Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this month.
Online shoppers have been swindled an average of £200 each by a fraudulent website imitating the troubled retailer, Wilko. With the high street chain going into administration in August, it slashed its prices to sell off remaining stock, leading to a surge in customers looking for last-minute bargains. The fake website was launched in response to this. So far, South Yorkshire Police have reported 19 cases of consumers falling victim to this counterfeit site.
Fake websites can be highly sophisticated, making it hard for shoppers to tell the difference between the real site and the fake one. Anyone making a purchase on these sites not only risks buying goods that are never delivered but could also have their banking information stolen.
Website owners, particularly those who take payments for goods or services online, are advised to warn their customers about fake websites and the means by which they get lured to them, such as phishing emails and fake advertisements.
AI’s Power Demand
According to new research, by 2027, artificial intelligence might consume as much energy as the Netherlands. As AI applications rely on powerful hardware that requires more energy than conventional computing, the heightened interest in and adoption of the technology has led to a surge in the internet’s energy usage.
The study, led by Alex De Vries from VU Amsterdam, based its prediction on the growth rate of AI and the continuous high demand for AI chips. Nvidia, the chip designer, is predicted to fulfil 95% of the AI processing requirements. By evaluating the number of computers expected by 2027, De Vries estimated AI’s energy consumption to be between 85-134 terawatt-hours (TWh) annually – more than is currently used by the whole of the Netherlands.
A colossal robotic arm, equipped with a waterjet strong enough to penetrate steel, is revolutionising shipbreaking. Designed to disassemble ships, the arm is being developed by the German firm, Leviathan. Traditional shipbreaking, mainly conducted on polluted beaches in South Asia, is notorious for its environmental hazards and poor worker safety. However, Leviathan aims to transform the industry by offering an eco-friendlier and safer alternative.
The firm’s system utilises robot arms, similar to those in car factories, combined with a high-pressure water and sand jet, precise enough to be used in bomb disposal. The technology requires fewer workers and promises a speedier dismantling process. Despite its potential, the method comes with its own costs, such as the need for specialised rigs. With around 15,000 ships needing to be recycled over the next decade, Leviathan believes its initiative is a significant stride towards a cleaner ship recycling industry.
Castle Hill Hospital in East Yorkshire has become the first in the UK to introduce a virtual reality (VR) treadmill for assisting brain injury patients in their recovery process. Aimed at revolutionising rehabilitation exercises, the treadmill uses VR to simulate everyday challenges, such as going to the shops, enabling patients to experience and prepare for real-life situations.
The VR treadmill permits walking, jogging or running in any direction, allowing patients to challenge themselves at a pace they’re comfortable with. Its advanced motion sensors and responsive controls provide a seamless and immersive experience that adapts to the individual movements of each user.
Dr. Abayomi Salawu, a consultant in rehabilitation medicine, said that transforming traditional exercises into interactive and enjoyable VR activities could motivate patients and enhance the success of their recovery. A significant benefit of the treadmill is its ability to mimic daily life scenarios, providing a realistic and practical rehabilitation approach.
The UK’s cloud computing sector is under scrutiny over potential market domination by Amazon and Microsoft. Ofcom’s report that the industry giants possess between 70-80% of the UK sector, has led to concerns about limited competition, potentially making it challenging for businesses to switch providers. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has now been tasked with examining the situation and its findings will be released by April 2025. This could lead to mandatory company changes if market threats are identified.
Amazon and Microsoft have pledged cooperation with the CMA during the inquiry. However, Amazon disputes the concerns, suggesting Ofcom might misunderstand the sector. Cloud computing, essential for many businesses and individuals, was estimated to have a UK market value of approximately £7.5bn in 2022.
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