Friday Five: Facebook’s Messenger Kids app goes worldwide

1. Facebook expands Messenger Kids app

With kids all over the world confined to their homes, Facebook is launching its Messenger Kids app in 74 new countries (but not the UK). The app, originally launched in the US in 2017, is a way for younger kids to use a social network without the dangers of the main Facebook app (which has a minimum age of 13).

2. New smartphone game to benefit the NHS

A Bristol University graduate has invented a new smartphone game in an effort to raise money for the NHS. Nic Charrington, from Tetbury, created Bio Blast after his photography business was affected by the pandemic. He came up with the idea after reading that Candy Crush makes £2m a day, which seems extraordinary.

3. Aldi’s traffic lights tell shoppers when to go

Doing a supermarket shop has become a tactical decision during the lockdown — go too early and you risk big queues to get in, go too late and the shelves may be half-empty. Well Aldi is doing its best to help its customers by introducing a traffic light system on its website to show the busiest and slowest hours.

4. Google to make data centres carbon neutral

To mark Earth Day on Wednesday, Google announced it is working to make all of itsdata centres 24/7 carbon neutral in an effort to address climate change concerns. Google says its new carbon-intelligent computing platform will match up its compute-load with low-carbon energy sources like wind and solar power.

5. Get a hot spring experience in your bathroom

A group of Japanese resorts have started to upload VR footage of their hot-spring baths to help bring the onsen experience to people self-isolating at home. Simply fill your tub, add some salts, put your headset on and relax. Oh, and “be cautious not to slip or drown” — sensible advice in any situation, really.

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