Tech Digest daily round up: Halfords Carrera impel is-1 e-scooter reviewed


Private e-scooters may be illegal on UK roads (and pavements), but this doesn’t stop retailers from selling them. Chris Price reviews the latest Halfords e-scooter, the Carrera impel is-1, for Tech Radar. “Looking for a solid, powerful e-scooter? Then the Carrera impel is-1 is definitely worth considering,” he writes. “Everything about this e-scooter feels robust, from the 8.5 inch pneumatic tyres to the large standing platform and the powerful front and rear disc brakes. It goes fast too! Just one small problem. Although it folds up, it’s definitely not the lightest or most portable e-scooter around for lugging on and off public transport or into your car.”

Google has told staff they must get formal permission to work remotely for more than 14 days a year after the pandemic ends if they want to work internationally, in a sign that major employers are losing faith in the policy. The internet titan has asked US workers to consider voluntarily returning to the office within weeks. Its 4,400 staff in London will be expected to do the same depending on how Government restrictions are lifted and other cities will follow depending on local laws. Telegraph 

Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant designed to compete with Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant, is to be retired on mobile. Instead, it will focus on offering productivity help in Windows 10, Outlook and Teams. The hashtag #RIPCortana was being used on Twitter, as people reminisced – or in some cases pointed out how forgettable the assistant had been. Cortana was unveiled in 2014 as a virtual assistant for Windows phones. It was named after the advanced artificial intelligence guide in Microsoft’s then best-selling Halo game series. Three years later, Microsoft abandoned its smartphone operating system, although Cortana remained available for iPhones and Android devices. BBC 

Uber has been ordered to pay $1.1m (£790,000) to a blind woman who was refused rides on 14 separate occasions. An independent arbitrator found that the company illegally discriminated against Lisa Irving due to the treatment she and her guide dog received from its drivers. Ms Irving brought the complaint against Uber in 2018 as a result of being “either denied a ride altogether or harassed by Uber drivers not wanting to transport her with her guide dog,” according to the arbitrator’s ruling. The arbitrator dismissed Uber’s claim that it wasn’t liable for its drivers’ conduct because they were contractors – a status that has been struck down in the UK after a lengthy legal battle. Sky News 

Apple chief executive Tim Cook joined the chorus of business leaders who have come out in support of voting rights in light of voting restrictions Georgia’s governor signed into law last week. “The right to vote is fundamental in a democracy. American history is the story of expanding the right to vote to all citizens, and Black people, in particular, have had to march, struggle and even give their lives for more than a century to defend that right,” Cook said in a statement to Axios. The law includes a requirement for voters to provide identification when they request and return absentee ballots and limits the availability of absentee drop boxes, reduces the length of runoff election and gives Republicans in the state legislature more influence over election boards in the state. The Guardian. 

Chris Price
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