Tech Digest daily roundup: YouTube to stream free TV shows with ads


YouTube has announced it will start streaming free TV shows with adverts, with hundreds of programmes set to become available. The platform is the second most visited site on the web, after that of its parent company Google, and the move will seriously challenge competitors who offer free streaming entertainment – as well as broadcast television. At launch the company said the service will include a handful of television shows, including Hell’s Kitchen starring celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. The on-demand service will initially only be available in the US, but it will have a major advantage over linear programming in allowing consumers the ability to choose what they want to watch. Sky News 

Instagram has announced that it is bringing back a chronological feed to its app, alongside a new ‘favourites’ option. The new feeds should be released to the company’s global user base today for iPhone and Android users but will not be available on the web. There are now three feeds in the main Instagram app: the algorithmic feed, which will remain the default, the chronological “Following” feed and the “Favourites” feed which consists of up to 50 accounts that users choose specifically – such as close friends or family. When scrolling through the main feed, posts from accounts from the Favourites list will have a star icon by them and will rank higher in the algorithm. Independent 

Epic Games says it has raised more than $50m (£37m) to aid humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. The Fortnite publisher announced on 21 March it would donate all proceeds from in-game sales, including cosmetic in-game items and virtual currency bought in a shop or online, until 3 April. And Xbox is donating the fee it would usually take on items bought by players in Fortnite. The amount raised so far is greater than that given by some countries. A statement on the Fortnite website said it would send funds “as quickly as we can.’ We’re not waiting for the actual funds to come in from our platform and payment partners, which can take a while depending on how the transaction was processed. BBC 

Ikea’s forays into connected audio continue with its new $65 Vappeby Bluetooth speaker lamp, which resembles a futuristic-looking lantern and is the first speaker to feature Spotify Tap (which had previously only been available on a variety of headphones) for one-touch access to the streaming music service. The Vappeby actually seems purpose-built to replace a camp lantern: it has a rechargeable battery, an integrated LED light, and IP65 resistance (enough for toughing it out in the occasional rainstorm, although definitely not for a dip in a pool). It even comes with a USB-C cable to charge it, although it doesn’t include a wall brick. The Verge

YouTube is facing demands from the Ministry of Defence to remove hoax videos featuring Defence Secretary Ben Wallace or risk helping the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The calls came after a third extract of a hoax call between Mr Wallace and an imposter posing as Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal was published on Wednesday. The MoD says the clips have been “doctored” to aid disinformation and “propaganda” at the behest of the Kremlin, as it struggles in the war. But the footage has remained on the video sharing giant owned by Google since Monday when the first video extract emerged, despite the attempts of officials to get them blocked or pulled down. Yahoo!


Chris Price
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