UK plans $80M in tech initiatives, Google updates Assistant, Apple Releases iOS 11.1.2, and more news

UK plans $80M in tech initiatives, Google updates Assistant, Apple Releases iOS 11.1.2, and more news
Anna Bazyma
17.11.2017

What is happening in the world of technology? Read our digest and you will know.

 

1) Amazon Sells Hardware to Cloud Partner in China

Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 0.94% on Tuesday said it has sold computing equipment used for its cloud services in China to its local partner, Beijing Sinnet Technology Co., in a move analysts said underscores the increasingly chilly atmosphere for foreign companies in the country.

Amazon Web Services said it took the step to meet new Chinese regulations.

”Chinese law forbids non-Chinese companies from owning or operating certain technology for the provision of cloud services,” AWS said. “As a result, in order to comply with Chinese law, AWS sold certain physical infrastructure assets to Sinnet, its longtime Chinese partner.”

Read more on WSJ

 

2) UK plans $80M in tech initiatives, doubles tech visas to 2,000 to shore up support amid Brexit anxiety

While the UK continues to try to find solid ground to begin its contentious Brexit negotiations, the government has launched several initiatives to try to shore up support to (and from) the country’s technology industry.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the UK would double the number of visas issued to “the brightest and best” talent (which includes, but is not exclusive to, tech) to 2,000.

On top of this, the UK government plans to commit £61 million ($80 million) to develop three areas: £21 million to expand Tech City (a London initiative up to now) into a new nationwide network called Tech Nation, with new hubs opening up in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Birmingham among 10 in total; £20 million to fund infusing new tech innovations like AI into public services; and £20 million to help train young people aged 14 to 18 to identify and ward off cyber threats.

Read more on TechCrunch

 

3) UK supermarkets try face-based ID and payment system

A new facial recognition app from British start-up Yoti could be trialled in two supermarkets, following a deal with self-service till maker NCR.

It would enable shops to check the age of customers buying restricted products such as alcohol and knives, without human intervention.

The free-to-consumer app works by pairing a selfie with an official document such as a passport.

The data is encrypted, and Yoti says that it has no access to it.

Read more on BBC

 

4) Google introducing new views in Maps for driving, navigation, and transit to better highlight relevant information, new colors and icons for places of interest

The world is an ever-evolving place. And as it changes, Google Maps changes with it. As roads close, businesses open, or local events happen in your neighborhood, you’ll see it on Google Maps. When you schedule an event using Google Calendar, get a reservation confirmation in Gmail, or add a restaurant to your “Want to Go” list, Google Maps reflects that too. Now, we’re updating Google Maps with a new look that better reflects your world, right now.

First, we’ve updated the driving, navigation, transit and explore maps to better highlight the information most relevant to each experience (think gas stations for navigation, train stations for transit, and so on). We’ve also updated our color scheme and added new icons to help you quickly identify exactly what kind of point of interest you’re looking at. Places like a cafe, church, museum or hospital will have a designated color and icon, so that it’s easy to find that type of destination on the map. For example, if you’re in a new neighborhood and searching for a coffee shop, you could open the map to find the nearest orange icon (which is the color for Food & Drink spots).

Read more on Blog Google

 

5) Apple Releases iOS 11.1.2 With Fix for Unresponsive iPhone X Display in Cold Temperatures

Apple today released iOS 11.1.2, the seventh official update to the iOS 11 operating system. iOS 11.1.2 comes just one week after Apple released iOS 11.1.1, an update that addressed a pesky and widespread autocorrect bug.

The iOS 11.1.2 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings –> General –> Software Update.

Read more on Macrumors

 

6) Cisco beats analysts’ expectations and finally sees its way out of an 8-quarter revenue decline streak

Cisco’s stock shot up 4% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company announced the end of its multi-quarter decline. The stock hung around $35.40 in after hours trading, after closing at $34.11.

The company posted a steady $12.136 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2018, compared to the quarter before when Cisco saw $12.133 billion come in. While revenue is still down 2% from the year before, investors were assuaged by the promise of 1% to 3% year-over-year growth in the upcoming second quarter. If Cisco succeeds, the second quarter will finally break the company’s 8-quarter decline streak.

Read more on Businessinsider

 

7) Google updates Assistant with new features and languages

Google has announced a bunch of new updates coming to Assistant today that should make it possible for developers to make more functional applications that better integrate with your Google Assistant devices.

One of the biggest additions is support for new languages. Developers will now be able to write apps in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Indian English.

Read more on The Verge

 

8) Mozilla’s Firefox web browser just got its biggest update in 13 years – here’s what’s new

On Tuesday, Mozilla launched Firefox Quantum, a reengineered version of the nonprofit’s popular Firefox web browser.

It’s the culmination of six years of research and development and a year and a half of engineering work, according to Mozilla’s chief marketing officer, Jascha Kaykas-Wolff. And the company says Quantum represents the biggest overhaul of Firefox since it debuted in 2004.

The biggest change? It’s twice as fast as the Firefox of just six months ago.

Read more on Businessinsider

 

9) Russia attacked energy, telecom and media in Britain: government official

Russian cyber operatives have attacked Britain’s media, telecommunications and energy sectors over the past year, according to prepared remarks by the head of the government’s main cyber defense agency.

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), declined to provide any details on the attacks in a speech scheduled for Wednesday in London.

The remarks follow comments on Monday from Prime Minister Theresa May in which she accused Russia of spreading disinformation and meddling in elections, echoing a heated debate in the United States over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Read more on The Reuters

 

10) Elon Musk says Tesla made a new Roadster to be a ‘hardcore smackdown to gas-powered cars’

It takes a lot to upstage not one, but two, all-electric semi-trucks. But on Thursday night, Tesla did just that, fulfilling the dreams of every red-blooded fan of the company.

Through the pulsing strains of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” the long-awaited  new Roaster was unveiled. Or, rather rolled out of the back of a matte-black semi-trailer, then piloted into a pair of 0-60 mph speed runs by Tesla design chief Franz von Holzhausen.

CEO Elon Musk then detailed the sleek, red four-seater’s mad stats, including the sprint to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds and a top-speed north of 250 mph, while the crowd went berserk.

Read more on Bussiness Insider