Tech Digest daily roundup: Tracker-free search engine Neeva launches in UK


An advert- and tracker-free search engine launches in the UK, France and Germany on Thursday. Neeva has 600,000 users in the US, where it launched last year. Creator Sridhar Ramaswamy, who worked at Google for 16 years and ran its ad business, told BBC News the technology sector had become “exploitative” of people’s data, something he no longer wanted to be a part of. Trackers share information about online activity, largely to target adverts. Neeva has raised $77.5m (£68m) from investors. BBC 

This (the iPhone14 Plus) is the new iPhone that most people want. It’s not the iPhone with the neat new display features or a high-resolution camera. It’s the iPhone with a big display and a battery that goes for days. That’s really all you need to know about it, honestly. If you’d rather have an iPhone with the best possible battery life than an iPhone with the very newest features, then the iPhone 14 Plus is the one for you. The 14 Plus is the big-screen version of the standard iPhone 14. The Verge

Google Pixel Watch
Google is introducing the Pixel 7 smartphones today, and we will also see the wearable Pixel Watch. Carriers and retailers from all over the world are preparing for the launch, and a last-minute leak reveals certain carriers and sellers will offer free wearables with a newly purchased phone. O2 in Germany is bundling Pixel Buds Pro (standalone price of €219) with a vanilla Pixel 7, while Pixel 7 Pro buyers will get the Pixel Watch with LTE (expected price of €429). Odds are many of the other Google partners will match that in Europe. Pre-orders will begin later today, shipping is expected to start next Thursday, October 13. GSMArena 

Researchers at DeepMind in London have shown that artificial intelligence (AI) can find shortcuts in a fundamental type of mathematical calculation, by turning the problem into a game and then leveraging the machine-learning techniques that another of the company’s AIs used to beat human players in games such as Go and chess. The AI discovered algorithms that break decades-old records for computational efficiency, and the team’s findings, published on 5 October in Nature, could open up new paths to faster computing in some fields. Nature

The brands have found their way to BeReal, the new French-founded, young-demo skewing, photo-sharing social media app in which users have two minutes to capture and share a real-time photo with a network of friends. And as it swells in popularity, agencies are starting to have conversations with their clients about what a presence on BeReal could look like, or if there should be a presence at all. “Clearly, BeReal is top of mind for marketers who are trying to figure out what’s going to be the next platform that pops,” said Noah Mallin, chief strategy officer at IMGN Media. Digiday

The cost of £58 milion to beam ads from groups of satellites in Space is sky high (Airbus/PA)
The cost of £58 milion to beam ads from groups of satellites in Space is sky high (Airbus/PA)

Oscar Wilde famously wrote, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Well, we can all look at the stars for now – but that may not always be the case, because researchers have reportedly found a way to display advertising billboards in Space. Researchers from Moscow’s Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology say sun-reflecting satellites could be arranged into different positions in the sky, to form images and words, and think they might even be profitable for the advertisers running them when displayed over big cities like London. Yahoo!

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to