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Internet News (April 2018)

The Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal Facebook has been weathering scandals to varying degrees almost since its inception, but this one tops them all to date and then some. While many companies over the years have been compromised for various reasons and customer data has been leaked, and most of said companies have survived these events, albeit not unscathed, Facebook’s latest situation is in a whole other league, especially considering that the exploitation of its network data didn’t even originate from an unauthorized hack. The centre of all this attention is because of Donald Trump and the fact that his political team utilised the services of Cambridge Analytica (CA) during his...

Internet News (March 2018)

5G Internet Is On The Horizon And It’s Pretty Awesome The latest giant leap in wireless internet technology is now on its way. Though 5G phones won’t be arriving until at least 2019 if not later, there have already been a few big demonstrations of the capabilities of a 5G network, not least of which have been at the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea, and the American Football Super Bowl that was held in Minneapolis. Korean Telecom (KT) partnered with Samsung and Intel at the Winter Olympics 2018 to demonstrate automated vehicles, and over 100 cameras were set up around the main ice rink that wirelessly streamed video to...

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...