Friday roundup: A week in tech

Screenshot_20180202-094805

Our digital minister has, rather fittingly, launched an app, which I’ve dutifully downloaded so I can tell you all about it.

Matthew Hancock MP, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (they like to keep him busy), launched the software for IOS and Android to ‘promote healthy, open and constructive discourse on the issues that matter to you,’ and is ‘intended to engage, update and inform West Suffolk constituents’.

But users are also warned that ‘offensive conduct will not be tolerated, and offenders may be removed’. Oh dear, the jokers have ignored that, as anybody living could have told you they would, and the thing is already deep in flood with frenzied wackiness.

According to the Guardian, the majority ‘of the users are political journalists, people trolling Matt Hancock, or both,’ which sounds like a perfect storm of utter tedium.

More interestingly and alarmingly are the concerns raised by privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, whose director has described the Hancock app as a ‘fascinating comedy of errors’.

The superbly named Silkie Carlo said: ‘It is quite fitting, given this government’s incompetence on digital privacy issues, that our digital minister’s app steals a bank of users’ personal photographs, even when permission to access them is denied.’ Opps!

…actually, I’d better uninstall it sharpish.

***

Apple didn’t sell as many phones last year, but before you fret and weep on behalf of the company you should know that profits rose anyway. Phew.

In fact, Apple made record quarterly profits of £14 billion – driven by sales of its very expensive iPhone X in Europe and Japan.

Actually, it’s year-on-year handset sales only dropped by 1% to 77.3 million, and as the iPhone X starts around £1,000 and has been the best-selling Apple device since its launch in November it’s not really surprising that they’re rolling in yet more money.

But are things about to turn to dust? The firm has forecast weaker sales in the coming months, so maybe the great Apple is about to tumble. Seems unlikely, but let’s wait and see.

Incidentally, Apple are currently in a three-way race with Amazon and Google to become the world’s first trillion dollar company – a contest which I’m sure you find as gripping as I do.

***

The resurgent Nintendo has reported that its latest games console has outsold its predecessor in under a year.

The Nintendo Switch has sold 14.86 units in 10 months since its launch; Nintendo’s previous system, the Wii U, sold a mere 13.56 million in five years.

Consequently, the firm has announced its greatest quarterly profits since 2009.

And I can vouch for all this: the Switch is the first console I’ve bought in years and it is superb.

However, apparently intent on ruining things, Nintendo has announced plans to make a film based on its popular character Mario, a truly rubbish idea not least because they did that once before and it was, predictably, truly rubbish.

Friday roundup: A week in tech

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s