Weekly Tech Roundup for November 23 2018

“The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Today’s technology is like a booming market, full of exciting, innovative products and new learning opportunities.

We also included some snippets from our daily knowledge development sessions, just to give you a little extra knowledge. After all, knowledge is never enough. Take your time and digest every one of them. The world is fast evolving and so should your mind.

Google finally cleans up its Esta ads after eight years

Google says it will stop ads for expensive unofficial Esta services appearing at the top of search results, eight years after the first complaints.In 2010, the US started charging UK travelers to use the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (Esta).
Unofficial sites charging five times as much as the US government soon flooded the top of Google’s search results, despite breaking Google’s ad rules.

Now, after a BBC News investigation, Google says it is tackling the issue.While unofficial Esta sites will still appear in the search results, they should no longer appear above the official website as advertisements when using the most common search terms.

Samsung apologises to sick factory workers

Samsung has formally apologised to employees who fell sick or died after working in its factories. In the apology, Samsung president Kim Ki-nam said staff and families had “suffered” because the South Korean company had been too slow to act.

Earlier this month Samsung agreed a compensation deal for workers who fell ill while on its production lines.The apology follows a campaign to win redress for staff by Hwang Sang-ki, the father of one Samsung worker who died.

‘Sci-fi’ plane with no moving parts flies successfully 

A team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created the first ever plane to take flight without moving parts. It uses electro-aerodynamic propulsion to fly which is greener and quieter than traditional aircraft. Is this the future of aviation?

Amazon breach may have hit Indian users

The data breach that hit Amazon globally is likely to have impacted customers in India as well. According to industry experts, given that it had a global impact, users in Europe and US reporting are said to have received alert mails from the company.

Facebook’s latest crisis is about its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook is back in the hot seat after The New York Times published a more than 5,000-word investigative report about how its executives responded to a series of scandals.

The latest revelations come at a bad time for the world’s largest social network, which is already having a rough year. From combating election meddling and hate speech to dealing with a massive security breach, the tech giant’s woes keep piling up. It’s trying to rebuild trust with its more than 2 billion monthly active users, but it also faces the potential of more regulation from lawmakers.

You can now ask Siri to pass you on to Google Assistant on iOS devices

Remember in Primary school when you sent your friends to give a message to the girl you liked? Well now you can have that same feeling all over again when you talk to your iPhone. A cheeky update to the Google Assistant app on iOS has opened up a new way for iPhone users to access the search giant’s voice-enabled digital assistant.

The latest version of Google Assistant adds support for Siri Shortcuts, and as a result iPhone users can now use their voice to ask Google Assistant to do things for them — but they still have to go through Siri.

Essentially, by saying something like “Hey Siri, get Google” you can ask Siri to call up Google’s AI helper and start issuing your demands to it instead.

New Supercomputer with 1 Million Processors Is World’s Fastest Brain-Mimicking Machine

Scientists just activated the world’s biggest “brain”: a supercomputer with a million processing cores and 1,200 interconnected circuit boards that together operate like a human brain.

Ten years in the making, it is the world’s largest neuromorphic computer — a type of computer that mimics the firing of neurons — scientists announced on Nov. 2.

Dubbed Spiking Neural Network Architecture, or SpiNNaker, the computer powerhouse is located at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and it “rethinks the way conventional computers work,” project member Steve Furber, a professor of computer engineering at the University of Manchester

Google tightens political ad policies ahead of 2019 EU elections

Google has announced it will publicize the identity of organizations paying for political ads during the 2019 EU Parliamentary Elections. Any ad that mentions a political party, candidate, or office holder will have to tell users who paid for it, with Google also introducing a new process to verify these identities. The Election Ads Transparency Report which summarizes which organizations are spending the money in which locations, will also be returning from 2017’s US Midterm Elections.

Google’s plan to clarify the source of ads placed on its network mirrors a similar initiative announced by Facebook last month, and is a step towards making online political advertising more transparent. However, its definition of political ads is surprisingly narrow in the context of political misinformation campaigns we’ve seen online in recent years.

The US government is reportedly trying to persuade allies to stop using Huawei equipment

The US government is attempting to persuade allies to stop using Huawei equipment due to security fears, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Sources claim that US government officials have met with counterparts in Germany, Japan, and Italy, and are reportedly considering offering financial incentives to countries who opt not to use equipment from the Chinese manufacturer.

Already this year the US has banned government use of Huawei-made equipment and refuses to let retail stores on military bases sell Huawei handsets. However, there are now fears that US military bases located overseas could be made vulnerable to hacking attempts if their internet traffic travels over commercial networks in other countries built using Huawei hardware. The roll-out of new 5G networks also adds additional security concerns.

About Weekly Tech Roundup by Bincom Dev Center 

You probably already know that Bincom ICT‘s core is Best Use of Technology. This initiative is a compilation of some of the things the people at Bincom Dev Center found interesting during the week in review.  Bincom Dev Center is the Training & Development Arm of Bincom ICT.

In this weekly publication, You will find various pieces ranging from ideas to trends, to random thoughts. They are here because we found them interesting.  We also include some knowledge development pieces and where to get more information about the topic. We aim to publish an edition every Friday at 5:00pm (with exception of Holidays).  We are working hard to keep ourselves updated and we think you should too!

Time for some Shameless Advertising:

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One more thing, Credits for this edition goes to :

  • Contributors:  All_of_us @ Bincom Dev Center
  • Compiled by:  Fisayo Adesomoju
  • Edited by:  Nnaemeka Nwosu
  • Senior Responsibility Officer:   Bade Adesemowo

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