Tech Digest daily roundup: World’s First Fully Solar-Powered ‘Camper Van’

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Image: https://www.solarteameindhoven.nl/article?presenting-our-newest-solar-vehicle-stella-vita

A group of Dutch students has reimagined van life and is hitting the road to Portugal. Just don’t call their groundbreaking new solar-powered vehicle a camper van. “We call it a self-sustaining house on wheels,” said Lotte van Dasler, part of a team from the Technical University in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven. “We are independent in terms of our energy. A camper isn’t, and we are. So I think that we make something new. New concept, new idea and new future — sustainable future.” The sleek, odd-looking mobile home took a test drive Friday at a Renault facility outside Paris. Solar panels on the roof of the vehicle, called Stella Vita, generate enough energy to drive and live off the grid. Its on-board information system shows just how much of that energy you use when you cook, take a shower or watch television. AP News 

Image: https://www.solarteameindhoven.nl/article?presenting-our-newest-solar-vehicle-stella-vita

People looking for work can now apply for six months of free broadband to help them search for jobs. A national programme has been launched by the telecoms company TalkTalk and the Department for Work and Pensions that aims to tackling digital exclusion and remove barriers to employment. With the pandemic having made it harder for some people to access training and support, the new voucher scheme will give jobseekers across the UK free access to “high-quality” broadband. Jobseekers are being offered a no-contract voucher for six months of TalkTalk’s Fibre 35 broadband, which normally costs £23 a month. Usage is uncapped, meaning there are no data limits aside from the usual “fair usage” rules. Guardian 

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Labour would take social media firms to task for scams hosted on their platforms in proposals to protect families from online fraud. The party said the Government was putting the public at risk by not including online scams as part of the upcoming Online Safety Bill. Labour said it would place a “proper, effective legal duty of care on the social media companies about what they host on their platforms”. Shadow digital, culture and media secretary Jo Stevens will tell the Labour conference on Sunday that this would not only apply to scams but also to “increasing levels of child abuse, self-harm and suicide content, dangerous anti-vax misinformation, discrimination, hate speech and more”. Yahoo!


London’s blue-chip market indices now host more technology companies than at any point since the aftermath of the dotcom bubble after a resurgence of listings. The FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 combined feature 26 technology and consumer internet firms, or 7pc of the total, according to figures from the London Stock Exchange. This is the highest level since 2000, when the likes of Lastminute.com, Marconi and Logica were among Britain’s most valuable companies.  Technology firms in the FTSE 350 numbered 28 in 2000, but fell to 18 the year later and nine in 2002 as the internet bubble popped. This year, six new companies have entered the group, including newly listed Darktrace, Trustpilot and Moonpig. Telegraph 

Three years after receiving a record fine from the European Commission alongside an order to stop abusing its control of the Android operating system, Google is set to have its day in court. Back in 2018 the company was fined €4.34bn (£3.8bn) for forcing phone makers to pre-install apps including Google Search and Chrome to the exclusion of other search engines and web browsers. The fine was a fraction of the €116bn (£99bn) parent company Alphabet recorded in revenues that year, but the real cost to the company was the threat to its future income if smartphones landed in consumers’ hands without Google apps already installed. Google’s five-day appeal against the decision is being heard at European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, where the company hopes to have the Commission’s decision annulled in its entirety. Sky News 

Chris Price
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