Tech Digest daily roundup: New offences added to online safety laws


Sending “genuinely threatening” or “knowingly false” messages are among new criminal offences being added to proposed online safety laws. If passed, the government’s online safety bill could see social networks fined 10% of their global turnover if they fail to remove harmful content. The changes mean they will also have to proactively remove harmful content. The bill also covers revenge porn, human trafficking, extremism and promoting suicide online. It already stated that websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, that host user-generated content would have to swiftly remove illegal content once it was reported to them. BBC 

Mark Zuckerberg could end up in jail if Facebook does not comply with new online safety laws, the Culture Secretary has warned. Nadine Dorries warned that she was putting social media giants such as Facebook on notice with her Online Safety Bill, which it is hoped will force online giants to act on illegal content. On Friday, it was announced the long-awaited Bill had been strengthened with the addition of a number of new criminal offences to force social media firms to act on illegal content more quickly. Yahoo!

Google has reportedly “deprioritised” its consumer-facing game streaming platform Stadia and now has a “reduced interest” in negotiating blockbuster titles for the service, having largely shifted its focus to selling the services’ underlying technology to third-parties. Stadia’s misfortunes are well-documented; despite initial praise for the service’s streaming capabilities at launch in 2019, a slow, problematic roll-out meant Google failed to capitalise on initial consumer interest. The extent of Stadia’s failings started to became clear when the company announced it was closing its first-party game development studios less that 14 months after launch, with subsequent reports claiming the streaming platform was missing its targets for monthly active users by hundreds of thousands. Eurogamer

One of the best features of the iPhone 13 is MagSafe, which lets you magnetically clip on accessories like cases, wallets, and wireless chargers, but while rumors suggest it could come to more Apple gadgets like the iPad Pro (2022), it seems that the iPhone SE 3 might not get the feature.  This comes from Japanese publication Macotakara, which has previously provided accurate information about upcoming Apple products: apparently the new mid-range iPhone is going to have the same design as the iPhone SE (2020), and will have wireless charging but no MagSafe. Tech Radar 

Ice that took around 2,000 years to form on Mount Everest’s highest glacier has melted in just 25 years, scientists have warned. Ice on the South Col Glacier (SCG) has shrunk 80 times faster than it formed, according to a new report published by international scientific journal, Nature. Research led by the University of Maine in the US found around 55m (180ft) of ice has been lost. Now scientists say ice which took decades to accumulate could rapidly recede – amid fears the rest of the glacier could disappear within the next 25 years. Sky News 

When will Spotify’s long-promised HiFi tier finally launch? Don’t ask Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, as he has admitted even he doesn’t know. Speaking on an earnings call to analysts and investors (via 9to5Mac), Ek said that the tier’s launch is being held up because of the licensing process. He didn’t commit to any launch timeframe (not even confirming that the service would launch this year), only saying that Spotify was in “constant dialogue” with music labels about bringing the feature to market. What HiFi


Chris Price
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