Friday Five: Apple caves in and Hull’s full fibre diet

1. Apple capitulates to Chinese censorship

Apple has caved to pressure from the Chinese authorities and removed an app that tracked the movements of Hong Kong police through crowdsourced data. Apple initially rejected HKmap.live from the App Store, then reversed its decision. Now, after it became widely used by pro-democracy protesters, it has reversed its reversal, citing “local laws”.

2. Should we really invite Alexa into our homes?

It’s not been a great year for the reputation of voice-assistant devices, with revelations that all of the big players have been using human contractors to analyse recordings. There have also been multiple reports of devices mistakenly sending recordings of private conversations and activating themselves unprompted.

3. Hull’s full fibre diet the envy of the country

Let’s hear it for Hull, which has become the first city in the UK where everyone can get full fibre broadband. Full fibre, where a fibre optic cable comes all the way into your home rather than a streetside cabinet, is available to only 8% of UK premises — but all 200,000 Hull homes can experience average speeds of 94.7Mbps (which would make it the fastest country in the world if Hull was a republic).

4. Buckle up for completely driverless cars

It seems we are that close to completely driverless cars hitting our streets (or at least the streets of a strictly geofenced area in the suburbs of Phoenix, anyway). Waymo, the autonomous vehicle business formerly known as the Google self-driving project, has been ramping up its testing in the past few years.

5. Zone among the winners at DADI awards

The winners of The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries (DADIs) were revealed last night, with The Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel winning the coveted Grand Prix for its Sleeping Flags campaign, in which Irish veterans took to the streets in a sleeping bag adorned with the national flag.

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