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Week Ending: August 4th - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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The first week of August usually signals a mass departure from the UK to climates ideally warmer than ours. The schools are off and many Brits have their sights set on the swimming pool and the barbecue.

Need a conversation starter for your excursions this weekend? Don’t worry tech-minded folk, we’ve got you covered. Our weekly roundup will ensure you have all the latest techie conversation topics for those upcoming social events. We can give you the content, the rest is down to you.

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd believes ‘real people’ don’t need end-to-end encryption

The encryption debate rages on! This week Amber Rudd has stated that “real people” don’t need end-to-end encryption and that tech companies should work with authorities to deal with its threat to national security. In a Telegraph piece from Tuesday, Amber Rudd claimed that encryption is “severely limiting agencies’ ability to stop terrorists”.

Privacy activists have called her out on the remarks, as they believe them to be misleading. Many have questioned whether Rudd fully understands what breaking end-to-end encryption would mean on a larger scale.

Part of the argument Rudd put forward in her article was that users do not use things such as WhatsApp for security but because they’re a simple and cheap way to connect with friends.

Jim Killock, executive director of UK digital liberties group Open Rights Group, commented: "The suggestion that real people do not care about the security of their communications is dangerous and misleading. Some people want privacy from corporations, abusive partners or employers. Others may be worried about confidential information, or be working in countries with a record of human rights abuses. It is not the Home Secretary's place to tell the public that they do not need end-to-end encryption."

There’s still a few rounds left in this fight yet.

UK SMEs are simply not spending on cyber security

We thought businesses of all sizes were learning their lessons on cybersecurity, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. A recent report found that almost 50% of UK small to medium enterprises plan to spend £1,000 or less on cybersecurity in the next year and 22% do not know how much they will spend at all.

The stats are quite alarming, particularly looking at them from an I.T. solutions company perspective fully aware of the persistent and dangerous threats. If you’re an SME it really is time to get educated have a plan.

We’re always free for a chat.

Facebook reportedly shut down AI bots as they create their own language

Facebook scientists have been working with artificial intelligence teaching robots to negotiate as part of a game system with the aim of improving their results within the game.

Perhaps slightly worryingly, it has been reported that the AI robots needed to be switched off after developing their own language in order to improve performance, a language that humans could not understand. It sounds like the stuff of nightmares or a Hollywood blockbuster, however it may not be all that worrying (at least at this stage).

Professor Zoubin Gharamani, (an artificial intelligence specialist at the University of Cambridge) spoke to the BBC's Rob Young and explained in simple terms the experiment. You can listen to their short interview here and hopefully be more at ease.

If this week’s roundup simply isn’t enough, you can follow us across four channels on social media to keep up with the latest I.T. and tech news, cybersecurity, best practice and a whole host of other topics.