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Tech Digest Daily Digest: Report Blows Up Video Game “Loot Boxes”

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Consumer groups from 18 European countries have backed a report calling gambling loot boxes “exploitative”. The content of the virtual boxes are only revealed through play or by making a payment. While some contain useful tools or desirable extras that enhance the experience, others are worthless. The report’s authors, the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC), claim that gamers are being “manipulated” into spending large sums of money in coffers. Game publisher EA has already compared loot boxes to Hatchimals or Kinder Surprise children’s toys. BBC

car owner has fallen for two consecutive years for the first time in more than a century as consumers are hammered by soaring fuel prices and a shortage of new vehicles for sale. The number of cars owned in Britain fell by 0.2pc to 35million last year, according to research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), following factory chaos that has made it more difficult for manufacturers to deliver their orders. Meanwhile, data shows the average car in Britain is now 8.7 years old, up from a year over the past decade, and more than a quarter are over 12 years old. Telegram

The UK risks falling behind in the race to create an electric car industry if it cannot build more battery factories – and quickly. Ambitious plans by automakers to increase production of electric vehicles and an impending change to post-Brexit trade rules that will limit options for importing cheap Asian batteries mean there is no time to lose. But a shortage of suitable sites for “giga-factories”, and the decision by some local manufacturers to import electric vehicle batteries from mainland Europe, are creating challenges that leaders and politicians say the government needs to do more to address. Automotive News Europe

English jargon has invaded every corner of France, causing consternation among language purists – a lounge popular with politicians during election season is called “Made in France”, for example. Despite widespread use in businesses and elsewhere, the government has decided to crack down on gaming, officially banning terms such as “streamer” and “cloud gaming”, according to AFP. In the future, much more complicated terms live player-host and cloud video game must be used for all government communication. Engadget

Amazon is ending support for its CloudCam Security Camera and offering owners a free Blink Mini to replace it. MacRumors noted the change at the end of last week, and The edge got a copy of an email sent to customers announcing the change. Cloud Cam owners will be able to use their cameras and upload videos until December 2 this year, after which all recordings will be deleted and the hardware will no longer work. Customers with Cloud Cam Key Edition will also lose the ability to connect to smart locks, although they can get a free fourth-gen Echo to replace the feature. The edge

Many top UK scientists working on carbon capture technologies do not believe they will be developed and scaled in time to reach net zero and limit global warming to 1.5C. Experts speaking at a Greenhouse Gas Removal Hub event in London warned that these techniques, including direct air capture, biofuels, biochar, reforestation and advanced weathering, are not a solution miracle and should only be a fraction of decarbonization efforts. Researchers were asked by event organizers whether they thought carbon removal targets would be met. Of 114 scientists present, 57 per cent said they were “not convinced” the UK would meet the 2030 targets.

Chris Price


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