PCR Five for Friday (15/09/2017)

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 left anything out? Let us know your favourite stories of the week by pinging us a tweet @pcr_online.

South Wales to become global semiconductor centre with £38 million deal

The south of Wales is upping its stakes to become the centre of semiconductor production. In a deal worth £38 million, firms in Wales will be given a boost to develop technology to power generation robotics, 5G and driverless cars. The region is set to become a cluster for firms developing such technology, with the aim to attract £375 million of private investment and create as many as 2,000 jobs in the area.

The technology has traditionally been deployed in next generation smartphones, but can also be used in controlling energy efficiency, airport security and is being incorporated in the rise of the internet of things. The south of Wales cluster aims to be a world first for these types of compound materials. It is the first investment under the £1.2bn Cardiff Capital Region city deal programme.

One week left for Women of the Year nominations

We are rapidly approaching the deadline for 2017 PCR Women of the Year award applications.

The Women of the Year awards are PCR’s way of celebrating and promoting diversity in UK technology. Taking place at London’s Hamyard Hotel on Friday November 17th, the awards will be a great industry event for networking and catching up with industry peers along with celebrating with the top female talent that the sector has to offer. 

Is Apple running out of ideas?

Yesterday at its campus in Cupertino, Apple revealed two (three if you include the 8 Plus) iPhones. The more hotly anticipated of the two was the iPhone X which, confirming expectations, became the company’s first $1,000+ smartphone. (The RRP is $999, but sales taxes ranging from 1.69 per cent in Alaska to 10.25 per cent in Chicago ramps the price up further.) The iPhone 8, while being a worthy step up from last year’s model, was something of an afterthought to most. But despite the hubub surrounding the new iPhones, they exemplify a worrying trend for Apple that has been lingering pretty much since the passing of Steve Jobs.

Northamber shows off new and old Channel partnerships at Expo 17

Sandown Park made a fitting location for the Northamber Expo 17, as the UK distie showed off a number of new and old Channel partnerships across all areas. Launching new partnerships with big name vendors such as Samsung, Phillips, Ben Q and Ricoh, Northamber showed that it is galloping in the right direction.

While Samsung’s 49-inch curved display (connected to FIFA) certainly caught the eye, it was the array of Channel partnerships on offer that director of strategy Alex Phillips was keen to show off. “It is all about flexibility with Northamber,” Phillips said, as he showed us around the exhibition. “Flexibility is key to Northamber, being able to provide a solution for the client by combining vendors and services is essential to our business model.”

Samsung launches bug bounty program with $200,000 pay outs

Samsung is on the lookout for bug bounty hunters. The mobile division of the tech giant is the latest major vendor to start up a bug bounty program, offering rewards of up to $200,000 for researchers who are able to offer fixes.

The bounty – ranging from $20,000 to $200,000 – applies only to new devices. A total of 38 mobile devices launched since 2016 are on the list, including Galaxies S, Note, A, J, and Tab, and the top-of-the-line the S8, S8+, and Note 8. Samsung is also eager for engineers to prize open its branded services like voice-assistant Bixby and its Pay service. All application signed by Samsung Mobile and third-party packages are also up for grabs. (Only currently active services and fully-updated applications are eligible, and third-party app vulnerabilities have to be Samsung-specific.)

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