Android creator's new phone is great, but is it Essential?

Andy Rubin with the Essential Phone
Image caption Andy Rubin leads an illustrious team of Silicon Valley veterans

"Every now and then I’ll start a company because no-one is walking through my door and pitching it to me,” Andy Rubin tells the group of reporters invited in for “not your typical tech launch”.

He says - and I agree with him - that people are bored with the "incremental updates" offered by Samsung and Apple, and instead want a smartphone that really reflects who they are.

And so out of his pocket he pulls the Essential Phone, a device launched with little fanfare but plenty of expectation: even before Mr Rubin's company sold a single device, it was valued at more than $1bn.

The 55-year-old is best known for creating the most popular mobile operating system today, Google's Android. Here in Palo Alto, he leads a 100-or-so-strong team that estimates they have launched more than 50 successful devices between them, at places such as Apple and Google.

You can find the Essential team within the colourful offices of Playground, Mr Rubin’s investment group. Created in 2015, it funds promising hardware start-ups. Playground is an apt name - the first time I meet Niccolo De Masi, Essential’s president, is as he flies off the end of a slide.

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Why Cloudflare kicked out the neo-Nazis

Matthew Prince said he should not have the power to essentially force sites off the internet Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Matthew Prince said he should not have the power to essentially force sites off the internet

On Wednesday, a huge call was made by one of the internet’s most powerful companies.

Think of Cloudflare as the nightclub bouncer of the internet - it stops harmful traffic, designed to knock a website offline by flooding it with requests, from reaching its intended target.

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Obama tolerance tweet becomes most liked

Children at a window in Maryland Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The picture showed children at a day care centre in Maryland

It may be President Trump's communication tool of choice - but it's a tweet by former President Barack Obama that has become the most liked in Twitter's history.

The tweet, the first in a series of three, quoted Nelson Mandela and was accompanied by a picture of Mr Obama smiling with a group of children from different racial backgrounds.

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LinkedIn told it cannot stop the bots

LinkedIn Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption LinkedIn has been told it must remove technical measures that prevent bots scraping the site

So you’re considering changing jobs and quietly make a couple of changes to your LinkedIn profile to ensure it is looking its best for any potential new employer.

But then a third-party service spots that change and alerts your bosses. Uh oh.

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Soundcloud survives money scare

Soundcloud has passionate users - but is failing to make ends meet Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Soundcloud has passionate users - but is failing to make ends meet

Music streaming service Soundcloud will live on after securing a reported $170m (£135m) in investment.

The platform, popular with emerging artists, faced closure if the new funding was not approved by Friday.

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Uber's Travis Kalanick sued for fraud

Travis Kalanick, ex CEO of Uber Image copyright Getty Images

Travis Kalanick, the former Uber chief executive who was ousted in June, is being sued by one of the company's biggest investors.

Benchmark Capital, which owns 13% of the ride-sharing firm, has accused Mr Kalanick of fraudulently attempting to fill board seats with loyal allies.

Read full article Uber's Travis Kalanick sued for fraud

Lonely Planet attempts Instagram competitor

Lonely Planet Trips Image copyright Lonely Planet
Image caption The app gathers information about your trip using GPS data

Algorithms don’t have good taste. At least not yet.

That’s the message Lonely Planet’s chief executive, Daniel Houghton, wants you to hear as his company launches a new app, Trips.

Read full article Lonely Planet attempts Instagram competitor

Google fires diversity memo author

The Google logo appears on a smartphone Image copyright Getty Images

A Google employee who wrote a controversial memo about workplace diversity has been fired, the BBC can confirm.

The controversial memo broke the firm’s code of conduct, Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai said on Monday in an email to employees.

Read full article Google fires diversity memo author

Defending Tor - gateway to the dark web

Tor Logo Image copyright Tor Project
Image caption The Tor Project is a non-profit group that oversees the Tor network

When Roger Dingledine talks about the dark web, he waves his hands in the air - as if not quite convinced of its existence.

I give him the benefit of the doubt - his arguably blasé attitude, I think, is a symptom of being consistently called upon to defend his creation.

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Apple 'working on non-iPhone Apple Watch'

The current Apple Watch range requires an iPhone to be paired via Bluetooth Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The current Apple Watch range requires an iPhone to be paired via Bluetooth

Apple is working on an Apple Watch that does not need to be paired to an iPhone, according to reports.

Bloomberg reports that the new Watch will connect directly to LTE mobile networks. The claim was later corroborated by the Wall Street Journal.

Read full article Apple 'working on non-iPhone Apple Watch'