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Physicist Hawking criticizes UK health secretary on service

Physicist Hawking criticizes UK health secretary on service

Health
Noted physicist Stephen Hawking has criticized Britain's health secretary for what he described as the selective use of scientific studies to support changes in the National Health Service. The world-renowned scientist has accused Conservative minister Jeremy Hunt of "cherry picking" evidence to support the changes and says the service is at risk. Hunt rejected Hawking's charges Saturday, but the public spat underscored the strains on the health service after years of cost-cutting. Hawking, a supporter of the opposition Labour Party, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1962. He says he "would not be here today if it were not for the service." Hawking says when public figures "abuse scientific argument, citing some studies but suppressing others to justify policies they want to imp...
Facebook introduces new video service

Facebook introduces new video service

Technology
Social media giant Facebook has made a move into dedicated video, pitting it against YouTube and TV networks. Users will soon see a new Watch tab that will offer a range of shows, some of which have been funded by the social networkWatch will be personalised so that users can discover new shows, based on what their friends are watching. Viewers will also be able to see comments and connect with friends and dedicated groups for shows. "Watching a show doesn't have to be passive," said the company's founder Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post. "It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things." Video has been available on Facebook for some time, but until now, it has mostly been dominated by amateur clips or short segments from news organis...
Cellphone service could be spotty for rural eclipse-watchers

Cellphone service could be spotty for rural eclipse-watchers

Technology
If you plan to livestream next month's solar eclipse from one of the prime viewing spots, here's a thought: Keep your phone in your pocket, put on your paper shades and just enjoy the celestial wonder. The Aug. 21 solar eclipse, when passage of the moon completely blocks out the sun, will be seen first in Oregon and cut diagonally across 14 states to South Carolina. It will be the first total solar eclipse visible coast-to-coast since 1918. The best places to see it fall within a 60- to 70-mile-wide swath known as the "path of totality," where there will be periods of total darkness ranging up to two minutes and 40 seconds. The path carves through largely rural areas, where cellphone service can be spotty at best, though, so it may not be possible to quickly post to Facebook, Instagram an...
999 emergency service turns 80

999 emergency service turns 80

Technology
The world's oldest emergency service - 999 - is celebrating its 80th birthday today.The service began following a fire at a London doctor's surgery in November 1935 that resulted in the deaths of five women.After the fire, a committee was set up to look at how telephone operators could identify emergency calls.At that time, people with a phone at home who were subscribers on an automated exchange would call 0 for the operator to contact emergency services in the same way as they would make a regular call.It was suggested that an easy-to-remember nationwide number be created for emergencies - the first suggestion was 707 (from the letters SOS on the phone dial). Then they considered 333 but finally settled on 999.The 999 service began two years later, in 1937, handling more than 1,000 calls...
Google hit with record EU fine over Shopping service

Google hit with record EU fine over Shopping service

Technology
Google has been fined 2.42bn euros ($ 2.7bn; £2.1bn) by the European Commission after it ruled the company had abused its power by promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results.The amount is the regulator's largest penalty to date against a company accused of distorting the market.The ruling also orders Google to end its anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face a further penalty.The US firm signalled it may appeal.However, if it fails to change the way it operates the Shopping service within the three-month deadline, it could be forced to make payments of 5% of its parent company Alphabet's average daily worldwide earnings.Based on the company's most recent financial report, that amounts to about $ 14m a day."When you shop online, you want to find the