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News, Tech Roundup

Tech Beat by Namecheap – 28 April 2023

Gen Z may have had access to the Internet since they were born, but office tech is leaving them baffled. From archaic emails to ancient scanners, the current generation is turning to veteran office workers for help. So what tech is tripping Gen Z up, and can we do more to shape a better workspace of the future? Find out in this week’s feature article

In other news

  • Mac computers may soon face ransomware threats. People who own Apple Mac computers have never really had to worry about ransomware, as bad actors have tended to target Windows, Linux, and other operating systems. That may be changing. According to Wired, researchers have discovered Mac ransomware samples linked to the Russian ransomware gang LockBit, which recently targeted a Canadian children’s hospital and the UK’s Royal Mail. The samples don’t seem fully functional just yet, but experts believe it could be a sign of threat actors’ future plans to start targeting Macs. 
  • ChaptGPT-5 isn’t in the works just yet. Open AI CEO Sam Altman has said that there’s currently no ChatGPT-5 in training despite such claims in an open letter from tech experts requesting all AI labs pause training on their systems for at least six months. Gizmodo reports that Altman, speaking virtually at an event at MIT, told an interviewer that the letter was “sort of silly.” However, his follow-up revelations about planned GPT-4 upgrades, including allowing its language model to browse the Internet, are unlikely to reassure the letter’s signees. 
  • Japanese lander succumbs to epic fail just before touchdown. The Japanese company ispace attempted to make a soft landing on the Moon with its Hakuto-R spacecraft, but lost communication with it just before touchdown, making it the second privately funded lunar landing attempt to fail. ArsTechnica reports ispace’s engineers plan to use the data collected during the descent to improve future versions of the lander. The landing attempt was livestreamed and followed a five-month transit to reach the Moon.
  • Ever wondered if your AI spam is getting noticed? AI-generated content is flooding the Internet, particularly in places where inauthentic content is common, such as Amazon user reviews and Twitter. ChatGPT and GPT-4 are two AI language models that are generating large amounts of spam, often containing the phrases “as an AI language model” and “I cannot generate inappropriate content.” Vice discovered these phrases have become memes and can be used to identify lazily executed AI-generated spam.
  • This old WordPress plugin is being used to hack websites. Researchers at Sucuri have discovered that hackers have taken over a decade-old WordPress plugin called Eval PHP. The plugin was designed to enable users to add PHP code into articles and blog data. TechRadar says the hackers have been using the plugin to create a backdoor into websites, with the potential to conceal its parameters by masking them as cookies. 
  • First statewide ban on TikTok passes in Montana. Montana has become the first state in the US to approve a wholesale ban on TikTok, which could set a precedent for similar moves in other Republican-led states. Gizmodo reports the bill, called SB 419, could take effect in January 2024 if signed by Governor Greg Gianforte. The ban would prohibit TikTok from operating within the state over fears that it could be used by the Chinese government for espionage purposes.
  • Game over for video game company acquisition? The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has blocked Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of the video game company Activision Blizzard, citing concerns over competition and the potential for reduced innovation in the gaming industry. According to Variety, CMA’s decision highlights the ongoing scrutiny of major tech acquisitions and their impact on market dynamics. Microsoft plans to appeal the CMA’s ruling, and Activision Blizzard supports Microsoft’s decision.

Tip of the week: Talk to the government about online freedom

The recent talk of banning TikTok in the US has sparked controversy and debate among people worldwide. Many individuals are concerned about their privacy and the potential for online surveillance. If you’re one of those people, it’s important to know that you have the power to make your voice heard. One effective way to do so is by contacting your legislators. 

Uncertain as to who your legislators are? In the United States, there is an online portal where you can search for elected officials, Federal, State, and local, using our address. 

There are a few different methods you can use to contact your legislators. One option is to call their office and speak with a staff member. Alternatively, you can send an email or even write a physical letter. When you reach out, be clear and concise about your message. Explain why you believe the TikTok ban and online surveillance are essential issues and why your legislator should take action. 

It’s also important to do your research ahead of time. Find out where your legislator stands on the issue and if they have taken any action in the past. This will help you tailor your message and make it more effective. And remember to be respectful and courteous in your communication. Your legislator is there to represent you, and they are more likely to listen to your concerns if you approach them professionally and politely. 

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Richard King avatar

Richard King

Richard is a technology copywriter who aims to simplify the complex world around us using words. As well as an interest in all things tech, he enjoys learning about usability and the overall customer journey. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, skiing, video gaming, and playing the piano and drums. More articles written by Richard.

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