Malcolm Vanderveen

Malcolm Vanderveen

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Following 14
UK
Beeb bigwig reckons £75m saved in IT could help pay parity.Exclusive Hundreds of IT roles at the BBC are to be offshored to cheaper wage locations, under a £560m contract renewal coming into force with its incumbent outsourcing giant Atos.In a conference call with 300 staff - heard by The Register - Atos bosses said the new Aurora IT contract model will involve a "significant amount of offshoring and new tooling".The workers were warned they will be pushed into an "availability pool" where some may be redeployed to another role within the company.But only a fraction are expected to be retained on the BBC account, with most of those local roles to be exported to Atos centres in Poland and India, sources told us.In total, around 400 Atos staff have worked on Auntie's tech support agreement, and may have done so for the past decade when the agreement was first reached.
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UK
From the sludgy corridors of Doom to the vast art deco chambers of Bioshock, great games take places in intricately realised worlds where every aspect – from armour to architecture – reflects a consistent visual theme.As in the movie industry, the creation of detailed virtual worlds often involves the production of concept art – reams of sketches and paintings, based on early script drafts and discussions, fashioned to provide a target look for designers, artists and coders.“The idea is to establish the big picture of the game, like a visual pitch, not only for artists and designers, but pretty much everyone on the team,” says lead visual designer of Arkane Studios, Emmanuel Petit.“I believe this helps in keeping us energised, and gives us something concrete and exciting to work towards.”Arkane Studios, creator of acclaimed first-person adventures Dishonored and Prey, produces some of the most fascinating, atmospheric and idiosyncratic worlds in the modern games industry.The game, set aboard a space station beset by shape-shifting alien invaders, is filled with fascinating artefacts and architectural flourishes.
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US
by Antonio García Martínez | photographs by Lisette PooleYou’ll be sitting in the magnificently beautiful ruin of Havana, surrounded by decaying stonework and pastel-colored Detroit rolling iron, and you’ll be ignoring it all to swipe down on your Facebook feed like a cocaine addict licking his snort mirror—which you are, of course: a depraved cokehead trying to get a hit.And you’ll scroll over the same content you swiped over 15 minutes ago, pretending that it might have refreshed and that it might provide the dopamine rush your brain is demanding.Yet it does not refresh.Your fix will come in the form of a small green scratch-off card, almost like a lottery ticket and usually costing a quarter of the average weekly Cuban wage.Some quick work with a coin will reveal two horribly long strings of numbers, and along with a hunched-over clutch of other addicts, you’ll enter the numbers into the password page of ETECSA, Cuba’s government-run telecommunications monopoly, whose design aesthetics are solidly 1997.
Sweden
the ruling coalition parties had agreed have chosen to bring a no-confidence vote against interior minister Anders Ygeman (S) minister for infrastructure Anna Johansson (S) minister for defence Peter Hultqvist (S) after their handling of it-the scandal of the transport board.”The security has been compromised, and we take very seriously,” says Research leader Anna Kinberg Batra, to SVT News.in Addition, the Alliance also has the Party set path critical to the management of it-the scandal.But the party leader Jonas Sjöstedt to report to Expressen that the party will not endorse the Alliance's vote of no confidence.”We will not vote for a far-reaching distrust.However, we will perhaps put on a private mistrust of any individual minister in charge,” he says to Expressen.
US
Adobe today announced that Flash, the once-ubiquitous plugin that allowed you to play your first Justin Bieber video on YouTube and Dolphin Olympics 2 on Kongregate, will be phased out by the end of 2020.At that point, Adobe will stop updating and distributing Flash.Until then, Adobe will still partner with the likes of Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft and Google to offer security updates for Flash in their browsers and support new versions of them, but beyond that, Adobe will not offer any new Flash features.Adobe also notes that it plans to be more aggressive about ending support for Flash “in certaingeographies where unlicensed and outdated versions of Flash Player are being distributed.”To some degree, today’s announcement doesn’t come as a major surprise.
China
Ulefone have just officially launched one of the most interesting phones to hit the market in the past months — the Ulefone T1.The handset will go on presale starting July 31st but before that you’ll be able to get $100 coupons, $40 gift bags and enter the giveaway by buying tickets at $1 each.Let’s now learn some more about the phone!The Ulefone T1 comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD display coated in Corning Gorilla Glass 3, encased in a CNC machined full metal body.The phone boasts the latest powerful and efficient MediaTek Helio P25 clocked at 2.6Ghz, paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (expandable up to 256GB).So you’re going to have more than enough juice to go through most of the games, with the peace of mind of having a ton of RAM and somewhat “unlimited” storage.
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UK
There are security fuck-ups and there are legendary security fuck-ups.This one clearly falls into the latter category.Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven confirmed at a press conference on Monday that his administration potentially exposed the personal information of millions of Sweden’s citizens.Normally, for a fuck-up to be legendary, it needs the benefit of time—something doesn’t just instantly become a legend.Well, even though this story is just now getting attention, the initial fuck-up occurred back in September of 2015.That’s when the Swedish Transport Agency (STA) started outsourcing its database and IT service management to private companies like IBM in the Czech Republic and NCR in Serbia.
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They all have to be tested before they roll out into the world, not only to meet government regulations but to verify adherence to a host of voluntary standards, like WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Thread and others.And that’s why TUV Rheinland recently opened a huge Silicon Valley test facility in Fremont, Calif.It’s important for testing to be near the design teams, says TUV Rheinland’s Sarb Shelopal, the company’s global director of wireless and IoT testing.“Typically at the testing point,” says Shelopal, “a product team typically involves eight to ten people, but could be as big as 100, including safety engineers, software engineers, and hardware engineers.(SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate, is a measure of the rate at which the body absorbs RF energy; governments specific limits for certain products, like mobile phones.It’s performed using models of humans filled with goo to simulate brain or body tissue.)
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UK
Back in June, we enthused about features coming to macOS High Sierra, but now we've taken a deep dive into the public beta, we've got a better idea of how those new bits and bobs actually work.Here are the eight things that most tickled our happy place, plus a handy cut-out-and-keep guide to installing High Sierra without blowing up your Mac.(Top tip: don’t attack your monitor with scissors.Live Photos are gimmicky, but also fab, infusing stills with life when you hover the cursor over them.(Insert Harry Potter magic joke here.)But in High Sierra, you can finally edit them.
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UK
Behold, the neural network gizmo Chipzilla will quietly kill in two years, like its wearablesIntel, having accepted the inevitable, has dropped out of the wearables and fitness band game, and canned the teams working on that strap-on tech.Now it's shifted its attention to the next thing it will presumably quickly lose interest in: a USB stick for running machine-learning workloads.Since around 2015, Intel has been going bonkers for smartwatches, health trackers, drones, toys, and similar gizmos – yet it hasn't really talked about them in what feels like ages.Last month, Intel killed off a bunch of chips that were supposed to the used in the embedded and low-end space.Last year, Intel rid itself of Basis, its fancy smartwatches.
UK
Google Play Music users can now access the app through Apple’s CarPlay, with a new update quietly adding it to the short list of third-party services.The new version of Google’s music app joins Amazon, Spotify, and a select few others with CarPlay support, with a much simplified interface promising to be easier and safer to access while on the move.You will, of course, need a CarPlay-compatible vehicle in order to actually use it, mind.Finally, there’s a Stations section for Google Play Music’s custom playlists, based on genre and activity.Music is the best served category on that front, with more than ten third-party streaming radio and on-demand services supported.That hasn’t gone down well with those who would rather use alternative phone, messaging, or navigation apps to those Apple would prefer: its own dialer, Messages, and Apple Maps.
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UK
Last year, Google launched an app called Motion Stills for iOS users.Motion Stills worked in tandem with the iPhone’s Live Photos feature, turning them into shareable GIFs and stabilizing them in the process.Of course, with no such Live Photos feature on Android, the app stayed exclusive to iOS devices – until today, that is.In a post to the Google Research Blog, the company announced today that Motion Stills will at last make its way to Android.It would appear that the lack of a Live Photos feature didn’t stop Android users from requesting the app in droves, and today it arrives with a few tweaks to let those users make their own GIFs and short video clips with the touch of a button.There are, ultimately, two ways to create a GIF or clip with Motion Stills.
UK
A British magazine is directing readers to copyright-infringing software, the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) has said.Kodi is a free, legal media player for computers but software add-ons that in some cases make it possible to download pirated content.The Complete Guide to Kodi magazine instructs readers on how to download such add-ons.Dennis Publishing has not yet responded to a BBC request for comment.The magazine is available at a number of retailers, including WH Smith, Waterstones and Amazon and was spotted on sale by cyber-security researcher Kevin Beaumont.It repeatedly warns readers of the dangers of accessing pirated content online, but one article lists a series of software packages alongside screenshots promoting "free TV", "popular albums" and "world sport".
UK
Given the massive success of the NES Classic Edition and the fact that an SNES follow up will be launching in September, it feels relatively safe to assume that Nintendo will want to release an N64 Classic Edition at some point.Today we may be getting our first indication that such a retro console is in the works.A new trademark filing from Nintendo may have just blown the lid off of such a project, and if that’s the case, then this is a very exciting development.As discovered by NeoGAF user Rösti, Nintendo has filed four figurative trademark applications with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), all four of them for controller designs.The four controllers in question are for the NES, SNES, Switch, and – you guessed it – the N64.Just as well, all four of these controllers have been filed under the same goods and services categories: “Telecommunication machines and apparatus,” and “Consumer video game apparatus.”
UK
In the hugely underrated British sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart, Nicholas Lyndhurst’s Gary Sparrow took advantage of a wormhole to go back in time to World War 2 and cheat on his wife.Not as funny when you put it like that, is it?Instead of adultery, Avionics seem to have used the same portal to bring back an old-timey motorbike and fit it with a set of pedals, a 5000-watt brushless motor and a 24-Ah lithium-ion battery that’ll keep it running for up to 75 miles of power-assisted cycling, at speeds of up to 36mph.Handy if there’s someone you need to get away from sharpish, eh, Gary?
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UK
The next version of the Nissan Leaf is going to come with quite a fancy innovation in the form of its e-Pedal option -- an all-in-one power and braking control that Nissan says should be good for 90 per cent of your driving day.In short, you press it down to go, like you do in all cars.The new bit is that lifting off this e-Pedal activates the standard EV regenerative braking system and slows you down, fairground dodgem style, so it should do away with the brake pedal altogether for the majority of tedious stop-start modern driving situations.It even holds the cars stationary on hills, which ought to make it a lovely easy drive.There's a video about it, as Nissan wants the world to stop talking about bloody Teslas you can't even buy all the time and start being excited about the new Leaf it'll be fully revealing this September:The only concern is that Nissan says drivers still have to occasionally use the proper brake pedal in emergency/panic situations, so there's going to be some training of the brain to be done in order to gauge just how much a car can be brought safely to a stop using the regen system alone.
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China
Ulefone’s latest big battery phone — the Ulefone Power 2 — is now on sale at the incredibly low price of $156.39, which is a $43 price cut over the original price.If you’re interested in buying one, keep reading to learn more about it.Ulefone Power 2’s best selling point is obviously the massive 6050mAh battery it packs inside its upgraded full metal body.Other than that, we find some decent hardware including a MediaTek 6750T octa-core CPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory.Camera wise the Power 2 is equipped with a 16MP rear camera and 13MP on the front, above the 5.5-inch Full HD display; the fingerprint scanner has been placed on anterior as well.If you’re interested in getting an Ulefone Power 2, visit its product page on Aliexpress, the special offer will end on Saturday.
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UK
Love 'em or hate 'em, Segways are here to stay.Computer engineers have found a security flaw in the Segway miniPRO that lets them take complete control of the futuristic unicycle using nothing more than a smartphone."The scooter has functionality which listens for a command to turn its motors off – but under normal conditions, there is a safety feature which prevents this from happening when a rider is standing on the hoverboard," says Thomas Kilbride, an embedded devices security consultant at IOActive.Kilbride, who owns two Segways – one black, one white – managed to bypass the Segway's human-detecting safety features to apply a malicious firmware update."This allows the attacker to turn the motors off or remote control the device even if a rider is on the board and in-motion," Killbride explains.In plain English, it means you can send someone into a faceplant.
US
Openreach has weighed into the fibre shouting match, calling for greater collaboration and research into the customer demands of FTTP infrastructure.It might be an innocent consultation designed to meet the demands of Ofcom, which has asked the wholesaler to be more transparent with its plans, but it also might be a bit of penny pinching.In a very glorious statement, Openreach has called on greater collaboration from the industry to make Britain great again, and the need to spread the risk of future investments.“With the right conditions we believe we could make FTTP available to as many as 10 million homes and businesses by the mid-2020s, but we need to understand if there’s sufficient demand to justify the roll-out, and support for the enablers needed to build a viable business case,” said Openreach CEO Clive Selley.The statement also requests that the industry research whether there is actually customer demand for FTTP deployments.Considering this is something which has been promised for some time, perhaps this question should have been asked a few years ago.
US
Like getting a new phone every year?Sprint would like to help you with that, regardless of your budget.The telecom company is rolling out a new lease option called Sprint Flex that lets you pick a phone now and then decide at 18 months whether you want to continue your lease, buy it outright or just flat out return it and upgrade.Or better yet, you can pay $5 a month extra for the option to upgrade after a year.And those who select an iPhone or flagship Samsung Galaxy device don't even have to pay the monthly charge.Another option, called Sprint Deals, makes picking up a new more affordable phone, well, more affordable.
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