ShinyShiny tech roundup: Amazon opens 4-star store

Image: Amazon

Amazon is expanding its presence on the High Street by opening its first non-food store in the UK. The shop, in the Bluewater shopping mall near Dartford, will sell around 2,000 of its most popular and best-rated products. It’s called Amazon 4-star, because every item has been given more than four stars by customers. However, one retail expert said the shop could be “muddled and uninspiring”. This will be the first Amazon 4-star store outside the US, where there are already more than 30 outlets. BBC

Australia’s prime minister on Thursday described social media as a “coward’s palace” and warned that digital platforms including Facebook should be held liable for defamatory comments posted anonymously. Anonymous commentators who use social media to vilify and bully have become the latest battleground between Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government and U.S. tech giants. The government wants social media users to be required to identify themselves. Australia passed laws this year that oblige Google and Facebook to pay for journalism. Australia also defied the tech companies by creating a law that could imprison social media executives if their platforms stream violent images. AP News 

At a glitzy event in London, attended by Tech Digest, Sky announced the launch of Sky Glass – an Ultra HD  smart TV that can connect to a wide range of streaming services, including all the Sky channels, of course.  Billed as a carbon-neutral TV, which uses up to 50% less energy than a conventional TV, Sky Glass will be available with a monthly subscription from £13 a month. It is believed the TVs are manufactured in conjunction with Korean firm LG. Available in a range of five colours, the ‘industrial designed’ 4K TVs – which are designed in conjunction with design agency Map Project Office – also come with customisable fascias and a TV remote that glows in the dark. Three sizes are available including 43inch, 55inch and 65inch screen sizes. Also on board are six spatially optimised speakers, including an active sub-woofer, with 360 degree Dolby Atmos sound. Tech Digest

Facebook repeatedly misled investors and advertisers about a precipitous drop in young users as the trillion dollar social media company fought to protect its share price, a whistleblower has claimed. Frances Haugen, a former employee behind the biggest series of leaks in Facebook’s history, alleged that the company had covered up this decline to protect its image. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said her claims were “just not true”. It came as Facebook reeled from a worldwide blackout that knocked the social network and its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp offline for more than six hours earlier this week. The company said the outage was “an error of our own making” and not down to malicious activity. Telegraph 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announces that the tech giant will invest $1 billion over the next five years to allow for faster and more affordable internet access and support entrepreneurship in Africa. Internet reliability is a problem in Africa where less than a third of the continent’s 1.3 billion people are connected to broadband, according to the World Bank. But the continent, where nearly half the population is under 18, is a promising market. Yahoo!

Chris Price