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Rebecca Hill

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Gov.UK pops open tin of AI and robotics research cash

The UK government's long-promised Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is open for business. Jumping swiftly on the AI bandwagon, the first lump of cash to be awarded through the multimillion-pound fund will be for robotics and artificial intelligence. The fund, announced back in November 2016, was conceived as part of wider …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Jun 2017
Alarm clock photo via Shutterstock

MongoDB tries to entice time-poor devs with new Backend as a Service

MongoDB’s latest offering, Stitch, is aiming to appeal to developers that don’t have the time - or the inclination - to write boilerplate code. The NoSQL business - which started life as 10gen in 2007 - used its world conference in Chicago to emit a new Backend as a Service, which is being launched in beta today. The document …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Jun 2017
Money falling, image via Shutterstock

A private equity titan has just forked out £700m for IT training biz QA

IT training company QA has been bought out by Europe's largest private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners. The deal is worth £700m, according to the Financial Times, although the partners declined to disclose the financial terms of the transaction. QA, which provides 1,500 training courses across 20 UK centres, was bought by …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Jun 2017

Oxford profs tell Twitter, Facebook to take action against political bots

The use of algorithms and bots to spread political propaganda is "one of the most powerful tools against democracy", top academics have warned. A team led by professors at the Oxford Internet Institute analysed tens of millions of posts on seven social media platforms in nine countries, including the US, Russia and Germany, …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Jun 2017

2 kool 4 komputing: Teens' interest in GCSE course totally bombs

The number of pupils signing up for GCSE computing has plateaued just years after the qualification was introduced, raising concerns that not enough is being done to help teachers with more difficult courses. According to the latest figures from exam watchdog Ofqual, 67,800 pupils were due to sit the GCSE (General Certificate …
Rebecca Hill, 19 Jun 2017

Is your research hot or not? US boffins create ‘Tinder for preprints’

Boffins have created an app that lets users rate academic preprints and find people with similar academic tastes - and hope to use the results to spot trends in academic publishing. Jeff Leak, associate professor of biostatics at the Johns Hopkins University and a member of the institution’s data science lab, says the app, …
Rebecca Hill, 19 Jun 2017
email

Brit uni blabs students' confidential information to 298 undergrads

The University of East Anglia has sent almost 300 undergraduates an email detailing other students' extenuating circumstances. The information was in an Excel spreadsheet attached to an email that ended up being sent to every undergraduates enrolled at the American Studies school through an email-all address. It included 42 …
Rebecca Hill, 19 Jun 2017
An angry man gesticulates at his laptop screen. Photo by Shutterstock

ICO fines Morrisons for emailing customers who didn't want to be emailed

Supermarket chain Morrisons has been fined £10,500 by the UK's data protection watchdog for sending marketing emails to people who had unsubscribed from marketing bumf. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said the company had broken the law when it deliberately sent more than 200,000 emails to people who had previously …
Rebecca Hill, 16 Jun 2017
Data breach

Banks could be stung for €5bn under GDPR, screams latest report on industry readiness

European banks could face fines totalling €4.7bn in the three years after General Data Protection Regulation comes into force, according to a report from data security solutions firm AllClear ID. The latest in a string of sales pitches reports on businesses' preparedness for GDPR to land in The Reg's inbox says that banks are …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jun 2017

That minutes-long power glitch? It's going to cost British Airways £80m, IAG investors told

The massive IT systems failure caused by a power surge at British Airways' primary data centre will cost the airline £80m. Willie Walsh, the chief executive of BA's parent body International Airlines Group, issued the news to a roomful of investors at the company's AGM this afternoon. The systems crash on the morning of May …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jun 2017

BA passengers caught in crossfire of Heathrow baggage meltdown

A fault in the baggage systems at Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5 this morning left passengers forced to travel without their belongings. The error came to light at about 6.45am UK time and passengers were told to pack their essentials in their hand luggage and get on their planes as planned. At about 9.15am, a spokeswoman for the …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jun 2017
Hadoop

Hortonworks feathers nest with IBM deal

IBM has slipped a ring on Hortonworks' finger – offering the Hadoop distributor access to a potentially lucrative market. The corporate love-in between the founders of the Open Data Platform Initiative will see Big Blue adopt HDP for its Hadoop distribution, with existing users of its data analytics software platform …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jun 2017
Superhero on a mobile phone. pic by shutterstock

Who will save us from voice recog foolery from scumbags? Magnetometer!

Scientists are working on a way of using the internal orientation sensors in smartphones to defend against efforts to trick voice recognition systems. As the use of smartphones, wearables and voice-based assistants is on the rise, so is the risk that criminals will try to use those systems to their advantage by impersonating …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Jun 2017
Well-dressed man drinks whisky in expensive flat. Photo by Shutterstock

Whisky snobs scotched by artificial tongue

Think you know your Bell's from your Balvenie? Your Jim Beam from your Jameson? Well, if a team of German researchers have their way, an artificial tongue might have you licked. The team, based at Heidelberg University, have developed a "tongue" (OK, it's an assay plate with wells of 20 different fluorescent dyes that act as …
Rebecca Hill, 09 Jun 2017

Watch out Facebook, Google – the EU wants easy access to your data

The European Commission is pushing measures that would force tech firms like Facebook and Google to hand over their data to police in different member states. EU justice ministers met in Luxembourg yesterday to consider three proposals, which range from allowing police from one state to ask nicely for data held by companies in …
Rebecca Hill, 09 Jun 2017
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Spy commissioners: Did we audit our bulk data sharing with industry? Err... not exactly

The commissioners responsible for overseeing the UK's spy agencies have admitted that they have never carried out a formal inspection or audit of the sharing of bulk communications and personal data with industry. The intelligence agencies' collection of mass communications data has come under repeated scrutiny, and the …
Rebecca Hill, 08 Jun 2017

Rustle up a privacy research project and ICO queen Liz will see you handsomely rewarded

The UK's data watchdog is offering up to £100,000 for projects looking at how emergent tech affects information rights, saying that practical research "needs a stronger voice". As survey after survey shows declining public trust in the use of their data and the government plans to slurp even more, the Information Commissioner' …
Rebecca Hill, 07 Jun 2017
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

Boffins have figured out a way of speeding up X-ray data collection

Researchers have developed a method to improve the characterisation of superfast X-rays that they say will allow data to be collected up to a thousand times faster. Physicists, biologists and chemists use X-ray pulses created by free-electron lasers, known as XFELs, to probe the structures and interactions of molecules. …
Rebecca Hill, 06 Jun 2017
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UK PM Theresa May's response to terror attacks 'shortsighted'

The UK's Prime Minister has been taken to task for trying to make the internet "both more and less safe" at the same time – and failing to publicly acknowledge the dichotomy. Following the attacks on two major British cities in the past fortnight, Theresa May yesterday gave a speech saying that "enough is enough", calling for …
Rebecca Hill, 05 Jun 2017

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