10 of the coolest and wackiest tech stories of 2018

It’s not necessarily easy to pick the coolest and wackiest tech stories of the year, especially when you have so much to choose from. Rather than trying to be all- inclusive as we have done in the past, see (here and here and here) we have tried to more “exclusive.”  Have fun!

1. Coffee drones

drone with coffee cups iot biometricsGetty Images

First up is a cool story about IBM and coffee-delivering drones. Big Blue has filed a patent for a coffee-delivery drone with intricate sensors. IBM in the patent says they system works like this: A cup of coffee hangs from a small flying unmanned vehicle, and the drone flies to an area with people in it and can be flagged down by someone who desires the beverage.

The drone system isn’t dumb. Rather it can collect data about your location and time of day.  If it notices a trend, say you get tired at 3 p.m., it could do a fly-by-coffee at that time every day without you asking for it. Will it make it to the market? Don’t bet against it.

2. Really bad airport security

flash drive usb securityGetty Images

Our next story falls into the wacky category and comes from London. The story goes that a man on his way to a library found a random USB stick lying on the sidewalk. Upon booting it up he found that in contained all manner of security information about London Heathrow Airport, including security procedures for the Queen and other important travelers, the location of all closed circuit television camera at the airport and maps of the Heathrow’s tunnels and escape shafts for the Heathrow Express train station.

England’s Information Commissioners Office ended up fining the Heathrow Airport Limited approximately $154,000 for “failing to ensure that the personal data held on its network was properly secured. The Register reported that the ICO discovered that just 2 percent of the 6,500 workers at HAL had been trained in data protection.

The ICO also noted “widespread” use of removable storage media that flouted HAL’s internal policies and guidance, and sloppy controls over preventing staff downloading personal data onto unauthorized or unencrypted media. Needless to say there have been security changes at Heathrow.