Tech Digest daily round up: Instagram to launch under 13 version


Instagram wants to launch a version for children under the age of 13, an age range that has previously been banned from the photo-sharing app. It comes as the photo-sharing social network promised to clean up its app after criticism of predatory behaviour against teenage users. An Instagram spokesman said: “Increasingly kids are asking their parents if they can join apps that help them keep up with their friends. Right now there aren’t many options for parents, so we’re working on building additional products that are suitable for kids, managed by parents.” Telegraph

The vast majority of artists on Spotify are making less than $1,000 (£717) a year from the streaming service, despite it paying out billions in royalties last year. The Swedish company, the world’s biggest music streaming service, on Thursday released its most detailed figures on its payments to the industry. Total payments, which include those to rights holders such as record labels as well as artists, rose to $5bn last year, up from $3.3bn in 2017. However, around a third of this went to the biggest 500 artists, according to an analysis from industry research firm Music Ally.

A Swiss computer hacker who has claimed credit for helping steal or distribute proprietary data from Nissan Motor Co, Intel Corp and most recently security camera startup Verkada was indicted on Thursday, U.S. prosecutors announced. Till Kottmann, 21, remains in Lucerne and has been notified about the pending charges, the U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle said in a statement. Kottmann did not immediately respond to a request for comment following the announcement of the indictment, which came after midnight in Lucerne. Reuters


PlayStation has given gamers a first look at the new controllers for its next virtual reality system, saying they will offer “stronger immersion”. The console’s maker Sony confirmed last month that it was developing a new version of its PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset to go with the latest PS5 console, which launched at the end of last year. Now the gaming giant has released the first images of the new controllers and their “orb” shape, with the traditional PlayStation controller buttons split between the two pieces of hardware. The controllers will be tracked by the headset to help reproduce a user’s hand movements in virtual reality, and they will also feature what it calls finger touch detection which can tell the difference between a finger being placed somewhere and pressure being applied on purpose, to enable more natural hand gestures during gameplay. Yahoo!

A theme park dedicated to Nintendo’s famous Super Mario World has opened in Japan, nearly a year after it was originally due to welcome guests. Super Nintendo World – which cost about $0.5bn ($0.36bn) to build – was meant to open last summer but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Initially, only Japanese visitors can go amid international travel bans. For Nintendo, it represents part of a move from games firm to entertainment company. BBC

NASA has completed a major test on a rocket that could take humans back to the moon. The four main engines of the rocket’s core stage were ignited for eight minutes and 19 seconds on Thursday at NASA’s Stennis Space Centre in Mississippi. The last test in January ended after about a minute – far short of the four minutes engineers needed to gather enough data.  NASA scientists could be heard applauding on the agency’s livestream as the RS-25 engines fired up, simulating a launch while the rocket was anchored to a tower at the space centre. The test saw the engines move in specific patterns, directing thrust and reaching 109% power, throttling down and up again as they will during flight. The surrounding area was filled with clouds of white smoke. Sky News

Chris Price
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