Weekly Tech Round-Up | #17
Here is all the tech news from the past week, sign up for our newsletter to receive this in your inbox every week. We also do a South West tech news update.
Home Secretary threatens US tech giants with ‘huge penalties’
Home Secretary Priti Patel has ignited a row with US tech giants – threatening to hit them with huge penalties if they fail to protect children from being abused and exploited online. Ms Patel singled out Facebook, accusing the firm of ‘blinding itself’ to the problem of its plans to expand end-to-end encryption – scrambling messages so they are indecipherable – from WhatsApp to its Messenger and Instagram services.
In a roundtable event organised by children’s charity the NSPCC today that images of child abuse and exploitation will be rendered undetectable, constraining the efforts of the platform to refer potential crimes to law enforcement.
UK green tech pioneer Recycling Technologies wins major polystyrene recycling contract
The world’s biggest polystyrene makers, Ineos and Trinseo, have chosen a small UK “green tech ” company to help build Europe’s first plans to recycle the polluting material. The two companies have selected Recycling Technologies as the technology partner to the plan to develop commercial scale recycling plants of polystyrene. Widely used in food packaging because of its protective and insulating properties, polystyrene is currently mostly either burned or thrown into landfill. The first plant will be built this year on a trial in Swindon with full commercial operations then being launched by Ineos in Wingles, France and by Trinseo in Tessenderio, Belgium next year.
It comes as a major win for Recycling Technologies, which was set up by automotive engineer Adrian Griffiths, in 2011.
Elon Musk says Starlink should be ‘fully mobile’ by the end of 2021
On Friday, Elon Musk said that SpaceX’s satellite internet service, Starlink, should be “fully movile” by the end of the year, meaning customers could use it in moving vehicles or at different addresses. Musk also tweeted that Starlink would “probably” exit its beta “this summer”. More than 10,000 people have signed up to Starlink since its “Better Than Nothing Beta” launched in October 2020. During beta, customers cannot move their hardware from address to address — they can only use it where they registered it.
Cornish offshore-wind tech firms urged to access new £17.5m Government fund
The European-funded tech project Marine-i has called on businesses in Cornwall to seize the opportunity offered by a new £17.5 million Government scheme that will financially support development of innovative floating offshore wind technologies. Marine-i has also offered practical support to these businesses, providing access to world-class testing facilities and assisting in the formation of new collaborations between companies. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is designed to help the marine technology sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.