ShinyShiny tech roundup: Facebook name change, TikTok tic worry

Facebook has changed its corporate brand to Meta

Facebook has changed its corporate name to Meta as part of a major rebrand. The company said it would better “encompass” what it does, as it broadens its reach beyond social media into areas like virtual reality (VR). The change does not apply to its individual platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, only the parent company that owns them. The move follows a series of negative stories about Facebook, based on documents leaked by an ex-employee. Frances Haugen has accused the company of putting “profits over safety”. BBC 

Sir Nick Clegg has promised that Facebook will work with regulators to make its “metaverse” safe for children as it puts tens of billions of dollars into the technology. The company’s head of global affairs and communications said technology companies often “feel that progress can’t wait for the slower pace of regulation”, but said it would not ignore privacy and safety in developing a suite of new technologies that it sees as the tech giant’s future. On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was rebranding its corporate identity as “Meta”, which it said was a reflection that the company is moving beyond the social network of the same name. Telegraph 

A doctor in the UK has told Sky News “we need to find some solutions” as medical journal reports suggest TikTok videos may have contributed to teenagers developing tic-like symptoms during the pandemic. Multiple reports have noted an increase in tic-like episodes among some adolescents, mainly teenage girls, in the coronavirus crisis. A report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) into COVID-related increases in tic-like attacks has raised concerns that videos by influencers with tic symptoms on social media sites like TikTok, may be ‘inadvertently reinforcing and maintaining symptoms. Sky News

Apple’s iPhone sales soared yet again in the past quarter, but didn’t grow as rapidly as analysts anticipated because of supply shortages that have made it more difficult to meet the demand for a wide range of products. Although the company’s quarterly results released Thursday served as evidence of its products’ continuing success, they also showed Apple isn’t immune to the supply headaches. The company earned $20.6 billion, or $1.24 per share, during the July-September period, a 62% increase from the same time last year. Revenue climbed 29% from the same time last year to $83.4 billion. While the earnings matched the estimates of Wall Street analysts that sway investors, the revenue fell below analyst projections of roughly $85 billion for the quarter, according to FactSet Research. AP News 

Mercedes-Benz has spent nearly a century establishing itself as one of the most exclusive names in the auto industry – but the brand is preparing to turn up the volume on its luxury label even further. The German carmaker has announced plans to introduce Dolby Atmos in a range of its top-end models from next year, beginning with the Mercedes-Maybach and S-Class. Mercedes says its in-car Dolby Atmos experience will transform these vehicles into “state-of-the-art concert halls on wheels” by integrating the technology with its already optional Burmester 4D and 3D sound systems. Made up of – wait for it – 31 loudspeakers and eight sound transducers (also known as exciters), this Atmos-enhanced Burmester system will offer drivers an “unprecedented sound experience”. Tech Radar 

Chris Price