Emojis should be more biodiverse, Honda e to be killed off


Emojis should better reflect the breadth of biodiversity on planet Earth, scientists have said.  The library is too skewed towards animals like 🦁, 🐯, and 🐻 (oh my), according to a study in the iScience journal, leaving plants, fungi, and microorganisms underrepresented. Biologists who carried out the research said the icons were now such a key part of our modern lexicon that a more varied catalogue could aid conversations around biodiversity and conservation. Sky News 

Apple’s latest upgraded MacBook Pro adds a wider range of chip options, a cheaper price and a new black colour option, alongside even greater performance and battery life. The much-loved laptop now starts at £1,699 (€1,999/$1,599/A$2,699), which isn’t exactly cheap but is £450 less than its predecessor, lowering the barrier to entry significantly. The outside of the machine has the same great-looking combination of retro and modern design of its predecessor, solidly made from aluminium with a precision worthy of the price. The Guardian

Sad news alert: Honda is killing off the cute all-electric Honda e. Oh no! Honda confirmed to TopGear.com it wouldn’t be taking any more orders for the adorable EV in the UK and Europe, its mission clearly having been accomplished. Honda said it brought “many new customers to the brand with its distinctive design, advanced technology and trademark Honda driving dynamics”… So why’s it been canned? We suspect the little car was just a bit too pricey (north of £37k for basics) and too limited in range (137 miles officially) to justify costs to punters, and so lack of demand has curtailed production. Top Gear 

The Volkswagen Group is seeking a partner for the joint development of a circa-£17,000 electric car, according to a new report, which cites Renault as one potential collaborator. German trade publication Handelsblatt reported that Volkswagen was in “very early” talks with Renault on the subject, citing sources said to be familiar with the matter. Volkswagen and its partner firm – which is yet to be decided – could produce a combined 200,000-250,000 cars per year, added the newspaper. Autocar 

The Chinese owner of TikTok has been accused of using UK news sites to train up its rival to ChatGPT without permission or fair payment.  Publishers including The Guardian, Daily Mail and The Telegraph are believed to have been targeted by a bot operated by the Beijing-based tech giant Bytedance.  The company has said its bot, dubbed Bytespider, has been deployed for “search optimisation” purposes.  However, news organisations are concerned that their articles are being used without permission to train chatbots and have raised concerns about copyright violations. Telegraph 

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has returned to X – formerly Twitter – by reposting a message by controversial influencer Andrew Tate. Tate’s message praised both Jones and X owner Elon Musk, claiming: “We’re back” His account was reinstated after a poll by Musk, with 70% of roughly two million respondents voting to lift the ban. Jones is most notorious for falsely claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was staged. He was ordered to pay $1.5bn (£1.32bn) in damages to family members of the victims, after courts found he had caused them to be subjected to harassment and death threats with his false claims. BBC


Chris Price
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