Tech Digest daily roundup: Fiesta no more as Ford makes way for EVs

A 1977 poster for the Ford Fiesta Mark One

Ford has announced the end of one of the most popular cars ever sold in the UK – the Fiesta. By the end of June next year, no more Fiestas are to be produced in the manufacturer’s factory in Cologne, Germany. More than 22 million have been produced globally since 1976 and the model has been sold in over 50 countries. The withdrawal of the popular vehicle comes as Ford makes changes to its portfolio to make space for more electric cars. Production of the S-MAX and Galaxy models will also end in Ford’s factory in Valencia, Spain, by next April. Sky News 

Sales at the tech giants Alphabet and Microsoft have slowed sharply, adding to fears of a downturn in the economy. Alphabet, which owns Google and YouTube, said sales rose just 6% in the three months to September, to $69bn, as firms cut their advertising budgets. It marked the US firm’s weakest quarterly growth in nearly a decade outside of the start of the pandemic. Microsoft meanwhile said demand for its computers and other technology had weakened. Its sales rose by 11% to $50.1bn, marking its slowest revenue growth in five years. Consumers and businesses around the world are cutting back as prices rise and interest rates go up, fuelling fears of a global recession. BBC 

Parents often worry about the harmful impacts of video games on their children, from mental health and social problems to missing out on exercise. ​But a large new US study published in JAMA Network Open on Monday indicates there may also be cognitive benefits associated with the popular pastime. ​Lead author Bader Chaarani, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont, told AFP he was naturally drawn to the topic as a keen gamer himself with expertise in neuroimagery. Prior research had focused on detrimental effects, linking gaming with depression and increased aggression. Science Alert 

“Is Twitter dying?” billionaire Elon Musk mused in April, five days before offering to buy the social media platform. The reality, according to internal Twitter (TWTR.N) research seen by Reuters, goes far beyond the handful of examples of celebrities ghosting their own accounts. Twitter is struggling to keep its most active users – who are vital to the business – engaged, underscoring a challenge faced by the Tesla (TSLA.O) chief executive as he approaches a deadline to close his $44 billion deal to buy the company. These “heavy tweeters” account for less than 10% of monthly overall users but generate 90% of all tweets and half of global revenue. Reuters 

A British microchip designer backed by China has admitted to a string of accounting errors ahead of a planned stock market listing. Imagination Technologies, which develops graphics chip technology licensed by companies including Apple, reported a series of “prior year errors” collectively worth £8.7m as it restated its 2020 accounts. Its parent company, Canyon Bridge, a private equity fund which is ultimately owned by the Chinese state, also reported a number of errors in its UK accounts. This included underreporting its annual tax charge by £1.9m which is blamed on a “computational error”. Telegraph 

Chris Price
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