Tech Digest daily round up: China bans Tesla EVs for state officials

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hina is to place curbs on state officials using Tesla vehicles over fears the electric cars could be used for spying, according to reports. The Chinese state will bar government officials and military personnel from using cars from Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company. China believes the cars can be used to record video footage of their surroundings with data that can be sent back to the US, the Wall Street Journal reported.  “Tesla’s privacy protection policy complies with Chinese laws and regulations. Tesla attaches great importance to the protection of users’ privacy,” Tesla said in response to the concerns. Telegraph 

Britain’s military will unveil a shift towards more lethal, hi-tech and drone-enabled warfare on Monday as ministers and chiefs attempt to stave off criticism of impending cuts in the size of the armed forces. The plan will be highlighted in a defence command paper setting out the military’s ambitions for the next five years and confirming a cut in the size of the army to an anticipated 72,500 troops, and a string of other savings as day-to-day defence budgets are squeezed. Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, said on Friday it was time to end “the Top Trumps game of numbers” because previous reviews that had emphasised size had left the military with “lots of ships that are tied up and not available, or lots of regiments.” Guardian 

NHS executive Helen Bevan had her two Twitter accounts, with nearly 140,000 followers, stolen by hackers and used to promote fake PlayStation 5 sales. She now has the accounts back but has received dozens of messages from people who fell for the scam. Ms Bevan also paid money to someone who said they could help – but they turned out to be a scammer too. She said she wanted to highlight the importance of extra security measures. BBC


Robotic farming techniques will mean that we can grow British strawberries all year-round, a leading scientist has said. Currently, British produce suffers from a “hungry gap” which runs from winter to early spring and means we have to import most of the fruit and vegetables people like to eat. Researchers at a farming laboratory in Scotland are developing high-tech indoor farms which can grow all manner of crops, and are designed to go alongside traditional farms. They work by regulating artificial sunlight and warmth, as well as fine tuning the nutrients plants need to thrive. Currently, this type of farming is common for micro herbs and salads, but those leading the project said that they can now grow pak choi and strawberries. Telegraph 

Luxury German automaker Porsche expects to significantly increase sales of all-electric vehicles in the coming years, but don’t expect an EV version of its iconic 911 sports car anytime soon, if ever. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said the 911 will be the “last Porsche which is going for full electrification,” if it ever fully becomes an EV. That’s despite the company announcing a new plan for at least 80% of its vehicles sold to be electrified by 2030. “The 911 is our icon. We will continue to build the 911 with a combustion engine,” he told reporters during a media call ahead of its annual meeting Friday morning. CNBC

Video gaming in the UK was boosted by the arrival of a “new console generation” last year as the market surged to a record £7 billion. Players pushed the sector’s value up 29.9% compared to 2019 with increases across both digital and physical sales, according to a report by gaming industry body Ukie. Digital sales took the lion’s share totalling £3.90 billion, with digital console revenues rising 24.2%, mobile games up by 21.3% and digital PC adding 14.8%. Despite store closures as the UK went in and out of lockdown, traditional boxed game titles also climbed by 7.1% to £646 million, but pre-owned game-buying took a hit, diving 22.8% compared to the year before. Yahoo!

 

Chris Price
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