Lights Out! Santa Claus is Here…

We end another week with a selection of our editors’ favourite stories and reading recommendations.

As the year draws to a close, we thought it would be apt to share some festive stories that made the press this week. Why not take five and catch up with our editors’ reading recommendations?

We kick-off with Sylwester Majewski who is already in the Christmas spirit!…

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Santa Claus is Everywhere!

Who doesn’t like presents? Each year millions of people across the world receive Christmas presents. Most are delivered by Santa Claus, an old man with a round belly and a long, white beard. However there is one person who has received a present from someone else – one of the wealthiest people on the planet.

Sylwester Majewski Chief Analyst
Sylwester Majewski
Chief Analyst

Redditgifts is a large online gift exchange which started connecting internet stranger-friends around the world with one another back in 2009. Today it involves around 120,000 participants worldwide.

It is the world’s largest secret Santa exchange, matching participants through a ‘giant daisy chain’. Each Santa is given a person’s username so they can scour through the profile to find the perfect gift. This year it was Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.

Aerrix’s package amongst other gifts included Xbox Minecraft with three special-edition wireless controllers and a handwritten note from Gates, together with a framed picture of Aerrix and her partner and Gates photoshopped in the image.

An even more touching present was given to one of the Best Buy employees, who was visiting a NY store every day, playing Nintendo’s Wii U demo station. One of the managers, Raheim Storr, put up a video of the employees presenting their gift to the unsuspecting young stranger. “…this kid came in every single day to play the display Wii U, the employees in this store saw an opportunity to make a child smile and did just that.”

“They chipped in and purchased a Wii U for him with their own money”, said Rahein Storr, one of the managers. “Is that not wonderful? That is what we call spirit of the holidays!”

Lights Out!

There have been no shortage of predictions heading into the new year in what has already been a year full of surprises and upsets – which included surprise outcomes in the UK and the United States’ presidential race.

Jeff Patterson, Senior Editor
Jeff Patterson, Senior Editor

One interesting prediction in 2017 however is that the internet would go dark for a period of 24 hours, which could have huge consequences in what would certainly be uncharted territory.

Cyber attacks, and by extension cyber security, have each grown in tandem as these threats become more commonplace worldwide. These attacks hit not just servers, but banking groups, data caches, or even emails.

According to a recent article on Business Insider, technology experts at security firm LogRhythm portend the escalation of such attacks to hit the entire internet, possibly for a period of 24 hours.

What would the world be like without the internet for 24 hours? For those of us who were born in the 1990s or later, such a situation has never been witnessed.

A dark internet could spark widespread panic across markets, and could also be endemic of the vulnerability caused by the reliance our society places on seamless access to internet connections.

Financial markets would almost certainly plummet in the short-term, among other knee jerk reactions. Luckily for proponents of cyber security, financial markets, and civilization, the vast majority of predictions fail to come to fruition.

Time for India

This week, we learned that India’s economy has outgrown the UK economy, in terms of GDP. Apparently, India is now the world’s sixth economy, after United States, China, Japan, Germany, and France. This historical milestone was expected to happen only in 2020.

Michael Pearl Head Of Business Intelligence
Michael Pearl
Head Of Business Intelligence

But the aftermath of the Brexit that devalued the British pound by 20 percent, along with India’s rapid growth rate, has allowed the sub-continent to bridge the gap much faster.

But beyond these comparisons (some disputed by pundits and analysts), there are various signs on the ground that support the notion of India’s rise over the declining Western economies. Take the software and services giant Amdocs. This week the Israeli business daily Calcalist revealed that the corporation now employs more people in India than in Israel and the US (its ‘natural’ R&D centers).

These trends are a product of the interesting policies of India’s innovative prime minister Narendra Modi. His ‘make in India’ policy is set to draw foreign investment, thus increasing technological manufacturing by deregulation and creating eco-systems for investors. Read the full article here.

We conclude another week of stories that our editors are reading. Feel free to share your views in the comment section and any recommendations of your own. We look forward to hearing your opinions!

Check out our previous posts here:

Would You Sell Your Friends To Hackers? It’s Pretty Obvious

Childhood Memories and Being on the Brink

Wallets are Overrated and Norway’s Final Nail in the Coffin

The Digital Underground Lives On….and The Universe Just Got Bigger

Assange’s Confession…a Sign of Our Times

Brexit Revisited, Tom Hanks and The Decline of NFL

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