Friday Five: Google unsure how cookies should crumble

1. Google unsure on how cookies will crumble

Google’s “indecision” over what system it wants to replace cookies has been criticised by some in the ad industry. It comes as Google said an interest-based user-tracking system, Topics, would now replace its earlier proposal, Floc. One marketing executive said: “This constant indecision does not inspire confidence.”

2. Pepsi hypes half-time show with film and app

Each year, Super Bowl half-time show sponsor Pepsi ups its promotional game a bit more. And in the lead-up to Super Bowl LVI on 13 February, Pepsi has unveiled a short film trailer called The Call to highlight that it has five musical acts to promote this year (Dr Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige and Kendrick Lamarr).

3. Government launches internal cyber strategy

The UK government has launched its first ever Cyber Security Strategy, a multi-million pound plan to help better protect vital public services from the growing risk of disruptive and destructive cyber attacks. The multi-pronged strategy is designed to protect both core systems and public services from malicious actors.

4. BT to recruit 600 apprentices and graduates

BT is hiring more than 600 graduates and apprentices across all divisions as part of its intake this September. There are positions available in engineering, customer service, applied research and cybersecurity, and will help the telco develop its services for consumers and businesses, and expand its 5G network around the UK.

5. Robot performs autonomous surgery on pig

A robot has successfully performed autonomous abdominal surgery on a pig for the first time. Researchers at John Hopkins University reported the breakthrough on Wednesday, having been programming its Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) for years (it completed a semi-autonomous laparoscopic surgery in 2018).

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