Top 3 tech, startup and sustainability stories of the week, 1st-5th, July, 2024

This week’s stories are about Akamai, European Union and Google

1-Bots establish 42% of overall web traffic

Akamai, the content delivery company powering and protecting life online, launched a new State of the Internet (SOTI) report, finding that bots compose 42% of overall web traffic, and 65% of these bots are malicious. The report, Scraping Away Your Bottom Line: How Web Scrapers Impact Ecommerce, said the e-commerce industry has been most affected by high-risk bot traffic. “Although some bots are beneficial to business, web scraper bots are being used for competitive intelligence and espionage, inventory hoarding, imposter site creation, and other schemes that have a negative impact on both the bottom line and the customer experience,” added the report.

Here are some key points from the report:

-AI botnets have the ability to discover and scrape unstructured data and content that is in a less consistent format or location.

– Bots can be used to facilitate new account opening abuse — which, according to recent research, composes up to 50% of fraud losses.

Bots establish 42% of overall web traffic, impacting ecommerce at the utmost

2-EU lags behind digital skills and digital infrastructure

The EU lags behind digital transformation goals for 2030, according to this year’s State of the Digital Decade report by the European Commission.

I saw this story at The Next Web and the bloc has designated four main targets: the digital transformation of businesses, the boost of its digital infrastructure, the cultivation of digital skills, and the digitalisation of key public services and health records. (I have a story here about Hakan Bulgurlu, who’s leading Europe’s home appliance association)

“However, the Commission’s findings reveal that the current efforts of the member states are falling short of the EU’s ambitions across all target areas,” said the story.

“Today’s report clearly shows that we are not on track to reach our targets on the digital transformation in Europe,” as EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager put in a statement.

The report pointed out four major problems:

1. Digital skills adoption “alarmingly insufficient”

2. Limited progress in connectivity coverage

3. Heavy reliance on third countries

4. Business uptake of digital tools is slow

You can find the press release of the report here and see the link of the report in the press release.

EU lags behind digital skills and digital infrastructure (Image: The Next Web)

3-Google’s greenhouse gas emissions go up 48% in five years

Google’s greenhouse gas emissions went up 48 percent in the past five years due to the expansion of its data centers, according to company’s annual environmental report. The report implies that  AI systems, leaving its commitment to get to “net zero” by 2030 in doubt. Google’s pollution amounted to 14.3 million tonnes of carbon equivalent in 2023, a 48 percent increase from its 2019 baseline and a 13 percent rise since last year, the report said.

I read this story at Ars Technica and Google announced its 2023 energy-related emissions—which come mainly from data center power consumption—increased 37 percent year on year and overall represented a quarter of its total greenhouse gas emissions.

“Google’s supply chain emissions—its largest chunk, representing 75 percent of its total emissions—also rose 8 percent. Google said they would “continue to rise in the near term” as a result in part of the build-out of the infrastructure needed to run AI systems,” added the story.

Google’s greenhouse gas emissions go up 48% in five years

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