Week in Review: Phone hacking and police snooper sackings

Week in Review

On Thursday afternoon, scores of Twitter denizens went ape when the News of the World announced its final edition would be this Sunday's rag.

They weren't particularly furious about the end of NOTW, more about a host of journalists losing their jobs thanks to the paper's chief executive keeping hers.

But there were other reasons to be cheerless this week, as some FOI requests revealed hundreds of police employees had been found in breach of the Data Protection Act.

Over 900 police officers and staff in the UK were subject to internal disciplinary procedures thanks to DPA breaches, whilst 98 were given the chop for their offences.

So it isn't just journalists (IT Pro not included of course!) who've been spying on you

Roaming in white spaces

So called "white spaces" don't signal some kind of return to segregation. They in fact offer a chance for truly remote locations to get half decent broadband something Ofcom recognised this week.

BT and a promising little start-up called Neul have both been pushing the case hard for exploitation of white spaces, so super rural areas can get connections. Imagine the day when we can catch up on the latest episode of Antiques Roadshow via iPlayer from our countryside mansion homes. Spiffing.

What's more, it might not even be that expensive to view web video when on holiday, thanks to European Commission proposals. If the EC gets its way, we'll soon have cheaper data costs and won't need to remortgage our homes just to download the latest Angry Birds when backpacking around the continent. Even Skyping on Facebook whilst abroad might not cost you an arm and a leg

Humans beat computers

The entire human race should also thank ARM this week, after it effectively proved the human brain is more powerful than even the most high-powered machine.

A "massive computer" using one million ARM processors, to be used in a project to mimic the brain, will still represent only one per cent of the brain's capacity. No doubt many of you have stopped building your panic rooms in preparation for an impending man vs. machine, Terminator-esque war, right?

Of course, it may say more about ARM chips than human superiority you decide.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.