Tech Digest daily roundup: Google moves step closer to ditching passwords


Google is moving one step closer to ditching passwords, rolling out its passkey technology
to Google accounts from Thursday. The passkey is designed to replace passwords entirely by allowing authentication with fingerprint ID, facial ID or pin on the phone or device you use for authentication. Apple has begun using the technology in iOS16 and the latest MacOS release, and Microsoft has been using it through the Authenticator app. Users can create a passkey for each device they use, or the operating system or app used to manage the passkeys can be shared between the devices. The Guardian

Apple will reportedly add two of its most iconic products to the obsolete list at the end of this month. Products are added to the obsolete list when they are no longer eligible for repairs at Apple or its authorized partners which effectively means that it’s time to start looking for a replacement. In this case, the two products are the very first iPad Air as well as the 2011 Apple Thunderbolt Display. iMore

Sales of battery electric vehicles in 2023 are expected to take a hit in the UK from inflationary pressures and lack of charging points, though the overall outlook for British new car registrations has improved, an industry body said on Thursday. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) downgraded its forecast for battery electric vehicles’ (BEVs) market share to 18.4% of sales for the year, from a previous estimate of 19.7%. While SMMT’s outlook for BEVs softened, the sector recorded strong performance in April, with year-on-year deliveries of BEVs surging by more than half to 20,522 vehicles and market share jumping from 10.8% to 15.4%. Reuters

Electric car owners are losing thousands of pounds a year to depreciation, with leading models losing value twice as fast as comparable petrol vehicles. Early adopters of electric vehicles (EVs) have seen prices plummet by 39pc between 2020 and 2023, while petrol car prices fell by 30pc in the same period, according to used car comparison website Choose My Car. Drivers have been pushed towards electric cars by a string of government initiatives, which are intended to help the country become “net zero” by 2050. However, drivers going green risk losing thousands of pounds more than those who stick with petrol. Telegraph 

With its launch of Bing AI in February, Microsoft jumped in front of what could charitably be called flat-footed competition. Google eventually got a decent version of Bard out there, but it’s still perceived as behind the Bing AI chatbot. Microsoft is about to try to lengthen that lead with broader Bing AI access and a host of powerful new features. Before Microsoft adds anything, though, it’s removing one major hurdle: the waitlist. As of Wednesday (May 4), Bing AI, which taps into the Bing search engine, is an open preview, meaning anyone can try it out by signing in with Microsoft account credentials. Tech Radar

The UK is set to review the artificial intelligence (AI) market to make sure its benefits are available for everyone and that no single firm will dominate. The investigation by the competition watchdog will look at the software behind chatbots like ChatGPT.  Sarah Cardell, chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), said so-called foundation models such as the software behind ChatGPT had the potential to “transform the way businesses compete as well as drive substantial economic growth”. But she said it was crucial that the potential benefits were “readily accessible to UK businesses and consumers while people remain protected from issues like false or misleading information”. BBC 

Chris Price
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