Uber failing to report sex attacks by drivers, says Met police

Senior officer says firm putting concerns for its reputation over public safety by not notifying police of some serious crimes

Uber has been accused by police of allowing a driver who sexually assaulted a passenger to strike again by not reporting the attack, along with other serious crimes.

In a strongly worded letter, Insp Neil Billany of the Metropolitan police’s taxi and private hire team suggested the company was putting concerns for its reputation over public safety.

Continue reading… …read more

Rise of the robocar: are connected cars safer, or a target for hackers?

It’s predicted that 200m connected cars will be on the roads by 2020, but there’s a risk that more technology will lead to more hacking

A threshold was quietly crossed in the first quarter of 2016. For the first time, mobile carriers reported activating more connected cars than phones.

At a vehicle tech demonstration in Manhattan this month, a group of reporters stood around a custom-made, tablet-screened display console as Darrin Shewchuk, a spokesman for Harman International, explained the impending technological revolution.

Continue reading… …read more

James Damore, Google, and the YouTube radicalization of angry white men

Damore became an ‘alt-right’ hero after Google fired him over his views on women. Did Google-owned YouTube play a role in reinforcing those ideas?

For the YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki, the Google manifesto was personal and painful. After reading the news of engineer James Damore’s 10-page memo criticizing diversity initiatives, her daughter asked: “Mom, is it true that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership?”

Wojcicki recounted the conversation this week in a widely cited essay on sexism in tech in which she denounced the arguments advanced by Damore as “tragic”. Her reflection did not, however, address the role that her own company’s video platform may have played in spreading the questionable scientific claim that women are biologically less suited to tech.

Continue reading… …read more

The robot that staves off loneliness for chronically ill children

A Norwegian startup company has created an automaton that helps children with long-term sickness be part of normal life again

As a rule of thumb, the best ideas are the simplest. That’s easy to forget in an age of rapid technological innovation, when the tendency is to be led by capability rather than need.

For as Karen Dolva, co-founder of the Norwegian startup No Isolation, says: “There are a lot of engineers who don’t want to make something useful – they want to make something cool.”

Continue reading… …read more

Are smartphones really making our children sad?

US psychologist Jean Twenge, who has claimed that social media is having a malign affect on the young, answers critics who accuse her of crying wolf

Last week, the children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, launched a campaign to help parents regulate internet and smartphone use at home. She suggested that the overconsumption of social media was a problem akin to that of junk-food diets. “None of us, as parents, would want our children to eat junk food all the time – double cheeseburger, chips, every day, every meal,” she said. “For those same reasons, we shouldn’t want our children to do the same with their online time.”

Related: Irresistible: Why We Can’t Stop Checking, Scrolling, Clicking and Watching – review

Continue reading… …read more