Welcome to Silicon Pulse – your roundup of the latest tech news and developments impacting your business for the week ending 02/06/2023.
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.
Amazon’s offered a new term-time only contract to parents and grandparents working in its warehouses in the UK.
It’s amid ongoing strike action over pay at its base in Coventry.
The new deal would give staff six weeks off in the summer and two weeks around Easter and Christmas while retaining full-time benefits.
Staff at the Midlands warehouse have been on strike for a total of 16 days this year so far in a dispute over pay and conditions.
In America, Amazon has another staff dispute to resolve.
Employees are said to be ready to walkout over a number of issues including a recent decision to make them return to working in the office three days a week.
There’s also anger over the laying off of 27 thousand workers – and Amazon’s environmental record as well.
The UK Government’s launched a group to look into whether artists get their fair share of royalties from streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
This week the music industry pledged to improve the metadata that’s used to track songs.
That means the writers, performers and producers of the tracks will be more consistently identified.
The Government first started looking into music sites in 2019 and identified an ‘imbalance’ in royalties a couple of years ago.
We’ve got more experts coming forward to raise their concerns over Artificial Intelligence.
A statement published on the webpage of the Centre for AI Safety, warns that “mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”
It’s signed by a number of leading figures in the AI sector, giving it some real weight.
They’re the latest in a line of tech experts to put forward concerns.
Now let’s get the latest on that ongoing Microsoft takeover of the games manufacturer Activision Blizzard.
If you’ve been following the story you’ll know so far the UK and US has opposed the deal but the EU has given its approval.
This week China weighed in, with the country’s regulator following the EU’s lead and giving the thumbs up.
The State Administration for Market Regulation approved the acquisition ‘unconditionally’.
Altogether nearly 40 countries have backed the deal now.
Some more news from China this week…
The country’s planning to put humans on the moon before 2030 – so within the next six years or so.
Their space agency revealed the aims on Monday.
They’re developing a new rocket, with a test flight scheduled for 2027.
It’s quite a bit behind the Americans, though – the US has its own programme running, aiming to have people on the moon by the end of 2025.
Speaking of NASA – this week it held its first ever public meeting to discuss UFO sightings.
It was a four hour event on Wednesday with a panel of experts.
And it was streamed live, with the public able to ask questions online.
It came after a year long study into unexplained sightings.
But alas, nothing especially juicy came out of it – no military secrets disclosed.
Pension funds are warning hundreds of thousands of people in the UK that their data may have been affected by a high profile breach earlier this year.
The Information Commissioner’s Office says it’s had about 90 breach reports so far from organisations whose personal data was held by the outsourcer Capita – which was hit by a cyber attack in March.
It then later emerged the company had left a cache of data unsecured online.
Capita says it has secured the exposed online data.
Five men have been jailed for illegally streaming Premier League football matches.
They ran a service offering £10 a month subscriptions which tens of thousands took up, raising something like SEVEN MILLION pounds.
It was called Flawless TV.
The sentence follows a fairly rare private prosecution by the EPL, following a trading standards investigation.
It’s a while away but some rumbles this week about the forthcoming new iPhone.
It’ll probably be September when the iPhone 15 models launch.
This week though, one of the main suppliers of the parts used to make the handsets launched a recruitment drive ahead of the new phone.
Foxconn runs the biggest iPhone factory in the world in China – often referred to as iPhone City.
It’s now offering a bonus of around 350 pounds for people who stay in roles for at least 90 days.
How would you feel about ordering a rental car – and it drives itself to your house?
That’s kind of what’s launched in Milton Keynes this week.
Fetch is a new service which delivers driverless vehicles to people.
Now some important stuff to make clear…
It’s driverless but it isn’t quite driving itself – it’s kind of life done via remote control, with an office-based operator in charge of the vehicle.
And when it arrives, you get in and drive as normal.
When you’re done – the remote operator takes over again and it just sort of drives off in front of your very eyes.
That’s the latest from Silicon UK Pulse – for more tech news and features, head to silicon.co.uk