The five family rules for owning a games console

If you’ve just bought a new PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Wii U for your kids this Christmas, here are the things you need to know before handing it over Video games are a social activity, so keep the console somewhere everyone can play – and join in! Photograph: Finnbarr Webster / Alamy/Alamy So it’s Christmas and you’ve bought your ... Read More »

The problem with self-driving cars: who controls the code?

Should autonomous vehicles be programmed to choose who they kill when they crash? And who gets access to the code that determines those decisions? Google’s prototype self-driving car at the Google campus in Mountain View, California. Photograph: Tony Avelar/AP Wednesday 23 December 201512.00 GMTLast modified on Wednesday 23 December 201512.02 GMT The Trolley Problem is an ethical brainteaser that’s been entertaining philosophers ... Read More »

California approves TaxiOS as old school rivals take on Uber

Flywheel claims to be the world’s first and only regulator-approved, GPS-based taxi meter – and is stepping up competition against rivals Uber and Lyft Traditional taxi firms in California hope state-approval of the TaxiOS app will help them outperform unregulated rivals such as Lyft and Uber. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images California’s state regulators have approved TaxiOS, an app for ... Read More »

Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload heyday is ancient history for the music industry

Entrepreneur may be facing extradition to the US, but in 2016, labels will be more focused on navigating the changing economics of streaming Kim Dotcom is facing extradition, but Music executives are also less likely to be fretting about piracy in 2016 than they are about streaming services. Photograph: Michael Bradley/AFP/Getty Images You might expect champagne corks to be popping ... Read More »

YouTube star attacks ‘theft, lies and Facebook video’

Facebook video is growing fast, but does it have a piracy problem? Photograph: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS Facebook has ambitions to compete with YouTube in the online video world, but one of the latter’s prominent creators has criticised the social network’s strategy. Hank Green is one half of the Vlogbrothers duo, whose YouTube channel has more than 552m views and 2.6 million ... Read More »

Facebook calls for end to Flash as Firefox blocks it over hacking holes

Flash has been blocked by Mozilla in its Firefox browser Photograph: firefox The mob is turning against Flash. Mozilla has blocked every version of Adobe’s Flash plugin from running within its Firefox browser, while Facebook’s head of security has called for Adobe to kill it off. The moves come following a series of vulnerabilities in Flash being actively exploited, including ... Read More »

Parents warned as Hello Kitty data breach leaks details of 3.3m user accounts

The hashing technique used by Hello Kitty website SanrioTown leaves it easy for an attacker to use force to uncover a significant proportion of the obscured passwords. Photograph: Imaginechina/Rex Shutterstock A data breach at, the online community for Hello Kitty fans, has leaked details of more than 3 million user accounts online. The information exposed in the breach includes ... Read More »

New Microsoft adware rules could stop another Superfish security scare

A computer screen shows features of the Windows 10 operating system at the Microsoft store at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, New York July 29, 2015. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/REUTERS Microsoft will “detect and remove” insecure adware from Windows PCs in 2016,the company has announced. The move could prevent a repeat of Lenovo’s embarrassing self-inflicted security hole from March this year, ... Read More »

How to explain tech to your parents in five easy steps

Amy Schumer attempts to teach her mother how to use her Macbook. Photograph: Internet Leo Tolstoy famously wrote: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” But that was before the advent of tech. Now, family unhappiness is a stressed-out mother trying to work out how to send an emoji, and a dad repeatedly ... Read More »

Apple calls on UK government to scale back snooper’s charter

Tech company makes rare foray into British politics in a submission to the committee on the investigatory powers bill Apple has expressed concern over another section of the draft investigatory powers bill. Photograph: GCHQ / MOD/EPA Apple has called for changes to the UK government’s investigatory powers bill, over fears it would weaken the security of “personal data of millions ... Read More »