Tech and Hosting News Round-Up

May 29, 2024 / Technology News

tech news

Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this month.

Internet Boosts Wellbeing

According to a recent study by the University of Oxford, using the internet can have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing and life satisfaction. The study, which analysed data from 2 million individuals across 168 countries, found that those who had internet access reported an 8.5% higher score for life satisfaction and had an 8.3% increase in positive experiences compared to those who didn’t go online.

The research, which used information collected by Gallup World Poll, carried out face-to-face and phone surveys to assess respondents’ wellbeing. Surprisingly, and in contrast to what many people believe, a staggering 84.9% of the associations between internet connectivity and wellbeing were positive, with only 4.9% being negative associations.

It should be pointed out, however, that the study did not look at the effects of social media on people’s wellbeing, which might have altered some of the findings; instead, it focused on general internet usage.

Smart Gadget Rules

In order to strengthen the security of devices such as baby monitors, TVs and smart speakers, manufacturers in the UK now have to comply with stricter regulations when selling their smart gadgets. In the past, many of these Internet of Things (IoT) devices have been highly vulnerable to cybercriminal attacks, with hackers exploiting their weaknesses to access home networks and steal owners’ personal data.

With the average UK home having nine connected devices, including smart TVs and voice assistants, the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) regulations are designed to protect consumers and businesses from these forms of cyberattacks. As such, the new law requires manufacturers to ensure new devices have secure passwords, a move that will eradicate existing issues with default passwords that are either blank or easily guessable by hackers, e.g. 12345. At the same time, businesses will have to be more transparent when reporting any security issues and will have to supply details to owners about features like support and software update durations.

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Driverless Tractors

Cambridgeshire farmer, Will Mumford, is pioneering the use of AI-enabled driverless tractors in the UK, with the autonomous vehicles being used to carry out tasks like soil cultivation and seed planting on the St Neot’s arable farm. Able to operate for up to 30 hours without stopping and creating only minimal land damage, they offer farmers the potential to boost productivity while also being environmentally friendly.

Mumford is confident that despite the use of AI and automation, the tractors and similar equipment in development will not be used to replace human farm workers. Indeed, the National Farmers’ Union also backs the technology. Mainstream adoption, however, may be some years away, especially when the tractors come with a hefty £180,000 to £320,000 price tag. In the meantime, Mumford is exploring the potential to use automated vehicles for other tasks, such as crop monitoring and pest control.

VR Education Space

Nescot College in Surrey is investing £650,000 to convert a hair salon into a cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) education space that will transform student learning experiences. The facility, set to open in September, will cater for various courses and will see VR equipment, with integrated AI, delivering a range of educational experiences. For instance, students will have the opportunity to acquire skills in areas like operating a forklift truck or navigating a hospital A&E ward, all within an immersive virtual environment.

The VR area will feature an immersive room, vehicle simulators and an ‘igloo’ equipped with a 360-degree projection system that offers virtual field trips. A set of four advanced simulators, meanwhile, will be used to deliver vehicle handling training, with students getting the chance to work with a variety of machinery and vehicles, including cranes and fire engines.

AI Exoskeletons

A Cambridgeshire car repair company, German Autowerks, is to use AI to help extend the working lives of employees doing physically demanding jobs. By analysing videos of its mechanics, AI is able to identify areas of high pressure that can lead to long-term health issues. Using that data, the AI then selects the most suitable exoskeletons – powered harnesses that alleviate strain – for the employees. Hertfordshire company, Stanley Handling, which provided the AI technology, predicts that it will eventually become a standard form of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), supporting workers in physically challenging roles and potentially enabling them to work for longer as the retirement age rises.

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  • Niraj Chhajed

    I'm a SEO and SMM Specialist with a passion for sharing insights on website hosting, development, and technology to help businesses thrive online.

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