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Technology 

TEDGlobal: Africa needs more engineers and makers

TEDGlobal: Africa needs more engineers and makers Africa needs more engineers and makers, the head of Gearbox – Nairobi’s leading maker-space – has told the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania. Kamau Gachigi said that by 2050 Africa’s population is projected to have doubled and needs to build economies to sustain that level of growth. Digital fabrications labs such as Gearbox were vital to this, he said. Such labs need to start building more Africa-specific hardware, he added. “These labs help people become more practical and more productive. We need many more…

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Please let The Friendship Code and its tech-savvy girls be the new Babysitters Club

Please let The Friendship Code and its tech-savvy girls be the new Babysitters Club Okay, full disclosure, I never read any Babysitters Club book. But you know what I’m talking about, right? We all had some endless series we read where a few kids just like us navigated the vicissitudes of life, teaching us lessons along the way. I’m hoping that The Friendship Code, which aims to do that — but with tech and coding woven in — will become that series for at least a few kids. The young-adult…

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Basis Set Ventures gets real to get to the heart of AI startups

Basis Set Ventures gets real to get to the heart of AI startups Lan Xuezhao has spent the last few months pulling together $136 million for her new machine intelligence-focused venture capital fund, Basis Set Ventures. I met Xuezhao for tea on a park bench in Potrero Hill earlier this week to chat about her strategy for the fund. I spend a good portion of my time meeting with investors, but if you don’t know a lot about the scene, Potrero Hill is not a place you go to meet VCs. Hot…

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Jails, justice system at breaking point as Philippine drugs war intensifies

Jails, justice system at breaking point as Philippine drugs war intensifies MANILA Reuters) – In a teeming prison for undertrials in the Philippines’ capital Manila, Rody Lacanilao, an inmate for 18 months, says he prays for clear weather at night. A downpour, he says, will prevent him and hundreds of fellow prisoners in the Quezon City jail from sleeping on plywood mats in an outdoor hallway. The cells themselves are overflowing with an influx of detainees from President Rodrigo Duterte’s year-long war on drugs. Thousands of people have been killed…

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Tottenham sign striker Llorente, Bony returns to Swansea

Tottenham sign striker Llorente, Bony returns to Swansea (Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of striker Fernando Llorente from Swansea City, who replaced the Spaniard with Wilfried Bony before the transfer window shut on Thursday. Premier League champions Chelsea were also reported to have made a bid for Llorente but he agreed a two-year contract with Spurs, becoming the North London club’s fifth signing of the transfer window. The 32-year-old scored 15 league goals to help Swansea avoid relegation last season but missed the first month of the…

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Twitch’s new extensions let streamers customize their channel, make money from Amazon sales

Twitch’s new extensions let streamers customize their channel, make money from Amazon sales Twitch today is introducing a suite of tools called Twitch Extensions that will allow its streamers to customize their channel pages with interactive features, including polls, leaderboards, tickers, schedules, overlays, and even virtual pets, among other things. Beyond simply personalizing their channel to make it more engaging to fans, the extensions in some cases will help streamers generate additional revenue. In particular, one extension called “Gear on Amazon” allows Twitch creators to show off their favorite Amazon…

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Business 

Inefficient vacuum cleaner sales banned

Inefficient vacuum cleaner sales banned Sales of vacuum cleaners producing more noise and heat than suction are banned under EU rules from today. Vacuum cleaners using more than 900 watts and emitting more than 80 decibels are no longer allowed in Europe’s shops. Some anti-EU campaigners say homes won’t be properly cleaned if people have to buy lower wattage machines. But energy experts say the best low-power appliances clean just as well as high-wattage machines. They say some manufacturers deliberately increased the amount of electricity their appliances use because shoppers…

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Business 

TUC says flexible working requests can end in worse outcomes

TUC says flexible working requests can end in worse outcomes Two out of five low-paid young parents who ask for flexible work arrangements are “penalised” as a result, according to a TUC survey. They are given fewer hours, worse shifts and some have lost their jobs, its survey of 1,000 parents suggested. About half of low-paid young mums and dads are struggling to manage work and childcare, the trades union body said. A government spokesperson said businesses must have a legitimate reason to refuse flexible working. The TUC survey found…

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Business 

VW launches new UK diesel scrappage scheme

VW launches new UK diesel scrappage scheme Volkswagen UK is offering customers discounts of up to £6,000 to trade in diesel vehicles when buying a new car. All the Volkswagen UK brands – including Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – will participate. VW launched a more generous scheme in Germany in August in the wake of its diesel emissions scandal. Competitors in the UK, including BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Vauxhall have already launched schemes. Rival Toyota also launched a scrappage scheme on Friday, offering up to £4,000…

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