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.

Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse

I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.

Rules that could force tech firms to scan encrypted messages for child abuse images in the UK have been amended.

Tech firms including WhatsApp and Apple along with technical experts have opposed the plan because of concerns over privacy.

In amendments passed by the House of Lords this week, the government now expects a report to be written before the powers are used by the regulator.

The changes to the Online Safety Bill say that a “skilled person” must write a report for communications regulator Ofcom before it uses the new powers to compel a firm to scan messages.

In previous versions of the bill it was optional.

It looks like Netflix’s clampdown on password sharing is working for the company.

It’s taken on an extra 5.9 million subscribers since March.

At the end of June, it had a total of over 238 million people signed up.

It introduced new rules in the UK in May, stopping people from sharing their password with anyone outside of their household.

Meanwhile this week, the company announced the next country where its clampdown will roll out as India.

Netflix has millions of subscribers there, making it one of its biggest markets.

Broadcom’s £61bn takeover of VMware has been approved by UK regulators.

The buyout was first revealed in May last year.

It triggered regulatory investigations all over the world.

The green light from British authorities means that VMware will be Broadcom’s largest-ever purchase and will expand the chipmaker’s move into enterprise software.

It’s the latest in several acquisitions in recent years.

Busy few days for Tesla, which has been in the news for a few reasons this week.

Chief executive Elon Musk revealed it could continue to cut prices, describing the world economy as ‘turbulent’.

In recent months, Tesla has cut its prices several times in major markets, including the US and China.

Meantime, the firm said it has produced the first Cybertruck at its plant near Austin in Texas this week.

It comes four years after the vehicle was announced in a glitch-ridden demonstration and two years after it was originally scheduled to start production.

Twitter’s lost half of its ad revenue since Elon Musk took over last October.

He revealed the news himself this week.

Musk also said Twitter had a ‘heavy debt load’ and is in ‘negative cash flow.’

He tweeted that the company hadn’t seen an expected sales rise in June, but things were looking more promising for July.

Musk paid $44 billion for the platform and has since laid off thousands of staff.

Microsoft has struck a 10-year deal with Sony to keep Call of Duty on the PlayStation platform, similar to an earlier arrangement reached with Nintendo.

Microsoft Gaming chief Phil Spencer said on Sunday the “binding agreement” would give gamers “more choice.”

Sony had earlier held out on agreeing with the deal – instead focusing on preventing Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Call of Duty developer Activision Blizzard from going ahead.

Lots of attention on ChatGPT in America this week.

The US trade regulator has launched an investigation into the way its parent company OpenAI uses data – and whether false information from its products puts personal reputations at risk.

The FTC sent a formal 20-page document to OpenAI this week.

It’s asking for access to records as lawmakers in the US and around the world seek to get AI laws in place after its huge growth this year.

New AI-dedicated rules are thought to be months away at a minimum in the US.

In the meantime, the FTC is warning AI companies that existing laws apply to them.

Cosmetic giant Estee Lauder has confirmed what it’s called a “cybersecurity incident” after a hacker obtained ‘some data’ from its systems.

The firm said that the incident “involves an unauthorised third party that has gained access to some of the Company’s systems.”

And the firm also confirmed that the attack is causing, and is expected to further cause, disruption to parts of the company’s business operations.

It’s currently coordinating with US law enforcement.

Remember that emergency alert test we had back in April?

That’s when every mobile phone had an alert and notification to try out a system of warning us of major incidents.

Well, it could happen every couple of years.

The head of the Government’s emergency committee has revealed they’d like to test it on a regular basis.

The original trial didn’t go entirely to plan, with phones on the Three network not getting the alert – and some other users getting it several times.

Neopets is making a comeback.

It was originally a hugely popular site in the early noughties where people could care for a virtual cartoon pet.

At its peak it had 25 million users.

But it suffered various issues meaning its popularity dropped off.

This week, the firm revealed it had $4m of funding to remake the site and bring back 50 classic games later this month.

It’s 16 years since the original Apple iPhone launched – costing $599 – or just over £450.

How much do you think one of those first handsets would be worth now?

Well, a boxed, unopened, 4GB model sold at auction this week for… get this… over $190,000.

That’s nearly 400 times its original value.

The 4GB model is particularly rare as it was discontinued a couple of months after launch because it didn’t sell very well.

That’s the latest from Silicon UK Pulse – for more tech news and features, head to silicon.co.uk

David Howell

Dave Howell is a freelance journalist and writer. His work has appeared across the national press and in industry-leading magazines and websites. He specialises in technology and business. Read more about Dave on his website: Nexus Publishing. https://www.nexuspublishing.co.uk.

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