Tech Digest daily round up: Jeff Bezos space flight


eff Bezos, the Amazon founder and world’s richest man, will today take a historic leap for private space flight when he is blasted into space aboard his New Shepard rocket. The rocket will take off from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in West Texas and take Mr Bezos up 62 miles, above the Karman line and briefly into space. Mr Bezos has been in a race with Sir Richard Branson and SpaceX boss Elon Musk to accelerate private space flight and exploration. The launch will make Mr Bezos the second of the three billionaire space barons to launch aboard their own rockets after Sir Richard Branson flew aboard Virgin Galactic’s space plane on July 11, beating the former Amazon boss by just nine days. Telegraph 

US President Joe Biden has issued a statement clarifying that “Facebook isn’t killing people”, following his earlier criticism. The president had said “they’re killing people” when asked about Facebook’s role in the Covid pandemic, a comment which made headlines around the world. But he now says he was referring to leading misinformation spreaders on the platform. Facebook had fiercely denied any responsibility. President Biden’s initial remarks were off-the-cuff comments to a reporter, who’d asked about his message to “platforms like Facebook”. “They’re killing people,” he said. “The only pandemic we have is among the un-vaccinated. And they’re killing people.” BBC

China has hit out at the UK and other western nations for “groundless and irresponsible” accusations that it was behind major “systematic cyber sabotage”. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Monday that Chinese state-backed groups were responsible for a “reckless” attack on Microsoft Exchange servers earlier this year. Widespread frustration was shared by the US, Canada, EU, Australia, New Zealand and Nato, who all called for an end to such behaviour. Officials claim the attack was highly likely to enable “large-scale espionage”, including acquiring personal information and intellectual property. At least 30,000 organisations around the world have been affected. The Chinese embassy in the UK said the claims are a “sheer fabrication and slander”. Yahoo!

WhatsApp is rolling out a new joinable calls feature that will let you hop onto group calls after they’ve started, the Facebook-owned company announced Monday. The new feature means you’ll be able to join a call with your friends and family when you’re ready, kind of like what you can do with a group Zoom or Google Meet call right now. Given the massive popularity of WhatsApp, this could be a useful feature for many people who communicate over the messaging service. The Verge 

Children are being targeted with graphic online content sometimes within hours of setting up social media accounts, a report has revealed. Researchers created avatars based on information from real teenagers aged 13 to 17, including who they follow and what posts they like. But despite their age, it wasn’t long before the fake profiles were receiving an array of inappropriate material. “We saw a lot of very graphic self-harm imagery, images of razors, of cuts,” said Abi Perry, a 24-year-old researcher at Revealing Reality, which carried out the work. “They were able to see content that was promoting diets to them and saw a lot of very sexualised images. Sky News

Chris Price
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