Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse

This is your weekly round-up of the top tech news stories.

Every Friday, Silicon UK surveys the week’s tech news.

Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry or sector.

I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.


Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse

I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.

A new report has revealed the daily struggles of UK businesses and their IT teams dealing with a growing number of ‘cyber incidents.‘

It found that British businesses have experienced on average 30 cyber incidents over the last 12 months – a 25% increase compared to the previous year.

The report is called ‘State of cyber security in the UK 2023’ and comes from secure cloud and IT-managed service provider iomart and Oxford Economics.

It surveyed 500 UK executives with teams of over 1000 staff.

The report also claimed that tight budgets and the rising cost of insurance are among the challenges.

Meta’s reportedly making another round of job cuts.

This time it’s staff at it is Metaverse-oriented Reality Labs Unit who are impacted.

It’s also known as the Facebook Agile Silicon Team – or FAST.

The team is responsible for producing Meta’s virtual reality and augmented reality headsets, as well as some software and other AI projects.

According to Reuters, staff in the division were informed of the layoffs in a post on Meta’s internal discussion forum Workplace on Tuesday.

Meanwhile – could Meta be about to introduce a monthly charge to use its platforms without ads?

That’s what is being reported this week.

The idea is for a €10 monthly fee for ad-free access to Facebook or Instagram on our phones.

TikTok is testing out its own monthly subscription, which gets rid of adverts on the app.

It costs just under $5 dollars.

The BBC says it’s being tested in an English-speaking market outside of the US, but the platform hasn’t revealed where or how big the trial is.

It comes a couple of weeks after Elon Musk revealed plans for X to move behind a paywall at some point.

Speaking of Musk – he’s in the news this week of course.

He’s facing a lawsuit in the US claiming he defrauded former Twitter shareholders last year by waiting too long to disclose he had invested in the platform, now known as X.

It’s after he allegedly failed to disclose, he had acquired a 5% stake in Twitter in the required timeframe, as per US trading rules, on 24 March last year.

A UK regulator is apparently keen to launch an antitrust investigation into Amazon and Microsoft’s dominance of parts of the cloud computing industry.

At the moment, they are the clear market leaders, with Amazon Web Services or AWS and Microsoft Azure having a combined market share of between 60 to 70%

Ofcom is reported to want to look into that.

The long-awaited fraud trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of failed crypto exchange FTX, finally got started in the US this week.

A jury has to be selected before the courtroom showdown gets fully underway.

He denies a number of federal fraud and conspiracy charges over his role in the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, after a multi-billion dollar hole was found in its balance sheet.

The 31 year-old, who once had a net worth of $26 billion, potentially faces over 115 years in prison if found guilty.

His trial is expected to last up to six weeks.

VPN access in Russian could be blocked from next year.

Reports suggest that the Russian communications watchdog is planning on stopping access to the tech which allows its citizens to access news and other content outside of the country’s tight controls.

The plan is to introduce the block from 1 March 2024.

VPNs have actually been banned since 2017 but haven’t been blocked entirely in that time.

A firm has been fined for littering…. in space!

Dish Networks has been ordered to pay $150,000 by the US Government for leaving space junk orbiting the Earth.

It failed to move an old satellite far enough away from others which were still in use.

It’s the first time that a space junk fine has been handed out.

And Netflix has mailed its final DVD after winding up its postal service this week.

You’d be forgiven for being surprised it was still a thing after the move to streaming over the last decade.

But yep – the DVD by post service first launched in 1998, had survived in five distribution centres in the US.

Just as a refresher – this is where you choose a film you want to watch, they post it to you, you watch it and send it back along with the next movie you want mailing out.

But the final discs were sent out last Friday – apparently the recipients won’t need to return these ones and can keep the DVDs forever.

That’s the latest from Silicon UK Pulse – for more tech news and features, head to silicon.co.uk

David Howell

Dave Howell is a freelance journalist and writer. His work has appeared across the national press and in industry-leading magazines and websites. He specialises in technology and business. Read more about Dave on his website: Nexus Publishing. https://www.nexuspublishing.co.uk.

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