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Latest Big Data News


UCL team designs Covid-19 tracking system that stores data away from the cloud

Scientists say they have developed a Bluetooth tracing system which is ready to be deployed into an app in the fight against coronavirus.

A team at UCL (University College London) have been working on the technology with data privacy experts to ease concerns of misuse.

Contact tracing has been widely discussed as a potential solution to help end the Covid-19 lockdown, following in the footsteps of Singapore, where a similar offering has been adopted.

The idea is to use Bluetooth technology to keep a log of those who have been in close proximity to you, and send out an alert if any anonymously declare themselves as tested positive, with advice on further steps to take.


App that taps into collective power of world’s smartphones directed to Covid-19 research

Scientists looking into treatments for coronavirus are hoping to use the collective power of a network of smartphones to help boost research.

The DreamLab app, developed by the Vodafone Foundation, uses the collective power of a network of phones to analyse huge amounts of information in a much shorter space of time.

The technology will be used by researchers from Imperial College London hoping to identify how existing drugs and food-based molecules could help patients with or recovering from Covid-19.


EU calls for pan-European Covid-19 tracking app

A pan-EU coronavirus health tracking app is needed to protect the privacy of the region’s citizens, Europe’s data protection tsar has said. 

Several European governments have launched Covid-19 tracking applications to help inform social distancing policies and the eventual lifting of lockdown measures.


Key Covid-19 stats so far: Cloud, data centre, cyber security, AI & big data

Look outside and the world has stopped turning. But if you look online, everything appears to be spinning faster than ever. Every day that passes brings with it a selection of remarkable tech-related stats and figures. Phishing attacks skyrocketing, Zoom meetings spiralling and record-breaking bandwidth. If you’re struggling to keep up, here are some of the most interesting and dramatic stats we’ve seen so far. 


British Airways and Marriott GDPR fines delayed again

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office responsible for enforcing compliance with data regulations has deferred £280 million in fines handed out to British Airways and Marriott Hotels for data breaches.

British Airways was landed with a record £183 million in July 2019 over a 2018 data breach that saw 380,000 customer payment cards compromised. While Marriott is facing £99 million fine, also issued in July 2019, over a data leak caused by Chinese hackers that affected around 339 million customers.


Half of UK tech firms fear missing out on Covid-19 state support

UK tech trade body techUK has released a second Covid-19 survey investigating the effects of the pandemic on the nation’s technology sector, building on an initial survey published last month that indicated the sector might be insulated from much of the impact.

Over 100 technology organisations responded to the updated urvey – half of them small businesses with less than 50 employees. techUK counts 850 companies as members that collectively employ almost half of UK tech sector employees.

Overall, the sector still seems cautiously optimistic that the most extreme economic effects of the outbreak can be avoided, with only 6 percent fearing a halt to trading in the short-term. Longer term, businesses are more uncertain, with 30 percent concerned about their ability to trade if restrictions are extended.


Zoom halts development to plug security holes

Zoom has apologised to users over security and privacy issues which have plagued the platform, pledging to make changes in the coming weeks.

The video calling platform said its usage has “ballooned” since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as millions of people were forced to work and study from home.


Microsoft and Amazon to help NHS allocate hospital resources effectively

The UK National Health Service has enlisted the services of some of the world’s largest tech firms to help it thwart the coronavirus outbreak.

First reported by BBC, the NHS has joined forces with Microsoft, Google, Faculty AI and Palantir to create data dashboards that use AI to display up to date information about Covid-19 transmission.


UK Government in talks with phone companies to stop spread of coronavirus 

Ministers are asking phone operators if they can use mobile data to help monitor whether the public are following social distancing advice to tackle the coronavirus. BT, which owns EE, said it was in talks with the Government over how it could aid in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.


Microsoft Bing launches interactive Covid-19 tracking map

The tracking map allows users to see the number of Covid-19 cases globally as well as news linked to that region Microsoft’s Bing search engine has launched a new interactive map which allows users to track the number of cases of Covid-19 around the world. The map uses data from the World Health Organisation (WHO),… Read More


White House summons AI community to mine dataset of 29,000 coronavirus research papers

A dataset of over 29,000 scientific articles related to the coronavirus family has been shared publicly to help the scientific and medical community better understand Covid-19 and its related viruses.

The machine-readable collection was collated so that AI technologies, specifically text and data mining tools, could easily digest existing scientific literature for insights on how Covid-19 can be tackled.


DeepMind deploys deep learning to predict coronavirus protein structures

London-based AI lab DeepMind has published predicted structures for several proteins present in SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

DeepMind said that while the predictions have not been experimentally verified, it hopes they will help scientists understand how the virus functions and serve as a platform for developing potential treatments.



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