PCR Five for Friday (28/07/2017)

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

Amazon backs Brexit Britain

In spite of the ongoing concerns and uncertainties surrounding Brexit, Amazon has reinforced its commitment to the UK with the announcement that it is to hire 5,000 additional staff across the country this year, bringing total UK staff to 24,000.

As a part of the news, the ubiquitous online retailer said that the new roles would be based across three new fulfillment centres in Tilbury,Doncaster and Daventry, in addition to being based at its offices in Cambridge, Edinburgh and London. There will also be several full-time jobs created at Amazon’s fashion photography studio in Shoreditch.

These hires come as a part of the company’s wider European hiring plan which will see 15,000 new recruitments by the end of 2017.

The acquisition of Corsair shows there’s even bigger money in esports

Gaming peripheral and component maker Corsair has confirmed that it is to be acquired by New York-based private equity firm EagleTree Capital in a deal valued at $525 million. 

The firm, formerly known as Wasserstein Partners, has taken a majority stake in the vendor and will act as lead investors in conjunction with joint investors Investment Management Corporation of Ontario and the Honeywell pension. 

Speaking of the acquisition, EagleTree co-managing partner George Majoros Jr. noted that Corsair’s reputation in gaming along with its involvement in esports were deciding factors towards pursuing a deal.

Google says ransomware ‘is here to stay’ as Microsoft offers huge bug bounty

Year on year cybercriminals are becoming more savvy and finding new ways to make increasingly large amounts of money. At the moment, ransomware is all the rage. Following the global WannaCry outbreak – which almost crippled the NHS – ransomware has been thrown into the public consciousness like never before.

According to research by Google it is not going away anywhere fast. "It’s become a very, very profitable market and is here to stay," said Elie Bursztein from Google. "Ransomware is a fast-moving market, there’s aggressive competition coming from variants such as SamSam and Spora. It’s no longer a game reserved for tech-savvy criminals. It’s for almost anyone."

And with security firms scrambling to find ways to shore up shop, Microsoft is offering huge sums of money to patch-up potential vulnerabilities in its Windows 10 operating system. Launching its new Windows Bounty Program, the software giant has expanded its existing security bug bounty programs. Microsoft has previously paid out $100,000 for Windows 8.1 bugs, and this new scheme will see the software giant pay out far more for serious Hyper-V flaws in Windows 10 or Windows Server operating systems.

iRobot to acquire its European distributor

Roomba robot vacuum cleaner iRobot has today announced that it has struck up a deal to acquire its European distributor Robopolis in a cash deal believed to be worth around $141 million (£108.47 million). 

Robopolis acts as iRobot’s key distributor across seven European markets, with the distributor saying that the acquisition "will allow iRobot to create a powerful organisation in Europe, helping it get closer to retail partners and consumers, maintain its leadership position and accelerate the growth of its business in Europe". The deal is expected to close in October. 

Intel principal engineer quits to focus on AI

Intel’s principal engineer will be leaving the tech giant after 20 years of service. Focussing on processors for two decade, Francois Piednoel has hinted that his next venture will be in the world of artificial intelligence. Taking to Twitter to announce his resignation, Piednol later tweeted what his next venture will be in. Alongside a picture of himself holding a chip, he tweeted: “I am not so good at saying good bye, I will miss all my Coworkers badly, I have no regret, I gave all I had. Now, AI…”

Piednoel also took to the social media platform to state that he would ‘NEVER!’ work for rival chipmaker AMD ‘because [his] knowledge about Intel is too deep, [he] would get lawyers knocking on [his] door next day.” Piednoel has worked on a wide range processor designs including Katmai, Conroe, Penryn, and Nehalem, plus SoCs from SandyBridge to Skylake, KabyLake, Skylake-X and Atom products. He was also involved in the shift from Pentium 4 to Core microarchitecture which has proven integral to Intel’s ongoing success.

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