Tech Digest daily roundup: Ringtones preserve of old and middle-aged


Ringtones are now the preserve of the old and middle-aged, experts have said, and mobile phones ringing in public will soon become a social “faux pas”. App downloads for ringtones in the UK have slumped by nearly a quarter in recent years, with analysts saying one reason for the decline is young people keeping their phones on silent. It comes after surveys by regulator Ofcom nicknamed 16 to 24-year-olds “Generation Mute” after more than twice as many said they preferred instant messaging to phone calls. Telegraph 

Internet bullies are just as mean in real life, according to a new study. The study, from the political science department at Aarhus University, debunks the long-held theory that people are only nasty while posting anonymously online. It also found that people who are nice may choose to avoid all political discussions online – whether the forums are hostile or not, according to the study published in the American Political Science Review. The researchers did find that the hostility levels of online political discussions are worse than offline discussions, but that the frequency of behaviour was about the same online and in real life. Daily Mail 

Most of the fun and wacky electric vehicles I discover while wasting time perusing the infinite abyss of creativity that is the Alibaba shopping site are of the ultra modern variety. But every now and again something that is decidedly vintage catches my eye, as was the case with this funny little electric car that appears to be heavily inspired by the original Ford Model T. And fortunately for whatever random factory seems to be hawking this hot mess, it tickled my fancy enough to land it a coveted spot as the Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week!  Electrek

A Tesla using its partially-automated driving system has crashed into a police car in the US state of Florida. The police car had pulled over to help a third vehicle just before 5am on Saturday on a highway near central Orlando. The officer, who had activated his car’s emergency lights, was narrowly missed by the Tesla as it hit his vehicle and the vehicle he was attending to. According to police, the 27-year-old Tesla driver and the driver of the vehicle being helped by the officer both suffered minor injuries. Sky News 

Microsoft says it has fixed a flaw in its cloud computing platform that cybersecurity researchers warned could have enabled hackers to take over a cloud-based database product used by many big companies. The company said Friday there’s no evidence the potential opening was exploited by malicious actors or that any customer data was exposed. The cybersecurity firm Wiz, led by former Microsoft employees, said it discovered what it called an “unprecedented critical vulnerability” in Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and notified the tech giant earlier in August. Microsoft paid the firm a bounty for the discovery and said it immediately fixed the problem. AP News 

Inmarsat, the largest satellite operator by revenue in the UK, is getting into the small spacecraft rush. It says it will launch about 150 satellites into low-Earth orbit to augment its existing telecommunications services. These services – phone and data links to ships, planes and other users on the move – are currently provided by big spacecraft at 36,000km in altitude. The company also wants to spread its activity into 5G on the ground. It’s calling the new architecture “Orchestra”. BBC 


Chris Price
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