Tech Digest daily round up: Social media channels promote COVID-19 jab


Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok and Reddit are involved in a new campaign encouraging more young people to get their coronavirus jab. The social networks have teamed up with the government as it pushes ahead with the final stage of the vaccine rollout. New data shows that one million vaccine appointments were booked in the two days after the NHS began offering COVID-19 jabs to all over-18s in England. Although Health Secretary Matt Hancock has praised the “continued enthusiasm young people are showing for vaccines”, data suggests Britons aged 16 to 29 have the highest levels of vaccine hesitancy. According to the Office for National Statistics, 13% of people in this age group are unsure about getting a jab, despite the fact that the virus is spreading fastest among the nation’s youngest. Sky News 

Hyundai has gained a controlling interest in robotics firm Boston Dynamics as the Korean firm looks to accelerate its development of next-generation technologies. The deal – which valued the mobile robot firm at $1.1 billion (£793m) – has seen Hyundai take an 80 per cent stake in Boston Dynamics, while SoftBank – Boston Dynamic’s previous owners – retains the remaining 20 per cent stake through one of its affiliates. Boston Dynamics is well known for its futuristic mobile robots that are capable of moving, walking and responding to human interaction. Yahoo!

Snapchat is removing a feature that displays how fast a user is travelling when taking a picture or video footage. Parent company Snap said it was because the speed filter was “barely used”. But the company is being sued by the parents of two young men, who allege the filter encouraged their sons to drive at dangerous speeds and three deaths were due to “negligent design”. Snap said it had already “disabled the filter at driving speeds”, capping it at 35mph (56km/h), and added a warning. BBC 

Microsoft’s “next generation” of Windows event is taking place later this week, on June 24th at 11AM ET. Thanks to a big Windows 11 leak, we already have a good idea of what to expect from Microsoft’s event. Microsoft is widely expected to announce a new version of Windows, named Windows 11. Microsoft has been teasing “a new version of Windows” recently and has dropped a number of hints that it’s likely to be Windows 11. Microsoft execs have also been teasing a “next generation of Windows” announcement for months, and an 11-minute video has teased a new Windows 11 startup sound. We’re expecting Windows 11 to include a new user interface, new Windows store, and much more. The Verge 

A stingray that appeared to be laughing when tickled on its belly in a viral TikTok video, is actually suffocating to death, experts said. On 7 June, a TikTok user posted a video of what appears to be a baby stingray laying on its back on a boat, as the person, with gloved hands, proceeds to tickle the belly of the aquatic creature. In response to the tickle, the ray, which is out of water in the video, can be seen curling up its wings, opening its mouth and forming shape similar to what humans do when they smile. Experts now say the stingray’s response in this video, which went viral with over 100 million views, is indicative of it suffocating to death. “This stingray is clearly suffocating to death. The scientific literature is quite clear. Like all fish, stingrays have the capacity to feel pain,” Ben Williamson, the programmes director of the nonprofit organisation World Animal Protection in the US, told Insider. Independent

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to