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In this week’s episode of the Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast, Brian McKenna and Caroline Donnelly are joined by Computer Weekly’s networking editor, Alex Scroxton, to assess the tech credentials of the remaining Conservative Party leadership candidates, London Tech Week, the latest on Huawei and the latest on Apple’s datacentre European expansion plans.
- Caroline kicks off the discussion with a brief overview of the tech credentials of ex-Tory leadership candidates Mark Harper and Andrea Leadsom, who crashed out of the race within hours of the podcast being recorded. Alex then casts a critical eye on Jeremy Hunt’s suitability for the role, and Brian McKenna takes a look at home secretary Sajid Javid’s chances of securing the top job.
- Brian keeps the conversation focused on the Conservative Party a little longer by sharing the highlights from culture secretary Jeremy Wright’s talk at this year’s London Tech Week CogX event about artificial intelligence (AI).
- At the show, Brian also caught a presentation by Extinction Rebellion’s Gail Bradbrook, who shared her views on why “humanity is f**ked”. Brian praises her compelling take on why the Earth is a dying planet, and how enthusiastically her words were received.
- Keeping on the topic of London Tech Week, Caroline flags a couple of stories filed from the event by Computer Weekly’s acting management editor, Angelica Mari, on the topic of Brexit and its impact on the UK technology industry.
- The first article focused on prime minister Theresa May’s speech on the first day of the show, in which she talked up how tech investment is still being funnelled into the UK, despite the uncertainty over Brexit. However, London mayor Sadiq Khan expressed a slightly contradictory view, and urged whoever takes over from May to prioritise the UK’s preparations for AI, which he said could be at risk of being overlooked because of Brexit.
- Alex shares details of how Huawei’s CISO, John Suffolk, got on during his grilling by the UK government’s Science and Technology Select Committee, where he was quizzed on the firm’s links to the Chinese government and the morality over how its technology is used by various questionable regimes around the world.
- Caroline shares an update on how Apple’s plans to expand its datacentre footprint across Europe is progressing, following the news that it has pulled the plug on plans to build a second datacentre in Denmark, and speculates on why that might be.
- Brian rounds off the discussion by summing up two sizeable M&A deals that have taken place within the business applications space in recent weeks – Google’s acquisition of Looker and Salesforce’s decision to snap up Tableau – and what they mean for the market.