Catch up on this week’s round-up of the latest hosting and tech news. Here’s what we’ve uncovered since our last edition.
Drone cargo plane takes flight in China
While small drones are starting to make door to door deliveries in the west, in China, logistics firms are using small, unmanned cargo planes to deliver heavier and bulkier loads. The latest is S.F. Holding’s Feihong-98, which is capable of carrying 1.5 tons of cargo and can travel 1,200km at speeds of 180km per hour.
With no pilot to pay for or carry, the Feihong-98 reduces the cost of delivery by a third in comparison to manned aircraft. The small size of the plane also makes it ideal for delivering to many of the remote places in China where there are no airports: it only needs a short distance for take off and landing.
Besides delivering manufactured products to outlying regions, the plane is also expected to be used for the cold chain delivery of fresh produce and to deliver emergency supplies. Over the last year, there has been intense competition between China’s logistics companies to develop unmanned cargo planes and it won’t be long before they are introduced on a global scale.
Microsoft to help UK narrow IT skills gap
Microsoft has teamed up with the Department for Work and Pensions to launch a campaign to reduce the UK’s growing IT skills gap. Over the next five years, the Get On 2021 campaign aims to help 1.5 million British citizens develop the skills needed to work in the country’s growing technology industry. It is hoped that these people will go on to play a key role in helping UK firms accelerate technology adoption, drive productivity and enhance competitiveness.
The campaign aims to develop the skills of anyone with a desire to pursue a career in technology including those who are still in education, those new to the industry and any current IT professionals who wish to help their organisations embrace new technologies and business models.
With the UK needing an additional 3 million skilled IT workers over the next five years, it is hoped this campaign will play a large part in ensuring that the country has the technology expertise it needs to move forward. According to Microsoft, UK organisations that improve their digital competitiveness have over £48 billion of opportunities available to them.
PC market rockets thanks to remote working
Sales in PCs have boomed as a result of employees having to work remotely during the lockdown. The latest figures show a ten year high, with shipments increasing 13% compared to 2019. According to analysts, Canalys, the third quarter of 2020 saw over 79 million units being shipped, of which almost 65 million were notebooks.
The surge seen in Q3 was mainly from the small and medium-sized companies that struggled to get PCs ordered in Q2 due to larger businesses swallowing up supplies. Growth has also been helped by governments around the world giving financial assistance to smaller companies to help them set up remote working.
The figures show that while desktops and desktop workstation shipments fell by 26% over the quarter, notebook and mobile workstation shipments grew by 28%. Apart from Dell, all manufacturers saw an increase in sales, with Lenovo and HP coming out on top, gaining nearly 50% of the market share between them and selling 19.3 and 18.8 million units, respectively.
Android ransomware gets smarter
According to Microsoft, a sophisticated strain of ransomware is targeting Android devices. AndroidOS/MalLocker.B uses a machine learning component that, instead of encrypting the phone, simply displays a full-screen notification that blocks access to the device. The notification also demands a ransom in order for it to be removed.
The main issue with the ransomware is that its sophisticated capabilities have helped it go largely undetected by anti-virus software. It’s also constantly evolving, so that every time a fix is found, a new version is released. The latest version has got around previous fixes by exploiting the call notification: the notification which fills the screen when the user receives a phone call. This enables it to display a message that can’t be removed.
Is it the end for cookies?
Cookies are causing big problems for Google, so much so that their use has led the US Department of Justice to consider forcing the company to sell off its Chrome browser and parts of its advertising business. This is a result of concerns that Google is using cookies from its advertisers for its own business interests. As a result, the company is reluctantly following the likes of Apple and Mozilla in banning and blocking third-party cookies.
However, rather than live without the information that cookies provide, Google is working on an alternative known as Turtledove. According to the company, Turtledove would function in a similar way to cookies but would provide enhanced user privacy with the data staying on the device and not being shared on external servers. While Turtledove could signal the end of the cookie as we know it, there are still concerns by some that its use could increase Google’s advertising power even further.
Visit the WHUK website for more news, knowledge base articles, blog posts and information on our wide range of hosting services.