Tech Digest daily roundup: Epic closes Chinese Fortnite


“Fortress Night”, the Chinese version of the popular game Fortnite, is to close. Epic Games, which owns Fortnite, has so far provided no reason for the decision to close the online shooter. An announcement said the game, which has been available in China as a “test” for two years, would come to an end on 15 November. China sets strict limits on the time children can spend playing online games. The last-player-standing style combat game stopped new sign-ups on 1 November, the announcement said, two weeks ahead of the planned shutdown. BBC

Last week, several Google Pixel 6 Pro users noticed their devices had a strange display flickering issue. Google has now confirmed it’s aware of the problem and announced its plans to address it. “Pixel 6 Pro users may notice slight, transient display artifacts when the device is turned off,” explains Google in a support post (h/t 9to5Google). The problem is only noticeable when users “press on the power button with slight pressure but not enough to turn it on,” which is what we experienced with our review device, too. From our experience, the problem doesn’t affect the everyday use of the phone. But some users, who may use the power button as a fidget toy, might find the issue annoying. Android Authority

Apple’s decision to change the privacy settings of iPhones caused an estimated $9.85bn of revenues to evaporate in the second half of this year at Snap, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as their advertising businesses were shaken by the new rules. Apple introduced its App Tracking Transparency policy in April, which forced apps to ask for permission before they tracked the behaviour of users to serve them personalised ads. Most users have opted out, leaving advertisers in the dark about how to target them. Advertisers have responded by cutting back their spending at Snap, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and diverted their budgets elsewhere: in particular to Android phone users and to Apple’s own growing ad business.

, the online gaming platform, is back online after a three-day outage which the company described as “especially difficult”. The company said that the outage was not caused by a cyber attack, but by a “subtle bug” that only cropped up when the company’s communications servers came under heavy load. “Due to the difficulty in diagnosing the actual bug, recovery took longer than any of us would have liked,” the company added. It said that there was “no loss of player persistence data, and your Roblox experience should now be fully back to normal”. Sky News 

Government advisers have pushed back a security review into the Chinese-backed takeover of Britain’s biggest microchip plant, raising the prospect that it could be blocked under new legislation. Sources close to the £63m takeover of Newport Wafer Fab said that a review ordered by Boris Johnson was unlikely to report before January, when updated national security laws come into force.  The Government recently wrote to MPs saying the review remained ongoing, more than four months after it was ordered by the Prime Minister. Telegraph 

Scientists have found a way to use spinning magnets to move space debris, possibly offering a way to clear up the detritus around our planet or remotely repair malfunctioning craft. There are currently over 27,000 pieces of space debris larger than a baseball orbiting Earth, reaching speeds of up to 17,500 mph, but legal loopholes mean governments are loath to clear it up. Researchers at the University of Utah now think that they can turn debris into what is essentially a large electromagnet by moving the magnets around them. When this happens, electrons move within the non-magnetised metal in a loop “like when you swirl your cup of coffee and it goes around and around,” mechanical engineering professor Jake J. Abbott explained. Independent

Chris Price
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