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Deepfakes and influencers: The digital election in India

Deepfakes and influencers: The digital election in India

Tech
Divyendra Jadoun is proud of his professional alias: the Indian Deepfaker. “I know we do deepfakes,” he tells Sky News. “Why would I use something else?”And Jadoun’s services have been in demand recently, as India holds elections – often billed as the biggest democratic election on the planet.Deepfakes have been a feature, in some surprising ways. On occasion, they have been malicious. Bollywood actors have been falsely depicted criticising PM Narendra Modi, or endorsing a political party.Jadoun says: “We received a lot of requests, from November, October. And out of those requests, around 45 to 50% requests were for unethical [deepfakes]. And these are two kinds of requests.“One is to swap the face of the political leader and put it into some controversial video that might harm his image....
BT fined £2.8m over failures affecting 1.1 million EE and PlusNet customers

BT fined £2.8m over failures affecting 1.1 million EE and PlusNet customers

Tech
BT has been fined £2.8m after EE and Plusnet failed to provide clear and simple contract information to more than a million customers.Since June 2022, BT’s EE and Plusnet businesses made more than 1.3 million sales without providing customers with a contract summary and information documents, which affected at least 1.1 million customers, according to industry watchdog, Ofcom.This meant that BT broke consumer protection rules which came into effect in 2022. They are designed to ensure customers get clear, comparable information about the services they are considering buying.“It’s unacceptable that BT couldn’t get its act together in time, and the company must now pay a penalty for its failings,” said Ian Strawhorne, Ofcom enforcement director.When Ofcom brought in the rules in June 2022, B...
'Super fluffy' candy floss planet bigger than Jupiter discovered by astronomers

'Super fluffy' candy floss planet bigger than Jupiter discovered by astronomers

Tech
Astronomers have identified a planet as light and fluffy as candy floss – despite being far bigger than our solar system’s gas giant Jupiter.Scientists said WASP-193b is “basically super fluffy” because it has remarkably low density for its size.It’s thought to consist mostly of hydrogen and helium, according to a study published in Nature Astronomy.WASP-193b is the second least dense planet discovered by astronomers – but is proving a mystery to experts due to its size, which is around 50 per cent bigger than Jupiter.“The planet is basically super fluffy” because it’s made mostly of light gases rather than solids, according to lead author Khalid Barkaoui of the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT).More observational work will need to be carried out before astronomers can answer all...
'Ghostbusters-style' devices could be given to police

'Ghostbusters-style' devices could be given to police

Tech
Police officers could be equipped with devices likened to the proton packs used in Ghostbusters to stop e-bikes and e-scooters being used for crime.Gavin Stephens, the chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said he hopes the “experimental” technology could help stop the vehicles involved in offences such as street robberies and mobile phone thefts.Described as a “ginormous backpack”, the gadget has drawn comparisons with the capture device used in the Ghostbusters films.It works by firing an electromagnetic pulse at an e-bike or e-scooter in the line of sight, sending a signal to confuse the electric motor into thinking it’s overheating.The motor, which has an in-built safety system, then shuts down, bringing the vehicle to a halt.The device was demonstrated to police at a...
'Unbelievably insulting': Bumble apologises for billboard ad campaign

'Unbelievably insulting': Bumble apologises for billboard ad campaign

Tech
Bumble has apologised after it appeared to make fun of celibate women in a new advertising campaign.The dating app ran a billboard campaign with slogans including “you know full well a vow of celibacy is not the answer”, and “thou shall not give up dating and become a nun”.Social media users called the campaign “unbelievably insulting”, “patronising” and “tone-deaf”.The company has now apologised and admitted: “We made a mistake.”It added: “Our ads referencing celibacy were an attempt to lean into a community frustrated by modern dating and instead of bringing joy and humour, we unintentionally did the opposite.” X This content is provided by X, which may be using cookies and other technologies.To show you this content, we need your permission to use cookies.You can use the buttons below t...
'It is too late, our boys have gone': Grieving parents tell Ofcom to 'step up' over social media content

'It is too late, our boys have gone': Grieving parents tell Ofcom to 'step up' over social media content

Tech
Social media platforms must do more to stop their algorithms from recommending harmful content to children, Ofcom has said.The regulator has published its draft children’s safety codes of practice laying out the new standards it will expect tech giants to follow to protect children under the Online Safety Act.But two mothers who believe their children died as a result of copying dangerous social media challenges say they feel “belittled” by Ofcom over its failure to listen to grieving parents.Sky News has spoken to the mothers of Archie Battersbee, who died aged 12 after a “prank or experiment” went wrong at their home and Isaac Kenevan, 13, who is believed to have died after taking part in a choke challenge on social media. Image:Archie Battersbee died aged 12. Pic: Family handout/PA“The...
Wales becomes first UK nation to join metaverse

Wales becomes first UK nation to join metaverse

Tech
Wales has become the first UK nation to join the metaverse.The launch of Wales in the metaverse hopes to give virtual visitors from all over the world the chance to see what the country has to offer.Tourism body Visit Wales has created the immersive experience with the aim of platforming some of Wales’s experiences and attractions.Around 600 million people visit the metaverse each year, across a number of platforms.The Welsh metaverse is being hosted on platform Spatial.Organisers say they believe Wales is also the first European nation to use this approach to market itself as a tourism destination.The announcement comes after a report by a committee of MPs published last July found Wales “lacked a coherent brand” to attract overseas visitors. Image:Pic: Visit WalesPresenter of Doctor Who...
Northern Lights returning to parts of UK tonight after strongest solar storm in decades

Northern Lights returning to parts of UK tonight after strongest solar storm in decades

Tech
The first extreme geomagnetic storm in two decades created a spectacular light show in UK skies on Friday night – and some parts of the country may have witnessed a colourful display once again on Saturday night.Friday night’s event across parts of the Northern Hemisphere posed a threat to communication networks, navigation systems and power grids too.Elon Musk’s Starlink, which owns around 60% of the estimated 7,500 satellites in orbit, providing internet coverage around the world, warned of a “degraded service” as a result of the phenomena. Image:Edinburgh. Pic: PAIt was the first G5 or strongest-rated geomagnetic storm since 2003, which caused blackouts in Sweden and damaged transformers in South Africa.So what caused the extreme geomagnetic storm?A series of strong solar flares spewed...
AstraZeneca starts worldwide withdrawal of COVID vaccine

AstraZeneca starts worldwide withdrawal of COVID vaccine

Tech
AstraZeneca has begun the worldwide withdrawal of its COVID vaccine – ending an era in which it saved millions of lives while being dogged by controversy.The jab, developed at Oxford University, was once hailed as “the vaccine for the world” because it could be stored in fridges rather than the ultra-cold freezer temperatures originally required for alternative mRNA shots, making it more suitable for developing countries.But AstraZeneca (AZ) said demand for the jab had tailed off as more up-to-date vaccines target newer variants of the virus. It no longer manufactures nor supplies the vaccine.The voluntary withdrawal has started in the EU, with the European Medicines Agency announcing that the vaccine is no longer authorised for use.In a statement, AZ said: “According to independent estima...
'Large volume' of stolen NHS data published

'Large volume' of stolen NHS data published

Tech
A ransomware group has carried out its threat against a Scottish health board and published a “large volume” of stolen data on the dark web.NHS Dumfries and Galloway was the subject of a cyber attack in March and confirmed hackers were able to access a “significant quantity of data”, including patient and staff-identifiable information.The cyber criminals later released a “proof pack” – which included confidential information on a small number of patients – and warned more would follow.In an update on Monday, the health board confirmed a “large volume of data” had been published.Julie White, chief executive of NHS Dumfries and Galloway, branded it an “utterly abhorrent criminal act”.“We should not be surprised at this outcome, as this is in line with the way these criminal groups operate,”...