Apple has warned that the disruption in Chine due to the coronavirus will mean that worldwide supplies of the iPhone will be affected. Apple are the first major US company to say that the epidemic will hit its finances. With most stores in China either closed or operating at reduced hours, sales of Apple products would be lower, the company said. Apple said that while the iPhone manufacturing partner sites were located outside the Hubei province – and while all of these facilities have reopened – they were ramping up more slowly than had been anticipated.
Analysts have estimated that the virus may slash demand for smartphones by half in the first quarter in China, which is the world’s biggest market for the devices.
“While we have discussed a negative iPhone impact from the coronavirus over the past few weeks, the magnitude of this impact to miss its revenue guidance midway through February is clearly worse than feared,” said Daniel Ives, Wedbush analyst.
But despite hopes that factories and shops are slowing getting back to normal, Apple’s warning will underline that China’s economy will be seriously affected by the coronavirus.
The head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, has said there could be a cut of about 0.1-0.2 percentage points to global growth, but stressed there was much uncertainty about the virus’s economic impact.
www.bbc.co.uk/technews (18th February)
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According to a report by media regulator, Ofcom, fifty per cent of the 10 year olds in the UK own a smartphone. The 2019 study was based on more than 3,200 interviews with children and parents around the UK.
Strategy and research group director, Yih-Choung Tey voiced concerns over the fact that there are now children who have never known a world without the internet, and for whom ‘their online and offline worlds are indistinguishable’. The report also found that more older children were using social media to express their support for social causes and organisations, with 18% having shared or commented on a post, and one in ten having signed an online petition.
Other key findings for 2019 included –
- 48% of girls aged 5-15 played online games, compared with 71% of boys. Boys spent twice as long playing, clocking up 14.5 hours per week, compared with 7.5 for girls
- Snapchat and Facebook remained the most popular social media platforms of older children, but 62% were also using WhatsApp
- 99% of children aged 5-15 used a TV set, 27% used a smart speaker and 22% used a radio
Ofcom also interviewed parents about their concerns. It found that 45% of parents thought the benefits of children using the internet outweighed the risks, but there was an overall increase in parental concern about young people seeing content that might lead them to self-harm with around 87% of parents seeking advice on how to keep their children safe online.
Following the report, children’s charity the NSPCC called for independent regulators to force social media platforms to protect their users from viewing harmful material.
“While it’s encouraging that parents are talking to their children about their media use, we must look to tech giants to protect their users and ensure they are a force for good not bad,” said Andy Burrows, head of child safety online policy.
www.bbc.co.uk/technews (4th February)
Microsoft is going to stop supporting WIndows 7 so that it can focus on newer technologies. As a result, Windows 7 users will no longer receive the all-important security updates and patches that keep their machines safe.
Cyber-security experts are urging Windows 7 users to upgrade their operating systems as without continued software and security updates, the machines are more likely to be infected with viruses and malware. Computers running Windows 7 will still function but will become less and less secure. It is possible to install Windows 10 on old PCs but Microsoft warns that it may not run smoothly. In order to run Windows 10, PCs must have a 1GHz processor, 16GB of hard drive space, and 1GB of RAM memory. Windows 7 users do not need to upgrade if they use their PC offline.
UK authorities have warned Windows 7 users not to do internet banking or send emails after Tuesday. The warning was issued by the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of Britain’s intelligence agency GCHQ. They urge people using the software to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts. They even recommend accessing email from a different device.
Businesses can pay Microsoft if they want to continue getting updates for Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Enterprise. The Windows 7 Extended Security Updates will be available until 2023 for businesses of all sizes.
www.bbc.co.uk/technews (13th Jan 20)
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At a recent conference, head teachers of private schools announced how ‘sadfishing’ is a growing behavioural trend where people make exaggerated claims about their emotional problems to generate sympathy. It means that those with genuine problems are often overlooked or even bullied.
The term was coined after a number of celebrities, such as Kendall Jenner, were accused of teasing details about personal issues on their social media site to drum up publicity and attract more likes and shares. The charity Digital Awareness UK (DAUK), says that vulnerable children who face genuine distress, are turning to the internet to find support, where they may be bullied as a result. For those who fail to receive the support they were looking for, emotional and mental health problems are made worse.
There also fears that groomers could be preying on vulnerable children by providing sympathy to gain their trust.
Earlier this year, a study (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) of 250,000 teachers in 48 countries, suggested schools in England had the highest incidence of problems with online behaviour. It indicated that 27% of head teachers in England had to deal with problems related to online bullying every week – compared with an international average of 3%.
Chris Jeffery, head teacher of Bootham School, in north Yorkshire, who chairs the HMC’s wellbeing working group, said social media and mobile technology were now an “inescapable aspect of the landscape of the lives of young people”.
“Given the nature of that technology, trends are fast-moving and it is crucial that educators and parents have regular insights into how young people are using their devices,” he said.
www.bbc.technews (1st October)
Instagram is hiding the number of likes on posts in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Brazil. Users will see a user name ‘and others’ below posts, instead of the number, on their feed. Instagrammers will still be able to view the number of likes their own posts receive. This is in an attempt to reduce ‘pressure’ on users after concerns were raised that social media platforms can contribute to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy in young people. Studies have suggested that instant feedback on content can boost people’s self-esteem but bring others down if they do get as many likes. The aim of the trial is to make users feel less judged and hope that people will be able to focus less on likes and more on telling their story.
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, said in a statement.
The number of likes is also the way to put value on a post for the business side of Instagram. Influencers who get paid for the content they showcase in their posts are measured by the number of likes their social media activity draws.
www.bbc.co.uk/technews (18th July 2019)