Tech Digest daily round up: Women’s Safety Apps see record download


Downloads for women‘s safety apps have surged following the death of Sarah Everard, with WalkSafe becoming the number one downloaded app on Apple iOS. The WalkSafe app scans the road ahead, notifying users of reports of sexual assault, knife attacks, mugging and pickpocketing. It has been downloaded 300,000 times in one week and is in the top 10 Android downloads chart. That is compared with only 2,000 downloads prior to Everard’s disappearance. “This app should not have to exist,” said Emma Kay, the co-founder of the app to Tech Radar, “but if creating it helps just one person avoid a bad situation, it’s worth it,” she says. Users of the app can choose a different route, avoiding crime hotspots, and use the HomeSafe feature, which allows them to set an estimated time of arrival and their location will be sent to an emergency contact if they don’t record their arrival. Independent

Researchers have worked out a way to transform food scraps, used cooking oil, animal manure and wastewater sludge into jet fuel with a carbon footprint 165% lower than standard jet fuel, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The emissions savings come from diverting the food waste from landfills, as well as from avoiding using fossil fuels. This “reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions would provide a path toward net zero jet fuel,” says the report. Huff Post 

BT has confirmed plans to spend £12 billion rolling out full-fibre broadband to 20 million homes in the UK no later than the end of the decade, following the publication of new rules by Ofcom. A long-awaited decision by the regulator will allow BT to secure the returns on investment bosses had been hoping for and provide clarity over pricing for the next 10 years, the company added. Philip Jansen, chief executive of BT, said: “This is good news for all fibre providers in the UK…Full-fibre broadband will be the foundation of a strong BT for decades to come and a shot in the arm for the UK as we build back better from this pandemic.” Yahoo!

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NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is about to drop a four-pound helicopter from its belly, then record footage of it flying over Martian plains. The $85 million rotocraft, called Ingenuity, could pioneer a new approach to exploring other planets. Two cameras on its underside will record Martian surface from above as it flies with NASA announcing on Wednesday that its helicopter team has picked a location for these flights. The first takeoff could happen as soon as the first week of April. The agency plans to share more details in a press conference on Tuesday. If it succeeds, Ingenuity could beam back some incredible video. Perseverance is expected to follow the flights with its own cameras as well. Business Insider 

He became an instant star and propelled Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams back to the charts when he filmed himself skateboarding breezily down the road to the music and posted it online. Now the TikTok video clip, filmed after his car broke down on his way to his shift at a potato factory, could land Nathan Apodaca, 38, at least $500,000 (£350,000). Mr Apodaca plans to auction the ownership of the 23-second long clip, which sees him drifting down a highway drinking cranberry juice, whilst mouthing the lyrics to Dreams. According to his agent, an original version of the video will be sold via on Friday, with bidding starting at half a million dollars, though due to copyright reasons it is not expected to feature the music. The video will become the latest “digital artwork” to be sold online, coming just weeks after a collage of online images sold for almost $70m in a Christie’s auction. Telegraph 

Garmin has announced three new smartwatches aimed directly at golfers. Garmin’s new wearables include the Approach S42 smartwatch, Approach S12 watch, and Approach G12 rangefinder. The S42 has features and capability for both golfing and use off the course. It has a 1.2-inch colour touchscreen display that includes AutoShot round analyzer to track and automatically record shot distances. With smartwatch functionality, it can also provide smart notifications and count steps, track sleep, record calories, provide vibration alerts, and more. SlashGear



Chris Price
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