Tech Digest daily roundup: Facebook groups using carrot emoji to hide anti-vax content

Image: BBC

Facebook groups are using the carrot emoji to hide anti-vax content from automated moderation tools. The BBC has seen several groups, one with hundreds of thousands of members, in which the emoji appears in place of the word “vaccine”. Facebook’s algorithms tend to focus on words rather than images. The groups are being used to share unverified claims of people being either injured or killed by vaccines. Once the BBC alerted Facebook’s parent company, Meta, the groups were removed. “We have removed this group for violating our harmful misinformation policies and will review any other similar content in line with this policy…” the firm said in a statement.BBC 

A recent tip from Chinese leakster Digital Chat Station suggests that Google is working on a compact Pixel smartphone codenamed “Neila”. The device which could end up being the Pixel 7a is said to feature a flat-screen with punch-hole selfie camera cutout and a rear visor just like on the Pixel 6 series phones. No further details were shared about the device but we can assume it may end up being the Pixel 7a. Google is already on track to unveil the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro on October 6 alongside its first ever smartwatch – the Pixel Watch. This means we could realistically see the Pixel 7a sometime in Q3 2023. GSM Arena 

Image: Motorola

I’ve started testing a new Motorola phone, and after just a few hours of using it I’m convinced that it’s the best phone that’s been released so far in 2022. Yes, I’m including the new iPhone 14 range in that list. The Motorola Edge 30 Ultra was launched alongside the mid-range Edge 30 Fusion and budget Edge 30 Neo on September 8, just a day after the new iPhones, and given that it showed up just after the biggest tech event of the year, you’d be forgiven for having missed it – I didn’t realize the phone had launched until it showed up on my desk. Tech Radar

Apple’s pre-orders for the iPhone 14 Plus have dropped, which shows its strategy of offering base models in standard and larger ‘plus’ sizes, as opposed to last year’s ‘mini’ – is not working. Ming-Chi Kuo, a famous Apple analyst with a good track record of predicting the tech firm’s launches and new features, examined some early indicators of pre-orders to determine what demand is looking like so far among the four new models released earlier this month. Kuo looked at availability and shipping estimates to observe that the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are showing ‘good’ or ‘neutral’ results thus far. But the pre-orders for the standard models, iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, are ‘bad.’ Daily Mail

CATL, one of the world’s leading makers of EV batteries, has announced that its next-generation battery has a range of 621 miles and will debut early next year. The battery will be installed in two models made by Zeekr, a Chinese brand which is not yet available in the United States. The ability to go 621 miles, or 1,000 kilometers, on a single charge is much more than the models that now lead the U.S. market in battery range: the Lucid Air, with 520 miles, and the Tesla Model S, with 405 miles. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine a near future in which range anxiety is no longer a thing. Inside Climate News 

Chris Price
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