The UK court system's failure to implement its own recommendations for improving data sharing is holding back its recovery from the pandemic, according to a report from the National Audit Office (NAO).
The government spending watchdog has reported on progress in reducing the backlog in criminal courts, which stood at 60,692 in the Crown Court in June, a 48 per cent increase on March 2020, when the first UK's pandemic lockdown was introduced.
"The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected the work of the criminal justice system and necessitated extensive changes in criminal courts to keep judges, court staff, and users safe," the report said.
Opinion Three things on the morning news reliably ruin breakfast for socially aware technogeeks.
Feature Outsourcing generally has a bad reputation, scarred by countless failed projects in the public and private sectors and with cost cutting, rather than improved sevice delivery, seeming to drive business decisions.
It's big business: the global IT outsourcing market brought in $318.5bn (£232.5bn) in 2019, according to one report. So not every CIO can be wrong when they decide that bringing in an external technology provider is preferable to doing it themselves. Can they?
The failures can be high profile in nature, be it the Home Office's digital border sevices contract with Raytheon; IBM and WPP; Capita and the Primary Care contract; Capita and the Army recruitment services; Capita and the school bug; Capita and... we'll stop there.
Facebook has sued a Ukrainian national for allegedly harvesting and selling personal data describing 178 million of the Social NetworkTM's users – actions it says violates the service's terms of service.
The suit alleges that Alexander Alexandrovich Solonchenko created millions of virtual Android devices, each with a different phone number, and used them to deliver automated requests to Facebook systems using the Messenger app.
Over 21 months between January 2018 and September 2019, Solonchenko purportedly took advantage of Facebook Messenger's now-defunct Contact Importer feature. The feature allowed users to synchronize their phone address books and see which contacts had an account with The Social NetworkTM, presumably so they could contact them on Messenger rather than through other means.
Who, Me? Punch cards are the order of the day in a reader confession that takes us back to an unfortunate incident with a trolley. Welcome to Who, Me?
To be fair, punch cards were on the wane at the time of our story in the early 1980s, but our reader (Regomised as "Ivor") was gainfully employed at an international manufacturer still keen on the things.
After all, if a system wasn't broken, it didn't need fixing, right?
Catch a ride, pay your utility bills, order your dinner, top up your insurance, chat with friends – how many apps did you need to get that lot done? In much of the world North America and Europe your answer could involve a fistful of apps, but in Asia you could do it all in one, thanks to rise of the "superapp".
Superapps are, for now, largely an Asian phenomenon, although the concept is more than a decade old. Blackberry founder Mike Lazaridis coined the term in 2010 to mean "a closed ecosystem of many apps that people would use every day because they offer such a seamless, integrated, contextualized and efficient experience".
Academic and researcher of digital business models and ecosystems at Singapore's ESSEC Business School Dr Jan Ondrus thinks a better definition for a superapp is essentially "an operating system".
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) co-founder John Gilmore has been removed from any active role on the digital rights organisation's board but will continue to serve as emeritus member.
"Since he helped found EFF 31 years ago, John Gilmore has provided leadership and guidance on many of the most important digital rights issues we advocate for today," wrote EFF executive director Cindy Cohn.
If your instincts tell you that's the kind of prose that presages a "but", your instincts were correct.
Updated The UK's largest retailer, supermarket titan Tesco, has restored its online operations after an attack left its customers unable to order, amend, or cancel deliveries for two days.
A Tesco statement acknowledges disruption to the giant's grocery website and app, claiming "an attempt was made to interfere with our systems, which has caused problems with the search function on the site."
The gigantic grocer has also claimed there's no reason to believe customer data is or was at risk.
What will the internet look like in the year 2071? Geoff Huston, chief scientist the regional internet registry the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), thinks there may not be an internet – or at least not as we know it today.
Huston's thinking is outlined in a presentation he made to a recent IBM Research event on the Future of Computer Communications Networks.
The talk opened by pondering what predictions one would have made in 1921 – a time when Huston reckoned forecasting huge growth in voice telephony would have been a logical conclusion, but faxes and digital technology would not. He then repeated the exercise with 1971 as his starting point, and concluded that predicting computers would become a consumer product would have been hard to do at a time when the dominant personal electronics product was a pocket calculator.
NASA has set a date for the test of the technologies it hopes will see it return to the Moon and explore Mars: February 2022.
The agency on Saturday announced that its Orion spacecraft has been stacked atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and if all tests go well is expected to make an uncrewed test flight around the Moon.
The mission – the first in the Artemis program – is billed as "the first integrated test of NASA's deep space exploration systems". NASA's plan is to send the SLS into space, whereupon the Orion capsule will head for the Moon.
In brief A man was detained in Japan for selling uncensored pornographic content that he had, in a way, depixelated using machine-learning tools.
Masayuki Nakamoto, 43, was said to have made about 11 million yen ($96,000) from peddling over 10,000 processed porn clips, and was formally accused of selling ten hardcore photos for 2,300 yen ($20). He pleaded guilty to violating Japan's copyright and obscenity laws, NHK reported this month.
Explicit images of genitalia are forbidden in Japan, and as such its porn is partially pixelated. Don't pretend you don't know what we're talking about. Nakamato flouted these rules by downloading smutty photos and videos, and reportedly used deepfake technology to generate fake private parts in place of the pixelation.
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