Bits and Bytes – May 2021 Edition
Moe from Mondo / 11-05-2021 / Tech news
Here’s our roundup of the latest mobile and tech news for May 2021:
License or Smartphone Please
You could soon be handing over your smartphone when asked for your driver’s licence. The South African Government is paving the way for the country’s first electronic driving licence. Department of Transport’s Director-General Alec Moemi, said a new more durable card would be introduced soon, with improved security features and a mobile-friendly counterpart.
Spotify Goes from Playlists to the Premier League
Spotify raised the price of its premium subscription recently and football fans in the UK believe they know why. CEO Daniel Ek kicked off his attempts to purchase English Premier League football club Arsenal. Ek, a long-time fan of the club, has made a £1.8 billion bid for ownership and has the support of some of the club’s most notable former players, including French football icon Thierry Henry.
It’s unlikely the slight price hike was motivated solely by Ek’s desire to own one of the world’s biggest football teams, but players on the pitch and off will be watching closely in the coming weeks.
The Social Network Lifeline
While India reels from the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, an unlikely hero has emerged – social media.
Critically low oxygen supplies and a lack of both medication and available hospital beds across the country, has forced the Indian public to turn to social media for assistance for their loved ones. Everyone from the average citizen to Bollywood stars, tuk-tuk drivers and medical professionals themselves, have taken to Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp to create an online country-wide network to assist those battling the virus.
Heavyweight Fight – Facebook vs Apple
In April, Apple introduced a new feature called App Tracking Transparency (ATT) on iOS 14.5 for iPhone users. Barely a month old and the feature has already created friction with Facebook. The social media giant has been trying to block the use of ATT since Apple announced its intentions, but they were not able to deflect the blow.
When permitted, the feature blocks targeted ads which are created by tracing the user’s browsing patterns – a major chunk of Facebook’s revenue. Facebook claims the transparency tracker puts small businesses at a disadvantage and are calling on iPhone users not to allow the feature.
If ATT is enabled, Facebook plans on sending its own message, suggesting iPhone users who block the tracker will have to start paying to use their app. This match looks far from over!
Video Caused an Embezzlement Charge
An American woman was left stunned when she discovered there was a warrant out for her arrest thanks to a rented VHS tape that was never returned since 1999. The woman had unknowingly been facing embezzlement charges for nearly 22 years over the late fees on a VHS copy of Sabrina the Teenage Witch that had been hired under her name. The charges were eventually dropped in the “best interest of justice”.