Today’s Tech Digest: Biological battery, Google to go dark
A new wearable device that claims to turn your body into a biological battery has been developed by scientists at Colorado University, according to a story in The Daily Mail. The stretchy device attaches to the skin like a ring sits on a finger and taps into the user’s natural heat to convert the body’s internal temperature into electricity. Although currently only generating about one volt of electricity, the team eventually sees the technology evolving to the size of a sports wristband that can produce about five volts, allowing you to power other wearable electronics on the go.
Mobile phone network O2 has been fined £10.5m by telecoms regulator Ofcom for overcharging its customers. For eight years, some customers who were leaving the network were double-charged some fees on their final bills, Ofcom said. The error affected more than 140,000 pay-monthly subscribers between 2011 and 2019, totalling £2.4m. See full story here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56038966
Dreaming of an all-black PS5? Then dream no more. Black faceplates for Sony’s next-gen console are now on sale, but not from the Japanese manufacturer. Instead, Canadian company dbrand has put its black PS5 ‘Darkplates’ on sale, though there is currently a three-month waiting list for them. The sheets of plastic for your PS5 don’t come cheap either. dbrand is currently running an offer to get a ‘Darkplate’ for $49 (around £35). https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/black-ps5-finally-becomes-a-reality-as-faceplates-go-on-sale-but-not-from-sony
Bitcoin jumped to a record high on Thursday after Mastercard and Uber joined a growing wave of companies set to accept cryptocurrencies as payment. The digital coin rose as much as 7.4pc to $48,635, surpassing the all-time high reached on Monday after Tesla announced it would hold $1.5bn of the cryptocurrency on its balance sheet. See full story here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2021/02/11/bitcoin-surges-record-high-mastercard-uber-show-cryptocurrency/
Facebook has been accused of using nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) to try to build a “wall of secrecy” and prevent its moderators from discussing working conditions with Leo Varadkar, the Irish tánaiste (deputy PM). The workers, who are being forced to work in the company’s Dublin office throughout Ireland’s high-tier lockdown, were afraid of being sacked if they spoke to Varadkar about their working conditions and have sought guarantees from the social media giant they will not face legal action for doing so. See full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/11/facebook-moderators-say-they-were-told-not-to-discuss-covid-working-conditions
Finally, Google appears to be following the trend of many websites and apps that now offer a Dark Mode by testing a new version of its search engine that’s entirely black. It’s a massive change to a website that’s been almost totally white since it launched in 1997. See full story here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/14019648/google-new-dark-mode-version-test/
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