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.

Job losses are expected at the internet company TalkTalk after it announced a major structural reshuffle.

It announced on Wednesday that it will split into three separate standalone businesses, focused on business-to-business wholesale telecoms services… consumer broadband… and small businesses.

Changes to the leadership structure are also part of the plan.

The split is due to officially happen on 1 March next year.

There’s a warning over the effect TikTok is having on public service.

Police leaders and teachers’ unions have spoken of “frenzies” of engagement on the platform during a BBC documentary.

The report found TikTok’s algorithm was driving disproportionate engagement with videos that encouraged school vandalism and public interference with a police investigation into a missing person.

Outside the UK, the documentary found TikTok engagement helped intensify recent riots in France.

TikTok said it removes “harmful misinformation” and reduces the potential reach of videos that contain unverified content.

It looks like Microsoft’s major concession to convince the British regulator to approve its takeover of games maker Activision Blizzard has worked.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has confirmed that the new deal has addressed its previous concerns about the $69 billion dollar buyout.

The acquisition was revised last month so that Microsoft wouldn’t receive all the cloud rights to existing and future releases.

Google is getting rid of the basic HTML version of Gmail next year.

It released a new support doc this week saying that the stripped-down version of Gmail will be switched off in January 2024.

Anyone still using the basic version will be switched to the ‘Standard’ Gmail interface that is used by most people.

The HTML view was designed so it could load more quickly for someone struggling with their connection speed or on an old operating system.

Social media platform X has been singled out for criticism over Russian disinformation.

European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova spoke about tech firms needing to do more to combat Russian lies ahead of elections in Europe.

She named X – formerly Twitter of course – as being the biggest culprit out of the big social media platforms, with Facebook in second.

ChatGPT has had an update and can now access up to date internet information.

Previously it could only access data up to September 2021.

OpenAI confirmed that some premium users could now ask it questions about current affairs and up to date news.

The update will roll out to other users soon.

Meanwhile, the chatbot will soon be able to have voice conversations with users as well.

Meta appears to be scaling back its office footprint in London after surrendering the lease on a building near Euston Station.

In a business update, the landowner British Land said the Facebook parent company had handed back the keys to one of its two offices in the area.

It comes amid an ongoing efficiency drive at the company, with thousands of positions axed over the last year.

Another big firm has been hit by an apparent ransomware attack.

A lesser-known hacking group has claimed on the dark web that it breached ‘all Sony systems’ and will sell the stolen data, amid media reports Sony is refusing to pay a ransom.

According to reports, the claim comes from a group called Ransomed.vc, which seems to be a ransomware operator reportedly based in Russia and Ukraine.

Sony so far hasn’t made any official comment.

Electric car manufacturers in the UK and the EU have called for a delay to new Brexit trade rules that they say could cost them £3.75 billion over the next three years.

They say the change could push up prices for vehicles and make it harder for British and European car makers to compete with those in China and the rest of the world.

Under the Brexit agreement, new rules are due to come into force in January – that would mean electric vehicles shipped across the English Channel have to use batteries made either in the UK or the EU.

Looks like adverts are coming to Amazon Prime video.

It’s the latest platform to announce it will run commercials on its standard tier from next year.

Users who want to avoid them will have to opt for a higher cost plan.

Amazon said it’s due to heavy investment in its content over a long period of time.

Spotify has launched a new service which uses AI to convert podcast episodes into different languages.

The system changes episodes from English into other languages using the speaker’s own voice.

Spotify said it is initially testing the new feature with a “select group” of podcasters including Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, Lex Fridman, Steven Bartlett, and Bill Simmons.

Voice-translated episodes are now available in Spanish, with French and German to roll out in the coming weeks.

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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