Friday roundup: A week in tech | News

The Innovation and Technology Network Strip

The Innovation and Technology Network

News

Friday roundup: A week in tech

Have you ever wanted to own a really expensive tweet? If so, your best opportunity in years has come up!

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, one of the internet’s largest life-squandering enterprises, is auctioning off his first ever message on the network. It’s got to be something profound, hasn’t it? Let’s see:

“Just setting up my twttr.”

Hmm. Ok. How much? The current bid is £2.5 million. (And they scoffed when Tracey Emin’s bed sold for £2,546,500. At the very least it was made of stuff. Looks like a bargain now.)

But how do you actually own a tweet? The lucky winner of the auction will receive a non-fungible token (NFT). This NFT will digitally state who owns Mr Dorsey’s shrewd note – signed and verified by the author himself! Oh, to be connected to such greatness –

Magna Carta. Emancipation Proclamation. Treaty of Versailles. “Just setting up my twttr.”

And for those frightened and/or outraged that the memo might disappear into a private collector’s underground lair, fear not: it’ll still be publicly available on the network to be enjoyed till the end of time. Finally, we’re starting to think of the yet to be born! “Just setting up my twttr.”

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You probably won’t believe it but Instagram (Prop: Facebook) has been directing users towards dreadful, divisive and dangerous content.

According to a report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), the network’s unwitting members were exposed to misinformation around the Covid outbreak, antisemitic material, and anti-vax flights of fancy.

And CCDH’s chief executive, Imran Ahmed (who surely has one of the most thankless jobs in the world), believes it’s “beyond belief that as the pandemic swept the world, Instagram launched a new feature encouraging users to view conspiracy theories and lies about Covid and vaccines”.

Instagram added its ‘suggested post’ feature in August last year, which presents new posts to zombies, sorry, users who’ve scrolled through all their peers’ invaluable content. CEO Ahmed isn’t impressed: “This feature was created in the name of profit, to keep people scrolling so more adverts could be served to them.”

Responding to the report, Facebook said: “Tell someone who gives a ****.” No, they didn’t.

They actually simpered: “We share the goal of reducing the spread of misinformation, but this research is five months out of date. It also uses a sample size of just 104 posts, compared to the 12m pieces of harmful misinformation about vaccines and Covid-19 that we’ve removed from Facebook and Instagram since the start of the pandemic.”

Well, sounds like everything’s fixed then. Now, CCDH, have you seen Peter Hitchens’ Twitter feed…

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Turns out we should expect our electrical appliances to last longer than they do. That’s the word from ministers hanging out at Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom.

Curiously, perhaps treacherously, sticking to a pledge to implement rules from the HATED and now divorced EU, MPs say that consumers will have a right to repair on the stuff they buy to fill their houses with things and their hearts with a sense of purpose.

The EU’s plans are aimed at slashing bills, lowering carbon emissions and decreasing the need for natural resources – you know, mad Bolshevik stuff like that.

Henceforth (actually, from the summer, but I like the word ‘henceforth’) manufacturers will be required to supply spare parts when their products fail. The plan is to expand the lifespan of things like fridges, TVs and possibly fondue sets by up to ten years – which it’s hoped will lead to 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste being saved from the bin. (When you really, really think about all the rubbish we produce and what we do with it, you end up concluding we must be collectively insane.)

‘Waste not, want not, and save a few quid too’ is very much the outlook of energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng: "Our plans to tighten product standards will ensure more electrical goods can be fixed rather than thrown on the scrap heap - putting more money back in the pockets of consumers whilst protecting the environment.”

A mandated ten-year lifespan for electrical stuff? What will the world’s tech firms make of that? Apple’s terms and conditions scrawlers are going to be doing a lot of overtime this summer.