Tech Digest daily round up: Amazon opens hair salon

Amazon, News

Amazon is cutting into the hairstyling sector with the opening of its own salon in the UK. The bricks-and-mortar “experiential” venue is launching in London’s Spitalfields, on Brushfield Street, as a showcase for new products and the latest industry technology. This includes augmented reality hair consultations to virtually test out a new hair colour, as well as point-and-learn technology where customers can point at a product of interest, and more information about it will appear on a screen. People will also be able to order products directly from Amazon by scanning QR codes displayed along shelves. Set over two floors and taking up more than 1,500 square feet, Amazon Salon will initially be available to Amazon staff only but will take bookings from the general public “in the coming weeks”. Yahoo! News 

The late theoretical physicist Albert Einstein has been brought back to life with a digital human platform that recreated the famous scientist’s look and voice. Digital Einstein was developed to ‘put a friendly and well-known face on digital human technology’ face between machines and humans.’ Complete with the German accent, the digital copy speaks in a soft, friendly tone and is programmed with the same dry sense of humour as the real Einstein was said to have. Users can participate in daily quizzes and ask the AI-powered character questions about science, his life and work. Daily Mail 

The government is to allow taller and wider mobile phone masts to be built across the English countryside to speed up the 5G network rollout. Parliament will vote on the plans, which the government says would improve rural coverage, while “minimising any visual impact” on the landscape. Masts on public land have been limited to 20m (66ft) tall, but new masts can be up to 30m, and existing ones 25m. Mobile firms will need permission from local councils to build new masts. Stricter rules will apply in protected areas, including national parks, conservation areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty. BBC 

YouTube influencer James Charles has been temporarily blocked from making money on his video channel after he admitted to sending sexually explicit messages to underage boys. In news first reported by the BBC, YouTube took the decision to demonetise Charles’ channel. A spokesperson for the site said: “We can confirm that we had applied our creator responsibility policy and temporarily removed James Charles from the YouTube Partner Program.” It comes after Charles admitted to the messages to the 16-year-old boys in a video on his channel earlier this month. He said there had been two incidents, adding: “I fully understand my actions and how they are wrong.” Telegraph

Apple is bringing Parler, the social media app favored by U.S conservatives, back to its App Store after the iPhone maker pulled it following the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot. This is according to a letter Apple sent to two Republican lawmakers, obtained by Reuters. The letter states that after substantial conversations with Parler, the app had proposed updates to its app and content moderation policy that would lead to it being reinstated — though it’s not clear yet what those changes would be. Major tech platforms cut ties with Parler following the attack on the Capitol by supporters of Republican former President Donald Trump that left five dead. They accused the app, which is backed by prominent GOP donor Rebekah Mercer, of failing to police violent content on its service. Parler went dark for about a month after suspended web-hosting services, saying the app had failed to effectively moderate violent content. Reuters 

Chris Price
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