ShinyShiny tech roundup: Uber rival Didi scraps European launch

The Chinese taxi-hailing app Didi has suspended plans to launch in Britain and continental Europe amid concerns about how it handles sensitive passenger data, The Telegraph can reveal. Didi had secured licences to operate in several British cities as part of a push to challenge Uber, but is now understood to have pulled the plans for at least 12 months. Staff working on the planned launches have been told that they face possible redundancy, while the company has stopped hiring in Britain. The decision comes as Didi faces a crackdown by the Chinese government with its shares more than halving since its $68bn (£50bn) New York flotation in June. Telegraph 

Record numbers of children are being groomed online as offenders exploit “risky design features” to communicate with children, a charity has warned. According to figures obtained by the NSPCC, online grooming crimes recorded by police increased by almost 70% in the last three years. The charity, which is calling on the government to introduce tougher measures in its Online Safety Bill, said where the platform is known – Facebook-owned apps were responsible for almost half of recorded offences. Facebook described the abuse as “abhorrent behaviour”, saying they work closely to find abuse and grooming content and report incidents to the relevant authorities. Sky News 

A news article about a doctor who died after receiving a Covid-19 vaccination was Facebook’s most viewed link in the US in the first quarter of 2021, a previously shelved report shows. The piece – updated after a report said there was no proven link to the vaccine – was popular with vaccine sceptics. The New York Times claimed that Facebook initially held back its report because it would “look bad”. Facebook said the delay was in order to make “key fixes”. BBC

The application we use most on our phones is the keyboard, spending on average up to an hour a day typing on our phones to decode our thoughts and interact with our contacts. But the keyboards we typically use are not designed for today’s mobile world and are based on typewriters used in the 19th century. The most commonly used keyboards from Google and Microsoft are also arguably not that secure. The Swiss start-up Typewise is trying to rival the tech giants in offering a keyboard app that claims to be 100 per cent secure and allows you to type with four times fewer typos.“Our algorithms work on your phone device, so none of your data, none of what you type gets transmitted to the cloud or internet and that’s very different from pretty much any standard keyboard that you find in the market,” Typewise chief executive officer and co-founder David Eberle told Euronews Next

Last month, Sony listed a new version of the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition in Japan. While the console remains true to the original model, it lost a bit of weight. Specifically, the revised console is approximately 300 g lighter, a 7.7% reduction. Press Start now claims that Sony has started shipping the revision in Australia. The website adds that the console bears the model number CFI-11, a change from the original console’s CFI-1. It is unclear how Sony has cut 7.7% from the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, nor if this revision is rolling out worldwide. Regardless, CFI-11 also contains a different screw to attach the console to its bundled stand. Undoubtedly, the change is a minor one, but it makes it assembly simpler. Notebook Check

Chris Price