Tech Digest daily roundup: Could TikTok be banned across US?


Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on much these days, but have joined forces to unveil bipartisan legislation that would ban TikTok across the US. Representatives on both sides of the political divide in the House of Representatives and Senate have spoken out against what they perceive as a threat to national security. Those concerns were reflected in a bill unveiled by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, which would block “any social media company in, or under the influence of” China and other hostile foreign countries, including Russia. It would put TikTok in line for an outright ban, a nuclear option attempted by former president Donald Trump. Sky News 

For the first time ever, US scientists at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California successfully produced a nuclear fusion reaction resulting in a net energy gain, a source familiar with the project confirmed to CNN. The US Department of Energy officially announced the breakthrough Tuesday. The result of the experiment would be a massive step in a decades-long quest to unleash an infinite source of clean energy that could help end dependence on fossil fuels. Researchers for decades have attempted to recreate nuclear fusion – replicating the fusion that powers the sun. CNN

Elon Musk – no longer the world’s richest person

Elon Musk has lost his crown as the world’s richest person, after further falls in the value of shares in his electric car company Tesla. Forbes and Bloomberg, which track the wealth of billionaires, reported that Musk had lost the top spot to France’s Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of the luxury group LVMH. South Africa-born Musk, who recently took ownership of Twitter, is the chief executive of Tesla and its largest shareholder. The electric car company has lost more than half of its market value since Musk first made a bid for Twitter in April… Since then, the Tesla share price has tumbled by more than 50%, and it is currently trading at about $160. The Guardian 

If you had to identify the main thrust of Apple’s most recent software releases, it would be productivity. While iOS 14 marked the first appearance of redesigned widgets, iOS 15 doubled down on maximizing productiveness with Focus, and soon, Freeform looks to complete this trilogy with a new iOS 16 update. Apple’s new app  gives you a blank canvas where you can work on your own or collaborate with other Apple users across macOS 13.1, iPadOS 16.2, and iOS 16.2, all now available to download from today (December 13) by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Tech Radar 

iPhone users can contact 999 even in mobile blackspots via a first-of-its-kind satellite service. The US tech giant said its Emergency SOS via satellite service, which is available for its iPhone 14 smartphones, went live in the UK on Tuesday morning. The technology connects customers to a passing satellite so they can send out a distress beacon, telling responders if they are lost or injured, even if they have no other signal from terrestrial phone or data networks. If an iPhone user finds themselves in an emergency with no signal, dialling 999 will prompt them to try and connect to a satellite. Telegraph

Facebook’s algorithm helped fuel the viral spread of hate and violence during Ethiopia’s civil war, a legal case alleges. Abrham Meareg, the son of an Ethiopian academic shot dead after being attacked in Facebook posts, is among those bringing the case against Meta. They want a $2bn (£1.6bn) fund for victims of hate on Facebook and changes to the platform’s algorithm. Meta said it invested heavily in moderation and tech to remove hate. A representative said hate speech and incitement to violence were against the platform’s rules. BBC