ShinyShiny snippets: Boston Dynamics scary robot dog to protect Pompeii
The ancient Italian city of Pompeii is to be guarded by a robot dog, say managers at the Archaeological Park. Mechanical dog Spot, created by Boston Dynamics, is being introduced as part of a wave of modernisation of the preserved Roman city. The yellow hound will patrol the site looking for cracks, damage and signs of erosion on the streets of the town, which was wiped out by the explosion of the Vesuvius volcano in 79AD. Spot is a four-legged robot designed to cross uneven terrain while capturing his surroundings with cameras and sensors – he can be controlled by a remote or programmed to follow a certain route. Independent
Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur and meme poster who recently became Twitter’s largest single shareholder, has polled users to ask if they want an edit button. The immutable quality of posts on Twitter has been a hallmark of the platform ever since its launch in 2006 despite recurrent if muted requests for change. Shortly after disclosing his stake in the platform to regulators, Musk, who has amassed more than 80 million followers since joining in 2009, posted a poll asking whether users wanted an edit button. Sky News
Do you want an edit button?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
Elon Musk has taken a $2.9bn (£2.2bn) stake in Twitter, sending shares in the social media website soaring. The boss of Tesla disclosed his acquisition of a 9.2pc holding in Twitter, amounting to just over 73m shares in a filing on Monday. Shares in Twitter jumped more than a quarter to $49, valuing the company at almost $40bn. Mr Musk wrote on Twitter last month to say the platform was failing to adhere to free speech principles. “I’m worried about de facto bias in ‘the Twitter algorithm’ having a major effect on public discourse. How do we know what’s really happening?” Telegraph
Car hire company Hertz and Swedish EV manufacturer Polestar have announced a new global partnership that includes purchasing up to 65,000 electric vehicles (EVs) over five years. Availability is expected to begin in Spring 2022 in Europe and late 2022 in North America and Australia. For Hertz, the partnership is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to electrification, shared mobility and a digital-first customer experience. Hertz claims the partnership with Polestar builds on its announcement last October to offer its customers the largest EV rental fleet in North America. Tech Digest
Two Charles Darwin manuscripts that were reported as stolen from Cambridge University Library have been anonymously returned in a pink gift bag, with a typed note on an envelope wishing a Happy Easter to the librarian. The precious items were found to be missing in 2001, but at the time staff believed they may have been mis-shelved. They carried out extensive searches in the library – which is home to around 10 million books, maps, manuscripts and other items – but in October 2020 they were reported as stolen to Cambridgeshire Police. The force launched an investigation and notified Interpol, with the university making a worldwide appeal for information. Yahoo!
The Treasury has announced that it will regulate some cryptocurrencies as part of a wider plan to make the UK a hub for digital payment companies. So-called “stablecoins” will become recognised forms of payment to give people confidence in using digital currencies, it said. Stablecoins are designed to have a stable value linked to traditional currencies or assets like gold. They are considered less volatile than cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The Treasury also said it planned to consult on regulating a much wider range of digital currencies later this year, without saying which they might be. BBC