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DIGIT Tech News Roundup – 12th of July 2019

Duncan MacRae


In this edition of the DIGIT Weekly Roundup, we highlight some of the top-trending tech and business news stories permeating the airwaves in the week beginning 8th of July.

DIGIT’s Top Trending Stories

British Airways Facing £183M Fine Over Hack

British Airways is to be handed record fine amounting to 1.5% of its worldwide turnover in 2017 due to a hack that took place at the end of last year.

Following a major customer data breach last September, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced it plans to fine the airline more than £183 million under the new Data Protection Act.

This is the largest penalty ever dolled out, roughly 367 times as high as the previous record, and the first to be made public under the new rules, according to the watchdog.

Previously, the largest penalty issued (£500,000) was imposed on Facebook for its part in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. At the time that figure was the maximum fine permitted before the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Balloon Test Launch Could Kickstart the Shetland Commercial Space Era

A balloon system capable of launching small satellites into orbit will be launched from Shetland this week, marking the UK’s first commercial spaceflight-related activity.

The stratospheric balloon system, known as rockoon, has been developed by B2Space. The Bristol-based company is one of the first to partner with the Shetland Space Centre (SSC).

Weather-permitting, the test launch is scheduled to take place at Baltasound Airport in Unst on Sunday 14th July. B2Space and the Shetland Space Centre are working closely with the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the project.

Valentin Canales, co-founder of B2Space, said: “This is very exciting, both for ourselves and for Shetland Space Centre. We will be sending a smaller version of the balloon that we will eventually use up to a height of around 37km, carrying a complete set of instruments, trackers and control boards, as well as beaming back live images from an on-board camera.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Dundee Set to Trial Pop-up Electric Car Chargers

Dundee CyberDundee is to be one of two places in the UK to trial pop-up electric car charging points which are to be built into the pavement.

Each hub will use between three to six chargers and, when not in use, will be lowered into the pavement. The scheme is designed specifically to offer charging points to drivers without access to off-street parking.

The electric car chargers are part of a £3 million UK government-funded scheme and will be installed in Plymouth and Dundee over the next year. Separate projects launched by the Department for Transport will see a total investment of £37 million spread over 12 projects.

Around 18 charging hubs will be set up in residential and public streets with on-street parking. They also include developments in wireless charging and solar-powered forecourts.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

In Case You Missed It…

North Korea Created Software to Teach Ideology

North Korea has developed software aimed at teaching ideology to party members and workers.

Chongseo 1.0 reportedly contains writings by the country’s founder Kim Il-sung and his son – former leader Kim Jong-il.

The encyclopaedia-like electronic book program aggregates classical works and anecdotes about the two Kims, as well as material related to current leader Kim Jong-un.

The program works on different devices and operating systems – including Windows and North Korea’s Linux-based Red Star – and the plan is to distribute it nationwide.

And it won’t stop there. Developers are already working on the next version – Chongseo 2.0, adding various functions, including voice reading.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Met Police Uses Drones to Target Dangerous Drivers

The Met Police has enlisted the help of a drone to tackle dangerous drivers in London.

The drone will target “road users engaged in dangerous driving, such as racing, that could potentially put others at risk”.

The device will operate on the 22nd-26th July as part of the Vision Zero week – an initiative by London Mayor Sadiq Khan that aims to eliminate all deaths on London roads by 2041.

A spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a police drone is being used to support the Roads and Traffic Policing Command activity as part of the Vision Zero week of action to reduce deaths and injury on London’s roads.

“The drone is being used to support gathering of intelligence and evidence.”

Information collected by the drone will be relayed to officers on the ground, who will then deal with the drivers.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Privacy Concerns Force Apple to Disable Walkie-Talkie App

Apple has disabled a communications app on its watchOS due to concerns that users could eavesdrop on each other.

Available on the Apple Watch Series 1 or later with watchOS 5, the Walkie-Talkie app allows users “to get in touch with just one tap”.

But Apple has turned off the function while it “quickly” fixes the apparent flaw.

A spokesperson for the tech giant said: “Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously.

“We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Duncan MacRae


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