Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse – your roundup of the latest tech news and developments impacting your business for the week ending 07/07/2023.
Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse
This is your weekly round-up of the top tech news stories.
Every Friday, Silicon UK surveys the week’s tech news.
Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry or sector.
I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.
It’s been quite a week for Twitter.
First, the platform put in a new rule that users have to sign in or create an account before being allowed to view messages, in a move that owner Elon Musk said was “temporary.”
Previously, you didn’t need to be a Twitter user to view other people’s tweets.
The service also imposed a limit on the number of tweets users can view, with unverified users limited to 1,000 tweets a day. Verified users can view 10,000 tweets a day.
Again, Elon Musk says it’s temporary – to address “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation”.
There’s a change for TweetDeck as well.
That’s going to be available only to people who subscribe to Twitter Blue.
TweetDeck is a column-based platform which allows people to manage multiple Twitter accounts.
Of course, Twitter Blue is the monthly paid-for subscription service which famously comes with a blue tick.
The timing is certainly interesting – coming in the week that Meta launched its own new app to rival Twitter.
The Facebook and Instagram owner has created Threads, described as a text-based platform.
It seems to be pretty tied to Instagram – using the same username and log-in details.
Anyone you’ve blocked on Insta is also automatically blocked on Threads.
American CRM giant Salesforce has announced a $4bn investment in its UK business over the next five years.
It comes in the face of strong demand for AI.
The news was revealed as Salesforce kicked off its World Tour London: AI Day.
It also unveiled its latest AI product innovations at the event.
The investment comes despite the firm announcing painful cost cutting measures earlier this year including shedding 10% of the workforce.
The UK’s competition regulator has added to the woes already facing Adobe’s $20 billion deal to acquire design collaboration firm Figma.
It announced the deal last September, hailing it as a “transformative” moment that will take the company into a new era.
But the acquisition triggered competition concerns, and now the UK’s Competition and Market Authority – or CMA – has confirmed it will conduct an in-depth Phase Two investigation of the deal.
We already knew that European antitrust regulators were preparing to launch their own detailed investigation.
The American company behind the ChatGPT platform has revealed its first international office will be in London.
OpenAI says it wants to attract ‘world class talent’ to the facility.
It’s thought the office will concentrate on research and engineering.
It has already started to advertise some roles to be based in the capital including a security engineer and head of UK policy.
But no word yet on when the office will open or how many people will work there.
We’ve seen what could be a landmark development in Canada this week.
Google has announced it’s going to remove news pages from search results – in response to a new law there which forces tech firms to pay news publishers for their content.
That rule hasn’t come into effect yet – it’s still six months away.
Meta has said it’ll also restrict news content if it goes ahead.
The developer behind the popular Pokemon Go game is laying off a quarter of its workforce.
Niantic says the lay offs are because of a slowdown in post-pandemic revenue.
It’s also cancelling a couple of new games it had planned.
The company is based in San Francisco and is a spin off from Google.
A hospital in the UK is now giving patients VR headsets during operations to try to help them to stay calm.
A trial has been underway at Kidderminster Hospital.
They play soothing sounds and visuals to reduce stress and anxiety.
The local NHS trust says they’re now a permanent fixture and will be used at other hospitals as well.
Now you might remember a couple of weeks ago we covered a story about Virgin Media’s email going down for some customers.
Well, a fortnight on, and some still can’t get their messages.
The firm says everyone can send and receive email again, but some still can’t get to their old messages from before the outage.
Virgin Media says all emails are ‘safe and secure.’
Rural parts of the UK will get access to high-speed broadband in the latest part of a government funded project.
This is in Hampshire and parts of Norfolk and Suffolk.
Over 200,000 homes will get fibre internet access in the scheme.
The work will be done by CityFibre, with digging already underway.
The first homes will get their new high-speed broadband at the start of next year.
And the first paying passengers have gone to the edge of space on Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic venture.
It’s completed its inaugural commercial spaceflight.
It was carrying three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy, as well as 13 research payloads.
There’s already quite a waiting list – with its next flight scheduled for August.