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Tech and Hosting News Round-Up

Tech and Hosting News Round-Up

weekly techn news blog

To keep our customers more informed, we’ve decided to send out regular blog posts featuring the latest technology and hosting news. This is the first one, so we hope you find it interesting and useful.

Where’s my Xeon processor?

Despite investing record amounts over the last two years to increase manufacturing output, microchip manufacturer Intel says it is struggling to meet the demand for its Xeon server chips and that there will be a scarcity of them throughout 2020.

At the heart of the problem are the massive datacentre expansions taking place at the major Silicon Valley companies, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook. Competition between them meant these companies invested a third of the £29bn spent on datacentre equipment and apps during 2019. Their demand is such that even established manufacturers like HP and Dell are having to find alternative chips for their products.

Thousands of companies receive GDPR fines

Since GDPR was launched in 2018, over 22,000 UK firms have been fined by the ICO for data breaches and non-compliance. This puts the UK as the third-worst offender in the EU behind the Netherlands (40,000+) and Germany (36,000+). Overall, over 160,000 businesses have been reported to the EU.

With the total amount of fines being just over £97 million, the amount individual companies are fined has been quite small. However, once legal precedents are set, this is expected to rise. At the same time, the number of companies being sanctioned will increase as regulators seek to enforce the rules more stringently now that businesses have had ample time to put procedures into place.

Is this the end of leaving tips in cafés?

If you’re in the habit of leaving your server a tip, things might be about to change. Those clever people in Japan have now started to replace human servers with androids. At the Pepper Parlour in Tokyo, ten of these humanised, AI robots will take your order, chat with you and will even take your photograph. Pepper, of course, doesn’t work alone. There’s a robot called Whiz who’ll tidy up when you leave and even a yet unnamed robot that will dance for you while you eat. If you think these are just novelty inventions that you’re unlikely to see over here, then think again. Their manufacturer, SoftBank, has sold thousands of models including to high street favourite Pizza Hut. While its bad news for those working in the industry, it will certainly mean you can save on the tips.

We’re greener than you!

The competition between the world’s major tech companies has now spread into the climate change agenda. In September last year, Amazon chief, Jeff Bezos, pledged that the company would become carbon neutral by 2040. Not to be outdone, Microsoft has come up with an even more challenging response by promising to be carbon negative by 2030. Carbon negative means it will take more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than its operations emit. What’s more, Microsoft has gone one step further, pledging to be historically carbon negative by 2050. In other words, by 2050, it aims to remove more carbon dioxide than it will have emitted since its start-up in 1975. That’s 75 years’ worth of emissions negated in 30 years. Let’s hope this catches on!   

AI and ML team up with soccer

Germany’s top football league, the Bundesliga, is to use advanced technologies to provide in-depth analysis of their live match broadcasts and to deliver personalised experiences for viewers. It will make use of data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to produce real-time data that can predict future plays and game outcomes.

When combined with user data, it will also be able to send personalised match footage recommendations across its TV and streaming channels. The new cloud-based services will automate processes, improve operational efficiency and, most importantly, enhance the viewer experience. Looks like another goal for Germany, provided they don’t get caught offside by VAR.

Internet Explorer security flaw

A major security flaw has been discovered in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer which is now being exploited by cybercriminals. Although IE is now a legacy browser, following the release of Edge, it is still used on millions of machines across the globe.

The flaw, which was discovered by the US Homeland Security agency, gives hackers the potential to leave malicious code on users’ computers. Despite this, Microsoft says it has no urgent plans to issue a patch to remove the flaw. Instead, it suggests that users stop using IE and start using Edge. According to the company, the issue affects all supported versions of Windows. This includes Windows 7 which no longer receives security updates.

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