Staff Writer
News & Views
Weekly Tech Roundup: November 10

Tencent publishing IPO raises $1.1 billion

China Literature, the publishing arm of Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings, has raised $1.1 billion in its IPO this week, drawing significantly higher demand than expected. While the China Literature platform and business model have been praised by industry analysts, this initial valuation has been described as disproportionately high.

Twitter users respond to 280 character rollout

After trialling the new 280 character limit among select users, Twitter has now made it available to the masses. Now all users have double the original character count — and the reaction has been mixed, with some critics stating that Twitter needs to focus more on security and other features. “All we wanted was an edit button,” says one user.

The model for recycling old smartphones is causing massive pollution

Following the launch of the iPhone 8 and X this autumn, millons of units are expected to be shipped across North America — which means potentially millions of obsolete devices will be thrown away. But even if you take your old iPhone to a recycling centre, this may still contribute to a larger waste problem.

Uber gives top riders a 24/7 ‘Premium Support’ hotline

Ride-hailing app Uber is experimenting with a new Premium Support feature which will offer faster, more personalised service to users. In addition to expediating customer service issues which can drag on when communicated via email, a 24/7 hotline also makes using Uber safer for individuals. At present, this is only available to the app’s “most frequent riders.”

Humans to “vet” Facebook revenge porn photos

In Australia, Facebook is trialling a new methodology for combating revenge porn on its platform, using human moderators rather than algorithms. Members of the site’s community operations team will “hash” images, preventing it from being uploaded again. Users must currently opt into the scheme.

Self-driving shuttle gets into an accident on its first day

A self-driving shuttle service in Australia celebrated its launch this week by promptly getting into an accident — but it was a human driver who was at fault. A delivery truck pulled out in front of the shuttle, which registered the hazard and stopped moving; however, the truck didn’t stop, and grazed the shuttle. Nobody was injured, and a representative of the city government noted that had the truck been equipped with the same sensors as the shuttle, the accident could have been avoided.

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