Friday roundup: A week in tech

Online dating.jpg

Are you a romantic? Do you cherish love, affection, the blossoming of a new relationship, the giddy magic of meeting someone special? If so, you certainly don’t use Tinder, so this story won’t concern you – though it may amuse/shock you all the same.

The grotesque dating app, which reduces humans to mere commodities in a swift flurry of swipes, has tried to soothe users with data concerns by admitting ‘we do not promise, and you should not expect, that your personal information will always remain secure’.

Very reassuring, and only slightly bettered with this delicate line: ‘We cannot promise that all data will be deleted within a specific timeframe due to technical constraints.’

Among other things, Tinder knows the age ranks of profiles you’ve liked; when and where you use the app; your racial and sexual preferences; and the most common words you’ve messaged.

And data neurotics who still aren’t sufficiently terrified by Tinder’s whimsical relationship with personal information may enjoy this latest revelation: the firm keeps a tab of every move you make.

All watched over by machines of loving grace.


Papua New Guinea is banning Facebook!…for a month. The government plans to investigate the effect the site is having on the population – but as only 10% of them have internet access it’s sure to be quite limited.

However, what the authorities are really in a flap about are fake profiles and pornography on the network. According to flavoursome-sounding communications minister Sam Basil, the country may create its own social media behemoth as a sort of stuffy state-run alternative to Facebook. Good luck with that silly plan.

Anyway, read more here.


Thrifty types or those who simply disapprove of public performances will soon be unable to use the ‘sorry, no change’ shrug when dealing with street musicians – at the very least they’ll have to add a ‘no cards either, sorry’ gesture, as the age of the cashless busker has arrived.

London, Britain’s most capital of cities, has apparently become the first big area full of concrete and cars to introduce the system, which will allow impressed or guilt-stricken passers-by to give cashlessly.

Mayor Sadiq Khan is very pleased, saying: ‘Now, more Londoners will be able to show their support to the capital’s brilliant, talented street performers.’

The tech has been introduced by Swedish firm iZettle, which was bought by the voracious PayPal for £1.6 billion last month. Tsk, if it’s not nailed down, PayPal will buy it. Might offer them this blog. £1.1bn? What d’ya reckon?

Anyway, things seem to be working out nicely: busker Charlotte Campbell reckons the system has ‘had a significant impact on contributions’.


Amazon may be floundering in their quixotic vision to fill the skies with delivery drones, but it seems the Chinese are pushing ahead.

A food delivery service has been given permission to aerially administer takeaway meals over Shanghai’s Jinshan Industrial Park – a 58 sq km slab of prime drone-drop real estate.

Food fans will receive their dishes within 20 minutes of ordering them, from any one of the estate’s 100 restaurants. That’s 100 restaurants. On one industrial estate. Hmm.

I wonder how it will all work out – and how much the first person to be accidentally bombed with a carton full of steaming hot soup will be paid to keep their mouth shut and not spoil the plans.

Here’s the story, though I’ve covered most of it so, unless you think I’ve made it all up, it’s pretty pointless clicking through.

Friday roundup: A week in tech

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