Using the internet is ‘good for you’, Siri to get major upgrade with iOS18

Using the internet may be good for your wellbeing, an international study has found. The findings suggest that despite popular concerns to the contrary, the association between internet use and wellbeing is likely to be positive. Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute, part of the University of Oxford, analysed data from two million people aged 15 to 99 in 168 countries, including Latin AmericaAsia and Africa. They found that life satisfaction across all countries was 8.5% higher for those who had access to the internet and their positive experiences were 8.3% higher. The Standard 

Wales has become the first UK nation to join the metaverse. The launch of Wales in the metaverse hopes to give virtual visitors from all over the world the chance to see what the country has to offer. Tourism body Visit Wales has created the immersive experience with the aim of platforming some of Wales’s experiences and attractions. Around 600 million people visit the metaverse each year, across a number of platforms. The Welsh metaverse is being hosted on platform Spatial. Sky News 

Google is preparing to hold its annual Google I/O developer conference next week, and naturally, it will be all about AI. The company has made no secret of that. Since last year’s I/O, it has debuted Gemini, its new, more powerful model meant to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and has been deep in testing new features for Search, Google Maps, and Android. Expect to hear a lot about that stuff this year. Google I/O kicks off on Tuesday, May 14th at 10AM PT / 1PM ET with a keynote talk. You can catch that on Google’s site or its YouTube channel. The Verge

With Apple‘s WWDC 2024 event and the accompanying iOS 18 reveal fast approaching, speculation is mounting about what kind of AI features Apple might introduce – and a new report gives us a few more major clues. This report comes from the New York Times (via MacRumors), and says that an upgraded version of Siri is going to be central to iOS 18. Efforts to make Siri a more competent competitor to ChatGPT have apparently been underway for more than a year. The new and improved Siri is going to be “more conversational and versatile”, according to the NYT. Tech Radar 

A new device to help reduce the time cancer patients spend in hospital has been given regulatory approval. The Liberty allows patients to take blood tests – and upload the results – at home, and without supervision. Its users say it allows them to cut down on draining hospital visits, while clinicians suggest it could boost NHS productivity. After being trialled at the Christie, in Manchester, the device will now be deployed at 12 NHS sites. However, Cancer Research UK says it has so far only been trialled on a small number of people. BBC

With more than 25,000 charging ports in the U.S. and over 50,000 worldwide, the Supercharger network is the undisputed king of EV fast charging. Widespread, well-maintained and fast, the network has transformed the way people viewed EVs, assuaging concerns about range anxiety for wide swaths of the car-buying public. But with the recent layoffs, Musk cast a cloud over the private infrastructure project. While some people expected layoffs to hit the Supercharger division, few thought it would be eliminated. “We built the best network in the world,” according to the former Tesla employee who spoke to TechCrunch.”


Chris Price