Randy Rowald

Randy Rowald

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Following 12
UK
Can the investment from SoftBank drive Uber forward to a more positive path?A consortium of investors led by SoftBank has closed a deal with Uber, making the Japanese company the largest stakeholders in the ride-hailing firm.Following months of endless scandal that has brought Uber to somewhat of a halt, the investment from SoftBank has given the company the boost it needs to push the business forward.The investor group is co-led by SoftBank and Dragoneer Investment Group and also includes Sequoia Capital.Around $9bn was invested overall at the close of the deal, with the group taking around a 17.5% stake in Uber, with SoftBank keeping 15%.SoftBank has bought shares from existing investors and employees, which were purchased at a 30% discounted rate after Uber was revalued at $48bn from the original $69bn.
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Google is not one to sit still on anything, be it a design language, product, or platform.It’s almost a miracle that Android, let alone Chrome OS, has lasted this long, though both have undergone deep surgery repeatedly.So it isn’t exactly shocking to learn that Google was, and still is, working on yet another operating system, the so-called Fuschia OS.While it’s still mostly under wraps, it’s possible to actually test it on the latest Google PixelBook.It’s not an easy journey though, and one that might be worth it just for curiosity’s sake.Fuschia isn’t the merged Android and Chrome OS people may have been waiting for, yet, at the same time, it is.
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Whatsapp is reportedly testing a new feature designed to curb the proliferation of spam chain letters throughout the service.This warning, which is displayed to both senders and recipients, makes no claim to the messages authenticity, but serves as a tell-tale clue that the message perhaps isn’t exactly kosher.WABBetaInfo, which spotted the feature, gave an example of a hoax chain-mail message that prompts the warning:WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon.The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e.To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo should turn Red to indicate a frequent user.
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UK
BT has announced that it is today launching two brand new Ultrafast Fibre broadband plans, which are set to offer some of the fastest home broadband speeds of any internet provider.Although the the service is limited to only a select number of households on launch, the connection speeds it is promising look extremely attractive in a crowded market with broadband companies looking to outgun each other when it comes to speed.BT Ultrafast 1 boasts speeds of up to 152Mb (equivalent to 19MB per second), while Ultrafast 2 more than doubles that with up to an extraordinary 314Mb (or 39.25MB per second).That even outpaces the fastest internet from Virgin Media broadband.Crucially, both plans will guarantee a connection of at least 100Mb, with £20 compensation available if your speed ever falls below 100Mb.See whether you can get BT Ultrafast Fibre broadband
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The Jarvis cloud platform aims to root out security bugs that find their way into the hundreds of software components found in modern automobilesBlackBerry has introduced a security scanning tool for connected automobiles, the latest move in its drive to become a leader in securing and managing internet-linked devices.Speaking at the North American International Automotive Show (NAIAS) in Detroit on Tuesday, BlackBerry chief executive John Chen announced Jarvis, which scans automobile software for security bugs.Cars use hundreds of software components often supplied by a widely distributed network of third-party suppliers, making it difficult to ensure any flaws are caught before they’re built into vehicles.BlackBerry’s cloud-based tool, which can be customised for each automaker’s supply chain, automates the process of verifying software components, which would otherwise be a time-consuming manual task.“Jarvis is a game-changer for OEMs because for the first time they have a complete, consistent, and near real-time view into the security posture of a vehicle’s entire code base along with the insights and deep learning needed to predict and fix vulnerabilities, ensure compliance, and remain a step ahead of bad actors,” Chen said in his keynote speech.
US
Over the years, Scosche has released several versions of its rugged BoomBottle Bluetooth speaker, but apparently all of those versions have been so named due to their resemblance in shape to a bottle, not their ability to actually open them.But this year at CES, Scosche is finally rectifying this with the BoomBottle MM, which not only looks like a bottle, but also has a built-in bottle opener for cracking open a cold beer while you’re out and about.Never again will you be stuck on a beach, or at a picnic and not be able to open a bottle while also listening to music.Bottle-opening abilities aside, the BoomBottle MM is also IP67 water and dust resistant, features an automatic EQ to adjust for indoor and outdoor playback, and can be paired up with a second speaker for stereo sound.Also new on the BoomBottle MM is a pair of magnets built into the speaker.One on the bottom to mount it on any magnetic surface, and one on the top that uses Scosche’s MagicMount technology to hold phones in place (assuming you’ve attached one of Scosche’s metal plates to the back.)
UK
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus were both been leaked to high heaven over the past few weeks – today we’ve packaged all the details up.In one big shiny package, here, we’ve got all the basics and a few bits and pieces about the Galaxy S9 that not all readers might know.That did not happen, of course, as Samsung is much more keen on showing their next hero smartphone at the largest mobile-specific convention event series in the world: Mobile World Congress.Basically every search engine in the world uses the “+” symbol to connect two terms in a search query, while the word “plus” remains its own term.Google sees Galaxy S9+ as Galaxy S9+[did you forget the other term, or what?]• Display (S9): 5.65-inch QHD+ Super AMOLED (570 PPI)
US
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Irving and found wind shear was stretching the storm out.The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard Aqua provided a visible-light image of the depression on Jan. 2, 2018.The image showed persistent development thunderstorms around the center of circulation that were being sheared slightly to the south.At 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC) on Jan. 9, 2018, Tropical Cyclone Irving was located approximately 861 nautical miles east-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, near 23.2 degrees south latitude and 71.9 degrees east longitude.Irving was moving to the west-southwest at 18 knots (20.7 mph/33.3 kph) and had maximum sustained winds near 70 knots (80 mph/129.6 kph).The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects big changes to Irving over the next two days.
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Targeted email attacks are a serious issue for organizations of all sizes and across every industry.Trend Micro’s and other industry research have shown that these focused emails are by far the number one initial attack vector for targeted attacks on enterprise data.In fact, they account for more than 95% of initial intrusions that lead to important data breaches.This white paper discusses the growing problem of targeted email attacks, theiressential role in targeted attacks and advanced threats, how they occur, and whatorganizations can do to prevent them.
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GE Appliances has its eye on that space above your stove for its latest contribution to the smart home movement.The manufacturer has created a smart home hub designed to act as the control center of your kitchen, the company announced on Monday at the CES tech show here in Las Vegas.GE didn't say how much the hub will cost, but it should be available in the second half of 2018.(It's unlikely to go on sale in the UK or Australia.)It contains a 27-inch touchscreen that runs on an operating system called Haier U+ Smart Life Platform (Haier bought GE Appliances in 2016), so you can search for recipes, access your calendar and receive system updates automatically.The hub also contains two cameras: a forward-facing camera that lets you video chat and a cooktop-facing camera so you can capture and post pictures of your meals in progress.
US
House of Marley has made a name for itself as a purveyor of great-sounding and sustainably manufactured audio gear, and such is the case with the three new products announced at this year’s CES conference.The flagship of the company’s new line is the No Bounds Sport speaker, a waterproof portable Bluetooth device that offers 12 hours of battery life and 360 degrees of sound from its cylindrical profile.The relatively simple design of the speaker does feature a couple of unique cues, including upcycled hemp fabric and a sustainably harvested cork base with optional storage — you know, for when you need to take something small with you on the go.The company also announced the smaller No Bounds speaker, a puck-shaped device that features a built-in carabiner for easy attachment to backpacks and other outdoor gear.Designed to be lightweight and rugged, the dustproof and waterproof speaker offers a 10-hour battery life in addition to a quick-charging feature, giving those on the go plenty of juice to jam out all day.Those looking for a more private listening experience during their active time may be interested in the company’s new Uprise Sport headphones.
China
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas officially starts today but we have already seen companies introduced multiple devices in the exhibition.One of the greatest shocks in the manufacturing industry was received last November when two long-standing rivals in the chip manufacturing business – Intel and AMD declared that they’d be collaborating to produce laptop chips that consolidate Intel’s Core line of processors with AMD’s Radeon graphics.The first fruit of the collaboration just touched down at CES 2018 as the companies unveiled a pair of Intel Core i5 and i7 chips powered by discrete AMD Radeon RX Vega M GPUs.Each chip is supported by 4GB of HMB2 VRAM which Intel says will conserve the internal memory of the laptop and increase the battery life.These chips are designed to be the most potent processors by Intel and they are part of Intel’s H-series line of eighth-generation chips which are used for top gaming and professional laptops.According to Intel, a laptop with this chip should run games and heavy professional apps two to three times faster than systems with Intel Core i7 chip and a Nvidia GTX 950M GPU.
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Beginning over two weeks ago, reports have trickled in on Reddit community “r/btc”—the de facto hub for supporters of bitcoin rival bitcoin cash (BCH)—of accounts being compromised by a new and worrying attack vector.What may have read to sceptics as infighting between two contentious factions was confirmed today as a genuine and novel hack that allowed malicious parties to access their targets’ Reddit accounts.The first of this rash of attacks compromised the account of an r/btc moderator on December 20th.Administrative privileges from the hacked account were used to, among other things, reconfigure the r/btc subreddit so it pointed to its rival, r/bitcoin.As user Jessquit summarised on December 31st:[M]y account was just hacked a few hours ago and the password changed [...] The attacker was able to change my password by sending a password recovery email then clicking the link in the email to reset the password, even though I have activated [two-factor authentication] on my Reddit account, and my email was not compromised.
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Upgraded IQbuds and two brand-new IQ products make up the Nuheara intelligent hearables suite introduced at CES 2018 in Las Vegas this week.The latest products are LiveIQ active noise-cancellation earbuds and IQbuds Boost, the latter boasting even higher levels of personalization than the original IQbuds.IQbuds serve the massive number of people who could use help with hearing but don’t believe they need to see an audiologist.Both U.S. political parties supported the 2017 Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act.Of an estimated 30 million people with a significant hearing loss in the United States, 80 percent did not seek help due to previously required medical exams and the high cost of prescription hearing aids, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.Nuheara’s wireless earbuds are fine for audio and phone calls but go much further.
US
The Montreal Protocol, which went into effect in 1989, is a rare instance of a global agreement to solve a global problem: the release of vast quantities of ozone-destroying chemicals into the atmosphere.In the decades since, however, changes in ozone have been small and variable, making it hard to tell whether the protocol is making any difference.But evidence has been building that the ozone layer is recovering, and a new paper claims to have directly measured the ozone hole gradually filling back in.During the 1970s and '80s, evidence had been building that a class of industrial chemicals, the chloro-flurocarbons (CFCs), were damaging the ozone layer, a region of the stratosphere rich in this reactive form of oxygen.The ozone hole spurred countries and companies into action.As companies developed replacements for CFCs, countries negotiated an international agreement that would limit and phase out their use.
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Carbon Monoxide is odorless, tasteless and invisible, and it accounts for over 72,000 cases of poisoning each year.Kidde calls their C3010D model "worry free" because its sensor and sealed battery provide 10 years of uninterrupted CO detection, and a digital display that updates every 15 seconds.The unit will chirp when its reaching the ends of its life, so you don't have to wonder.The Kidde C3010D alarm is currently discounted 32% to $34.91.See this deal now on Amazon.This story, "32% off Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Display and 10 Year Battery - Deal Alert" was originally published by TechConnect.
UK
Upper Tribunal says commish should have viewed materials in drone strike info request herselfJudges have slammed the Information Commissioner’s handling of an appeal against a Freedom of Information decision about a Syrian drone strike, saying it “fell well short” of expectations.Back in 2015, journalist Jenna Corderoy and the executive director of campaign group Rights Watch UK, Yasmine Ahmed, requested information relating to the approval and legal advice given ahead of a set of RAF airstrikes in Syria that year.Their requests to the attorney general and Cabinet Office were refused, with the agencies citing security matters, under section 23 of the FoI Act.On appealing to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the body agreed with the government, saying the exemptions applied.But, crucially, the commissioner – Elizabeth Denham – did so without exercising her statutory power to assess the material herself.
US
Every year, in the US alone, the automaker sells more than 800,000 F-150s (the smallest of the family) a year, and they're a major profit driver.Batteries and motors instead of large V8s could give designers new freedoms like multiple axles and minimal hoods.So in September, Ford turned to a group of students at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, setting the aspiring automotive designers a challenge to design a “Future Truck,” asking them to brainstorm new directions for America's favorite vehicle.“When I was in school, years ago, everyone wanted to do sports cars, and it amazed me how excited these students were to do a pickup, and look at it in an entirely different way,” says Craig Metros, Ford's head of exterior design for North America.It was exactly that imagination, unencumbered by decades of industry convention (and the risk of losing one's job) that he was looking for.Blundo imagines his vehicle with outstretched side-arms being as much use to an urban vertical farmer, as a traditional pickup is to a regular agronomist today.
US
Follow the signage that leads you into the U-turn lane—a curving bypass that traces the underpass’ embankment.This sublime, forgiving bit of infrastructure is colloquially called a Texas Turnaround—officially, “Diamond Interchange U-Turns,” or some similar reconstruction.As head engineer of the the Texas Highway Department from 1940 until 1967, Greer paved tens of thousands of miles of highway throughout the state.One of his chief innovations was to flank every bit of it with frontage roads (what other places call service or access roads).You can’t appreciate the impact of statewide frontages unless you grok how significantly America’s highways changed the act of driving.The key to efficiency for this massive system of roads was the lack of congestion-triggering cross traffic.
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The Order of Maesters keeps intellect alive in the Seven Kingdoms, and Samwell Tarly, the loveable right hand to the more formidable Jon Snow, spends some time with them studying to become a Maester in Westeros’ Citadel in Oldtown.Tarly, the author of the report, is on a mission to figure out the world’s climatic patterns, according to this press release.On Earth, seasonal patterns are based on the planet’s orbit, the angle it’s tilted on, and its distance to the sun throughout the year.This mock article takes a similar approach and plays with climate models scientists use to analyse Earth to, instead, discover what elements would create the world of Game of Thrones.Surface air temperature (in degrees Celsius) predicted by the climate model for winter in the Northern Hemisphere.Image Courtesy of Dan Lunt / University of Bristol
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