Apple iPhone 6s hits stores with record sales expected on first weekend

  • Analysts expect initial iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sales of 12m-13m
  • Robot among first purchasers of smartphone with 3D touch technology

The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus hit stores around the world on Friday, at the start of what is expected to be a record weekend for sales of Apple Inc’s marquee product.

Eager buyers – joined by at least one robot – flocked to Apple stores from Sydney to New York, itching to get their hands on the new models, which boast a 3D touch feature and an improved camera.

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Twitter introduces poll feature – but is it a) good or b) bad?

Twitter trials new functionality in native applications, allowing users to click one of two options and see results

Twitter has introduced the ability for some users to create polls within its mobile app and desktop site during a significant feature trial.

The polling feature, which takes the form of a two-option choice, has been rolled out to Twitter staffers and certain – but not all – verified accounts.

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Cold, hard data: inside Facebook’s Swedish hub near the Arctic Circle

Remote datacentre in Luleå cools itself using freezing outside air, has a fence to keep moose out and processes your selfies

From the outside, it looks like an enormous grey warehouse. Inside, there is a hint of the movie Bladerunner: long cavernous corridors, spinning computer servers with flashing blue lights and the hum of giant fans. There is also a long perimeter fence. Is its job to thwart corporate spies? No – it keeps out the moose.

Welcome to the Node Pole, a hi-tech hub in Luleå, northern Sweden, and the site of Facebook’s first datacentre outside the US. The warehouse opened in 2013 and is set amid a green pine forest, lakes and an archipelago. The Arctic Circle is just down the road. A second centre next door is due to be completed later this year.

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iPhone 6S: Apple’s star could be on the wane with smaller queues at UK launch

The expected lines outside Apple’s stores in London and beyond were still 400-strong but down 60% on last year’s iPhone 6 launch

The now-yearly queue for the new iPhone release was back again, but outside Apple’s Covent Garden store – the biggest in Europe – the mass of people queuing for the just released iPhone 6S wasn’t quite as big as last year.

Some die-hard fans queued overnight to be the first few to get their hands on the new iPhone 6S or 6S Plus, of course. Front of the queue was 29-year-old Sam Shaikh, from Stratford, who had camped outside the store “since 8.30pm on Monday night” and had been the first in line for the iPhone 6 last year.

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Data centre emissions rival air travel as digital demand soars

Data-centre web servers, such as those used by Google and Facebook, to blame for 2% of greenhouse gas emissions – about the same as air travel

Watching another episode on Netflix, reading the Guardian online and downloading apps are not obvious ways to pollute the atmosphere. But collectively, our growing appetite for digital services means the data centres that power them are now responsible for about 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, a similar share to aviation.

Varying from a small room with servers to vast farms with a floor area of 150,000 sq m, data centres are big energy users. As well as requiring power to run the equipment that stores and serves us cloud computing and on-demand music, films and entertainment, those servers also generate a lot of heat and require huge amounts of energy to keep them cool. That’s why big data users such as Facebook are siting their centres in cool climates such as northern Sweden.

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