Tech Digest daily roundup: Meta to slash 13% of workforce


Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, has become the latest big tech player to wield the axe in the tougher global economy, laying off 13% of its workforce. The firm announced on Wednesday it will cut its global headcount by more than 11,000 employees as part of a wider shake-up of the business that aims to drastically cut costs. Meta staff were being told what was happening to them individually via email. They could notice all is not well in advance because the company said those losing their jobs would be excluded from most of its systems today due to concerns about access to sensitive information. Sky News 

Last month police said they made one of the largest seizures of 3D printed firearm components in the UK. Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Command had discovered what they alleged was a “suspected makeshift 3D firearms factory” at a home in London on 7 October. Officers said it demonstrated how “the emerging threat of 3D firearms continues to evolve”. The discovery comes as some experts also warn of a growing threat. Early versions of 3D-printed guns were unreliable, single-shot weapons. Now the National Crime Agency (NCA) tells the BBC the guns are “credible and viable”. BBC
The Oracle Red Bull Racing team has revealed its upcoming vehicle, but it’s not a Formula 1 race car. It’s a new e-scooter. Dubbed the RBS #01, the machine is the result of a two-year collaboration between F1 engineers from Red Bull Racing and eBike manufacturer N Plus(opens in new tab). Despite an association with race cars, this will not be the fastest e-scooter in the world when it launches next summer. The developers instead focused on developing a hearty commuter device with an emphasis on steering. Starting with its stats, the RBS has a top speed of 45 kilometers per hour (around 28 miles per hour) and a range of 60 kilometers (about 37 miles). Tech Radar 

For the first time in years, there’s a new top Apple smartwatch model available that’s beefier, hardier, lasts longer and is aimed squarely at dethroning Garmin at the top of the adventure watch market. But does the Apple Watch Ultra really compete? Not quite. The new watch is not cheap, of course, and only works with an iPhone. It costs £849 ($799/A$1,299) – well above the entry point SE which starts at £259 and the Series 8 in the middle of the range costing £419 and up. That said, you can easily spend £779 on the nicest Series 8 models. Guardian 

Nintendo has reported a slowdown in Nintendo Switch console sales, and a slight reduction in its annual sales forecast. Overall, Nintendo Switch has now sold 114.3m consoles worldwide, with another 6.68m sold over the last two quarters. 2.23m of these were of the original 2017 Switch, while Switch OLED sold 3.53m and Switch Lite sold 920k. However, Nintendo admitted it had sold 19.2 percent fewer consoles year-on-year over the financial year so far – in part, it said, due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage. In response, Nintendo has cut its Switch sales forecast for the year from 21m to 19m consoles. Eurogamer

Chris Price
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