PCR Five for Friday (24/03/2017)

Five for Friday is a weekly feature to give a brief roundup of our top five stories from the week that you might have missed. Think we missed anything? Let us know your favourite stories of the week by pinging us a tweet @pcr_online.

Tech sector growing twice as fast as UK economy

The UK’s technology sector is leading the way in terms of economic growth. Hailed as a ‘great British success story’ by prime minister Theresa May, the industry is growing faster than the UK economy with 72 per cent of investment coming from outside London.

report by Tech Nation revealed that £9.2 billion of capital and private equity investment in digital businesses came from outside the capital. Growing at twice the rate of the wider economy, the digital economy is now contributes a staggering £97 billion a year to the UK. Up 30 per cent in five years, the UK tech sector is also outperforming all of its European neighbours. 

Advertisers agree to online standards

A group of advertising trade groups, ad buyers and sellers from Western Europe and the United States who refer to themselves as the Coalition for Better Ads banded together to introduce voluntary standards for online adverts. After surveying 25,000 users across mobile and desktop, a study identified six different types of desktop web ads and 12 types of mobile ads as falling beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.

This comes after it had been identified that 615 million devices – 11 per cent of all devices hooked up to the internet – are running adblockers. Major advertising associations from Britain, France, Germany and the United States, online ad platforms Google and Facebook, advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever and news publishers including News Corp, Washington Post and Thomson Reuters have joined up in an effort to discourage users from installing adblockers by initating these standards.

Apple denies security breach

A spokesperson from Apple denied claims made on Wednesday by a group of hackers who A announced that it would hold the company to ransom after accessing more than 600 million iCloud accounts.

“There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID," the spokesperson said. "The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.”

The hackers, known as the ‘Turkish Crime Family’ are demanding a $150,000 Bitcoin or Ethereum payout by April 7th and say that the ransom will increase if it is not paid by the end of the week.

AMD Ryzen 5 sold ahead of embargo date

A Paraguayan retailer reportedly jumped the gun by three weeks and sold AMD’s new Ryzen 5 CPU to a lucky customer. According to a reddit post from user marcosmcc, the store has sold at least one of AMD’s new processors.

As a result, we can expect to see benchmarking and performance results released far ahead of the release date in three weeks. 

Amazon launches Prime Now with Alexa

Ubiquitous online retailer Amazon announced Prime Now integration for its Alexa voice assistant. Users can take advantage of this process by simply asking Alexa to order from Prime Now. Alexa can order multiple items at once, make recommendations and will automatically choose the next available 2-hour delivery window.

"Bringing Prime Now to Alexa voice shopping combines two of the most innovative shopping technologies available for an experience that our customers are going to wonder how they ever lived without," said Assaf Ronen, vice president of voice shopping at Amazon.

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