Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse – your roundup of the latest tech news and developments impacting your business for the week ending 17/11/2023.
Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse
I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.
The UK’s cyber watchdog has warned about the cyber threat posed to the country’s critical infrastructure by hostile nation-states.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) annual report says the threat to the nation’s most critical infrastructure is ‘enduring and significant.’
It comes amid a rise of state-aligned groups, increased aggressive cyber activity, and ongoing geopolitical challenges.
Back in August, the NCSC flagged the cyber risks for organisations introducing AI chatbots into their businesses.
The UK Government has called for the three main food delivery apps to tighten controls on account sharing.
It’s concerned about illegal or underage workers being able to use other people’s accounts.
Officials met with Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Eat over the matter during the week.
The Government said it had begun investigating the issue and there had been 380 arrests so far this year of delivery drivers who did not have the right to work in the UK.
Drivers do have to go through checks when they sign up, but currently are allowed to let their account be used by someone else who doesn’t have to go through any verification.
Meta says laws should be introduced to force app stores to get parental approval before children can download anything.
It comes after the firm faced criticism for how it handles minors using Instagram and Facebook.
Meta’s security chief called for a ‘simple, industry wide solution’ to the issue.
That’s as Meta finally rolled out changes to the Threads app to allow people to delete without also taking out their Instagram account.
It was quite the controversy when the X rival launched back in July.
Users had to sign up for Threads using their Instagram credentials – but then couldn’t delete one while keeping the other.
It has been confirmed that has changed this week.
Google pays Apple more than a third of its Safari search revenue.
That’s one of the revelations this week from an ongoing legal case.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, gives Apple 36% of Safari revenue as part of its default search agreement.
It was confirmed by Google’s CEO during a lawsuit filed against them by Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite.
Meanwhile, Google and Microsoft say they won’t challenge the EU’s designation of their services as ‘gatekeepers.’
It stems from new digital rules that place some restrictions on their services.
Both say they accept the ruling, although other firms are expected to appeal.
In September, the bloc designated 22 services run by six tech giants as gatekeepers that would face restrictions under the new Digital Markets Act (DMA).
Electric vehicles are coming down in price.
Carmakers in Western countries have started discounting them for the first time as the market starts to slow down following the 2020 surge.
In October UK discounts were on average 11% below the recommended retail price. In the US they were at 10% and in Germany roughly 7% on average.
The slowdown comes amidst mixed political messages, with the UK pushing back a ban on new petrol cars from 2030 to 2035.
Petrol station operator and Asda owner EG Group has ordered new Tesla superchargers – as it looks to expand its electric vehicle charging network across the UK and Europe.
The multi-million-pound deal will see the fast chargers rolled out across thousands of sites.
The new kit can charge cars to around 80% in just 20 minutes.
EG currently operates about 600 charging sites and said it plans on expanding this to more than 20,000 over time, with the first chargers set to be deployed by the end of the year.
EU laws could mean Apple has to let users download apps without going through the app store.
The firm is reported to be developing a localised version of iOS for European iPhone users to allow them to ‘side load.’
It’s believed from next year, they’ll be able to download apps directly from third party websites, to comply with European regulations.
Launch day for the new Call of Duty game didn’t quite go according to plan for Microsoft.
It suffered an outage affecting thousands of Teams and Xbox Live users in the UK and Europe last Friday.
Microsoft said on X, that the issues were caused by “an artificial increase in synthetic network traffic” and said it had made configuration changes to remediate the impact.
It came on launch day of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – one of the titles acquired by Microsoft in its takeover of Activision Blizzard.
And Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is recovering at home after suffering a minor stroke.
The 73 year old was taken to hospital in Mexico City last week.
He was due to give a speech at the World Business Forum when he was taken ill.
He’s now back home in the US and says he’s ‘feeling good’.
That’s the latest from Silicon UK Pulse – for more tech news and features, head to silicon.co.uk