Tech Digest daily roundup: Facebook pulls out of podcasts


Facebook is pulling out of podcasts and plans to remove them altogether from the social-media service starting June 3. Part of Meta Platforms Inc., Facebook will stop letting people add podcasts to the service starting this week, according to a note sent to partners. It will discontinue both its short-form audio product Soundbites and remove its central audio hub. Facebook announced various audio efforts last April during a hot market for podcasting and audio in general. But the company’s interest has waned, Bloomberg News reported last month, and it’s now focused on other initiatives, disappointing some providers. “We’re constantly evaluating the features we offer so we can focus on the most meaningful experiences,” a Meta spokesperson said an email. Bloomberg

The cellphones of Spain’s prime minister and defense minister were infected last year with Pegasus spyware, which is available only to countries’ government agencies, authorities announced Monday. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s mobile phone was breached twice in May 2021, and Defense Minister Margarita Robles’ device was targeted once the following month, Cabinet Minister Félix Bolaños said. The breaches, which resulted in a significant amount of data being obtained, were not authorized by a Spanish judge, which is a legal requirement for national covert operations, Bolaños said at a hastily convened news conference in Madrid.  AP News 

Amazon will reimburse staff in the US who travel for a wide range of non-life threatening medical treatments including elective abortions. A message to Amazon staff said that the firm will pay up to $4,000 (£3,201) in travel expenses each year for treatments not available nearby. Several other companies have announced plans that ensure staff have access to abortions. It comes amid rising restrictions for the procedure nationwide. Amazon’s new benefits are effective retroactively from 1 January. BBC 

This weekend, a report from Good E-Reader seemed to suggest something truly wild. After 15 years, Amazon was going to finally bow to competition and support the ePub ebook format used by the wide majority of online bookstores, publishers, and competing services. But it turns out Amazon isn’t going to natively support the ePub format. Instead, per an update to Send to Kindle documentation, the Amazon Kindle will soon support using the Send to Kindle function to convert ePub files into an Amazon-specific digital book file format. The Verge

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs appears to have also struggled to turn his brain off while on vacation. Tony Fadell — an early Apple engineer who invented the iPod, helped invent the iPhone, and cofounded the connected home company Nest — spoke to podcaster Tim Ferriss on an episode published Monday. According to Fadell, he expected not to hear from Jobs for the extent of his trips. While that was true for the first 24 to 48 hours, vacation proved to stir the Apple chief’s creative juices more than anything else. “Steve would be on vacation, and he would be pondering where the next product, the next direction for Apple, new technologies, things he’s reading,” Fadell said. “He used that vacation as a time to kind of expand his thinking and get outside of the Apple day-to-day.” Business Insider

Russia will leave the International Space Station (ISS) over sanctions imposed on Moscow due to its conflict with Ukraine, the country’s space agency head has reportedly said. “The decision has been taken already, we’re not obliged to talk about it publicly,” Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview, Bloomberg reported. “I can say this only – in accordance with our obligations, we’ll inform our partners about the end of our work on the ISS with a year’s notice,” Mr Rogozin told Russian state news agencies Tass and RIA Novosti on Saturday. Independent

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to