Mark Wycislik-Wilson

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium launch May 22

YouTube Music

Google has announced a new music streaming service, YouTube Music, as well as YouTube Premium, both of which launch next week. The two services come as a result of Google splitting up YouTube Red.

YouTube Premium will be available for $11.99 per month, while YouTube Music will have free and paid-for versions. The free edition will be ad-supported, but these can be banished for $9.99 per month.

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NYC announces plans to test algorithms for bias

New York City

The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, has announced the formation of a new task force to examine the fairness of the algorithms used in the city's automated systems.

The Automated Decision Systems Task Force will review algorithms that are in use to determine that they are free from bias. Representatives from the Department of Social Services, the NYC Police Department, the Department of Transportation, the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, the Administration for Children's Services, and the Department of Education will be involved, and the aim is to produce a report by December 2019.

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Mark Zuckerberg agrees to appear in front of EU parliament to answer questions about Facebook's use of data

Black and white portrait of Mark Zuckerberg

After refusing to answer questions in the UK, Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to face questions in front of the EU Parliament. The grilling comes in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

The Facebook CEO could answer questions about the social network's use of data very soon, with the president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, saying that "hopefully" it could happen next week.

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Microsoft is said to be working on a cheap Surface tablet to compete with the iPad

Square Microsoft store logo

Not wanting to be outdone by Apple, Microsoft is reportedly planning to release a low-cost Surface tablet later this year.

Said to measure 10 inches and with a price tag of around $400, the budget Surface will retain the familiar kickstand found on its Pro sibling, and will compete directly with the iPad. This is not a re-run of the Surface RT, as full-blown Windows will be supported.

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Microsoft blocks the rollout of Windows 10 April 2018 Update to computers with problematic Intel SSDs

If you have an Intel SSD installed, there's a chance that you won't be able to upgrade to Windows 10 April 2018 Update for the time being.

Computers with Intel SSD 600p Series or Intel SSD Pro 6000p Series ended up crashing after the installation of the most recent major update to Windows 10, but users have been able to roll back their system to a usable state. To prevent further problems Microsoft has opted to block the April 2018 Update to such systems.

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Ubuntu 18.04 LTS hits the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS in the Microsoft Store

There are now two versions of Ubuntu available to download from the Microsoft Store. Adding to the existing Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04 has also now arrived.

The addition comes just weeks after the official launch of Ubuntu 18.04, and it gives Windows 10 users the option of working with the new LTS (long term support) build of Ubuntu. The older version remains supported for the time being as well.

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Twitter tweaks algorithms to give trolls less prominence

Twitter logo on laptop screen

Twitter's troll problem has not improved, despite various measures taken by the company. The latest attempt to get things under control finds Twitter changing its algorithms to take into account "behavioral signals" and help bury content from trolls.

The algorithm tweaks do not mean that tweets will be deleted, but those that are found to "distort and detract from the public conversation" will be pushed further down conversations and search results to reduce their visibility.

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WhatsApp update brings Slack-style group messaging features and new admin controls

WhatsApp group messaging

The latest update rolling out to WhatsApp users heralds the arrival of a batch of new group messaging features.

Available to both iOS and Android users, the new features include a Slack-style "group catch up" option, and it is also possible to add a description to group chats, and search for individual participants.

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Kaspersky to move data from Russia to Switzerland to improve transparency

Kaspersky Switzerland

Kaspersky Lab has announced that it plans to move data out of Russia and into a new data center in Switzerland. The move is part of the company's Global Transparency Initiative which came in response to concerns about ties to the Russian government.

Software produced by Kaspersky has already been banned from US government systems, and the company has been on a mission to prove that Russia is not spying on other countries via its antivirus tools.

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Facebook launches Youth Portal to tell teenagers how it uses their data

Facebook Youth Portal

Facebook has launched a new Youth Portal with the aim of educating its teenage users about using the social network safely.

The portal also reveals to teens how Facebook uses their data, and is packed with tips about using the service and translates the site's Data Policy into a more understandable form.

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Master & Dynamic reveals convertible MW50+ wireless on-ear/over-ear headphones

Master & Dynamic MW50+ wireless headphones

Master & Dynamic headphones have previously proved very popular here with the BetaNews team, and the latest addition -- the MW50+ -- looks set to continue the trend.

The same retro look is here, and these new headphones sit part way between the MW50 and MW60 models. While the MW50 features an on-ear design, and the MW60 an over-ear design, the MW50+ can convert between on-ear and over-ear modes thanks to detachable, magnetic earpads made of memory foam and lambskin.

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Apps based on Electron framework are vulnerable to attack

Electron logo

The Electron framework -- the basis of popular apps including Skype, Slack, Signal and WordPress -- has been found to contain a security flaw that leaves it vulnerable to attack.

The GitHub-created tool has a vulnerability that allows hackers to execute arbitrary code on remote systems. CVE-2018-1000136 affects Electron 1.7.13 and older as well as Electron 1.8.4 and 2.0.0-beta.3, and the problem exists because of the interaction between Electron and Node.js.

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Trump says he wants to get ZTE 'back into business, fast' despite putting a Denial Order in place

ZTE building logo

Donald Trump has caused confusion after using Twitter to indicate that he would like to get Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE "back into business, fast". This is despite the US Department of Commerce banning exports to the company for seven years, something ZTE says left it unable to continue running its main operations.

Trump now says that he's working with China's President Xi to help get the company back up and running. Unsurprisingly, the disparity between what Trump says in his weekend tweet and what the current US sanctions mean has led to a lot of questions.

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Major leak reveals OnePlus 6 pricing, pictures and release date

OnePlus 6 render

Details of just about every OnePlus handset have leaked ahead of their launches, and the OnePlus 6 is no different. There are only a couple of days until the phone is revealed by the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, and we've already had numerous leaks relating to the upcoming handset.

Amazon Germany has accidentally given away more than OnePlus may have liked, revealing high resolution renders of the glass-bodied phone, as well as the pricing and release date.

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Google will require OEMs to provide regular Android security updates

Android phone installing updates

The fragmentation problem that affects Android not only means that there are a tiny number of users running the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, but also that many handsets are not patched with the latest security update. This could be about to change.

At its I/O developer conference this week, Google announced that its security policies will be changing. While its not clear when this could happen, the company will require some smartphone manufacturers to roll out regular security updates to users.

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