Tech Digest daily round up: Kings of Leon to release album as cryptocurrency


Kings of Leon (pictured above) are set to become the first-ever band to release an album as a cryptocurrency. The Tennessee rock group are to debut When You See Yourself in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT), a type of digital asset. The band is due to release three separate tokens that hold assets like artwork and music instead of monetary value, Rolling Stone magazine reported. Kings of Leon will become the first band to unveil its music in this way following a bout of renewed mainstream interest in cryptocurrencies. See The Telegraph.

A retinal implant with more than 10,000 electrodes has been developed which could give blind people a form of vision, writes The Daily Mail.  The implant, about the size of a 5p piece, connects wirelessly to a computer system which is in the frame of a custom-built pair of glasses that the person also wears.  A camera attached to the frame beams signals to the implant via this computer and electrodes light up accordingly.  Illuminated electrodes activate the eye’s sight cells which sends an image to the brain.  Vision comes in the form of black and white dots which, although vastly different to true sight, would allow people to distinguish shapes and, ultimately, objects.  

Private registrations of pure-electric vehicles surged by 53.3% nationwide in the 12 months to September 2020, according to the RAC. However, there are stark regional differences in EV uptake across the UK.  Nearly 30,000 more full EVs were sold to private buyers during the 12 months than in the same period the year before. At the end of the period, some 86,130 EVs were in private hands while 86,387 were registered by companies. The figures reveal which areas of the UK saw the sharpest and slowest EV uptake rates during the 12-month period, with five London boroughs – Barking and Dagenham, Waltham Forest, Newham, Sutton and Hackney – each recording a growth rate of more than 86%.  See Autosport for full story.

YouTube’s chief executive has said the platform may lift Donald Trump’s suspension, if the threat of “real-world violence” decreases. Susan Wojcicki said the company will look at government warnings and violent rhetoric to determine when it’s safe to lift the suspension. Following the Capitol Hill riot on 6 January that left five dead, Mr Trump’s account was suspended with YouTube claiming he had violated its incitement of violence policy. “It’s pretty clear that right now where we stand, that there still is that elevated risk of violence,” the YouTube chief said during an interview with the Atlantic Council on Thursday. Full story on BBC 

Payments firm Square Inc agreed on Thursday to buy a majority stake in rapper Jay-Z’s Tidal music streaming service for $297 million in a deal that could popularize blockchain or other new approaches to storing and buying online media. Square Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, who also runs Twitter Inc, said in a statement that the tie-up “comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work.” Square and Tidal would work on new listening experiences “to bring fans closer together,” simple integrations for merchandise sales and financial tools for artists, he added in a Twitter post. Reuters. 

Nokia has ramped up its climate ambition with a plan to halve emissions generated by its operations, supply chain, and products by 2030, writes Business Green. The Finnish technology company said the target was in line with the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious 1.5C warming scenario and had been validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Said Nokia president and CEO Pekka Lundmark: “Climate change is a race against time. These tougher, new, scientifically-calibrated climate targets mean we will go further and faster to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure sustainability is at the heart of our product design and the smart solutions we enable.”

Chris Price
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