Friday roundup: A week in tech, 22 October | News

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The Innovation and Technology Network

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Friday roundup: A week in tech, 22 October

Donald Trump, for it is he, says he will launch his own social media service early next year, as a kind of gigantic digital riposte to established internet outlets.

The former US president, who has been taking his loss to Joe Biden in last year’s election very badly indeed, was banned from Twitter and Facebook after being accused of spreading misinformation, outright lies, and hatred, and trying to instigate insurrection, treason, etc.

‘TRUTH Social’, for that is the new network’s name, will "stand up to the tyranny of big tech", and offer a platform for Mr Trump to disseminate his interesting ideas about the universe, without interference from what he sees as the woke custodians of the digital sphere.

Mr Trump has struggled to connect with the world at large since his SM ban and has been reduced to whipping small crowds of devotees into frenzies with his trademark spiel.

The fuming ex-POTUS initially attempted to fill the void with his ‘From the Desk of Donald J Trump’ blog – but it didn’t seem to go down very well and closed after a month.

Mr Trump mewed: "We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favourite American President has been silenced.”

And it sounds like he has a bit of a point. But, then, though undoubtedly evil, the Taliban haven’t to date succeeded in assaulting any of America’s most hallowed democratic institutions – so maybe that’s something Mr Trump can be proud of?

Anyway, TRUTH Social will apparently launch in January, and you’ll be able to get it on the internet. Pass the cyanide.

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Popular firm Facebook has been fined an impressive £50.5m by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Now, let’s find out why.

The CMA has accused the company of deliberately breaking rules around its 2020 acquisition of Gif-sharing service Giphy, claiming that Facebook didn’t provide required information, flouted lots of warnings, and committed a "major breach".

The tech giant denies intentionally breaking the rules – but it does all sound very Facebook, doesn’t it?

The fine is a bit bigger than the CMA’s previous highest fine for comparable misdemeanours, a pale £325,000.

The CMA said: "This is the first time a company has been found by the CMA to have breached an [order] by consciously refusing to report all the required information."

Responding, Facebook said: “You’ll never take us alive!”

No, they didn’t. They actually said: "We strongly disagree with the CMA's unfair decision to punish Facebook for a best effort compliance approach, which the CMA itself ultimately approved. We will review the CMA's decision and consider our options.”

Anyone else bored with these apparently endless Facebook disgraces? I am. Very. This is the last story I write about them. Probably.

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Roundup roundup

A man’s head has been mistaken for a football by an AI system. Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC thought it’d be clever to use AI to track the ball’s movement when livestreaming its home games, but a lineman’s denuded skull foxed the thing. And here’s a video that proves it all happened.

A man who sold an app to a big tech firm ages ago for lots of money has now sold another app to another big tech firm for lots of money. British entrepreneur Nick D'Aloisio flogged mobile app Summly to Yahoo for £21.73m years back, and has now sold his latest effort, Sphere, to Twitter. For some reason, he appears to be channelling a young Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, which, because I found that vaguely amusing, is the main reason I did this story. Have a look.

Deus ex machina! Ha, here’s a story about the use of robot clergymen to deliver prayers and whatever else it is religious bosses get up to. More importantly, the deus ex machina at the start of this bit is the cleverest headline I’ve ever come up with, which isn’t saying much but there you go. Read more here.