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Stephen Fry has called for Facebook and other “aggregating news agencies” to be reclassified as publishers in order to stop fake news and online abuse spreading by making social media subject to the same legal responsibilities as traditional news websites.

Outlining his “reformation” for the internet, as part of the Hay literary festival’s programme to mark the quincentenary of Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses in 1517, Fry accused social media platforms of refusing to “take responsibility for those dangerous, defamatory, inflammatory and fake items whose effects will have legal consequences for traditional printed or broadcast media, but which they can escape”.

“One thesis I could immediately nail up to the tent flag is to call for aggregating news agencies like Facebook to be immediately classified as publishers. At the moment, they are evading responsibility for their content as they can claim to be platforms, rather than publishers. Given that they are now a major source of news for 80% of the population, that is clearly an absurd anomaly,” he said.

“If they, and Twitter and like platforms recognised their responsibilities as publishers, it would certainly help them better police their content for unacceptable libels, defamations, threats and other horrors, that a free belief in the value of the press would, as a matter of course, be expected to control.”

Last week, it was announced that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were facing tough new pan-European laws, forcing them to remove hate speech and sexually explicit videos or face steep fines.


Fry said he also believed they would soon be forced into new legal responsibilities, and deemed the issue “frankly small potatoes” compared with “some huge potatoes [that] are looming”.

Citing the failure at British Airways’ IT system on Saturday that led to BA flights being grounded at Heathrow and Gatwick airports, Fry cautioned that the world’s reliance on digital systems would also inevitably prompt a cataclysmic cyber-attack and bring on a “digital winter for humankind”.

An alleged iPhone 8 schematic has leaked out of China, providing new details about Apple’s upcoming handset — including the tech behind its wireless charging capability.  The supposed iPhone 8 drawing surfaced on Weibo today. Unlike the last two schematics that leaked this one includes detailed labeling of each part, revealing a dual-lens camera in the front and wireless charging in the back.  Although the labels on the drawing posted by Fei Weng are in Chinese, iClarified translated them for English speakers. Some of the previously leaked iPhone 8 schematics included a Touch ID cutout in the back of the device. The latest drawing appears to show Touch ID integrated into the OLED screen.  If the schematic is the real deal, it looks like the iPhone 8 will come with inductive charging powered by Qi. Apple recently joined the Wireless Power Consortium.

 iOS 11: Which apps will expire with Apple’s next major update

Older apps are going to stop working once Apple turns off support for 32-bit applications, but a menu item in iOS tells users how affected they are  Apple has released a new tool to help highlight apps that will be rendered obsolete by the next major update to its iOS operating system. The tool shipped to iPhone and iPad users with the latest update, to iOS 10.3.  Any app that hasn’t been updated since 2015 is likely to be rendered obsolete when iOS 11 ships in about six months’ time, a consequence of a decision by Apple to remove support for apps which don’t run natively in 64-bit mode.  The first 64-bit iPhone, the 5S shipped in September 2013, and every app that was created since then has had the option to run in 64-bit mode. Since 2015, apps and updates have had to run in 64-bit mode to secure approval from Apple.  The latest version of iOS, version 10.3, includes a menu item (in Settings > General > About > Applications) which will show a list of all the installed apps that don’t run in 64-bit mode. ‘The apps may slow down your iPhone and will not work with future version of iOS if they are not updated’, Apple now warns users. ‘If no update is available, contact the app developer for more information’.For the majority of iPhone users, the items in the list, if any, are likely to be older games, particularly those without a free-to-play business model. Developers of those apps have little financial incentive to continue to work on them after their initial burst of sales, even if they may have a steady trickle of downloads in the long term.  Users who have been clinging on to older versions of apps thanks to disliked updates will also find themselves forced to run software updates or be locked out of the older versions.App research company Sensor Tower identified 187,000 apps that will definitely be rendered obsolete, since they were submitted prior to September 2013.  Additionally, a significant number of apps created after September 2013 will not have been shipped with 64-bit mode, which only became mandatory in June 2015.  Apple has not yet confirmed that iOS 11 will be the death knell for 32-bit apps, but the update, expected to be shipped in September, would be the logical time to pull the trigger. The company is likely to show off the first beta of the new operating system at this year’s World-Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC), the biggest event in Apple’s annual calendar.