The holidays are an expensive time, so we’re bringing you a special treat: a full, free Windows program to download every day until Christmas.Behind the ninth door on our free downloads advent calendar we've hidden Ashampoo HDD Control 2017 – an early warning system that lets you know in advance if one of your hard drives is about to fail, giving you time to back up your valuable data.SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) checks the temperature of your disks and provides information on run time, potential errors and performance.Ashampoo HDD Control 2017 takes this data and analyzes it to give you a full picture of your drives' health.Ashampoo HDD Control 2017 can also boost the performance of your hard disks and visualize the amount of memory used by your files, helping you find and remove large or duplicated ones.There's even a built-in secure file eraser, plus a recovery tool that gives you a second chance to restore data you've deleted accidentally.
“The important thing is always what hits you first — the vibe or the atmosphere of a song.”It’s always nice to see true groundbreakers get their due.Take Slowdive, one of the pioneers of Britain’s shoegazing movement of the late-’80s and early-’90s — an exciting time when young bands were hell-bent on turning up the distortion, blaring the feedback, and distorting their vocals beyond recognition.Slowdive burned bright (and damn loud) for a few good years during that movement before succumbing to an extended hiatus.But rather than fading away into a permanent state of Footnoteville, their influence only grew, as EDM artists and innovative post-rock bands like Beach House, Mogwai, Sigur Rós, Dive, and Beach Fossils (to name but a few) all embraced Slowdive’s shoegazing ideals.I guess it was a bit like getting back on a bike, and it was really enjoyable.
Uber has struck a major deal in Southeast Asia after ComfortDelGro, Singapore’s largest taxi operator, announced [PDF] it has agreed to buy a majority share of the ride-hailing giant’s Singapore-based business.The deal is subject to regulatory approval, but if and when completed it will give Uber exclusive access to Comfort’s fleet of more than 15,000 vehicles in Singapore.While its fleet has decreased over the past year, Comfort — which also operates the CityCab brand — has a dominant share of Singapore’s total of 25,325 taxis.“ComfortDelGro has been in the taxi business for close to five decades and we have seen the industry evolve significantly.The question many have been asking is: For how long?” ComfortDelGro Chairman Lim Jit Poh said in a statement.Comfort, which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, announced it was in talks with Uber over a “potential strategic alliance” in August so the tie-in doesn’t come out of the blue.
Blockchain down under, as Australia becomes first global market to adopt it for stock exchangeThe main stock exchange in Australia has announced it will replace its current clearing system with a blockchain (or distributed ledger technology) system.The decision will mean that Australia becomes the global market to adopt the technology, in order to record shareholdings and manage the clearing and settlement of equity transactions in Australia.The Aussie decision comes after seven major European banks (Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and Unicredit) announced in the summer that they will built a Digital Trade Chain platform on IBM Blockchain.Blockchain of course is a digital technology for recording and verifying transactions.Until recently, it has mostly associated as a global online ledger that underpins the bitcoin digital currency.
Privacy International: Companies need to be explicit, not rely on fine printCar rental companies should offer customers explicit information on what happens to data that has been sucked up by connected cars, a civil rights group has said.In a report published today, Privacy International criticised car rental firms for “relying on the small print in terms and conditions” when it came to dealing with data amassed by in-car entertainment systems.These infotainment systems sync up to mobile devices via Bluetooth, and store a range of data such as location logs, as well as information from on-board systems for web browsing, making phone calls or streaming music.This has implications for consumer privacy, PI argued, as the data could be personal, and associated with an identifiable individual.As an example, it pointed to a case where a man in the US tracked down the kids who took his Jeep for a joyride via the info they’d left in his infotainment system.
Just introduced to the world at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the crossover is powered by the world's first production variable-compression ratio engine.It's a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder called the VC-Turbo, and it represents a huge leap forward for internal combustion engine technology.By altering the distance that the piston head travels within its cylinder, the VC-Turbo can operate with a compression ratio as low as 8:1 (for maximum performance) or as high as 14:1 (for maximum efficiency).The engine is as powerful as the older naturally aspirated 3.5L VQ V6 in the previous QX50 and makes more torque, but it's also smaller, lighter, and a lot more fuel-efficient.Instead of just having a connecting rod between the crankshaft and piston head, there's now a multilink arrangement around the crankshaft, with the con-rod attached to one end.It's this harmonic drive that controls the distance that the piston travels within the cylinder by changing the angle of the multilink and, therefore, the top-dead-center position of the piston.
Telecoms.com periodically invites third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues.As far as the operator is concerned, this is the time when, far too often, the moment of truth quickly becomes the moment of churn – because the power in the top-up process lies with the agent on the ground and not with the operator’s marketing and sales team.In fact it leads to churn rates in emerging markets that touch 35 per cent per year as the agents push the consumer towards the network which is offering – that week – the best commission levels and incentives.These agent reward schemes often fluctuate from month to month as operators try to get an edge in the marketplace; but arguably they only serve to fuel churn.To try to wrestle back control, and effectively put off the moment of churn, some operators use simple emergency lending to keep a customer connected for a limited period of time if their balance falls to zero.The thinking behind the emergency loan is simple – customers are less likely to swap SIMs and more likely to stay with a network that helped them in their time of need – no airtime credit and no money.
Game emulation is a pretty thorny and murky subject.On the one hand, you have some valid arguments for encouraging emulation, especially for long gone platforms.On the other hand, it’s often used for less than legally sound cases.Whichever way you swing, there is one thing that makes any sort of game emulation a technically fascinating and impressive feat.And that is the ability to run even triple-A games using reverse engineering methods and a near-infinite amount of patience, like what developers of the PS3 emulator RPCS3 have accomplished.When you load a PS3 game in RPCS3 and it runs successfully, you better appreciate the painstaking work that has gone to make that possible.
At present, the Voyager spacecraft is 21 billion kilometers from Earth, or about 141 times the distance between the Earth and Sun.It has, in fact, moved beyond our Solar System into interstellar space.However, we can still communicate with Voyager across that distance.This week, the scientists and engineers on the Voyager team did something very special.They commanded the spacecraft to fire a set of four trajectory thrusters for the first time in 37 years to determine their ability to orient the spacecraft using 10-millisecond pulses.After sending the commands on Tuesday, it took 19 hours and 35 minutes for the signal to reach Voyager.
While it’s magnificent that you can connect to the internet while you’re soaring in a metal tube miles above ground, there are still shitheads who are going to use this modern wonder for evil.Most recently, a passenger aboard a flight from Nairobi to Istanbul created a Wi-Fi hotspot and named the network “bomb on board,” which prompted an emergency landing.The Turkish Airlines flight landed in Sudan after the suspicious Wi-Fi network was detected, Reuters reported, and resumed after the plane and all 100 passengers had gone through a security inspection.“Experts said the wi-fi network in question was created on board,” the airline told Reuters.“No irregularities were seen after security procedures were carried out, and passengers were brought back on the plane once boarding restarted.”This isn’t the first time the discovery of a nefariously named Wi-Fi network threw a wrench in a bunch of people’s travel plans.
The movie, directed by the Russo Brothers, stars just about everyone who has been in a recent Marvel film.Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Dr.Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Ironman (Robert Downey Jr.), are just a handful of the heroes going to war against Thanos (Josh Brolin) and the Black Order.The villains in the Black Order (Marvel revealed in July) include Ebony Maw, Black Dwarf, Proxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive.Aside from Thanos and Ebony Maw, played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, the cast portraying the villainous group has not been announced.If you watch the trailer very carefully though, you might be able to spot Proxima Midnight throwing a spear at Captain America at the 1:20 mark.
The deals, covering areas such as database and big data analysis, give customers access to cloud-style pricing for remotely managed, on-premises hardwareHPE has launched a series of on-premises pay-per-use workload services that combine on-premises hardware with cloud-style pricing.The new offerings are based on the existing Flex Capacity service, which offers on-premises, pay-per-use infrastructure through HPE’s Pointnext services group, but expands the concept into specific workloads such as big data analysis and SAP HANA.The new range, now branded HPE GreenLake, kicked off the HPE Discover conference in Madrid and initially sees infrastructure managed directly by HPE, with a reseller version currently undergoing trials.With GreenLake HPE is tapping into growing demand for cloud-style pay-per-use computing, while acknowledging firms aren’t necessarily prepared to shift important workloads to a remote data centre.IBM targets the same need with its recently launched Cloud Private software platform, and last month HPE teamed up with Rackspace to offer OpenStack Private Cloud, which uses a pricing model similar to the public cloud combined with HPE hardware that can be hosted on the customer’s premises, by Rackspace or at a third-party colocation space.
Black Eyed Peas musician Will.i.am released an augmented reality app for his graphic novel "Masters of the Sun: The Zombie Chronicles'."The app lets fans go deeper into the storyline and characters.Stan Lee narrates the experience, and celebrities like Mary J Blige, Rosario Dawson, and Snoop Dog add voiceovers.Your comic book-loving grandpa is about to get a shock.On Friday, musician and Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am released an augmented reality app that takes the pages of the graphic novel he published earlier this year and brings them to life.Hold the your phone over the book and the story's zombies are enlivened with animation; characters in the graphic novel get voiceovers from a laundry list of celebrities including Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, Mary J Blige, Rosario Dawson, and Snoop Dog.
The 2019 Porsche 911 Turbo has been spied out cruising around for testing and it looks mean.The car clearly has very wide bodywork to fit some very meaty tires under the fenders.These shots are the first seen of the car and surprisingly it has no camo to hide the new touches.Perhaps with the minimal changes traditionally made to the 911, Porsche thought no one would be the wiser.The Turbo has extended wheel arches and air vents in front of each wheel, something that has been common on turbo models.The front grille of the car is much flatter than previous versions and there are new headlights in the front fenders.
Forza Horizon developer Playground Games has confirmed it is working on an open-world action role-playing game (ARPG) with staffers previously involved in titles including Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Grand Theft Auto V, and Helblade: Senua's Sacrifice.Having previously specialised in racing games through the successful Forza franchise, PlayGround Games has confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that it is expanding into a second 200-person studio - doubling its overall headcount - which will be working on the company's first non-racing title, an as-yet unnamed action role-playing game (ARPG) set in an open world.That the company is serious about the project is revealed from the list of high-profile employees it has poached for the new studio: GamesIndustry.biz's research has tipped up Sean Eyestone, formerly senior producer of ill-fated Star Wars-themed casino-cum-shooter Battlefront II and prior to that a Kojima Productions staffer working on Metal Gear Solid titles including well-received Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain; designer Will Kennedy from Rockstar North where he worked as a level and game designer on Grand Theft Auto V; and Juan Fernandez di Simon, formerly a senior designer for Ninja Theory's Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice.Although the company confirmed the opening of the new studio to the industry outlet, it has so far proven tight-lipped on the precise nature of its upcoming ARPG.For Playground Games, though, it's potentially a make-or-break project which if successful could launch it beyond racing titles or otherwise relegate it to the status of 'the studio that makes Forza games'.
Black Friday is one of the most important days for retail, with 0ne third of annual sales occurring in the fourth quarter.Many retail stocks are trading higher on Friday.It's Black Friday in the US, and shoppers across the country are waking up early to take advantage of the shopping holiday.Retail stocks are mostly higher on Friday, as some companies could post their best sales days of the year.Goldman Sachs estimates that as much as a third of annual retail sales come in the fourth quarter, making holiday shopping incredibly important for many stores.Goldman also thinks that retail stocks will be more heavily traded on Friday, leading to more price volatility and opportunity for traders, even though the trading day is shorter than normal.
Alexa, the helpful assistant best known as the voice of Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices, offers a range of "skills" right out of the box.It can perform a variety of tasks such as looking up information, setting a timer, playing music, activating smart home devices and more.You can do what Sharon Machlis did and code your own.Machlis, IDG's director of editorial analytics and data, explained to Computerworld Executive Editor Ken Mingis why you might want to develop your own skill and detailed some of the things to keep in mind if you decide to do so.[ Further reading: Alexa skill tutorial: How to write your first voice-assistant app ]While Amazon already offers a number of skills templates, it's useful to know how to modify those in ways that personalize the tasks Alexa can tackle.
Investment bankers have gotten used to being asked by worried retail-industry chief executives to pitch takeover ideas aimed at fending off Amazon.com Inc.Now the fear has spread to media, health care and many other sectors, where CEOs dread the breathtaking competitive advancements made by not just Amazon but also Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Netflix Inc.So far this month, about $200 billion of deals have been announced in the U.S., according to Dealogic.AT Inc.’s planned purchase of Time Warner Inc. for about $85 billion would combine a huge but slowing mobile-phone business and the DirecTV satellite-television operation with a content machine that includes Time Warner, the owner of CNN and HBO.In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, he added: “Tech companies are spending billions creating content and distributing it directly to consumers.” AT’s planned purchase “gives Time Warner the opportunity to do the same, across multiple platforms and with ad-supported models that cost consumers less.”Walt Disney Co.’s expression of interest in a big chunk of 21st Century Fox Inc.’s assets was prompted in part by the success of Netflix, the fast-growing streaming video company, according to people familiar with the situation.
Nutrition and the health of the human body is an ever-changing mine field that at times can prove really tricky to navigate as we try our best to live the healthiest lifestyle possible.In the simplest terms, our gut is made up of ‘good bacteria’; our gut flora.It’s no wonder that the moment our babies emerge mewling from the womb, health professionals encourage breast feeding in order to preserve and develop this magic bacteria from the word go - nor is it a surprise that the health world seem to have changed their view on antibiotics as research has now shown it may take up to 12 months to replenish the good bacteria following just one course.Pretty counter-productive when you consider the role the gut plays in warding off infection, don’t you think?Experts say that before you can start to repair, rebuild and maintain a healthy gut, we must first rule out any common ‘offenders’ in our diets that many people have trouble digesting: gluten, eggs, yeast, dairy, corn, peanuts and even grains.We are all different and the foods that affect us can change from person to person.
Earlier this year, remotely piloted robots transmitted what officials believe was a direct view of melted radioactive fuel inside Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s destroyed reactors—a major discovery, but one that took a long and painful six years to achieve.In the meantime, the programme to clean up the destroyed reactors has seen numerous setbacks and concerns, including delays on Japanese electrical utility Tepco’s timetable to begin removing the highly radioactive fuel and continued leakage of small amounts of radioactive substances.Japanese officials are now hoping that they can convince a sceptical public that the worst of the disaster is over, the New York Times reported, but it’s not clear whether it’s too late despite the deployment of 7,000 workers and massive resources to return the region to something approaching normal.Per the Times, officials admit the recovery plan—involving the complete destruction of the plant, rather than simply building a concrete sarcophagus around it as the Russians did in Chernobyl—will take decades and tens of billions of dollars.Currently, Tepco plans to begin removing waste from one of the three contaminated reactors at the plant by 2021, “though they have yet to choose which one.”“Until now, we didn’t know exactly where the fuel was, or what it looked like,” Tepco manager Takahiro Kimoto told the Times.