Getting lost (and found) with a Land Rover phone built for the woods

No-one wants to get lost in the wilderness, but with a regular smartphone by your side for navigation and safety, you’re leaving things to chance. Not so with the Land Rover Explore, a highly capable outdoor phone with better GPS, a big battery, and the right software. Did we get lost when we tried it […]

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The trouble with weather apps

If forecasting is more accurate than ever, why are smartphone apps so variable – and which is best?

It was a tale of two storms. The first consisted of the rain and thunder forecast for Bournemouth by the BBC weather app on the Saturday spring bank holiday. The second came when the first failed to materialise and a tourism manager in the town complained that visitors who stayed away could have come after all and enjoyed sunshine and blue skies.

This opportunity to rage at inaccurate forecasting, bash the BBC and highlight the grievances of small businesses did not go to waste. For the Sun, it was a “blunderstorm”. The Mail gave voice to furious social media users whose weekend had been ruined by “crap forecasting” and “total incompetence”. The Spectator even managed to use the row to take pot shots at climate-change predictions.

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New Dark Age by James Bridle review – technology and the end of the future

The consequences of the technological revolution may be even more frightening than we thought

I suspect your enjoyment – or otherwise – of James Bridle’s New Dark Age will depend very much on whether you’re a glass half-empty, or a glass exactly-filled-to-the-halfway-mark-by-microprocessor-controlled-automatic-pumping-systems sort of a person. I like to think that while I may have misgivings about much of what the current technological revolution is visiting on us, I yet manage to resist that dread ascription “luddite”. It’s one Bridle also wishes to avoid; but such is the pessimism about the machines that informs his argument, that his calls for a new “partnership” between them and us seem like special pleading. As futile, in fact, as a weaver believing that by smashing a Jacquard loom he’ll stop the industrial revolution in its tracks.

If we’re in ignorance of what our robots are doing, how can we know if we’re being harmed?

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A parent’s story: ‘Our son stole from us, courtesy of PayPal’

The payments service raised no alarm bells when a 17-year-old ‘betrayed’ his parents by using his father’s bank card

This is a cautionary tale that will be of particular interest to the parents of teenagers who, having grown up in a digital age, are over-confident in their use of technology and underestimate the potential dangers of the internet.

My son David is 17, and technology has always been part of his life. As a consequence, nothing fazes him about computers or the internet. He spends most of his time on his computer, primarily for gaming (though he has allegedly studied for his final year school exams, too). He is also (if I’m being honest) a bit immature for his years. And he has just demonstrated extraordinary naivety, courtesy of PayPal.

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