Discus Systems PLC - IT Support Company in Birmingham West midlands
0800 880 3360

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 10th Jul 2018

Image result for mobile phone used in a car

A roadside system that detects if a mobile phone is in use in a passing vehicle is being piloted in a UK first.

Despite being unable to pick up whether the driver is using the phone, it is hoped it will act as a deterrent to people making calls behind the wheel.

The technology picks up the phone signal in the vehicle and activates a roadside warning sign of a mobile with a red line through it.

Being initially tested in Norfolk, the system cannot record footage.

However, the it is designed to pick up whether the phone is being used hands-free or via a vehicle's Bluetooth system and will not trigger the sign in those circumstances.

'Huge problem'

Chris Spinks, of Westcotec the firm behind it and former head of roads policing in Norfolk, said: "So many people, by force of habit, can't resist using their phone.

"It's a huge problem on our roads and drivers know there is no remote detection system.

"The system cannot differentiate between a driver and the passengers on a bus, for example, but this goes some way towards remotely warning drivers that they can be detected using their phone.

"Hopefully, as time goes on it will become as socially unacceptable as drink driving."

The signs are in place in four locations in Norfolk before being moved on to new sites within the county in a month's time.

Statistics from the devices will be shared with Norfolk Police, the county council said.

The council said that enabling the system to record specific number plates could be a "future development" with it.

Insp Jonathan Chapman, of Norfolk Roads Policing unit, said: "Any scheme which prevents this kind of behaviour is welcomed.

"Using a mobile phone at the wheel is one of the fatal four road offences which can have devastating consequences if it causes a fatal or serious collision.

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 9th Jul 2018

Image result for social media

Tracking your phone's gyroscope, scanning your messages and giving your data to third-party companies.

These are just three of the things you agree to when signing up to some tech companies' apps and sites.

BBC research has found some of the language used in privacy policies and terms requires a university education to be understood.

But dig down beneath the jargon, and there are some surprising realities about how your data is used.

1. Your location is tracked - even if you don't allow it

Many apps ask permission to track your precise location through your phone's Global Positioning System (GPS), which users can refuse.

But even if you refuse the app permission, they can still see where you are.

Facebook, for example, collects location-related information aside from your phone's GPS. It still tracks where you are through IP addresses, "check-ins or events you attend".

Twitter also "requires" information about your current location, "which we get from signals such as your IP address or device settings". This is so it can "securely and reliably set up and maintain your account".

2. Companies pass your data to affiliates...

When you agree to terms and conditions, you often don't just give your data to that specific app - there's a lot of intra-group data sharing.

For example, the data that dating app Tinder collects is shared with other members of the Match Group, which includes other dating sites OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, and Match.com.

Tinder says it does so for "maintenance, customer care, marketing and targeted advertising", and to remove users who violate their terms of use.

Elsewhere, LinkedIn was bought by Microsoft in 2016, and according to its privacy policy, receives data "about you when you use some of the other services provided by us or our affiliates, including Microsoft."

3. ...and you're also bound by third-party terms

If having to read the tech giant's terms itself wasn't enough, you might also have to read those of other companies that deal with your data.

Amazon says they may share your information with third parties: as well as their own terms, users should "carefully review their privacy statements and other conditions of use".

Or, if you use Apple products, your personal data is shared with companies "who provide services such as information processing, extending credit [...] and assessing your interest in our products and services".

The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May, does not order companies to list these third parties in their terms.

However, Ailidh Callander, legal officer at Privacy International, a charity, says this has worrying implications: "It means that companies like data brokers are able to use your location, your interests, your contacts and much more to profile you.

"Privacy policies can be overwhelming, but it is really important to take the time to look not only at what data is being collected and why, but also who it is being shared with (and for what purposes)", she adds.

Wikipedia, on the other hand, does not share your personal information with third parties for marketing purposes. Their terms also make a point of saying how they "don't allow tracking by third-party websites you have not visited".

4. Tinder collects gyroscope data

Sometimes data collection goes beyond name, age and location.

Tinder says that the app collects data from your phone's accelerometers (for measuring movement), gyroscopes (which measure the angle you're holding your phone at), and compasses.

It doesn't, however, say exactly what that data is used for.

5. Facebook keeps your deleted searches...

Facebook offers the option to delete searches from their history, giving the user the impression that records of their searches are wiped clean.

The problem, however, is that they aren't.

Their data policy states that while search history can be deleted at any time, "the log of that search is deleted after 6 months".

6. ...and tracks you even if you're off the app

Facebook even tracks what you do when you're not signed in to it - or when you don't have an account.

According to its data policy, it works with "advertisers, app developers and publishers", who can send them information "about your activities off Facebook", through something called Facebook Business Tools.

These partners "provide information about your activities off Facebook - including information about your device, websites you visit, purchases you make, [and] the ads you see".

This happens "whether or not you have a Facebook account or are logged into Facebook".

7. LinkedIn scans your private messages

If you thought private messages were private, think again.

LinkedIn uses "automatic scanning technology on messages", according to its privacy policy.

The company says it does this in order to provide protection from malicious sites or spam, and to suggest automatic replies.

Twitter, meanwhile, stores and processes your messages.

It uses data about "whom you have communicated with and when (but not the content of those communications) to better understand the use of our services, to protect the safety and integrity of our platform."

8. And if you're under 18, your parents should have read this with you

Apple's terms say that "children under the age of majority should review this Agreement with their parent or guardian to ensure that the child and parent or legal guardian understand it."

Yet as BBC research found, to sit through and read their privacy policy and terms would take the average adult more than 40 minutes - let alone the average 13-year-old.

And if reading the privacy policy once wasn't enough, Amazon invites you back to check again: "Our business changes constantly and our Privacy Notice will change also. You should check our website frequently to see recent changes."

9. Don't use your iPhone to make nuclear weapons

Finally, Apple has a line in its UK terms of use telling customers not to use their products "for any purposes prohibited by United States law".

According to their definition, that includes "without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missile or chemical or biological weapons".

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 9th Jul 2018

Image result for elon musk submarine

Elon Musk is testing equipment designed to help rescue the remaining members of a Thai youth soccer team who are trapped in a cave, the Tesla CEO tweeted on Sunday.

Hours after four boys were confirmed to have been rescued from the cave, Musk tweeted a video of a small submarine-like vessel being tested in a swimming pool.

Earlier this week, Musk offered engineers from two of his other companies — SpaceX and The Boring Company — to assist the Thai government. The video shows three people in scuba gear pushing and pulling the tube across a pool.

One video that Musk tweeted shows the submarine being lifted out of the pool and a person popping out of the submarine completly dry. 

Another video shows the submarine underwater for 35 seconds

Sam Teller, the spokesperson for the Boring Company, said four company engineerswere "offering support in any way the government deems useful."

Musk first tweeted about the boys trapped in the cave on July 4 after somebody asked him if he would assist. He wrote that he would be "happy to help if there was a way to do so."

I suspect that the Thai govt has this under control, but I’m happy to help if there is a way to do so

Musk then started brainstorming ideas to help via tweet. On Friday, he tweeted that "SpaceX & Boring Co engineers heading to Thailand tomorrow to see if we can be helpful to govt."

In one tweet, he suggested that a tube or series of tubes be sent through the cave network and inflated, creating a tunnel for the team to travel through without needing to scuba dive.

On Saturday, Musk tweeted that he was interested in designing "a tiny, kid-sized submarine" that would be "light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps."

In later tweets, Musk said that the submarine he is working on has four handles in the front and four in the rear, along with four air tank connections. He also confirmed that the device could maneuver through the most narrow passages.

Eight members of the soccer team, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach remain trapped in the cave. Officials said the rescue could take four days to complete. The team has been trapped in the cave for two weeks.

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 4th Jul 2018

Image result for boring  meetings doodles

For many of us, meetings are a boring waste of time but technology could soon help make them more interesting and productive.

What do you do during a boring meeting? I canvassed some opinions on Twitter and the results were enlightening.

Some people compose haikus, others play meeting bingo, seeing how many pre-agreed words they can chuck in to the conversation.

Some secretly check out Grindr on their phones or watch catch-up TV, while others fiddle with their jewellery, doodle, or simply nod off.

What's frankly worrying - if you're the meeting holder, that is - surveys show that the vast majority of us confess to doing other things during meetings.

And there's always one person - often a man who loves the sound of his own voice - who drones on and on so no-one else can get a word in edgeways.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if an artificially intelligent (AI) meeting bot could tell him to shut up?

Well, that day may not be too far away.

Many women feel they don't have a voice in meetings

It is "very feasible" for an AI to recognise when one person is dominating a meeting, or when a circular discussion keeps coming back to the same point, says James Campanini from videoconferencing company, BlueJeans.

"If no new points are made after a while, the AI could suggest to wrap up," says Cynthia Rudin, a computer science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"While it's a lovely idea to think everybody will be fabulous at running meetings, everybody is not," observes Elise Keith from Lucid Meetings, a US-based meeting management platform.

An AI agent "might be able to determine whether a meeting leader is ensuring that each participant is being heard equally and fairly," she says.

Voicera, founded in 2016 in Silicon Valley, has created an AI assistant called Eva. As well as taking notes, Eva identifies a meeting's action items and decisions.

"If AI can do most of the mundane and drudgery work during business meetings, that leaves more space for humans to think about strategy and vision," argues Niki Iliadis at the London-based Big Innovation Centre, an innovation hub working in AI.

In Japan earlier this year, the prefecture of Osaka - which is responsible for nine million people -started using AI to transcribe and summarise the 450 cabinet meetings it holds annually.

The AI recognises from the context whether speakers are using the Tokyo or Osaka dialects, and who is speaking as it transcribes.

So far it has halved the time needed to produce summaries and has cut staff overtime, the prefecture says.

BlueJeans is trying to make meetings more efficient

How about not even having to be physically present at a meeting?

One feature which shouldn't be far away is having an AI avatar join meetings for you, when you're running late, says Mr Campanini.

So "my AI identifiable creature joins the meeting, takes notes for me, and when I join, it stops and sends me the notes," he says.

Quite often we find we've been invited to a meeting that isn't relevant to us or is at a very inconvenient time. So tech firms are also working on AIs to help decide who should attend and when the meeting should be, Ms Keith says.

One Stockholm start-up, Mentimeter, is making it easier for meeting participants to give instant anonymous feedback about whether they find a discussion useful or tedious.

"One way of solving sucky meetings is letting the audience take part in a simple way," says Johnny Warstrom, the start-up's chief executive.

Mentimeter thinks instant feedback makes for better discussions in meetings

Participants using the software can make open-ended responses or vote in multiple-choice quizzes.

When the presenter turns on the word cloud feature, a screen is updated as participants submit comments, and the most frequently used words appear largest on the screen.

Such anonymous live feedback has "fundamentally changed the dynamics of a presentation", says Austin Broad from financial services firm AFH Wealth Management.

He now spends more time discussing unexpected responses than "simply confirming comprehension", he says.

Mr Warstrom believes the software allows less assertive participants to have a say for once.

"All of a sudden everyone has a voice, someone at the back of the room as much as the person speaking loudest," he says.

He thinks this is probably why Mentimeter, which has 20 million users and is Sweden's fastest growing start-up, has more female than male customers.

But until such smart meeting tech becomes more widespread, it seems we'll continue wasting time in the office.

According to the MIT Sloan Management Review, executives now spend 23 hours a week in meetings - up from under 10 in the 1960s.

And in one large company, a single weekly status meeting, and the preparations for it, took up 300,000 employee hours a year, the Harvard Business Review discovered.

Surveys show that the vast majority of us think they're a waste of time. Even bosses have been increasingly critical.

Tesla boss Elon Musk, for example, told his employees in an April e-mail to "walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren't adding value."

"It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time," he added.

And Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has banned PowerPoint - the bane of many meetings, particularly when speakers simply read out exactly what's on the slides.

Many meetings duplicate work that's already been done, so making meeting notes easily searchable could help, says Neale Martin from MeetingSense, a US-based meeting software firm.

Tools that can create agendas, send meeting invitations, distribute notes, and keep track of action items should improve effectiveness, he believes.

Otherwise, he says, "we have all this videoconferencing and other tech to link us, but we're still doing things as we always did."

A lot of this may sound like wishful thinking, particularly when you think how often basic tele- and video-conferencing tech fails to work.

But anything that helps meetings become slightly less painful must surely be welcomed.

Now, back to your doodling.

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 4th Jul 2018

Image result for social media infinite scroll

Social media companies are deliberately addicting users to their products for financial gain, Silicon Valley insiders have told the BBC's Panorama programme.

"It's as if they're taking behavioural cocaine and just sprinkling it all over your interface and that's the thing that keeps you like coming back and back and back", said former Mozilla and Jawbone employee Aza Raskin.

"Behind every screen on your phone, there are generally like literally a thousand engineers that have worked on this thing to try to make it maximally addicting" he added.

In 2006 Mr Raskin, a leading technology engineer himself, designed infinite scroll, one of the features of many apps that is now seen as highly habit forming. At the time, he was working for Humanized - a computer user-interface consultancy.

Aza Raskin says he did not recognise how addictive infinite scroll could be

Infinite scroll allows users to endlessly swipe down through content without clicking.

"If you don't give your brain time to catch up with your impulses," Mr Raskin said, "you just keep scrolling."

He said the innovation kept users looking at their phones far longer than necessary.

Mr Raskin said he had not set out to addict people and now felt guilty about it.

But, he said, many designers were driven to create addictive app features by the business models of the big companies that employed them.

"In order to get the next round of funding, in order to get your stock price up, the amount of time that people spend on your app has to go up," he said.

"So, when you put that much pressure on that one number, you're going to start trying to invent new ways of getting people to stay hooked."

Mr Raskin has set his handset to work in a monochrome mode to minimise its apps' addictive powers

Lost time

A former Facebook employee made a related point.

"Social media is very similar to a slot machine," said Sandy Parakilas, who tried to stop using the service after he left the company in 2012.

"It literally felt like I was quitting cigarettes."

During his year and five months at Facebook, he said, others had also recognised this risk.

Mr Parakilas made headlines when he wrote a newspaper column in 2017, saying that Facebook could not be trusted to regulate itself

"There was definitely an awareness of the fact that the product was habit-forming and addictive," he said.

"You have a business model designed to engage you and get you to basically suck as much time out of your life as possible and then selling that attention to advertisers."

Facebook told the BBC that its products were designed "to bring people closer to their friends, family, and the things they care about".

It said that "at no stage does wanting something to be addictive factor into that process".

Like's legacy

One of the most alluring aspects of social media for users is "likes", which can come in the form of the thumbs-up sign, hearts, or retweets.

Leah Pearlman, co-inventor of Facebook's Like button, said she had become hooked on Facebook because she had begun basing her sense of self-worth on the number of "likes" she had.

Leah Pearlman worked at Facebook between 2006 and 2010

"When I need validation - I go to check Facebook," she said.

"I'm feeling lonely, 'Let me check my phone.' I'm feeling insecure, 'Let me check my phone.'"

Ms Pearlman said she had tried to stop using Facebook after leaving the company.

"I noticed that I would post something that I used to post and the 'like' count would be way lower than it used to be.

"Suddenly, I thought I'm actually also kind of addicted to the feedback."

Vulnerable teens

Studies indicate there are links between overusing social media and depression, loneliness and a host of other mental problems.

In Britain, teenagers now spend about an average of 18 hours a week on their phones, much of it using social media.

Ms Pearlman believes youngsters who recognise that social media is problematic for them should also consider steering clear of such apps.

"The first things I would say is for those teenagers to step into a different way of being because with a few leaders, it can help others follow," she said.

Last year Facebook's founding president, Sean Parker, said publicly that the company set out to consume as much user time as possible.

He claimed it was "exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology".

Image result for social media sean parker

Media captionWATCH: Sean Parker shared his worries about social media last November

"The inventors", he said, "understood this consciously and we did it anyway."

But Ms Pearlman said she had not intended the Like button to be addictive.

She also believes that social media use has many benefits for lots of people.

When confronted with Mr Parker's allegation that the company had effectively sought to hook people from the outset, senior Facebook official Ime Archibong told the BBC it was still looking into the issue.

"We're working with third-party folks that are looking at habit-forming behaviours - whether it's on our platform or the internet writ large - and trying to understanding if there are elements that we do believe are bringing harm to people," he said, "so that we can shore those up and we can invest in making sure those folks are safe over time."

Recent reports indicate Facebook is working on features to let users see how much time they have spent on its app over the previous seven days and to set daily time limits.

The Panorama programme also explores the use of colour, sounds and unexpected rewards to drive compulsive behaviour.

Twitter declined to comment.

Snap said it was happy to support frequent creative use of its app, Snapchat. But it denied using visual tricks to achieve this and added that it had no desire to increase empty engagement of the product.

Panorama - Smartphones: The Dark Side - will be shown on BBC One at 19:00 BST on 4 July and on BBC World News at a later date.

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 2nd Jul 2018

"If you opened your curtains in the morning and found that the grass was scorched, somebody had dumped a load of rubbish in your garden and animals were eating it - you'd be appalled. But's that's what's happening in the oceans," says Sarah La Grue.

"The reefs are being scorched, there's rubbish on beaches and animals are eating it and getting tangled up in it. But we don't generally see much of this because it's in the oceans. Out of sight, out of mind."

Sarah is a yachtswoman who lives aboard her boat and is about to set out on a global voyage for science.

She and husband, Conor, have a vision to co-ordinate other like-minded sailors into a kind of research fleet to address some of the biggest issues facing our seas.

Their project - and the name of their 12m boat - is called Given Time.

The idea is to build a community of vessels that can gather data and conduct simple experiments, all at the behest of scientists.


Media captionProf Steve Simpson: Yachts run silent, making them perfect for sound research

Some of this information - water temperature, salinity, and turbidity - can be used to ground-truth oceanographic models and satellite observations. Other data, such as fish tissue samples, can help build a picture of animal health and the waters in which they live.

Just documenting places visited would compile "baselines" from which future change can be properly assessed.

Sarah's and Conor's open-source, crowd-science project will run off a website and an app.

"Beta boats" are being recruited to trial the basic research programme. The intention is that these vessels would then cascade the ideas and skills to other sailors wanting to join the programme.

"There's something like 4,000 long-term, live-aboard boats cruising the world," explains Conor.

"These are individuals, families, groups of friends; and they've made the oceans their home, and they want to look after them and get involved.

"These boats are increasingly going to some really interesting places - even into high latitudes like Antarctica and the North West Passage. These are places that professional research vessels may not often go, so we represent a fantastic additional resource."

World map showing coastal countries which contribute most to plastic waste in oceans

Given Time is taking direction from scientific advisers, such as Dr Steve Simpson from Exeter University.

He envisages scientists plugging into the cruiser community to find boats in places of interest to their particular field of research.

Perhaps these scientists have a new instrument they want to trial or a new data-set they want to acquire.

A community yacht could make that happen quickly and cheaply.

"For us, ship time is the most expensive thing and that limits what we can do," says Steve. "And yet to understand the oceans, we really need big spatial coverage for our data-sets, and we need long time-series.

"So, the opportunity to work with people where the ocean is their home, to be gathering these global data-sets that build up year on year - that's a very exciting prospect."

"Beta boats" are currently being recruited to cascade the programme

Steve himself wants to use the boats as part of his research into ocean acoustics.

He's interested in underwater sounds to help interpret what's living in the oceans and how this environment is being affected by human-produced noise.

Yachts run silent, which makes it much easier to record and interpret the soundscapes picked up by his hydrophones.

"One of the real values of time-series like those cruisers could collect - is that we would see success stories," says Steve.

"An example: the beach clean-ups around the UK have demonstrated the impact of the 5p plastic bag charge.

"Since that charge came in, there's been a 40% reduction in plastic bags found on beaches. And you only know that because lots of people have been collecting data. That helps shore up policy."

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 2nd Jul 2018

Image result for nhs digital logo

The government has unveiled a new NHS mobile app that will put patients in England in direct touch with their GPs.

The app will allow users to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and see their medical files held by the surgery.

They will also be able to sign up as organ donors, decide how their health data is used and get advice from the 111 service.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt described the app as a "birthday present from the NHS to the British people", 70 years after it was founded.

Testing of the NHS app will begin in September and it will then be available for anyone in England to download in December for both Android and Apple devices.

Patients are already able to carry out online many of the functions the app offers, but the government believes having them available via a smartphone will make them more attractive.

Mr Hunt told the BBC: "In our 70th year as the NHS, we have to look forward as well as backward and the big change that is going to happen in the next decade is the technology revolution."

He said digital developments such as the new app would give people more control over their own health, turning them into "expert patients".

Security stressed

The Royal College of General Practitioners gave a cautious welcome to the initiative, while calling for practices to get the support they would need during the rollout.

Its chair, Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, also warned that security must be a priority.

"Considering that patients' medical history will be accessible on individuals' mobile phones on the apps, we need to ensure that the security and reliability of the identity verification processes being used are of the highest international security standards," she said.

The government says security will be on a par with online banking or even higher.

But the new service looks pretty basic and will enter a crowded market for health apps, many offering more advanced features.

Babylon's GP At Hand allows NHS patients in London to get a consultation with a doctor via a smartphone, although they have to leave their existing practice when they sign up.

Last week, Babylon claimed that the medical advice offered by the artificial intelligence in another of its apps was at least on a par with the expertise of doctors, although the Royal College of GPs said the claim was dubious.

Workload fears

Another service, askmyGP, is already working with a number of GP practices, providing them with an online triage system where patients can contact their doctors and find out whether or not they need an appointment.

AskmyGP's founder Harry Longman questions whether the NHS app, which offers appointments without the patient first having told the doctor their symptoms, might increase a GP's workload.

"Booking an appointment online seems like a good idea, until you realise that it doesn't create any more GP capacity and may even waste more GP time through inappropriate bookings by those who know how to play the system," he said.

He says that research shows that only 30% of patients seeking help need a face-to-face appointment.

But Jeremy Hunt says that some people may decide they do not need an appointment after using the 111 service on the NHS app to check their symptoms.

The Health Secretary says he hopes the result will be that GPs have more time to see those patients with urgent needs.

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 20th Jun 2018

A letter signed by more than 100 Microsoft employees has called on it to stop working with the US Border Patrol.

Image result for microsoft logo

The call comes as the Trump administration faces intense criticism over the separation of children from their families at the Mexican border.

The letter, posted on an internal message board and published by the New York Times, said the employees "refuse to be complicit”.

Microsoft has shared a response penned by its chief executive Satya Nadella.

"I am appalled at the abhorrent policy of separating immigrant children from their families," he wrote.

"This new policy implemented on the border is simply cruel and abusive, and we are standing for change.

"I want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with the US government on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border."

However, the company does have a $19.4m (£14.7m) contract with the US Immigration, Customs and Enforcement agency, known as ICE.

Mr Nadella said this was to support tasks involving email, calendar, messaging and document management.

In January, Microsoft posted information about how its cloud computing platform, Azure, was being used to facilitate data “security and compliance”.

The post read: “We're proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud.”


The signees of the letter to Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella demand the company ends this association with ICE, and "other clients who directly enable ICE”.

Their efforts chime with the thoughts being expressed by employees at many of Silicon Valley’s top firms. On Tuesday, some of the region’s top chief executives made statements on the issue.

Skip Twitter post by @sundarpichai

Sundar Pichai✔@sundarpichai

The stories and images of families being separated at the border are gut-wrenching. Urging our government to work together to find a better, more humane way that is reflective of our values as a nation.

9:16 PM - Jun 19, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy


End of Twitter post by @sundarpichai

“The stories and images of families being separated at the border are gut-wrenching,” wrote Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, on Twitter.

"Urging our government to work together to find a better, more humane way that is reflective of our values as a nation.”

Apple boss Tim Cook, speaking after an event in Ireland, told the Irish Times the situation was “inhumane”.

"It’s heartbreaking to see the images and hear the sounds of the kids. Kids are the most vulnerable people in any society. I think that what’s happening is inhumane, it needs to stop.”

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg said: "We need to stop this policy right now."

Other condemnations have come from the bosses at AirBnB, Twilio and Box.

A fundraiser on Facebook had raised more than $6m on Tuesday, growing at a rate of thousands of dollars every minute. It is the largest amount ever raised on the platform.

Employee rebellion recently saw Google drop its contract with the US Department of Defense. It had been aiding the development of software designed to increase the accuracy of drone strikes.

A number of Google employees resigned and thousands more signed a petition against the project, known as Maven, fearing it would be the first step in artificial intelligence being used to kill people.

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 20th Jun 2018

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

The first password that most people will want to change is their email and for many, that means Gmail. Even if the client is one of the most popular in the world, with more than a billion users as of 2016, that doesn’t mean everyone knows their way around every nook and cranny.

To fix that, here’s how to change your Gmail password in a few easy steps.



Step 1: Go to the Google MyAccount page.

Step 2: Click the blue “Sign-in” button in the top right-hand corner and input your login details as requested. Verify yourself using two-factor authentication if required.

Step 3: Click “Sign-in & security.”

Step 4: Scroll down to the “Signing in to Google” section. Under the heading “Password & sign-in method,” click the “Password” section.

Step 5: Input your password again to verify yourself and then when prompted, type in your new password. Make sure it’s complicated, with a mix of numbers, letters, capital letters, and special characters. If you’re worried about forgetting it, use a password manager.

If you want to change your password from within the client, you can do it by clicking on the gear icon in the top-right corner, and then heading to Settings. Under “Accounts and Import,” just click “Change password” to make the change.

Once you’ve verified the password, you’re all good to go. It’s changed and your account is nice and secure. This is also a good time to double check your other account details, such as two-step verification and recovery methods.


If you access your email on an Android tablet or smartphone, the method for changing your password is a little different, but no more complicated. Simply follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open the Gmail application and click the three-line menu icon in the top left-hand corner.

Step 2: Scroll down and select the “Settings” menu with the cog icon.

Step 3: If you have multiple accounts, choose the one you want to change and then tap on “My account.”

how to change your gmail account password password27

Step 4: Tap the “Menu” button in the bottom right-hand corner and select “Security.”

Step 5: Tap “Sign-in and security,” followed by “Change your password.”

Step 6: Under the heading “Signing into Google,” tap the “Password” section.

Step 7: You’ll then be tasked with proving your identity by inputting your current password and a confirmation code from your mobile device if you have two-step notifications enabled.

Step 8: Once you’ve proved you’re you, put your new password into the respective box. Confirm it and you’ve changed your password!

Source: digitaltrends.com
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 20th Jun 2018

Twitter is digging the tweets you care about most out of the timeline and making them easier to find. On Wednesday, June 13, the company announced an overhaul to several areas of Twitter focused on delivering more relevant, personalized tweets and live video on news and events. In a set of changes to Happening Now, Explore, Moments, and the search tool, Twitter is aiming to deliver more custom content, some rolling out now and others over the next few months.

The changes are designed to highlight Twitter’s focus on real-time conversation and continue a focus on news that has already brought several changes to the platform. The changes are designed to help you find relevant content, even without knowing the best accounts to follow for tweets on that topic, Twitter says. The overhaul makes big events and breaking news easier to find while customizing sections of Twitter based on the topics you follow and what you tweet about.

Twitter’s Happening Now section will soon be driven by both breaking and personalized news, expanding beyond the original sports beat the tool was first designed for. The feature continues the placement at top of the timeline but expands to include personalized news and breaking news, including tweets and video. A similar test was spotted earlier this year. The focus on personalized news will expand to Happening Now over the next few months for users based in the U.S.

Happening Now won’t be the only place Twitterverse finds custom curated news and events — Twitter will soon start sending out notifications for the biggest news events as they happen. Twitter already sends notifications on breaking news, but the network is now testing out notifications that, like the news in the Happening Now, are based on factors like who you follow and what you tweet about. Another update with a timeline measured in “months,” users will be able to turn the news notifications off inside the settings.

While the Happening Now and notifications will work to deliver content based on user interests, the updated Explore section is designed for users that seek out that information on their own. Currently organized by the type of content like tweets and video, new tabs that divide the section by topics is slated for arrival over the next few months.

twitter happening now personalized news twittersearch


The first part of the overhaul to launch to users is an updated search, which started rolling out today. The Search tool now has a new bar at the top that displays related news and events. Each one contains both a recap as well as a section with the latest tweets and scores for sports.

Twitter is also rolling out a new look for Moments, the network’s collections to put related tweets and videos all in one place. Moments is switching from a horizontal swipe navigation to a vertical scroll, switching from the Stories-like format to a more traditional Twitter feel after tests of the feature increased the number of users coming back to the tool.

In the U.S., Moments will also allow users to choose whether to see a reverse chronological list or the top tweets. New tabs will organize the section into recaps, the latest, and top comments. Live video will also be included inside Moments when available. The update has already rolled out for sports but is beginning to roll out to news and events. The slow rollout means some users will continue to see the horizontal swipe design in some Moments and not others.

Some changes are already headed out to users, while others are a slower trickle that will pop up over the next few months.

Source: digitaltrends.com
corner spacer corner

Veeam Specialist Microsoft Small Business Specialists Birmingham Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Birmingham Siemens Solution 1 Reseller Birmingham Sonicwall Specialists Birmingham Business Link Approved Birmingham Fujitsu Primergy Certified Partner Birmingham Facebook Follow us on Twitter ESET NOD32 VMWare
IT Support
IT Services
IT Solutions
Get Support Now
© 2018 Discus Systems plc. All rights reserved. Content Management by Verve Digital