Letha Byrd

Letha Byrd

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Following 14
UK
MPs have slammed government's approach of touting tech "as its magic solution to customs post Brexit" in a Parliamentary debate.Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, was discussing the Cross Border Trade Bill, which will lay the groundwork for Blighty exiting the EU customs union.He said the government has outlined an option to create "a highly streamlined customs arrangement, which comprises a number of measures to help to minimise barriers to trade, from negotiating the continuation of some existing trade facilitations to the introduction of new, technology-based solutions".However, some MPs were sceptical of the ability of government tech to deliver.Labour MP Peter Dowd said: "Although the Treasury is keen to tout technology as its magic solution to customs post Brexit, ministers have failed to offer specifics on what a new customs system will look like and on whether it will even be ready in time."At the same time, there remains huge underlying questions about whether the current customs declaration service programme can deal with the sheer workload and pressure post Brexit.
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China
Nvidia is taking gaming to the next level by announcing a new series of 65-inch 4K HDR gaming monitors built with Nvidia’s G-SYNC technology, and it comes with inbuilt Android TV.These Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD) are produced by a collaboration between Acer, ASUS and HP, and they will be up for display at CES 2018.With the BFGD, all HDR contents are fun to behold as these large display HDR panels come with full DCI-P3 coverage, 1000-nits peak brightness and full-array backlighting.The monitor syncs its refresh rate to the GPU output as the gaming panel comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and G-SYNC.Viewers don’t have to worry about judders while watching as it has been reduced since the refresh rate permits specific refresh rates such as 23.976, 24 and 25Hz to match the refresh rate of cinema content.The BFGD comes with LCD panel although the specifics are still under wraps.
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While the size-to-capability balance of Micro Four Thirds cameras really can't be beat, the smaller-than-APS-C-size sensors can be a drag in low light.With Sony's full-frame, low-light-champion A7S II as competition, Panasonic took a necessary step backward.It created a 10.2-megapixel Four Thirds sensor for the Lumix GH5S, about half the resolution of the 20MP version in the GH5 in order to increase the low-light sensitivity to a native ISO 51,200 -- only a stop short of the larger sensor in the Sony.It also allows the camera to support 14-bit raw stills, something that's been lacking in Micro Four Thirds models as well, which have been stuck at 12-bit for a while.One way Panasonic has decreased low-light noise is with something called Dual Native ISO Technology.If I understand it correctly, it creates a bimodal noise distribution (around ISO 400 and ISO 2500) to reduce the ranges across which it has to apply noise suppression.
UK
The cat is well and truly out of the bag, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ star Courtney Act has finally arrived in the ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ house.Prior to entering the ‘CBB’ residence, HuffPost UK caught up with Courtney to chat about how she hopes to promote issues of gender and sexuality, why she doesn’t think she should win and how she “certainly hasn’t” asked ‘Drag Race’ judge Michelle Visage for any tips on surviving in the house...What are your initial feelings about going into the house?She’s someone who voted against LGBT+ rights throughout her political career, and you obviously represent the complete opposite of that.Having said that, I respect that she’s a very intelligent woman, she’s not like one of these stupid people who somehow came to power… she knows what she’s talking about.I’m obviously not going to change any of her opinions, but I do hope to perhaps understand how she thinks that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose what happens to her body or why she thinks pregnant women in prison should be shackled while in labour, or why she’s against trans rights, or why she supports the death penalty.
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You can stick Amazon's Alexa into all sorts of things: speakers, cars, phones, watches, robots, refrigerators.Add smartglasses to that list.Vuzix, makers of various smartglasses and Google Glass-like head wearables for years, will have a final version of its newest pair of smartglasses at CES in Las Vegas, and it looks like it will be compatible with Amazon's Alexa.Bloomberg broke the news Friday in an interview with Vuzix CEO Paul Travers.It won't be last wearable to connect with Alexa.Amazon has recently made it a lot easier for watches, headphones and more to work with Alexa.
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The line currently has more than 1,400 products, with sales up 19% in the most recent financial quarter.The Cincinnati-based retailer didn't say how many new products it would introduce, though it did single out beverages, snacks and non-animal proteins for expansion.Kroger's private label offerings — or "Our Brands," as the retailer refers to them — comprise 28.2% of unit sales and 25.6% of sales dollars, excluding fuel and pharmacy."Our Brands is shaping the way we are redefining the grocery customer experience as outlined in our Restock Kroger plan," Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of merchandising, said in a statement.Kroger has grabbed headlines lately with its moves outside of grocery, but two of its greatest advantages lie in its use of data and its private label selection.Since its debut in 2012, Simple Truth has grown into a nearly $2 billion business that touches everything from sports drinks to meatless entrees and baby food.
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UK
And two other security bugsVMware on Tuesday published a security advisory for its vSphere Data Protection (VDP) backup and recovery product.The virtualization giant identified three vulnerabilities, one of which it deems critical, with the two others categorized as important.The issues affect VDP 5.x, 6.0.x, and 6.1.x.CVE-2017-15548 is the critical flaw, which the biz described as a remote authentication bypass.If exploited, it could allow a remote unauthenticated attacker to bypass authentication protections, and gain root control of the server.
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These maps are in the process of enabling all kinds of new features, most of which we can only guess at, but iRobot will be giving us a peek at what they're working on with a late Christmas present: a new beta program for Roombas.The Wi-Fi Coverage Map feature is the first to be available as part of iRobot Beta, a program that enables a limited number of iRobot customers to trial unreleased product features for the company’s consumer robots.Users can then work to determine ways to fix Wi-Fi issues, resulting in an improved customer experience when using connected devices within the home.The user will be able to toggle between the familiar Clean Map Report, which shows where Roomba cleaned, and the Wi-Fi Coverage Map.The bad news is that you can only join the Beta program if you have a 900 series Roomba, and the really bad news is that even if you have a 900 series Roomba, you have to apply to the program, and at least initially, "the program will have limited availability and not all users who request access will be accepted."It's not a particularly impressive thing for a robot to be able to do, since it's already moving around your entire floor while connected to Wi-Fi all the time.
UK
Following the fallout over Apple's admission that it slowed down iPhone CPUs for most of 2017 as a means of making older phones work for longer, Apple said it would allow customers to buy replacement batteries for $29/£25 as opposed to the usual $79/£79.The catch, though, is that your phone had to pass a diagnostic test at an Apple Store.If your phone's battery was still at 80% capacity or above, then, sorry, no battery replacement for you!But in its efforts to get back into customers’ good graces, Apple has apparently done away even with that requirement.As of now, anyone with an iPhone 6 or newer device should be able to merely ask for a battery replacement and receive one for $29/£25, according to an internal memo that was obtained by iGeneration (and confirmed as authentic by MacRumors).Anecdotal evidence also suggests that you may be able to get a refund for the difference if you happened to pay for a battery replacement at the original full price of $79/£79 before the new policy went into effect, but this is likely on a case-by-base basis.
US
Financial security company Northwestern Mutual, with its new campaign "Spend Your Life Living", aims to reframe people's idea of planning for their financial futures, and help them feel empowered.The four spots titled "Backyard Bliss," "This Call's for You," "Fish Out of Water" and "Ocean, Whoa" are created by GSD and tap into each of the consumer insights.The campaign will kick off on 1st January, 2018.Northwestern Mutual will take over part of the tailgate outside of the Rose Bowl stadium to recreate a massive end zone, encouraging fans to join and share their best touchdown dance on social media with SpendLifeLiving.The Northwestern Mutual "Touchdown Dance" will also be recreated at the College Football Playoff National Championship game on January 8.Aditi Gokhale, chief marketing officer, Northwestern Mutual said: "Our research uncovered the constant struggle Americans are experiencing between living for now and saving for later.People are in a balancing act of how they can enjoy today while preparing for tomorrow, and this results in massive anxiety.
US
By combining tools like artificial intelligence, social media, and crowdsourcing apps, researchers think they can help these communities prepare for devastating natural disasters.The Dundee team set out to develop an early flood detection system, beginning with a hyper-resolution urban flooding computer model.For reliability, the researchers needed to validate the model’s results against actual data received on the ground.Satellite remote sensing is expensive and too often tainted by technical problems in urban areas, while on-the-ground sensor networks are costly to install and maintain.Wang and his colleagues found an alternative in Twitter and MyCoast, a crowdsourcing app that collects data on coastal conditions, such as erosion and tides.By scanning Twitter for keywords like “flood,” “dam,” and “levee” the team could identify a flood-like event.
US
Switzerland-based Sirin Labs announced today that its initial coin offering has raised $157.8 million, the fourth-largest such offering in a year that has been defined by an explosion in blockchain-driven crowdfunding.Sirin’s Finney lineup of devices includes a smartphone and personal computer that have blockchain technology baked in to provide what the company promises is greater security and protection against cybercrime and hacks.Indeed, Sirin’s mobile phone will come preloaded with mobile Ethereum client Status, making it the first phone secure enough to hold cryptographic coins.Read more: The first blockchain smartphone will come preloaded with mobile Ethereum client Status“We are both humbled and thrilled by the support that Finney has received during the course of our crowdsale,” said Moshe Hogeg, founder and co-CEO of Sirin, in a statement.“Becoming the fourth-largest crowdsale of the year shows both the need in the market, and usefulness of having devices that can support and secure cryptocurrencies.
US
YouTube TV finally has a full app, but the rollout to various TV devices is taking longer than originally planned.The apps for Roku and Apple TV, originally slated to launch before the end of 2017, are now scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.Also planned for the Q1 timeframe, a YouTube representative told me, are apps for older smart TVs, namely Samsung sets from 2014 and 2015, and Sony TVs that use the older Linux-based operating system, as opposed to Android TV.YouTube TV is a $35-per-month live TV service aimed at cable cord-cutters.Unlike the free YouTube you know so well, populated by cat videos, how-tos and myriad independent channels and shows, YouTube TV is a direct competitor to cable TV.Available in more than 80 cities nationwide, it offers local TV channels such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC as well as cable stalwarts like AMC, ESPN, the Disney Channel, Fox News and Bravo.
US
Hulu, which launched a live TV service in addition to its catalog of offerings this year, has released some new data about what its users tuned into this year.The streaming service didn’t disclose how many people subscribe, but let’s get into some of the interesting statistics Hulu has revealed:No compatible source was found for this video.Like the infographic states, people were watching comedies more often in 2017 when compared to 2016.Viewers watched 36 percent more comedic movies, and people watched more top comedy shows like Parks and Recreation, Black-ish and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.The most watched movie was Daddy’s Home, which was viewed more than 12 million times in 2017 alone.
US
Scientists who love Star Wars say the movies are science fantasy, not science fiction.You might assume that "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," which is still set in a “galaxy far, far away,” would have little to do with the physics life on Earth.Grazier, a computer science professor at West Point, also made sure the cinematic science was sound in films like "Gravity" and the TV series "Battlestar Galactica."The idea that a lightsaber that can cut, melt, and burn through just about anything, and the notion that Jedis can use a force to project themselves into distant battlegrounds are both pretty far-fetched.For a devoted Star Wars fan like Grazier, that's okay.Here are four of the coolest ways that the characters in Star Wars are (almost) like us.
China
Following a hike of 5% in import taxes on smartphones, Apple phones have gotten more expensive in India.The hike was just announced a few days back on appliances including imported televisions, video cameras and mobile phones.It is understood that this move is to energize the “Make in India” initiative of the government.As it is, the iPhone X was priced exorbitantly higher in India than its standard $1000 price.When launched, the iPhone X cost Rs 89,000, which translates to around $1400.Now we have another bump in that price tag.
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But he can also flash a smile that melts your heart.And that's notable because I'm a tech fan boy.It's also an issue because bad products may end up hurting an industry that's still so small that few analyst firms follow it.That's part of the reason founders like Naya Health's CEO Janica Alvarez are frustrated by venture capitalists who just don't appear to understand women in technology at all.He called it "disgusting," she told Bloomberg.(Alvarez successfully turned to Kickstarter for her second product, a $79 smart bottle, due early next year).
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A Christmas Story Live!, based on the 1983 film and 2012 Broadway musical, airs Sunday.NBC’s annual December live musical has become a holiday season TV tradition, but for the first time in five years, the network is on the sidelines this month after postponing Bye Bye Birdie Live!And, as has been the case with several recent live musicals, the network is partnering with a major brand—Old Navy, the show’s exclusive retail partner—for integrations, six-second and 30-second ads and Facebook Live backstage access.So does his company’s ad sales team.While NBC’s subsequent efforts—live productions of Peter Pan, The Wiz and Hairspray—haven’t replicated those lofty numbers (those three averaged 12 million and a 3.3 demo rating in live-plus-7), the network has continued to rake in ad revenue.“The musicals have been particularly successful because they’re fresh and new, and the fact that they’re done live gives people a reason to tune in live,” says Jill Isherwood, vp, associate director of broadcast research at GSD “And generationally, there’s a love for this genre” thanks to shows like Glee.
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Many people don't worry about the security of their personal information until it's too late.And protecting data is even more important for military personnel, whose lives could be in danger if some types of information were to get into the wrong hands.Now, one group reports in ACS Nano a new way to protect data, especially when it is subjected to extreme environmental conditions.According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the financial loss from cybercrime in the U.S. was over $1.3 billion in 2016.As this number is only expected to rise in the upcoming years, the military, businesses and individuals are seeking new ways to guard their information.As a result, experts have proposed alternative security methods based on hardware.
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Instagram’s feed is changing with new options to follow hashtags but that is not quite all of the changes in store for the photo-focused social platform.Instagram recently confirmed the test of “recommended for you” posts that will display images from users that you aren’t already following.While only in testing for a handful of users, the recommended feature would put posts in the news feed based on posts friends have also liked or commented on and possible suggested posts powered by algorithms.The change would make Instagram a bit more like Facebook by adding recommended posts and not just posts from friends.Instagram says that the feature isn’t entirely new — users can already find posts that friends have liked or other users that friends are now following by scrolling through the following tab inside the notifications or heart icon.The tested feature, however, would move some of those posts into the regular feed.
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