Tech Digest daily round up: Tesla suspends Bitcoin payments

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Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin due to climate change concerns, its CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet. Bitcoin fell by more than 10% after the tweet, while Tesla shares also dipped. Tesla’s announcement in March that it would accept the cryptocurrency was met with an outcry from some environmentalists and investors. The electric carmaker had in February revealed it had bought $1.5bn (£1bn) of the world’s biggest digital currency. But on Thursday, it backtracked on its previous comments. “We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Mr Musk wrote. “Cryptocurrency is a good idea… but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.” BBC

Meanwhile, in other EV related news, a motorist who was spotted in the back seat of his Tesla as it travelled down a San Francisco Bay Area freeway has been arrested for reckless driving. California Highway Patrol said Param Sharma, 25, has also been cited for disobeying an officer. Police were alerted after receiving a number of calls describing a person seated in the backseat of a Tesla Model 3 without anyone in the driver’s seat while travelling on Interstate 80 across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. A motorcycle officer spotted the Tesla, confirmed the only occupant was in the backseat, took action to stop the car and saw the person inside move to the driver’s seat before coming to a halt. Sky News

Instagram users will now be able to more easily specify their gender identity after the platform launched a dedicated section on account profiles to share pronouns. The new feature announced on Tuesday, allows users to share up to four pronouns selected from a pre-approved list of common pronouns including she, he, they, ze and others. The company said users can edit or remove pronouns at any time and can fill out a form to have a pronoun added if it is not included. Users will also be able to determine if they want pronouns shared with followers only or publicly on Instagram. For users under the age of 18, pronouns will automatically be rendered private. Guardian 

Researchers have demonstrated a solution to a 40-year problem regarding the creation of a “holy grail” battery that could radically transform the electric car industry. The breakthrough involves harnessing the power of lithium-metal batteries, which are capable of holding substantially more energy and charge in a fraction of the time compared to lithium-ion batteries that are currently used in everything from smartphones to Tesla vehicles. Until now, scientists have been unable to create a lithium-metal battery stable enough to be used in commercial applications. The development, made by a team at Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), allows this next-generation battery to be charged and discharge at least 10,000 times, which would increase the lifetime of electric vehicles to that of their gasoline counterparts – while simultaneously increasing their range and reducing their charge time. Independent

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday meant to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity defenses in response to a series of headline-grabbing hacking incidents that highlight how vulnerable the country’s public and private sectors are to high-tech spies and criminals operating from half a world away. The order will require all federal agencies to use basic cybersecurity measures, like multi-factor authentication, and require new security standards for software makers that contract with the federal government. Officials are hoping to leverage the federal government’s massive spending power to make widely used software safer for the private sector as well. “The federal government needs to make bold changes and significant investments in order to defend the vital institutions that underpin the American way of life,” Biden said in his executive order. AP News 

 

 

 

Chris Price
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