Tech Digest daily roundup: Online safety bill comes to Parliament


The government is to introduce its long-awaited Online Safety Bill in Parliament on Thursday. The bill is intended to tackle a wide range of harmful online content, such as cyber-bullying, pornography and material promoting self-harm. Social networks could be fined or blocked if they fail to remove harmful content, and their bosses could be imprisoned for a lack of compliance. Labour said the bill’s delays meant disinformation in the UK was growing. The bill’s regulator Ofcom will have the power to request information from companies, and executives who do not comply could face up to two years in prison within two months of the bill becoming law. BBC 

Microsoft was one of the first companies to warn other businesses that the pandemic would forever change work habits. Two years later, Microsoft has embraced remote work both in its products and in practice with regard to how and where its employees get work done. Today it’s announcing changes to Microsoft Teams, Outlook, PowerPoint, and even Surface hardware to improve the hybrid realities of remote and office work. As more businesses return to offices and contemplate a mix of remote and office work, Microsoft is updating Outlook to make it easier to see if colleagues are planning to attend meetings in person or not. The Verge 

The Audi A6 will gain an all-electric equivalent in 2024, complete with an Avant-badged version that is set to be the first all-electric offering in the executive estate segment. Following the reveal of the saloon-shaped A6 E-tron concept last year, Audi has revealed a follow-up concept that closely previews the estate variant. It won’t immediately replace the A6 Avant, though, because Audi is planning to launch a ‘parallel offer’ powered by combustion in the future. Like its saloon sibling – which sports a rakish silhouette in line with a vision to provide an EV alternative to both the current A6 and A7 – the new A6 Avant E-tron sits atop the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture, which Audi is developing in partnership with Porsche and will be deployed first in the new Porsche Macan EV and Audi Q6 E-tron in 2023. Autocar

If you own a Nest speaker or Google Assistant-enabled device, you’re probably familiar with the Google Home app. The companion app is your central hub to control and manage your smart home devices. And it’s now getting a redesign that makes it even easier to control devices right from the main tab. The Google Home app is picking up an update to version 2.49, and as spotted by 9to5Google, it introduces an updated home view that lets you adjust devices in fewer steps. The update replaces the large device icons with rectangular tiles with rounded corners. The tiles are interactive, allowing you to adjust things like volume and brightness by sliding left or right. And just as before, you can still tap on the buttons to turn a device on or off. XDA Developers 

Elon Musk has changed his name on Twitter to “Elona Musk” after his challenge to fight Russian president Vladimir Putin grabbed the attention of Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen Republic. In a statement on Telegram, which was shared by the Tesla and Space X chief executive, the Chechen leader cautioned him against seeking out a challenge with the Russian president. “Elon Musk, a word of advice: Don’t measure strength against that of Putin’s,” wrote Mr Kadyrov. “Vladimir Vladimirovich (Mr Putin’s middle name) will look unsportsmanlike when he beats the hell out of you, a much weaker opponent. Therefore you’ll need to pump up those muscles in order to change from the gentle (effeminate) Elona into the brutal Elon you need to be.” Independent

Chris Price
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