Zoom tells staff to go back to work, smart products ‘enable domestic abuse’

Zoom, the online meetings platform that became synonymous with home working during the pandemic, has told staff to come into the office more often. Workers who live within a “commutable distance” of the company’s offices, including in the UK, will be expected to make the journey on designated team days. The California-based firm had been slower than many companies to enforce such a mandate, perhaps aware of its public perception as a key enabler of working from home. It became a hugely popular tool during 2020’s COVID lockdowns, growing from roughly 10 million daily users in December 2019 to more than 300 million the following April. Sky News 

Fitness trackers, home security systems and baby monitors are among the devices that MPs warn are enabling the growing issue of tech-enabled domestic abuse. The Culture, Media and Sport Committee says there are on average nine such “smart” products in UK homes. It found they were being used to “monitor, harass, coerce and control” victims by collecting recordings and images. “While the rising popularity of connected technology has brought undoubted benefits to everyday life, the flip side is the real risk some of these gadgets pose to privacy and personal safety online,” said Dame Caroline Dinenage, who chairs the committee. BBC 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is forecast to make millions of professional jobs obsolete over the coming years as an array of analytical and creative tasks are automated.  Yet it seems James Bond and his colleagues, at least, have little to fear so far from the rise of the machines. According to a paper jointly written by the chief data scientist at GCHQ, Britain’s Cheltenham-based eavesdropping agency, chatbots such as ChatGPT are only good enough to replace “extremely junior” intelligence analysts. Telegraph 

We’ve seen several leaked renders of alleged handsets in Apple’s iPhone 15 range before, but few photos of the devices themselves. Now it looks like that’s been remedied, with a major release of a trio of “hands-on” shots. The images are as yet unconfirmed and uncorroborated, but show a purported iPhone 15 Pro with a USB-C port inside a soft shell case. As we know, the USB-C port is new to the forthcoming lineup, with Apple introducing it to comply with new EU rulings on charging standards that will come into effect next year.

iPhone 15 pro alleged hands-on images

(Image credit: Ice Universe)

In all honesty, the pictures shared on X (formerly Twitter) by renowned leaker Ice Universe, don’t reveal much else. They are also likely of an iPhone 15 Pro dummy device, used by case manufacturers to make sure that they are ready with accessories on launch day. T3.com

Meta’s text-based app Threads is rolling out the ability to see your liked posts through an app update. The company started testing of the new feature on Android beta last week, but over the weekend, Meta started making it available to all users. Users can find their liked posts in Settings > Your Likes, which is accessible through the profile page. In comparison, you can access your like on Twitter (now X) through a separate “Likes” tab on your profile.

The Threads app Settings menu, which now displays an option to access your liked posts

Image Credits: Screenshot by TechCrunch

Apart from the feature to look at liked posts, Meta has introduced a new media upload quality option — accessible through Settings > Account > Media quality — that lets you upload images and videos in higher quality.  Tech Crunch 

Chris Price