Friday roundup: A week in tech

Social Media2

The world’s social media enterprises are failing miserably to tackle cyber-bullying – which should come as no surprise to anyone, as they tend to be uniformly useless at that kind of thing.

Now a charity has found that firms’ inability to prevent virtual intimidation and harassment could be damaging young people’s mental health.

The Children’s Society surveyed 1,089 11 to 25-year-olds and found that half had received threatening or unpleasant messages through email, texts and social media.

And the majority (83%) said they wanted firms to do more about bullying on their networks.

The report – ‘Safety net: The cyberbully enquiry’ – reads: ‘We heard how being bullied online, and the psychological trauma that can come with it, increases the chances that a child will go on to have poor social outcomes throughout their life.

‘Children and young people who are currently experiencing a mental health problem are more than three times more likely to have been bullied online in the last year.’

Meanwhile, 46% of girls said that using social media had a negative impact on their self-esteem, while 46% of girls and boys said that not getting ‘enough’ likes or followers made them feel inadequate.

Read the full report here.


Ho-hum. An app that rewards students if they put down their phones is set for a UK release, which is just terrific, isn’t it?

Students at the Copenhagen Business School built ‘Hold’ to tackle the problem of ‘device distraction’, whereby people stare listlessly at gibberish on screens for hours and hours  (which used to be TV’s job).

Anyway, students who download the app will be awarded 10 points for every 20 minutes they spend away from their phones between the hours of 7am and 11pm every weekday.

These points can then be exchanged for things like coffee and cinema tickets. How nice. Ten phone-free hours will earn you two coffees at Caffe Nero, but if you’re feeling really magnanimous you can use your points to donate books and stationery to schools.

Maths Mathisen, one of Hold’s developers, said: ‘Having come up with the idea for this app during my time as a student, I knew first-hand how difficult it is to concentrate while studying when you have the option to text, snap, or play games on your phone.

‘With Hold, our mission is to limit these distractions by rewarding students and giving them an incentive to focus on their work.’

Here’s Hold’s internet webpage.


The biblically error-prone Equifax has reported that the data breach it suffered last September was even bigger than it first thought.

The fantastically bungling company – which is, astonishingly, still in business – has revealed that a further 2.4 million of its long-suffering American customers had their details pinched in the breach, adding to the 145 million previously admitted to.

In a statement, the credit-rating firm said: ‘Equifax will notify these newly identified US consumers directly, and will offer identity-theft protection and credit-file monitoring services at no cost to them.’

Amazingly, though the breach cost Equifax $114 million, it still managed to make a profit, reporting earnings of $587.3m last year, up 20% on 2016. How is this even remotely possible? Seriously, what’s going on? I want to know.

Friday roundup: A week in tech

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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