THE WEEK THAT WAS: The 8 things you need to know

Week 38
THE WEEK THAT WAS: The 8 things you need to know

Mobile phones, tablets and headphones should all have the same type of chargers, according to legal proposal from the EU Commission. Next step is for the European parliament to decide about the proposal. The industry is given two years to adapt. Apple, with a very different charger, said this would stifle innovation. USB-C would become the standard port.

Women in Iceland marginally lost majority in the parliament: for some hours, Iceland looked as the first European country with a women majority in the parliament but after a recount, the country lost this honour. Of the parliaments 63 MPs, 30 will be women. The first result showed 33 women but some regional re-count meant three women less in the parliament.

Facebook’s Oversight Board wants more transparency from the social media company´s management. In a strongly-worded statement, the board addressed reports in the Wall Street Journal saying that some high-profile users are whitelisted and exempt from some or all of Facebook’s rules. “Transparency is essential for social media platforms, the board said.

The EU Commission’s annual Rule of Law report “overlooked some serious media freedom issues, particularly related to the capture and state control over public service media,” more than 60 organisations said in a  statement calling on the Commission to revise the report to more thoroughly examine press freedom issues among EU countries.

A growing number of governments are asserting their authority over tech firms, often forcing them to comply with online censorship and surveillance, causing global internet freedom to further decline, according to Freedom House´s report “Freedom on the Net 2021-The Global Drive to Control Big Tech”. Of 70 states covered by the report, 48 pursued legal or administrative action against technology companies.

86% of EU Citizens think that the overall influence of science and technology is positive but 57% in a Eurobarometer said science and technology mostly improves the lives of those who are already better off. 58% think that researchers in China are ahead of researchers in the EU in terms of making scientific discoveries.

Artificial intelligence technology is moving fast and it is urgent to think seriously about the downsides and risks that the broad application of AI is revealing, said a global report written by high ranking researchers. They stress the importance of keeping human control over AI systems and that it should not be a goal for researchers to create completely autonomous AI systems.

Social media’s importance as news source has fallen slightly. 19% of US social media users get news via social media often, compared to 23% last year. 29% access news via social media sometimes, compared to 30% last year, a survey by the Pew Research Center shows. Some sites are more “newsy” even if their total audience is relatively small. So is Twitter used by 23% of US adults, but 55% of those users get news on the site regularly. 64% of those who regularly get news on Facebook are women.

Read Also:  Internet freedom on the decline: best and worst performing countries

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