The latest tech news stories that you need to be aware of

The latest tech news stories that you need to be aware of

As always, it’s been a crazy week- over a week, if you’re keeping track of our post times-  in the world of tech news. New technology is always emerging and developing, and companies rise and fall with each day. It can be hard to keep track of the latest news and developments, especially in more niche areas like automation or agriculture. That’s why we like to bring you these weekly blogs, to keep you up to speed.

If you’re new to this blog series, it’s essentially a weekly round up of everything that you need to know in the world of tech. Here at InnovationScouts, we think that being up to date on industry news is one of the best ways to present your team as thought leaders. Thus, we pick out the best stories each week to keep you ahead of the curve.

German state bans Office 365

In the German state of Hesse, all Office 365 products have been banned from schools entirely. The reason given for this is privacy concerns. More specifically, since Microsoft closed their German data centre, there is a risk that user’s data could be accessed by American authorities- and this does not coincide with the EU GDPR regulations.

The schools will now have to rely on entirely non-cloud based software. Something that’s worth noting is that it’s not just an anti-Microsoft move, as Google and Apple cloud software is also not allowed. It’s been interesting seeing the reactions to this story online, and will certainly be interesting to see whether other states follow suit.

People are selling a robot with laser vision

But before you get too excited, it’s nothing to do with Superman. The Roborock S6 is the latest in robotic vacuums, and showcases the complex tech that’s being developed in the industry right now. This robot has 14 unique types of sensors to help it do its job, and relies on laser navigation to create a map of the house that it’s cleaning. It works in tandem with a helpful app, too. It’s a brilliant piece of engineering and has been gladly received by the online community so far.

Bikes with brains

Michigan based startup Refraction AI has come out with their solution for automated last-mile deliveries. Last week, their robot REV-1 was unveiled as the company came out at a TechCrunch event. It was described by their CEO as a Goldilocks styled solution, as it’s neither too big or too small.

REV-1 is larger than most typical delivery robots, but also small enough and low power to fit within e-bike regulations. It fits comfortably into bike lanes. Commercially, it’s been incredibly well received. The general public, however, doesn’t seem as keen with many people expressing their discomfort and annoyance with the disruptions to public travel that it could cause. Some cities have even banned them, for disruption and hazard prevention.

Actual Terminators?

The US Army has announced that it’s going to be testing out armoured, robotic vehicles. These tests will be taking place in 2020, and are going to be based around future technologies and how soldiers might be able to utilise them on the battle field. They’re built on M113 Personnel Carriers, and will be controlled by soldiers in a vehicle with a turret, touchscreens and cameras. It’s incredibly futuristic, and it’ll be intriguing to see how these tests go.

The latest cryptocurrency hack

The latest cryptocurrency exchange to be targeted by hackers is the Japan-based Bitpoint. The exchange was hit for 3.5 billion yen, which comes out to roughly £2.6M. Most of the funds were believed to have belonged to customers, and customers have been notified that all services have ceased as a result.

Bitpoint has noted that wallets which weren’t connected to the internet are fine, but they have still suspended all services. It’s a shocking hack to have witnessed, and Bitpoint will certainly need to consider their next move carefully.

They’re always listening

Conspiracy theorists lost their minds with glee recently as Google confirmed that human workers do indeed listen to recordings of Google Assistant conversations. It appears that consumers are waking up to the possible negatives of working with voice assistants, as many people were creeped out by this concept.

Google has defended these actions here with a blog post. They detailed how precautions are in place to prevent issues with privacy and security, and that the listening only occurs for training purposes. We’d love to know what you think about this- is it a genuine reason to listen to possibly sensitive audio (remember, they get to listen to audio that’s accidentally picked up by the Google Assistant, too) or is it just plain creepy? Feel free to let us know what you think on our social media.

Other interesting tech news stories

As we’re sure you all know, the world of tech is constantly evolving and changing. Thus, it’s hard to cram every story every week into one little blog- so we like to round up this series with some quick fire headlines that we think will be helpful for you to know about this week;

– Facebook has created a tool to help users report scams or misleading information in adverts. This is currently only in the UK, but it’s a great start.

– Megvii, a Chinese AI startup, has created a tool to track lost dogs and irresponsible pet owners using the unique prints of dogs noses.

– The Arianespace launch failure has completely obliterated a military satellite.

– An AI called DeepCubeA has taught itself how to solve a Rubik’s cube in under a second.

– A poker AI bot, designed by Facebook and CMU, has beaten 12 of the world’s top poker pros.


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Scott Stonham

Scott is Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at He has been at the forefront of many technologies we take for granted today, including mobile internet and smartphone navigation. Today he helps clients navigate innovative emerging technologies and is available for speaking opportunities.

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