Tech Digest daily roundup: Meta releases web version of Threads – is it too late?


Meta has released a web version of Threads
, as it attempts to revive the social media platform. The rival to X, formerly known as Twitter, enjoyed meteoric growth when it launched in July. However, users then abandoned it just as rapidly, partly due to its limited functionality. Meta says the web version is part of a drive to deliver new features but experts warn more needs to be done to rebuild customer interest. The desktop version it has launched will allow users accessing the platform on the web to post a Thread, view their feed, and interact with other people’s Threads. BBC 

Microsoft has filed changes to its proposed takeover of the video game maker Activision Blizzard, in an attempt to win over the UK competition regulator, which previously blocked the $69bn (£54bn) deal. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Tuesday said it would investigate the new proposals, under which Microsoft will not acquire cloud rights outside Europe for existing Activision desktop computer and console games, or for new games released by the developer during the next 15 years. The Guardian 

Parenting forum Mumsnet has created an artificial intelligence chatbot which could result in advertisers using its data in marketing campaigns. Capitalising on more than two decades of parenting wisdom, MumsGPT, as the service is called, has been created using technology from OpenAI, the makers of the hugely popular ChatGPT chatbot. It will be used by executives to comb through threads left by Mumsnet’s 10 million users, spanning two decades. Telegraph 

Swedish lithium-ion battery producer Northvolt has raised $1.2 billion from investors including BlackRock (BLK.N) and several Canadian pension plans as it prepares to build new factories in Europe and North America, its finance chief told Reuters. The fresh funding, through a convertible note, comes as investor demand for companies set to benefit from the move to a low-carbon economy picks up pace, aided by policy initiatives in both regions to accelerate the transition. Reuters

The work-from-home backlash is in full swing. In what seemed like an oxymoron brought to life, the video conferencing company Zoom has asked employees to return to the office. Amazon is reportedly tracking employees to make sure they are at their desks. The two companies are just the latest to sour on work from home (WFH), but does this mean the impending end of WFH as we know it? The Guardian

Microsoft is discontinuing the Kinect — again. The company officially stopped manufacturing the depth camera and microphone in 2017 and brought it back in a new form in 2019 as the Azure Kinect Developer Kit. Now, Microsoft is ending production of that, too, but it has partnered with some outside companies to provide options available for people who need similar types of devices. If you want to get one of the remaining Azure Kinect Developer Kits, they’ll be available to buy through the end of October or “until supplies last.” The Verge 

Young people are falling victim to “text pest” delivery drivers who ask for romantic dates and sexual favours after getting their number for work reasons. The findings come from research commissioned by the UK’s data protection watchdog, which said nearly a third of those aged between 18 and 34 received inappropriate, unwanted contact after handing over their details for services like food and postal deliveries. Sky News 

Chris Price
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