Tech Digest daily round up: Google Maps to direct drivers to ‘eco-friendly’ routes


Google Maps
Google Maps will start directing drivers along routes estimated to generate the lowest carbon emissions based on traffic, slopes and other factors, the company announced on Tuesday. Google said the feature would launch later this year in the U.S. and eventually reach other countries as part of its commitment to help combat climate change through its services. Unless users opt-out, the default route will be the “eco-friendly” one if comparable options take about the same time, Google said. When alternatives are significantly faster, Google will offer choices and let users compare estimated emissions. “What we are seeing is for around half of routes, we are able to find an option more eco-friendly with minimal or no time-cost tradeoff,” Russell Dicker, a director of product at Google, told reporters on Monday. Reuters 

A ransomware attack on multiple schools has left 37,000 pupils unable to access their email. The Harris Federation, which runs 50 primary and secondary academies in and around London, said it had temporarily disabled email while it deals with the cyber-attack. Data on the systems has been encrypted and hidden by the attackers. Last week, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a warning that hackers are targeting schools. “We are at least the fourth multi-academy trust to have been targeted in March,” a statement on the Harris Federation website said. BBC 

Apple has lost a legal bid to block the Swiss watchmaker Swatch from registering Steve Jobs’ famous “One more thing” saying as a trademark in the UK. A High Court judge denied the US tech company’s effort on Monday, despite acknowledging that Swatch may have trademarked the phrase in order to irritate Apple. The two companies have been engaged in multiple legal tiffs in recent years as Apple has taken a bite out of the Swiss watch industry with its internet-connected Apple Watch. Swatch had objected to Apple trademarking the term “iWatch” ahead of the device’s launch, although it is unclear if this forced the iPhone maker to drop the name. Telegraph

Eye-tracking technology will be trialled to assist with the detection of concussions in the sport, World Rugby has announced. In competitions trialling the technology, it will be used in-match alongside the sport’s existing head injury assessment (HIA) process and also as part of the return-to-play steps. Studies have found that eye movement, or oculomotor function, is altered at the time a concussion is suffered, or shortly after, and the technology being trialled should pick up any changes in that function. Daily Mail 


The Brit Awards is teaming up with TikTok, Amazon Music, and Mastercard to create a range of digital experiences ahead of this year’s ceremony, due to take place on Tuesday 11 May. TikTok and Amazon Music are partnering with the awards for the second year running, while Mastercard is now in its 23rd year as headline partner. Next month, The Brit Awards will be launching a podcast series exclusively on Amazon Music called ‘Brits Top Table with Mastercard’. The eight-episode series will present the experiences and music loved by some of the UK’s diverse music talent. In addition to the podcast series, Amazon Music will launch the official Brits playlist on 31 March and make live music from the show available after the event itself. Mobile Marketing

SpaceX will once again attempt to launch and land a Starship rocket, three weeks after the last test ended in a fiery explosion. Starship SN11 is already on the launchpad at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in Texas and has performed all necessary static fire tests required to fly. Previous launch attempts on Friday and Monday were scrubbed – the first due to technical issues, the second as a result of an absent FAA inspector. SpaceX boss Elon Musk said a flight is scheduled for 8am local time (2pm BST) on Tuesday. All three previous Starship flight test have ended in a “rapid unscheduled disassembly”, as SpaceX puts it, and a successful launch and landing will be a major step towards realising Musk’s Mars ambitions. Independent 

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to