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Video game Olympics announced for Rio

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eGames logoImage copyrightIEGC
A new eGames international gaming tournament will make its debut in Rio during this summer's Olympic Games.
The event, launched as part of this week's London Games Festival, offers medals and national pride rather than cash prizes for the winners.
The competition, backed by the UK government, will be run by the new International eGames Committee (IEGC).
Britain, Canada, Brazil and the USA are the only confirmed entrants so far with more expected to follow.
In Olympic years, both summer and winter, the eGames will take place in the host cities - with future tournaments planned for Pyeongchang in 2018 and Tokyo in 2020.
During other years, national qualifiers will be held domestically to produce teams for the next competition.
Competing countries will send mixed-sex squads of professional video gamers, aged over 18, to play in tournaments held in large venues.
This summer's inaugural event will be a two-day pop-up tournament in Brazil "to showcase the eGames to the world of competitive gaming and attract further partners", according to the official eGames website.
eSport tournamentImage copyrightGetty Images
Image captioneSports tournaments draw big crowds
Competitive gaming, known as eSports, is a big business and professional tournaments offer thousands of pounds in prize money.
Top players are thought to earn upwards of £1m a year.
There has been a mixed reaction to the news, with games journalist Pao Bago writing on Twitter: "When will new organisers learn that best teams respond to the best incentives?
"Last night's eSports Olympics announcement was great and all but giving shiny medals and zero money is suspect."
Chester King, chief marketing officer for non-profit organisation the IEGC, said: "In line with other globally established sporting events, the eGames will be a medal only competition, with no prize money, but the opportunity to take home gold for your country."
eTeam BritainImage copyrightIEGC
Image captionThe UK will get its own eSports 'Team GB'
"Potential sponsors and players will be reassured that a major government is backing the event and that will help with getting the funding and exposure the event will need to succeed," analyst Edward Barton at Ovum told the BBC.

'International showcase'

"The eGames promises to be an exciting venture that will give eSports competitors across the UK even more opportunities to showcase their talents on an international stage," said Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture.
The IEGC has not yet announced which video games will be played at the event, but promised a diverse mix of competitions.
"There will be a mix of PC and console games, maybe mobile," said Mr King.
"Currently most competitions are single games like Call Of Duty or Fifa so we will try to emulate the magic of an Olympics by having legends/champions from various eSports all in the same location."
Players for eTeam Britain will be chosen in national qualifying rounds.
"There will be an eGames Association set up in each country which will organise the national qualifying, which will have open heats and finals," said Mr King.
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Uber pays $10m in driver vetting row

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Uber logo on carImage copyrightAP
Ride-sharing company Uber has agreed to pay $10m (£7m) to settle a dispute over its background checks for drivers.
Uber was sued in 2014 after it claimed its vetting process was better than systems traditional minicab firms used.
But district attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles said Uber's very public statement it was "the gold standard" for safety was misleading.
Uber said it had dealt with many of the concerns in the case, and said settling was not an admission of any wrongdoing.
Unlike traditional cab companies, Uber does not require a fingerprint check that could uncover prior convictions.
Instead, Uber uses different criminal databases to vet its drivers, with data going back seven years.

Advertising changed

As part of the settlement, Uber has said it would no longer use the terms such as "safest drive on the road" in its advertising.
But the BBC understands the company would not be adding fingerprint checks to its process.
The firm stressed that it felt no driver vetting system could ever be "100% safe".
Prosecutors said Uber had failed to prevent 25 people with criminal convictions from becoming drivers, including several sex offenders and a convicted murderer.
"Accidents and incidents do happen," the company said in a statement on Thursday.
"That's why we need to ensure that the language used to describe safety at Uber is clear and precise."
One of those language changes has included renaming its "safe ride fee" as a "booking fee".

Airport permission

"We're glad to put this case behind us and excited to redouble our efforts serving riders and drivers across the state of California," it added.
The company also agreed it would only operate at Californian airports where it had explicit permission to do so, and make airport surcharges clearer.
Uber will make the $10m payment within 60 days which will be split evenly between authorities in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
If the company fails to keep to the agreement outlined in the settlement it will be forced to pay an additional $15m in two years.
"The result we achieved today goes well beyond its impact on Uber,'' said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.
"It sends a clear message to all businesses, and to startups in particular, that in the quest to quickly obtain market share, laws designed to protect consumers cannot be ignored.''
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US pushes Apple for access to iPhones in criminal cases

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The US Department of Justice has said it will pursue its request for Apple to help unlock an iPhone that is part of a drugs case in New York.
A letter filed to a local court said the government "continues to require Apple's assistance".
In Boston, unsealed court papers show a judge ordered Apple to assist authorities in another criminal case.
The judge ruled it was "reasonable" to ask Apple to extract data from the device.
US Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler made the Boston order in February, but it was only unsealed on Friday.
In a separate case last month, the FBI dropped a court order demanding Apple help investigators unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino killer Syed Farook.
The FBI had said it was able to gain access to the device independently. This method is said only work on certain older models of the iPhone.
The device in the Boston case - owned by alleged gang member Desmond Crawford - is a later-model iPhone.
In February, a judge ruled that Apple could not be forced to give access to the phone in the New York case.
The judge denied a motion by the Justice Department - a decision which was followed by a government appeal.
Jun Feng, who owned the iPhone, pleaded guilty to taking part in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy last year.
Authorities have said they still wish to unlock the device, however, as part of an ongoing investigation into the conspiracy.

Here we go again - but with a twist.

In San Bernardino, the FBI wanted Apple to create new software to allow them to bypass security measures on Syed Farook's iPhone. Apple's defence - one that looked solid, though never tested - was that it was not right to be forced by the courts to create something new, and that it would infringe on the firm's right to free speech.
So in New York, in a case involving an individual who has pleaded guilty to a drugs-related charge, the FBI is instead asking Apple to just grab the data off the phone.
In this case, the iPhone is a 5S running iOS7. That's significant - the San Bernardino shooter had iOS8. iOS7, while still encrypting data on the device, is less secure.
That said, added security measures built into the hardware on the drug dealer's 5S - more up-to-date than Farook's 5C - could be the reason why the FBI's technique doesn't work here.
Image result for appleBut Apple isn't really buying that.
In a conference call to reporters which it requested we didn't quote directly, Apple argued that the FBI complained all along it absolutely needed Apple's help in San Bernardino, until it, well, didn't.
So the company is questioning why the FBI can't access this iPhone itself, and reiterated its belief that investigators are simply trying to set a precedent in order to make accessing locked iPhones easier in the future.
Previously, Apple had said that it was "impossible" for the company to help in unlocking newer devices.
The iPhone in the New York case is an older model, but the firm has so far refused to aid investigators wishing to access its data.
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You're standing on the edge of a cliff, hundreds of feet above a snaking river. Your palms are sweaty. Your heart is beating fast.
Someone tells you to jump, but everything in your body screams, "Don't do it!" Your brain is having a hard time overriding what your eyes are seeing in the goggles you wear on your face.
"Jump!" you're told again.
It's actually a harmless request, since this is virtual reality. Instead of a cliff's edge you're standing on a carpeted floor in a lounge at the Sundance Film Festival and you've been watching "The Climb," a brief film made by 8i, a startup that creates virtual reality, or VR, content.
"Your logical side is saying, 'I'm in a headset. I'm in this room.' But your emotional side is saying, 'I'm on a cliff. I could die here. I don't want to jump,'" said 8i co-founder and CEO Linc Gasking.
    Virtual reality, the emerging technology that is poised to transform video gaming, is also coming to the movies. Here at Sundance 2016, more VR experiences than ever are being showcased as part of the film festival's New Frontier program, which celebrates new or alternative forms of creative expression.
    Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies, says the development of VR for filmmakers has been a long time in the works. He recently spearheaded OZO, the first virtual-reality camera designed specifically for Hollywood-grade filmmakers. Haidamus has been experimenting with virtual reality for years and says the technology is making huge strides.
    "I couldn't jump," Haidamus said after trying out "The Climb." He credits audiences' hunger to be closely connected to stories and VR's appealing price point as being a "perfect storm" for the technology this year.
    Actor Paul Scheer watches Funny Or Die's premiere of the first-ever virtual-reality comedy short, "Interrogation," at Sundance.
    After several years of breathless hype, the Oculus Rift, a $600 virtual-reality headset designed for consumers, arrives in March, joining the Samsung Gear VR and other products already on the market. These headsets allow wearers to see lifelike, immersive 3-D imagery in all directions, making them feel like they are part of the scene they are viewing.
    Gasking believes that making VR affordable is key to helping the technology catch on with filmmakers.
    "Four years ago the price of a pair of headsets were $40,000. And four years later you can use a Google cardboard or the like to watch these sorts of experiences. That's an incredible change," he said.
    "With a much cheaper price tag, filmmakers are finally getting the tools that they need to experiment with VR."
    Meanwhile, movie ticket sales in North America have been flattening amid fierce competition from streaming services such as Netflix, making Hollywood eager to develop technologies to excite moviegoers.
    "The industry needs a new way (for moviegoers) to consume more immersive content without having to go to a theater," Haidamus said, adding that film studios are partnering with companies like Nokia to make VR content.
    Through such partnerships, film studios can share an entirely new experiences with their traditional audiences by taking them as close to the story as possible. All the user has to do is buy a pair of VR goggles and download content, which can be viewed in the comfort of their own home.
    8i's executive creative director Rainer Gombos won an Emmy award for his visual effects work on HBO's "Games of Thrones" and said that from a filmmaker's perspective, VR expands the possibilities of storytelling.
    "You can immerse the viewer into worlds -- artificial or reality-like worlds -- that you couldn't do before," Gombos said. VR is also groundbreaking for the viewer, he said. "You can move around in the scene and look around at things from different angles. You can tell stories. You can entertain. You can have people experience larger-than-life events."
    Guests try out virtual-reality headsets Monday during a party at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
    On the film festival's opening day, Sundance founder and Hollywood icon Robert Redford said he supports VR but still sees some drawbacks to the technology.
    "I look forward to a time when we can take virtual reality to a new place that doesn't require assistance," Redford said, referencing the goggles. When it comes to watching movies, the actor-filmmaker is more of a traditionalist.
    "Whatever the technology drives us to -- smaller and smaller and quicker and quicker and quicker -- I will always believe that you can't really replace the value of gathering in a community space in the dark on a big screen and being transported," Redford said.
    Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper said he believes the debate doesn't have to be so black or white.
    "I still think there's room for both. I mean there just has to be," Cooper said. "The intimacy of that one-on-one experience is the power of that medium. The power of film, being in a group, that's the power of that and I think they're both important."
    Either way, both Haidamus and Gasking are confident about the future of VR being key to visual storytelling.
    "Virtual reality, beyond the initial thrill, is a real new interface. Not only just for storytelling, but for the entire Internet. So you're going to be able to go from a two-dimensional screen and actually walk into a website," Gasking said. "It's going change everything."
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    Telsa announced that the cheapest among electric vehicle to date.The price and five seater arrangement can provoke interest in buyers and may be other companies may also have interest in producing "ELECTRIC CARS".

    Company CEO Elon Musk said they will produce upto 500,000 cars a year when the production is at full speed.Within the day of launch there were 180,000 vehicles preorderd which shows people have interest in Electric cars and they want to experience it.He added that, if the average price tag ended up at $42,000 (£29,500), this would equate to $7.5bn in one day.Elon Musk 2015.jpg

    The California-based company needs the vehicle to prove popular if it is to stay in business, though pre-orders of the Model 3 will not necessarily all translate to actual sales when the car is released.

    The first deliveries of the vehicle are scheduled to start in late 2017, and it can be ordered in advance in dozens of countries, including the UK, Ireland, Brazil, India, China and New Zealand.

    The basic model will start at $35,000 (£24,423) and have a range of at least 215 miles (346km) per charge.

    Tesla delivered 50,580 vehicles last year. Most of those were its Model S saloon,which overtook Nissan's Leaf to become the world's best selling pure-electric vehicle.But the firm still posted a net loss of $889m (£620m) for 2015, partly because it spent $718m on research and development over the period.

    It left Tesla with cash reserves of $1.2bn, down from $1.9bn a year earlier.

    "For a long time there had been questions about the long term viability of Tesla," commented Jessica Caldwell, an industry analyst at the car research site Edmunds.

    "With niche products like the Model S and the Model X, it hasn't been hitting any sales targets that would sustain its business.

    "So, launching what it hopes will be high-volume vehicle is going to show if it can become a fully-fledged auto company that will succeed in the long-term rather than one that pumps out a few cool cars and then goes bust, as we've seen happen with other electric car start-ups such as Fisker.

    "Other details provided about the Model 3 included:

    • The base model will accelerate from zero to 60mph (97km/h) in less than six seconds, other models will go faster
    • It will include the "autopilot" safety features found in existing models, which allow the cars to steer themselves and avoid collisions
    • It will support "supercharging" as standard, allowing the cars to recharge more quickly at special power stations. Tesla aims to double the number of places offering supercharging to about 7,200 worldwide by the end of 2017
    • It provides storage room at the front and rear of the vehicle
    Mr Musk added that the car should feel more spacious to passengers than similar-sized petrol-based cars because of design decisions Tesla could make by not using a combustion engine.

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    Inventor of Email 'Ray Tomlinson' dies at 74

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    Image result for ray tomlinsonInternet pioneer Ray Tomlinson, who is credited with the invention of email, has died at the age of 74.
    The US computer programmer came up with the idea of electronic messages that could be sent from one network to another in 1971.
    His invention included the ground-breaking use of the @ symbol in email addresses, which is now standard.
    Tomlinson died of an apparent heart attack on Saturday, according to News.
    He sent what is now regarded as the first email while working in Boston as an engineer for research company Bolt, Beranek and Newman.
    The firm played a big role in developing an early version of the internet, known as Arpanet.
    However, Tomlinson later said he could not remember what was in that first test message, describing it as "completely forgettable".
    His work was recognised by his peers in 2012, when he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.
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