Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this week.
Tesco Express – but not as you know it
Supermarket chain, Tesco, is to trial a new drone delivery service that aims to have orders dropped off at the customer’s home within half an hour of ordering. Flying at 80m and capable of carrying up to 4kg of items at speeds of up to 80kmh, the drones can deliver groceries to homes two kilometres away within three minutes.
The trial is taking place in the small town of Oranmore on the west coast of the Republic of Ireland, using ‘Drone Delivery as a Service’ from the Irish company, Manna, based at University College Dublin. Using custom-developed aerospace-grade drones, the company already have a growing list of customers, delivering prescription medicines and takeaway food for local chemists and restaurants.
Cloning rife on Instagram
According to UK police, incidents of business cloning on Instagram are rife, with scammers copying the profiles, pages and images of legitimate businesses in an attempt to mislead the companies’ customers and steal both cash and personal data from them.
In one instance, the owner of an established beauty product company discovered that not only had her Instagram account been ‘carbon copied’, but that after setting up an online competition, the scammers had contacted hundreds of entrants, telling them they have won and asking them for their PayPal account information.
Not only does this form of online fraud seriously damage the reputation of the companies affected; it can also have a negative impact on their finances. Those businesses who sell or promote their products on the social media site are asked to remain vigilant.
Fileless malware on the rise
Businesses have been warned to take protective measures against fileless malware, a form of cyberattack that doesn’t need files to infect a system and is virtually impossible to detect. The malware uses vulnerabilities in legitimate programs or unauthorised protocols as an entry point and then houses itself in the RAM, manipulating trusted processes on the operating system to carry out various forms of attack.
By hiding in a legitimate file, the malware is undetectable by most security tools, however, from here it can use script files and trusted processes to install malicious code which enables it to steal data, gain access to other machines on the network and control them remotely.
The main cause of infection is when employees receive unsolicited phishing emails and click on a link which redirects them to a malicious site. Businesses are advised to train staff about phishing and to make use of technologies like Email SSL certificates that encrypt email data and verify the authenticity of the sender.
Wet chips get green thumbs up
Datacentres are notoriously un-carbon-friendly. Apart from the amount of energy they use up just to run, they use up even more to keep cool, with both internal fans and external air-conditioning systems needed to maintain healthy machine temperatures. All that power is responsible for enormous energy use, 24 terawatt-hours per year in US datacentres alone, and significant carbon emissions.
According to Nature magazine, this might all be about to change. Swiss researchers from EPFL University have invented a chip that integrates liquid into its design and which has a cooling performance fifty times greater than traditional methods. The chip’s integrated liquid cooling channels can extract 1.7 kW of heat per square cm while consuming less than 0.6W of cooling energy per square cm. The improved design could be a game-changer for IT industry global emissions as well as helping companies reduce energy costs.
IFA tech show
With a much-reduced crowd than normal, this week saw the annual IFA consumer tech show take place in Berlin. Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 related technology was high on the agenda with innovations, such as LG’s battery-powered Puricare face mask that also works as an air purifier and the Acer Swift 5 laptop with its germ-repelling touchscreen, grabbing much attention. LG also unveiled the InstaView fridge which, aside from its interior view screen display, also boasts a UVnano system that wipes out bacteria. Our favourite, however, had to be Bob, a mini, kitchen-top dishwasher from Daan Tech that uses ultraviolet sterilisation to kill bacteria and viruses and can be used to sterilise facemasks besides your dirty dishes.
Not pandemic related but perhaps of more importance to our readers, the IFA show also saw the launch of Intel’s 11-gen Core processors. The new hardware has been designed for the next generation of devices and is capable of delivering improved graphics performance while supporting Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6 and PCIe 4.
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