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Facebook plans major changes to news feed

Facebook is to change how its news feed works, making posts from businesses, brands and media less prominent. Instead, content that sparks conversations among family and friends who use the site will be emphasised, explained chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on his page. Organisations on Facebook may see the popularity of their posts decrease as a result, the firm acknowledged. The changes will take effect over the coming weeks. “We’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal…

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Apple changes rules on app 'loot boxes'

Apple has changed the rules around how games on its app store use loot boxes. These boxes are random rewards for gameplay and often give players benefits and power-ups that can be used in games. In a change to its developer guidelines, Apple said games must now let players know the odds of getting particular items in the boxes. Loot boxes have been controversial for some time with some experts saying they amount to a covert lottery. No rewards In the updated guidelines, Apple said any in-game mechanism that rewards…

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US tax bill: Republicans agree sweeping changes

US Republicans from both houses of Congress have revealed their joint bill for the biggest overhaul of the country’s tax system in 30 years. The plan brings the US corporate tax rate down to 21% from the current 35%. The top individual income tax drops to 37% from 39.6%. President Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to cut taxes, and passing the legislation marks a significant victory. He has said he wants the bill signed into law before Christmas. Democrats have argued that the tax cuts will favour only the…

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Technology 

NatWest bank spat prompts web security changes

NatWest bank says it will enhance the security of its website, following a spat with security experts who spotted a vulnerability. Several researchers had asked why some banks used encrypted HTTPS connections for online banking, but not on their main customer-facing websites. When security expert Troy Hunt told NatWest its site “needed fixing”, the bank replied “sorry you feel this way”. But the bank has now told the BBC it will make changes within 48 hours. In a blog post, Mr Hunt suggested attackers could modify NatWest’s website, and change…

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'Snoopers' charter' changes put forward

The government has proposed changes to the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) after accepting that some parts of it are “inconsistent with EU law”. The IPA governs the collection and use of communications data by law enforcement agencies. In December 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that some aspects of the legislation were incompatible with EU law. A public consultation on the proposed changes will run until 18 January. Under the IPA, the secretary of state can order companies to keep communication metadata such as when, and…

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Stoke City v Liverpool confirmed team news: Firmino and Mane back in the starting line-up while Stoke make two changes

Liverpool will be looking to leapfrog rivals Tottenham with victory at struggling Stoke on Wednesday night.  The Reds had a run of three Premier League wins in a row ended last weekend after drawing 1-1 at home to Chelsea. Meanwhile, Mark Hughes’ side lie 15th and are winless in their last three games having most recently lost to bottom club Crystal Palace after conceding an injury time winner.  Both sides will be itching to get back to winning ways, but how do they line up? Scroll below to see the teams.  Confirmed…

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Culture 

A Mexican Painter Changed by the City, Changes Art 

It’s not only the people one meets in a big city that can be inspirational. For artists, it’s often the work they see there. The Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo got acquainted with a number of artists the first time he moved to New York City in the 1920s, among them Reginald Marsh and Stuart Davis. But the greatest impact of that city on his painting was chiefly visual, from the skyscrapers outside his terrace, to the swirl of amusements at Coney Island to the exciting gallery work in the international art…

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