I’m Derya Fikret, the editor of this TechAways edition! In my almost-a-year experience at Cambre, first as a student, now as a trainee, I’ve made great progress in diving into the EU digital policy world and let me tell you, the past month has kept me on my toes. From the testimonial of Facebook whistle blower Frances Haugen filled with unmissed meta puns, to the EU effort to push for digitalisation throughout the continent. The end of this year will not see a gap in anyone’s agenda.
With shadow rapporteur Christel Schaldemose and other lawmakers struggling to find consensus on issues such as targeted advertising or creating exemptions for media and SMEs, the Digital Services Act (DSA) committee vote was pushed to (hopefully) December 9.
On the Digital Markets Act (DMA) front, things have been progressing much faster. This Thursday, the scope of the compromise amendments obtained by POLITICO gave an indication of the tech giants that may fall in the whirlwind of this EU digital market regulation.
Aside from my tech obsession, I’ve been following the European Commission proposals for alternative fuels infrastructure and CO2 standards for cars. Both have (sustainably) accelerated 😉 my interest in the role of land transport in neutralising climate change and it has been incredibly interesting to follow industry discussions on these topics.
Before I bore you with more, I hope you enjoy reading the interesting tech news below!
Apple recognises the right to repair [The Guardian]
Handy with a screwdriver? And too time-poor to wait for a slot at your local Apple store to get that cracked iPhone screen fixed? Relief may be at hand. Apple is launching an online order service for parts and tools for DYI repairs of iPhones 12 and 13. Starting in the US next year and then spreading to other countries, the online store will first offer parts for screens, batteries, and cameras. Time to find that inner genius? Well, only if you’re a technician “with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices”, warns Apple. Most of us should stick with professional help. Still, it’s great to see Apple finally bowing to pressure to recognise the right to repair. Mind you, the tech giant has yet to budge on the European Commission’s proposal to introduce a common phone charger.
Google Maps comes to the rescue [The Verge]
With the Christmas holidays approaching, there is a familiar dread of crowded shopping centres, bustling with last-minute shoppers. This year, Google comes to the rescue with its latest Maps feature. The new “Area Busyness” tool provides information on how busy the most popular neighbourhoods are, and the “Directory” tab will be globally available to give more details on specific stores and facilities within locations, such as malls and airports. The app’s restaurant feature is also being upgraded to include price ranges and a simplified method for information input. And for those, who prefer a home-cooked meal, the app’s grocery pickup feature now includes the possibility to track orders and share the estimated time of arrival.
Prince Mohamed’s floating city [Insider]
What would you aim for if you were the Crown Prince, deputy prime minister and minister of defence of Saudi Arabia? Apparently, the answer is an eight-sided city floating on the Red Sea. HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently announced the establishment of Oxagon, the largest floating industrial complex in the world. Oxagon will be part of the Neom Region, a newly created region set to be 33 times the size of New York City, located in the kingdom’s northwest. While there isn’t still much information on how much the Oxagon project would cost or how the city would stay afloat, according to a promotional video it will be “home to the world’s first fully automated port and integrated logistics hub.” Since Crown Prince Mohamed is also a chairman of both the Neom Region and the fund financing the project, we can indeed start calling it “Prince Mohamed’s floating city”.
Spotify Karaoke [Yahoo]
Oops they did it again, they played with the app and got lost in the sea of lyrics. Yes, it happened, the new Spotify app update is out and will make you sing! After years of demands, Spotify users can finally enjoy built in lyrics feature in all Spotify markets. Since last year, the feature was available in 26 countries, but as of this week, every user can start singing along. The add-on is available on free and premium platforms. On top of that, Spotify is launching this feature on big screen via its app for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung, Roku, LG, Sky and Comcast. All you have to do is hope that your neighbour has not discovered this feature, otherwise you might not sleep well this weekend!
About this week’s editor
I’ve been with Cambre for almost a year and my experience has been very positive. Initially alienated to politics by my immediate culture, I grew fond of learning and navigating through EU policy in order to assist clients in understanding them. Aside from work, I love painting in my free time and listening to all types of beautiful sounding music. I thoroughly enjoy autumns in Germany and find a lot of inspiration travelling during this season. If you think we would make good friends feel free to drop me a message.
In case you haven’t had enough
The world’s most professional whistleblower [POLITICO]
Does VPN network size really matter any more? [Tech Radar]