Tech Digest daily roundup: Ford launches hands-free driving on UK motorways


Drivers on Britain’s motorways are being allowed
to let go of steering wheels for the first time, after the UK became the first European country to approve a hands-free system. Ford said it has been given the go-ahead by the Government to switch on its BlueCruise self-driving technology. The system is only available on the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E, a pure electric vehicle. Five radars track the position and speed of other vehicles, while a forward-facing camera detects lane markings and speed signs.Independent

Hundreds of Russian and Chinese state propaganda accounts are thriving on Twitter after Elon Musk wiped out the team that fought these networks, the BBC has found. The unit worked to combat “information operations”, coordinated campaigns by countries such as Russia, China, and Iran, made to influence public opinion and disrupt democracy. But experts and former employees say the majority of these specialists resigned or were laid off, leaving the platform vulnerable to foreign manipulation. The BBC has spoken to several of them. They asked for anonymity, citing non-disclosure agreements and threats they received online. BBC 

Windows PowerToys strikes again with a brand-new update, introducing a huge change to how ChatGPT will function through the Windows 11 OS. Windows Central reported that the PowerToys widget will introduce a new plugin to allow for direct access to the Open AI-based application without having to run a browser first. This is a huge development, as it makes ChatGPT more accessible for Windows 11. It also allows users to bypass any aggressive browser promotion from Microsoft Edge, which has become a notable problem in recent years. Tech Radar

The rapid ascent of TikTok, now with more than a billion monthly active users, to become the attention-sapper of choice for many has threatened the dominance of old favourites like no app before it. Instagram‘s Reels and YouTube‘s Shorts, Meta and Google both adopted very recognisable vertical feeds of short-form videos to try to stop users from succumbing to their Chinese rival’s infamous algorithm. And in the not-too-distant future, Reddit is getting in on the act. The forum-style platform, which sees users join different communities based on their interests, will split text and video posts into separate feeds. Sky News 

Sony’s semiconductor branch announced plans to move forward with a “strategic investment” in Raspberry Pi. This is not just out of passion for DIY-centric products, but instead with goals to increase security capabilities via AI integration. Sony Semiconductor Solutions hopes to soon offer its AITRIOS “edge AI sensing technology built around image sensors” for Raspberry Pi 4 devices, according to an official statement on Wednesday. “Our pre-existing relationship encompasses contract manufacturing, and the provision of image sensors and other semiconductor products,” said Raspberry Pi Ltd. Popular Science

As it turns out, firing nearly 30 percent of a workforce over the course of just six months isn’t exactly great for worker morale. According to a report from The New York Times, the “metamates,” who have survived Meta-formerly-Facebook’s recent workforce cullings — roughly 26,000 jobs in total — are struggling to navigate a work culture plagued by mass firings, cost-cuts, and “absentee” bosses. “So many of the employees feel like they’re in limbo right now,” Erin Sumner, who was laid off from Facebook in November, told the NYT. “They’re saying it’s ‘Hunger Games’ meets ‘Lord of the Flies’ where everyone is trying to prove their worth to management.” Futurism 

Chris Price
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