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


Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 30th Nov 2016

The Queen has passed a highly controversial piece of legislation that gives British intelligence agencies the legal right to conduct mass surveillance on people in the UK.

The legislation will be coming into force in 2017.

The Investigatory Powers Bill (or IP Bill), as the legislation is known, was passed by Parliament on November 19 "with barely a whimper," according to The Guardian.

After the legislation was approved by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, US whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted: "The UK has just legalised the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes further than many autocracies."

But the Bill wasn't home and dry. It also needed to gain the approval of the country's constitutional monarch — the Queen — in a formality known as the Royal Assent.

To the disappointment of all those who signed a petition to repeal the IP Bill, also known as the Snopper's Charter, the Queen approved the bill on Tuesday, according to a Home Office press release. 

The law, pushed through Parliament by Prime Minister Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, makes it legal for UK intelligence agencies to hack, read, and store any information from any citizen's computer or phone, even if that citizen is completely innocent.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said in a statement:

"This Government is clear that, at a time of heightened security threat, it is essential our law enforcement, security and intelligence services have the powers they need to keep people safe.

"The internet presents new opportunities for terrorists and we must ensure we have the capabilities to confront this challenge. But it is also right that these powers are subject to strict safeguards and rigorous oversight.

"The Investigatory Powers Act is world-leading legislation that provides unprecedented transparency and substantial privacy protection.           

"I want to pay tribute to the independent reviewers, organisations, and Parliamentarians of all parties for their rigorous scrutiny of this important law which is vital for the safety and security of our families, communities and country."

But Rafael Laguna, CEO at software firm Open-Xchange, said in a statement: "The Snoopers’ Charter is an excessive measure drawn-up by a government which has not consulted the tech community. Realistically, the only major effect the IP Bill will have is invading citizens’ privacy. Criminals and terrorists will only find other ways to communicate discretely."

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
corner spacer corner
 


Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 29th Nov 2016

Over 120,000 back call to block law

parliament99

Government faces backlash on IP Bill

Over 120,000 people have signed a petition to request the repeal of the Investigatory Powers Bill (IP Bill) that is set to become law in the coming months.

The Open Rights Group (ORG), which organised the campaign, welcomed the public's reaction to the Bill and said it showed how important it is such laws are not passed without the public being fully aware of their implications.

"The IP Bill was debated and passed while the public, media and politicians were preoccupied by Brexit," said ORG executive director Jim Killock.

 

"Now that the Bill has passed, there is renewed concern about the extent of the powers that will be given to the police and security agencies. In particular, people appear to be worried about new powers that mean our web browsing activity can be collected by Internet Service Providers and viewed by the police and a whole range of government departments.

"Parliament may choose to ignore calls for a debate but this could undermine public confidence in these intrusive powers. A debate would also be an opportunity for MPs to discuss the implications of various court actions, which are likely to mean that the law will have to be amended."

This petition was started by Tom Skillinger who said it was vital people in the UK did not accept such a blanket regime of surveillance.

"A bill allowing UK intelligence agencies and police unprecedented levels of power regarding the surveillance of UK citizens has recently passed and is awaiting royal assent, making it law," he wrote.

"This means it's not too late! This is an absolute disgrace to both privacy and freedom and needs to stop!"

The IP Bill, also known as the Snoopers' Charter, will require internet and phone companies to store comprehensive records of websites visited and phone numbers called for 12 months, and to enable police, security services and multiple other public sector bodies to access those records on demand.

It will also provide the security services with the legal power to bulk collect personal communications data, and give police and security services the explicit power to hack into, and bug, computers and smartphones.

Source: v3.co.uk
 
corner spacer corner
 


Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 29th Nov 2016

 

Mark ZuckerbergFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Students have a tough time distinguishing between ads and news, and understanding conflicts of interest in information that is presented as fact, according to a new Stanford study reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The study comes at a time when Facebook and Google are being loudly criticized for helping spread fake news during a contentious presidential election.A recent study by BuzzFeedshowed that in the lead-up to the election, the top fake-news stories on Facebook outperformed legitimate news stories shared by some of the most popular media companies.

But some hoped that the social-media savvy of younger generations might help them better separate truth from falsehood online. This study suggests that’s simply not the case, at least at a young age.

According to the study, 82% of middle-schoolers couldn’t tell the difference between a news article and an ad labeled “sponsored content.” Similarly, “ more than two out of three middle-schoolers couldn’t see any valid reason to mistrust a post written by a bank executive arguing that young adults need more financial-planning help,” the Journal reports.

In middle school, it seems, the fact that the source of a piece of information could lead to bias isn’t understood.

The study included 7,804 students from middle school through college.

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
corner spacer corner
 


Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 29th Nov 2016

Eye with red light rayImage copyrightTHINKSTOCK

Image captionLasers are used in diverse ways, from surgery to mapping, pest control to warfare

Technology of Business

hink of lasers and what springs to mind? Ming the Merciless and his death ray in Flash Gordon? The planet-destroying Death Star in the Star Wars films? Or James Bond nearly getting bisected in Goldfinger?

Weapons, in other words. And yes, the military has always had a strong interest in deploying these highly-concentrated beams of light to blow missiles or satellites out of the sky.

Only recently, defence and aerospace firm Lockheed Martin trialled a 30-kilowatt laser called Athena that managed to burn a hole in a truck engine a mile away.

And in October, it revealed that it was developing a new generation of "super" lasers that funnel several lasers into one very powerful beam, with the eventual intention of mounting one on a US army vehicle.

Fiery hole in bonnet of pick-up truckImage copyrightLOCKHEED MARTIN

Image captionThis is what Lockheed Martin's Athena laser did to a car a mile away

But lasers have also had a long history of peaceful civilian use in devices as diverse as CD players, medical scanners, fibre optic cables and crime detection kits.

Medicine and surgery are being transformed thanks to highly accurate laser scalpels and laser diagnostics.

Now lasers could even help us see through walls and into the earth.

Highly accurate

M Squared, a laser and photonics specialist, has just launched the UK's first commercial atom interferometer - a device that makes ultra-precise measurements of forces such as gravity.

The device uses lasers to cool atoms to near absolute zero - colder than deep space. Under the weird laws of quantum mechanics, these atoms can then technically occupy two places at the same time. When they're recombined, finely tuned laser beams measure the effects.

Laser light show over the Eden Project, CornwallImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionLasers have far more uses than providing pretty light shows

Its developers say it could enable us to see people behind walls, detect underground infrastructure without digging holes, and develop navigation systems that do not rely on GPS.

"Extremely sensitive measurements of gravitational acceleration can be used to carry out underground mapping to detect oil and mineral deposits; the early detection of sinkholes; surveying of civil infrastructure; and on space missions," says Dr Graeme Malcolm, M Squared's chief executive.

"Atomic interferometers that are sensitive to magnetic fields will also be used for measuring brain activity in the fight against Parkinson's disease."

Seeing the past

Lasers have also been helping us see into the past.

Earlier this year archaeologists uncovered a new vast network of cities and roads in the thick jungles around the ancient Cambodian temple complex of Angkor Wat, following an aerial survey using Lidar (light detection and ranging).

The laser pulses were able to delve beneath the foliage in a way no other technology could. Lidar is also proving crucial in mapping our cities to inform the autonomous vehicles of the future.

Images from the laser equipmentImage copyrightDAMIAN EVANS/CALI

Image captionBeneath the forests of Cambodia, Lidar photography spotted the remains of huge cities

And while Goldfinger's laser may have threatened to give Sean Connery a falsetto singing voice, could it have formed a "laser wall" to protect a farmer's crops from rats and other pests?

A trial funded by the European Commission will see a laser called the Agrilaser Autonomic being deployed in Scotland, the Netherlands and Spain to protect farmland, firing laser beams that are perceived by critters as a physical danger.

This means they stay clear of crops so farmers don't have to use as much pesticide.

Speed of light

Lasers could also have a huge impact on the world of computing.

Silicon photonics may sound like a $10,000-a-day Hollywood clinic, but it refers to a technology that could have a huge impact on computing.

Traditionally, the industry has relied on electrical conductors to carry data along computer chips, but the explosion in data caused by the internet of things means we need a better way of handling it all,

Silicon photonics transmits data using laser light fired down optical fibres. It's so fast, you'd be able to download a high-definition film in less than a second.

Intel silicon laser chipImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionIntel's silicon laser computer chip promises faster data transfers

This is literally "computing at the speed of light".

As well as using it to improve computer chips and replace less efficient copper cabling between data centres, companies like Intel are trying to embed it into computer architecture.

As well as lightning fast speeds, the technology promises much greater energy efficiency and lower costs.

"The main target of silicon photonics is to enable the continuation of the explosion in demand for data, hence the current applications in data centres," says Prof Graham Reed, head of silicon photonics at the University of Southampton.

"Electronics is not able to continue to go faster and faster indefinitely without suffering huge heating, hence the need to communicate optically," he says.

"The longer-term future demands of connecting our lives digitally, whether it be for entertainment, healthcare, business, transport et cetera, means that more data will be required and therefore more and more optical interconnectivity.

"It's almost only limited by our imagination."

Light fantastic

Essentially a tube that concentrates light over and over again until it emerges as a very powerful beam, the laser - or Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation - was first postulated by Albert Einstein.

Theodore Maiman developed the world's first laser in 1960, although other scientists had patented designs earlier than this.

Since then, they have been refined and refined to become the highly accurate precision tools we use today.

TV screens showing eye surgery in progressImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionLaser eye surgery has been around for decades

Companies like Lockheed will always look to "weaponise" such technology, but the firm has also developed lasers for welding and cutting machines; 3D printers; and kit to decommission nuclear power stations, effectively scrubbing contaminated materials from the old buildings.

Light, it seems, has an almost unlimited number of uses.

 

Source: bbc.co.uk
 
corner spacer corner
 


Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 22nd Nov 2016

 

iPhone 6SSteve Kovach/Tech Insider

Apple is offering owners of some iPhone 6s phones a free battery replacement because of a battery issue that is causing some phones to randomly shut down.

The Californian company said that only a "very small number" of devices are affected, and which were manufactured between September and October 2015.

It recommends anyone who has seen the issue to take their phone to an Apple Store to get it checked out.

If you've got an iPhone 6s, and you're now worried that it might explode, Samsung-style — don't worry. It's not a "safety issue," according to Apple. All that happens to affected phones is they unexpectedly shut down.

"Apple has determined that a very small number of iPhone 6s devices may unexpectedly shut down. This is not a safety issue and only affects devices within a limited serial number range that were manufactured between September and October 2015," the company said in a statement on its website.

 

 

"If you have experienced this issue, please visit an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider and have your device's serial number checked to confirm eligibility for a battery replacement, free of charge."

If you think your phone might be affected, then head on over to Apple's website for more detailed instructions on how to get your battery replaced »

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
corner spacer corner
 


Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 22nd Nov 2016

Tesla stores are getting a big facelift. 

The company is currently in the process of overhauling its retail locations to focus more on the energy side of its business. As part of the revamp, Tesla will showcase its new rechargeable home battery, the Powerwall 2, and will install new graphics explaining how its energy products work. 

Tesla Powerwall 2.0A Tesla store showcasing the new Powerwall 2.0.Tesla

US88160R1014 Tesla Motors

 185.20 0.60 (+0.30 %)

DisclaimerMore US88160R1014 on Markets Insider »

 

Customers will also now be able to order Tesla's Powerwall in store and online. Previously, the only way to purchase the battery was on Tesla's website. 

Tesla has already updated some stores in key locations across North America, Europe, and Australia. The company chose to focus the rollout on markets with the most demand for energy products, but the company plans to add its energy products to more stores in the near future. 

The revamp comes at a time when Tesla is ramping up its energy business. 

On Monday morning, the company officially closed on its acquisition of SolarCity, a deal worth about $2 billion. 

elon musk solar roofTesla

 

Together, the companies will build solar shingles made of a special type of glass. Tesla's solar roof shingles look like normal shingles, but can capture energy from the sun to generate electricity. What's more, Tesla's shingles are expected to be priced competitively. 

In fact on Friday, Musk said during a special shareholder meeting that it's likely Tesla's solar roof will cost less than a normal roof, even before taking the value of electricity into account. 

Musk first unveiled the solar shingles and Tesla's Powerwall 2, at a company event in late October. While most of the attention was given to the solar shingles at the event, the new Powerwall is not to be ignored. 

Tesla Store graphicAn example of a new display going up in Tesla stores.Tesla

Powerwall 2 has 14 kWh of energy and can provide 5 kWh of continuous power. This means it has twice the energy as the previous model. Tesla says that it is capable of powering the lights, sockets, and refrigerator in a two bedroom home. 

Besides improved storage, the new Powerwall also looks a lot better. Tesla redesigned the Powerwall 2.0 to be thinner and more rectangular than its predecessor. It also has a built-in inverter and can be mounted on the wall or the ground, indoors or outdoors.

The new batteries price at $5,500 and Tesla estimates the units will cost $1,000 to install, bringing the grand total to $6,500. 

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
corner spacer corner
 


Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 22nd Nov 2016

 

chinaReuters

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and a Mars colonization evangelist, may face a big snag in his dream to bathe the globe in high-speed internet: the Chinese military.

On November 15, SpaceX asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to launch 4,425 internet-providing satellites. That is hundreds more satellites than currently orbit Earth, including the dead ones.

But as far back as January 2015, when Musk first debuted his global internet project at a new SpaceX satellite factory in Seattle, he noted how China could pose a significant hurdle for his plans.

The Chinese government would have to agree to let SpaceX build antenna dishes, or ground links, to send and receive data to and from the company's spacecraft. But that nation routes internet access for its 1.37 billion inhabitants through "the Great Firewall," a censorship technology that blocks foreign news, mentions of citizen uprisings (like the Tiananmen Square Massacre), or anything else Chinese officials don't like on the web.

"Obviously, any given country can say it's illegal to have a ground link. [...] And from our standpoint we could conceivably continue to broadcast," Musk said during the event. "I mean, I'm hopeful that we can structure agreements with various countries to allow communication with their citizens, but it is on a country-by-country basis."

So what if SpaceX continued to broadcast uncensored internet over China, despite not being given permission?

"If they get upset with us, they can blow our satellites up, which wouldn't be good," Musk said. "China can do that. So probably we shouldn't broadcast there."

Satellite killers

china pla mobile missile launcher military parade GettyImages 486281068A missile launcher similar to the one used by China to destroy an old satellite in 2007. Getty Images

Musk has good reason to fear the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China.

In January 2007, the PLA launched a "kinetic kill vehicle" — the space equivalent of a giant bullet — atop a mobile, multi-stage rocket.

The target was an old Chinese weather satellite called Feng Yun-1C (FY-1C), and the head-on collision between the two objects happened at roughly 18,000 mph (8 km per second).

It was an impressive, if frightening, demonstration that echoed the US military's anti-satellite test of October 1985. That US satellite-killing exercise blasted an old solar observatory called Solwind into more than 280 pieces.

china fengyun fy 1c satellite killer space debris celestrakRed dots are known pieces of China's destroyed FY-1C satellite. Green dots are low-Earth orbit satellites. Celestrak/Analytical Graphics, Inc.

In the case of China's 2007 anti-satellite test, however, the impact created nearly 4,000 new detectable chunks of space debris.

Hundreds of pieces of FY-1C have slowed down enough to burn up in Earth's atmosphere, but some 3,438 roughly softball-size pieces are still zooming around the planet at speeds of thousands of miles per hour. What's more,according to Space News, roughly half of those chunks will stay in orbit until 2027.

There may also be as many as 35,000 fingernail-size bits of FY-1C debris circling the Earth which — like so many tiny bullets — even the most advanced ground radar stations can't track, according to Popular Mechanics.

In fact, despite the vast distances that separate satellites hundreds of miles above Earth, pieces of FY-1C have already destroyed a Russian satellite and nearly whacked the International Space Station.

FY-1C's trash is just one source of space junk, though. Decades of launching artificial satellites into orbit has created an orbiting field of trash that NASA scientists fear is reaching a "critical density": when more junk is being created than is falling out of the sky.

Efforts are underway to figure out ways to clean up this deadly trash around Earth, including one effort by the Chinese, but it's an intractably difficult task and progress has been slow.

So even if China doesn't exercise its satellite-killing capabilities, which it has continued to develop, SpaceX will have to confront the persistent threat of space junk smacking into its giant constellation of internet satellites — and creating even more of a danger if that happens.

How SpaceX's global internet might work

falcon 9 spacexSpaceX/Flickr

According to a database compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 1,419 active satellites are currently orbiting Earth. Roughly 2,600 satellites that no longer work are thought to be floating in space, but even factoring those in, SpaceX's planned fleet would be larger than everything already in space.

Some of the biggest telecommunications satellites can weigh several tons, be the size of a bus, and orbit from a fixed point about 22,000 miles, or 35,000 kilometers, above Earth.

According to SpaceX's FCC application, though, it seems these won't be typical telecommunications satellites.

Each satellite in SpaceX's planned constellation will weigh about 850 pounds, or 386 kilograms, and be roughly the size of a MINI Cooper car. They will orbit at altitudes ranging from 715 miles (1,150 km) to 790 miles (1,275 km).

From this lofty vantage point, SpaceX says, each satellite could cover an ellipse about 1,300 miles (2,120 km) wide. That's about the distance from Maine to the Florida panhandle.

"The system is designed to provide a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental and professional users worldwide," SpaceX wrote in its application.

spacex internet satellite detailsSpaceX/FCC

SpaceX's filing with the FCC outlines a two-phase launch plan.

To get the party started, SpaceX wants to send up 1,600 satellites at one orbital altitude, then follow up with another 2,825 satellites placed in four shells at different altitudes.

"With deployment of the first 800 satellites, SpaceX will be able to provide widespread U.S. and international coverage for broadband services," SpaceX wrote. "Once fully optimized through the Final Deployment, the system will be able to provide high bandwidth (up to 1 Gbps per user), low latency broadband services for consumers and businesses in the U.S. and globally."

During his January 2015 talk, Musk said the full system "would be $10 or $15 billion to create, maybe more. Then, the user terminals will be at least $100 to $300 depending on which type of terminal."

And it's all a means to an end.

"This is intended to be a significant amount of revenue and help fund a city on Mars," he said.

Turbo speeds

two men computers typing technology digital online internetPatrick Lux/Getty Images

A speed of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) globally would be huge.

The global average for internet speed per user in late 2015, according Akamai's "State of the Internet" report, was 5.1 Mbps second — about 200 times slower than SpaceX's target — with most of the higher speeds tied up in cable and fiber-optic connections.

SpaceX also makes the point in its filing's legal statement that, according to a July report by UNESCO's Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, "4.2 billion people (or 57% of the world’s population) are offline for a wide range of reasons, but often also because the necessary connectivity is not present or not affordable."

Bathing the planet in internet is one way to get those people online.

Here are some more details directly from SpaceX's filing, which are notable:

  • High capacity: Each satellite in the SpaceX System provides aggregate downlink capacity to users ranging from 17 to 23 Gbps, depending on the gain of the user terminal involved. Assuming an average of 20 Gbps, the 1600 satellites in the Initial Deployment would have a total aggregate capacity of 32 Tbps. SpaceX will periodically improve the satellites over the course of the multi-year deployment of the system, which may further increase capacity.
  • High adaptability: The system leverages phased array technology to dynamically steer a large pool of beams to focus capacity where it is needed. Optical inter-satellite links permit flexible routing of traffic on-orbit. Further, the constellation ensures that frequencies can be reused effectively across different satellites to enhance the flexibility and capacity and robustness of the overall system.
  • Broadband services: The system will be able to provide broadband service at speeds of up to 1 Gbps per end user. The system's use of low-Earth orbits will allow it to target latencies of approximately 25-35 ms.
  • Worldwide coverage: With deployment of the first 800 satellites, the system will be able to provide U.S. and international broadband connectivity; when fully deployed, the system will add capacity and availability at the equator and poles for truly global coverage.
  • Low cost: SpaceX is designing the overall system from the ground up with cost- effectiveness and reliability in mind, from the design and manufacturing of the space and ground-based elements, to the launch and deployment of the system using SpaceX launch services, development of the user terminals, and end-user subscription rates.
  • Ease of use: SpaceX's phased-array user antenna design will allow for a low-profile user terminal that is easy to mount and operate on walls or roofs.
  • Lifespan: The satellites will last between 5 years and 7 years and decay within a year after that.

Musk first discussed the unnamed satellite constellation project back in January of last year, later filing for an FCC application to test basic technologies that would support it.

At the time, Musk said during the Seattle event (our emphasis added):

"The focus is going to be on creating a global communications system. This is quite an ambitious effort. We're really talking about something which is, in the long term, like rebuilding the Internet in space. The goal will be to have the majority of long distance Internet traffic go over this network and about 10% of local consumer and business traffic. So that's, still probably 90% of people's local access will still come from fiber but we'll do about 10% business to consumer direct and more than half of the long distance traffic."

According to a June 2015 story by Christian Davenport at The Washington Post, Google and Fidelity invested $1 billion into Musk's company, in part to support the project. So it's a good guess that if and when the network becomes functional, those companies would partly assume control of it. (Google's parent company, Alphabet, is also working on its own effort to beam internet connectivity from the skies using satellites, balloons, and drones.)

The filing comes just two months after a SpaceX rocket exploded during a routine launchpad test. It was carrying the $200 million AMOS-6 satellite, which Facebook intended to license to beam free internet to parts of Africa.

SpaceX declined to comment or provide more details on the project beyond its FCC filing, including its projected timeline and how the satellites would be launched (presumably with Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets).

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
corner spacer corner
 


Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 22nd Nov 2016
  • jeremy clarksonGetty/Gaye Gerard

Amazon paid about $250 million for its new show "The Grand Tour," a series from Jeremy Clarkson and the "Top Gear" team, according to Netflix's content boss, Ted Sarandos.

The first episode of the show's 12-episode first season dropped November 18.

The FT previously reported that Amazon had paid $250 million for three seasons of the show.

"The Grand Tour" is a huge moment for Amazon in its bid to rival Netflix as the top producer of high-quality streaming content.

Netflix even mentioned the show in its most recent earnings report, saying the company assumed it would make Amazon "as global as YouTube and Netflix." Amazon is poised to expand its video service to more than 200 countries, most likely starting in December, according to The Wall Street Journal.

 

 

If "The Grand Tour" is Amazon's calling card in its worldwide ambitions, it didn't come cheap. Though some had floated the idea that Amazon had paid about $160 million for it, Sarandos claimed Amazon paid much more.

"That's an under-reported number," Sarandos told The Telegraph. "It was about a quarter of a billion dollars. We'll be able to figure out later what it was that made the show the show. It'll be interesting with 'Grand Tour' to see how much of that is the players, who in many cases are big personalities, but what elements of 'Top Gear' will people miss?"

Amazon is doubling its spend on video content in the second half of this year, compared with last year, the company's CFO, Brian Olsavsky, said previously. Amazon most recently disclosed its investment amount on video content back in 2014, when it spent $1.3 billion.

Sarandos said Netflix pursued the show but implied his company didn't think it was worth what Amazon paid.

"We made a play for that show, definitely," Sarandos said. "But we've had every season of 'Top Gear' on Netflix in most territories in the world, so we had a better sense than most of what the audience was for 'Top Gear' on our platform. We knew what it was worth."

Netflix is no stranger to shelling out money, however. It plans to spend $6 billion on content in 2017.

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
corner spacer corner
 


Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 22nd Nov 2016

 

ibm data center durhamAn IBM data centre. IBM

IBM has announced that it plans to build four more data centres in the UK, confirming a report from earlier this month.

When complete, the US tech giant will have six data centres in the UK, 16 across Europe and more than 50 worldwide.

The New York-headquartered company uses a network of data centres worldwide to power its cloud business. They contain servers that allow IBM customers to access services like IBM Watson, the company's artificial intelligence platform, and IBM analytics applications, as well as more than 100 other IBM applications.

In the UK, the multinational currently has two data centres in Portsmouth and Chessington.

The first of the four new IBM data centres — expected to be operational next month, will be located in Fareham, which is a short distance away from IBM's existing data centre in Portsmouth. IBM refused to be drawn on where the other three new data centres will be but it did say they'll be up and running by the end of 2017. IBM also declined to comment on how much they're costing.

 

 

Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Cloud, said in a statement: "By adding four new cloud data centres in the UK, IBM is giving local businesses an easy route to the cloud, helping them quickly innovate and respond to market demands."

Digital minister Matt Hancock welcomed the news, saying: "We are already among the most digitally connected countries in the world, with a globally successful digital economy worth more than £118 billion a year and strong cyber security defences to protect consumers and business.

"Today's announcement by IBM is a further boost for this thriving area, and another vote of confidence which shows Britain is open for business. These new cloud data centres will help our firms work smarter and quicker to become the world-leading businesses of tomorrow."

Almost all of the major US tech companies now have data centres in the UK or Ireland. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have all opened facilities within the last few years to help them deliver a quicker and smoother experience for heir European users.

Apple is one of the few large US tech companies that is yet to open a data centre in the UK or Ireland. However, it's hoping to build one just outside the small Irish town of Athenry near the west coast of Ireland.

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
corner spacer corner
 


Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 22nd Nov 2016

 

Jony IveJony Ive.Kimberly White/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

In the autumn of 2015, Apple design guru Jony Ive said that if he wasn't working for Apple, he might create Christmas decorations.

"If I wasn't doing this, I think I would just be drawing or making stuff for friends," he told interviewer Charlie Rose. "Maybe it would just be Christmas tree ornaments, I don't know." 

Ive, if you're not familiar with him, is the head honcho of design at the Cupertino technology company. He frequently appears as an ethereal, disembodied voiceover on Apple's promotional videos talking about its iconic design.

Today, 49-year-old British knight continues to work for Apple. But he's gone and decorated a Christmas tree anyway.

Keep scrolling for photos of the tree...

This is Claridge's. It's a posh hotel in central London.

This is Claridge's. It's a posh hotel in central London.

Rob Price/BI

Every year, it gets famous designers to design Christmas trees for its lobby. In 2015, it was Christopher Bailey for Burberry.

Every year, it gets famous designers to design Christmas trees for its lobby. In 2015, it was Christopher Bailey for Burberry.

Claridge's

Dolce & Gabanna, Kally Ellis of McQueens, and John Galliano for Dior have also had a go. This is Galliano's 2010 creation.

Dolce & Gabanna, Kally Ellis of McQueens, and John Galliano for Dior have also had a go. This is Galliano's 2010 creation.

Claridge's

But in 2016, it's Jony Ive's turn! He designed it together with frequent partner-in-crime Marc Newson, as well as set designer Michael Howells. So how does it look?

But in 2016, it's Jony Ive's turn! He designed it together with frequent partner-in-crime Marc Newson, as well as set designer Michael Howells. So how does it look?

Sir Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President, Industrial Design, Apple Inc poses with his Honour of Knighthood and designer Mark Newson (right) poses with his Commander of the British Empire (CBE) medal following an Investiture ceremony hosted by the Princess Royal, at Buckingham Palace, on May 23, 2012 in London.Rebecca Naden/Getty

Well ... it's a tree. There's nothing on it.

Well ... it's a tree. There's nothing on it.

Rob Price/BI

"Is it finished?" I cautiously asked a Claridge's staff member. The answer: Yes.

"Is it finished?" I cautiously asked a Claridge's staff member. The answer: Yes.

Rob Price/BI

There are smaller trees dotted about too — also without any decorations on.

There are smaller trees dotted about too — also without any decorations on.

Rob Price/BI

But then, what do you expect? Apple is famous for its ultra-minimalist design.

But then, what do you expect? Apple is famous for its ultra-minimalist design.

Rob Price/BI

The unfurnished firs are accompanied by a lobby bedecked to look like a winter wonderland. Fake snow lines the floor alongside real tree trunks, under a leafy canopy and shifting light-scheme.

The unfurnished firs are accompanied by a lobby bedecked to look like a winter wonderland. Fake snow lines the floor alongside real tree trunks, under a leafy canopy and shifting light-scheme.

Rob Price/BI

"Our aim was to create an all-enveloping magical experience that celebrates our enormous respect for tradition while recognising our excitement about the future and things to come," Ive and Newson said to design mag Wallpaper.

"Our aim was to create an all-enveloping magical experience that celebrates our enormous respect for tradition while recognising our excitement about the future and things to come," Ive and Newson said to design mag Wallpaper.

Rob Price/BI

Source: Wallpaper

"There are few things more pure and beautiful than nature, so that was our starting point, layering various iterations of organic forms with technology," they added.

"There are few things more pure and beautiful than nature, so that was our starting point, layering various iterations of organic forms with technology," they added.

Rob Price/BI

It is very pretty. And the birdsong and forest noises are a nice touch.

It is very pretty. And the birdsong and forest noises are a nice touch.

Rob Price/BI

But the closest thing to a traditional Christmas tree is this little one in the corner with some fake snow on. No decorations to be seen anywhere!

But the closest thing to a traditional Christmas tree is this little one in the corner with some fake snow on. No decorations to be seen anywhere!

Rob Price/BI

Visitors seemed to like it, happily posing for photos in the installation room.

Visitors seemed to like it, happily posing for photos in the installation room.

Rob Price/BI

At one point, a choir even turned up (though they're not an official part of the installation). It was positively idyllic.

At one point, a choir even turned up (though they're not an official part of the installation). It was positively idyllic.

Rob Price/BI

But yes — the tree is just a tree.

But yes — the tree is just a tree.

Rob Price/BI

There's no headphone jack, wifi, USB-C ports or HDMI output either, which is a bummer.

There's no headphone jack, wifi, USB-C ports or HDMI output either, which is a bummer.

Rob Price/BI

Ive's tree comes off the back of another unconventional project — a $300 book containing nothing but photos of Apple products. It was developed over an eight-year period, and Ive said Apple had to invent new kinds of ink and paper to do it justice.

Ive's tree comes off the back of another unconventional project — a $300 book containing nothing but photos of Apple products. It was developed over an eight-year period, and Ive said Apple had to invent new kinds of ink and paper to do it justice.

Apple

Source: Wallpaper

Source: uk.businessinsider.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
Sitemap
© 2018 Discus Systems plc. All rights reserved. Content Management by Verve Digital