Tech Digest daily roundup: SmartWater helps convict abuser


The first person in the UK has been convicted and jailed for domestic abuse after being sprayed with SmartWater – a forensic liquid which shows up under ultraviolet light. The technology is being trialled by police forces in the hope of keeping women safe. The substance stays on skin for up to six weeks and on clothing for much longer and categorically links the perpetrator to the specific batch of water that was sprayed. The victim, in West Yorkshire, is one of over 200 women across England who now have the forensic deterrent packages in their homes. BBC 

Elon Musk and Tesla have escalated their war of words with US regulators, accusing them of an “endless investigation” to curb the tycoon’s right to free speech. The allegations surfaced in a lawyer’s letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan, who presided over a 2018 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settlement stemming from Musk’s tweet about a potential buyout of Tesla. Alex Spiro wrote: “The SEC seems to be targeting Mr Musk and Tesla for unrelenting investigation largely because Mr Musk remains an outspoken critic of the government; the SEC’s outsized efforts seem calculated to chill his exercise of First Amendment rights.” Sky News

It’s been a rocky old ride for Peloton this year — first Mr. Big’s heart attack, next shares plummeted as the tech darling of the pandemic halted production of their bikes and treadmills, and an announcement of a company reshuffle, which made 20% of the workforce redundant. Putting all that aside, Peloton’s biggest draw has always been its instructors and their classes, and despite the news headlines, for Peloton users, nothing has changed.  With that in mind, it’s interesting that Peloton’s first major software update of the year doesn’t involve any instructors. The new feature is called Lanebreak, and it turns bike rides into a video game. This is Peloton’s first step into gamified fitness, and it does sound fun. TomsGuide

Oppo will launch its Find X5 range of flagship phones at an event on 24th February. The phone is expected to rival the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra for the title of best smartphone camera. The launch event takes place ahead of Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest phone trade show, which will be held in Barcelona from 28th February to 3rd March. Oppo has released some details about the phone alongside the launch details. It claims it will have excellent night-time photography and video capabilities thanks to its MariSilicon X, the dedicated imaging Neural Processing Unit which Oppo announced last year. With 6nm architecture, real-time RAW processing, and up to 20x faster 4K AI performance, the Find X5 Pro “shines a light on the night”, according to Oppo. WhatHiFi 

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has slammed the US government for its slow 5G rollout, arguing that the government’s “dithering” has left America “well behind” China. Dr Schmidt penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal alongside Harvard government professor Graham Allison, saying that the US is “far behind in almost every dimension of 5G while other nations – including China – race ahead”. The authors said the Biden administration must make 5G a “national priority”. If not, “China will own the 5G future”, they said. 5G – the next stage in the development of a faster internet – could have industrial and military uses. Independent



Chris Price
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