Tech Digest daily roundup: AI helps French discover undeclared swimming pools


swimming pools
The discovery of thousands of undeclared private swimming pools in France has provided an unexpected windfall for French tax authorities. Following an experiment using artificial intelligence (AI), more than 20,000 hidden pools were discovered. They have amassed some €10m (£8.5m) in revenue, French media is reporting. Pools can lead to higher property taxes because they boost property value, and must be declared under French law. The software, developed by Google and French consulting firm Capgemini, spotted the pools on aerial images of nine French regions during a trial in October 2021. BBC 

More leaks have emerged of the new Apple iPhone 14, due to be launched towards the middle of next month. Although users can expect an improved camera, perhaps most eye-catching of all might be the new range of colors which include a shimmering purple whose tone appears to change depending on the angle being viewed. Apple has already tried using varying colors on its Midnight iPhone 13 and M2 chip MacBook Air models, but this appears to be far more striking. A preview of the new metallic purple casing of the phone was shared by Apple leaker DuanRui on Twitter (see above). Daily Mail 

Nichelle Nichols will become the latest member of the original Star Trek TV series to be memorialised by having some of her remains flown into deep space. Nichols, who was best known for her role on the show in the 1960s as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura and helped shatter racial stereotypes at the height of the Civil Rights movement, died in July aged 89. Now, she has been added to a memorial flight in a rocket ship due to carry cremated ashes and DNA samples from departed space enthusiasts on a final and eternal voyage around the sun, according to organisers of the tribute. Sky News 

Elon Musk’s legal team is demanding to hear from Twitter’s whistleblowing former security chief, who could help bolster Musk’s case for backing out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company. Former Twitter executive Peiter Zatko — also known by his hacker handle “Mudge” — received a subpoena Saturday from Musk’s team, according to Zatko’s lawyer and court records. The billionaire Tesla CEO has spent months alleging that the company he agreed to acquire undercounted its fake and spam accounts — and that he shouldn’t have to consummate the deal as a result. AP News 

A cybersecurity company backed by Goldman Sachs and advised by the former director of GCHQ has laid off 10pc of its staff. It is the latest sign the global tech sector slowdown is hitting Britain’s start-ups. Immersive Labs, which raised $75m in funding last year, confirmed it had cut a tenth of its workforce, letting 38 people go. A company spokesman said: “We announced the reduction of the Immersive Labs team by 38 talented people globally, or 10pc of our workforce. This was a very difficult decision, and one we made only after an extensive evaluation and analysis process. Telegraph 

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to