Tech Digest daily round up: BT plans ‘Walk Me Home’ tracking service


Plans for a phone service aimed at protecting lone women walking home have been set out by BT in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard. “Walk Me Home” would allow users to opt in to a GPS tracking system and an alert would be triggered if they did not reach their destination on time. The phone service, which is in the early stages, would be activated by calling a phone number, possibly 888. But some campaigners argue that the real problem is male violence. Users of the service – which could be accessed by any network – would be able to enter their home address and other regular destinations into the mobile phone app. Before walking the user would start the app, or call or text 888. This would give the expected journey time and begin the GPS tracking.A message would be sent to the user at the time they were predicted to arrive at their destination. A failure to respond would issue calls to emergency contacts and then the police. BBC

Google is cracking down on digital ads promoting false climate change claims or being used to make money from such content, hoping to limit revenue for climate change deniers and stop the spread of misinformation on its platforms. The company said Thursday in a blog post that the new policy will also apply to YouTube, which last week announced a sweeping crackdown of vaccine misinformation. “We’ve heard directly from a growing number of our advertising and publisher partners who have expressed concerns about ads that run alongside or promote inaccurate claims about climate change,” Google said. “Advertisers simply don’t want their ads to appear next to this content. AP News

Hackers could have stolen beer from the Scottish brewery and pub chain BrewDog due to a vulnerability that exposed details of more than 200,000 shareholders. The vulnerability in the company’s mobile app was discovered by security consultancy Pen Test Partners who said that details belonging to customers and “Equity for Punks” shareholders were accessible for over 18 months. Due to the way the mobile app authenticated users, it would have been “trivial” for any of them to access someone else’s personally identifying information. “But, best of all, shareholders get a free beer on the three days before or after their birthday under the terms of the Equity for Punks scheme,” the consultancy said. Sky News 

When Star Trek first aired in 1966, America was still three years away from putting people on the Moon and the idea that people could one day live and work in space seemed like a fantasy. On October 12, William Shatner — Captain James T. Kirk to Trekkies — is set to become the first member of the iconic show’s cast to journey to the final frontier, as a guest aboard a Blue Origin suborbital rocket. For fans, the 10-minute hop from a West Texas base back to Earth will be a fitting coda for a pop culture phenomenon that inspired generations of astronauts. “I plan to be looking out the window with my nose pressed against the window, the only thing that I don’t want to see is a little gremlin looking back at me,” the 90-year-old Canadian, who will become the oldest person ever to go to space, joked in a video release. AFP

Following this week’s massive Twitch data breach – in which everything from site source code to streamer payouts were apparently leaked – a new report has accused the company of fostering a culture that values “speed and profit over the safety of its users and security of its data.” That’s the claim made by The Verge, whose sources suggest this week’s data breach “seemed inevitable” based on their time working at Twitch, alleging a company culture “where employees were very concerned about safety but management less so. There would be constant questions and discontent about the regular moderation failures,” a source told the publication, noting the company would respond to issues raised “very slowly.” As The Verge puts it, “If [a feature] wasn’t generating revenue, then it wasn’t valued as highly.” Eurogamer 

Chris Price
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