Tech Digest daily round up: Toddington hopes to transform service stations


Toddington Harper thinks he may have been destined to transform the motorway network since his parents named him after Toddington services on the M1 in Bedfordshire. The businessman from Iver, in Buckinghamshire, is promising to make major improvements at motorway service stations allowing more drivers to charge the batteries of their electric vehicles quickly and efficiently. Mr Harper’s company, Gridserve, recently bought the existing network of almost 300 charge points at 150 locations, known as the Electric Highway, from the green energy company Ecotricity. The plan is to replace all of those ageing devices with newer versions by September. BBC

EA Sports has pulled back the curtain on FIFA 22 with a predictably vague trailer — but the gist of it is that this year’s instalment is powered by ‘HyperMotion Technology’. Supposedly, this new tech allows EA Sports to create more lifelike gameplay through realistic animations and player interactions. The developer’s really trying to make a big deal out of this, so it’ll be interesting to see whether actual gameplay shows a noticeable difference in quality. Speaking of which, FIFA 22 will be at EA Play Live later this month, on the 22nd July, and gameplay footage has been promised. FIFA 22 itself is out on the 1st October for both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, and once again stars Kylian Mbappé on the cover. Push Square 

Apple plans to release a new iPad mini featuring “the biggest redesign in [its] nine-year history” this fall, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports (via 9to5Mac). The new device is expected to feature slimmer bezels, a larger display, faster performance, and a design similar to Apple’s new iPad Air from last year, MacRumors notes. It could be a big shakeup for Apple’s smallest tablet, whose design has remained remarkably consistent since its debut in 2012. The news tallies with Bloomberg’s previous reporting about the upcoming device, which it said last month could ditch the home button to allow for narrower screen bezels. Reports of an iPad Air-style design suggests it could use a Touch ID sensor built into a side-mounted power button. The Verge

Swashbuckling billionaire Richard Branson hurtled into space aboard his own winged rocket ship Sunday, bringing astro-tourism a step closer to reality and beating out his exceedingly richer rival Jeff Bezos. The nearly 71-year-old Branson and five crewmates from his Virgin Galactic space-tourism company reached an altitude of 53.5 miles (86 kilometers) over the New Mexico desert — enough to experience three to four minutes of weightlessness and witness the curvature of the Earth — and then glided back home to a runway landing. “The whole thing, it was just magical,” a jubilant Branson said on his return aboard the gleaming white space plane, named Unity. AP News 

The free and open internet is under attack in countries around the world, Google boss Sundar Pichai has warned. He says many countries are restricting the flow of information, and the model is often taken for granted. In an in-depth interview with the BBC, Pichai also addresses controversies around tax, privacy and data. And he argues artificial intelligence is more profound than fire, electricity or the internet. Pichai is chief executive of one of the most complex, consequential and rich institutions in history. BBC 

Chris Price
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