Instagram forces users to watch ads, Russia ‘targeting Olympics with deepfakes’


Instagram is testing adverts that users cannot skip past.
The social media platform currently allows people to swipe or scroll past adverts that appear in its main feed of images and videos, as well as in its Stories and Reels feeds. But it is now trialling a feature called “ad break”, which users say they can not flick past as usual. Images shared online show a timer, which counts down to zero before normal functionality can resume. “Sometimes you may need to view an ad before you can keep browsing,” the Meta-owned platform tells those who click for more information.” BBC

Chinese electric car sales in Europe are “screeching to a halt” amid the growing threat of a trade war between Beijing and Brussels, according to experts. Analysis by consultancy firm Schmidt Automotive shows that only 116,100 new Chinese-branded cars were registered across Western Europe in the first four months of 2024, accounting for just 2.9pc of the new vehicle market. This was down slightly from their 3pc share during the same period a year earlier. Telegraph 

Russia is targeting the Paris Olympics with a disinformation campaign
that includes deploying a deepfake Tom Cruise to narrate a documentary criticising the organisation behind the games, according to a new report from Microsoft. Microsoft said a network of Russia-affiliated groups are running “malign influence campaigns” against France, Emmanuel Macron, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Paris Games with the event less than 80 days away.  Guardian

A number of procedures have been cancelled or redirected to other NHS providers after a cyber attack affected major hospitals in the capital. King’s College Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’, including the Royal Brompton and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, and primary care services were hit by the “major IT incident” involving pathology partner Synnovis, letters sent to NHS staff said. Trusts reported the incident was having a “major impact” on the delivery of services, with blood transfusions particularly affected. Sky News 

OpenAI’s ChatGPT has suffered a “major outage,” leaving customers unable to converse with the company’s chatbot. Problems began around 07:00 UTC on June 4, and by 07:21 UTC the company admitted that something was amiss and it was investigating. Just over an hour later, OpenAI reckoned it had worked out what was wrong and was “mitigating.” As of 10.00 UTC, it told users it was “continuing to work on a fix for this issue.” The issue, according to affected users, is that ChatGPT is not responding to queries from either the mobile application or the website. The Register

Spotify‘s US prices are going up for the second time in 12 months. From July, the Individual plan will cost $12 a month (up from $11), the Duo plan $17 (up from $15) and its Family plan $20 (up from $17). The ad-supported free tier remains, while students will still pay the reduced rate of $6 a month, Engadget reports. No one likes a price hike at the best of times, especially given the sky-high levels of inflation in recent years. But this price rise comes just a year after the last. WhatHiFi

Apple has become aware of the mix-up with the new iPad Air GPU and says that while it does indeed have only 9 cores instead of 10 cores (as originally announced), the performance claims it made about the 2024 tablets are accurate. The original press release has been updated to reflect the true core count. Apple claims that the iPad Air 11 (2024) and iPad Air 13 (2024) with their M2 chipsets are notably faster than their M1-based predecessor from 2022. GSM Arena 

Chris Price
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