Tech Digest daily roundup: PlayStation faces £5bn legal action over ‘rip-off’ pricing


Millions of Sony PlayStation customers in the UK could claim a share of up to £5 billion in damages if a new legal claim filed against the gaming giant is successful. A collective action brought against the company at the Competition Appeal Tribunal accuses it of “ripping off” customers with overpriced digital games and in-game purchases. Led by consumer rights champion Alex Neill, the claim accuses Sony of abusing its market-dominant position to impose unfair terms and conditions on game developers and publishers – including charging a 30% commission on every digital game or in-game purchase made through the online PlayStation Store – which the claim says has driven up prices for consumers. Yahoo!

Plans to enable households to get discounts on electricity bills if they cut use at peak times are set to be announced in the next two weeks. The scheme would allow people to save cash if they avoid high-power activities, such as cooking or using washing machines, when demand is high. It is understood the service is likely to apply to homes which have smart meters installed. There are hopes it can be put in place this winter, when energy bills rise. “We are developing a new service that will be available for consumers to benefit from across this winter and will be announcing further information soon,” a spokesman for National Grid ESO – which will run the scheme – said. BBC 

Currently the No 1 social networking app in the Apple App Store in the US, BeReal is growing rapidly. The vast majority of its lifetime 28m downloads happened this year according to the Business of Apps. Its popularity is radiating out beyond the college students that first jumped on board, thanks, in part, to an ambassador programme and payments for signing up. With TikTok and Instagram both expanding beyond social media’s original remit, Kristin Merrilees, a 20-year-old New Yorker, says BeReal is capturing that unfulfilled urge to connect with friends throughout the day. The Guardian

New virtual reality-style goggles are to be trialled by nurses on home visits, in an effort to maximise the amount of time spent with patients, the NHS has said. Smart glasses will, in real time, transcribe appointments straight to electronic records, so the time spent doing administrative tasks is reduced. In turn, more time will be available for nurses to carry out clinical duties such as checking blood pressure, checking wounds and assessing health needs. It is estimated that community nurses spend more than half their day manually inputting data and filling out forms. The goggles include thermal imaging to help assess how wounds and injuries have healed. Sky News

More than four fifths of people said accessing music, art, books, films, podcasts and TV through a digital device is important, research suggests – but it comes at a cost to the creative industry. A YouGov poll for the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) found that 81% of people said accessing cultural content digitally is important in their daily lives – with 63% downloading content for free. The “accessing and valuing cultural content” survey highlights how digital devices and technology are helping to reduce levels of cultural exclusion, but at a cost to artists, performers, writers and musicians who are not compensated fairly when their content is shared. Yahoo!

Chris Price
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