Buses for Apple employees ‘attacked’ with pellet guns, company suspects

Corporate buses, which ferry workers from San Francisco to its Silicon Valley headquarters, have become symbols of gentrification

At least five buses used to transport Apple employees to the company’s headquarters have had their windows smashed by what is suspected to be pellet guns during the last week.

The first window was shattered on the evening of Friday 12 January, as the shuttle bus travelled from the company campus back into San Francisco. Three more were hit on Tuesday morning, followed by another “attack” on Tuesday evening, according to an email sent to Apple staff and seen by the Guardian.

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from Technology | The Guardian http://bit.ly/2ESD92d

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Bitcoin’s energy usage is huge – we can’t afford to ignore it

The cryptocurrency uses as much CO2 a month as 1m transatlantic flights. We need to take it seriously as a climate threat

Bitcoin’s electricity usage is enormous. In November, the power consumed by the entire bitcoin network was estimated to be higher than that of the Republic of Ireland. Since then, its demands have only grown. It’s now on pace to use just over 42TWh of electricity in a year, placing it ahead of New Zealand and Hungary and just behind Peru, according to estimates from Digiconomist. That’s commensurate with CO2 emissions of 20 megatonnes – or roughly 1m transatlantic flights.

That fact should be a grave notion to anyone who hopes for the cryptocurrency to grow further in stature and enter widespread usage. But even more alarming is that things could get much, much worse, helping to increase climate change in the process.

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from Technology | The Guardian http://bit.ly/2EPtfOY

Bitcoin continues rapid slide as Russia and China stoke regulatory fears

Bitcoin dropped a further $2,000 in value, leading the general slide across cryptocurrency markets as investor confidence waivers

Cryptocurrencies continued their sharp tumble on Wednesday as bitcoin dropped by over 16% as continued fears of regulation from Russia and China dent investor confidence.

The price of the world’s biggest and best known cryptocurrency fell $2,000 to as low as $10,000, on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, for the first time since November, and down from lows of $11,200 on Monday and $12,000 at 2pm GMT Tuesday.

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from Technology | The Guardian http://bit.ly/2EOczaq

YouTube star wins damages in landmark UK ‘revenge porn’ case

Chrissy Chambers brought civil case after ex-boyfriend posted videos of them having sex online

A YouTube celebrity has won unprecedented damages against her ex-boyfriend after he admitted uploading “revenge porn” videos of her to the internet.

In the first civil case of its kind to be brought in England and Wales, 26-year-old Chrissy Chambers sued her former partner for harassment, breach of confidence and misuse of private information, after learning that the Crown Prosecution Service would not bring criminal charges against him.

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from Technology | The Guardian http://bit.ly/2FJZ10Z

CEO Kaz Hirai on Sony turnaround: ‘My job has been to revive pride in what we do’

The firm’s chief executive says his hands-on approach has paid off so far, but he’s not ready for a victory lap just yet

The secret to rekindling Sony’s return to form, according to the company’s chief executive, is personalisation – achieved not by the mass collection of customer data in the way some big tech firms do, but by eliciting an emotional response to its products.

“Getting in close is the only way,” says Kaz Hirai, who took the helm of Sony five-and-half-years ago charged with turning the company around; he has succeeded, with Sony projecting its largest-ever annual operating profit of £4.2bn this year. Hirai is a passionate believer in the Japanese concept of Kando, which is about establishing an emotional connection across what Sony calls “the last one inch” to the consumer – the wow factor that creates enthusiasm and loyalty.

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from Technology | The Guardian http://bit.ly/2mO1y2h

YouTube to manually review popular videos before placing ads

Platform to ensure top content meets ‘ad-friendly guidelines’ following unease at scandals, but some vloggers may lose income

Videos from YouTube’s most popular channels are to be subject to human review, as the Google platform attempts to use advertising money to reign in content producers following a series of scandals.

For the first time, the company will be pre-emptively reviewing large swaths of its content to ensure it meets “ad-friendly guidelines”, raising the bar for video creators who wish to run adverts on their content, while hoping to allay advertiser unease about the video-sharing website following scandals such as Logal Paul’s video of a dead body.

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from Technology | The Guardian http://bit.ly/2DF4Pbs

Bitcoin and Ethereum tumble after renewed fears of regulatory crackdown

Bitcoin hits a four-week low before rebounding on Tuesday as South Korean statements send cryptocurrency markets yo-yoing

The price of bitcoin was sent plummeting 18% as it and other cryptocurrencies yo-yo in value over fears of a wider trading crackdown spurred by renewed potential of South Korean regulatory action.

Bitcoin’sslide of over over $2,200 triggered a massive selloff across the broader cryptocurrency market, with biggest rival Ethereum down 23% on the day, according to trade website Coinmarketcap, and the next biggest, Ripple, plunging 33%.

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from Technology | The Guardian http://bit.ly/2B65O1x