Sneaky deals: upday UK’s tech recap

Come for the Uber gossip. Stay for the Black Friday deals.

British shoppers expected to spend £8bn this weekend 📸 Getty Images

Sshhh…. 🤐

Uber did something naughty last year.

The ride-sharing company was hacked in 2016 some. Some 57 million users were affected – both riders and drivers.

Instead of doing the responsible thing and reporting the incident to regulators or to affected customers, this is how the company dealt with it.

Uber paid hackers $100,000 to delete the stolen data and keep quiet.

It is unclear if any British users were affected, but the UK’s data protection watchdog isn’t taking this lightly. The Information Commissioner’s Officer is already working with the National Cyber Security Centre to determine the scale of the breach and how it affected people in the UK.

Black Friday

Love it or hate it, Black Friday has made its way across the pond. And it’s here to stay.

British shoppers are expected to spend at least £10bn this week. Nearly one in four people feel the pressure to spend money on Black Friday, research shows. And many of the big spenders have regrets about splurging on Black Friday — especially on these items.

The one good thing about Black Friday in the UK is that most of the action takes places online. No queuing, shoving, violence or drama.

None of this in the UK

So if you are going to indulge in this North American delicacy anyways, do it right. Here’s a mammoth guide to British Black Friday deals.

Money for tech

ICYMI: Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the budget this week.

Along with a £3bn Brexit fund, the government threw some cash at the technology sector: £75m for AI, £400m for electric car charge points and £160m for 5G mobile networks. There will also be funding to put driverless cars on UK roads by 2021.

But is the digital boost too little too late? Wired argues that throwing money at these initiatives is the equivalent of using a band-aid to put out an inferno. The biggest problem in tech in the UK is talent shortage. Productivity is falling and the country isn’t training enough skilled workers.

Big reveal

A year ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said it was a “pretty crazy idea” to suggest that misinformation spread on the social network influenced the US presidential election.

Facebook has since admitted that as many as 126 million Americans may have seen content uploaded by Russia-based agents over the past two years. Now, the social network is going to tell specific users if they interacted with the Russian “troll army”.

However, the new tool will only tell users if they liked or shared the content – not those who simply saw it in their feeds.

No spoilers

US prosecutors have charged an Iranian hacker who tried to ruin the best show on TV earlier this year. Behzad Mesri hacked into HBO and reportedly leaked Game of Thrones scripts and demanded a £4.5m ransom.

However, the US authorities couldn’t arrest him immediately, but they had stark words for him.

You bet

Elon Musk just won a $50m dollar bet.

He promised an Australian billionaire he would be able to install the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in Australia within 100 days, or he would supply it for free. So, technically, he saved $50m because he did it.


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