Tech Digest daily roundup: Raspberry Pi seals $45m investment

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The organisation behind Britain’s bestselling personal computer – the Raspberry Pi – has sealed a $45m (£33m) investment after demand surged during the pandemic. The trading arm of the Raspberry Pi Foundation has offloaded stakes to Lansdowne Partners and the Ezrah Charitable Trust in a move that values the operation at around $500m. The foundation is a charitable organisation whose profits are used to promote computing. Raspberry Pi was founded in 2009 by Eben Upton, who created a singleboard computer that has been widely used to champion programming in schools. In March, The Telegraph reported that it was exploring ways to raise capital – including a potential London stock market flotation – as the move to working from home during lockdown prompted strong sales of its $70 keyboard-based PC, the Raspberry Pi 400. Telegraph

A novel way of delivering high-speed internet via beams of light through the air has successfully transmitted data across the Congo River. It means that citizens in Brazzaville and Kinshasa could get faster and cheaper broadband. Project Taara is one of Alphabet X’s (formerly Google X) so-called moonshot ideas. It grew out of Project Loon, a broadband project using balloons in the stratosphere, since shut down. The latest experiment means that a “particularly stubborn connectivity gap” between the two African cities – Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo – has been filled, said the team in a blog. The cities lie only three miles apart but connecting them is tricky because traditional cable has to be routed around the river, making broadband prices five times more expensive. BBC

Facebook has denied reports which claimed it “conducts research and then systematically and willfully ignores it if the findings are inconvenient for the company”. The former British deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, who now heads Facebook’s global affairs team, criticised a series of articles by the Wall Street Journal last week. The stories were based on internal documents that showed the company knew more about the negative impact of its products than it publicly claimed. The Journal’s reportage included revelations that Facebook had itself studied the impact Instagram has on the well-being of teenage girls, quoting one presentation which stated: “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.” Sky News 

Google appears to be internally testing a second foldable Pixel smartphone, according to 9to5Google’s sources. The device is said to be under development with the codename “Jumbojack,” that’s referenced in a future version of Android 12 which 9to5Google identifies as “Android 12.1.” This is the latest foldable codename we’ve heard about at Google, following reports of another device called “Passport.” Not much is known about what form Jumbojack could take, but 9to5Google has a couple of key details. It seems to have two screens, with one that deactivates when the device is folded. That suggests we’re looking at a similar design to Samsung’s foldables, which combine a small external screen with a larger internal folding display. There’s no word on screen sizes or internal specs, however. The Verge

Amazon may be getting set to release a new version of its Paperwhite reader including a high-end “Signature Edition,” according to Amazon listings spotted by Reddit users and GoodEReader. A comparison chart on Amazon’s Canadian and Mexican sites, now removed, showed new Kindle Paperwhite and Paperwhite Signature Edition models, with 6.8-inch 300 ppi displays and 17 LEDs. The current Paperwhite, by contrast, has a 6-inch display and just four LEDs. Both models are IPX8 waterproof as before, offer a “flush-front design” and appear to have narrower side and top bezels. They also feature an “adjustable warm light,” meaning they likely have both white and amber LEDs — just like Amazon’s high-end Kindle Oasis. The Signature Edition offers a storage update over the Paperwhite 5 to 32GB, along with wireless charging and auto-adjusting light sensors that change screen brightness depending on the environment. Engadget

 

 

 

Chris Price
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