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

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 31st Oct 2017

Boring Company's first photo

The Boring Company

It's impossible to say if Musk's ambitious plan will ever become a fully fledged system, but the Boring Company is certainly making progress.

Yes, it’s definitely a tunnel. Elon Musk has just posted the very first photo of a tunnel dug by his Boring Companybeneath the streets of Los Angeles as the billionaire entrepreneur goes after his dream of building a subterranean — and speedy — transportation system to help reduce traffic congestion on the busy streets above.

Snapped over the weekend, the image shows something far beyond a simple muddy hole that some of you may have been expecting to see. Rather, it’s clear the team has been doing some serious work on its debut tunnel, fully building out the section with all the necessary bells and whistles.

Musk, a man who certainly isn’t shy about championing grand ideas, first mentioned his futuristic boring plan last year, one that apparently came to him while stuck in his car on a gridlocked freeway.

“Traffic is driving me nuts,” he tweetedin December, 2016. “Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…” At the time, no one knew what on earth he was talking about. They do now.

The project, if it’s carried through to completion, will involve building a sprawling network of tunnels criss-crossing the city. Vehicles would be carried through the tunnels aboard track-based electric sleds at speeds of up to 150 mph. A vehicle and its occupants would be lowered from street level onto the sled, while cyclists and pedestrians would use the system by stepping into large pods available for public use. The sleds would switch from the main tunnel to side tunnels to exit and enter the main artery in order to keep the system moving. “This is a big difference compared to subways that stop at every stop, whether you’re getting off or not,” Musk said.

On his Instagram page where he posted the tunnel photo, Musk said the Boring Company‘s first route will go “roughly parallel” to Interstate 405 from Los Angeles international airport to Route 101, “with on/off ramps every mile or so.” Right now the tunnel is 500 feet long (152 meters), though it should reach around two miles (3.2 km) within about four months.

Musk’s partly completed tunnel confirms his determination to make the project happen, though those stuck in gridlock on a daily basis in L.A. will have to wait years for a usable network to evolve, if it ever does. Indeed, to build a truly effective system is going to require not only huge sums of money, but also years of disruptive construction work across the city, leaving Musk having to persuade the authorities that the project really is worth pursuing. This initial tunnel is seen as a test bed for the grander plan.

Source: digitaltrends.com
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 31st Oct 2017

exoskeletons military


The term “exoskeleton” conjures up sci-fi scenes – think Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, or Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt battling aliens on repeat in Edge of TomorrowSoldiers will surely man these mechanical machines someday, but many of the first exosuits will be developed for civilian use, from first responders pulling through rubble to laborers who could use a little extra support for their heavy lifting.

By 2020, robotics company Sarcos hopes to see workers climb into its line of fully-powered exoskeletons, designed to give people superhuman strength and endurance, while allowing them to repetitively lift large objects and minimize risk of injury. The company demoed some of its machines at its headquarters in Salt Lake City last week.

“We’re focused developing robots to augment human safety and productivity,” Ben Wolff, CEO of Sarcos, told Digital Trends. “This idea that we’ve got the ability to have a human either wearing or remotely operating a machine so that there’s always a human mind engaged in the decision-making process that is then instructing a robot that is stronger, with more stamina and greater precision, doing the real work.”

exoskeletons arm detail

exoskeletons snake stairs


exoskeletons snake rocks

exoskeletons detail


Sarcos plans to offer three exoskeletons over the next few years, each giving wearers a different degree of strength and endurance support. The Guardian XO will let wearers lift 80 pounds, the Guardian XO Max will max out at 200 pounds, and the Guardian GT — a monster of a machine with seven-foot arms — will handle upwards of 1,000 pounds. Both the GT and XO Max can be controlled by an operator who is either remote or riding in the machine.

To keep wearers safe, the Salt Lake City company has developed a patented system it calls “get out of the way control,” which will make sure the suit doesn’t accidentally squish a person inside.

“The suit and your body interact like two opposing magnets.”

“Imagine the suit and your body interacting with one another in the way that two opposing magnets would,” Wolff explained. “Through its sensor system, the suit is programmed to maintain a very small but very specific amount of distance from contact with your body. As a result, as you begin to move, swing your leg forward, it immediately moves to keep the front of the machine leg away from the front of your leg.”

Automation is bound to impact every worker in every industry. But rather than going fully automated, many tasks — particularly those that are performed in unstructured environments — may instead be performed by human workers augmented by machines. The goal here is to maintain a human’s cognitive flexibility with a machine’s strength and resilience.

“As soon as you move into a more unstructured environment where … you’re on a construction site and have to lift heavy items from one floor to the next in a one-off activity, not a lot of high repetition, that’s where it becomes far more challenging to find how automation to take control,” Wolff said. “The number of algorithms, sensors, awareness that a machine has to have to deal with the thousands of different variables…is simply far too advanced to rely on a computer and algorithm to help a robot decide what it needs to do.”

sarcos unveils exoskeletons exosuit controller

“For now,” he added, “let’s take the best of what a human being can offer, such as wisdom, judgement, intelligence, and instincts, and combine that with the best of what a robot can offer, in terms of strength, endurance, and precision.”

Like all companies that specialize in building the future, Sarcos is looking to stand out from competitors and thinks its full-body, fully-powered, and untethered machines will be a game changer. Hyundai, for example, is developing a full-body suit that needs to be tethered for full power, while companies like Panasonic and SuitX are developing smaller and untethered suits, which help give a wearer physical support and added strength, but don’t restrict the wearer’s freedom to roam.

Sarcos hasn’t offered an exact price for its exoskeletons yet, but Wolff says, “The cost to the user would be roughly equivalent to the cost of a fully-loaded salary employee in the $50,000 per year range … The one human operator plus our robot would cost roughly that of two human employees, but will allow for far fewer injuries and enhanced productivity.”

The company hopes to have the XO suits ready for commercial sale in 2019 and is currently taking preorders for custom-built GTs.

Source: digitaltrends.com
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 24th Oct 2017

Discus Insight

With Discus Insight, you can identify exactly who your website visitors are, and what they are looking for. 

Our system combines multiple data sources to provide the company names, websites, email and postal addresses, telephone and fax numbers of 
businesses that have visited your site.

Make your online marketing spend work harder. Maintaining a quality web presence costs money, whether it's through engaging top quality designers, search engine marketing or SEO, web traffic doesn't come cheap, and is only getting more expensive.

Discus Insight lets you capture potential leads that may have otherwise gone elsewhere, getting more for your money out of your budget.
Improved conversion rates save time and money.

Why waste time cold calling contact lists who have no express interest in what you have to offer – with Discus Insight, potential 
customers have already visited your website, know who you are and have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer.

Qualified sales leads provided by Discus Insight offer better conversion rates, resulting in a greater return on investment for 
your online marketing and sales efforts.

Organise and prioritise incoming leads

Assign incoming leads to individual members to follow up, set reminders, and track progress, all contained in one easy to use 

If you already have a sales or CRM system in place that you would like Discus Insight to work with, that's no problem. We can 
integrate our incoming data with any system you already have in place.

Fresh leads delivered straight to your Inbox

Set up filters to select exactly what kind of company you're looking for - whether it's companies searching for a particular 
search term, located within a certain radius or who have visited your website multiple times recently - Discus Insight allows you to 
set up filtered feeds exactly the way you need. 

Want to be kept in the know whenever new contacts appear? No problem - schedule e-mail reports directly from the system to 
deliver the latest contacts to your inbox hourly, daily, weekly, monthly - it's your choice.

Pricing from only £99 per month -

for more information, please e-mail u2us@Discus.co.uk or phone 0800 880 3360.

Discus Insight turns your web traffic into quality sales leads
0800 880 3360 

Source: discus.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 24th Oct 2017

google offers rewards to white hat hackers hacker  hacking symbol


These programs offer a way for hackers to earn legitimate money while helping to keep your devices secure.

Need some extra cash? Then good news! Google is offering $1,000 to people who can hack popular Android apps. In a partnership with HackerOne and several popular Android developers, Google has launched the Google Play Security Program. The tech giant has offered similar bounty programs before, but this is the first time that it has partnered with individual developers. Currently, 13 of the most popular app developers are part of the program. The program includes Tinder, Duolingo, DropBox, Snapchat, Head Space, MyMail, and several others.

The rules for the program are fairly simple. Once you discover a bug or vulnerability in one of the participating apps, you simply report it to the developers and work with them to fix the issue. Once the issue has been resolved, the app developers will pay you, and then Google will chip in a $1,000 bonus on top of whatever you were already paid.

In addition, Gooogle will be collecting data and sharing it with other app developers in order to help them address similar issues. This does mean that the rewards will be handled on a first-come-first-serve basis. If multiple people discover a problem, Google will only reward the first person to submit the issue.

Currently, this program is only available to 13 app developers, but if it proves successful, Google may expand it to others.

Bug bounties such as this are nothing new and so-called “white hat” hackers can make a decent living working with tech companies to resolve security issues. Both tech and video games companies are offering rewards to those who are able to hack their services and hardware. Such programs provide a way for hackers to make a living while helping to keep people’s personal data safe.

One of the largest bug bounties was offered by Microsoft. In 2015, the company increased its bug bounty reward from $50,00 to $100,000. If you want to make similar money while still helping out Google, then you’ll be glad to know the company is offering $100,000 to those who can pull off a major Chromebook hack. The stipulation that the hacker pull off a “persistent compromise” of a Chromebook in guest mode.

Source: digitaltrends.com
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 24th Oct 2017

FBI director Christopher WrayImage copyrightAFP

Image captionChristopher Wray said more than half of the devices the FBI had tried to access in 11 months had been impenetrable

Agents at the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been unable to extract data from nearly 7,000 mobile devices they have tried to access, the agency's director has said.

Christopher Wray said encryption on devices was "a huge, huge problem" for FBI investigations.

The agency had failed to access more than half of the devices it targeted in an 11-month period, he said.

One cyber-security expert said such encryption was now a "fact of life".

Many smartphones encrypt their contents when locked, as standard - a security feature that often prevents even the phones' manufacturers from accessing data.

Such encryption is different to end-to-end encryption, which prevents interception of communications on a large scale.

Cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward at the University of Surrey said device encryption was clearly frustrating criminal investigations but it would be impractical and insecure to develop "back doors" or weakened security.


"Encryption that frustrates forensic investigations will be a fact of life from now on for law enforcement agencies," he said.

"Even if the equipment manufacturers didn't build in such encryption it would be possible to obtain software that encrypted data in the same way."

Referring to the trade-off between cyber-security and investigative hacking, the FBI director said: "I get it, there's a balance that needs to be struck between encryption and the importance of giving us the tools we need to keep the public safe."

Mr Wray was speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia on Sunday.

In 2016, the FBI asked Apple to unlock an iPhone used by San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook.

Apple refused, explaining that its phones had been designed so that even their manufacturer could not access them once encrypted.

The FBI later said a third party firm had discovered a way of breaking intoFarook's device.

Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that the FBI did not have to reveal the identity of the firm or how much the agency paid for its services.

The ruling followed freedom of information requests filed by journalists.

corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 24th Oct 2017

Laptops should be able to offer true all-day working, and some

Microsoft's new ARM-based laptops will go more than a day between battery charges

When Windows 10 was launched in 2015, Microsoft claimed that it would run on a variety of disparate devices

Microsoft's forthcoming ARM-based laptops will be able to go more than a day between recharges, according to reports that claim that battery life on the new Windows 10 devices will be "beyond expectations". 

The claims are made in a report in Trusted Reviews.

Microsoft's first round of Windows 10 machines, powered by ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPUs, will be out in December.


The company is already testing hundreds of devices running Qualcomm processors to check Windows compatibility. Pete Bernard, principal group program manager for Connectivity Partners at Microsoft, says: "We've been on this journey for almost a year. We've been working furiously in Redmond and with our partners in San Diego."

The battery life is described as "really really good" and "beyond expectations" with multi-day results being quoted in testing. In other words, at worst, they ought to provide genuine all-day running.

Bernard added: "I would consider it a game-changer in terms of the way people have experienced PCs in the past."

HP, Asus and Lenovo will be launch partners, but the plan is to launch the Qualcomm Snapdragon-based Windows machines to a variety of OEMs at differing price points.

The news is somewhat ironic, given that only last week Microsoft confirmed it was ending development of Windows Phone.

One of the sticking points in Windows Phone's success, or rather lack of it, has been the fact that Windows was tied to x86 and x64 chips, meaning that the Continuum feature, enabling users to switch between phone and computer as a single device, didn't work properly.

The company confirmed that it had overcome its architectural issues, but although we look set to see the benefits in the form of larger form factors, the news has come too late for Windows as a mobile device operating system. The company is now focused on Android as a partner to Windows.

Opening up the opportunity of Qualcomm-powered laptops does, however, mean that we're likely to see a new generation of ultra-slim, ultra-light tablets and ultrabooks, and the company has said its main consideration will be mobile computing. 

However, Microsoft and Windows is as good as dead in the smartphone market. 

Source: v3.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 17th Oct 2017


  • facebook ceo mark zuckerbergFounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.Paul Marotta/Getty Images


It looks like Facebook is considering barging in on LinkedIn's turf.


Facebook is currently trialling a CV feature, according to screenshots posted on social media — a move that would put it in direct competition with professional social network LinkedIn.

Matt Navarra, director of social media for The Next Web, has shared screenshots of the resume feature sent to him by web developer Jane Manchun Wong, who saw it appear on her Facebook profile.

The feature lets users list their professional experience and education, as well as their contact details, an image, and other information — just like Microsoft-owned LinkedIn does.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter


Matt Navarra ⭐️ ✔@MattNavarra

New! Facebook is testing a Resume / CV feature for job hunters

h/t @wongmjane

7:43 PM - Oct 15, 2017 · Wales, United Kingdom

Twitter Ads info and privacy

Of course, it's already possible for people to list their job history and education on Facebook. But do you really want prospective employers to see your private Facebook profile? Instead, the new feature appears to combine all the relevant information into a single, professional-looking package — away from personal photos, status updates, and other Facebook posts people might not wish to share with recruiters and the wider world.

It's not clear how many people currently have access to the resume feature, or what Facebook's ultimate intentions are here. The social network often tests features on a small number of users before rolling them out more widely (or not).

Reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the test, saying in a statement: "At Facebook, we're always building and testing new products and services. We're currently testing a work histories feature to continue to help people find and businesses hire for jobs on Facebook."

But just the fact that Facebook is experimenting with this is further evidence of how the Californian firm is increasingly trying to transcend its roots as a simple social network and move into the professional sector. In 2016, it launches Facebook At Work — now called Workplace — a modified version of Facebook designed for teams in the office to use.

Given Facebook's reputation for trying to crush potential rivals, that ought to make LinkedIn nervous.

Here's how it looks:

facebook linkedin cv resume feature restMatt Navarra/Jane Manchun Wong/Twitter


Source: uk.businessinsider.com
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 17th Oct 2017

New trademark application teases prospect of retro gaming on the move

Is Nintendo planning to bring back the classic Game Boy handheld console? New trademark application teases prospect of retro gaming on the move

The original Nintendo Game Boy - let's hope the screen will be bigger on any new one

A TRADEMARK APPLICATION filed by Nintendo has fuelled speculation that the firm could be about to revive the Game Boy. 

The trademark, which was filed on 15 September and uncovered by, er, a Japanese Twitter bot, is accompanied by an image of the classic handheld console (below).

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter


商標速報bot @trademark_bot

商標:[画像] /
出願人:任天堂株式会社 /
出願日:2017年9月15日 /

8:16 AM - Oct 6, 2017

Twitter Ads info and privacy

The trademark doesn't mention the mooted Game Boy Classic by name, but as noted by Gears of Biz, instead covers a variety of merchandising opportunities employing the Game Boy brand including wallets, bags, pouches, clothing, umbrellas and more. So if nothing else, some cool Nintendo swag is probably on its way.

However, the filing also covers programmes and storage "home video game machines' and "portable electronic game machines", hinting that some kind of console could be on the way.

Reviving the Game Boy would be a no-brainer for Nintendo too, especially as 2019 will mark the 30th anniversary of the handheld console. The original Game Boy came out in Japan on 21 April 1989 and began selling in Europe a year later on 28 September 1990. 

What's more, the company's recently-released and easily-hackable NES Classic and SNES Classic consoles both sold out and continue to sell out almost instantaneously.

Back in July, Nintendo filed a trademark showing a controller for the N64, suggesting that the company has yet more plans to revive another of its classic consoles. 

And after the Nintendo Game Boy, how about resurrecting the Nintendo Virtual Boy

Source: v3.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 17th Oct 2017

Dorsey promises "more aggressive stance" on rules and enforcement

Jack Dorsey promises Twitter crackdown on terrorist accounts

Twitter has pledged to crackdown further on the use of the network by terrorists. 

CEO Jack Dorsey announced the new crackdown today, which follows on from a number of initiatives intended to reinvigorate the moribund social networking tool. 

It's not the first time that Twitter has pledged to crackdown on the use of Twitter by terrorist organisations. However, Dorsey has now added that the company plans to implement stronger enforcement systems, along with a much tougher 'disciplinary' process.

Of course, he did this all over Twitter in a 'Tweet storm'.

"We see voices being silenced on Twitter every day," he tweeted.

He continued: "We've been working to counteract this for the past two years. We prioritised this in 2016. We updated our policies and increased the size of our teams. It wasn't enough. In 2017 we made it our top priority and made a lot of progress.

"Today we saw voices silencing themselves and voices speaking out because we're *still* not doing enough. We've been working intensely over the past few months and focused today on making some critical decisions.

"We decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them. New rules around: unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence."

All this will start to happen over the next couple of weeks. 

Source: v3.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 17th Oct 2017

A team of US researchers have confirmed that an exploit can hack into any WPA-2 wireless network, but details are slim

World WiFi at risk from KRACK

Those padlocks have suddenly become less reassuring

The WPA2 encryption that protects almost all WiFi networks has been cracked - meaning that wireless networks are even less safe than before.

A team led by the US government will give full details later today, Monday, but have already confirmed that an exploit known as KRACK is able to break through the encryption layer, putting anything into the plain sight of hackers.

The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US0CERT) has confirmed that using WPA-2 makes you a target and that's pretty bad because the majority of home routers don't have anything stronger.

Or to put it another way - if you use WiFi, you're a sitting duck.

At this stage, we're not sure how easy it is for a hacker to use KRACK, and so the scale of the problem is still somewhat up in the air. If it involves being within the range of your WiFi network for an hour, then it's less of a worry. If it's instant, then someone could attack you in a slow-moving car.

And that's not such an unlikely scenario - when WPA (1) was cracked back in 2009, it took a minute to slap down the data.

WPA2 has been so far from the back of people's minds it has hardly been mentioned on these hallowed pages, save for a portent of doom via a Virgin WiFi hack in July.

The full warning so far reads: "US-CERT has become aware of several key management vulnerabilities in the 4-way handshake of the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security protocol. 

"The impact of exploiting these vulnerabilities includes decryption, packet replay, TCP connection hijacking, HTTP content injection, and others. Note that as protocol-level issues, most or all correct implementations of the standard will be affected. The CERT/CC and the reporting researcher KU Leuven, will be publicly disclosing these vulnerabilities on 16 October 2017."

In other words, this is as bad as it gets. It has the potential to be Heartbleed on steroids (or on KRACK, if you insist) and there's pretty much nothing any of us can do about it, because no one has been really focusing on what would happen if it was.

Full details (and therefore how much we should worry) will appear later at krackattacks.com before a formal presentation of researcher findings at a talk called "Key Reinstallation Attacks: Forcing Nonce Reuse in WPA2" (yes that's really what it's called) at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security in Dallas on 1 November.

Source: v3.co.uk
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