Tech Digest daily roundup: Virgin Media O2 will not introduce EU roaming charges


Virgin Mobile and O2 phone users will not face roaming charges following announcements by other networks to reintroduce extra fees after Brexit. It means customers travelling to Europe will be able to use their mobile data and make calls and texts on the same deal as they have in the UK. Vodafone, EE and Three are set to reintroduce roaming fees this year for customers travelling to Europe. Consumer champion Which? urged the UK and EU to “strike a deal” on charges. Before the UK left the EU, users were able to use their calls, texts, and data allowance in their mobile plans in any EU country after the bloc removed roaming charges in 2017. However, the EU trade deal of December 2020 gave mobile operators the option of reintroducing charges. BBC 

Elon Musk is many things, but a professional dancer is not one of them. As the first Tesla Model 3s rolled off the electric car maker’s Shanghai “gigafactory” production line, Musk let the euphoria get the better of him. Appearing at an on-stage event to mark the occasion, the chief executive threw off his blazer and treated the cheering crowd to some decidedly questionable moves, which became instant online meme fodder. But Musk had good reason to celebrate. Tesla had done what no foreign carmaker had previously been able to: set up a Chinese factory without being forced to partner with a local company. Giga Shanghai was approved in record time, built in less than a year, and the company received tax breaks and cheap loans to help finance it. Telegraph

Goldfish driving a robotic car in new research by Israeli scientists. Image: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Scientists have taught a goldfish to drive a robotic car in an experiment to assess its innate navigational abilities and further explore animal behaviour. The robotic driving setup built by scientists from Ben-Gurion University in Israel consists of a set of wheels under a goldfish tank with a camera system to record and translate the fish’s movements into forward, back and side-to-side directions to the wheels. In the study, published last month in the journal Behavioural Brain Research, they tested whether the fish could navigate by placing a clearly visible target on the wall opposite the tank. Independent 

Friends and relatives of online daters are being urged to help protect their loved ones from romance frauds, with nearly £92 million having been reported lost in total in the last year alone. People who strike up online relationships between Christmas and Valentine’s Day may be at particular risk of romance fraud, with a spike of 901 reports recorded by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) in March 2021. Of the reports received in the past year, 20% of victims were aged 50 to 59, 18% were between 40 and 49, and 17% were 30 to 39. Criminals may claim they need cash to travel to visit the victim, pay for emergency medical expenses, or even for lucrative investment opportunities. Or they may pretend to be military personnel or working overseas. Yahoo!

Early last year, Spotify announced that it would be introducing a HiFi tier of its service by the end of 2021. This would allow listeners to enjoy songs in a lossless format. While plenty of people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between that and a lossy quality, it could be a selling point to audiophiles who want to listen to music tracks in their original forms. Signs of the feature even appeared briefly for some users in the past months. However, the company has missed its deadline and delayed this addition indefinitely. As 9to5Mac reports, Spotify has shared that HiFi is still in the works but has been delayed indefinitely. XDA

Image: NASA

NASA scientists have hailed a “milestone decades in the making” as the giant mirror of its new space telescope was successfully unfurled. The James Webb Space Telescope, which will search the cosmos for infrared light from ancient stars and galaxies, was launched from French Guiana on Christmas Day. Over the last two days, NASA teams have remotely opened the telescope’s 6.5-metre (21ft), gold-coated mirror, which had been flat-packed into the rocket’s nose cone like a drop-leaf table, meaning it can now be prepared for its scientific missions. Sky News 

Chris Price
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