Friday roundup: A week in tech

Dark Web.jpg

The UK’s regularly bewildered Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has found nine million British pounds down the back of the government’s sofa to fight dark web villainy – which doesn’t seem like much to tackle such a behemoth of a problem, but what do I know?

Talking to a crowd of security types at this week’s CYBERUK conference in Manchester, Rudd spoke of a ‘dark and dangerous place where anonymity emboldens people to break the law in the most horrifying of ways’. (And, to be clear, she was talking about the dark web, not Twitter.)

She went on to describe the internet’s grotesque, twisted side as a ‘platform of dangerous crimes and horrific abuse’. (She’s still talking about the dark web, not Facebook.)

Wickedness abounds on the dark web: drug-dealing, illicit pornography, illegal fire arms, the theft of personal data to manipulate the outcomes of elections.

Anyway, the money will be used to ‘enhance’ the authorities’ ability to tackle the chicanery of dark web crooks. They must be terrified.

***

Facebook CEO and growing global pariah Mark Zuckerberg appeared before American lawmakers this week – though what was actually accomplished is anyone’s guess.

In better news for the troubled billionaire, his performance before the Senate led to a rise in Facebook’s stock value, increasing his personal fortune by $3 billion. (He’s already asked if he can make these Senate hearings a weekly thing.)

Like when VIRTUALLY ANYTHING happens these days, the public grilling inevitably led to thousands, perhaps millions, of memes flooding Twitter et al, most of them painfully rubbish, as per usual, so I won’t share any here.

Anyhow, in a classic #MeToo manoeuvre, Zuckerberg bleated that, like that of his millions of subjects, his data had also been compromised – so you could argue that he’s the real victim here. The senators seemed to buy it, and we don’t appear to be any nearer understanding let alone dealing with the mysterious Cambridge Analytica debacle.

Next week the fun continues, for Facebook’s CTO, Mike Schroepfner, will appear before British MPs for another session of ‘sorry, yes, we didn’t know, sorry, what?’

Here’s a video of him saying sorry.

***

Imagine getting the internet even faster when you’re out and about staring at your phone like a zombie on Valium when you should be looking into the faces of and talking to the people you’re in the presence of – no, I’m not coming to the pub with you anymore.

That is just what 5G promises to deliver, and this video explains things.

In it, the poor, demoralised souls of Bournemouth decant their hearts out, suffering as they do ‘temperamental’ 4G coverage. (It’s easy for me to mock. I’m tempted to throw my phone to the ground if the weather app takes longer than two seconds to update.)

But things could soon change, as Bournemouth may well be the first place in the UK to get 5G, allowing previously frustrated users to download a HD film ‘in seconds’. What a time to be alive!

Friday roundup: A week in tech

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