Friday, 4 August 2017

How to map a virtual world to a real space

In February 2017, together with World Wildlife Fund, ArtScience Museum and Google Zoo, MediaMonks launched a large-scale mixed reality experience "Into The Wild" to help people in Singapore experience the devastating effects of deforestation and learn more about some of the world’s most endangered species and their habitats. It was the world’s first Tango-enabled smartphone Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, and guided visitors through personalised digital adventures, which started with AR on the ground floor of the exhibition space, before transitioning to full VR.The end of the experience shifts back to AR, where users go up to the fourth floor for an experience that includes planting a virtual tree.Transforming over 1,000 square meters of the Singapore ArtScience Museum into a virtual, interactive rainforest, making it the largest AR experience in the world, and second ever AR museum experience developed using Google Tango.
And it wasn’t easy. From a technical perspective, we faced the massive challenge of how to accurately and smoothly map a virtual rainforest onto a physical and dynamic museum space, making sure the walls aligned with trees, corridors with the forest’s paths, and that we worked our way around the museum’s existing exhibitions and staging. 

So how did we do it?
To start with, if you’re augmenting the real world with virtual objects, it’s important that the device rendering your view (such as a smartphone, monitor, CAVE or head mounted device) is exactly aware of where it is in the real world.

For this, a device needs to know its position and orientation in a three-dimensional space.

In the case of Tango, where the augmentation happens on a camera feed, the position and orientation of the rendering device needs to be in real world coordinates. Only if the position and orientation of a Tango device is reported accurately, and fast enough, proper augmented reality is possible.The fact that Google Tango does this for you is very cool because it allows developers to augment real world locations within their own virtual world which is different from Snapchat-like AR which, for example, augments bunny ears to your head.

With real world bound augmentations, you can potentially create shared AR experiences that revolve around and involve landmarks.In this case, it allowed us to transform the ArtScience Museum into a lush virtual rainforest and from the user’s perspective, exploring the rainforest becomes as natural as exploring the museum itself because every corridor or obstacle in the virtual world matches a corridor or obstacle in the real one.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Black holes lurking at the centre of galaxies could kill stars

The Universe looks very different today compared to how it looked 12 billion years ago. Galaxies once ‘hotspots’ where billions of stars were created are now cosmic graveyards, and exactly what killed these stars has been a mystery until now. Research published today says these galaxies stopped making stars because of black holes lurking at their centres.Astronomers at the University of Iowa studied a few of these galaxies that are still star-making factories, known as dusty starburst galaxies, and found quasars at the centre of four of them.Quasars are extremely bright sources of radio waves, which are powered by disks of matter rotating around supermassive black holes.Stars survive by burning hydrogen gas as fuel, and when this runs out they start to die. The team’s paper argues these quasars are the reason these dusty starburst galaxies became extinct, by ejecting gas far away from the galaxies and starving the stars of their fuel. “The surprising part of the finding is that, although the new ALMA observations located these quasars right at the centres of dusty starburst galaxies, these quasars look the same as other quasars living in normal galaxies,” Hai Fu, assistant professor at the University of Iowa and the paper's first author, told WIRED.

Quasars should not be detectable in dusty starburst galaxies because the light would be absorbed, or blocked, by the dust and gas churned up by the process of star formation.
Fu added: “The starburst galaxies hosting these quasars look the same as other starbursts that don't appear to host quasars.” This means, Fu says, there may be a quasar at the centre of every dusty starburst galaxy, it just cannot be seen. In these particular galaxies where they have been spotted, the researchers think the quasars are peeking out from deep holes, a vacuum free of debris that allows light to escape its cloudy surroundings.

"It's a rare case of geometry lining up," says Jacob Isbell, the paper's second author. "And that hole happens to be aligned with our line of sight."

Monday, 31 July 2017

Brexit Britain must move fast to keep data flowing with Europe

Once the UK has worked out trade, immigration, fisheries and pretty much anything else you think of, Brexit negotiators will be left with one final headache: data sharing. Cross-border data sharing is governed by well-established laws and allows for unfettered trade and sharing of law enforcement information. Although the government claims it is committed to maintaining this, a Lords sub-committee has warned the government is showing a striking “lack of detail” on its plan. This is despite trade in digital services accounting for 44 per cent of the UK’s total global exports. Three-quarters of that data sharing is with EU states. Operations such as the Internet Watch Foundation’s Hash List, which assigns unique signifiers to criminal images and videos posted online, such as child sexual abuse, rely on this framework to share data with law enforcement agencies globally. If negotiations falter, institutional norms such as unhindered sharing of the European Criminal Records Information System could be threatened.While Theresa May is committed to removing the UK from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the Lords report is not so sure. Data going from the EU to the UK will still be subject to the same laws, so operating under a different system seems an incongruous and costly choice.


Stewart Room, who heads up cyber security and data protection at PwC and submitted evidence to the committee, argues the UK will not be able to “escape the influence of the ECJ” if it wants to keep trade with Europe alive. Because the ECJ will still have jurisdiction over the flow of personal data to the UK, it could prevent that flow if it so chose “in serious cases”.If the UK is no longer subject to EU laws and regulations it will also no longer have the ability to influence it, the Lords report explains. It calls on the government to “secure a continuing role for the UK's Information Commissioner’s Office on the European Data Protection Board”. Matt Hancock, minister of state for digital, and Baroness Williams of Trafford, the minister of state at the Home Office, both “refused to be drawn on the default position” for what will happen post-Brexit. They proffered assurances the laws would be “compatible”. When pushed, Lady Williams said: “It is too early to say what the future arrangements might look like.”
The Lords recommended the UK government seek an “adequacy decision”. This is an investigation into how a country’s data protection laws sit within the EU’s own, followed by a ruling by the European Commission as to whether sufficient safeguards are in place. For this to happen the UK needs “to find a mechanism to trigger the Commission's process”, says Room, suggesting it could be a feature of David Davis’ Brexit negotiations.Room believes the chances of security an adequacy decision for GDPR are good. “The most significant potential barrier to an adequacy decision might be the UK's operations on surveillance for law enforcement purposes. However, the UK is a signatory to the Convention on Human Rights, is subject to the rule of law and there is strong judicial oversight of surveillance operations, which are arguments in the UK's favour." Many countries trade with Europe without such a decision, he points out. But that route would lead to expensive and time consuming “administrative hurdles".

Read more:- Dailystrength




Sunday, 30 July 2017

Is the tech boom at an end? London VCs aren't worried

The tech startup bubble may be over — though mega-deals suggest there's life in VC funding yet.A report from KPMG has revealed the number of venture capital deals has continued its "gentle" slide, down seven per cent from the first quarter of this year to the second and down by a quarter from last year.Investment is up 55 per cent this quarter to $40 billion from $29.5 billion the previous quarter, but that's been boosted by a handful of "mega deals" over $500 million including a record $5.5 billion raised by Didi Chuxing. The quarter saw the largest number of unicorns created in two years, with 16 firms valued over $1 billion. But even with such cash splashing around, funding is still down 14 per cent versus the same quarter last year, sparking Asus Customer Service Uk suggestions the tech startup boom has busted. Don't panic, says Harry Briggs, partner at BGF Ventures. "First, it's worth stressing that according to these figures, Q2 2017 was the fourth biggest quarter for UK venture funding in the last decade," he told WIRED. "So rumours of decline are greatly exaggerated, and arguably there's been a massive 40 per cent rebound since Q4 of last year." Instead, it may be getting tougher for early-stage startups. "What does appear to be happening is a 'flight to later-stage' - the number of deals has roughly halved since 2014, whilst the amount of capital has remained about the same," Briggs said. There's still plenty of cash to go around, for those with proven ideas, at least.Why the flight to later-stage funding? Briggs suggests two explanations. "There is still a massive glut of capital managed from London — but unfortunately much of that capital is looking for high yield at low risk, which means piling into the companies that already seem like winners, in the B rounds, C rounds and later rounds," he said, which is why so much money is pouring into the likes of proven startups such as Deliveroo and Transferwise.

Beyond that, the apparent slide in deals and funding is merely the cyclical nature of technology. At the beginning of a cycle, funders favour smaller, earlier-stage firms, and as a given technology matures and potential "winners" emerge, larger piles of cash collect around a few companies.
"Arguably we are now in the late stage of the cloud computing, mobile, [and] social cycles, which generated vast numbers of startups, because of the low barriers to entry — there will still be more winners, but the big battles have mostly been won by the likes of Tencent, Facebook, Didi, Uber, Spotify, Salesforce, etc." As new companies emerge with fresh technologies — Briggs names AI, blockchain and synthetic biology — the funding focus will again shift to early-stage startups.Rob Kniaz, ‎founding partner at Hoxton Ventures, argues there never really was a bubble, particularly in Europe. "I think the later stage pre-IPO valuations in the US were bubbly, but that's slowly deflating as the Blue Aprons and Snaps go public and valuations creep down to more sane levels," he said. "Europe hasn't really had that inflation ever so we don't see downwards trends anywhere like what you'd see in the US." The KPMG figures suggest the number of deals slid to a six-quarter low, down 40 per cent from its peak in 2015.
Kniaz was particularly positive about London, which saw the number of deals fall but posted record investment helped by Improbable's leap into unicorn status. He said the capital "remains resilient", while Laurence Garrett, partner at Highland Europe, says his firm still saw plenty of opportunity. "Total amount invested in the UK is holding steady year over year," he added.
Read more:- PC Repair Service

Friday, 28 July 2017

UK could lose 30,000 fintech jobs after 'hard Brexit'

The UK could lose up to 30,000 jobs within the fintech sector in the event of a 'hard' Brexit, the Emerging Payments Association has warned.The concerns centre on 'passporting' rights, which allow companies to sell financial services to the rest of the EU, and are tied to being a member of the single market. The UK is likely to lose single market membership if it refuses to continue permitting freedom of movement from the EU, a situation widely dubbed 'hard Brexit'. "It's looking likely to be a hard Brexit," Peter Howitt, founder of Ramparts law firm and co-author of the EPA's latest report, said at the launch this week. There are 5,500 registered UK companies with 336,421 'passports' at the moment, according to the Financial Conduct Authority. HM Treasury estimates the market employs 60,000 people and is worth £6 billion to the UK economy. "We estimate 10 to 50 percent of those jobs could be lost, so up to 30,000", Howitt warned. "We're not all going to move to Frankfurt, but we have to do something," he said. "It [hard Brexit] will require us to look somewhere else."Although the authors said they had not seen any UK fintech firms apply to get authorised for a 'passport' elsewhere yet, many are seriously considering it. "We're not hearing many saying they'll leave fully," Howitt said. GoCardless, a UK payments firm with 100 employees, would consider opening a satellite office in another EU member state if the right to passport into Europe from the UK is removed, its legal lead Ahmed Badr told Techworld.

"It's not difficult for UK companies to set up an EU subsidiary to conquer the passporting challenge, and still be able to benefit from all the advantages of operating from a London base," he added. For now, the EPA advised fintech companies to follow one of three options: wait and see; hedge their bets and investigate alternative countries; or ignore the EU and focus on the UK and non-EU markets. The six countries most likely to benefit from a UK fintech exodus are Ireland, Malta, Denmark, Cyprus, Sweden and Luxembourg, according to Howitt and co-author David Parker, CEO of Polymath Consulting. Neither France nor Germany were recommended as potential relocation destinations for fintech firms.The decision shouldn't be purely based on tax and the cost of business. Companies also need to consider the political environment and whether they can form a good relationship with the regulator, the report recommended.  Howitt emphasised it is still unclear what the outcome of UK/EU negotiations will be.

"Many hope for a middle ground between the EU political system and the common market," he said. "We're still hopeful the UK won't lose common market rights, despite the dynamics in the press and political posturing."
Read more at : Dailystregth

Most infamous data breaches affecting the UK

It's tempting to believe that important data breaches only happen in the US and the figures tend to bear that out – the US accounts for the overwhelming majority of the really big data breaches that have been made public, some of them absolutely vast. But US laws and regulations force organisations to admit to data breaches involving the customer, something which is not true in all countries.In the UK, the most important piece of legislation organisations must worry about is the Data Protection Act and the possibility of fines by the Asus Contact Number UK information commissioner (ICO).  Below we offer what we believe are the ten most significant data breaches to hit the UK, not in all cases because they were particularly large but because of the type of attack or vulnerability involved or the sensitivity of the data compromised.Globally, the UK currently ranks a distant second behind the US for data breaches, which is no cause for complacency. Many of the breaches mentioned here happened in the last two years. Undoubtedly, larger and more serious breaches lie ahead.

Bupa (2017) 
Bupa has suffered a data breach (13 July 2017) affecting 500,000 customers on its international health insurance plan.The London-based private healthcare group said a Bupa employee inappropriately copied and removed information including names, dates of birth and some contact information, however no medical information was compromised. 

In a written statement, Bupa said that 43,000 of the total number affected had a UK address and that those that bought their medical insurance abroad could also be affected.
Read more:- Abilogic


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Spark Kids By the Clever Toys

Gone are the days when Lego was enough to cure childhood curiosity. From toys that teach kids about the principles of robot construction and coding, to paper planes you can pilot, WIRED selects the smartest educational toys in the box.At last: a paper plane you can pilot - just download the PowerUp app, reach for your Google Cardboard and enjoy a different view of the world. PowerUp has engineered an 80g paper-aeroplane motor with Asus Customer Service a built-in wide-angle camera, microphone and Wi-Fi connectivity with a range of 92 metres. Tilt your head to control its movements, and - depending on the design - your sheet of 120gsm can reach speeds of up to 32kph. £199
YouTuber Daniel Perdomo has taken the classic 70s video game and turned it into a real-world proposition. With no previous technical knowledge - the paddle controllers are made from old hard drives and engineering principles picked up online - Perdomo and his team have made the virtual tangible, without diminishing the game's appeal. $tbc
Maglev Model Train


The concept for the magnetic levitating train dates back to 1902; the first commercially usable track opened in Birmingham in 1984. While we're all waiting for the hyperloop to take the idea to the next level, here's a small-scale version for your kids to play with. Build your own smooth-running, high-speed maglev track (above), albeit one that fits in your living room. $tbc



Sunday, 23 July 2017

Drones and phones are the next frontier for AI breakthroughs

The artificial intelligence revolution is being underwritten by the cloud. Every decision made by an AI involves sending information to vast data centres, where it's processed before being returned. But our data-hungry world is posing a problem: while we can process data at rapid rates, sending it back and forth is a logistical nightmare. And that's why AI is heading to your pocket. In essence, this means adding brains to the phones and other technologies we use on a daily basis. "Machine learning and artificial intelligence not only makes devices more autonomous and valuable but also allows them to be more personal depending on what a customer likes or needs," says Vadim Budaev, software development team leader at Scorch AI. Much of the work in the area is being led by tech's biggest companies, which are adding basic AI and machine learning applications to products as they develop them. Facebook has introduced deep learning that can "capture, analyse, and process pixels" in videos in real-time within its apps. Google's latest framework lets developers build AI into their apps.Apps are the likely first step for introducing AI to devices, but it's predicted this will quickly move to other products. "An expanding variety of mobile devices will be able to run machine learning," says David Schatsky, a managing director at Deloitte. "Virtual and augmented reality headsets; smart glasses; a new generation of medical devices that will be able to do diagnostics in the field; drones and vehicles; and internet of things devices will combine sensing with local analysis." His company predicts that during 2017, 300 million smartphones will have a built-in neural network machine-learning capability.The first products using on-device AI and machine learning are starting to appear. Australian startup Lingmo International's in-ear language translator claims to work without Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Meanwhile, DJI's Phantom 4 drone, released in 2016, uses on-board machine vision to stop it from crashing.
Technology developed by Xnor AI is using CPUs (rather than GPUs) to put AI on devices. It claims to be able to detect objects, in real-time on a cellphone. A promotional video and a report from TechCrunch claims its systems can also be run on a lower-powered device. A Raspberry Pi, for example, could be used to detect knives and guns."Where the data sets are smaller or involving more individualised data sets (such as personal information), it will be significantly more practical to process on-device," explains Nadav Tal-Israel, from Pixoneye, a firm using on-device machine learning to scan photos. When successful, there are multiple benefits of running machine learning on a device. To start with, the processing and decision making can be quicker as data doesn't need to be beamed to a remote location. Keeping data local means it doesn't have to be transmitted to the company providing the service – giving users greater privacy levels. Apple is testing the model through a system it calls differential privacy. "Protecting customer information is a major priority for businesses, and we’ve seen in many instances the damage that can be done to a brand where customer data is hacked," Tal-Israel adds. "Processing data on-device alleviates this issue by ensuring that the data is retained on the user’s mobile rather than being transferred to the server".At present, the difficulty in bringing AI to devices at scale lies in computing power. If phones can't process data quickly enough, AI systems will run down their batteries. Electrical engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a way for neural networks – one of the key underlying systems behind machine learning – to reduce power consumption and be more portable.

There's also a new range of chips being developed that can specifically handle machine learning applications. Google's Tensor Processing Units powers its translate and search systems, while UK startup Graphcore has developed its own machine learning chips. Elsewhere, the field of neuromorphic computing is growing considerably. On-device artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, but for the wider AI industry to continue to make big breakthroughs it's going to need all the computing power it can get.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Here's an idea: quit your job and start your own microbrewery

Whether you prefer a pale ale, porter, ruby, IPA, DIPA or stout, the choice of beer at pubs across the UK has changed beyond recognition mostly thanks to the rise of craft breweries. Here's how you can turn making your own tipple into a brewing business. It all started with a tax change. In 2002 then chancellor Gordon Brown introduced the 'small breweries' relief' scheme. Also known as Progressive Beer Duty (PBD), the incentive gave huge tax breaks to small breweries.It might sound like a lot, but breweries producing less than 600,000 hectolitres each year – or about ten million pints – qualifies for a discount on the amount of duty they pay. Norton Support Extra small breweries, producing only 5,000 hectolitres each year, pay 50 per cent of the duty compared to large companies.In 2000 there were around 500 breweries in the UK. In October last year, there were 1,700 – and this trend is only going one way. In the US, the number of craft microbreweries jumped by 21 per cent to 3,132 from 2015 to 2017, according to the Brewers Association.
There are two main routes people can go to start their own brewery, says Seb Brink, head brewer at North Brewing Co, based in Leeds. Either start out as an enthusiastic home-brewer, like he did, or get an apprenticeship at a brewery and learn the trade from there.After graduating from a music degree, Brink was brewing at home for a while. One day he asked a local brewery if he could rent some of their equipment. A few years after using that to start his own brewery, called Golden Owl, he was approached by a local bar, North Bar, which wanted to start its own brewery.

With a few bars dotted around Leeds, North Brewing Co. already had somewhere to sell its beer. Now, just over a year and a half years late, North Brewing Co. is receiving orders from across the world and finding it difficult to keep up with demand.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Overwatch: Bigger than the Premier League?

Its developer Activision Blizzard has just announced the first seven team owners for a forthcoming league. It believes, in time, the tournament could prove more lucrative than the UK's Premier League - football's highest-earning competition. Several of the successful bidders have made their mark with traditional sports teams, and the buy-in price has not been cheap. The BBC understands the rights cost $20m (£15.5m) per squad. For that, owners get the promise of a 50% revenue split with the Overwatch League itself for future earnings.The fast-paced cartoon-like shooter was designed to appeal to both players and spectators. It's low on gore and features a racial mix of male and female heroes, including a gay character - a relative rarity in gaming.Unlike most e-sports competitions, each team will be based in a different major city to help owners attract home crowds.And they will pursue the world's biggest consumer brands as sponsors, rather than the kind of games-related businesses usually associated with e-sports.

"If you want to reach 18-to-35-year-olds, you really need to be where they are, and they are playing games," Activision Blizzard's chief executive Bobby Kotick told the BBC. "The other thing that we offer uniquely is that Overwatch is a very family-friendly game experience. It's a teen-rated game; it's super-colourful, super-friendly. "And if you look at the geographical diversity of the maps or the ethnic and racial diversity of the characters, those are all things that we took into consideration in the construction of what we thought would be a globally appealing experience."To start with, teams are expected to make use of existing venues, but in time Activision Blizzard believes owners will build huge dedicated stadiums of their own.

Fixtures will also be streamed online, and be made accessible from within the game itself.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

From privacy to AI, the new trends set to change the world

Every now and then, WIRED brings together a small group of people from multiple sectors and disciplines to talk. The aim is simple: to share ideas, discuss new trends and debate the value and impact of emerging technologies. On Monday 13 March 2017, one of these evenings was held at Condé Nast's UK HQ with partner Accenture. This time, the topic brought to the table for discussion by WIRED editor Greg Williams was the biggest trends and technologies announced and unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC). Asus Customer Service UK “For me, it was the quieter things that were making the most noise,” said James Temperton, WIRED senior editor and reporter from MWC. “Things like the unanswered questions around 5G and also the fact that in the coming years we won't be tapping our interfaces, we'll be talking to them.” Attendees ranged from Caroline Drucker of Instagram's strategic partnerships and Christina Nesheva from Hive Innovation Unit, to Paul Coby, CIO of John Lewis and Brooke Stevens, head of international research at Shazam.Topics touched upon included the shift in the ownership model of cars, with the mass introduction of driverless transportation, and the potential for data-driven product design and personalisation.
“Using qualitative ways of customising experiences. So businesses making decision based on numbers – not old white men making decisions on gut feelings,” said one attendee. From here, a short debate took hold. Surely, said some, these customisations could only come from gathering people's data – something many users are still queasy about with respect to their browsing, messaging and location information, even if it's in their interest. Terence Eden, open standards lead at Government Digital Service, drew on the general stasis seen in mobile hardware to highlight a need for refinement. “We’ve reached an inflection point where things are good enough,” he said. “If we look at the big sellers at the moment, it’s stuff that’s plateau-level. People have reached a level where they are happy – apart from with their battery life, of course.”

For such big sellers to thrive, however, it’s key that they open up, said Accenture managing director and go-to-market lead George Marcotte: “Businesses have a choice between continuing with the internal, closed-shop practices of the past, or opening their innovation capabilities to an entire ecosystem of innovative partners.”
Asus Support Number

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Microsoft 365 puts Windows and Office in one package for businesses

Microsoft has bundled up its core products for businesses for a monthly fee, to encourage companies to upgrade to Windows 10.Its new offering, Microsoft 365, includes Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, for a monthly, per-user fee.By wrapping its products into one package, Microsoft is making it easier for businesses big and small to manage and pay for the software. It also pushes customers to the latest versions of Office and Windows and, as it's subscription-based, ensures they'll always have the latest version of software - something Microsoft is keen to encourage among its user base.Asus Support There are two main versions of the new package: Microsoft 365 Business, which is for small and medium-sized businesses, and Microsoft 365 Enterprise for larger businesses.The first caters for businesses with up to 300 users. Alongside Windows, Office and the security tools, the bundle will also include Microsoft's mileage tracking app, called Mile IQ, and previews of three new SMB-focused apps: Listings, for email marketing; Connections, to help publish your business information online; and Invoicing. It will hit public preview on 2 August and be available in the autumn, at $20 per user each month.
For larger companies, Microsoft 365 Enterprise comes in two versions, E3 and E5, with both available on 1 August. The former comes with Office, Outlook and Exchange, Teams, Skype for Business, SharePoint, Yammer and Microsoft's threat protection system, as well as analytics and management software. E5 adds further analytics and compliance tools, and Microsoft's advanced security tools, as well as PSTN Conferencing and Cloud PBX.There's no pricing for Microsoft 365 Enterprise as it will be sold via partners, so costs will vary. Windows 10 Enterprise E3, which doesn't come with Office, currently costs $7 a month.


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

You're about to get lots more control over your Facebook and Google data

Europeans are about to get a lot more control over their social media data. A major change to EU data protection law will require Facebook and others to significantly change how people access and using personal information. In the midst of a data gold rush, that's a big deal. For Helen Dixon, Ireland's data protection commissioner, it's all about giving the power back to the people. "I think there is that thorny issue of how much anyone understands when they sign-up and purport to give their consent to a very long list of terms and conditions" Dixon says of the countless free-to-use services the make money from our data. As the European base for many Windows Helpline technology giants, her view holds major sway.The changes will be required under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May 2018. The regulation sets out a series of "harmonised" data protection principles, that will be implemented into local laws for the 28 member states. The focus of the GDPR is to give greater protections to individuals as well as tougher rules on those who handle data.

"One of the things we have high hopes for significant change under the GDPR is how transparency is really delivered to users, particularly by these internet companies," Dixon tells WIRED. "We know from our engagement with them that a lot of them are looking  very proactively at how they are going to do the transparency under the GDPR."This is likely to entail how people can access and view the information that is gathered about them by some of the internet's biggest firms. "They're working with designers to look at how they can quickly engage a user quickly but also deliver them with what they need to ensure when they sign-up they're fully informed," Dixon says.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Top tips for expanding your startup internationally

International expansion is an inevitable ambition for ambitious tech companies, but the route abroad is fraught with dangers, from legal risks to cultural hazards. Even video-streaming juggernaut Netflix had a bumpy road overseas. The company launched its service into more than 130 new countries in January 2016, but its stock soon slipped as a result. A lack of local content, language barriers, underdeveloped payment processing and broadband infrastructure and pricing that wasn’t significantly altered to match the local economy were named as major barriers by Wall Street analysts Jefferies. Netflix sailed into the largest quarter of net additions in its history within a year, but continues to lose money from its overseas expansion for now. For smaller companies these pitfalls could have already proven fatal. Different international markets all have their own potential potholes around investment, trade, accountancy, logistics, legal and marketing issues. GTM Global in association with techUK brought experts from each of these fields together to give their advice on international expansion in one-to-one sessions for mid-market technology startups.
Techworld was on hand to pick the brains of the mentors at the inaugural three-hour workshops at techUK's central London headquarters.

The workshop begins
There are ten tables arranged along the walls of a large meeting room, where around a dozen different mentors and tech company bosses stand in the middle.They already know each other on paper. Before the meeting, the organisers drafted a briefing document for each company based on an analysis of the business makeup and key objectives of their overseas expansion plan. This is then shared with the mentors, whose details in turn are given to the companies. To ease the personal introductions, everybody present briefly introduces their company and their individual role and goal.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Is it safer to use an app or a browser for banking?

Over the past five years or so, I feel the consensus has changed to using apps. However, it depends on the devices, banking software and browsers, what else is loaded on the device (either knowingly or not), and the communications network.Browsers are risky because there are trojans designed to collect banking information. Apps are risky because most banking apps probably have security flaws, and because fake/malware apps sometimes appear in app stores. If you are a careful user with a secure PC, and if you only use it on your secure home network, you should not have any problems. However, if you want to perform banking transactions from wherever you happen to be, without taking too many precautions, then it should be safest to use an app over 3G/LTE (turn off wifi and Bluetooth). Systems that use two-factor authentication, preferably with a separate device that generates new passwords on demand, are really the way to go.

What is an app?
When personal computers first went on general sale in the 1970s, the VisiCalc spreadsheet was hailed as a “killer app”, which was short for “application program”. However, the past decade has seen a huge growth in app stores for smartphones and tablets. These apps are different from traditional PC programs in that they are vetted by and downloaded from secure online stores. Further, these apps run in sandboxes to prevent them from doing bad things. PCs, by contrast, can run unvetted software from any source, including malware-infected websites, unless your anti-virus software blocks them.When Microsoft redesigned Windows 8 to run on tablets and smartphones, it introduced a similar subsystem for apps. This enabled Windows to run sandboxed apps installed by the Windows Store. These apps are much safer than the old programs, because there are limits to what they are allowed to do.Today there are quite a few Windows banking apps – Alliance, Citibank, FNB, RMB, HDFC, BNP Paribas, UBI, Westpac etc – but none that I can see from UK banks. They are rather slow to catch on ...

The Edge browser in Windows 10 is a new sandboxed app, so it’s much better for banking than Internet Explorer. Otherwise, Chrome is the most secure alternative, because it runs in Google’s own strong sandbox. Some security companies also provide add-ons, such as Kaspersky Safe Money and Bitdefender Safepay. The browsers on smartphones and tablets are also sandboxed, but like their desktop counterparts, they may be at risk from phishing and “man-in-the-middle” attacks.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

NHS doctors use Snapchat to send patients' scans, report says

NHS doctors are using Snapchat to send patient scans to one another, according to a new report that warns it is an "insecure, risky" way of working. A panel of experts, chaired by former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Julian Huppert, said the NHS was letting the digital revolution pass it by, forcing medics to find their own "technical fixes". The report also revealed that the NHS is the world's largest purchaser of fax machines, described by the authors as a "dubious title" to hold. The report was commissioned to examine the dealings that DeepMind Health, which is owned by Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has with the NHS. A project between DeepMind and the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust has recently come under fire.On Monday, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) ruled that the NHS Trust "failed" to comply with data protection law when it provided data on 1.6 million patients to DeepMind. The files were shared as part of a test for an app that can alert doctors to patients who are at risk from kidney injuries. Last year DeepMind commissioned a panel of independent experts to look into its work with the NHS. In their first annual report, the experts highlighted a number of concerns but also commended DeepMind for many elements of its pioneering work.
The panel commissioned a series of independent experts to examine elements of DeepMind's work - including employing data security analysts. They identified 11 "relatively minor" technical vulnerabilities but overall the panel commended DeepMind Health for its "high level of data security". They were not so favourable about the NHS, writing: "The digital revolution has largely bypassed the NHS, which, in 2017, still retains the dubious title of being the world's largest purchaser of fax machines. "Many records are insecure paper based systems which are unwieldy and difficult to use.
"Seeing the difference that technology makes in their own lives, clinicians are already manufacturing their own technical fixes. They may use SnapChat to send scans from one clinician to another or camera apps to record particular details of patient information in a convenient format. "It is difficult to criticise these individuals, given that this makes their job possible. However, this is clearly an insecure, risky, and non-auditable way of operating, and cannot continue." The authors also add that the average NHS trust has 160 different computer systems in operation. At a press conference launching the report, panel chair Dr Julian Huppert said: "There are a lot of companies that supply technology systems within the NHS. I suspect if you were to examine any of them you would find quite a lot of things one could question.

"I think that there is a problem with the skill levels within the NHS and some cases within the companies that supply it. I think there are real questions about security of data throughout. "If you look at the WannaCry attack, that encrypted data but if it had instead been aimed at exfiltrating and publishing all of that data I don't believe there is much that could have stopped it. "I'm not a particularly expert programmer but there are real problems around the NHS and how it uses data and how securely that is kept and the relations it forms with others. "There is a huge amount of work in my view to improve the standards of data security to improve the standards of privacy across the entirety of the NHS." On Monday the ICO said the Royal Free, in its role as "data controllers", did not comply with the Data Protection Act when it provided the information as part of the test for the Streams app - which is for the use of healthcare professionals and can identify patients who are at risk from acute kidney injuries (AKI) and alert doctors. But DeepMind were not acting as "data controllers" but "data processors". Asus Customer Service UK

Monday, 3 July 2017

Why players are returning to the classics

Computers had made it into our living rooms, and although fans had their favourites - the thrust of Street Fighter, the platforms of Super Mario or the simplicity of Pacman - children and adults alike were hooked.The market for consoles has continued to grow over the decades as technology companies across the globe try to get their bite out of the gaming pie.
But almost 20 years into the new millennium, passionate players are still looking back in time to find their fix. Mario caps Nintendo's triumphant comeback
Hopes of a games arcade revival
"While there's definitely an element of nostalgia, it's important to recognise how well designed many of those classic games are," said technology journalist and retro game collector KG Orphanides.
"The developers had so little space to work with - your average Sega Mega Drive or SNES cartridge had a maximum capacity of just 4MB - and limited graphics and sound capabilities."
The average game now weighs in at 40GB.

Cheap but cheerful
But these limitations did not stop them from making some memorable games.
Gemma Wood, from Basingstoke, has never put her Nintendo GameCube in the loft - despite having it for more than 15 years. "I love it, in fact I was playing Mario Sunshine and Mario Kart Double Dash yesterday," she said. "I really could not get on with the controls on the Wii [a more recent Nintendo console] and, with retro consoles, most of the games are cheap because they are second hand. "Newer consoles and their games are incredibly expensive. I understand that a lot of hard work has gone into the design etc, but how can anyone justify £50 to £60 for a game that you might not even enjoy?"For others, it is a chance to show their children the computer games they grew up with.
Howard Gardner, from south London, has revived his love of the Amstrad CPC and cannot wait to see the faces of his sons and daughter. 

"Five years ago, when clearing out my uncle's house, I found another CPC, restored it to working order and re-acquired some of my old favourite games from eBay - and a laughably outdated 3D modelling package," he said."I don't get a whole lot of time to use it, but I plan to show the children the games I used to play and film a reaction video!" Gaming for all Whatever your reason for picking up an old joypad, you are not alone, and it is not just an activity to take part in on your own or with the family at home. There is now a huge community of retro gamers across the country who love to share their passion. The National Videogame Arcade, which opened in Nottingham in 2015, is a centre of all things gaming. It welcomes thousands of visitors every year and runs huge events to make the point that gaming is for everyone. 
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How to format a hard drive

There are many reasons why you might want to format a hard drive, such as to install Windows fresh, to get rid of a virus or malware or simply because you're giving your PC to someone else or throwing it away. Here, we'll explain all you need to know to erase all the data from disk and get the job done properly. The process can be different depending on whether it's your only hard drive and whether you have a spare PC or not. You can't, for example, format the hard drive on which Windows is running. In order to do this you will need to boot your PC from a Windows installation disc, a USB flash drive or another bootable disc.
What does it mean to format a disk?
Formatting is the process of deleting all the data on the hard drive, but beware of 'Quick Format' which leaves all your data in place and makes the drive appear to be empty. A quick format is ok if you have a brand new hard drive, or you want to reinstall Windows, but not if you're disposing of the disk or giving it to someone else.Separately we explain how to delete a selection of files permanently for free with Eraser 6. A word of warning: make sure you have successfully backed up any photos, videos, music and other documents from your drive before you format it. Although deleted files can be recovered in some situations, prevention is always better than cure.

How to format hard drive partitions
It's important to understand about partitions before you start. A hard drive can be divided up into smaller sections, called partitions. It's possible to format one partition while leaving the others untouched.That's useful in certain situations, but if you want to format the entire hard drive and use the entire capacity in one block, you'll also need to delete the partition information.
Can I format a hard drive from the BIOS?
Many people ask how to format a hard disk from BIOS. The short answer is no. 
If you need to format a disk and you can't do it from within Windows, you can create a bootable CD, DVD or USB flash drive and run a free third-party formatting tool. One option is Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN), which is free for personal use. This program will totally erase and format your hard disk, allowing for a clean install of a new OS, but the process cannot be undone. 
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Friday, 30 June 2017

Lightest laptop Everybody can buy easily

Fujitsu has unleashed a bunch of new laptops, tablets and workstations aimed at the business market – no less than 18 of them – with the highlight being an incredibly light LifeBook. The LifeBook U937/P is a 13.3-inch notebook which weighs in at a mind-boggling 799g, with a thickness of 15.5mm. The weight makes the likes of the highly portable LG gram 14 almost seem a tad hefty at 980g (although that model has a slightly bigger form factor, being a 14-inch Ultrabook). Still, Fujitsu’s new offering is the lightest notebook you can get at the size, given that Lenovo no longer makes the LaVie Z HZ550 (a 13.3-inch laptop which weighed a tad less at 780g – but the currently available LaVie Z models start at a weight of 850g). Fujitsu’s U937/P benefits from a Kaby Lake processor, but the company hasn’t revealed further spec details yet. Although it did note that the device will be available in two colours – either black or red – and it’s expected to be on shelves in Japan early next month (and hopefully elsewhere not long after).
The almighty Windows 10 powers Fujitsu's featherweight laptop
Get convertedThis notebook, and the various other business laptops Fujitsu is launching, all come equipped with Kaby Lake CPUs. In total, there are nine new laptops emerging, along with four tablets, four workstations and a desktop PC. Fujitsu is also rolling out a 12.5-inch convertible laptop, the LifeBook P727/P, which allows the keyboard to be folded back 360-degrees to be used in tablet mode (or it can be partially folded back to be in tent mode, or stand mode for presentations).
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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Canada judges can require Google to pull results globally, supreme court rules

Canadian courts can force Google to remove results worldwide, the country’s top court has ruled, in decision criticised by civil liberties groups that argue such a move sets a precedent for censorship on the internet. In its 7-2 decision, Canada’s supreme court found that a court in the country can grant an injunction preventing conduct anywhere in the world when it is necessary to ensure the injunction’s effectiveness. “The internet has no borders – its natural habitat is global,” the supreme court wrote in its judgment. “The only way to ensure that the interlocutory injunction attained its objective was to have it apply where Google operates – globally.“ Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.The case stems from claims by Equustek Solutions Inc, a small technology company in British Columbia that manufactures network devices, that a distributor, Datalink Technologies Gateways, relabeled one of its products and sold it as its own online and acquired trade secrets to design and manufacture a competing product. In 2012, Equustek asked Google to remove Datalink search results until the case against the company was resolved. While Google removed over 300 specific web pages associated with Datalink, it did so only on the Canadian version of its search engine.


The supreme court of British Columbia subsequently ordered Google to stop displaying search results in any country for any part of Datalink’s websites. In its appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada, Google had argued that the global reach of the order was unnecessary and that it raised concerns over freedom of expression.The supreme court rejected Google’s argument that the right to freedom of expression should have prevented the order from being issued. “This is not an order to remove speech that, on its face, engages freedom of expression values,” the court wrote in its ruling. “We have not, to date, accepted that freedom of expression requires the facilitation of the unlawful sale of goods.“
The global reach was necessary, according to the court, because if the removed search results were restricted to Canada alone, purchasers both in and out of Canada could easily continue to find and buy from Datalink. OpenMedia, a Canadian group campaigning for open communications, opposed the ruling. “There is great risk that governments and commercial entities will see this ruling as justifying censorship requests that could result in perfectly legal and legitimate content disappearing off the web because of a court order in the opposite corner of the globe,” said an OpenMedia spokesman, David Christopher. Google cannot appeal the supreme court ruling. If the company has evidence that complying with the order would force it to violate other countries’ laws, including interfering with freedom of expression, it can apply to the British Columbia court to alter the order, the supreme court said, noting Google had not made such an application. Asus Customer Service
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Monday, 26 June 2017

Building the intelligent business: the need to be digital at the core

A new breed of business is already out there. These organisations have embedded data and technology in everything they do and at every stage of the value chain. And they’re getting amazing results. Why? Because they’re constantly unlocking new information and intelligence that keeps them ahead of the game.Born-digital businesses like Netflix, Amazon, Google and Baidu have never had a digital strategy. Their strategy is digital. It’s a crucial distinction.These companies have completely internalised the power of data and technology. What does that give them? Two core strengths: they can meet – and predict – new liquid customer expectations in real time. And they consistently meet or exceed shareholder expectations for agility, efficiency and continuous reinvention.

Intelligent business: the time is now

These are Intelligent Businesses. And they’re the model that all other organisations will follow. There are a number of powerful forces behind this imperative. The first is the breathtaking speed of technology change. This is powered simultaneously by enormous increases in processing power and rapidly declining technology costs.The compounded doubling effect of Moore’s Law has reached a point of inflection in recent years, which is giving rise to incredible annual advances in computing power. And that’s setting the stage for the Second Machine Age, one in which new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, virtual reality, augmented reality and hugely powerful analytics engines are not just feasible but increasingly ubiquitous.At the same time, ever-lower barriers to entry in all industries – thanks to advances like the cloud and rapidly declining technology costs – mean that new competition can come from anywhere at any time, forcing the pace of innovation. Asus Helpline Number
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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Which Windows programs for more advanced users do you recommend?

There are a dozen programs that I install on every Windows PC. Currently, these include the Firefox web browser, Unchecky, Search Everything, Paint.net, PIXresizer, FreeFileSync, Personal Software Inspector (PSI) and the full K-Lite codec pack, which includes Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC). I mentioned all of those in my previous answer, along with some alternatives. The main aim is to avoid problems such as accidentally installing foistware when downloading programs (Unchecky), trying to find codecs when videos Asus Support Number won’t play (K-Lite), updating applications (PSI), and not backing up essential data (FreeFileSync). Paint.net is a replacement for Windows Paint, while MPC-HC replaces Windows Media Player. Search Everything – unlike Windows 10’s File Explorer – makes it easy to find files, and you can drag and drop files from the search results.PIXresizer provides a quick, efficient way to batch-resize a folder of photos before uploading them to Facebook. There’s no point in uploading 5MB image files. Reducing them to around 0.5MB (512K) makes it easier to upload them over dodgy hotel wifi.


None of these programs is hard to use, and they are suitable for people who aren’t interested in what their computers are doing. We are interested in that, I think ...

Advance to go
So how do programs for beginners differ from ones for more advanced users? First, they are usually designed so that their default settings do what most people want, most of the time. Second, they hide the complexity of what the PC is doing under the hood.You could see this as dumbing down. This process was already evident at the 2001 launch of Windows XP. It accelerated with the arrival of billions of smartphone and tablet users, and Windows 10 apps. By contrast, a lot of serious programs – Microsoft Office, most of Adobe Creative Suite, Dragon voice recognition software, AutoCAD, Mathematica etc – and utilities were written in a previous century.For some concrete examples, consider ripping CDs and converting videos to different formats (eg for a phone or tablet). Ordinary users are usually happy to rip CDs using Apple’s iTunes or Winamp or whatever. These programs try to automate the process. Advanced users will use Exact Audio Copy and tweak the settings to get the best possible results.If someone asked me for a video recoder, I’d recommend something like the free version of WonderFox’s HD Video Decoder Factory, which has a few big buttons and hides all the details under defaults. What I use myself is XMedia Recode. This has no big buttons, provides a zillion controls and, by the way, comes with no instructions.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Samsung Pay rolls out to HSBC, first direct and M&S Bank customers

Samsung Pay finally started rolling out in the UK in May, more than two years since it was announced, and the service is now available for more customers.From today, people with HSBC, first direct and M&S Bank accounts in the UK can use the mobile payment platform to buy goods on the high street. These three banks join MasterCard, Visa, MBNA, Nationwide and Santander. More partners, including American Express, will be joining soon. “Since launching in the UK last month, Samsung Pay has provided our UK users with a simple and secure payment method that can be used almost anywhere they can use their contactless payment cards”, said Conor Pierce, vice president, IT and Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland. “We’re delighted to add HSBC to our line-up of supporting partners, helping more people to transform the way they pay for day-to-day items.”Samsung Pay initially launched in South Korea on August 20, 2015 and in the US a month later. It then rolled out to banks in Australia, Brazil, Spain and Singapore last year. From May 16 in the UK, the wireless payment system went live on Samsung phones and works in a similar way to its competitors' contactless payment systems (namely Apple Pay and Android Pay) by storing card details on devices and using an NFC chip. The system also works on London's contactless TfL system.


To mark the launch last month, Samsung Pay added a set of exclusive features for UK users. "Samsung has worked with TfL on exclusive functionality for Samsung Pay that allows users to set a payment card up as a ‘transport card’ to use on all TfL services and most National Rail services in London," the company explained. The method works by "simply by tapping a phone against the card reader, eliminating the need to wake your phone or verify with a fingerprint or PIN". The South Korean firm also says that, in the future, shops in the UK will let customers add loyalty cards to their devices. What sets Samsung Pay apart from other contactless services is that it will be universally accepted – even by vendors who don't have a contactless payment terminal. Not only does Samsung Pay work using NFC, but the service also takes advantage of a technology called magnetic secure transmission (MST). Asus Support Number

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

How to change Windows 10 startup programs

Over time a Windows PC will build up quite a collection of applications that are automatically started when you first turn it on. While some of these are useful - cloud syncing services for example, which work best when you don’t have to remember to enable them - not everything is really necessary.
Every little 'helper' program adds a bit more time between you pressing the power button and your computer being ready to use. Thankfully in Windows 10 it’s very easy to see what’s causing the delay, and quickly remove the culprits.You can remove Windows 10 startup programs using the Task Manager, which is accessed by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Viewing startup programs using Task Manager You can change startup programs in Task Manager. To launch it, simultaneously press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Or, right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of the desktop and choose Task Manager from the menu that appears. Another way in Windows 10 is to right-click the Start Menu icon and choose Task Manager.
Now you’ll see a wealth of information displayed, including background processes and the resources that they are currently using. To find the startup items click on the tab along the top that is marked Startup.This displays a list of everything that can load when you turn on your machine.
It’s important to note the Status column, as not everything on the list is actually enabled. If an item it marked as Disabled then you can ignore it as it will not load in the startup sequence.
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Monday, 19 June 2017

Facebook teaches bots how to negotiate. They learn to lie instead

Facebook’s 100,000-strong bot empire is booming - but it has a problem. Each bot is designed to offer a different service through the Messenger app: it could book you a car, or order a delivery, for instance. The point is to improve customer experiences, but also to massively expand Messenger’s commercial selling power."We think you should message a business just the way you would message a friend," Mark Zuckerberg said on stage at the social network’s F8 conference in 2016. Fast forward one year, however, and Messenger VP David Marcus seemed to be correcting the public’s apparent misconception that Facebook’s bots resembled real AI. "We never called them chatbots. We called them bots. People took it too literally in the first three months that the future is going to be conversational." The bots are instead a combination of machine learning and natural language learning, that can sometimes trick a user just enough to think they are having a basic dialogue. Not often enough, though, in Messenger’s case. So in April, menu options were reinstated in the conversations.Now, Facebook thinks it has made progress in addressing this issue. But it might just have created another problem for itself.The Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) group, in collaboration with Georgia Institute of Technology, has released code that it says will allow bots to negotiate. The problem? A paper published this week on the R&D reveals that the negotiating bots learned to lie. Facebook’s chatbots are in danger of becoming a little too much like real-world sales agents.“For the first time, we show it is possible to train end-to-end models for negotiation, which must learn both linguistic and reasoning skills with no annotated dialogue states,” the researchers explain. The research shows that the bots can plan ahead by simulating possible future conversations.
The team trained the bots on a massive dataset of natural language negotiations between two people (5,808), where they had to decide how to split and share a set of items both held separately, of differing values. They were first trained to respond based on the “likelihood” of the direction a human conversation would take. However, the bots can also be trained to “maximise reward”, instead.

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Computing in schools - alarm bells over England's classes

Computing education in England's schools is going through a revolution, but there is evidence that too few pupils want to be part of it.Figures from the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) show only a modest rise in students taking the new computer science GCSE.
Experts are concerned.The British Computing Society warns the number studying for a computing qualification could halve by 2020.The organisation - which is the professional body for the IT industry - says that would be a disaster for the economy.The old ICT course, which was the main way school students learned about computing, is Asus Helpline Number UK being scrapped, with the last GCSE entrants taking the exam next year. The subject, which was described by critics as teaching little more than how to use Microsoft Office, is being replaced by the more rigorous computer science GCSE.But figures from Ofqual showing entries for the exam rising to 67,800 this year from 61,220 in 2016 have set alarm bells ringing. With 58,600 still taking the ICT exam, the overall number getting a GCSE computing qualification has fallen slightly.The British Computing Society says that when ICT disappears, the computer science exam will fail to fill the gap.


"If we don't act now," says Bill Mitchell from the BCS, "by 2020 we are likely to see the number of students studying computing at GCSE halve, when it should be doubling. If that happens, it will be a disaster for our children, and the future of the nation."The other big concern is that too few girls are taking up the computer science exam - in 2016 they made up just 20% of entrants, while the figure for ICT has been around 40%.Prof Rose Luckin says the subject has an image problem.
"Computer science is seen as more 'techie' and it is still dominated by men," explains the expert from University College London's Knowledge Lab, who has been researching and writing about the teaching of technology for 20 years."Many girls believe computer science and coding is 'for boys' and they do not see desirable career options that appeal to them."What seems clear is that the computer science exam is far more challenging, both for students and teachers. That was of course the aim, but those who warned that ending ICT risked throwing the baby out with the bathwater may now feel vindicated.Drew Buddie, who is head of computing at a school near London, has always argued that ICT was unfairly maligned and was far more creative than its critics assumed.
Now, he says, "it is clear that many 14-to-17-year-old students, particularly girls, are not attracted to such a specific and narrow course." Read More:-click here


Friday, 16 June 2017

Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC gaming laptop is a Ryzen-powered beast

At Computex, AMD has shown off the first Ryzen-powered gaming laptop – made by Asus – and its an eight-core CPU beast.The freshly unveiled Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC, a 17.3-inch laptop which has a ton of power under the bonnet courtesy of an octo-core Ryzen 7 1700 processor. That’s the top spec version, mind you, and there will be lower-end variants of the notebook featuring six-core Ryzen 5 1600 and quad-core Ryzen 3 1200 CPUs.As for the graphics card, there’s a full discrete AMD Radeon RX 580 with 8GB of video RAM on board. Asus Support Number notes that overclocking of the processor will not be possible, doubtless due to the laptop form-factor and thermal issues, but even running at stock speeds, that’s a mighty powerful combination.It’ll be backed by up to 32GB of DDR4-2400 system memory, and on the storage front there’s an M.2 slot for an NVMe SSD of up to 512GB capacity. There will also be a 2.5-inch drive bay for a second SSD or a larger spinning hard disk.As for the display, that’ll be a matte IPS panel available in a number of different options, including 1080p or a 4K screen – the latter will run with a refresh rate of 60Hz, with the Full HD screens offering a choice of 75Hz or 120Hz.


Whichever display you plump for, it’ll come with AMD’s FreeSync tech to minimize stuttering and tearing, for a smoother, all-rounded gaming experience.The Strix GL702ZC weighs in at just under 7lb (just over 3kg) and is 33mm thick – not the smallest laptop in the world by any means, but given the power on board here, that’s only to be expected.No pricing has been mentioned yet, but this ROG notebook is expected to launch later this summer 
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Thursday, 15 June 2017

ASUS VivoBook Max X541 launched for the Indian markets

ASUS has officially announced the VivoBook Max X541/A541 in India earlier today. This is the company’s mid-range notebook and is designed with gamers in mind. It comes with the 7th Gen Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM, which can be increased to 12GB.ASUS is touting the presence of the chiclet style keyboard with 2.3mm key travel distance offering a significantly enhanced typing experience. Further, the touchpad is said to be 11% bigger than conventional notebooks, giving users more room to play around with. The notebook comes with twin 3W speakers with 24cc sound chambers, which when combined with ASUS’ SonicMaster technology makes for excellent audio performance. The display is slightly larger and better in terms of clarity compared to regular notebooks as the company is using a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920x1080) panel on board. The company’s display tech known as the ASUS Splendid EyeCare reduces the blue light emitted by the display by up to 30%, thus reducing the strain on the eyes. The notebook can be purchased in Chocolate Brown, Red, Silver Gradient, Aqua Blue, and White, so there’s no dearth of attractive color variants.In terms of connectivity, the VivoBook Max comes with USB Type-C by default, adhering to modern day standards. The notebook also comes with USB 3.1, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, VGA and HDMI ports on board.  ASUS will start selling the VivoBook Max for Rs 31,990 from select channels. You should be able to find the notebooks at major ASUS retail outlets across the country. Online retailers should start offering the notebook shortly Asus Customer Service

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Asus ROG Zephyrus

The Asus ROG Zephyrus is the first of a new breed of Nvidia’s Max-Q gaming laptops. You can find out more about what that means in my Max-Q explainer, but in brief, this is designed to be the ultimate gaming laptop for both efficiency and performance.First, the design. And what a design it is. Closed, it’s 17.9mm thick, but when you open it the chassis actually gets thicker courtesy of a small vent that folds down as you open the laptop. The reason for this is to increase airflow, and the extra 6mm it affords allows enough air to make its way in to fully cool its GTX 1080 graphics chip while under full load.The rest of the design is seriously impressive. Sharp edges, a creased lid and the pushed-forward keyboard all make for a unique proposition and one of the most distinctive gaming laptops I’ve ever seen.Full specifications include a beefy quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ, the aforementioned 8GB GTX 1080, up to 24GB of 2400MHz DDR4 memory and ultra-quick NVMe-based PCIe SSDs. At 2.24, it's not super light but considering its power, it's brilliant and relatively easy chuck into a backpack (which is something I was tempted to do before leaving).


I did get to play a bit of Mass Effect. Even under maximum load, the laptop only puts out a maximum of 42dBA, which is a light whooshing that’s easily overcome if your room is slightly noisy or you have your speakers switched on. It gets even better: if you activate Nvidia’s new WhisperMode, the GPU software automatically tweaks your games’ performance, either by decreasing graphics quality or artificially decreasing frame rates. This keeps the GPU cooler and means the fans only spin up to a maximum 32dBA of noise. This isn’t silent, but it might as well be in any room with background noise. It’s seriously impressive.The keyboard’s position will take some getting used to, but it has a light touch that some people will like, and others won’t. I found it quite nice to type on, and gaming felt responsive.The 15.6-inch IPS screen runs at 120Hz, which makes gaming feel silky-smooth. It also uses Nvidia G-Sync for synced-up, smooth gameplay under all circumstances. It's a great panel, displaying the full 100% of the sRGB colour gamut. It is only Full HD, though, so to get the most out of your laptop you'll probably want a nice, big external monitor.

The touchpad doubles up as a number pad, which is lit up when you activate it.No pricing has been announced yet, but I’ve been informed that it’ll be cheaper than the also-Max-Q-certified Acer Predator Triton 700 that’s expected to sell for £3400. When the price is announced, again, I’ll update this piece.
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Read more:- Information Recovery for Laptops

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Teardown experts play spot-the-difference with new MacBooks and last year’s models

The teardown experts over at iFixit have got their hands (not to mention Torx screwdrivers) on Apple’s refreshed MacBook and MacBook Pro which were recently unveiled, and have reported back that there are hardly any changes inside these new models.On paper, the new versions of Apple’s laptops were only a minor spec bump anyway – introducing Kaby Lake processors was the biggest move, alongside some more minor storage and memory upgrades – but it’s still quite surprising just how little the hardware internals have changed.When iFixit took these machines apart, the website found that they were ‘largely identical’ to their predecessors, with just very slight tweaks like the color of the fans.The only real notable change was that the MacBook 2017 has been given a keyboard revamp with the introduction of the improved second-gen ‘butterfly’ switches that Apple brought in with the MacBook Pro 2016.Butterfly effect Apparently these switches have been further honed for both machines this time around, and according to iFixit: “The keyboard trigger looks like a more classic switch this go-around. The plastic butterfly mechanism appears to have thinned out to accommodate the new switch form factor.”

The website speculates that this could possibly be a change to boost durability levels, as the actual typing action of the keys feels much the same as the MacBook Pro 2016.For many, the real question with this new keyboard configuration will doubtless be whether it solves some of the issues that were reported with last year’s MacBook Pro keyboard, including a non-uniform feel across the keys, and keys which make a loud clicking sound when the laptop gets warmer Asus Customer Service UK
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Sunday, 11 June 2017

Asus ZenFone Max Series Gets PowerMaster App for Battery Savings

Taiwanese smartphone maker Asus on Thursday announced a new app for its ZenFone Max series devices.The upgrade is available across ZenFone 3 Max series through an FOTA update that has already been rolled out to the users. The PowerMaster app will also be available for the older version of the ZenFone Max series.The PowerMaster app provides intelligent ways of charging, reducing energy consumption on unnecessary apps, and allows the users to enjoy better battery performance. As per Asus, with the "PowerMaster's 2X Lifespan option turned on, battery's longevity is extended drastically. The feature charges the phone intelligently to increase the amount of charge cycles the phone battery can normally support, and decreases the loss of capacity from the usual 15 percent to 7 pecent. It also manages to charge the battery while generating absolutely minimal heat. As a result, the battery ages slower while performing at its best."

"With the 'PowerMaster' app, users can now not only extend the battery's life but also benefit from the different technologies provided to increase the smartphone's overall efficiency," said Peter Chang, Region Head - South Asia & Country Manager for Asus India, in a statement.The software upgrade is equipped with nine battery-extending technologies to enhance the complete experience.Apart from the PowerMaster app, these include a new Reverse Charging feature, the Scan mode for suggested battery optimisations, an Auto-start Manager that customises which apps startup, new Battery Modes, a Boost feature to clear background apps, a Last Longer feature that displays options for battery savings, and finally, a Battery Usage feature to show detailed battery usage statistics per charge
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