Robert Slater

Robert Slater

Followers 86
Following 22
UK
Acer has been busy over at the BETT show in London, revealing a pair of new Chromebooks aimed at students – with one targeting families in general, too – alongside a fresh Chromebox.Acer’s Chromebook 11 C732 is aimed at the education market and thus made to take some knocks in the classroom.It’s IP41 certified and drop-tested to 1.22m, with a spill-resistant keyboard designed to survive the ravages of a knocked-over drink.This notebook is also compliant with MIL-STD 810G testing and benefits from a reinforced case and hinge to make it a tougher customer all round.Speaking of the hinge, this opens to 180-degrees, allowing the portable to be laid flat on a desk which will be handy when students are collaborating together on a project.Powered by an Intel Celeron processor – either a dual-core N3350 or a quad-core N3450 – it’s a fanless laptop, so nice and quiet, with optional 4G LTE connectivity if you want to benefit from mobile broadband when on the move.
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‘Tis the season to hit the gym and atone for the past year’s various and sundry transgressions.The challenge, as always, comes in maintaining that physical fitness regime well past the repentance period that your mind feels your body deserves.This workout playlist has been audio-engineered to get you on that (insert your cardio vascular machine of choice) and keep you keeping on while simultaneously inspiring you to return again at another date.As beats- and bass-driven music lends itself to a heart rate-increasing activity, the mission of this mix is take you through the journey of your exercise with fitness-related tunes.The intention is to get you going right out the gate, build up the tempo with the intensity of the thump, sustain that thumping stride to help you push through “the wall,” and then slowly let you down gently on the other side by fading ever so peacefully into your post-workout stretch.This track has a good bouncy groove to help ease you into the shock of aggressively moving your body.
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UK
Earlier this month, the state of Hawaii descended into a brief if existentially terrifying panic as its Emergency Management Agency dispatched a mass text message warning of an imminent “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT” after an employee pressed the wrong button.Many residents immediately scrambled for cover from what they believed was an inbound nuclear missile from North Korea.The state did not distinguish itself sending out corrections, either, taking the better part of an hour to send out another mass text confirming no such missile existed.Although senior state officials were immediately alerted of the mistake, it took 17 minutes for Gov.David Ige to send his own tweet telling people to calm down.According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, that’s in part because he was coordinating with emergency officials and in part because he forgot his Twitter password.
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UK
The number of youngsters taking up ICT apprenticeships has fallen by nearly 20 per cent over the last five years, according to the UK's Education and Skills Funding Agency.Some 15,010 people started ICT apprenticeships in 2016/17, down from 16,020 the previous year and a fall of 3,510 since 2011/12, the government body found.The National Audit Office (NAO) recently revealed that the overall number of folk taking up STEM apprentices has increased from 95,000 in 2012/13 to 112,000 in 2016/17.However, the lion's share is made up of engineering (74,860) followed by construction, planning and the built environment (21,210).Public Accounts Committee chair Meg Hillier criticised the government for its "muddled thinking" in not doing more to boost the sector.ICT remains less popular with youngsters, despite repeated government lip service about improving the tech skills gap.
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New NHS Digital guidelines give broad approval to the use of cloud services for storing medical records – including facilities in Europe and the USThe NHS has published guidance on how health and care organisations can make use of cloud computing or data offshoring facilities for the storage of patient information, in a policy shift that has seen most bodies continue to use on-site IT centres until now.In this respect the NHS has lagged behind many parts of the UK government, for which cloud services have been prioritised since 2013 under the “cloud first” policy for public-sector IT.Organisations including NHS Choices and NHS England’s Code4Health already use the cloud, but this marks the first time the technology has been given the green light for broad adoption.The new national guidance requires data to be stored within the UK-European Economic Area, a country that meets the European Commission’s standards for data protection or US services covered by the Privacy Shield data-transfer agreement.But medical privacy campaign group MedConfidential pointed out the Privacy Shield agreement between the EU and the US has been criticised by many, including some European data protection regulators.
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Joint statements from both the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have effectively put a freeze on cryptocurrency futures trading.The statements come after several crypto-based exchange-traded futures (ETFs) proposals were withdrawn last week, at the encouragement of the SEC.The SEC’s letter poses over 30 “significant outstanding questions concerning how funds holding substantial amounts of cryptocurrencies and related products would satisfy the requirements of the 1940 Act and its rules” to two trade groups representing fund sponsors, asking for answers to ensure they’re compliant.The subtext of many of these questions seem to be issues that the entire crypto space is currently grappling with, from ensuring investor protections and sufficient liquidity, to accounting for market manipulation.For many day traders in this space, the absence of such protections is its appeal.The letter opens with what reads as a reference to the peril faced by amateur investors who might sink their retirement funds or life savings into a coin or exchange that leaves them high and dry (emphasis ours):
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Growth in global ad spend is projected to further accelerate over the course of 2018, reaching a total of $572bn before the year is out on the back of 4.7% annual growth.The bold prediction was made by marketing intelligence service Warc via its latest Global Ad Trends report, which calculated likely ad expenditure across 96 global markets.Full-year projections for 2018 have been given a helping hand by PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Fifa World Cup and US mid-term elections, further enhanced by reduced dollar volatility on emerging markets.As such growth in North America is likely to hit 5%, just behind the 6% uptick in Asia-Pacific though well ahead of the 2.6% growth expected in Europe.Warc data editor James McDonald said: "2018 should be a stellar year for global advertising, with ad investment set to grow at its strongest rate since the post recovery years of 2010 and 2011.All global regions, with the exception of the Middle East, are expected to register growth, supported by key quadrennial events – notably the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the FIFA World Cup in Russia and the US mid-term elections."
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UK
Exec tells us they're knocking 14% off the price by 2020Lockheed Martin aims to knock 14 per cent off the cost of Britain's F-35B fighter jets over the next couple of years, the firm's director of business development told The Register.At a press event in London last week, Steve Over told us: "We're currently negotiating [production] lots 12, 13 and 14 to get costs down.F-35s are ordered by a US government agency, the F-35 Joint Project Office, which formally places the orders with the company on behalf of both the American armed forces and foreign customers including the UK.While production lots 12-14 have already been awarded to Lockheed Martin, officials are still haggling over the price of each supersonic stealth fighter.The F-35B will be the only fighter jet capable of flying from Britain's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
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UK
When Apple launched its trilogy of flagship handsets late last year, the exorbitant pricing of the iPhone X along with supply constraints had retail experts CIRP (Consumer Intelligence Research Partners) predicting the all-screen wonder wouldn’t sell as well as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.That prediction has now largely been validated by actual sales data from CIRP, with the iPhone X making up roughly 20% of all iPhone sales in the US for 2017, while the comparatively boring iPhone 8 hit closer to 23%.Perhaps unsurprisingly, the piggy in the middle didn’t perform as well as either of the extremes, with the iPhone 8 Plus comprising roughly 18% of Apple’s handset sales.When compared to the previous year’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus sales, the latest trio of Apple handsets didn’t fare nearly as well.Around 72% of all iPhone sales were attributed to the 7 and 7 Plus in 2016, while the 8, 8 Plus, and X only hit around 61% combined.While this may suggest that people aren’t as eager to adopt the latest lineup, it’s worth noting that the iPhone X launched more than a month after the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, potentially preventing prospective buyers from jumping on the 8 series and simultaneously shortening the window of time in which the iPhone X was sold.
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Oreo was a bit of a lackluster update on first launch, but the mobile operating system is getting some nice new tricks as with 8.1’s updates.The new Speed Labels feature is one of the more compelling of the bunch, offering estimated network signals prior to logging on.Starting this week, users with 8.1 installed will see one of four qualifiers next to open WiFi networks: Very Fast, Fast, OK and Slow.Fast is fine for most videos, according to Google, with Very Fast required for much higher quality.OK should suffice for reading sites and streaming music, while Slow is basically okay for WiFi calling and texts.It’s not exactly a speed test rating, but it should make the job of decided between networks a bit easier.
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Patches slammed as 'complete and utter garbage' as Chipzilla U-turns on microcodeIntel's fix for Spectre variant 2 – the branch target injection design flaw affecting most of its processor chips – is not to fix it.Rather than preventing abuse of processor branch prediction by disabling the capability and incurring a performance hit, Chipzilla's future chips – at least for a few years until microarchitecture changes can be implemented – will ship vulnerable by default but will include a protection flag that can be set by software.Instead of treating Spectre as a bug, the chip maker is offering Spectre protection as a feature.The decision to address the flaw with an opt-in flag rather than activating defenses by default has left Linux kernel steward Linus Torvalds apoplectic.In a message posted to the Linux kernel mailing list on Sunday, he wrote, "As it is, the patches are COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE."
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Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of News Corporation, today issued a statement calling for Facebook and Google to subsidize the news traveling through their platforms.In the statement, Murdoch calls on Facebook to pay a carriage fee, as cable companies do with pay TV, to trusted publishers that are posting their content on the social media platform:I have yet to see a proposal that truly recognizes the investment in and the social value of professional journalism.The time has come to consider a different route.If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies.The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services.
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T-Mobile USA appears to have dominated the latest batch of mobile data tests from the folks at OpenSignal, beating out bigger names like Verizon and AT in the process.How could this have happened, and at what point did T-Mobile begin delivering more reliable and speedier mobile data than their competitors?Is it the advertising, maybe the phones they’ve got available – or is it something more subtle, like the shade of pink they’re using?It would seem that part of T-Mobile’s victory in this set of tests is due to Verizon and AT’s Unlimited Data plans re-introduction in 2017.Many smaller brands also have unlimited data plans.)After reintroducing unlimited data in February of 2017, both Verizon and AT had significant 4G speed and overall speed depressions.
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Waymo continues to expand the pool of locations where it’s testing its autonomous vehicle tech, and the latest destination is metro Atlanta.The former Google self-driving car company revealed the news on Twitter, noting that it’s expanding considerably its geographic testing footprint now that it’s got fully driverless test vehicles on the road in Phoenix.Its test cars in cities outside of Arizona still have safety drivers at the wheel, but the more places it can get its Pacificas with autonomous tech on roads, the better for building an autonomous driving ‘brain’ that can handle anything it encounters.Atlanta has some specific challenges, including bad traffic (commute and traffic issues are ranked among the worst locations in the U.S.) and one of the more dense greater metro areas in the U.S., and temperatures that regularly reach a humid 80+ degrees Fahrenheit.Metro Atlanta marks Waymo’s 25th test city in total, including its recent return to San Francisco.Its testing so far has consisted of mapping the city with manually driven Waymo vehicles ahead of launching its testing program in full.
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China
Since the launch of Google Pixel smartphones, they have struggled with one issue or another which include a burn-in on the OLED panel, screen flash when the phone is unlocked, faulty USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter, unresponsive screen edges and a faint buzzing sound during calls.While some of these issues were fixed with an OTA update, others were hardware problems that required replacement.Last year, it came to light that the mic of some units of Google Pixel phones only worked after switching to the loudspeaker during calls.Now, there is a confirmation that if you have this problem, apply for a replacement.The community manager at Pixel User community and Google employee, Orrin, said“Looks like there are a number of different situations being reported, and I wanted to hop in and offer some clarification.
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This has been said again and again but to understand the current crypto boom you have to go back to the quiet rise of Linux.At that time, if you wanted to set up a web server, you had to physically ship a Windows server or Sun Sparc Station to a server farm where it would do the hard work of delivering Pets.com HTML.While many companies have been able to get away with poor or unusable codebases I doubt developers will let future companies get away with so much smoke and mirrors.It’s safe to say we can expect posts like this one detailing Storj’s anemic code base to become the norm and, more important, that these commentaries will sink many so-called ICOs.The key to understanding cryptocurrency pricing is to ignore the froth, hype, and FUD and instead focus on true utility.Do you expect that one day you’ll move through life splashing out small bits of value in order to make yourself more comfortable?
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Facebook has been quietly gathering steam in the content world, but a new hire signals some big ambitions, as well as a headache for rights holders.Although Facebook has dabbled in sporting content previously, it was one of the bidders trying to secure the rights for Indian cricket’s IPL, it has not been as active as Amazon or Twitter, both of which have been successfully pushing for some time.While this appointment is unconfirmed at the moment, it certainly would be a good addition for the Facebook.In terms of Facebook’s ambitions, it adds a new dimension to the platform, which is at risk of becoming a bit stagnant.Arguably, the new ideas to date haven’t inspired Facebook to new heights, and if the rise of Bitcoin has taught us anything, what goes up quickly, can come down quickly as well.Facebook needs to wow users each day to continue to keep them coming back, and while it might not be responsible for fake news trends or spreading hate speech, it is being held accountable because it impacts the experience users have on its platform.
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Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale.Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye.However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image individual molecules and atoms, which measure just fractions of a nanometer across.This has to do with the wave nature of light and the associated laws of physics, which were formulated by the German physicist Ernst Abbe back in 1873.In recent years, however, scientists have managed to get around this resolution limit and generate images of structures measuring just a few nanometers across.To do so, they used lasers of various wavelengths to trigger fluorescence in molecules in part of the substance while suppressing it in the surrounding areas.
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China
Chinese manufacturing giant, Xiaoomi, has been invested a lot of time and efforts in the development of its own MIUI operating system.Currently, there are numerous customs skin designed based on existing Android versions, but MIUI 9 is unarguably one of the best as it is packed with multiple features.There are rumors that MIUI 9’s predecessor – MIUI 10 or MIUI X, is on its way but we know that it’s not been long since the stable version of MIUI 9 arrived many Xiaomi devices thus users will want to have a feel of the current MIUI 9 before proceeding to MIUI 10 if available for their units.Recently, Xiaomi took to its official Weibo account to unveil the full list of Xiaomi devices that will get the MIUI 9 with time.The biggest surprise on this list is the inclusion of six-year-old Xiaomi Mi 2.Well, for Mi fans and close followers of Xiaomi, this is not a surprise because the company is one of the best when it comes to releasing updates for old devices.
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A major goal is to reduce queuing times at cashiers.There are no human cashiers, only cameras and robo assistants to process transactions.On Monday, the first intrepid customers enter Amazon Go, an Internet of Things shopping experience complete with cameras, sensors and an app.Customers simply scan their smartphone at the electronic gates in the foyer, pick up the shopping items they would like and walk back out through the turnstiles.Amazon’s flagship store is in its newly opened Seattle headquarters, where a handful of human staff replenish shelves of popular items, while others check ID in the alcohol aisle and greet newcomers at the door.A major goal is to reduce queuing times at cashiers by adding automation technology to in-person retail.
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