Tech Digest daily roundup: Amazon drone deliveries in doubt


Amazon has cut back its Cambridge drone delivery project, shooting down hopes of airborne package drop-offs in the near future. The US technology giant has reportedly slashed up to 100 staff at its Prime Air division, many of them in Cambridge, where the online retailer has been testing unmanned drone deliveries from a secret airfield. The $1.7 trillion (£1.2 trillion) company has reassigned many of the team who had worked on the Prime Air project, originally announced in 2013, Wired magazine reported. Telegraph 

A new feature is being launched in WhatsApp today which will allow people to send videos and images that will be automatically deleted after they have been viewed once. The ‘View Once’ feature is only available on the latest version of WhatsApp, which is enabled by tapping an icon in the text bar before sending the message. Users are also warned to “only send photos or videos with view once media enabled to trusted individuals” as it is still possible to take a screenshot or screen recording of the media before it disappears. Sky News 

MP Maria Miller wants a parliamentary debate on whether digitally generated nude images need to be banned. It comes as another service which allows users to undress women in photos, using Artificial intelligence (AI), spreads rapidly on social media. The website in question had more than five million visits in June alone, according to one analyst. Celebrities, including an Olympic athlete, are among those who users claim to have nudified. DeepSukebe’s website promises users it can “reveal the truth hidden under clothes”. Launched in 2020, it is unclear who is behind it. The BBC has contacted the company for comment, but received no reply. BBC 

Google has apparently leaked some unannounced Nest security cameras right on its own online store (thanks for the tip, Eric!). Google confirmed in January that it would be releasing a new lineup of security cameras this year, and it seems like the company’s store may have just revealed what’s on the way. As far as we can tell, the new devices include a combined outdoor/indoor battery-powered Nest Cam, a Nest Cam with floodlight, an indoor wired Nest Cam, and a battery-powered Nest Doorbell. The new additions, if they are released, would fill in some big gaps in Google’s security camera lineup. Amazon-owned Ring helped popularize the concept of a a video doorbell with a battery, which can be placed in a lot more places than a camera that requires a constant connection to power. The Verge

China’s biggest gaming company, Tencent Holdings, said Tuesday it will limit gaming time for minors and ban children under age 12 from making in-game purchases after a state media article called games “spiritual opium.” Tencent’s pledge to curb gaming for minors came hours after the company’s stock plunged as much as 11% following a critique published by the Economic Information Daily, a newspaper affiliated with China’s official Xinhua News Agency. The newspaper article named Tencent’s wildly popular Honor of Kings game as one that minors were addicted to, and cited a student as saying that some played the game for eight hours a day. The online article was removed hours later. AP News 

Chris Price
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