Tech Digest daily round up: Facebook in Faggots mix-up, Apple TV comes to Chromecast

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Faggots
By w:en:User:Judgej – w:en:File:Faggots-and-gravy.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9799534

Facebook has apologised for censuring a Black Country history group after members discussed traditional local dish, faggots and peas, writes The BBC. The group’s administrator said she had “sleepless nights” after the word “faggots” saw the account threatened with deletion. The social media giant has since accepted the term was used in culinary context. This latest blunder by Facebook follows a similar cultural mistake last month when it removed posts referring to Plymouth Hoe, believing them, mistakenly, to be offensive.

Google’s Chromecast with Google TV is FINALLY plugging one of the biggest gaps in its offering, as it announces that the Apple TV app, including Apple TV+, is now available on the new Chromecast with Google TV. The Apple TV app on Chromecast will work in much the same way as iterations of Apple’s service on other devices, giving its subscribers personalized recommendations, and a list of curated Apple TV channels. See story here: https://www.t3.com/news/at-last-apple-tv-is-coming-to-chromecast-and-android-tvs-from-sony-and-tcl

Drivers in the UK predict that there will be more electric cars in the UK than diesels by 2030. However, petrol-engined cars will still be the most common, according to new data. The AA conducted a survey of 12,977 drivers who believe that in 2030 – when the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars is set to be banned in the UK – EVs will make up 19.8 per cent of cars on the road, even though in December 2019 they only made up 0.3 per cent. See story here: https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/354319/more-electric-cars-road-diesels-2030-drivers-predict

The owner of the world’s biggest Dogecoin cryptocurrency wallet has amassed a holding worth $2.1bn (£1.5bn) after the digital asset skyrocketed in value. Dogecoin has surged more than 950pc since the beginning of the year as Reddit users have flocked to the cryptocurrency based on the meme of a smiling Shiba Inu. 28% of all existing Dogecoin is owned by a single account, The Wall Street Journal reports, with speculation mounting that the owner is Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, following his Twitter posts calling it “the most fun crypto” and “the people’s crypto.” See story here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2021/02/18/dogecoin-surge-leaves-mystery-holder-21bn/

Talking to people while they are asleep can influence their dreams – and in some cases, the dreamer can even respond without waking up. Those are the findings of Ken Paller and his colleagues at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois who found that people could answer questions and even solve maths problems while lucid dreaming – a state that typically occurs during rapid eye-movement (REM) sleep when the dreamer is aware of being in a dream, and sometimes able to control it. Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2268496-people-can-answer-questions-about-their-dreams-without-waking-up/#ixzz6muvrWYsP

With its ban on Australian news, Facebook has so far only succeeded in strengthening the government’s resolve, argues Lenore Taylor in The Guardian. “It’s hard to think of a better way for a platform to anger a nation and destroy what’s left of its own reputation,” she says, “than to block health and hospital sites in a pandemic, emergency service sites in a state that recently battled bushfires and the sites of innumerable welfare groups, charities and community organisations, all in a bid to avoid making payments under a new media bargaining code that aims to address the power imbalance between media companies and the big tech platforms.”

An £800million research agency is being launched today that will develop ‘high-risk, high-reward’ inventions. The Advanced Research & Invention Agency (ARIA) will fund ‘blue sky’ projects with the aim of making Britain a global centre for technological innovation. It will give inventors the ‘freedom to fail’ by exempting them from standard rules for taxpayer-funded work. A pet project of Boris Johnson’s former key aide Dominic Cummings, ARIA is modelled on a US defence agency whose inventions paved the way for the internet, GPS tracking and the computer mouse, writes The Daily Mail. 

Chris Price
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