Tech Digest daily round up: 1 in 3 tech start-ups are British


Almost one in three of Europe’s top technology companies since the turn of the century were founded in Britain, more than twice as many as France or Germany. Researchers at the consultancy McKinsey have calculated that 319 of the 1,000 most valuable tech start-ups created since 2000 were British. This compares to 149 for Germany, 143 for France, and 64 for Sweden, which has created some of the continent’s most valuable technology firms, followed by Switzerland, the Netherlands and Spain. The report found that the UK was particularly over-represented when it came to financial technology, or fintech, companies, as well as artificial intelligence start-ups. However, it produces proportionally fewer enterprise software companies. Telegraph 

Apple could be forced to ship future iPhone models with USB-C connections found on Android phones, rather than the conventional Lightning cable, should new legislation from the European Commission come to pass. The executive is currently drafting a law that would establish a common charger for smartphones and other electronic devices within the 27 countries that make it up, according to an anonymous source speaking to Reuters. It follows years of attempts by the European Union to standardise chargers, and a 2020 vote in which lawmakers overwhelmingly supported a common plug, arguing that it would be more convenient to users and save on environmental waste. That rule would not only apply to phones and tablets but also e-readers, cameras, and wearables such as the Apple Watch. The motion passed by 582 votes to 10. Independent

The Cuban government has introduced new regulations on the use of social media and the internet, which critics say are aimed at stifling dissent. The decrees were published in the wake of the largest anti-government protests to sweep through the Communist-run island in decades. People used social media to share footage of the demonstrations and galvanise supporters. The decrees make inciting acts “that alter public order” a crime. They also order internet providers to cut access to those who “spread fake news or hurt the image of the state”.  BBC 

Multiple federal agencies that operated in Afghanistan and worked with Afghan citizens have been hastily purging their websites, removing articles and photos that could endanger the Afghan civilians who interacted with them and now fear retribution from the Taliban. The online scrubbing campaign appeared to begin late last week when it became clear that the Afghan security forces had completely collapsed and the Taliban would take over the country far faster than even the most alarmist official predictions. The concern is that the Taliban or its supporters would search the websites and identify Afghans who had worked with the Americans or merely benefited from their services. AP News 

A laboratory in the US is on the cusp of a breakthrough in nuclear fusion research which would see the fuel it generates release more energy than is needed to ignite it. The US National Ignition Facility (NIF) confirmed that a successful experiment on 8 August “made a significant step” toward this goal, which is known as ignition. It saw light focused from the facility’s enormous laser systems – the size of three American football fields – on to a target smaller than a BB pellet made of deuterium and tritium, two isotopes of hydrogen with different numbers of neutrons. This laser beam produced a hot spot on the pellet the diameter of a human hair, which generated “more than 10 quadrillion watts of fusion power for 100 trillionths of a second”. Sky News 

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to