ShinyShiny tech round up: NHS Digital database delayed until September
The creation of a central NHS digital database from GP records in England will be delayed by two months, the government has announced. The system was due to begin on 1 July, but the date has now been pushed back to 1 September. The NHS had been calling for a delay to allow patients more time to learn about the system. The British Medical Association and the Royal College of GPs had also expressed concern. Speaking in the House of Commons, Health Minister Jo Churchill said the GP data programme would “save lives”. However, she said the government was “absolutely determined to take people with us on this journey” and had therefore decided to push the implementation date back to the beginning of September. BBC
UK adults spent more time online than other large European countries such as France and Germany during the pandemic, according to Ofcom. They spent more than three-and-a-half hours (217 minutes) online each day in 2020 – more than an hour longer than in Germany and France and 30 minutes more than Spain, the regulator’s annual Online Nation report reveals. Around half of UK adults – 49% or around 26 million – also visited an adult website or app in September 2020. The largest, Pornhub, was visited by around a third of online adults (15 million) in September 2020, representing half of all UK men online, compared to 16% of UK online women. Yahoo!
As Elon Musk’s Boring Co. tunnel in Las Vegas opens, industry experts are skeptical the company would be able to complete similar projects in other cities, NBC News reported. The Las Vegas system officially debuted on Tuesday, but people who tested it at the end of May said it was inefficient, with cars getting backed up behind each other in the 1.7 miles of tunnels, delaying trips that were supposed to only take a few minutes. Musk’s tunnels use Teslas to transport four people in each car. The Boring Co. website said their tunnels could cut building costs and ease traffic, as well as being constructed faster than conventional tunnels. According to the website, it can cost as much as $1 billion for every mile of conventional tunnel. However, more costly conventional tunnels use trains that can carry hundreds of passengers. Business Insider
Anyone whose virtual alter ego is wandering around the Roblox online game platform these days might run into other avatars sporting Gucci handbags, sunglasses or hats. The digital-only items were part of a limited Gucci collection for Roblox, a step by the fashion house that prides itself on Italian craftsmanship to enter an expanding virtual space where many of its youngest admirers already are at home. Players in the metaverse — where virtual worlds, augmented reality and the internet meet — say the big-name fashion collaboration represents a new era of virtual-real world interplay, a space in which smart product placement meets the desire of consumers to express their personalities in the virtual world. AP News
Sales of halogen lightbulbs are to be banned in the UK from September, with fluorescent lights to follow, under government climate change plans. The move will cut 1.26 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year and deliver consumers savings, officials say. The UK began phasing out the sale of higher-energy halogen lightbulbs in 2018 under EU-wide rules. Now retailers will no longer be able to sell most remaining halogen bulbs, such as kitchen spotlights. Legislation for the plans is being brought forward this month by the government. The plan will help continue the shift to low-energy LED lightbulbs, which account for about two-thirds of lights now sold in Britain. BBC
El Salvador has approved a law to make bitcoin legal tender, making it the first country in the world to formally adopt cryptocurrency as an official form of currency. The Bitcoin Law was approved by a “supermajority” within the Central American country’s congress. “The purpose of this law is to regulate bitcoin as unrestricted legal tender with liberating power, unlimited in any transaction, and to any title that public or private natural or legal persons require carrying out,” the Bitcoin Law states. “It is the obligation of the State to facilitate the financial inclusion of its citizens in order to better guarantee their rights.” Independent