Bill Brown

Bill Brown

Followers 22
Following 23
UK
HuffPost: HumanKind brings you an advent calendar of kindness, celebrating good deeds and the people doing them, in order to inspire and bring hope this festive season.“I saw some homeless people taking shelter in scaffolding and it really made me worry about whether they were going to survive, because it looked so dangerous,” eight-year-old Jacob Rabi-Laleh tells HuffPost UK.When she said that sometimes people don’t have families or friends to help them, I decided I wanted to help.”Jacob, from Maldon, Essex, isn’t your average eight-year-old.So when he went home that night, Jacob got out his pens and paper, and created a poster asking for people to donate items of warm clothing.The eight-year-old used all avenues to get clothing and essentials for homeless people.
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Even the old smart assistant needs a fresh coat of paint from time to time.For those looking to switch things up a touch, Google announced today that Assistant is now capable of speaking in a couple of additional accents for U.S.-based users.Head to the Settings tab on a compatible handset and you can swap the standard American for an Australian or British accent — or, rather “Sydney Harbour Blue” and “British Racing Green.”Google’s blog post spells out the new feature, along with a few obligatory references to fish and chip shops and the like.No reason’s given why the feature has arrived on American shores, beyond the fact that it would be nice to hear the exchange rate for a pound delivered in a more appropriate accent.“These voices are built using DeepMind’s speech synthesis model WaveNet,” says Google, “which uses deep neural networks to generate raw audio waveforms resulting in more realistic and natural sounding Assistant voices.”
UK
Deadly radiation bouncing around could have killed off animals in the Pliocene eraA gigantic supernova explosion may have triggered mass extinctions for creatures living in Earth’s prehistoric oceans some 2.6 billion years ago, according to new research published in Astrobiology.Marine animals like the Megalodon, a fearsome shark around 10.5 meters (34 ft) long and with huge jaws full of sharp, pointy teeth, suddenly disappeared during the late Pliocene.It’s a telltale because there’s no other way for it to get to Earth but from a supernova.’ Because iron-60 is radioactive, if it was formed with the Earth it would be long gone by now.So, it had to have been rained down on us,” explained Adrian Melott, lead author of the paper and a physics and astronomy professor at the University of Kansas.“There’s some debate about whether there was only one supernova really nearby or a whole chain of them.
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Researchers from Duo Security, an authentication services company owned by Cisco Systems, have published a blog post that explains how to methodically identify “amplification bots.” These are defined as automated Twitter accounts that purely exist to artificially amplify the reach of content through retweets and likes.The article, “Anatomy of Twitter Bots: Amplification Bots,” was written by researchers Jordan Wright and Olabode Anise.It expands upon their talk at the 2018 Black Hat USA conference, “Don’t @ Me: Hunting Twitter Bots at Scale.”The pair created a dataset of 576 million posts and filtered it to show those that had over 50 retweets and attempted to define what it considers to be normal behavior.Through their analysis, they found that found that half of the tweets have a 2:1 ratio of likes-to-retweets.Around 80 percent had at least more likes than retweets (greater than 1:1 ratio).
UK
Microsoft has released a new Windows 10 19H1 build for people who are signed up as Windows Insiders on the Fast Ring, which means they get a chance to test out upcoming Windows 10 updates before they are officially released.The new build (18298) features several new changes that give us an idea of what we can expect for Windows 10 in 2019.While Microsoft hasn’t had the best track record of late with its Windows 10 updates, we remain cautiously optimistic that for those of us who aren’t signed up as Windows Insiders will see this update, and the changes it brings, soon.First of all, the File Explorer icon has been updated, and it now looks better when used with Windows 10’s new light theme.The update also makes the Download folder sort files by date they were downloaded by default.This is a handy move, as it makes it easier to find recent downloads in a folder that can often get crammed with unhelpfully-named files.
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UK
Adult social care is facing a growing workforce crisis which could be plugged by introducing the a real living wage for the sector, new analysis has revealed.The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) North says adult social care is facing a growing workforce crisis which is undermining the sustainability of the system and quality of care across the north of England.The think tank is calling for the government to use its upcoming Green Paper on social care to introduce better wages for employees to address the growing workforce shortage, which is expected to be exacerbated when the UK leaves the EU in March next year.However, it says introducing a real living wage would mean a pay rise averaging more than £1,000 for 160,000 workers in the north.As a result, while demand for social care has been rising, spending on social care fell by 7% in Yorkshire and the Humber, 13% in the north west and 18% in the north east between 2009 and 2016.These cuts have led to social care being commissioned at rock-bottom prices.
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UK
Apple’s Beddit has introduced an updated version of its sleep monitoring device, one featuring a sleeker, cleaner design.The Beddit Sleep Monitor is designed to be placed over a mattress, where it works to track the user’s sleep throughout the night, noting everything from the sleeper’s heart rate to average breathing rate.Apple acquired Beddit, a company offering a sleep tracking system different from most competing products.Rather than depending on a smartphone placed under a pillow or a wearable device on the sleeper’s body, the Beddit system isn’t intrusive thanks to a flat, soft USB device that lies on the user’s mattress.The Beddit system includes an app that records the user’s sleep data, providing direct access to sleep trends over times, such as when the user usually goes to sleep and how long they slept each day.As well, the app shows nightly information, including when the user got into bed and how much of their time there was spent asleep.
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Researchers have discovered a 'blind spot' in atomic force microscopy - a powerful tool capable of measuring the force between two atoms, imaging the structure of individual cells and the motion of biomolecules.The new study shows that the accuracy of atomic force measurements depends on which force laws are in effect.Force laws that reside in the newly discovered `blind spot' - which are common in nature - can lead to incorrect results.The study also details a new mathematical method to see and avoid this blind spot, safeguarding atomic force measurements from inaccurate results."The atomic force microscope (AFM) provides exquisite resolution at the atomic and molecular scale.It also has the remarkable ability to measure the force between two atoms," Professor Sader said.
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With O2’s UK network back up and running, the 32 million Brits who depend on it have been returned to the digital era, but you have to wonder how big the fallout from this disaster will be.With 3G data services restored late Thursday evening, and 4G getting the green-light early Friday morning, a stressful period comes to a close.Now the more difficult questions need to be asked to understand why this happened, why O2 is rumoured to have had to cancel its Christmas party last night and what the consequences of the chaos will actually be.“Our technical teams will continue to monitor service performance closely over the next few days to ensure we remain stable.We’d like to thank our customers for their patience during the loss of service on Thursday 6 December and we’re sorry for any impact the issue may have caused.”In fairness to O2, the simple thing to do here would have been to shift all of the bad press and finger pointing towards the root cause of the problem, Ericsson, but it has managed the saga as well as could be expected.
US
Facebook’s Testing New ‘Keyword Alerts’ for GroupsFacebook has begun testing a Groups feature allowing administrators to receive alerts for keywords, an especially welcome addition for those managing large Facebook Groups, and a new opportunity for digital marketers to monitor relevant subjects.10 Things Cyber Week Reveals About U.S. ConsumersMobile and click-to-collect online orders in the U.S. were up 40 percent from 2017, while 23 percent haven’t begun holiday shopping yet, two of the numerous recent revelations from the National Retail Federation.What Consumers Want From Brands: Transparency on Social MediaSocial media transparency tops the list of what U.S. consumers want most from brands, according to recent Sprout Social survey data.
US
Apple's iPhone revenue is likely to fall 2% in its current fiscal year on an annual basis, UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri said in a new report.But Apple is facing other headwinds, including a decline in its reputation and a maturing global smartphone market.Apple will likely post its first annual decline in smartphone revenue in three years in its current fiscal year, and it can blame the drop on it its new iPhone XR model.Apple's fiscal years end in September.As part of his report, he reduced his price target on Apple's stock to $210 a share, but maintained his buy rating on it.Both surveys indicated slackening demand for smartphones in general and for the latest iPhone models, particularly the XR.
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Customizing your keyboard by swapping out its keycaps is nothing new, but this is the first time we’ve seen a Star Wars set that’s received an official blessing from Lucasfilm, via SyFy.The Star Wars Galactic Empire DSA keycap set features a color scheme that wouldn’t be out of place at a computer terminal in the Death Star.They even have authentic Aurebesh lettering, the character set that provides the official written language of the Star Wars universe.Getting the official seal of approval from Lucasfilm didn’t come cheap.These keycaps will retail for $250 when they go on sale on December 10th, and that doesn’t include a keyboard.However, if that sounds like a reasonable amount of money to spend on just one component of a PC accessory, then you’re actually getting a pretty decently made piece of kit from the keycap experts at Signature Plastics.
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Alto’s Odyssey publisher Noodlecake Studios announced Absolute Drift, a zen-like drifting game from indie developer Dune Casu.As the name implies, Absolute Drift features a drifting mechanic that makes it tricky to maneuver through the track.The tires are there for a reason, though — the game expects you to crash often, and you will crash often.Thanks to the zen-like nature of the game, however, you don’t feel like the game punishes you for crashing.There is no one to race against or timer to beat — you can take as much time as you want to complete the events.The soundtrack is mostly comprised of electronic music that is just enough to perk you up, but chill enough to not serve as a distraction.
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The US Postal Service should have the flexibility to raise shipping rates for certain packages, according to sweeping reforms recommended by a Trump administration task force, a move that would increase costs for Amazon and other internet retailers.President Donald Trump ordered an evaluation of the US Postal Service's finances in April, after weeks of accusing Amazon of not paying its fair share of postage.The Postal Service reported a loss of $3.9 billion for its 2018 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30 -- the 12th straight year the service has reported a financial loss.Trump has repeatedly accused Amazon of taking advantage of its delivery partnership with the US Postal Service, with taxpayers shouldering the costs.Earlier this year, in comments to the press, Trump said, "Amazon is going to have to pay much more money to the post office.The task force blamed the decline in revenue on the rising popularity of digital alternatives to traditional letters and bills delivered by the Postal Service.
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The National Republican Congressional Committee says it was hit with a "cyber intrusion" during the 2018 midterm campaign, Politico first reported Tuesday.A Committee spokesman confirmed the NRCC was the victim of a cyberattack and had both launched an internal probe into the hack as well as notifying the FBI.Officials added that while sensitive emails and internal information was compromised, the hackers did not access donor information.The National Republican Congressional Committee says it was hit with a "cyber intrusion" during the 2018 midterm campaign and the breach has been reported to the FBI, Politico first reported Tuesday."The NRCC can confirm that it was the victim of a cyber intrusion by an unknown entity," Committee spokesman Ian Prior said Tuesday."The cybersecurity of the Committee's data is paramount, and upon learning of the intrusion, the NRCC immediately launched an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now investigating the matter," he added.
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As a result of the monetisation challenges, there has been a distinct move away from just providing faster network speeds to consumers, and towards enabling a whole host of new technologies on mobile networks.The difference in this case is that 4G harmonised all the networks in Europe, bringing the technology together to create a very dense and fast network.It’s the same case in China, if you compare it to the rest of Asia, for example.Without the customer demand and overcapacity on existing networks, can telcos justify launching wide scale 5G across Europe?We’re already seeing tests from multiple providers across the world in isolated areas, and the speed and size of rollouts will only increase as providers look to gain the upper hand.Being the first 5G standard network will be a marketing coup but may not come with the consumer kudos and demand it once did.
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Buhari made the assertion in a Facebook post on Sunday to counter rumours that he actually died and was secretly replaced by a lookalike.The bizarre clone conspiracy theory can be traced back to a political independence group in the southern part of the country called the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).President Buhari, who’s 75 years old, has suffered undisclosed health issues, giving his opponents an opportunity to spread the theory that Buhari actually died in London while seeking medical attention and was replaced by someone from Sudan named Jubril.“One of the questions that came up today in my meeting with Nigerians in Poland was on the issue of whether I've been cloned or not,” Buhari said.And I’m still going strong!”If the lookalike conspiracy sounds familiar, you might be a fan of 1990s political comedies.
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Arlo, the security camera company launched by Netgear, has announced its debut 4K security camera — the Arlo Ultra.As well as upping the resolution alongside offering HDR recording, the wireless camera also builds in the spotlight that you previously had to buy separately, allowing it to record in color at night with an improved 180-degree field of view over last year’s Arlo 2 Pro.4K security cameras are still something of a rarity in 2018.The Nest Cam IQ, which is also available as an outdoor variant like the Arlo Ultra, features a 4K sensor, but its streams top out at 1080p.The higher resolution of the Arlo Ultra should make it easier to see finer details like the car number plates of unwanted visitors, although Arlo’s announcement notes that you’ll have to pay an additional subscription fee if you want to store your security clips in their maximum resolution in the cloud (otherwise a microSD card slot is available for local recording).Aside from the resolution increase, the Arlo Ultra appears to be very similar to the Arlo 2 Pro that we tried out last year, albeit with smart person detection and 911-calling functionality available at launch.
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Google has given its online translator a little love, with a new look and functionality to make it easier to use.Google Translate for web now has a cleaner look and a responsive design that adapts dynamically to suit your browser – whether you're using it on a desktop, phone or tablet.The change is part of a raft of updates designed to bring Google's web-based tools up to date and standardize their designs.Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive have all been spruced up this year, and now it seems the company has moved its attention to tools outside G Suite.Several of the other changes simply make Google Translate's existing features more accessible.For example, the option to upload documents is now much clearer, presented as a large button at the top left of the page.
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