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Internet News (February 2018)

No Moore? Moore’s Law no more? Named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965, it was based upon his observation, built on condensing chip sizes after the rapid growth of transistors which up until recently doubled every two years. The theory was loved by engineers and computer scientists alike, due to the continuing and effortless performance benefits. Unfortunately, Moore’s Law has now faltered, as the power and growth of semiconductor technology has more recently slowed down. The multi-trillion dollar, world-wide semiconductor and electronics industry is slowly coming to terms with this, as engineers and computer scientists pose the question about how the industry will survive its demise. Contradicting events within...

Special Report: Cryptocurrency miners and the inflating price of PC gaming hardware

In the first of a series of Special Reports, Andy Cormack takes a look at what is happening out there on the internet that could affect us in ways that we hadn’t anticipated. Here, he takes a a deep look at a worrying trend in the costs of PC technology increasingly starkly in relation to a hitherto unthinkable use: using games graphics cards for serious number crunching rather than processing images.   And the prime suspects in this massive pricing hike? Cryptocurrency.  Here, Andy explains why. No doubt you’ve seen, or at least heard or read about, cryptocurrencies, most notable of which is of course, the infamous Bitcoin. While the astronomical...

Internet News (January 2018)

Bitcoin Still On The Rise, Hackers See Opportunity Breaking record after record, Bitcoin gained a huge 20% spike in price recently, bringing it up to around the $14,800 USD mark. Could there be a more obvious target then for hackers to focus their gaze upon? The crypto-mining marketplace company NiceHash has recently been hacked, resulting in nearly 5000 Bitcoin being stolen, with an estimated value of some $57 million at the time, which, just 24 hours later had risen to over $70 million. NiceHash, a cloud-based crypto-mining marketplace, was founded in 2014 as a means for people to connect from all over the world to farm out their computing power or rent...

Tech Update (December 2017)

Andy Cormack gives us the heads up on what’s on the horizon in hardware and technology, giving you the lowdown on the next big thing.  For the last Tech Update of 2017, Andy looks at the weird phenomenon of the Uncanny Valley when something designed to replicate a human being appears to totally resemble a human, yet creates disturbing feelings such as eeriness and revulsion in the observers and wonders if we will ever get around it. Also, bus maps on Google, and a new super high-end graphics card capable of machine learning.  Will The Uncanny Valley Ever Be Conquered? Neill Blomkamp, the director and visionary who created films such as District 9 and...

Internet News (December 2017)

Uber mistake Uber have yet again been the subject of the news headlines following a massive data breach. British officials including security agencies, MP’s and watchdogs have slammed Uber, the global transportation company after their smoke screening of a massive data breach that involved the records of over 57 million customer and drivers. Already in the press following their failure to follow governing taxi firm guidelines, the firm continue to receive negative headlines following the concealment of the data breach that took place in 2016. The news of the disclosure raises further concerns around the company’s data protection policies and business ethics. With exact figures yet to be confirmed regarding...

Internet News (November 2017)

Hawking good read Many great things occurred during the year of 1966. The first operational weather satellite was launched by the US, Muhammad Ali totally knocks out Henry Cooper in round 6 for the Heavyweight boxing title, Beatlemania hits New York, and NBC-TV premiered the first ever episode of Star Trek. But, while all of this was going on around the world, a 24 year old Cambridge postgraduate completed a paper that would go down in history. A doctoral thesis, published in 1966 by Stephen Hawking has become an internet sensation following its release to the public for the first time. Cambridge University’s online storage facility crashed on Monday, following the high...

The Top Ten Programming Languages Of All Time

Andy Cormack takes a good look at computer programming languages. Some are designed for their ease of use, while others have different applications, such as processing mathematical equations or crunching data.  Then there are those that are closer to the actual language of the computer, namely assembly languages and finally machine code, the ultimate building blocks of any operating system. Here then, are Andy’s top ten programming languages of all time, and why they should be in the top ten. Introduction With so many programming languages in the world today, it’s a pretty impossible task to narrow this list down to just ten. Do I include the most perceivedly “instrumental”, which in...

Intelligent listening for beginners

Andy Cormack takes a less than deferential look at the sweeping powers that the UK government is considering in relation to the ongoing war against terrorism and other threats on the home front.  In this article, he raises some very valid points about the way that these proposals would affect everyone using the internet in the UK, looks at the implications of such legislation on the internet and to a greater extent, our personal freedoms. Theresa May, the UK’s Prime Minister, known well for her laughably dated views on how to combat terrorist threats online is at it again, this time aiming her sights directly at many of the internet giants of...

Internet News (October 2017)

Microsoft hosts Edge Web summit On 13th September, Microsoft held its Edge Web Summit in Seattle, Washington – a tech summit not entirely dissimilar in nature to that of Google’s IO annual event. At this event they trotted out the statistic of “330 million active devices”, qualifying that the statistic counts users that actively used the Edge browser over the course of a month. Of course, these figures may initially sound impressive, until you actually look at comparisons across the market share. Statcounter states that the browser’s desktop market share is a measly 3.95%, still significantly lower in fact than even the original legacy browser it is trying supplant, Internet Explorer, which still...

A potted history of the Personal Computer

Andy Cormack this week looks at the history of the personal computer – a device that we take for granted, yet over the last forty or so years has revolutionised the way in which the human race works, plays, communicates and interacts. Andy looks at the beginnings of the personal computer, drags up a few good and bad memories, as well as some surprises along the way, where we have been in terms of computing, as well as looking where we might be heading. In the beginning To talk about the origins of the Personal Computer (PC), we first probably need to talk about electronic computers in general; these were the very foundation that...