Tech Digest daily roundup: Uber plans to become major transport hub


Uber plans to let users buy train and plane tickets through its app as it looks to move beyond minicabs into an all-encompassing transport hub. Inter-city trains and coaches will be available to book through Uber in the summer, the company said. It plans to let tourists buy plane and Eurostar tickets later in the year. Uber will also let people rent cars across the UK through the app, and plans to offer hotel booking at a later date, as part of a plan to move towards a fully-fledged transport booking system. The company, which recently secured a new London licence in a major boost to its British business, is in the final stages of reaching agreements with operators to sell the tickets. Telegraph 

Twitter users have been warned to be “careful what you wish for” in the wake of the platform confirming it is working on a much-requested edit tweet function. The social media giant said the ability to edit tweets after they have been posted has been in development since last year and testing of the function will begin in the coming months. Jay Sullivan, the site’s head of consumer product, said users “want to be able to fix (sometimes embarrassing) mistakes, typos and hot takes in the moment”, and the move is part of plans to give people “more choice and control over their Twitter experience”. But Lewis Wiltshire, the former head of sport at Twitter, said introducing an edit button will be a “mistake” given the site’s influence on global affairs and the potential impact that amending posts could have. Yahoo!

Image: Bristol University

Scientists have created a 3D-printed fingertip that uses artificial nerve signals for a sense of touch similar to human skin. It could revolutionise the fields of soft robotics and prosthetics by mimicking the way nerve endings detect fine details. Researchers from the University of Bristol say their aim is “to make artificial skin as good – or even better – than real skin”. Our sense of touch is produced by complex structures inside our skin, according to Professor Nathan Lepora from the University of Bristol’s department of engineering mathematics. Recreating this involved 3D-printing a mesh of pin-like bumps called papillae that combine soft and hard materials to create similar complicated structures to what is found in biology. Sky News 

A television presenter was sent 31 videos of a penis by a single man on Instagram direct messages (DMs). Rachel Riley, who co-presents Countdown, said knowing that people have sent her these “turns my stomach”. The DMs were uncovered by disinformation researchers the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). Instagram, owned by Meta, said the platform offers a way to filter abusive messages so that users do not have to see them. The CCDH is a non-profit organisation which monitors and lobbies against online hate and misinformation. Its research found 90% of abuse in private messages is ignored by Instagram, despite being reported to moderators. BBC 

Epic Games, the developer of the hugely successful video game Fortnite, has revealed it’s raised $144 million (£109.5 million) for Ukraine.  In conjunction with Microsoft’s Xbox, the firm had pledged to donate all of its proceeds from the game to Ukraine relief efforts for two weeks, starting March 20. The total will fund humanitarian relief efforts led by several charities to help Ukrainian people affected by the ongoing war with Russia, Epic Games said. Daily Mail

Chris Price
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