Friday roundup: A week in tech | News

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The Innovation and Technology Network

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Friday roundup: A week in tech

Evil, global mind-control project 5G has received a boost – the people who refer to themselves as the ‘UK government’ have given their blessing for taller and wider masts to be built in the countryside, with the express function of disseminating the wicked thing.

The government reckons the larger antennae will improve coverage in rural areas (well, duh) without leaving any nasty blots on the landscape.

Currently, public land-based masts are limited to 20m, but the new plans will allow them to swell to a mighty 30m, possibly high enough to interfere with, or work in league with, the chemtrail network.

5G – a better version of 4G, as denoted by the higher number – is believed by some to be a plot by no one’s exactly sure who to either control or injure us, or both, for reasons not in any way clear. Still, evidence is a mug’s game and concerned citizens have already taken matters into their own hands and attacked 5G masts and engineers, sans anything even slightly resembling proof of anything untoward going on. So, I imagine the sight of even bigger aerials will agitate them even further, if that’s possible.

But it’s not merely frenzied idiots who are concerned. Last month, two new 5G masts in a West Yorkshire village were lambasted as an “absolute eyesore” by a local, while a forthright councillor claimed the fact planning permission wasn’t needed to build them was an affront to democracy itself.

But what does culture secretary Oliver Dowden think? That’s what we’re all desperate to know. Well, he spake: “We want to level up the country and end the plague of patchy and poor mobile signals in rural communities.

“These practical changes strike a careful balance between removing unnecessary barriers holding back better coverage, while making sure we protect our precious landscape.”

Very good, but not a word about 5G’s true objective: world domination. How much are they paying you, Dowden?

As Dolly Parton so nearly presciently sang: “5G, 5G, 5G, 5Geee, I’m begging you please don’t take away my mind.”

***

Many of us are delighted to be coming out of lockdown as the hateful virus appears to recede. Probably not Netflix, however.

The video-streaming goliath, with its vast catalogue of largely unwatchable bilge, saw its subscriber base swell by 15.8 million as Covid-19 forced billions around the world into their homes to drink and stare abjectly at screens (ok, this was true before the virus, but it increased).

But all good things must come to an end, and, sadly for Netflix, modern science and medicine have managed to check corona’s advance, despite the wantonly inept management of certain governments.

And it gets worse. Though the virus helped boost Netflix’s subscriber base, it also played havoc with filming schedules, meaning the network is short lots of new shows, leaving viewers plenty of time to figure out that they’re paying a monthly subscription for what is mostly a heap of right old twaddle.

Probably from watching the behaviour of the UK government, Netflix forecast that six million new users would sign up between January and March this year – alas, a paltry 3.98 million did so, which led to the firm’s shares tumbling 11%, and wiping $25bn of its ‘market capitalisation’, whatever that is.

But there’s no need to feel too bad for the firm: it’s reported recent revenues of $7.16bn and net income of $1.71bn, so I assume they’ll still be having goose this Christmas.

***

A lovable, famous spying outfit has decided to join the internet as part of an ‘openness’ drive.

Britain’s MI5 wants to rid itself of “martini-drinking stereotypes” so has signed up to that bastion of integrity and transparency…Instagram.

The organisation’s skipper, Ken McCallum, hilariously quipped that “you can insert your own joke about whether we will be following you” as he encouraged fans of shadowy government agencies to get involved, before adding “no, seriously, we will be following you”. (I made that last bit up.)

As Instagram is owned by Facebook, another outfit that seems to operate by its own set of rules and keeps a keen eye on people (2.79 billion of ‘em, in fact), it looks a perfect match, though it remains to be seen if MI5 can match the social media firm’s stunning talent for securing data.

Anyway, writing in the Daily Telegraph, naturally, Mr McCallum revealed what’s troubling him: "On the one hand, our ability to serve the public and keep the country safe depends critically on operating covertly…[but] it would be dangerous vanity to imagine MI5 can build all the capabilities it needs inside its own bubble.”

The agency is somewhat behind the times compared to their American brothers-in-firearms. The CIA, seasoned interferers in the internal affairs of countless sovereign states, already have 3.2 million Twitter followers, all the better to spread American values like disinformation, destabilisation, violence, coups, general mayhem and terror, and so on.

Let’s see what MI5 get up to!