News Roundup: Tech-Brexits, Facebook death, and Alicarcar
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News Roundup: Tech-Brexits, Facebook death, and Alicarcar

Techies still against a Brexit

The Queen may (or may not) be in favour of Britain exiting the European Union, but surveys are still showing the UK’s tech industry would rather say no to a Brexit.

Two reports – one from Tech London Advocates and another from Silicon Valley Bank – show a reluctance to leave the EU. The TLA study saw just 3% of its surveyed members support a Brexit, with the majority saying the move would make it hard to recruit new employees and find new customers. In the SVB study, 72% of surveyed UK startups felt such a move would have negative effects for the business. 

Ethics

Ethisphere has this week released its annual list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Technology companies deemed ethical for 2016 include Accenture, Capgemini, Avanade, Wipro, Ricoh, Xerox, CA, Symantec, Teradata, Cisco, Dell, LinkedIn, and Microsoft. Companies are awarded the title based on a combination of CSR, leadership, culture and more. Well done guys.

Alicarcar

Another week, another technology company moving into the automotive game. Alibaba, often labelled “China’s answer to Amazon”, is due to announce an internet-connected smart car at the Beijing Auto Show next month.

Meanwhile, BMW are celebrating their 100th birthday this week, and celebrated by warning that it won’t let technology companies take over their turf. “Our task is to preserve our business model without surrendering it to an internet player,” said BMW’s Klaus Froehlich this week. “Otherwise we will end up as the Foxconn for a company like Apple, delivering only the metal bodies for them”

Carly for VP

Former HP CEO and failed Republican Carly Fiorina has gotten over the fact she won’t be President and has announced her support for Ted Cruz. “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two sides of the same coin,” she said this week. “They’re not going to reform the system. They are the system. We’re going to have to beat Donald Trump at the ballot box, and the only guy who can beat Donald Trump is Ted Cruz.” Re/Code suggests she could even be angling for a chance at being Cruz’s running mate for Vice President, but it’s hard to imagine she’d settle for second fiddle.

M&A

Did Microsoft consider an $8 billion bid for enterprise messaging startup Slack? Techcrunch says yes, but ultimately decided not to and instead focus on Skype. 

Intel has acquired 3D video company Replay Technologies, Cisco has bought Synata, Facebook has snapped up selfie app Masquerade, Tableau now owns German database startup Hyper, WeTransfer has got its hands on London design agency Present Plus and a private equity firm has snaffled Intuit’s Quickbase unit.

Alpha-Google’s satellite startup Skybox has been rebranded as Terra Bella. No word yet on whether the new company will stay under Google’s wing or join the likes of X, Nest etc., and become a separate company under Alphabet’s umbrella.

NSA

-          The UN isn’t impressed with the UK’s proposed “Snooper’s Charter”

-          The French government aims to punish any companies that don’t decrypt data upon request

-          Ed Snowden has called “bullshit” on the FBI’s lack of phone hacking capabilities

-          The Dutch Data Protection Authority says companies shouldn’t track employees with fitness trackers

-          A judge identified the NSA’s PRISM program by name for the first time

-          John McAfee thinks he’s protecting the public’s privacy all on his own

Chinese phone manufacture ZTE is in trouble after being hit with export restrictions by the US Dept. of Commerce after violating export controls on Iran.

Will.i.Watch

Will.i.Am may be one of the most successful musicians of the new millennium, but that doesn’t mean he’s a great entrepreneur. His Puls smartwatch, released in 2014, was lambasted by anyone unlucky enough to review it. Unable to take the hint, Will is back with the next iteration, named “Dial”. Judging from the Telegraph’s report, the new device looks a lot like the previous one. Those poor reviewers.

DEATH

Cheerful stat of the day: the number of dead users on Facebook will outnumber the living by 2098. A study by Fusion and University of Massachusetts PhD candidate Hachem Sadikki predicts that the site will become a cyber-graveyard within the next 85 years. Digital Beyond predicts that almost 1 million Facebookers will die this year in the US alone.

In related Facebook news, Mark Zuckerberg’s company has patented software that will scan for new slang before it gets wide adoption. Super sick, bruv.

They took our jobs

The robots are coming, and they’ll take your jobs. Yes, yours! According to Pew, 65% of people think robots and computers will do much of the work currently done by humans, but 80% think it probably won’t be their job. Good luck with that.

One group that don’t have their heads in the sand, however, are the developers. A survey of over 500 software developers by Evans Data Corp found that more than anything, they are most worried about their jobs being taken by artificial intelligence. Nearly a third of respondents chose that answer, more than fears of a new platform not taking hold, pensions, bad management or out of date skillsets.

Parents vs. kids

In a random twist of fate, kids want parents to put their phones down. A new study from three US researchers found children were unlikely to want their parents to share information about them online without their permission, and also wanted parents to use technology less during conversations.

Car crash TV

Last week it emerged one of Google’s self-driving cars had caused a low speed crash with a bus in California. This week a video of the incident was released online! Unfortunately it’s pretty dull; the bus barely jolts from the impact and passengers on board don’t really seem to notice there’s even been an accident.

See the underwhelming footage below:

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect. Writes about all manner of tech from driverless cars, AI, and Green IT to Cloudy stuff, security, and IoT. Dislikes autoplay ads/videos and garbage written about 'milliennials'.  

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