Alexander Ruper

Alexander Ruper

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Following 14
US
When Irn Bru announced it was changing its recipe, there was uproar across Scotland.The social buzz surrounding the announcement was what Scots would refer to as “top banter”, so it was only right for The Drum put the new formulation to the testWith the London office housing both Scottish and English natives, we decided to add a bit of a competitive edge.Some claimed to never have drunk the fizzy delight, some screwed their face up in disgust, and others delighted in thinking up alcohols to mix with the national treasure beverage.Associate editor at The Drum, Sonoo Singh, grimaced while saying: “It’s just some kind of plastic, in my mouth.I really cannot drink anymore.”
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Eyeota is looking to sell audience data to advertisers around the world, and it’s announcing that it’s raised $12 million in Series B funding for further growth.The company was actually founded back in 2010, but it didn’t raise its Series A until two years ago.CEO Kevin Tan admitted that the company had been “difficult for early-stage investors to wrap their head around,” but he also said that thanks to the founding team’s previous success (Tan and his co-founders were part of the management team at Cox-acquired Adify), the startup was able to fund itself and grow without outside investors.Tan has said that Eyeota’s founding was prompted by the Adify experience, particularly by seeing the lack of high-quality audience data in international markets.(The company started in Singapore.)He argued that one of his company’s differentiators is simply the quality of its data, which it often buys directly from publishers.
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The trailer for The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey lasts 30 seconds.The movie itself, however, runs for a butt-numbing 17 hours.Broadcast throughout Sunday on Australia’s SBS Television network, the ambitious production was its first foray into so-called “slow TV,” a genre that came to prominence in Norway around 10 years ago and so far featured train rides, coastal cruises, bird feeder activities, and a knitting marathon that went on for 12 hours.Well, we say ambitious, though in reality The Ghan pretty much involved sticking a camera on the front of the train and hitting record.Those tuning in on Sunday were treated to endless footage of a train track, desolate outback, and the occasional text-based explanation about various points of interest.A three-hour version of the famous train ride, which runs between Adelaide in the south and Darwin in the north, was broadcast last week, but the overwhelmingly positive response persuaded SBS to take things a step further and broadcast a 17-hour special.
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You might have gone into an alcohol-induced hibernation over the holidays, but cloud databases did not.More specifically, the cumbersomely named Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB did not, rocketing past AWS Redshift, as Begin founder Brian Leroux first noticed.While everything was “as you were” for AWS database leader DynamoDB in 2017, according to DB Engines’ comprehensive ranking, Cosmos DB jumped 27 places, from 58 to 31.AWS has introduced powerful options for familiar data needs: Amazon Redshift for data warehousing, Amazon Aurora/RDS for traditional relational workloads, and AWS DynamoDB for NoSQL.There’s simply too much risk involved with changing databases.This matters because, as Gartner analyst Thomas Bittman has written, there’s a pronounced (and accelerating) shift from private datacenters to public cloud environments: “New stuff tends to go to the public cloud, while doing old stuff in new ways tends to go to private clouds.
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McAfee‘s core focus has been providing antivirus software to more than 375 million customers, but now the company is adding new partnerships to fuel further growth.The idea is to provide protection in the areas of the connected home, online safety for kids, privacy, and now identity theft protection.In the wake of some massive data breaches, the McAfee Identity Theft Protection lets users take a proactive approach with personal monitoring, financial monitoring, and recovery tools.McAfee made the announcements at CES 2018, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week.And the company is protecting Samsung Secure Wi-Fi with backend technology for Galaxy Note8 customers in Europe.The latest products and services include McAfee Identity Theft Protection, McAfee Secure Home Platform, McAfee Safe Family, and McAfee Safe Connect.
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While the recent Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities are causing wide-ranging effects on the computing and tech industries as a whole, gamers may start noticing a direct impact on their favorite hobby as well.Fortnite publisher and developer Epic Games has revealed that the multiplayer survival game may start experiencing a number of issues over the next week, including downtime, as the services behind the game are patched.Among the problems Fortnite and Fortnite Battle Royale players might experience include problems logging in, server slowdown and downtime, and other “unexpected issues.” Epic Games says it’s doing all it can to address and resolve these issues as they come up, however the game may not be as stable as usual over the next week as they work with their cloud service providers.PSA: Our cloud services were affected by updates required to mitigate the Meltdown vulnerability.We rely on cloud services to run our backend and we may experience further service issues in the next few days due to ongoing updates.— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) January 5, 2018
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According to experts, quantum computers will be able to create breakthroughs in many of the most complicated data processing problems, leading to the development of new medicines, building molecular structures and doing analysis going far beyond the capabilities of today’s binary computers.IBM’s announcement followed the September Microsoft announcement of a new quantum computing programming language and stable topological qubit technology that can be used to scale up the number of qubits.Taking advantage of the physical “spin” of quantum elements, a quantum computer will be able to process simultaneously the same data in different ways, enabling it to make projections and analyses much more quickly and efficiently than is now possible.There are significant physical issues that must be worked out, such as the fact that quantum computers can only operate at cryogenic temperatures (at 250 times colder than deep space) — but Intel, working with Netherlands firm QuTech, is convinced that it is just a matter of time before the full power of quantum computing is unleashed.“Our quantum research has progressed to the point where our partner QuTech is simulating quantum algorithm workloads, and Intel is fabricating new qubit test chips on a regular basis in our leading-edge manufacturing facilities,” said Dr. Michael Mayberry, corporate vice president and managing director of Intel Labs.“Intel’s expertise in fabrication, control electronics and architecture sets us apart and will serve us well as we venture into new computing paradigms, from neuromorphic to quantum computing.”
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Voice activated digital assistants are increasing in popularity but would you use one at work?Smart speakers with built-in voice-activated personal assistants were under plenty of trees this Christmas as people sought to make the lives of friend an family easier.I mean who doesn’t want to switch the lights off or change the television channel without having to lift a finger?Amazon and Google lead the way with their Echo and Home ranges, but Apple will get in on the act soon with the HomePod and Microsoft’s Cortana is also on the scene.And there are ambitions to conquer the workplace too.Amazon has opened up Alexa to businesses and only this week there was talk of using the platform to help police solve crimes.
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The sale aims to boost Westinghouse’s finances after filing for bankruptcy last year.A Canadian company are expected to acquire Toshiba’s nuclear division, Westinghouse Electric, in a deal valued at $4.6bn (£3.4bn).The purchase of Westinghouse aims to help save the company from its financial woes and potentially restore some cash flow in the company after going bankrupt last year.Selling the nuclear division comes after Toshiba’s nuclear division fell down a financial downward spiral, leaving them filing for bankruptcy after a project went over budget by billions of dollars.Declaring bankruptcy then led to the sale of Toshiba’s famous memory chip unit to the Bain Capital-Led consortium for $18bn in October last year.Now at a quarter of the price, Toshiba’s troublesome nuclear division is expected to be sold to Brookfield Business Partners, a Canadian company, after being on the agenda for the last few months.
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It’s a rich target for the clutch of investors that pride themselves (in their better moments) on investing in companies that can improve society, and that work to fix broken systems, and a new startup, Frank, is the latest attempt to make a lasting change in the industry.Still, the benefits outweigh the risks attendant in not becoming bona fide, so millions of students each year humble themselves before the altar of admissions officers and two-year and four-year institutions.It’s backed by a clutch of interesting investors, including Aleph, the U.S.-Israeli investment fund that’s also put money into new insurance company; Lemonade and WeWork; Reach Capital; former Uber advocate Bradley Tusk’s Tusk Ventures; and Slow Ventures.Marc Rowan, the co-founder of Apollo Global Management, one of the largest private equity firms in the world, led the most recent investment.The company launched in March with a pilot program for low-income students at a few high schools in the Bronx.“I spent a lot of time on the banking side trying to figure out how to lend money in a more responsible way, and have banks give a shit,” Javice has said elsewhere.
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Infiniti isn’t due to fully reveal its new Q Inspiration Concept car until the Detroit auto show later this month, but it can’t resist teasing more details about the curvaceous concept.Promising what Infiniti claims will be “the next step” in the automaker’s design language, it’s another step in the sedan’s blurring from the traditional three-box four-door, to something a lot more interesting – and, Infiniti hopes, appealing to consumers.We saw the first hints of it in mid-December, when Infiniti first announced the concept’s existence.More angular lamps, a bolder and sharper grille with less of Infiniti’s usual curving, and some very deep crease and cut lines.Now, we get to see the Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept from the rear.A full panoramic glass roof curves from the windshield and all the way over the top of the car, seamlessly blending into the rear glass.
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In a world shifting to the cloud, Microsoft has carved out a place trying to help companies caught between two worlds — on-prem legacy solutions and the public and private cloud.To help further that hybrid mission, the company announced it was acquiring Avere Systems today for an undisclosed amount.Microsoft describes Avere as “a leading provider of high-performance NFS and SMB file-based storage for Linux and Windows clients running in cloud, hybrid and on-premises environments.” That’s a mouthful, but essentially the company has focused on maximizing storage performance, especially in more expensive flash storage, regardless of where you store your files.Avere’s president and CEO Ronald Bianchini Jr., wrote in a company blog post that the company has worked hard since its inception to provide highly efficient file storage solutions.“Our customers efficiently share both storage and compute resources across multiple data centers, and effectively implement and use private and public cloud infrastructures,” Bianchini wrote.That is precisely a focus of Microsoft’s cloud strategy, so it appears to be an excellent fit.
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UK
2018 is a big year for anniversaries.This year is 100 years since the first world war ended, the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the European single market, 50 years since the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King, and other major historical events.It's also the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which granted UK women over the right to vote.The Act allowed women over the age of 30 the right to vote, provided they were a householder, married to a householder, occupiers of property with an annual rent of £5, or university graduates.It also granted voting rights to all men over the age of 21.Not exactly equality, but it was a start.
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Moore’s law loosely states the number of transistors in a semiconductor will double every two years.If the camera bag industry has an analog, it is simply this: The number of camera bags you own will double every two years.Just as computer chips are never fast enough, a camera bag is never good enough, and thus we keep buying more.The Wandrd Prvke (pronounced “provoke,” and stylized as WANDRD PRVKE) promises to be the exception to this rule, by offering photographers a bag that seemingly achieves the long sought-after trifecta of functionality, durability, and style — oh yes, so much style.We’ve had our hands (and backs) on the new 21-liter version of this bag for a few weeks, and while we can’t definitely conclude you won’t want to buy another bag in a year or two, we can say it delivers on its promise.We like things that look good, and if given the choice between two equally capable products — one that looks awesome and one looks boring — we’ll take the awesome-looking one every time.
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Your to-play list of 2017 may be towering over your head in a Damoclesian manner every time you sit on your sofa but still you can’t help but keep an anticipatory eye on what’s coming next.We know, no judgement – we also have that problem.There’s so much good stuff available right now, but there are also a lot of great games still to come and it just won’t do to let them pass you by.To help you know which titles you should be keeping a weather eye on over the next year, we’ve put together this useful guide.Whether you're playing on PC, PS4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch, you'll find something in this list.Not every one of these games has a pinned down release date just yet, but they’re the titles slotted to come at some point in the next year.
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You might be staying in on New Year’s Eve with your toddler, but don’t worry - your night will be pretty similar to those out with their drunk friends.Because funnily enough, there are a lot of similarities between your threenager and your friends after a couple of glasses of wine.Here are a few reasons why.At the beginning of the night they are on top form.Your browser does not support HTML5 video.
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Even if you are taking some well-deserved time off this week between Christmas and New Years Day, it’s still a good time to reflect on your past year, consider your priorities moving forward, and establish a set of goals and habits to get you there.In 2018 I am translating what historically have been my New Years resolutions into a set of habits, rituals and milestones (more on that later this week).Collectively, these three areas aren’t necessarily the work I need to get done but instead include disciplines to help me get that work done.Put another way, I believe we (and I) need to better prioritize work that helps us get more (and better) work done.For example, from both observation and experience, I believe many of us focus primarily if not entirely on execution without investing consistent time in making that execution better.We run from task to task, fire drill to fire drill, without investing enough in our experience, instincts and environment.
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The two questions I get asked most frequently when I tell people that I report on tech startups across Middle America are: Which startups outside of Silicon Valley are getting the most traction?There are certain metrics I can point to that make it easy for people ingrained in the startup community to understand what makes a company worth watching: They recently raised a large round of venture capital funding.Rather, entrepreneurs, investors, or government leaders in the city have proven nimble in identifying what resources tech entrepreneurs will need to grow in their city.And finally, many of these cities are also home to a promising number of tech startups.Pittsburgh has a natural advantage in that it’s home to Carnegie Mellon University, which hosts one of the largest and most popular computer science programs in the country.In 2016, the number of patents issued to Pittsburgh’s major research universities — Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University — reached a 10-year high, according to a report from Pittsburgh seed-stage investor Innovation Works, while the number of spin-off companies generated by these universities has remained relatively steady.
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As Rudolph and his buddies assist Santa Claus on his travels around the world this evening, the reindeers back in Lapland continue to deal with all manner of hazards that threaten to ruin their Christmas.Thousands of reindeer die every year in Finland’s most northern region, with most succumbing to attacks by wolves and other predators, or straying into traffic on remote roads.But now the nation’s reindeer herders are turning to tech in a bid to reduce those numbers and better protect the country’s reindeer population, according to a BBC report.The Finnish Reindeer Herders’ Association has started placing tracking sensors around the necks of some of the reindeer, allowing a herder to quickly identify their position via an accompanying smartphone app.Besides enabling the herders to track hundreds of thousands of reindeer through Lapland’s forests and learn more about their movement behavior, the technology also helps them to spot injured animals, increasing the chances of a successful rescue.It allows them to reach dead reindeer more quickly, too, so they can gather more accurate data on cause of death that could later be used to develop additional protection systems.
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China
There have been speculations that Sony will unveil the Xperia XZ1 successor at the MWC in February.This smartphone is expected to sport the bezel-less display just like most recent flagship smartphones.However, a leaked spec sheet has revealed more for the Sony H82xx device.This smartphone is expected to arrive in four versions which are probably designed to meet the needs of different markets.The models are H8216, H8266, H8276, and H8296.Geekbench database has now picked one of these models – H8266 and the listing shows that the device comes with the flagship Snapdragon 845 premier SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM and runs Android 8.0 Oreo.
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