ShinyShiny snippets: Ford gets UK approval for hands-free driver assistance

Ford has received regulatory approval for the introduction of Level 2 hands-free advanced driver assistance – the first system of its kind approved in Europe. Drivers of 193,000 BlueCruise-equipped Ford and Lincoln vehicles have already driven more than 64 million hands-free miles (102 million kilometres) in Canada and the US, where BlueCruise was also recently named the Consumer Reports Top Rated Active Driving Assistance System. Now, a green light for Ford BlueCruise technology from the UK’s Department for Transport means drivers of enabled Mustang Mach-E models can use “hands-off, eyes-on” driving technology on 2,300 miles (3,700 km) of pre-mapped motorways in England, Scotland and Wales. Tech Digest 

Elon Musk has revealed in a short animation clip how he plans to colonise Mars in the next few years. SpaceX released a five-minute animated promotional video on Tuesday, showing how it plans to land humans on Mars using Mr Musk’s Starship spacecraft. The animation, with a space-themed soundtrack, shows what it may look like if a Starship spacecraft landed on Mars one day. It starts with Starship lifting off beyond the clouds and into space, and the first stage of the rocket separating once the spacecraft is in orbit. Independent 

After a brief hiccup, Apple has firmware update 5E133 for the 2nd- and 3rd-gen AirPods, 1st- and 2nd-gen AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max. The first-generation AirPods are still on 6.8.8 and haven’t been updated since December 2019. According to Apple’s release notes, the update, which follows several updates over the past week including iOS 16.4.1 and macOS 13.3.1, contains the standard “bug fixes and other improvements.” When Apple originally released the update on Tuesday, any attempt by the AirPods to install it returned an error. Apple quickly pulled the update and released a working version. Macworld 

According to a beta version of Windows 11, how the Print Screen key works is changing after all these years. Since practically the dawn of time, pressing the Print Screen key on a Windows PC takes a screenshot of whatever’s happening on your screen. However, that looks to be changing, if beta version of Windows 11 KB5025310 is any indication. Put simply, in this beta version of Windows 11, now pressing Print Screen will open up the Windows 11 Snipping Tool instead of taking a screenshot. Trusted Reviews

Microsoft is exploring early concepts around a Windows handheld mode for devices like the Steam Deck. A leaked video posted on Twitter by h0x0d shows early concept and prototype work for an optimized Windows 11 UI for handhelds, and a launcher and Windows gaming shell that’s designed for touchscreens and controllers. The video is part of a hackathon project inside Microsoft from September, where employees regularly present ideas or projects that sometimes end up getting support from Microsoft executives and end up shipping. The Verge 


Swiss audio manufacturer Lenco is adding to its stable of affordable turntables with the release of the new LBT-225WA belt-drive record player. A slight price increase on more recent Lenco models, this latest unit comes equipped with built-in phono stage, Bluetooth streaming and a USB connecting for ripping vinyl into MP3 files, all encased in a wooden chassis accompanied by a glass turntable platter.  The Bluetooth 5.2 streaming capability is one of the LBT-225WA’s major assets, with connectivity available for compatible speakers, headphones or other devices offering a slice of modern convenience alongside the vinyl charm. What HiFi 

Chris Price