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Meta seeks government protection from Rees-Mogg’s EU law bonfire

Facebook owner seeks assurance that vital directive will not be purged by former business secretary’s bill

Facebook and Instagram have asked for government protection from Jacob Rees-Mogg’s bonfire of up to 4,000 EU laws on post-Brexit statute books.

In a letter to a parliamentary committee to be published on Friday, the parent group, Meta, asks that laws underpinning social media firms are either “explicitly maintained elsewhere” or “removed from the scope” of the retained EU law (revocation and reform) bill.

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Elon Musk to launch new blue, gold and grey Twitter ticks

New colour-coded categories next week for individuals, government and firms with accounts ‘manually authenticated’

Elon Musk has said Twitter verification will return next week with colour-coded categories for individuals, government accounts and companies.

Twitter’s new owner said the platform would launch a new verification service next Friday, having pulled an earlier attempt at a revamp this month after it triggered a flood of impostor accounts.

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‘No one had seen anything like it’: how video game Pong changed the world

It started as a trick played on a young IT engineer, and has inspired art installations and even social experiments. Its creators – and those they influenced – hail the bleeping genius of a coin-op classic

Pong: a game so simple a bundle of lab-grown brain cells could play it. This might sound like a low blow, but it’s true – last month, Australia-based startup Cortical Labs challenged its creation DishBrain, a biological computer chip that uses a combination of living neurons and silicon, to play the early console classic.

The game – a 2D version of table tennis where players control a rectangle “paddle”, moving it up and down to rally a ball – ran in the background, wired up to the DishBrain. Electrical stimulations were fed into the cells to represent the placement of the paddle and feedback was pinged when the ball was hit or missed. The scientists then measured the DishBrain’s response, observing that it expended more or less energy depending on the position of the ball.

“After a 20-minute session, [the DishBrain was] playing much better than then when they started and much better than chance,” Dr Brett Kagan, Cortical’s chief scientific officer, says. While it wasn’t operating at the level of a human or even a motivated mouse, it did demonstrate a consistent learning path and some form of information processing optimisation. “It was so exciting,” Kagan says gleefully. “We honestly did not expect to see the extent of the results.”

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Embrace what may be the most important green technology ever. It could save us all | George Monbiot

Never mind the yuck factor: precision fermentation could produce new staple foods, and end our reliance on farming

So what do we do now? After 27 summits and no effective action, it seems that the real purpose was to keep us talking. If governments were serious about preventing climate breakdown, there would have been no Cops 2-27. The major issues would have been resolved at Cop1, as the ozone depletion crisis was at a single summit in Montreal.

Nothing can now be achieved without mass protest, whose aim, like that of protest movements before us, is to reach the critical mass that triggers a social tipping point. But, as every protester knows, this is only part of the challenge. We also need to translate our demands into action, which requires political, economic, cultural and technological change. All are necessary, none are sufficient. Only together can they amount to the change we need to see.

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Twitter faces questions over hate speech as it appears to disband Brussels office

Social media firm may struggle to comply with EU laws on online safety after departure of key figures

Twitter has disbanded its entire Brussels office, according to media reports, raising questions about the social media company’s compliance with new EU laws to control big tech.

Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, who were in charge of Twitter’s digital policy in Europe, left the company last week, the Financial Times reported. The pair had survived an initial cull when the new owner, Elon Musk, laid off thousands of employees following his takeover last month. It is unclear whether they were made redundant or chose to leave in response to Musk’s ultimatum to commit to working long “extremely hardcore” hours or quit.

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After the FTX crash, here’s what you need to know – the crypto bubble is already bursting | Carol Alexander

Ordinary buyers should beware. They are being sucked into perilously risky trading that only professionals understand

Following the bankruptcy of one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, FTX, the price of bitcoin (BTC) has tumbled again. It is now about $16,500 – a far cry from the all-time high of $66,000 just a year ago.

Why such a large drop in value? It’s because of the highly toxic combination of an exchange (an electronic platform for buying and selling) called Binance, a stablecoin (a crypto whose price is pegged 1:1 to the US dollar or another “fiat” currency) called tether, and the skilled professional traders running high-frequency algorithms.

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Founder of failed crypto exchange FTX apologises to ex-employees

Sam Bankman-Fried continues to say firm’s downfall can be solely explained by misplaced $8bn

The founder of the failed crypto exchange FTX has written to its former employees apologising for his role in its collapse and continuing to insist its downfall can be solely explained by a misplaced $8bn (£6.7bn).

In the letter, first published by the industry news site CoinDesk, Sam Bankman-Fried wrote: “I deeply regret my oversight failure. In retrospect, I wish that we had done many many things differently … I’m going to do what I can to make it up to you guys – and to the customers – even if that takes the rest of my life.”

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‘My friends call me the BlackBerry queen!’ Meet the people clinging on to old tech – from faxes to VCRs

You can keep your iPhones, emails and streaming videos. Aren from London, Lisa from St Louis and Billy from Wigan are quite happy with old-fashioned alternatives. And there are plenty more where they came from

More than 40 years since the fax machine became an office mainstay, it seems the party is finally over. With telecom providers no longer required to offer fax services, these machines may soon be consigned to the dusty attic of bygone tech. But for the TikTok generation, who’ve never known life without wifi, concepts such as fax, dial-up internet and Friday night trips to Blockbuster Video aren’t just outdated, they’re completely alien. Even so, not everyone has forgotten about the charms of older technology. From the clattering keys of an old typewriter to the nostalgic joy of a chunky Walkman, some people have never left their favourite tech behind.

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