Twitter considers paid membership option

A mock-up of what the enhanced version of Twitter may look like for paid members Image copyright Twitter
Image caption A mock-up of what the enhanced version of Twitter may look like for paid members

Twitter is considering adding a paid membership option for businesses and power users.

The micro-blogging service, which has struggled to grow its user base in recent years, is carrying out surveys to “assess interest” in the idea.

Paying members would get access to an enhanced version of Tweetdeck, Twitter’s souped-up interface that offers more functionality than Twitter.com.

The company has not made any indication it is considering charging regular users of the service.

But a premium membership scheme could offer Twitter a new revenue stream at a time when users are increasingly turning to other networks such as Snapchat.

Read full article Twitter considers paid membership option

Google advertising row spreads to US brands

Google logo Image copyright Getty Images

At least four major US firms have pulled millions of dollars in advertising from Google’s platform amid rows over extremist content.

The Times reported that telecoms firms AT&T and Verizon, as well as car rental company Enterprise and pharmaceutical giant GSK, have withdrawn all non-search advertising.

Read full article Google advertising row spreads to US brands

London-Paris electric flight 'in decade'

Wright One plane Image copyright Wright Electric
Image caption A mock-up of the Wright One, Wright Electric’s plan for short-haul, electric-powered flight

A new start-up says that it intends to offer an electric-powered commercial flight from London to Paris in 10 years.

Its plane, yet to go into development, would carry 150 people on journeys of less than 300 miles.

Read full article London-Paris electric flight 'in decade'

Uber pledges to make drivers happier

Uber drivers in south africa Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Some Uber policies are "stacked against drivers", the company has admitted

Uber's relationship with its drivers has become increasingly strained, the company admitted on Tuesday, as it vowed to improve its service.

The ride-sharing firm told the media some of its policies were "unintentionally stacked against drivers".

Read full article Uber pledges to make drivers happier

Uber president Jeff Jones steps down

The Uber app logo pictured on a mobile phone in October, 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The departure of its president has reportedly come as a shock to Uber's executives

Uber president Jeff Jones is leaving the company after less than six months.

A source at the taxi booking app told the BBC the resignation was "completely unexpected".

Read full article Uber president Jeff Jones steps down

Buzz Aldrin takes you to Mars in VR

Media captionBuzz Aldrin appears as a hologram in the film

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the Moon, has launched a virtual reality movie detailing his plan to get humans to Mars.

The film - Cycling Pathways to Mars - lasts just under 10 minutes and features the astronaut as a hologram narrating the experience.

Read full article Buzz Aldrin takes you to Mars in VR

SXSW 2017: Why is the Vatican at a tech conference?

Media caption"I think if people are interested in having us, we're delighted to be here"

As Bishop Paul Tighe sat down for our interview, he joked that not only is he probably the only priest at South by Southwest, but also the only person with grey hair.

His presence here marks the first time the Vatican has attended the South by Southwest Interactive conference, and their panel - titled Compassionate Disruption - is one of this year's most talked about events.

Read full article SXSW 2017: Why is the Vatican at a tech conference?

SXSW 2017: Disney 'not in the business of scaring kids!'

Disney's character Pascal has been recreated as a robot - though it's still in early development Image copyright Disney
Image caption Disney's character Pascal has been recreated as a robot - though it's still in early development

Ever since Steamboat Willie, the iconic animated clip from 1928 featuring a mouse that would later become Mickey, Disney has had a proud record of innovating with new technology.

It’s rare that the company delves too far into how the “magic” - as they call it - works. Their logic is a magic trick doesn’t get better if you know how it’s done.

Read full article SXSW 2017: Disney 'not in the business of scaring kids!'

SXSW 2017: Reddit thinks it can break your echo chamber

Media captionReddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian: Users are "really invested"

After the referendums and elections of 2016, concern over online echo chambers grew - the idea that we were getting shielded from a wide range of views because of who we chose to be friends with online.

Could Reddit offer a solution?

Read full article SXSW 2017: Reddit thinks it can break your echo chamber

Dave Lee at SXSW: AI should help us do less, not more

A sign saying "SXSW 2017"
Image caption This year's South by Southwest (SXSW) has a lot of focus on artificial intelligence (AI)

When I think of having an assistant, I'm always drawn to that slightly Hollywood portrayal of a top chief executive, pouring himself a stiff drink, leaning back in his leather chair and pressing the intercom.

"Mary," he'll say. "Please handle my calls. Only disturb me if it's urgent."

Read full article Dave Lee at SXSW: AI should help us do less, not more