone in the development of a new type of computer, known as a quantum computer, that could perform very difficult...
Digital platforms, the websites and apps which compete for our precious screen time, have successfully invaded the traditional territory of many sectors of the “old economy”. They have become the preferred – expected, even – domains for many kinds...
Facebook leader Mark Zuckerberg recently took the unusual step of visiting lawmakers in Washington, including President Donald Trump in the White House. The reason? Congress’s anti-trust sub-committee has started demanding documents from Facebook and other big tech firms. It’s part of the committee’s...
Facebook, the largest social network in the world, stunned the world earlier this year with the announcement of its own cryptocurrency, Libra. The launch has raised questions about the difference between Libra and existing cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of...
Back in the 1990s – a lifetime ago in internet terms – the Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells published several books charting the rise of information networks. He predicted that in the networked age, more value would accrue in controlling flows of...

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