Gaston Alexander

Gaston Alexander

Followers 11
Following 14
UK
A member of the British armed forces has been killed in Syria while on a mission fighting against so-called Islamic State, the Ministry of Defence has said.The casualty was embedded with US forces fighting Isis when they were caught in a bomb blast on Thursday.The spokesperson gave no information regarding the casualty’s service branch, unit or gender.He said: “It is with regret that we must confirm that a member of the UK Armed Forces was killed by an improvised explosive device in Syria yesterday.“The individual was embedded with US forces on a counter-Daesh operation when the incident occurred.“The family has been notified and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”
US
ARLINGTON, Va.--Responding to a call from top military leaders to accelerate delivery of technology to the warfighter, officials from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) last week launched a program designed to spur innovation in the Navy and Marine Corps.The kickoff session--held at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California--officially began the Naval Innovation Process Adoption, or NIPA.Experts from across the Navy and Marine Corps met to discuss new ways to collaborate, overcome obstacles and swiftly deliver new capabilities to America's Sailors and Marines.Dr. Richard Carlin, who heads ONR's Sea Warfare and Weapons Department, said it is essential to energize how naval innovation takes place, and to empower novel ideas."We are in a new era of challenges, with adversaries making dramatic gains."As technology advances faster than ever before, and both state and non-state actors having access to it, the naval research community needs to accelerate accordingly."
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UK
The government is coming for your torrents.Well, not your torrents, since you would never dream of illegally downloading content, but everyone else's.The new Industrial Strategy white paper published this week outlines Parliament's plan to work towards tighter anti-piracy legislation for the good of Britain's creatives."Online piracy continues to be a serious inhibitor to growth in the creative industries," the white paper argues."Technologies like stream ripping and illicit streaming devices enable illegitimate access to content without rewarding its creators [...] This sector deal sets out measures to make it easier for creative businesses to get the finance they need to grow."To that end, the government plans to oversee talks between British creative industries and various digital service providers—including online marketplaces, social media, media/content upload platforms, and advertisers—regarding copyright protections and content distribution controls.
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UK
Government seeks candidate to lead £200m programme to sharpen cyber security resilience of the NHSThe Department of Health and Social Care had posted an job opening for ‘Deputy Director for cyber Security’.The successful candidate will be expected to oversee “the £200m programme to improve data and cyber security resilience, and adjusting the focus as new risks emerge.”The role is hugely important considering how badly the global WannaCry ransomware attack damaged NHS trusts across the United Kingdom.The job opening was listed on the Civil Service website, and will be based in around the Leeds and Humber area, including London.The Deputy Director for cyber Security role will essentially place the candidate in charge of overseeing the £200m NHS programme to improve data and cyber security resilience.
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UK
The Chinese firm’s latest flagship has three rear-facing cameras and can see in the darkHuawei has officially introduced its P20 and P20 Pro flagship smartphones, with the higher-end of the two featuring an industry-first three rear-facing camera lenses.The move presents a challenge to No.2 smartphone maker Samsung, which emphasised the dual rear cameras found in its S9 and S9+ at their launch event last month.It can take hardware-stabilised 3x zoom images, which can be increased to 5x using software assistance.The phone features a “long exposure” mode that combines multiple shots, taken over a period of up to six seconds, to create an image that appears well-lit.
US
But I'm not going to exactly do it that way—you know I like to mix things up.By "numerical," I mean that I'll create a python program that models the motion of light from A to B. I will then change the reflection point on the surface until I get the smallest travel time.Let's start with a basic program.This program starts with two points (A and B) and a beam of light that travels at a very low speed (so you can see it).The front of the light will aim towards some particular spot on the surface below—which you can change.If you scroll down in the output window above, you can see the angles and times.
UK
Facebook doesn't just peek at what you're doing on its own platform, but that isn't exactly news.It's been known for ages that Facebook uses tracking cookies to peek at your browsing habits, but in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal there's more demand to stop Mark Zuckerberg collecting large quantities of data.So Mozilla has released a brand new extension for Firefox that forces Facebook into its own little sandbox.While Facebook Container doesn't stop third party apps from accessing your data once you've approved them, it does mean Facebook can't spy on your browsing habits while you're logged in.It works by logging you into Facebook in its own container, and that stops the site from most of its snooping.Of course if you use Facebook's share button the new links will be opened up within the container meaning Facebook gets an extra bit of data about what you're doing.
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US
With the premiere of Steven Spielberg’s much-anticipated blockbuster film, Ready Player One, debuting tonight (March 26), all eyes in the film world are on the action-adventure film, and that includes burger chain Carl’s Jr. To celebrate the film and its acclaimed director, the fast-food restaurant thought it would be fun to change the name of its latest campaign for its Charbroiled Sliders to ‘SpielBurgers.’In a series of short films, Carl’s Jr. essentially burger-ized some of the director’s most famous flicks, by introducing the SpielBurgers with films that recreate iconic scenes from classic movies.In a Jurassic Park tribute, the camera pans out from a jungle shot to view a menacing T-Rex with a burger body.A Jaws short shows a burger-headed shark approaching an innocent swimmer.A Close Encounters of the Third Kind short shows the alien spaceship as a burger, while ET becomes a burger in a basket.There is also a burger preview of Ready Player One.
US
Seems Google didn’t mention the plan to the foundation before unveiling it at SXSW earlier this month.“Wikipedia’s content [is] freely licensed for reuse by anyone,” Maher wrote, “and that’s part of our mission: that every single person can share in free knowledge.At the same time, we encourage companies who use Wikimedia’s content to give back in the spirit of sustainability.”Of course, this isn’t the first time Google has utilized the work of Wikipedia’s army of devoted contributors and editors — and the company is hardly alone here.In recent years, the site’s vast wealth of peer-edited knowledge has, for better or worse, become the backbone of a number of wildly used services — including, notably, smart assistants.Most companies more or less hook into an API to utilize that breadth of knowledge.
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UK
Roundup Here's your easy-to-digest round up of information security news beyond everything we've already covered this week.Guccifer 2.0, the hacker busy stealing and leaking emails from US Democratic Party servers amid the 2016 presidential elections, turned out, surprise, surprise, to be a Russian intelligence officer, according to a well-source report.Guccifer 2.0 claimed he was a Romanian, but showed a troubling lack of knowledge of his professed language.Now it turns out Uncle Sam's g-men know who is behind Guccifer 2.0 right down to the street of their Moscow government office, according to sources speaking to the Daily Beast.While we're on the topic of all things Russian, Kaspersky Labs has apparently angered some in the Western intelligence community with its report detailing the appearance of the Slingshot software nasty in the Middle East and Africa.Kaspersky thought that the level of sophistication shown – the software was in its sixth version – and its persistence indicated that it was the work of a state-sponsored hacking team.
UK
After ten years making short films and working the festival circuit, this weekend will be the first time writer-director Emily Carmichael has a feature film released in cinema.Carmichael is the co-writer of Pacific Rim Uprising, which opens tomorrow, March 23.She’s already written a remake of The Black Hole for Disney, has the screenplay for Jurassic World 3 on her to-do list, and then she’ll be directing a superhero film produced by Steven Spielberg.“Those ten years or so of being an independent artist were super tough, man,” Carmichael told io9 via Skype.That changed after she wrote a script titled Eon, which Carmichael describes as What We Do in the Shadows for science fiction instead of vampires.So, obviously, when Spielberg reads a script that you write and he loves it, everything sort of changes.”
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UK
Poll At some point next month, just in time for Spring, Microsoft will start to emit the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update to everyone's PC.Avid Reg readers will be aware of what's forthcoming for the Redmond operating system.If you're just tuning in, well, see the aforementioned link, and strap in for these highlights.When the OS upgrade is released proper, we'll be on the scene with the full details.In the meantime, here's your need to know:Microsoft reckons the operating system will take, on average, 30 minutes to install.
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US
TCL on Tuesday announced that its forthcoming “6-Series” of 4K TVs will be available to purchase by May 1.The TVs were first announced at the CES trade show in January.The 6-Series is notable for being the latest entry in TCL’s line of Roku TVs, which for the past few years have utilized the streaming device maker’s operating system as their smart TV interface.Roku lends its platform to a number of TV manufacturers, but TCL, the Chinese electronics firm that’s also known for licensing the BlackBerry and Alcatel brands for its smartphones, appears to have particularly boosted sales with the partnership.A big reason for that success is because the TVs are often sold at relatively affordable prices, but over the past couple of years, TCL has improved the line’s reputation with picture quality as well.The 6-Series in particular is the follow-up to last year’s P6-Series TV, which garnered near-unanimous praise from reviewers and is generally considered the best TV on the market for less than $1,000.
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UK
Reports have emerged that Nintendo is working on new and improved Switch hardware.Though the console’s recent 5.0 firmware update wasn’t up to much on the surface, hackers on Switchbrew (via Resetera) have been digging into to the upgrade and found evidence which suggests a hardware refresh is in the works.Switchbrew discovered references to a new T214 chip (which would be a small improvement on the current T210) as well as an updated printed circuit board and 8GB of RAM instead of the current 4GB.While the upgraded chip could simply be in response to some hardware security problems that emerged when hackers started bringing homebrew software to the console, the new PCB and increased RAM suggest a more powerful model.This report is interesting in the context of a report from the Wall Street Journal earlier this month, which stated that Nintendo had no plans to make any hardware updates this year and would instead be focusing on peripherals, like Nintendo Labo, to extend the console’s lifespan.If Nintendo is not planning a hardware upgrade this year, then, it could be looking to introduce one in the future if the information uncovered from these files is accurate.
China
It’s been launched in multiple countries.However, the company is not going to stop where it is now.Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus reviewThe phone uses a traditional three-stage antenna design.Therefore, the middle part of the back panel is made of metal while the rest uses a plastic material.Like other newly-launched Redmi handsets this one comes with a symmetrical design – the camera, fingerprint scanner, micro USB port, and sensors are placed symmetrically.
US
Over the weekend, the Information Technology Industry Council and 44 other trade associations banded together and published a letter demanding that the Trump administration take “measured” steps to stop China’s unfair trade practices and voiced its opposition to unilateral tariffs that could damage industries as diverse as electronics and agriculture.As we have been covering on TechCrunch, the Trump administration is readying a comprehensive “all of the above” series of policies to fight China, including tariffs that might reach above $100 billion, visa restrictions on Chinese nationals, and prohibitions on Chinese capital from buying or investing in American companies.The Trump administration is expected to develop a policy here shortly as part of the conclusion of its section 301 trade investigation into China.The letter warns that tariffs in particular could lead to “a chain reaction of negative consequences for the U.S. economy, provoking retaliation; stifling U.S. agriculture, goods, and services exports; and raising costs for businesses and consumers.”Interestingly, the letter leaves open the door for tariffs.In particular, it is critically important that the Administration work with like-minded partners to address common concerns with China’s trade and investment policies.
UK
We’ve been seeing a lot of headsets that are trying to lower the cost of entry to virtual reality, but the HTC VIVE Pro is about to go in the opposite direction.The VIVE Pro is HTC’s new high-end VR headset, and we’re finding out today that it definitely has a price to match.Not only that, but HTC is opening up pre-orders for the VIVE Pro today, with a launch date that’s right around the corner.As announced over on the VIVE website, the VIVE Pro will come with a price tag of $799.That’s a fair amount more than the standard HTC VIVE or the Oculus Rift, but it isn’t an unfamiliar price point for VR.After all, just two years ago the standard VIVE launched at $799 as well, though in the time since then it’s seen a handful of significant price drops.
China
China never rests and so does our coverage of the most interesting news from the Asian country.In the past seven days we’ve seen some new devices getting released into the market as well as some more rumors & leaks of exciting upcoming phones.So, let’s begin with the Chinese tech giant.This week we had a look at what the smartphone could actually look like, as well as some teasers coming directly from Xiaomi which probably hint at multi-frame synthesis technology to improve image quality.Just like Xiaomi, also Vivo is on the verge of launching various interesting devices.The one that’s closer to see the light of day is the Vivo X21 which is set to launch on March 19th.
US
While the global smartphone market saw a steep fall in sales in the last quarter according to all major research agencies, the used smartphone and refurbished market is gaining traction at a surprising rate.This is important because the numbers show that the smartphone market declined by between 5 and 9 percent in the last quarter of 2017 (depending on whose report you’re reading).But that was just the new smartphone market — research from Counterpoint’s refurbished smartphone tracker shows a 13 percent leap year-on-year.Second-life devices now represent close to 10% of the entire smartphone marketThese “second-life” devices include repaired smartphones, “rejuvenated” models, or just those collected and sold as is.In fact, Apple even tried to get a foothold in India by attempting to convince the government it could sell used iPhones to Indian consumers.
US
In a lawsuit filed in November, two women accused Uber of not doing enough to protect female passengers from rape, sexual assault and gender-motivated harassment at the hands of its drivers.Seven more women have joined the suit, according to an amended complaint filed Thursday."Uber's goal is to stop women from getting the justice they deserve through our court system," Jeanne M. Christensen, a partner at law firm Wigdor LLP who's representing the women, said in an email.If the case ends up in confidential arbitration, the women named in the suit are still free to speak to the public about the case.A handful of states, including California, Massachusetts and Texas, have previously launched investigations into Uber, claiming it routinely fails to adequately screen drivers and has hired drivers with criminal histories.Reports of alleged sexual assaults by Uber drivers make news headlines several times a month.
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