Tech Digest daily roundup: Inventor Sir Clive Sinclair RIP


Inventor Sir Clive Sinclair, who popularised the home computer and invented the pocket calculator, has died at his London home aged 81. His daughter Belinda Sinclair said he passed away on Thursday morning after having cancer for more than a decade. Sir Clive’s products included the ZX series of computers and his ill-fated C5 electric vehicle. He was still working on his inventions last week “because that was what he loved doing”, said Ms Sinclair. “He was inventive and imaginative and for him it was exciting and an adventure, it was his passion,” she added. His ZX Spectrum computers brought affordable personal computing to the masses – selling in their millions across the world. BBC 

Oracle will invest £150m in a British biotech company tracking Covid mutations in its upcoming London float. The $240bn (£175bn) Texas-based software giant, founded by Larry Ellison, will become a cornerstone investor in Oxford Nanopore, which is set to go public next month. Founded in 2005, Nanopore develops portable kits for analysing DNA samples to track new diseases. Its technology performs about a fifth of coronavirus sequencing worldwide and the company was chosen as a Government supplier for hundreds of thousands of Covid testing kits to the NHS. Telegraph

Three Chinese astronauts have returned to Earth after a 90-day stay aboard the nation’s space stationChina’s longest mission yet. Astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo spent 90 days aboard China’s Tianhe space station module since arriving aboard Shenzhou 12 on 17 June. China’s airspace had issued closure notices on Wednesday indicating that the three-member crew would be returning between 1.14 and 1.44pm local time on Friday. The Global Times reported that the crew “having lived and worked in orbit for 90 days” has set a “new record of longest space stay in a single flight for Chinese astronauts”. Independent

It seems Apple Watch Series 7 performance won’t be any greater than that of the Apple Watch Series 6, after reports emerged suggesting that the new smartwatch uses exactly the same chip as its predecessor. Despite the glitz and glamour of Tuesday’s ‘California streaming’ event, it seems to have produced marginal gains when it comes to device performance. After initial benchmarks emerged to suggest that the iPhone 13 might not provide a considerable performance improvement over the iPhone 12, a new report claims that the Apple Watch 7 is no more capable than the Apple Watch 6. Trusted Reviews

A UK-based charging firm will invest £75 million into the country’s electric charging infrastructure by opening 150 charging hubs over the next four years. Osprey Charging aims to install a total of 1500 chargers nationwide. The units will charge at a 150-175kW rate and be positioned adjacent to A-roads and motorways. The firm says each hub will make use of Kempower technology for the first time in the UK, allowing for improved power distribution when chargers are in demand. The chargers are also 74% smaller than usual, increasing accessibility. Autocar

The European Space Agency (ESA), NASA and Arianespace have announced that the James Webb space telescope’s target launch date is 18 December. It will be carried into space from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, atop an Ariane 5 rocket, which has been designated flight VA256. It will be the third Ariane 5 flight this year. After completing final tests about three weeks ago, the Webb is being transported by sea from the US and is scheduled to arrive at the launch site by the end of September. Webb is a collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). It is 100 times more sensitive than the Hubble space telescope and works at longer wavelengths. Guardian

Chris Price
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