Week Ending: 3rd April - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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With the headlines still being dominated by COVID-19, we know it’s difficult to keep up with what’s happening in the world of I.T and tech, and it has certainly been a busy week! Don’t worry though, we will bring you right up to date with the most newsworthy headlines. From 8D music that will blow your mind, to the Houseparty app being reportedly hacked, and the TSB I.T. failure which left customers outraged, you’ll be caught up in no time.

8D music will blow your mind

During the current lockdown, people are figuring out ways they can keep themselves entertained and this week, people have been receiving a WhatsApp message that promises to transform the way we hear sound and listen to music, all thanks to 8D audio.

Producers can now edit tracks and add reverb allowing people to feel the music from all around them, it makes people feel like they’re at a festival or concert, rather than listening to music through headphones.

8D audio music has been described as ‘an absolute game changer’ and an ‘unbelievable experience’.

The audio clip being sent around on WhatsApp is accompanied with the following message: "Listen to this song with headphones (put on the 2 headphones). It is the new music of the Pentatonix, composed with 8D technology. Listen to it only with headphones.

"It will be the first time that you will listen to that song with your brain and not with your ears. You will feel the music from outside and not from the headphones. Feel the effects of this new technology".

If you haven’t been lucky enough to hear 8D music as yet, have a listen to an example here, or the one that’s going round on WhatsApp is particularly impressive here, don’t forget to use two headphones!

We think this will eventually become the new way of listening to music, with no going back.

Read more here.

Houseparty hacking

Houseparty is the latest video chat app that everybody has become obsessed with since the whole world went into lockdown. People turned to the app for some fun and to participate in some mind stimulating games with friends, family and colleagues during such uncertain and isolated times.

However, over the last week, thousands of users have posted on social media claiming that the smartphone app was able to hack into their Spotify, Netflix, and online banking accounts. Users warned others to log out of the app immediately and delete it.

The comments have become so widespread that Houseparty itself says it has been a victim of a “paid commercial smear campaign”, stating on Twitter: “We are investigating indications that the recent hacking rumours were spread by a paid commercial smear campaign to harm Houseparty. We are offering a $1,000,000 bounty for the first individual to provide proof of such a campaign to”.

The social media claims will have had a significant impact on the video chat app, with many users deleting the app and not want to use it ever again. But with no evidence behind Houseparty hacking individuals, and the app offering a huge bounty to individuals to provide proof that the app is hacking people, it seems there could be several other explanations behind these social media claims.

For example, it could be coincidence as cyber-crime is on the rise as hackers prey on confusion and interest in the coronavirus crisis. Houseparty users may have simply been caught out by another scam, there may be an element of social media hysteria, and many users are reporting anecdotal issues and citing “friends of friend” – which are signs of a hoax.

Discover more here.

TSB experiences I.T. failure

This week an outrage broke out as TSB customers were left unable to access online banking and mobile app services, on both Android and iOS.

DownDetector, an independent website which tracks social media posts on how sites are performing revealed hundreds of people complaining about TSB’s online banking and mobile app. On Wednesday, users were greeted with an “unexpected error” as they tried to open TSB’s services and some people were even left with no access to their accounts.

It’s not clear how many customers were affected by the error, but TSB stated that the issue has now been resolved: “We experienced intermittent issues with our mobile and internet banking services earlier today. All our services are now working, however if customers experience an error message they should try logging on again.”

This is not the first time TSB’s online services and app has been down, in April 2018 a similar I.T. failure left up to 1.9 million customers unable to bank online for several weeks. Customers had to be moved onto a new system and after investigation it was found that the online banking had not been tested properly before going live. The issue cost the bank a total of £330 million for customer compensation, fraud losses and other expenses!

Read more here.

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