Tech Digest daily round up: Bulb doubles revenue in 2020


Britons jumping on the green power movement spurred a spike in sales at renewable energy supplier Bulb last year, sending revenue almost doubling as it cut its losses. Bulb, which provides customers with 100pc renewable electricity and gas which is carbon neutral, said the number of people using its service in the UK was up 46pc last year, and it was now in 1.7 million properties. Revenues for the year to the end of March 2020 came in at £1.5bn compared to £823m a year earlier, helping narrow operating losses from £128m to £59m. Telegraph

YouTube has removed more than 30,000 misleading Covid-19 vaccination videos in the past five months, it said. A YouTube spokeswoman said the videos contradicted vaccine information from the World Health Organization (WHO) or health authorities such as the NHS. In October, it banned vaccine misinformation in a bid to clamp down on attempts to discredit the jabs. It added that in the past year, it had removed more than 800,000 videos for coronavirus misinformation. BBC.

Two unnamed broadband or mobile ISPs are reportedly helping the UK Home Office and the National Crime Agency (NCA) to trial a new internet snooping system on their customers, which is being conducted as part of the controversial 2016 UK Investigatory Powers Act (aka – snoopers charter). The act introduced a new power that, among many other things, could force ISPs – upon being ordered to do so by a senior judge – into logging the Internet Connection Records (ICR) of all their customers for up to 12 months. This could be accessed without a warrant and occur regardless of whether or not you’re suspected of a crime. ISP Review

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has said the dominance of internet giants is a “fad” that does not have to endure, adding that urgent change was needed to improve the digital divide. Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web in 1989, said he sensed “a feeling out there of restlessness, a feeling that we need to tip things over to change them”. High-profile incidents such as a dispute between Facebook and Australia that led to the social network blocking news feeds in the country has led many citizens and governments to re-examine their relationships with giant internet and social media companies. “I’m optimistic, because we’ve seen some dominant fads on the internet before … and then things change,” he said in an interview with Reuters, adding that people were pushing back against the use and abuse of personal data.

Browsing social media apps on smartphones makes you more likely to grind your teeth, sleep poorly and suffer from jaw pain, an Israeli study has found. The Tel Aviv University study of 600 Israelis compared the behaviour of regular smartphone users to those with so-called kosher phones, those which are stripped of social media and other forbidden apps. Kosher phones are widely used by Israel’s ultra-orthodox community, allowing them to make phone calls and in some cases basic internet access without falling foul of strict religious practices. According to Tel Aviv University, 24 per cent of regular smartphone users experienced teeth grinding during the day, compared to just six per cent of kosher phone users. Yahoo! News

The coronavirus pandemic has inspired more than a third (35%) of children to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem), new data from Thales suggests. According to the figures, children in the UK are most inspired to be doctors or nurses (29%) and astronauts (25%). Youngsters have also been particularly engaged by scientific discoveries over the last 12 months. A survey of more than 2,000 parents of children aged five to 16 across the UK found that 50% of youngsters cited NHS frontline staff, the scientists behind the Covid-19 vaccine rollout (31%) and the Mars rover landing (24%) as events that have most inspired. Belfast Telegraph 

Chris Price
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