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8 min read

Category: Business News

07 Sep 2023

07 Sep 2023

8 min read / Category: Business News

Tech Stories You Probably Missed - August 2023

Angry Nerds


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Collection of interesting tech stories from August 2023 that you probably missed.

Our co-founder, Michał Błędowski, posts a #TechBrief (short collection of relevant tech stories) every Monday on LinkedIn. We have created a summary of all the latest, most interesting technology news from the industry, that took place in August 2023.

If you want to stay up to date on what's going on in the tech industry, including crucial cybersecurity stories, social media, innovations and finance connect with Michał on Linkedin.

Jump to any #TechBrief you like:


The implementation of the EU Digital Services Act has introduced five changes for users on popular platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook as well as tech giants like Google and Amazon.

  • Option to disable AI recommended videos. Users now have the ability to opt out of AI recommendation systems for content like Instagram Reels and Facebook Stories.

  • Streamlined reporting of content. Platforms have improved options for reporting rule breaking posts, videos or comments. TikTok has introduced reporting categories while Facebook and Instagram have made existing reporting tools more accessible.

  • Increased transparency regarding content takedowns. Platforms will provide information about the reasons behind their content moderation decisions. TikTok offers insights into why certain videos are not eligible for recommendation.

  • In addition to focusing on content regulation the EU Digital Services Act also addresses products. Amazon has established a channel for reporting products and Zalando has implemented flagging systems even within their curated selection.

  • These changes brought about by the EU Digital Services Act aim to enhance user experiences on platforms while prioritizing transparency and addressing issues, like harmful content and products.

  • Tighter regulations on advertisements targeting children are being implemented by the EU due to their emphasis on privacy and manipulation concerns.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) recently organized an event on July 27th to showcase the Audi Q8 e tron, an electric vehicle.

  • The event was hosted by supermodel Coco Rocha, whose reactions were captured using Audi Canada's AI technology and transformed into artwork providing a unique visual experience.

  • Alongside the unveiling of the Audi Q8 e tron there was a conversation between Coco Rocha and fashion icon Jeanne Beker as well as captivating musical performances by Kardinal Offishall, Bombae, Smilez and other notable guests.

  • The emission free SUV represents Audis dedication to mobility by offering technology and features, in the electric vehicle market.

  • This event beautifully highlighted the intersection of art, technology and sustainability while showcasing how electric vehicles have potential in today's eco-conscious world.

Mixed Reactions to Robotaxis in San Francisco

  • A futuristic scene unfolds as driverless cabs appear in San Francisco, triggering a mixture of excitement and apprehension among locals.

  • Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as automatic emergency braking and lane departure warnings make the self-driving experience possible.

  • Public opinion on robotaxis varies: some people are interested in
    their safety potential, while others raise concerns about job
    displacement, vehicle breakdowns, and accessibility issues.

  • Despite regulatory approvals, skeptics like the Safe Street Rebel
    group have physically protested, highlighting the ongoing debate
    around the role of AI in transportation.

Polish intelligence agencies are currently investigating a cyberattack directed at the country's railway systems.

  • Hackers gained unauthorized access to railway frequencies, causing disruptions in north-western Poland during the night, according to the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

  • Poland serves as a vital transit point for Western weaponry destined for Ukraine, adding a geopolitical dimension to the incident.

  • The attack triggered an emergency halt for about 20 trains near Szczecin. However, the services were swiftly restored.



A cargo ship with wind-powered sails starts its maiden voyage to reduce emissions.

  • Cargill, the shipping company behind the vessel, aims to cut fuel usage and promote eco-friendly shipping. WindWings sails, as large as wings, fold down in port and open at sea to reduce carbon footprint.

  • The Pyxis Ocean's trip from China to Brazil tests real-world
    effectiveness of wind-wing technology. Wind propulsion could decrease a ship's emissions by 30%; industry is transitioning towards

New York City has decided to forbid the use of TikTok, on devices owned by the government due to concerns regarding its impact on security.

  • Similar measures have been taken by Congress and several states over the years prohibiting TikTok on devices owned by both state authorities.

  • The concern stems from TikToks association with ByteDance, a company which has raised worries that user data may be accessed by the government under Chinese law.

  • The decision to ban TikTok in NYC was made after the city's Cyber Command assessed that it posed a security threat to the networks of the city.

  • Government agencies within the city are required to uninstall the app from their devices within a period of 30 days.

Google has introduced an AI learning model called Robotic Transformer (RT 2) to enhance the intelligence of its robots.

  • RT 2 is an upgraded version of Google's vision language action (VLA) model, which helps robots understand instructions and recognize patterns, in both visuals and language.

  • In a test conducted in a kitchen office researchers instructed an arm using RT 2. The arm successfully identified a hammer (a rock), selected a drink for someone who was tired (a Red Bull), and moved a Coke can to a picture of Taylor Swift.

  • The new model was trained using data from the web and robotics combining advancements from language models like Google's Bard with data to improve performance. Additionally, it can comprehend instructions in languages, than English.

IBM predicts that 40% of the global workforce (approximately 1.4 billion workers) will need to learn new skills within the next three years due to the implementation of AI and generative AI technologies.

  • A study conducted by IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) involved surveys of 3,000 C-level executives from 28 countries and 21,000 workers in 21 nations.

  • Executives expect that generative AI will augment existing job roles rather than entirely replacing them. About 87% of surveyed executives hold this view.

  • Entry-level jobs will be the most impacted by generative AI, with 77% of executives stating that these positions are already experiencing effects.



IBM has created a chip that takes inspiration from the human brain, with the goal of enhancing energy efficiency in AI systems.

  • This chip utilizes memristors, which function similarly to the connections found in our brains. These memristors can store a range of numbers. Operate in an analog fashion. The development of this prototype chip holds potential for efficient AI chips in smartphones and other devices while also reducing energy expenses for cloud providers.

  • However, there are still challenges to address, such as material costs and manufacturing complexities before this technology can be widely adopted.

Virgin Galactic recently completed its second commercial spaceflight with Galactic 02.

  • The launch took place from Spaceport America, in New Mexico. The flight was piloted by CJ Sturckow and Kelly Latimer while passengers on board included British Olympian Jon Goodwin as Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers from the Caribbean.

  • During this journey, the spacecraft ventured beyond the boundary of space at an altitude of 80 kilometers. To further expand their operations Virgin Galactic is planning to increase the frequency of their flights. They are also working on a two step "air launch" system.

  • Virgin Galactic is in the process of developing a fleet of Delta class spacecraft. Their goal is to offer more frequent trips by 2026.

YouTube is implementing measures to reduce spam and scams by disabling the inclusion of links in its Shorts feature from August 31st.

  • This decision has been made with the goal of improving user security and preventing any activities that may be associated with short form videos.

  • By preventing users from adding links to their Shorts YouTube aims to minimize the potential for spreading scams.

  • This action is part of YouTube's efforts to create a more reliable environment for its user community.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an inquiry into an accident that took place this year involving a Tesla Model Y.

  • The focus of the investigation is the vehicle's reliance on its Autopilot system, which has been under a lot of pressure by regulators regarding Tesla's self-driving technology.

  • The incident occurred in Warrenton, Virginia on July 19 when the Tesla collided with a tractor trailer truck as it was turning onto a highway from a truck stop.

  • Unfortunately, the driver of the Tesla lost their life in this accident. It remains uncertain whether Autopilot was active at that time.

  • This inquiry is part of a series of 35 crashes involving Tesla vehicles since 2016, where regulators suspect that Autopilot or similar systems may have been in use. Tragically, these crashes have resulted in 17 fatalities.



US Scientists Achieve Second Net Energy Gain in Nuclear Fusion, Advancing Clean Energy Quest

  • Scientists in the United States at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have successfully achieved energy gain in a nuclear fusion reaction for the second time since their breakthrough, in December.

  • This accomplishment occurred during an experiment conducted in the National Ignition Facility (NIF) where they were able to generate an energy yield compared to attempts.

  • The process involved colliding elements to form heavier ones resulting in the release of significant amounts of energy.Although fusion energy has been recognized as a low carbon source there are still challenges to overcome when it comes to implementing power plants despite recent advancements.

UK researchers have developed a deep-learning algorithm using sound recordings from microphone-captured keyboard keystrokes.

  • The algorithm achieves up to 95% accuracy in recognizing pressed keys, with training data also obtained from Zoom audio recordings (accuracy drops to 93%).

  • The algorithm poses a significant data security threat through acoustic attacks, enabling the theft of confidential information. The accessibility of microphones and advances in machine learning escalate the danger of such attacks.

  • To execute an acoustic attack, attackers record keystroke sounds for training. This can be accomplished using nearby microphones or compromised smartphones. The study used MacBook Pro button sounds, producing spectrograms to train the CoAtNet image classifier, achieving accuracy of 95% from smartphones, 93% from Zoom, and 91.7% from Skype recordings.

A prominent North American recycler of electric vehicle (EV) batteries has introduced its operations in Europe.

  • Each major processing line can manage as much as 10,000 metric tons of lithium-ion battery material per year, with a potential extension of 10,000 more tons.

  • When coupled with its current facilities, the recently launched European center, Magdeburg Spoke, could offer an overall annual capacity of 30,000 tons. Li-Cycle intends to refine the intermediate output called "black mass" from Spokes at forthcoming "Hub" sites to generate battery-grade materials.

Japan's finance ministry has asked X (previously known as Twitter) to remove an account impersonating its top currency diplomat, Masato Kanda.

  • Masato Kanda plays a significant role in Japan's efforts to stabilize the yen's value and is known for influencing the country's monetary policies.

  • The fake account, followed by about 550 users, has been suspended after the finance ministry's request, with five posts impersonating Kanda, and X confirming its suspension for violating Twitter rules.


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