McKinsey projects that as many as 800 million workers worldwide could lose their jobs to robots and automation by 2030 — equivalent to more than a fifth of today’s global labor force.Automation has already transformed manual industries, along with routine tasks that involve simple, rule-based activities like sorting mail and bookkeeping.But the wave of technologies referred to as “AI” – machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing – allow companies to hand over increasingly sophisticated tasks to machines.GE and Shell, for instance, both employ algorithms for managerial work.Yes, AI could be smart enough to take your jobIt seems unlikely that half of tomorrow’s workforce will be unemployed, as the Oxford study implies, and that automation will create new classes of work even as it destroys existing ones.
Nintendo has sold a lot of Switches in the last year thanks to the console's unique ability to play games on a TV and on the go, but also thanks to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey.Though they came from 30+ year-old franchises, both games helped millions fall in love with them all over again.In 2018, Nintendo is setting its sights in a direction it hasn't aimed at before: the do-it yourself crowd.Robots, fishing poles, pianos... there's a lot to build and try here.Unlike other Switch games, the fun is in the cardboard, so if you want one when they hit shelves April 20, consider pre-ordering.Thanks to our friends at TechBargains, we have handy pre-order links for both Labo bundles Nintendo is selling, and what you'll get for your money.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced she is pregnant with her first child, prompting an outpouring of support from women’s rights groups and labour activists as she declared “I’ll be a prime minister and a mum”.Ardern said she planned to work until the end of her pregnancy in June and then take six-weeks leave, during which time Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters would run the country.Speaking to reporters outside her Auckland home, Ardern said her partner Clarke Gayford would care for the “surprise” addition full-time and that the whole family would travel together when necessary.Ardern added that “we (Ardern and husband Gayford) are going to make this work and New Zealand is going to help us raise our first child”.The 37-year-old politician’s pregnancy is one of the very few examples of an elected leader holding office while pregnant and the first in New Zealand’s history.Ardern’s surging political popularity generated intense interest in her personal life and drew comparisons with other youthful leaders such as France’s Emmanuel Macron and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.
Apple has faced mounting criticism in recent years for avoiding taxes in the US and Europe.Wednesday, it offered critics 38 billion replies.More precisely, Apple said it would pay an estimated $38 billion in tax to bring back to the US some of the cash it has stashed overseas over the years.But it’s also a pretty good deal for the company.In the wake of the tax-cut bill approved by Congress last month, Apple also announced plans to invest $30 billion in the US over the next five years, to create 20,000 new jobs, spend more with domestic manufacturers and other suppliers, and build a new campus.But it's not clear how much those numbers represented an increase from Apple’s previous plans, or how much of it will be funded by the repatriated cash.
Former Wales manager Gary Speed was one of four men who went on to take their own lives after being coached by Barry Bennell, a court has heard.Liverpool Crown Court heard evidence from a victim, whom Bennell had admitted abusing in 1998, when he was jailed for nine years.He told the court he tried to contact the parents of Speed, who hanged himself in 2011 aged 42, to tell them about the abuse.The victim said: “Four people from teams I have played with, with Bennell, have taken their own lives.”He added: “Whether they have taken their lives due to Barry solely I don’t know but all I know is how it’s had an impact on me and how it could impact on other people.”He said he wanted to get in touch with Speed’s parents because he had read in the paper that they had not been able to get closure because they had no explanation for his death.
Morgan Stanley analysts Adam Jonas said that auto execs are avoiding skepticism about self-driving cars because innovation could work in carmakers' favor.A reliably cyclical business could shed the cycles.It remains to be seen if automakers will make good on their announcements.If you've bee watching the boom in US auto sales for the past three years, you could be forgiven for thinking that the old car business, cyclical by nature, is in the past.But the cycle is still there and eventually, demand will decline and automakers will sell fewer cars and trucks in the US.They explored various other lines of business, with lending people money to buy the cars being perhaps the most lucrative.
Samsung has unveiled a new special edition of the Galaxy Note 8 phablet, themed around the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.Samsung will be supplying 4,000 of the special Note 8s to all Olympians, IOC, and POCOG staff, with the Korean company hoping that the Note 8’s massive 6.3-inch screen, and included S Pen will allow everyone involved in the Olympic Games to “do bigger things,, and the incredible dual-sensor camera will help all of the athletes and workers involved in the games document this incredible portion of their lives.The new design celebrates the Winter Olympics with an all-new shiny white glass back overlaid with the Olympic logo: five interconnected gold rings that symbolize the unity of the five continents, the world, and the Olympic Torch.A collection of PyeongChang 2018-themed wallpapers will also be included, and each device will also have pre-installed Olympic apps that Samsung hopes will be useful to each of the recipients of the special Note 8s.“We’re proud to provide the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition to all athletes in an effort to help them to stay connected, capture and share one of the most memorable moments of their lives”– Samsung CMO and Executive Vice President, Younghee Lee.
Congress is starting to ask hard questions about the fallout from the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.Today, Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) sent a letter requesting a briefing from Intel, AMD, and ARM about the vulnerabilities’ impact on consumers.Embedded below, the letter indicates a newfound interest from Congress in the industry’s response to the bugs, and a potentially ominous sign if lawmakers aren’t satisfied with the companies’ answers.The two vulnerabilities are “glaring warning signs that we must take cybersecurity more seriously,” McNerney argues in the letter.“Should the vulnerabilities be exploited, the effects on consumers’ privacy and our nation’s economy and security would be absolutely devastating.”Privately disclosed to chipmakers in June of 2016, the Meltdown and Spectre bugs became public after a haphazard series of leaks earlier this month.
After the false missile alert in Hawaii on Saturday morning, a new image from government officials reveals how confusing the alert system is.Instead of pressing a button, operators of the alert system have to select a link on a list of choices with obscure names like “1.Test Message.” The option that the employee mistakenly clicked on was “PACOM (CDW) - State Only.” The link that should have been clicked on was similarly named “Drill - PACOM (CDW) - State Only.”Many of the names are similar to each other, so it’s easy to see how an employee (either without proper training or caffeine), could click on the wrong link and send off a warning to the public of a ballistic missile threat.On Saturday at 8AM, the employee was simply supposed to test the internal missile alert system, without sending it out to the public.The test is done occasionally, but not by any routine schedule.
While they’ve previously cost a pretty penny, this feature is now available on a wide range of inexpensive headphones and earphones, and I’ve just come across a pretty nice pair that’s worth checking out.Chinese hardware maker OVC’s H15 earphones plug into your phone via the 3.5mm audio jack, promise 60 hours of active noise cancelling (ANC) performance, and feature a useful bass boost.The H15s are largely unremarkable to look at, with simple designs for the earphones, the remote control and the ANC module that’s roughly the size of a flash drive.They come in a simple black finish, and it’s painfully obvious that the various components are all entirely encased in run-of-the-mill plastic.If you’re concerned about how your listening gear looks, you may not find much love in your heart for these.ANC earphones work by listening for environmental noise with a mic and then playing an audio signal with an inverse polarity, so you don’t hear much of the sound around you.
Meltdown and Spectre are not the only security problems Intel is facing these days.Today, researchers at F-Secure have revealed another weakness in Intel's management firmware that could allow an attacker with brief physical access to PCs to gain persistent remote access to the system, thanks to weak security in Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT) firmware—remote "out of band" device management technology installed on 100 million systems over the last decade, according to Intel.Intel had already found other problems with AMT, announcing last May there was a a flaw in some versions of the firmware that could "allow an unprivileged attacker to gain control of the manageability features provided by these products."Then in November of 2017, Intel pushed urgent security patches to PC vendors for additional management firmware vulnerable to such attacks—technologies embedded in most Intel-based PCs shipped since 2015.But the latest vulnerability—discovered in July of 2017 by F-Secure security consultant Harry Sintonen and revealed by the company today in a blog post—is more of a feature than a bug.Notebook and desktop PCs with Intel AMT can be compromised in moments by someone with physical access to the computer—even bypassing BIOS passwords, Trusted Platform Module personal identification numbers, and Bitlocker disk encryption passwords—by rebooting the computer, entering its BIOS boot menu, and selecting configuration for Intel’s Management Engine BIOS Extension (MEBx).
Facebook users can expect to see more posts from their friends and family in their News Feeds in the coming months, the company announced today.Businesses and organizations with Facebook Pages may experience a decline in pageviews and engagement as a result of the change, said Facebook head of News Feed Adam Mosseri.“As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time, and referral traffic decrease,” Mosseri said.In a Facebook post, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would direct product teams to focus on helping people find meaningful social interactions.More public content has meant Facebook has “shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do — help us connect with each other,” Zuckberg said.“Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down.
OBike, a bike-sharing service started from Singapore, has launched a delivery service called oBike Flash.Released a day ago, an app update gives users the option of delivering their items to a destination of their choice.The company is also calling for users to become couriers.To become an oBike “Flashman,” people can simply download an Android app that will allow them to accept orders.The new feature was launched soon after oBike announced that it has enabled 10 million rides.However, the startup faces stiff competition from China’s Ofo and Mobike, which see millions of rides a day and have raised far more funding.
Blizzard announces Twitch deal worth an estimated $90 million.After more than a year of preparation, the first season of Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch League is set to begin tonight (10 January), following the announcement of an exclusive broadcasting deal with Twitch and the launch of team skins in the hit shooter.Twelve city-based teams based around the world will duke it out over four, five-week periods between January and June that comprise the regular season.Playoffs and the grand finals will follow in the latter half of 2018.Twitch will broadcast the competition from the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles for two years in a deal believed to be worth at least $90 million (£66.6 million), according to Sports Business Daily.At the same time as that deal was confirmed, Blizzard added the Overwatch League skins (basically kits) to the game, revealing the real-world cost of the cosmetic items as well.
Fully half of all women working in science, technology, engineering and math fields have experienced gender discrimination, according to a new survey."Discrimination and sexual harassment are seen as more frequent, and gender is perceived as more of an impediment than an advantage to career success," the authors of the Pew report said.Pew surveyed 4,914 adults in the US, 2,344 of whom work in STEM jobs.The survey results come at a time when more and more women are becoming vocal about their experiences with sexual harassment and discrimination, but Pew conducted the poll several months before a wave of sexual harassment accusations took down prominent men from Hollywood to Washington.Though issues of gender inequality aren't confined to one industry, Pew found the problem is worst in STEM fields.In STEM, 50 percent of women reported discrimination, compared with 41 percent in non-STEM jobs.
Backup and security biz Barracuda made the largest profit it has seen in more than three and a half years in its third fiscal 2018 quarter, its last as a public company.Revenues were $94.7m, up 7 per cent year-on-year and $400,000 on a quarterly basis.Net income was $7.8m, compared to the previous quarter's $1.6m.Subscription revenue grew to $77.3m, up 13 per cent from $68.3m a year ago, representing 82 per cent of total revenue, and shrinking appliance revenue was $17.5m, compared with $20.5m a year ago.The number of active subscribers grew 16 per cent to over 360,000 as of November 30, 2017.The annualised renewal rate from subscriptions on a dollar basis was 101 per cent.
For years people insisted that their phones magically slowed down when newer models were released, which was often dismissed as a trick of the mind among other things.Then it was revealed Apple really has started slowing down older handsets, purportedly to prevent ageing batteries from crashing iOS.This made a lot of people very angry and was widely regarded as a bad move, since people saw it as Apple deliberately slowing down older handsets to increase the sales of newer models.That concept is known as planned obsolescence, and it's illegal in France - which is why the country is investigating.Prosecutors are launching an investigation into the company, which is being led by the economy ministry's consumer protection agency, and follows a complaint from pro-consumer group Stop Planned Obsolescence (Hop).According to Hop an investigation makes France the third country to investigate Apple's actions (after US and Israel), but is the first where planned obsolescence is illegal.
At CES 2018 in Las Vegas, HP is excited to show visitors its stylish new laptop, which it claims is the world’s most powerful convertible computer.It comes with the latest 8th gen Intel Core i7 processor to allow for graphics-intensive activities like editing 4K video and rendering 3D models, offers up to 12 hours of battery life, supports stylus input for drawing and scribbling on the 4K touch display, and lets you juice up to 50 percent power in just 30 minutes.And the 15-inch variant is just 19.5mm thick.The stunning new HP Spectre x360 shares its name with one of the biggest security flaws in the history of computing.Spectre is one of two security holes found by researchers last week in the architecture of most modern processor chips that could be exploited to steal passwords and supposedly secure data.It’s found in hundreds of thousands of processors made by Intel and AMD; in the case of the former, the flaw affects chips dating back to 1995.
Today at CES 2018, HTC put the emphasis on its new premium, PC-based virtual reality.The Vive Pro takes the original and turns everything up to eleven, boosting the sound and visual capabilities of the headset.While the original Vive will still be sold as HTC’s entry-level headset, the Vive Pro is meant for gamers, developers, and anyone who wants the best VR experience money can buy.The resolution has gone up to 2,880 x 1,600, which is a solid increase over the original.These are dual-OLED displays with a 78 percent increase in pixel count, bringing it up from 448 to 615 pixels per inch.In the same way that HDTVs probably didn’t convince anyone who didn’t own a TV to buy one, the Vive Pro still feels a bit niche.
Ring revealed a collection of home security devices this week at CES 2018.These devices include the Stick Up Cam, Stick Up Cam Elite, Ring Beams, Ring Alarm, and a new Ring Protect Plan.This Ring Protect Plan is at the center of the Ring home security push, bringing on 24/7 professional monitoring and cloud video storage for any number of Ring devices at any one location.The Ring Alarm includes a base station, a keypad, a contact sensor for a window or a door, and a passive infrared sensor (PIR.)This system also includes a Z-Wave Extender.This Ring Alarm device will be shipping in the spring of 2018, and bundles with this alarm device were announced to start at around $199 USD.