Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this month.
More Amazon robots
Over the next five years, it is estimated that the number of products Amazon ships which have been handled by robots will grow from 75% to 100% as it puts more of them to use in a bid to cut costs. Currently, the retail giant is trialling two new robots, one which can move around freely in warehouses where humans are working and a large robotic arm that is capable of picking up unboxed items. Amazon will also begin its long-awaited drone delivery service before the end of 2022, with ambitions to deliver half a billion packages by drone by 2030.
While robot technology might reduce the need for warehouse manpower, it is creating jobs elsewhere in the business. It has a Global Robotics, Fulfilment and IT Vice President and over 700 different roles have been created as the company’s development of robotics evolves.
While the redundancies at Twitter have hit the global headlines, it is not the only tech-based business forced to lay people off in the current economic crisis. Indeed, Twitter not only laid off around half of its 7,000 employees; it also cut 4,400 contractors. Musk’s other famous company, carmaker Tesla, also cut its workforce by 10% in June. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp owner, Meta, meanwhile has recently announced 11,000 employees will be let go, approximately 13% of its global workforce.
Elsewhere this year, Microsoft has cut its workforce by 1,000, Netflix by 450, Shopify by 1,000, Stripe by 1,100 and Lyft by 700. It is a pattern expected to continue across the sector over the next 12 months.
In an effort to raise recycling revenues, cash-strapped councils are investing thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on apps that remind residents to take out their rubbish. Already in use in Leeds and Aylesbury Vale, the latest local authority to join them is South Norfolk Council, which has spent £17,000 on an app that sends out reminders each week, and which has already been downloaded 2,000 times.
Aside from being created to increase the council’s income from selling its recyclable waste, the app is also designed to have a positive effect on the environment. The more people that recycle their rubbish the fewer items that go to landfill.
However, while the app will hopefully pay for itself by increasing revenues and making saving in return trips for missed bins, not everyone thinks it’s a good idea. With councils already struggling to make ends meet, these apps need to be run around the clock, adding further costs, while others say the information the app provides is already widely available.
UK cyber help for Ukraine
The UK has been providing Ukraine with help against Russian cyberattacks that aimed to take down its government and infrastructure systems. While the Russians deny any attacks have taken place, Ukraine has been at the receiving end of the biggest attacks in history. Their satellite communications have been targeted and human agents have been deployed by Russia, some with malware-infected USBs, to obtain access to important systems.
The UK’s role has seen the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office collaborate with specialist forensic experts within the industry in an effort to detect and investigate the many cyberattacks taking place, some of which were using new and innovative methods. Attacks on infrastructure, especially on energy, have increased dramatically as Russia’s initial plans to take control of Ukraine have proven ineffective.
Some of the attacks have also been on databases, with personal information being stolen, enabling Russians to identify people who might or might not support their invasion. Senior figures within Ukraine have been specifically targeted and spied upon.
With the climate crisis driving the world to quickly find environmentally friendly alternatives to gas, oil and coal, one of the latest plans is to develop solar energy satellites that can capture power from the sun and beam it to the planet in the form of microwaves. Those microwaves could then be converted to electricity.
Potentially in place by 2035, 15 years before most countries’ net-zero targets, the Space Energy Initiative’s Cassiopeia project is a plan to create a network of high-orbit satellites that will act as giant solar panels. Permanently above the cloud layer and able to harvest energy continuously, they have the potential to eventually supply all the planet’s energy by 2050. Indeed, just a narrow band of satellites around the earth could supply 100 times what the world is expected to use by the mid-century. Visit our website for more news, blog posts, knowledge base articles and information on our wide range of hosting services.