We’re reaching the end of October and coming towards that point of the year where fancy dress is compulsory and standing outside in the freezing cold to watch an array of lights and loud noises is the done thing. If you’ve kept up with the news this year, Artificial Intelligence might be the scariest thing you could possibly go as to the Halloween party!
Scare-mongering aside, this week’s roundup, as always, explores some of the biggest and most fascinating I.T. and tech news stories which you may have missed. This week we have: a positive hacking story, an invention that could mean smashed smartphone screens are a thing of the past and some surprising statistics on the digital capabilities of the general public.
Just 40% of adults have the skills to complete basic digital tasks
Less than half of adults have the capability to complete the simple stuff such as uploading videos, downloading apps and using online map systems. This is according to research from Nominet which also explained that 64% of millennials received the label of “digitally savvy” opposed to 15% of those born before 1945 and 23% of those born between 1946 and 1964.
Perhaps surprisingly, Generation Z, born from 1997 and onwards, were found to be less digitally equipped than the millennials who were born between 1981 and 1996. The term ‘Digital Natives’ is used to describe those who have grown up with technology, however only 34% of Generation Z were considered digitally savvy, suggesting that I.T. education is still important and needed.
French hackers reconstruct TV QR code to claim bitcoins
A challenge was set and a challenge was overcome this week when entrepreneur Roger Ver offered $1,000 worth of bitcoin to the first person who could scan an onscreen QR code. The problem was that the French TV channel had blurred out the code, likely due to broadcasting restrictions. This didn’t stop Michel Sassano and Clement Storck however, two hackers who decoded the blurred image by analysing a small part that was visible and claimed the bitcoin reward.
Working on their knowledge of QR code design, the pair managed to plot what they knew about the code's structure, roughly one third of it, in a spreadsheet to work from.
Roger Ver described their work as “amazing.” Read more about the positive hacking news here.
Super-flexy touchscreen for smartphones invented by scientists
The news that everyone hopes is true, smashed screens could be no more. That’s because British scientists have invented a cheap flexible touchscreen made of graphene and silver. The University of Sussex has found it is possible to combine graphene with silver nanowires to create something which is equal to the performance of regular screens but just a fraction of the cost to produce. It could be good news for smartphone owners if these new screens are adopted by tech giants so we’ll be watching out for updates on this story.
Those were some of this week’s biggest I.T. and tech stories but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels.