Tech Digest daily roundup: Jeff Bezos plans to give away most of $124bn fortune


Jeff Bezos
plans to give away most of his $124bn (£110bn) fortune, he has told CNN. The Amazon founder, 58, is the world’s second-richest man after Elon Musk, the Tesla boss and new owner of Twitter, according to Forbes. This is the first time he has said he plans to give away most of his money. Mr Bezos has been criticised in the past for not signing the Giving Pledge, a campaign founded by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to encourage the mega rich to contribute most of their wealth to charity. Sky News 

UK production of cars has tumbled from 1.7m per year to just 866,000 this year, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Britishvolt, an electric car battery start-up once hailed by Boris Johnson as the leading force in the battle to remain relevant, came to the brink of going bust last month after struggling to raise cash. The malaise is a product of political uncertainty, the legacy of the Covid pandemic and lingering microchip shortages, the SMMT says. A looming recession is now set to test the industry “to the core”. Telegraph 

Sam Bankman-Fried received numerous plaudits as he rapidly achieved superstar status as the head of cryptocurrency exchange FTX: the savior of crypto, the newest force in Democratic politics and potentially the world’s first trillionaire. Now the comments about the 30-year-old Bankman-Fried aren’t so kind after FTX filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, leaving his investors and customers feeling duped and many others in the crypto world fearing the repercussions. Bankman-Fried himself could face civil or criminal charges. AP News 

The iPhone 14 Plus (above right) is Apple’s new super-sized smartphone that takes what was good about the base model 14, including its more repair-friendly design, and adds a much bigger screen. The 6.7in display provides much more space for watching video, reading messages or simply having bigger text. But where the regular 14 strikes an excellent balance between screen and device size, the 14 Plus is an unadulterated big phone. It is harder to hold and use one-handed as a result. The increased size enables the 14 Plus’s killer feature: very long battery life….But it is very expensive, particularly in the UK because of weak currency rates. Guardian 

Britain’s first garbage truck for space could clear up junk with a bear hug – or even the robotic equivalent of a litter-picker. The two techniques are being proposed by companies competing for a UK contract to launch a clean-up mission as soon as 2026. The winning prototype will track down and capture two defunct satellites, then cast them into the atmosphere where they will burn up. There is growing alarm at the amount of debris spinning round the planet at 18,000mph. Sky News

Like many, I’ve been a Netflix streaming customer for at least a decade. Over the years, the service tacked on new features, created a few pop-culture beasts and stuck to its commitment to show no commercials. Netflix has been an ad-free zone since 2007. But everything changed when it announced a cheaper tier with ads six months ago. It came as a shock to many, even though just about every other streaming rival has an ad-supported plan. Basic with Ads rolled out on Nov. 3, about a month before Disney Plus implements price hikes and its own ad tier for $8….I checked it out and, well, it’s not that bad. CNet

Chris Price
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