Cyberattack forces 15 UK schools to stop online learning
A "sophisticated" cyberattack on the Nova Education Trust has forced 15 schools across Nottinghamshire to shut down their IT networks. The schools have not had access to their “usual modes of communication” since 3 March, including email, phones and their websites. The situation has forced remote learning to stop. The UK's National Cyber Security Centre is currently working to resolve the matter.
Brazil court opens investigation over Amazon rainforest land sale on Facebook
Brazil's Supreme Court has opened an investigation over the findings of a BBC report that revealed that pots of land in the Amazon rainforest were being put for sale in Facebook Marketplace. The court asked the government to "take the appropriate civil and criminal measures". Facebook has said it is "ready to work with local authorities" but will not take independent action to stop the trade.
Telehealth firm TytoCare raises additional $50m
TytoCare has extended its Series D round to raise an extra $50m. This comes less than a year after it landed an initial $50m for its telehealth platform. Capitalising on the rise of remote health practice due to COVID-19, TytoCare offers AI-powered remote medical examinations and devices for patients. Insight Partners led the extension, with other participants includes Qualcomm and Tiger Global.
IBM and Moderna to collaborate on COVID-19 vaccine data sharing
IBM is to work with biotech company Moderna to investigate how advanced tech could improve COVID-19 vaccine management. They will explore how the likes of artificial intelligence, blockchain and hybrid cloud can accelerate data sharing between governments and healthcare providers. "If ever there was a time to rally around open technology and collaboration, it's now," said an IBM spokesperson.
GM to build a second US EV factory
General Motors is considering building a second battery factory in the United States through, the company has confirmed after. The new plant would be built in a joint venture with South Korean battery-maker LG Chem. GM said it hopes “to have a decision on the potential project” by June. The initiative is in line with the company's aim to become completely carbon neutral by 2030.
New York and IBM test blockchain-based COVID-19 digital health pass
IBM is testing out a COVID-19 digital health pass in New York State. The blockchain-based tech offers a voluntary and secure method for showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test. It is being trialed for a week in New York as a means of allowing spectators into sports venues. IBM says the tool can tap into different data sources and can be "easily tailored" for other use cases.
Singapore rebrands e-government platform SingPass
Singapore has rebranded its e-government services platform SingPass. The app allows access to over 1,400 services from more than 340 organisations in both private and public sectors. The app is integrated with Singapore's digital location check-in tool SafeEntry, which supports the country's COVID-19 contact tracing efforts. SingPass was launched 18 years ago and it has over 4 million users.
COVID-19 vaccination data in England and Wales made available for research
COVID-19 vaccination datasets in England and Wales have been made available for research. Immunisation data can now be found on the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway, a common online portal for research and innovation. The aim is to learn more about the effectiveness of the vaccines. Twenty million citizens in the UK have now been inoculated against COVID-19.
Google to stop using tracking tools
Google plans to stop using or investing on tracking technologies to identify web users once it begins phasing out existing technology from its Chrome browser next year. The decision is a huge blow to the advertising industry, as the tech giant will stop selling ads based on user's preferences. Google and several social media platform's tracking tools have been criticised by privacy activists.
Issue 8
We speak to NASA and the European Space Agency to get the lowdown on their use of satellites to measure the rapidly rising sea levels. Elsewhere we cover online therapy, Defra’s sustainability mission, AI’s role in dementia detection, and plenty more.
Six U.S. utilities team up to build EV charging network
Six electric utility companies in the United States have come together to plan a comprehensive electric vehicle charging network. The Electric Highway Coalition, which counts Duke Energy and American Electric Power among its members, will look to build stations across major highways systems. President Biden has pledged to build 550,000 new EV charging stations across the country.
25% of people are exposed to damaging volumes daily, Apple study reveals
Ahead of World Hearing Day, Apple has published a new hearing health study, conducted alongside the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The study revealed that 25% of people are exposed daily to noises higher than those recommended by the WHO and that 1 in 10 people use headphones for too long. The numbers are very high despite the transition to working from home over 2020.
Twitter announces new efforts to restrict COVID-19 misinformation
Twitter has announced that tweets which appear to spread misleading or false about COVID-19 vaccines will be labelled as such. In a blog post, Twitter announced it will use a strike system “that determines when further enforcement action is necessary”. It introduced guidance around COVID-19 conversation in December, since when it has removed 8,400 tweets.

Health Gorilla lands $15m
Health Gorilla has raised $15m to superboost its healthcare APIs. The company can provide secure access to medical records through its technology. The Series B round was co-led by IA Capital and Nationwide. Health Gorilla was originally founded in 2014 as a marketplace for labs. "Our AI performs patient matching tasks at a much higher rate of accuracy," its co-founder told Venture Beat.
Volvo to go all-electric by 2030
Volvo is the latest manufacturer to reveal its roadmap to electric-only vehicle production. Geely-owned Volvo has vowed to produce a fully-electric fleet by 2030. This comes after Ford and Jaguar Land Rover made similar announcements. "There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine," said Volvo's CTO. The company will also exclusively sell electric vehicles online.
Piaggio, KTM, Honda and Yamaha join for swappable batteries consortium
Piaggio, KTM, Honda and Yamaha will set up a consortium for swappable batteries for motorcycles and light electric vehicles, which will start operating in May. "The availability of a standardized swappable battery system would promote the widespread use of light electric vehicles and contribute to a more sustainable life-cycle management of batteries used in the transport sector," Piaggio said.
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