Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse – your roundup of the latest tech news and developments impacting your business for the week ending 25/05/2023.
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.
The Netflix password sharing crackdown has arrived in the UK.
The move was announced back in February but finally rolled out here – and over a hundred other countries – this week.
Anyone logging on has to identify their home network – and the firm has sent emails to its customers explaining the rules.
It’s designed to stop users giving people outside of their home access to their account.
Netflix has around 15 million subscribers in the UK.
Microsoft has officially filed an appeal against the UK block on its takeover of Activision Blizzard.
It’s the latest instalment in the ongoing saga.
Microsoft’s deal to buy the Call of Duty maker was initially blocked by UK and US regulators last month.
But the EU took a different path and approved it.
This week’s appeal was expected – it’s unlikely there will be any resolution in the case for some time.
It’s a feature that people have been asking for – well – forever!
WhatsApp is finally going to let users edit messages after they’ve been sent.
But – there’s a couple of caveats.
You can only make edits up to 15 minutes after it’s been sent.
And it will flag up as being ‘edited’ in the message thread – although previous versions won’t be shown, so no-one will know what it originally said before editing it.
Got all that?
The feature has already started to rollout and we should all have it within the next few weeks.
WhatsApp, of course, owned by Meta, the parent company of Facebook.
It’s also been in the news this week after starting a round of job cuts at its international headquarters in Ireland.
Around 500 people have been laid off in Dublin.
That’s around 20 per cent of the workforce based there.
It’s part of a much wider restructuring announced back in March, with plans to eliminate 10-thousand roles altogether.
Cheaper broadband could be on the way.
The UK communications regulator Ofcom is to allow discounted pricing of wholesale full fibre provision for the Openreach network, known as ‘Equinox 2’.
This means that Openreach can offer discounted rates to Internet Service Providers that utilise the Openreach network for their own Fibre based broadband products.
Richard Branson appears to have given up on his space travel dreams.
Virgin Orbit has announced it’s shutting down.
It comes a few months after a failed rocket launch – with the eyes of the world watching in disappointment.
The firm revealed it has sold its assets for just under 30 million pounds.
Branson started Virgin Orbit back in 2017 and its rocket called LauncherOne had completed a few successful missions before January’s flop.
The UK is to bump a billion pounds into creating a strategy for the semiconductor sector.
It’ll cover a 20 year period and the Government says it’s designed to ‘secure the world-leading strengths of the UK’ in the space.
The National Semiconductor Strategy – that’s its official name – will unfold over the next decade.
But critics say it just isn’t enough.
The US is spending over 50 billion dollars on it, with the EU pledging around 45 billion Euros.
A county council in the UK has accidentally published private details about thousands of staff online.
South Lanarkshire Council included names, salaries and National Insurance numbers of around 15-thousand workers on a spreadsheet which was sent out in response to a Freedom of Information Request.
The details were meant to be anonymised, but hadn’t been.
It didn’t include any bank details, dates of birth or addresses.
Google’s Chrome browser is to start switching off third-party cookies at the start of 2024.
The firm’s Privacy Sandbox will be tested from this July, trying out a set of replacement standards.
Then in Q1 of next year, it’ll disable third party cookies for around one per cent of users, before a full roll out later in the year.
It’ll put it on a par with other browsers – Apple’s Safari and Mozilla Firefox have blocked third party cookies for several years.
A mum in Wales has been landed with a hefty bill after her daughter spent two and a half grand on the gaming site Roblox.
The 10 year old changed the password on Georgina Munday’s iPad without her realising.
Tesco Bank initially said it wouldn’t refund the money, but has now backed down and given it her back.
Sometimes feels like tech news in this age is all data, AI and social media stories – but here’s a really heartwarming bit of news from over in Switzerland.
They’ve used electrical brain implants to allow a paralysed man to walk again.
This is Gert-Jan Oskam, a 40 year old Dutchman, who was told he’d never walk again after a cycling accident over a decade ago.
But they put implants in his brain and his spine, and created a sort of digital bridge to allow them to talk to each other.
He’s now able to stand, walk short distances and climb stairs – and it’s hoped he’ll be able to learn to do more.
That’s the latest from Silicon UK Pulse – for more tech news and features, head to silicon.co.uk