Tech Digest daily round up: 15% use pet names as passwords


Millions of British people are using their pet’s name as their online password, despite it being an easy target for hackers, a survey has found. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said 15% of the population used pets’ names, 14% use a family member’s name, and 13% pick a notable date. And 6% of people are still using “password” as all – or a part – of their password. The NCSC urged people to choose random words that cannot be guessed instead. Other problematic passwords included a sports team the user supported (6%), a string of numbers such as “123456” (6%), or a favourite TV show (5%). BBC 

Amazon has quashed a historic unionisation vote in Alabama that would have led to the creation of its first union in the US. Workers at the Bessemer warehouse voted 1,798 to 738 against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, labour officials said. The final tally is yet to come in. The result means Amazon has avoided its biggest labour threat to date from its US workers and has avoided its first unionised warehouse in America.  Around 5,800 people work at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama facility and 3,215 cast a vote. The union said it would file a legal challenge against both the election and claims of unfair labour practices against Amazon workers. Telegraph 

Thwaites glacier in Western Antarctica is warming and melting faster than previously thought.  Data obtained from a cold-resistant underwater robot reveals Thwaites, dubbed the ‘doomsday glacier’, is buffeted by more warm water than was believed.  Thwaites in Western Antarctica is the size of Britain and melting at an alarming rate.  If it was to collapse, it would lead to an increase in sea levels of around two feet (65cm) and already accounts for four per cent of the world’s sea-level rise each year. Daily Mail. 

The view that battery-powered heavy goods lorries can’t compete with diesel is being challenged by new research. In a new study by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the authors say that fast charging and not bigger batteries is the key to commercial competition for large-scale electric lorries. “If you take that average value, which is our default analysis in the paper, we are really at the tipping point where this starts to make sense,” said lead author Björn Nykvist from SEI. “It doesn’t really matter [about] the size of the battery pack in the truck. You really just need more power from the charger.” BBC

Tech giants such as Facebook and Google must start taking stronger action to tackle online child sexual abuse, the Home Secretary has said. Priti Patel, along with ministers from the UK’s Five Country security partners – the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia – said tech companies needed to be more transparent about their progress in the fight against such content. Last year, a number of internet giants endorsed the Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation created by the Five Countries, which set out a framework for tech companies on how to tackle such content. But in a meeting of the Five Countries on Wednesday, ministers called on tech firms to be more transparent about the progress made on the issue. Yahoo! News



Chris Price
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