Apps more popular than the mobile web, data shows

Apps more popular than the mobile web, data shows

The prediction that mobile web use would overtake apps has been disproved by data from analytics firm Flurry that shows games and Facebook driving up app use insteadThe idea that people will shift from using native apps on their smartphones to using HTML5 websites offering the same functionality hasn't played out, according to the analytics company Flurry.Instead, US consumers'' use of mobile web sites has dropped by almost a quarter, from an average of 31 minutes daily in March 2013 to 22 minutes a year later. ...

Why Google Maps gets Africa wrong

Why Google Maps gets Africa wrong

From colonial cartographers to digital depictions the continent is being sold short, says Think Africa PressAbout halfway through Jonathan Swift's boisterously witty epic poem On Poetry: A Rhapsody, the 18th century Anglo-Irish satirist briefly turns his attention to maps of Africa, writing:So geographers, in Afric maps,With savage pictures fill their gaps,And o'er uninhabitable downsPlace elephants for want of towns. ...

Why it is not possible to regulate robots

Why it is not possible to regulate robots

We regulate machines, from drills to defibrillators. What distinguishes a power-drill from a robot-drill? A computer driving itThere's an old joke about the sciences: biology is just applied chemistry, chemistry is just applied physics, and physics is just applied maths. It's really a neat little quip about essentialism and reductionism. While it's true that biology can be accurately described as "applied chemistry," treating living things as alive and not as a set of chemical reactions no different in principle from making a cup of cocoa or extracting a pigment to use in housepaint has undeniable utility.But we draw boundaries. While there are disciplines that straddle biology and chemistry and treat organisms as though the most important thing about them is neither their chemical reactions nor the fact that they are living, we acknowledge that there are two great poles between which these gradations shade. There are a lot of things that we can point to and say, "that's ...

Goat Simulator review – you have got to be kidding

Goat Simulator review – you have got to be kidding

The latest internet craze lets you experience life as a goat. It's the gaming equivalent of a novelty single PC; cert n/a; Coffee Stain Studios; £6.99If there is one thing the internet is good at, outside of ruining April Fools' Day, it is creating phenomena. Through our plethora of sharing tools and instant transmission, unlikely ideas can catch the collective imagination in the morning and be around the world by teatime. And the key currency amid this meme madness is animals well, usually cats, but not exclusively. And so we come to Goat Simulator. ...

The last word in cool – if you’re a teenager

The last word in cool – if you're a teenager

This week, Reddit hosted a Q&A between the world and the world's teenagers, and they spilled the beans on what they really think about Snapchat, Abercrombie, nerds and getting drunkReddit is curiosity's new playground. Whether you want to know what it's like to live on the space station or how it feels like to waz if you've got two penises, your question can be answered in minutes by someone with firsthand experience.This week, a mystery that has baffled parents and advertisers for decades was finally answered: what do teenagers think is cool? Teenagers, and a fair few disgruntled grownups, posted their answers, and the best were upvoted by the community as a whole, rising to the top of the page. (I suppose it could have been 80-year-olds doing the upvoting, but it felt pretty legit.) ...

Chinese bitcoin exchange closes deposits after central bank clampdown

Chinese bitcoin exchange closes deposits after central bank clampdown

The People's Bank of China is threatening action from 15 April against payment processors who enable bitcoin salesOne of the biggest Chinese bitcoin exchanges has closed its doors to new deposits following a renewed clampdown on the currency by the People's Bank of China.BTC38 announced to its users on Wednesday that the company was having to suspend the use of 3rd party payment processors due to central bank policy. ...

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigns in wake of backlash to Prop 8

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigns in wake of backlash to Prop 8

Chief executive steps down after less than two weeks Eich had donated to California anti-gay marriage lawThe new chief executive of Mozilla, the firm behind the Firefox web browser, has resigned following a furore over a donation he made in support of a ban on gay marriage in California.Brendan Eich has chosen to step down after less than two weeks in the job, Mitchell Baker, executive chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation, which owns the company, announced in a blogpost on Thursday. ...

DuckDuckGo: the plucky upstart taking on Google with secure searches

DuckDuckGo: the plucky upstart taking on Google with secure searches

Gabriel Weinberg launched DuckDuckGo as a search engine that puts privacy first, rather than collecting data for advertisers and security agenciesDuckDuckGo bills itself as "the search engine that doesn't track you". After the revelations in the US National Security Agency files, that sounds tempting.Named after the playground game duck duck goose, the site is not just banking on the support of people paranoid about GCHQ and the NSA. Its founder, Gabriel Weinberg, argues that privacy makes the web search better, not worse. Since it doesn't store your previous searches, it does not and cannot present personalised search results. That frees users from the filter bubble the fear that, as search results are increasingly personalised, they are less likely to be presented with information that challenges their existing ideas. ...