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News Roundup: Pay Raises, Fog Computing and Tech Cartography

Raises for everyone!

Good news! It’s Friday! And you may be in line for a pay rise! A new study by Barclays found 7/10 tech firms in the UK are planning on increasing wages this year. So get booking that holiday! And if you want improve your chances of getting an even bigger pay cheque you should move to New York –it topped the list of a new report from Dice on the hardest cities to recruit tech workers, on account of there being so many firms competing for a finite amount of workers.

No More £100 million Projects Please

“Big IT and big failure have stalked government for too long; that is why this government is radically rethinking the way it does business.” With this announcement, the UK Government has banned IT projects costing more than £100 million (“unless exceptional reason to do so”) on account of they’re bored of them always failing. I’d be bored too if every time I spent a cool hundred million it went wrong. The government has also announced that it is planning to abandon Microsoft’s Office suite in favour of Open Source software to break the "oligopoly" of IT suppliers. According to the Guardian, “Some £200m has been spent by the public sector on the computer giant's Office suite alone since 2010.”

Facebook’s Rebuttle

Last week a Princeton study gained traction by saying Facebook was on its way out after applying disease models to the network’s spread. Facebook’s retort, however, was priceless. “Using the same robust methodology featured in the paper,” the post read, “We attempted to find out more about this "Princeton University" - and you won't believe what we found!” The data scientists found that Princeton itself would be devoid of students by 2021. And worse, we will have run out of air by 2060! “We wanted to give a fun reminder that not all research is created equal – and some methods of analysis lead to pretty crazy conclusions.” As fun a read as it was, I think the near $8 billion revenue the company raked in last year was also a good rebuttal.

Also if you like depressing facts, there’s now an app that lets you see how much time you waste on Facebook. Good luck.

Verbatim

The ever-entertaining KimDotcom has been talking to the music press since the release of his new music service Baboom and his dance album, Good Times. When talking about piracy, he claimed Google were the biggest beneficiary, and claimed, “If I am evil then they are the peak of evil.”

Someone else who hit the news for being outspoken was Silicon Valley veteran Tom Perkins, who claimed in the WSJ that backlash against the ‘1%’ was akin to the Nazi’s persecuting the Jews. It obviously didn’t go down well and he tried to apologise, but not very hard. Does the first lesson of public relations school need to be, “Don’t compare people to Nazis”?

On a slightly less controversial note, Pope Francis has declared the internet “a gift from God.” Hopefully this means a Reddit AMA is on its way.

Fog-puting

IT loves its Buzzwords. Cloud, Big Data and all those other ones have been pumped inro your eyeballs at every given opportunity in order to bedazzle you and sell you some stuff. We make way for the new Buzzword; Fog Computing. The term was created by Cisco in a push to show how they’re embracing the Internet of Things and get you to buy their routers. With people only just getting their head around how the Cloud has nothing to do with the weather, is it really wise to bring in more meteorological terminology into the IT lexicon?

Speaking of marketing baloney, a wonderful new site has popped up that helps you write your Twitter Bio. Are you a Tumblr Psychic? Communications Sensei? Hours of completely believable fun.

Microbing

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft’s hunt for their next CEO is over. Step forward Satya Nadella. Apparently the Redmond-based company is also considering replacing Bill Gates as chairman. Not really surprising, after all that; Nadella has been in the running since Ballmer announced his retirement, and was one of the few people not to rule himself out.

One of the first things he’ll need to do is sort out Bing Maps. A recent error [accidental or otherwise] showed Oracle’s UK HQ labelled as "Elvis Impersonators UK & Worldwide", while Microsoft’s was "Thames Valley Park Nursery". Shoddy coding or Techy humour I wonder?

M&A Heaven

Has there ever been a better time to work at a startup? Yahoo! have bought three more startups in the last couple of weeks; games company Cloud Party, app developers Tomfoolery and personal assistant app makers Incredible Labs. Meanwhile T-Systems have snapped up South African company Intervate, who deal in the exciting world of information management.  

The big one though, and perhaps most surprising, was Google selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for an eye-watering $2.9 billion, barely a week after the Chinese company just bought IBM’s low-end server business. Google will hold on to a large number of patents, including the modular Project Ara phone, but after paying $15.5 billion a few years ago, this venture is seen as a real coup for Lenovo.

Meanwhile Blackberry have finally had some good news after the US Defence Department said it wanted a cool 800,000 Blackberry handsets. The company’s latest OS, BB10, turned on this week. Not major news, but I’m sure there are a few analysts who didn’t expect Blackberry to still exist by now.

Source Code Faux Pas

Computer code is a funny old thing. To some it’s akin to how Neo sees the Matrix, to the rest of us it’s like how the critics saw the Matrix sequels. But now a fun little site has appeared to explain where source code in TV & Film comes from. The findings aren’t surprising; most code you see on TV is just only old bollocks copied and pasted from any old source on the web. Much like soap opera scripts.

NSA

Lots of people have had lots to say about the NSA this week…

-          The NSA is ‘involved in industrial espionage’ and spying on climate change summits.

-          GCHQ spy on Facebook & YouTube, because terrorists watch YouTube too you know.

-          Both spy on Angry Birds. This is a step too far for the internet, who defile Rovio’s website, leading their CEO to say they weren’t ok with this.

-          Canadian spies spy on you through free airport Wi-Fi.

-          Google still want change, while both Apple & Oracle promise no backdoors.

-          Lavabit still trying to fight, while Merkal is still unhappy and a UK lawyer says GCHQ have been very naughty.

-          NSA chiefs still calling for Snowden’s head, so Obama’s putting a new guy in at the top.

-          GCHQ have a sports day, while the NSA have a frustrated artist in their midst.

-          A deal has been made over spying, something may actually change(!).

-          People are still surprisingly in the dark over this whole thing.

-          Ed’s been nominated for a Nobel Prize, no doubt to the chagrin of the NSA.

 

Tech Cartography

If you like maps, or are just looking for a new desktop background, look no further. Some chap over at Deviant Art has made a map of the internet. Nothing as dry as internet cables or anything like that; it’s a beautifully drawn representation of all the different aspects of today’s web. There’s the Spam Ocean, the island of Skype, and the Land of Forgotten Websites. Well worth a look.

 

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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