Instagram trialing ‘sextortion’ tools, Government considers under 16 smartphone ban


Instagram will start testing new tools within weeks to fight “sextortion”, a form of blackmail involving intimate pictures sent online. The tools include “nudity protection”, which blurs naked images in direct messages. It will be turned on by default for under-18s. Pop-ups directing potential victims to support will also be trialled. Governments around the world have warned of the increasing threat to young people from sextortion. It often involves victims being sent a nude picture, before being invited to send their own in return – only to then be threatened that the image will be shared publicly. BBC 

French AI startup Mistral on Tuesday released Mixtral 8x22B, a new large language model (LLM) and its latest attempt to compete with the big boys in the AI arena. The new Mixtral model boasts a 65,000-token context window, which refers to the amount of text that an AI model can process and reference at one time. Further, Mixtral 8x22B has a parameter size of up to 176 billion, a reference to the number of internal variables that the model uses to make decisions or predictions. ZD Net 

Ministers are considering banning the sale of smartphones to children under the age of 16 after a number of polls have shown significant public support for such a curb. The government issued guidance on the use of mobile phones in English schools two months ago, but other curbs are said to have been considered to better protect children after a number of campaigns. Esther Ghey, the mother of 16-year-old Brianna, who was murdered last year, has been campaigning for an age limit for smartphone usage and stricter controls on access to social media apps. The Guardian 

The Apple Vision Pro headset is causing headaches, neck problems, and even black eyes for some users, according to reports. Ian Beacraft, chief executive of consulting firm Signal and Cipher, blamed the $3,500 mixed reality goggles for soreness at the base of his skull and in his upper back after a two-hour session. Another user complained of “super dark black eyes” after wearing the device. “I wasn’t able to use it very much the first few weeks because the fit was just off,” Emily Olman, chief media officer at real estate media firm Hopscotch Interactive, told MarketWatch. Independent 

Roku is planning a raft of Roku TV software updates that will make them smarter and prettier (even when not streaming your favorite content) and they’re not just for new sets. Ever since Roku announced its Pro line of TV sets, wall-mounted units that radically cut down bezels and have something of a shadow-box look, the company appears to be fixating more and more on aesthetic appeal. This week, for instance, the company is launching Backdrops, replacing your traditional Roku City screen-saver image with a museum-quality work of art. Tech Radar 

Google wants Gemini
, its family of generative AI models, to power your app’s databases — in a sense. At its annual Cloud Next conference in Las Vegas, Google announced the public preview of Gemini in Databases, a collection of features underpinned by Gemini to — as the company pitched it — “simplify all aspects of the database journey.” In less jargony language, Gemini in Databases is a bundle of AI-powered, developer-focused tools for Google Cloud customers who are creating, monitoring and migrating app databases. Tech Crunch 

Chris Price
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