The week in business tech – 14/11/2014

Brid-Aine Parnell

Friday 14 November 2014

This week in the tech sector, US President Barack Obama takes on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the net neutrality, Amazon releases an always-on speaker assistant called Echo and Google says that the most convincing phishing pages persuade half of us they’re real. Meanwhile, a former NSA technical director warns that quantum computing could undermine the  cryptographic algorithms underpinning the web and new research suggests that a third of UK jobs could go to robots and computers in the next 20 years.

President back the open internet
In a surprise move, President Barack Obama has waded into the debate on how the FCC should regulate the internet and whether broadband access is a vital service, sparking controversy.

Can you hear me, Echo?
Another surprise this week was a new device from Amazon, the Echo, which is like a cross between a virtual assistant and a speaker. But critics are concerned about the privacy of an always-on, always-connected listening device in the home.

Gone phishin’…
Google research suggests that 45 per cent of people who visit the most convincing phishing pages are tricked into giving up their personal data, though the efficacy drops to just three per cent when it comes to the more obvious scams.

We need a quantum of solace
Former NSA technical director Brian Snow has told The Telegraph that the transformative power of quantum computing could also undermine the cryptographic algorithms that underpin the web, if its massive processing power is brought to bear on the public keys used to secure the net.

The robot army… of workers
New research claims that advances in robotics and computing could wipe out as many as a third of UK jobs in the next two decades, with repetitive, low-paid work five times as likely to be made obsolete.

Building the next-gen data centre

Where traditional and web-scale apps co-exist