Tech Digest daily round up: Right for repairs law comes into force


Washing machines, TVs and fridges will be cheaper to own under a new legal right for repairs, the government says. From Thursday, manufacturers will have to make spares available to consumers, with the aim of extending the lifespan of products by up to 10 years, it said. Higher energy standards this year will also knock an average of £75 per year off energy bills, the government said. However, one company said that the new rules could make white goods more expensive. The right to repair rules are designed to tackle “built-in obsolescence” where manufacturers deliberately build appliances to break down after a certain period to encourage consumers to buy new ones. BBC 

Apple is locked in a standoff with some of its own employees over returning to the office after the iPhone maker insisted staff work on site three days a week. The tech giant has issued a memo to employees reiterating its belief that its staff work better on its products when in the office. But some Apple employees have opposed the change and claimed that some are being forced to quit rather than come back into work. In a video message sent to Apple employees, Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, said: “We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future”. Staff could request more home working, but this would be approved “on a case-by-case basis with any new remote positions requiring executive approval”. The Verge first reported the note. Telegraph

An NFT of the original source code for the world wide web, written by its inventor Tim Berners-Lee, has sold for $5.4m at Sotheby’s in an online auction, the auction house said on Wednesday. A non-fungible token (NFT) is a kind of crypto asset that records ownership of digital items, and has recently become a major asset in the creative world, with NFTs of artworkmusic and internet memes selling for millions of dollars. The NFT sold on Wednesday was created by the English scientist Berners-Lee in 2021 and represents ownership of various digital items from when he invented the world wide web in 1989. The sale effectively comprises a blockchain-based record of ownership of files containing the original source code for the world wide web. The final price was $5,434,500 and half of the bidders were new to Sotheby’s. Guardian

Volvo wants electric vehicles to comprise 50 percent of its sales by 2025 with a full EV lineup by 2030, and it has stopped work on internal-combustion engines. Volvo has entered into a partnership with Swedish battery maker Northvolt, working together to boost energy density by up to 50 percent over today’s batteries and slash charging times in half by the mid-2020s. Volvo and Northvolt aim to produce batteries using only renewable energy and to recycle as much material from old batteries as possible. The next generation of Volvo EVs will also include bidirectional charging, so homeowners could—in theory, at least—power their house via their car’s battery during periods of peak demand when electricity can be more expensive and dirtier than at off-peak times. Car and Driver

OneWeb, the London-headquartered tech company trying to develop a global internet service delivered from space, reaches a key milestone on Thursday. The firm is launching another 36 satellites, taking its in-orbit mega-constellation to 254. Although many more are needed to complete the network, this number is enough to start offering a commercial service to a great swathe of the Northern Hemisphere. This should start at the year’s end. “These things don’t happen overnight; there’s been a tremendous amount of hard work taking place over the last few months. But this launch is special,” said OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson. BBC