From taking down a predator/mogul on twitter to quantum computing; Team EXASOL brings you this week’s latest stories and hottest trends in our weekly tech round-up.
Many of you might have noticed the viral #MeToo hashtag in your Facebook and Twitter feeds after the recent sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations against Miramax co-founder, Harvey Weinstein. The hashtag is based on a movement started over a decade ago by activist, Tarana Burke, as a way to give sexual assault and sexual harassment victims a voice and showcase an age-old problem that still permeates most, if not all, parts of the world. The hashtag was popularised by actress Alyssa Milano, who asked her followers to share their experiences with the hashtag as a way to “demonstrate the magnitude of the problem.” The hashtag has been used over 200,000 times since Sunday, and most of these posts talk about feelings of guilt; by sharing experiences the outrageousness and ridiculousness of victim shaming and playing down the problem is powerfully demonstrated.
The Apple conspiracy- solved. Sort of.
Ever noticed that your iPhone slows down right before a new release and wonder if it is deliberate? Futuremark has put this big rumour to the test. The conclusion: Apple do a pretty good job at supporting their older models, but a phone’s performance will gradually dip as apps continue to update and the battery starts to degrade – that is just chemistry for you. However, you can try and slow down your phone’s aging process. It is said not overcharging your battery helps (i.e. don’t leave it charging overnight) and Futuremark recommends not upgrading to the latest iOS unless you really need to.
Did you catch the BIG fight?
This Tuesday giant robots, Megabots vs Suidobashi, battled it out as streamed on twitch. But if you didn’t catch it don’t worry; it was filmed in an abandoned warehouse in Japan in September – and you can catch it now on social media as I won’t give away any spoilers!
Connection that crosses Oceans
Quick! Log onto Google Earth to see the giant cable that now stretches across the Atlantic. Running along the ocean floor from Virginia Beach to Bilbao, Spain, the highest-capacity data cable named ‘Marea’, meaning tide in Spanish, is 4,000 miles long and can transmit 160 terabits per second – that’s enough to stream 71 million high definition videos at once! Great news for international bandwidth, something that we are demanding more of every year, around 30% more in fact.
Quantum leaps in computing
From the gargantuan to the tiny, quantum computing (or mini molecules computing as I like to call it) is being heavily invested in by the big dogs IBM, Google etc. When will it get here and what is it anyway? For now we can only hope to answer the latter: instead of being limited to two states – either 0 or 1 – quantum bits (qubits) can store data as both 1s and 0s at the same time. Seemingly impossible queries that would theoretically take billions of years could take just hours or days to complete. The savviest of us will know that IBM has already been building and testing platforms with multiple qubits so what has been holding this tech back? Reading qubits risks ‘bumping it’ and changing its value but by using cryogenics to cool the quantum chips right down scientists have overcome this. Soon developers could be running algorithms on processors with up to 50 qubits.
Calls that can’t be hacked
Secret-sharers will be pleased to hear the latest development in other quantum technologies. Chinese and Austrian researchers made the first quantum video call using a satellite. This call was completely unhackable as entangled photons (light particles) were sent to space with an encryption key and if someone tries to steal the key, quantum mechanics theory says that the set of numbers making up the key would instantly change and become useless.
Hyped about the Hyperloop
Elon Musk’s brainchild the Hyperloop is finally one step closer to being made a reality with the help of Richard Branson’s new Virgin Hyperloop One. Tests on the DevLoop, a 500 metre tube with a 3.3 metre diameter, outside Las Vegas indicated that journeys between Edinburgh to London would take just 50 minutes! The technology is effectively a sealed tube so that a ‘pod’ could travel through it free from friction or air resistance. With rival companies also working hard towards making these prototypes a reality I cannot wait.
Swipe right for a new job!
The dating app known for flipping traditional courtship on its head, Bumble has a professional version called BumbleBizz, which will be female-led networking and the first ‘swiping right’ professional networking platform. The app allows you to combine your social and work lives whilst keeping a healthy divide between the two with separate profiles to keep your party pics from your professional mentor/mentee.