Tech Digest daily roundup: SpaceX’s Inspiration 4 ready for take off


Inspiration4, the pioneering trip to space, is about to launch into orbit. Elon Musk’s SpaceX will send four private citizens up above the Earth, where they will float for three days before falling back down and splashing into the ocean. They will make the journey in the company’s Crew Dragon capsule, mounted on top of a Falcon 9 rocket that will carry them up into orbit above the Earth. The mission is a major step for space tourism, and one that SpaceX hopes begins a new age of the super-rich being able to charter journeys into space. It is expected to be followed by a trip to the International Space Station. Independent

Nintendo’s basic Switch model is now cheaper in the UK and mainland Europe by around £20. That makes it £259.99/€299.99, down from £279.99/€329.99. For comparison, the upcoming Switch OLED is set to launch at £309.99, while the Switch Lite is £199.99. Official pricing for the console has updated on Nintendo’s own store, though is not yet reflected on other retailers, such as Amazon. Nintendo Switch OLED arrives on 8th October alongside Metroid Dread. It boasts a slightly larger screen which has been upgraded to OLED, plus 64GB of internal storage, improved speakers and a wider adjustable stand. Eurogamer

Pic: The Royal Navy

The Royal Navy has unveiled a vision of what the British fleet could look like in the future, including an enormous flying drone station based in the stratosphere and an underwater flagship vessel. “In a future scenario if we find ourselves unable to compete traditionally in terms of mass, we must think differently if we are to regain operational advantage,” said Vice Admiral Nick Hine. “The young engineers who worked on this project are thinking radically and with real imagination and reflects how the Royal Navy is thinking too,” added the Royal Navy’s second most senior officer. Sky News 

Impersonation scam cases more than doubled in the first half of 2021 to 33,115, a finance industry trade association has said. This led to criminals stealing £129.4 million through this type of fraud alone, according to UK Finance. In the same period last year, there were 14,947 impersonation scam cases which led to £57.9 million being stolen. UK Finance raised the alarm at the start of Take Five Week (September 13 to 17). The campaign urges people to stop to think, challenge requests from people, and protect themselves, for example by telling their bank and the police immediately, when asked for their information or money. Yahoo! 

The Metropolitan Police commissioner has accused tech giants of making it harder to identify and stop terrorists. The tech giants’ focus on end-to-end encryption was making it “impossible in some cases” for the police to do their jobs, Dame Cressida Dick wrote in the Telegraph on Saturday. On Wednesday, Home Secretary Priti Patel launched a new fund for technologies to keep children safe. She also called on tech firms to put user safety before profits. But cyber-security experts have told the BBC that they are not sure the solutions the government wants are possible to build. BBC

Social media companies must not encrypt messages unless they can guarantee they can keep platforms free of illegal content, an inquiry has warned. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Media is calling for companies to step up and do more to protect children from online grooming and sexual abuse. It launched its inquiry into the “disturbing” rise of so-called “self-generated” child sexual abuse material last November. The cross-party MPs say the Home Office must review legislation to ensure it is as easy as possible for children to have their images removed from the internet. Yahoo!

Chris Price
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