Tech Digest daily roundup: Apple to crack down on AirTag misuse


Apple AirTag
Apple plans to introduce a number of changes to make it harder to misuse AirTags to track someone. The button-sized devices are designed to work with Apple’s ‘Find My’ network to locate lost items. The company said its changes to the device will make suspicious tags easier to find, and alert users earlier that an AirTag may be travelling with them. In January, a number of women told the BBC they had been followed using AirTags. Apple launched AirTags in April last year. The small, circular devices can be attached to luggage or keys – anything you could lose. But the devices can be misused to track people by being hidden in a car, or on a personal item such as a bag. BBC 

Aston Martin is in talks with the battery maker Britishvolt about powering a new fleet of luxury electric vehicles. The two companies are understood to be holding early discussions about a partnership as Aston prepares to drop combustion-only models within four years. A deal would represent a significant coup for Britishvolt, which has secured £100m of taxpayer funding and is building a factory in Blyth, Northumberland. Aston has vowed to sell only electric or hybrid cars by 2026 as part of a wider shift towards green models across the industry. Telegraph 

Image: SpaceX (artist render)

Elon Musk has said he is highly confident that SpaceX’s Starship will launch into orbit this year, despite technical and regulatory challenges. Giving a presentation with the rocket behind him in Boca Chica, Texas, the billionaire entrepreneur and social media user delivered a formal update on the rocket’s development. Combined with SpaceX’s first stage, known as Super Heavy, the launch vehicle will be the largest and most powerful ever designed – even taller than the Saturn V which took man to the moon – and able to generate more than twice the thrust. Sky News 

Microsoft’s megabid to acquire Activision Blizzard has raised questions about the future of the publisher’s cross-platform titles. Facing regulatory scrutiny, Microsoft explicitly committed to Call of Duty releasing on PlayStation beyond existing agreements. Now, the company has also confirmed it’s open to releasing Call of Duty on the Nintendo Switch. Speaking to CNBC, Microsoft’s president Brad Smith stated “We’d like to bring [Call of Duty] to Nintendo devices. We’d like to bring the other popular titles that Activision Blizzard has, and ensure that they continue to be available on PlayStation, [and] that they become available on Nintendo.” Eurogamer

Scotland’s first drone port is set to begin trialling collection and delivery of medical supplies and samples for the NHS in an effort to improve current transportation methods. Mercury Drone Ports, based in Montrose, Angus, will provide a trials airspace for drones to operate to and from multiple healthcare facilities between Angus and Dundee assisting with the response to Covid-19. The first drone trials will begin in March, a move which Angus Council leader councillor David Fairweather described as a step in “transforming” the healthcare system for the region. Yahoo!

The Biden administration has unveiled a plan to award nearly $5bn over five years to build thousands of electric vehicle charging stations. The nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations would place new or upgraded ones every 50 miles (80km) along interstate highways as part of the administration’s plan to spur widespread adoption of zero-emission cars. Under Department of Transportation requirements, states must submit plans to the federal government and can begin construction this year if they focus first on highway routes, rather than neighborhoods and shopping centers, that can allow people to take their electric vehicles long distances. The Guardian

Chris Price
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