Keeping up to date with what’s going on in the world of I.T. (information technology) is essential in our day and age. Whether you’re trying to stay informed on current events or you’re an aspiring professional in the I.T. industry, it’s essential to be in the know about the new technologies and events that are developing across the world. With this in mind, here is our round-up of some of the top I.T. headlines from the last week.
I.T. problems to blame for Walkers crisp shortage
If you’ve had a hard time trying to find your favourite snacks on the supermarket shelves recently, you’re not alone. Stores across the U.K. have been hit by a shortage of Walkers crisps, due to reduced production as a result of an error in an recent I.T. system upgrade.
A spokesperson told BBC News that staff are ‘working round the clock’ to resolve the situation, as reports warn that shortages may continue into next month and the Christmas period. They added that ‘we’re incredibly grateful to all our colleagues in Leicester and our other sites for their hard work and dedication as we work through this issue’.
The company is prioritising production of its most popular flavours, but the situation remains ongoing. Shoppers have shared pictures of empty shelves online, and the Daily Mail has reported that some eBay sellers are allegedly selling individual packets for more than £6, a considerable mark-up from the average retail price of around 90p.
Supreme Court blocks privacy lawsuit against Google
The UK Supreme Court has blocked a £3.2 billion lawsuit against Google, which alleged that the tech giant had unlawfully tracked the personal information of millions of iPhone users between 2011 and 2012. City A.M. reports that had the lawsuit been successful, around 4.4 million Brits would have been entitled to compensation of £750 each. Lord Leggatt, Justice of the Supreme Court, rejected the lawsuit on the grounds of insufficient evidence, claiming that there was not enough evidence of the impact that data security breaches had on individual claimants.
Leggatt told the court that ‘the attempt to recover compensation without proving any facts particular to any individual iPhone user, and in particular without alleging or proving that Google’s alleged unlawful conduct caused any financial damage or mental distress to any such individual, is therefore unsustainable’. A spokesperson for Google said the claim was ‘related to events that took place a decade ago and that we addressed at the time’, and added that ‘people want to know that they are safe and secure online, which is why for years we’ve focused on building products and infrastructure that respect and protect people’s privacy’.
However, just hours after the Supreme Court ruling, Google was fined $2.8 billion by Europe’s competition commissioner after losing an appeal against a 2017 antitrust case. The case was a result of Google’s use of its own price comparison shopping service in order to gain an advantage over its smaller European rivals. Both verdicts could potentially have huge consequences for big tech companies and pave the way for future regulations, which may shake up the tech industry in years to come.
Ancient Olympia to be digitally preserved
In a collaboration between Microsoft and the Greek government, the ancient area of Olympia is to be digitally preserved through the use of augmented reality (AR) technology. Olympia is the site of the original Olympic games, first held over 2000 years ago.
The project will allow visitors to explore 27 monuments including the original Olympic stadium, the temples of Zeus and Hera, and the workshop of the famous sculptor Phidias through the use of a mobile or web-based desktop app. The Athens Olympic Museum will also offer virtual tours of the site to visitors as part of a Microsoft Hololens 2 exhibition.
Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, said that ‘the project to digitally preserve ancient Olympia is a stunning achievement in cultural heritage, bringing together humanity and cutting-edge technology to benefit the world and empower coming generations with new ways to explore our past’. The Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said that ‘the cultural implications of this technology are endless. For the first time, visitors from around the world can virtually visit the birthplace of democracy, the ancient site of Olympia, and experience history first hand.’
The project is an ambitious testament to the power of technology as an educational tool, as it will make the history of Olympia accessible to people across the globe. Critics warn that this may extend the power of U.S. tech giants, but as climate change threatens the longevity of ancient archaeological sites, this may be the beginning of a future where cultural heritage sites are only preserved in digital form.
U.S. joins global cybersecurity partnership
On Wednesday afternoon, Vice President Harris announced that the U.S. has joined the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, an international agreement to create and follow laws and regulations for the cybersecurity space.
The agreement is backed by 80 countries and hundreds of tech companies and universities, and involves nine principles. According to ZDNet, these include ‘protecting individuals and infrastructure, protecting the internet, defending electoral processes, defending intellectual property, the non-proliferation of malicious software, lifecycle security, cyber hygiene, banning private actors from ‘hacking back,’ and implementing international norms ‘of responsible behavior.’’. The U.S. was not part of this agreement previously as former President Trump refused to participate, criticising Russia and China’s absence from the deal.
This international commitment to cybersecurity principles shows a growing recognition of the importance of this area of I.T. Companies and governments across the world have been stepping up their cybersecurity efforts in recent years; this summer, the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced £700,000 worth of funding to help boost cyber security growth across the country.
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