The latest in tech news this week

The latest in tech news this week

What’s been your favourite story so far this week? As always, it’s been a packed week in the world of tech news and business, and there’s been almost too many stories to keep up with. If you’ve been following this series, you’ll know how highly we value companies who keep up to date on the latest technology and news in their sector. If you’re aiming to stand out as a thought leader, it’s vital to make this part of your working week.

So, that’s why we started this series. By providing you with the latest in tech news each week, we want to make sure that you can stand out from your competitors and speak with authority on the subjects that matter most to your industry.  We’d love to know what your favourite story this week has been as well- feel free to get in touch with us on social media and let us know what caught your eye in the media this week.

 

The KPN outage outrage

In a shocking turn of events, KPN telecoms faced a huge outage in the Netherlands which managed to wipe out the emergency services for a total of 4 hours. It is the largest telecommunications outage that the company has faced in many years, with the 112 emergency number being taken out of use entirely.

Thankfully, the emergency services were on their game, sending out as many forces and as much aid as possible to make sure that nobody was in dire need of assistance. Police were sent out on patrol, and firetrucks were stationed near major urban areas. If anything positive can come out of a story like this, it’s certainly this aspect.

The spokesperson for KPN stated that ‘they had no reason to believe it was a hack’ and that ‘they monitor their systems 24/7’. However, the chief executive is expected to step down, and the board director has stated that their emergency back ups did not work. Understandably, there was a lot of outrage and upset over how vulnerable the 112 number was, with people declaring that it simply just should not have been possible for this to happen.

 

Climate change catastrophes curtailed by computers

I have too much fun doing these headlines. A fantastic research paper has been released which details how AI could be a great aid to stopping climate change catastrophes across the world, written by a number of experts in the field. The paper has already been received with interest by the industry and the media alike, with many jumping online to share their opinions.

To summarise the paper, I’ve grabbed the main points that were made about how and where AI and machine learning should be implemented. The main points are;

More efficient electricity systems should be built. AI could help by forecasting generation and demand statistics.
Agricultural and natural damage should be monitored. Disasters like deforestation are not being closely monitored enough, and should be kept under watch much more effectively.
Extreme weather prediction and disaster forecasting.
Development of new, low-carbon materials.
Reduce urban energy waste levels. This could be done with smart sensors and tracking technology.
Efficient and eco-friendly travel. Autonomous vehicles and public transport would be hugely helpful here.
Personalised carbon footprint tracking tools. It’s commonly thought that individuals can’t do anything to help climate change, which is simply not the case. It’s important to highlight how valuable every single person is in the fight against climate change and damage.
A more reflective Earth should be geo-engineered. This doesn’t mean spiritually reflective- this means literally reflective. Reflective or even artificial clouds made with aerosols could help reflect heat back into space, but as this great article from the Verge points out, this is the most speculative point in the paper.

Overall, this paper makes a fantastic read and shows off the brilliant ingenuity in our industry. If you’ve got the time, I would definitely recommend reading the full thing.

 

Argo AI is making moves

Specifically, $15m worth of moves- with the sole aim of working on the latest self-driving vehicles, and ensuring large scale global deployment of the technology. The self-driving startup is backed by Ford, and they’re building a new research centre dedicated entirely to these intense goals.

Argo hinted at a number of projects that they’re aiming to get started on- including working with extreme weather capabilities, reckless drivers and reducing the reliance on high-definition maps. It’s a lot of investment from Argo, and I’m personally intrigued to see what they can accomplish in the future as global deployment of self driving cars seems to be a long way away.

 

Someone made a robot duck- because of course they did

Imagine seeing this in your local pet store. A creative engineer, working for Nissan in Japan, has created a robotic alternative to the ducks that are used as pest and weed controllers in rice paddy fields. In all seriousness, this is a fantastic display of ingenuity and engineering, and it highlights how robotics can be used to improve the lives of everybody all over the globe. Currently, the project is in testing and doesn’t appear to be set for any sort of commercialisation, but it’s a fantastic project nonetheless.

 

Other interesting stories

As always, there’s been countless stories and pieces of news to cover this week. So, I’ve collected up some extra bite size pieces of content for you to skim through, to keep you up to date on as much as possible. This is a regular feature in our weekly blog series, and is often the most interesting part to write. The other stories that you need to know about this week include;

The first prototype of the ‘Lightyear One’ car has been unveiled, and is expected to reach consumers in 2021. It’s an electric car, which is covered in solar panels.
A massive global espionage-attempt was discovered by the security research firm Cybereason. The targets were call records, from 10 cell providers worldwide.
Model Gigi Hadid is aiming to take on copyright laws based around social media and paparazzi photography, sparking debate over how celebrities are not entitled to post pictures of their own faces.
The game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has been released, furthering the excitement about augmented reality gaming.
Bill Gates has declared that Microsoft’s mobile strategy was his ‘biggest mistake ever’.
Drones have been disrupting multiple flights in Shanghai, sparking security concerns over rising drone usage.

 

 

Emily Stonham
Emily Stonham

Emily is a researcher and writer for InnovationScouts.tech. Having worked with companies from Seattle to the Seychelles, she brings balanced and thought-provoking insights to the team.

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