Tech Digest daily round up: Airships to offer eco-friendly alternative to plane travel


For those fancying a trip from Liverpool to Belfast or Barcelona to the Balearic Islands but concerned about the carbon footprint of aeroplane travel, a small Bedford-based company is promising a surprising solution: commercial airships. Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), which has developed a new environmentally friendly airship 84 years after the Hindenburg disaster, on Wednesday named a string of routes it hopes to serve from 2025. The routes for the 100-passenger Airlander 10 airship include Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca in four and a half hours. The company said the journey by airship would take roughly the same time as aeroplane travel once getting to and from the airport was taken into account but would generate a much smaller carbon footprint. HAV said the CO2 footprint per passenger on its airship would be about 4.5kg, compared with about 53kg via jet plane. Guardian 

Wondering what Sonic’s been up to lately? Well, it looks like Sega’s poised to reveal all in a 30th anniversary livestream for the prickly blue icon, scheduled to take place this Thursday. Sonic Central, as Sega’s calling its digital showcase, gets underway at 5pm BST/9am PT this Thursday, 27th May, and promises a first look at a number of upcoming “projects, partnerships, and events” the company has been working on as part of its anniversary celebrations. There’s no hint as to what those might be as yet, but recent rumours have suggested Sega is prepping both a new collection of classic Sonic titles and a remaster of the hedgehog’s 2010 outing Sonic Colors. Perhaps we’ll also finally get a glimpse of Sonic’s next major new game, which was confirmed to be in production back in 2019. Eurogamer

A camera system that uses AI and facial recognition intended to reveal states of emotion has been tested on Uyghurs in Xinjiang, the BBC has been told. A software engineer claimed to have installed such systems in police stations in the province. A human rights advocate who was shown the evidence described it as shocking. The Chinese embassy in London has not responded directly to the claims but says political and social rights in all ethnic groups are guaranteed. Xinjiang is home to 12 million ethnic minority Uyghurs, most of whom are Muslim. Citizens in the province are under daily surveillance. The area is also home to highly controversial “re-education centres”, called high-security detention camps by human rights groups, where it is estimated that more than a million people have been held. BBC 

Elon Musk took to Twitter to point out that no one involved in Dogecoin “reports to me” and that his “ability to take action is limited.” The Tesla CEO spoke up after he was accused by a follower of ‘treating Dogecoin like one of his own companies.’ “Please note Dogecoin has no formal organization & no one reports to me, so my ability to take action is limited,” tweeted Musk, who is a vocal supporter of the cryptocurrency. This came after the billionaire had earlier revealed why he backs Dogecoin over its rivals as he called on developers to submit ideas for upgrades and improvements for the cryptocurrency. Mr Musk took to Twitter to tell a user that his preferred crypto “has dogs and memes”, which saw the price of Dogecoin bounce back from a weekend sell-off. Independent

Amazon has partnered with the National Theatre to stream four high-profile live-recorded stage shows, including Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag. The shows, which include Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller in 2011’s Frankenstein, will be made available to Amazon’s Prime Video customers in the UK and Ireland from 11 June. The two other performances are Cumberbatch as Hamlet, filmed at the Barbican in 2015, and Ian McKellen on Stage, a solo show the Lord of the Rings actor toured in 2019 to mark his 80th birthday. “As theatre-makers continue to be impacted by the pandemic, this will enable us to further support the artists behind the work,” said Lisa Burger, the joint chief executive at the National Theatre, which has beamed theatre performances into British cinemas for the past 12 years. “Audiences will have the best seats in the house.” Guardian

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to