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The Sundar-ing

12 December Subscribe


Tech news with a HAT perspective

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Tech News This Week 

Uber's going plastic... This week everyone's favourite notorious ride sharing app launched its new credit card, which opens for applications on November 2. With no annual fee, it's kind of a knock-out, offering 4% back at restaurants (rare, even for those AMEXers among us). Will it trump the Nando's Black as the ultimate status symbol? Unlikely. 

Amazon's keys to the castle... The castle being the smart home market. In another high profile product launch this week, Amazon revealed Amazon Key, its delivery system that essentially puts a camera at your door and allows couriers to drop parcels inside your home. Amazon reeeeally want to know what's in there. It's a typical privacy vs. convenience problem... when did having a retail giant watching your front door (or watching you while you sleep) become normal?   

Get your skates on... Mr. Musk is far too indie for Boring old trains (geddit?). In the 500 ft tunnel his side hustle has been digging under downtown Los Angeles – designed, he says, to end the world-renowned LA traffic – cars will ride on electric 'skates', not trains. There are rumours that skates are also headed for Baltimore...

Banned words this week: Facebook, Congress, Russia, Twitter, election, Trump. 

Be Cautious...

Remember Wannacry? Well the National Audit Office's verdict is in, and turns out that NHS trusts studied had not acted on critical alerts to patch vulnerable software, and the the Department of Health had no way of assessing whether organisations had acted on security guidelines. It's so telling that there are no surprises here, ignoring updates is part of life, but please, not from the NHS... 

Hacking gets real ugly... A prolific hacker group targeted a London plastic surgery clinic, and stole lists of sensitive client data and images, including celebrities and royals. It's a hack of the ugliest kind, but no request for ransom has come through yet. Makes us ask, yet again, why we are okay with companies storing data that is so so personal?

In Depth... 

Too-big data... Wired has done an excellent long read on China's social credit system, set to launch in 2020. It proposes to rate citizens, giving out benefits and penalties as a result of online behaviour, defining what loans people can take out to what flights they can board. This is the kind of future that individually controlled personal data prevents: all the analytics, personalisation, machine learning and insight opportunities of big data, but without the big brother. 

Geek Out On...

The Great iPhone X... Applephile or Applephobe, there is no way around the iPhone X this week. There are more reviews than could sink a ship, so here is the longest and most definitive we could find.

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-Chief 

HAT News...

HAT@PIE... On Monday next week, we'll be pitching up a stand at Ctrl-Shift's Personal Information Economy (PIE) conference. It's a cracking line up, so get yourself tickets if you haven't already and come say hello 👋

What's scarier than Halloween? Christmas. And how fast it's coming. But we wanted to give all our lovely MadHATTERs a heads up about our Christmas party, to which you are cordially invited! We'll be cruising down the Thames on Saturday 9th December for a festive lunch. We hope you can join us!

Aperol Sprintz...  Once again, the HAT team will be descending on the little village outside Cambridge that houses HAT Central for a sprint. There will be Halloween shenanigans, and maybe even some work on product timelines for the New Year, too. 

Jonathan Holtby, Community Manager
Alert Us. Any relevant tech news or interesting new developments in personal data you'd like to share with the HAT community? Drop us a line here.

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