Friday Five: New digital regulator targets tech giants

Zone’s Martha Green handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. New regulator to curb tech giants’ dominance

There is a new tech regulator in town and it’s coming for Google, Facebook and Amazon. The Digital Markets Unit (DMU) has been set up to create new codes of conduct for the UK’s tech giants and their relationship with content providers and advertisers. Digital secretary Oliver Dowden has described it as “a major milestone for the industry on the path to creating the world’s most competitive online markets”.

2. Beware ‘Zoom zombies’ behind the wheel

A lot of people are pretty fed up with using Zoom — and here’s another reason to add to the list. A US report conducted by the Root Insurance Distracted Driving Awareness Survey has found that 54% of drivers had trouble concentrating on the road soon after using video conferencing platforms.

3. eBay introduces Pokémon card scanning app

Anyone who’s been a collector will be familiar with the phrase “those Pokémon cards will be worth an absolute fortune one day”. But you’ll soon be able to find out if those shiny yellow cards really are made of gold, as eBay have introduced a new card scanning feature to its app, due to arrive at the end of April.

4. TikTok adds automatic captions to videos

In a step towards a more accessible world, TikTok has added automatically generated captions to its videos. It’s currently only available in American English and Japanese, but it has plans to add support for more languages soon. The platform wants to make it easier for deaf and hard of hearing users, as well as being useful for those times when it might be inconvenient to enable audio.

5. Amsterdam’s bin boats not a rubbish idea

In their latest efforts to tackle the congested streets of Amsterdam, electric waste collection boats have begun a trial in the city’s canals. Residents will still put their rubbish out as normal, but the waste collectors will toss the rubbish into the canal — onto a boat — don’t worry — instead of a rubbish truck.

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