5-For-Friday – News Roundup – 27/07/18

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


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1. Facebook stocks plummet.

We've reported quite a few stories on Facebook over the past few weeks – as they always make for exciting reading.

The social networking giant's stock price tumbled more than 20% after the company’s CFO said revenue growth would “continue to decelerate in the second half of 2018 as the company increased its investment in security and privacy."

Growth slowed in US and Europe, the company’s largest advertising markets.

However, in contrast to the plummeting share price – Facebook's monthly active users were still up by 11% year on year to 2.23 billion.

2. Slack buys HipChat. 

Slack has made the announcement that it’s acquired HipChat – a competitor to its workplace chat platform.

They plan to shut it down and migrate users to the Slack chat service.

HipChat – produced by enterprise software giant Atlassian – stated that the acquisition was a 'partnership' and the two companies will work together to migrate all of its users over to Slack.

3. Sky to drop TV remote for voice activation. 

The TV remote has been a cause of many a family dispute and a fixture of watching television for much longer than Sky has been a part of the experience.

But, Sky has announced plans to update their SkyQ box to allow users to drop their remotes and control everything with their voice.

Families will swap shouting at each other for yelling at their TV instead.

4. Cambridge-founded HealthTech company closed a $10m Series A funding.

Healx, the Cambridge-based med-tech startup today announced a $10 million Series A funding round, led by Balderton Capital.

Healx uses AI to help discover new uses of drugs, which could then potentially treat rare diseases – mapping more than a billion data points that connect diseases, patients and drugs, in a database called Healnet.

Healnet uses machine learning to mine data from scientific literature, patents, clinical trials, disease symptoms, drug targets, and underlying chemical structures.

The company states that such a technique helps to slash the time it takes to get a new drug to market.

5. Virgin Media will no longer show UKTV channels.

Virgin Media’s 4 million pay-TV customers are losing 10 UKTV’s channels, which include Dave and Gold, as the cable company looks to auction off the channel slots to rivals.

The channels are home to shows such as Taskmaster, Top Gear, Only Fools and Horses, Red Dwarf, and Call the Midwife.

Virgin could also lose ITV programmes in a long-running dispute the media outlet.

Bonus news.. Toblerone fans rejoice as they're going back to their original size and shape.

Ok, so this one isn't tech news - but its exciting news none-the-less.

The pointy chocolate bars are returning to their original shape after two years.

In 2016, Toblerone maker Mondeléz began producing the bars with bigger gaps between the triangles, due to the rising cost of the magic ingredient cocoa and their desire to keep the price for customers down.

The Guardian has reported that the cost of a bar will go up from about £1 to over £3 with supermarkets and large retail chains offering them between £2 and £2.50. 

We're sure the price hike won't deter many fans of the mountain-shaped confectionary bar.


That’s all from us. Until next week. Have a great weekend!

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