Blog

Week Ending: June 29th - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

Back to Blog

This week has been a scorcher in the UK with temperatures reaching 30°C. Brits, naturally, are making the most of the current climate as we know it could well be short-lived. Despite the high temperatures, there’s still work to be done and this week’s I.T. and technology roundup brings you stories on the BBC, HMRC and potentially the world’s smallest computer.

BBC’s computer history archive made public

We’ve covered the I.T. skills gap at length on our social media channels, so it was fantastic to hear this week that the BBC has made its piece of computing history available to the public in a bid to inspire a new generation of young coders.

The Computer Literacy Project, included television programmes presented by the late Ian McNaught-Davis in the 1980s, introducing BBC viewers to computing at the time and featuring interviews with the likes of Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak.

Learning more about the Computer Literacy Project, viewers can now watch all 267 of the programmes which were produced, as well as running 166 BBC Micro programmes which were used on-screen and exploring a whole host of clips by topic and text search.

Take a look at the fascinating archive here, and to read some advice to junior coders from our younger staff visit this link.

HMRC accused of taking voice IDs without consent

Data watchdog, Big Brother Watch, has stated that the HMRC is forcing callers to be "railroaded into a mass ID scheme" when they dial its number and are asked to repeat “my voice is my password” on an automated line for security protection.

Freedom of information requests found that around 5.1 million voices are held by HMRC which has prompted the Information Commissioner’s Office to now investigate the issue.

Taxpayers are being railroaded into a mass ID scheme that is incredibly disturbing. The tax man is building Big Brother Britain by imposing biometric ID cards on the public by the back door. The rapid growth of the British database state is alarming. These voice IDs could allow ordinary citizens to be identified by government agencies across other areas of their private lives. HMRC should delete the 5 million voiceprints they’ve taken in this shady scheme, observe the law and show greater respect to the public.

Silkie Carlo, Director of Big Brother Watch

Read more on this story via City AM.

The University of Michigan may have created the world’s smallest computer

Researchers at the University of Michigan in the US, have created a microscopic device, measuring just 0.3mm and designed to be a precision temperature sensor to track the temperature in miniscule regions such as a cluster of cells. The researchers have made the device in response to a similar model by IBM, which held the record for the smallest computer previously.

Since its creation the microdevice has been used in a number of cases, including for pressure sensing inside the eye for glaucoma diagnosis, as well as cancer studies and research into tiny snails.

To view the computer in comparison to a grain of rice visit BT.com.


Those were some of this week’s top stories but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels: