Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this week.
Microsoft replaces journalists with AI
Microsoft has joined the long list of businesses replacing humans with AI by sacking fifty journalists at MSN. The journalists on the way out are not hired as writers but as content curators and editors. Although MSN does publish some of its own content, it pays news organisations like the BBC and The Guardian to use their articles which are then edited for the MSN readership.
While AI is not advanced enough to write original, high-quality content, its algorithms are capable of finding trending articles on the internet and curating them for MSN’s website. It can also decide upon the most clickable headlines and images to attract its readership. The MSN writing team, however, remains in place.
Amazon UK hacked by racists
Amazon is blaming a bad actor for replacing Apple earphone product images with photos using racist language on the UK version of its website. The appearance of the images has caused a storm of protests on Twitter and made the headlines in several countries.
While Amazon has now removed the offending material, it raises into question its management of third-party vendors posting their own products on its site, with some saying that the ad should have been vetted before going live.
This is the latest in a set of third-party vendor problems that have plagued Amazon over the last few months. There have been concerns over the sale of fake or counterfeit goods and complaints that products hard to get during the pandemic were being sold at highly inflated prices. Amazon earns half its revenue from independent sellers, the majority of which operate within its guidelines. However, it may need to make changes to how it manages them to prevent issues like these happening in the future.
Keep your Windows closed
If you’re eager to update to the latest version of Windows 10, released on May 10th, hold fire. The new version of the operating system is riddled with issues and Microsoft has told users not to update manually while it gets them fixed.
Those who have downloaded the updated version have had problems with Realtek Bluetooth connections, the mouse not working with some apps and games, cable network adaptors causing restarts and Thunderbolt dock errors when plugging and unplugging. Blue screen errors have also been found with Synaptic and Conexant audio drivers and with some versions of Nvidia display adapter drivers.
Automatic updates will resume once the problems have been solved; in the meantime, stick to the current version.
A more user-friendly Twitter
Twitter has made a couple of changes to the way people and businesses can use its website. One change which will benefit businesses the most is the ability to schedule posts. Previously, marketers wanting to automate the times at which Tweets were sent out had to rely on third-party apps to do this, now it can be done from within Twitter itself. To help, it also enables the saving of drafts, which can be used as templates to simplify the creation of future posts.
The other major change is the ability to disable replies to Tweets or choose who can reply. The aim of this is to cut down toxicity on the site. This gives individuals and brands some control over negative reactions to any Tweet they have posted, helping them minimise the risk of reputational damage.
New form of encryption patented
US company, K2View, has patented a new type of encryption which it claims is even more secure. Using a hierarchical structure of encryption keys, it can divide data up into millions of micro-databases each with its own unique key. At the same time, it also provides users at different levels of authorisation access to the right data, at the right place and at the right time. This is because a digital entity is created for each user or user group, and this contains all the data they have the authorisation to use.
From a security perspective, a company could separate each customer’s details into individual databases and uniquely encrypt each one. Indeed, they could even sub-divide these, keeping things like credit card numbers separate from names and addresses. If a hacker got access, they would need to decrypt each database one at a time to carry out a large scale breach.
UK funding safer IoT
There’s been plenty of news about how easily hackable some smart devices are. The failure of manufacturers to ensure these devices are secure has become a serious concern, especially as they are now so commonplace. To try to put an end to this, the UK government is offering £400,000 to fund organisations that can develop robust testing schemes for manufacturers to put their products through before they are made available. The hope is that retailers and customers would only want products which had passed the test and this would force manufacturers into providing more secure devices.
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