It has been great fun putting together your weekly #TechAways for all of you tech geeks out there. I will be starting a new job with Liberty Global next week, joining their public policy team in Brussels so this will be my last #TechAways in your inbox.
But Cambre excellent tech’s practice team will keep on delivering your weekly news, with Victoria Main at the helm. Keep an eye out for some cool changes coming up!
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The refined taste buds of nanometals [Wired]
Ah, the complexity and depth of aromas in a fine Scotch whisky! But is your liquid gold a counterfeit? A 2018 survey of 55 rare bottles found that a whopping 21 were fakes, some claiming to be more than 120 years old. That stings – and the Scots aren’t having it. Researchers across the country are racing to develop tech to verify a bottle’s authenticity, from artificial tongues with nanometals that can distinguish between different brands, to ring-shaped laser lights scrutinising the complex chemical compounds that give the liquid its signature colour and taste (without wasting a drop, of course). Now sit back, relax, and enjoy your tech-approved drink.
The unexpected chapel of 2020: Instagram [The Verge]
In a bizarre yet logical turn in an already tumultuous year, lovebirds are circumventing corona restrictions by saying “I do” on social media. No – this is not a dystopian episode of Black Mirror but is rather the entrepreneurial spirit of an event management company organising elegant “micro weddings” resulting in instagrammable pictures. There is something endearing about capturing the most important day of your life in spite of the limitations faced by the virus. Plus, why go to the courthouse or the “King of Rock” if you can elope in style without harming grandma or ruining your wallet? Elvis Presley already had his turn – it was about time we made weddings affordable.
Little cyber-Sherlock helped uncover scam apps 🕵️♀️ [Wired]
Online scammers are difficult to spot and once they strike it’s not easy to get rid of them unless you are a cybersecurity specialist…oh wait. A young girl reported a suspicious TikTok profile promoting a fishy app to Be Safe Online, a Czech project educating children about online safety.Thanks to this little cybercrimesleuth, security researchers uncovered aggressive adware in 11 apps – all promoted by Instagrammers and TikTokers – that had been downloaded 2.4 million times. The apps were programmed to display aggressive ads, charge users without their control, and to hide the app icon making it almost impossible for users to uninstall them. This trick generated more than $500,000 before meeting their demise thanks to a tech-literate child.
Siri, how do I bake apple pie? [Gizmodo]
Apple’s virtual assistant can help you with weather forecasts, agenda reminders or to “call Mum” but it will let you starve! It seems that particularly in the kitchen, questions get no answer, requests are ignored, and finding a recipe is an uphill battle. Speaking loudly and slowly doesn’t even help but turns your cooking experience into an episode of Hell’s Kitchen. More seriously, virtual assistants are still in their adolescence (Siri will turn 9 on 12 October 🎉) and the progress that will be made possible by new technologies in the coming years, particularly artificial intelligence, will revolutionise the good “cuisine”.
In case you haven’t had enough…
TikTok asks judge to block September 27th Trump ban [The Verge]
Hailing a self-driving taxi while blind. Learn how Waymo answers that challenge at Sight Tech Global [TechCrunch]
Facebook will let people claim ownership of images and issue takedown requests [The Verge]
EU cloud regulation opens new front with US tech giants [POLITICO]