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News & Views

Weekly Tech Roundup: August 25

World’s largest data centre to be built in Arctic circle

The Norwegian town of Bellangen is the planned site for a record-breaking new data centre, which will draw 1,000 megawatts of power (200 is the average). The town is situated in the Arctic circle, and the chilled air and local access to hydropower mean the facility’s energy costs will remain relatively low.

How blockchain helps fight fake news and filter bubbles

With more and more people turning to social media as a primary news source, fake and biased news stories are becoming a real problem. Blockchain, founded on the principles of decentralisation and transparency, could be the key to tapping a wider editorial community as opposed to a few single gatekeepers, enabling more effective flagging of content which is inappropriate or incomplete.

Facebook is losing its teenage audience

Younger users are “less engaged” with Facebook than other platforms, according to new research which predicts Facebook’s user base of 12-17 year olds will shrink in the UK and US this year. Teenagers are migrating to Snapchat and Instagram as their network of choice, where visual content is the central means of communication.

UK seeks early deal with EU on post-Brexit data sharing

The British government is eager to negotiate an agreement with Europe which will ensure there are no substantial regulatory changes to data-sharing laws in the wake of Brexit. Policy papers published by the Department for Exiting the European Union cite Britain’s “unique” status as a world leader in e-commerce as justification for such special treatment.

The hashtag turns 10

Created a decade ago by product designer Chris Messina, the hashtag has become a ubiquitous part of everyday life and a crucial tool in the online world. Entire communities and movements have formed around hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen.

The solar eclipse was bigger for Facebook than last four Super Bowls

This week’s historic solar eclipse resulted in 240 million interactions on Facebook, from over 66 million people — that comprises posts, likes, comments and reactions. For context; this year’s Super Bowl drew a Facebook audience of  64 million, the biggest in the last four years.

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