Tech Digest daily roundup: AI can tell if it’s going to rain in next 2 hours


Artificial intelligence can tell whether it is going to rain in the next two hours, research suggests. Scientists at Google-owned London AI lab DeepMind and the University of Exeter partnered with the Met Office to build the so-called nowcasting system. Traditional methods use complex equations and often forecast for only between six hours and two weeks’ time. The AI system can make more accurate short-term predictions, including for critical storms and floods. Climate change is making it harder to anticipate adverse weather conditions, as the frequency and severity of heavy rain increases, which researchers believe will lead to both significant material damage and death. BBC 

Scotland’s new vaccine passport app has been experiencing technical problems just hours after its launch, according to users. The NHS Scotland Covid Status app was made available to download on Apple and Android devices on Thursday afternoon. One man was told “no match found” followed by “something’s went wrong” as shown in screenshots he shared on Twitter. Some struggled to get past the initial login page while others reported taking eight attempts to sign up. But just hours after its launch, comments circulating on social media suggest many users have been unable to register on the app. Standard

Google has announced that it’s bringing its Lens feature to Google Chrome in the coming weeks, which allows you to easily discover more information on the web page you’re browsing. Web browsers have become more important in the daily lives of their users lately due to the pandemic, so developers are bringing ever more innovative and eye-catching features to them, from RGB lighting in Opera’s GX browser, to a new look for Apple’s Safari browser. However, Google Lens has been a useful feature to many people who use Chrome on their smartphones, allowing users to discover more information about images and translate text on the fly. 

“Google” is the most searched term on Bing “by far,” according to a lawyer working for Google’s parent company, Alphabet. According to Bloomberg, Google made the argument while trying to get its $5 billion antitrust fine from the EU overturned, using the statistic as evidence that people use Google by choice, not force.  The fine Google faces is from the European Commission, which says that Google has abused its position as the maker of Android. The regulator says that Google will have to stop forcing handset makers to pre-install Chrome and Google search if they want to have Android. Google’s argument? That most people would just use its search engine anyway. The Verge 

Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin rocket company has been accused of fostering a “toxic” culture in which senior executives are alleged to have sexually harassed staff and in one instance “physically groping” a female employee. An open letter, claiming to represent the views of 21 current and former Blue Origin employees, alleged that “numerous” senior executives have been known to be “consistently inappropriate with women”. The letter, signed by Alexandra Abrams, the company’s former head of employee communications, claimed that one executive in chief executive Bob Smith’s “loyal inner circle” was reported to HR multiple times for sexual harassment.  Telegraph 

Chris Price
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