5-For-Friday – News Roundup – 30/11/18

Welcome, all again to – 5-For-Friday – your weekly, tech news roundup.

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1. Bitcoin Price Surges Back Up After Dramatic Plunge.

In last week’s 5-for-Friday we mentioned that the value of cryptocurrency had crashed dramatically in recent weeks.

However, Bitcoin’s price has surged back up after its recent run of terrible performance.

The price has now surged by almost 10 per cent, putting it on course for its best day since the summer.

2. Mike Lynch Charged with Fraud in the US.

UK tech tycoon Mike Lynch’s involvement in the sale of software company Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard has seen him charged with fraud in the US.

HP bought Autonomy from the firm’s then-chief executive Mr Lynch and his chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain for $11bn (£8.6bn) in 2011.

Following the acquisition, Autonomy’s new owners wrote off $8.8bn of the value of the deal, citing ‘accounting improprieties’.

The group accused Mr Lynch of artificially inflating the revenues of Autonomy by up to $700m over a two-and-a-half-year period preceding the deal.

The criminal charges against Mr Lynch include 14 counts of conspiracy and fraud and carry a maximum of up to 20 years in prison.

3. Facebook’s UK Political Ad Rules Now In Force.

Facebook’s new political advertising rules – relating to candidates, elections, referenda and political causes – have now come into force.

Initially due to take effect on 7 November – the rules state that anybody placing political ads on Facebook must now provide and verify their identity by submitting ID, which will be verified by a third party.

They must also demonstrate they have a UK address by responding to a code sent by post.

The changes were made following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

4. Marriot Starwood Hit By Data Hack.

Hotel group Marriott International has suffered one of the biggest data breaches in corporate history.

The hotel chain – who bought Starwood in 2016, creating the largest hotel chain in the world with more than 5,800 properties – said an unauthorised party had compromised the guest reservation database of its Starwood division.

The hack affects some 500 million guests, with the data including passport numbers, emails and mailing addresses for about 327 million of them.

5. Farmer Embracing Autonomous Tech.

Farmer Jamie Butler is trying out a new worker on his 450-acre farm in England’s Hampshire countryside.

The new worker is a Robot called ‘Tom’, the brainchild of the Small Robot Company, is part of a wave of ‘agri-tech’ startups working to transform production in a sector that is under economic strain due to market pressures to keep food cheap, a rising global population and the uncertainties of climate change.

The aim is to drastically cut down on fertilizer and pesticide use to lower costs and boost profits for struggling farmers.

Until next week. We hope you have a great weekend!