ShinyShiny snippets: ‘Silent majority’ concerned by EVs, claims Toyota boss

Nearly 2,700 Toyota bZ4X SUV EVs had to be recalled earlier in the year. Image: Toyota

A “silent majority” of car companies is concerned that electric vehicles will not alone be able to end reliance on fossil fuels, according to a senior Toyota executive. Akio Toyoda, the company’s president and grandson of its founder Kiichiro Toyoda, said that many concerned senior figures are reluctant to say what they really think because of the pressure to go green. It comes as the industry struggles to ditch petrol and diesel, in the face of materials shortages and complex processes that have kept the cost of building electric cars high. In comments on a visit to Thailand first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Mr Toyoda said: “People involved in the auto industry are largely a silent majority. “That silent majority is wondering whether EVs [electric vehicles] are really OK to have as a single option. But they think it’s the trend so they can’t speak out loudly.” Telegraph 

Elon Musk has tweeted for the first time since more than 10 million people voted in favour of him stepping down as Twitter’s chief executive, saying that only paid Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to vote in future policy-related polls. On Sunday, Musk asked Twitter users whether he should step down as the head of the company, promising to abide by the results of his poll. When the poll closed on Monday, 57.5% said he should step down. Normally a prolific user of the platform, Musk did not tweet in the immediate hours after the poll. His silence was finally broken when he responded with “Interesting” to multiple suggestions that the results of the poll were skewed by fake accounts. The Guardian 

Amazon is entering a new phase of an ambient, functional smart home environment for its customers through Matter. According to Amazon’s official blog post, the company has shared that it’s completed the first rollout phase of Matter-compatible devices for customers. Smart Home device buyers can now surf through 17 different Alexa products, such as the Echo Dot with clock (5th gen), plugs, switches, and bulbs with an Android setup to connect these devices over Wi-Fi with Matter availability. This phased rollout allows the company to start with its most commonly used Alexa devices as it works through stability hiccups and longevity testing with its partners. Android Central 

A tech company founded by Gary Lineker’s son George has been valued at £5.5 million after completing its latest funding round. The City based start-upYourBusinessNumber, provides customers with a virtual phone number they can use to keep in touch with their clients through WhatsApp Business. It secured £400,000 with the Match of the Day presenter among the investors. The firm has now raised £795,000 in total since launching last year. George Lineker, 31, said: “I didn’t originally want him to invest, because of the backlash you get from it,” adding Gary was “not tech savvy at all”. Evening Standard

The maker of popular video game Fortnite has agreed to pay $520m (£427m) to resolve claims from US regulators that it violated child privacy laws and tricked users into making purchases.The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the firm duped players with “deceptive interfaces” that could trigger purchases while the game loaded. It also accused it of using “privacy-invasive” default settings. Epic Games blamed “past designs”. “No developer creates a game with the intention of ending up here,” the company said. “We accepted this agreement because we want Epic to be at the forefront of consumer protection and provide the best experience for our players.” BBC 


Chris Price