Week Ending: June 21st - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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In case you were out sunning yourself in this glorious June weather we’ve been having (erm… what happened to summer?), we’ve been busy finding out the what’s happened in the world of tech and I.T. this week.

We’re sure it will come as no surprise that Apple and Facebook have been making the headlines again this week.

Second Cold War?

According to the New York Times this week, Donald Trump’s administration has been aggressively deploying cyber tools into the Russian power gird in a warning to president Putin. The article claimed that the “previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets is a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections.”

According to officials inside the White House, the US has been using reconnaissance probes in the control systems of the Russian electric grid since 2012, but now the strategy has shifted towards offence. However, President Trump has once again taken to Twitter claiming this is fake news and accusing The New York Times of treason. The New York Times responded saying that to accuse the press of treason is a dangerous strategy, and if the accusations are false, how can the story be treasonous? Whether the story is true or fake news is unclear, all we do know is that both Russia and the USA appear to be poised to conduct cyberattacks should conflict between the nations break out.

Apple behind the times

5G is being rolled out across the UK as we speak, however, a recent report on Tech Crunch says that tech giant Apple is holding off on introducing 5G to its mobile devices until next year. Usually at the forefront of new technological developments, Apple is behind Android providers who are all racing to introduce 5G to their devices.

So why is Apple taking its time? Well, wireless carriers are only providing limited access – currently just five UK cities – to 5G until the end of 2019, so Android carriers such as Samsung may be jumping the gun a little. It’s thought that high-end iPhones will support 5G by 2020 and all iPhones by 2021. This is a similar move to the one they pulled in the roll out of 4G, where Apple waited for carriers to offer decent coverage before the company rolled it out across all its devices.

Facebook launch Cryptocurrency

We mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, but its unavoidable again this week! In a move that could well shake up the banking industry, Facebook has launched its cryptocurrency, Libra Coin. The digital currency will allow Facebook’s 2.4 billion users to make financial transactions across the globe, through a standalone app as well as through the social media giant’s existing platforms; Facebook and WhatsApp. It is thought that the technology will be available as early as next year.

As we mentioned previously, the UK and US governments have raised privacy concerns with the tech giant as they move into the financial market. Facebook is facing a fine of $4bn over the Cambridge Analytica revelations last year. Many users have lost faith in Facebook’s ability to keep its data safe, so it may take some time for trust in the brand to be restored and users to embrace the cryptocurrency. Read more here.

Your phone can improve your health?

Feeling frustrated with the state of their health and wellness, many people are now turning to their mobile phones for help. But, according to an article on LinkedIn this week, there’s a problem. Of the 20,000 apps of this sort on the market, only 3% have scientific evidence to back up their effectiveness. Some researchers and psychologists are now saying that these apps should not be allowed on the market and it’s tantamount to recommending a drug that has not been tested.

The health and wellness market is booming, with apps such as, Headspace, My Fitness Pal and Smoke Free all promising to make us fitter and healthier. It’s not difficult to see why so many people are turning to their mobile devices, when they want to improve their health. Currently apps don’t face the same standards of testing as drugs and other therapies, because the individuals using them are classed as users rather than patients.

How this issue can be resolved remains to be seen, but it’s clear that app developers should be trying to find an effective way of testing their software before it’s put out to market for unsuspecting consumers to download.

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