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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 11th Oct 2017

google home miniThe Google Home Mini in a Google-exclusive "coral red" color.Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

Google rushed out a fix to a glitch in its latest smart speaker last week that caused the device to surreptitiously record the conversations of its early testers without their knowledge or consent.

The bug affected a small number of the Google Home Mini devices that the company handed out to reporters at its press event last week, according to the Google. The company rolled out a software update over the weekend to address the issue on those devices and is exploring a long-term fix. 

"We learned of an issue impacting a small number of Google Home Mini devices that could cause the touch mechanism to behave incorrectly," the company said in a statement, adding, "If you're still having issues, please feel free to contact Google support." 

Google unveiled the $50 Mini, which goes on sale on October 19, at its event on Wednesday. Soon after, Android Police's Artem Russakovskii, who was one of the reporters who received a test unit, discovered that his device was turning on by itself, recording his conversations, and uploading them to Google. 

Normally, there are two ways to interact with Google's smart speakers, including the Mini. You can say the words "OK Google," followed by a command such as "play 'Bohemian Rhapsody.'" Alternatively, you can press the button located on the top of the devices instead of saying "OK Google." 

But Russakovskii discovered that his Mini was listening in on him even when he hadn't pressed the device's button or said, "OK Google." When he checked his personal activity page on Google, the site that shows users' interactions with the search giant's services and the data it collects on users, he found sound files that had been uploaded to Google's servers from the Mini without his consent.

Google blamed the glitch on a faulty button in some of the units. The buttons on those Minis were detecting touches even when there was no touch to detect. Russakovskii apparently got one of the defective devices.  

On October 7th, three days after it handed out the Mini review units, Google rolled out a software update that disables the button. The change affects every Mini it's handed out, even those that weren't malfunctioning. Meanwhile, the company says it's deleted all the data recorded from alleged button pushes on the Mini review units — whether they were actual button pushes or not — from the time it handed out the devices to reviewers until it issued the update. 

Ultimately, the problem appears to be a simple error, not a malicious act of spying. And the company is looking for a long-term solution.

But the glitch is one that Google would certainly have liked to have avoided for multiple reasons, as The Verge notes.

The bug could not only help undermine sales of the Mini but hamper Google's broader effort to turn itself into a top-tier hardware maker. Smart speakers like the Mini rely on customers' trust; it's an act of faith for consumers to let Amazon or Google place a microphone in their houses. They generally expect the companies to only record them when they're aware of it.

Worse, the nature of the glitch is likely to play into consumers' worst fears about the search giant. Lots of people are already sensitive to the fact that Google is collecting tons of data on its customers. And the company has previously been taken to task for collecting data without consumers' consent. Back in 2010, Google admitted its Google Maps Street View cars had been sucking up e-mails and passwords from unencrypted WiFi networks as the cars mapped neighborhoods around the country and world.

Source: businessinsider.com
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 11th Oct 2017

 

(Photo: Facebook)

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SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Zuckerberg apologized after a live-streamed virtual trip to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico to promote Facebook's Spaces app drew sharp criticism on social media.

"My goal here was to show how (virtual reality) can raise awareness and help us see what's happening in different parts of the world. I also wanted to share the news of our partnership with the Red Cross to help with the recovery. Reading some of the comments, I realize this wasn't clear, and I'm sorry to anyone this offended," the Facebook CEO wrote.

On Monday Zuckerberg and Rachel Franklin, who runs Facebook's social virtual reality efforts, embarked on what they called a "magical" tour of Puerto Rico where many residents are still without power, food, supplies and medical care.

The background was a 360-degree video from NPR which showed flooded streets and people clearing debris. Facebook's Spaces app lets you create a 3-D avatar and communicate with other avatars in a virtual space using an Oculus Rift VR headset. 

"One of the things that’s really magical about virtual reality is that you can get the feeling that you are really in a place,” Zuckerberg's cartoon avatar says.

Zuckerberg also announced Facebook would help build "population maps" to help the Red Cross pinpoint where help is needed.

The response to the virtual reality stunt was a bit of a, well, disaster. On social media Zuckerberg was called a "heartless billionaire" and accused of "exploiting disaster."

On Wednesday, Facebook hosts its annual Oculus conference for virtual reality software developers.

View image on Twitter

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pipecork @pipecork

Virtual Zuckerberg high-fiving in front of flooding in Puerto Rico

11:37 PM - Oct 9, 2017 · Seattle, WA

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Pinboard @Pinboard

The awful taste of this demo shows how far out of his depth Zuckerberg is running Facebook. Need more human adults. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/09/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-puerto-rico-virtual-reality …

5:21 AM - Oct 10, 2017

Photo published for Mark Zuckerberg 'tours' flooded Puerto Rico in bizarre virtual reality promo

Mark Zuckerberg 'tours' flooded Puerto Rico in bizarre virtual reality promo

The Facebook CEO’s cartoon avatar visited the hurricane-damaged island in a tone-deaf livestream that was part disaster tourism, part product promotion

theguardian.com

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Matt Stoller ✔@matthewstoller

That phalanx of PR people surrounding Mark Zuckerberg are doing just a bang-up job. He is not out of touch at all. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/10/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-slammed-for-puerto-rico-vr-video.html …

2:44 PM - Oct 10, 2017

Photo published for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg slammed for Puerto Rico VR video

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg slammed for Puerto Rico VR video

Mark Zuckerberg's video was criticized by users online for "exploiting disaster."

cnbc.com

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Erika Hall 🌎 @mulegirl

We have to stop talking about empathy like this. It's not a feature or a technique, it is a human capacity.

9:57 PM - Oct 10, 2017

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Source: usatoday.com
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 10th Oct 2017

Countdown to the GDPR

The GDPR will be enforced from 25 May 2018. UK organisations that process the personal data of EU residents have only a short time to ensure that they are compliant.

Introduced to keep pace with the modern digital landscape, the GDPR is more extensive in scope and application than the current Data Protection Act (DPA). The Regulation extends the data rights of individuals, and requires organisations to develop clear policies and procedures to protect personal data, and adopt appropriate technical and organisational measures.

Official Journal of the European Union: Final regulation text >>

 

The key changes introduced by the Regulation

The GDPR introduces a number of key changes for organisations. Click the headers below for more detail:

  1. If your business is not in the EU, you will still have to comply with the Regulation
  2. The definition of personal data is broader, bringing more data into the regulated perimeter
  3. Consent will be necessary for processing children’s data
  4. The rules for obtaining valid consent have been changed
  5. The appointment of a data protection officer (DPO) will be mandatory for certain companies
  6. Mandatory Data protection impact assessments have been introduced
  7. There are new requirements for data breach notifications
  8. Data subjects have the right to be forgotten
  9. There are new restrictions on international data transfers
  10. Data processors share responsibility for protecting personal data
  11. There are new requirements for data portability
  12. Processes must be built on the principle of privacy by design
  13. The GDPR is a one-stop shop

 

Penalties under the GDPR

The Regulation mandates considerably tougher penalties than the DPA: organisations found in breach of the Regulation can expect administrative fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million – whichever is greater. Fines of this scale could very easily lead to business insolvency. Data breaches are commonplace and increase in scale and severity every day. As Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report reaffirms, “no locale, industry or organization is bulletproof when it comes to the compromise of data”, so it is vital that all organisations are aware of their new obligations so that they can prepare accordingly.

For more information on GDPR penalties, click here >>

 

The Brexit question

UK organisations handling personal data will still need to comply with the GDPR, regardless of Brexit. The GDPR will come into force before the UK leaves the European Union, and the government has confirmed that the Regulation will apply, a position that has been confirmed by the Information Commissioner.

 

 

Source: itgovernance.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 9th Oct 2017

 

couple making a heart shape with their handsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionRomance scams remain a successful tactic for criminals online.

In the flesh, Wayne May (not his real name) is an affable gentleman in his late 40s, softly spoken with a lilting Welsh accent.

When we meet he's casually dressed in jeans and a Batman T-shirt. He works full-time as a carer.

On the net, he's a tireless defender of scam victims and a fearless scam baiter - a person who deliberately contacts scammers, engages with them and then publishes as much information about them as possible in order to warn others.

He regularly receives death threats, and his website, Scam Survivors, is often subjected to attempted DDoS attacks - where a site is maliciously hit with lots of web traffic to try to knock it offline.

But Mr May is determined to continue helping scamming victims in his spare time, and has a team of volunteers in the US, Canada and Europe doing the same.

Wayne May (pseudonym), Scam Survivors

Image caption"Wayne May" says victims need to accept that they are unlikely to get their money back

Scam Survivors is not an official platform - in the UK victims are encouraged to contact Action Fraud - but the team has dealt with 20,000 cases in the past 12 years, he claims.

According to the Office for National Statistics there were 1.9 million reports of "cyber-related" fraud in the year ending March 2017 in England and Wales. But the report also says that many incidents go unreported.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website says nearly AUS$13m (£8m, $10m) has been lost this year to romance fraud alone.

Scamming may be an old trick but it's still an effective one.

Mr May, who does not charge but invites donations on his website, says his website gets up to 10,000 hits a day and the group also receives up to two dozen messages a day from people who are victims of sextortion - when a person is blackmailed after being persuaded to carry out a sex act on webcam, which is then recorded.

"A lot of people, when they come to us are already so far deep into it, they have nowhere to turn," he says.

"They're not stupid, they're just unaware of the scam."

"It's not obvious [that it's a scam] if they've never experienced it before."

He discovered he was "rather good" at baiting romance scammers and found relatives of victims were approaching him to help loved-ones.

"I started dealing more with the victims of the scams rather than the scammers themselves, so my priorities changed then from just having fun to actually helping people."

Many scams are not a particularly sophisticated form of fraud.

"There are constantly new scams coming out, and we need to be aware of those," says Mr May.

"But a lot of the scams aren't high-tech, they simply write messages to people and that's it.

"You might think, 'I'm not going to fall for this scam' but then you'll fall for another one. The scammers will find a chink in your armour."

Daniel PerryImage copyrightOTHER

Image captionDaniel Perry, 17, died in a fall from the Forth Road Bridge in July 2013 - he was a victim of sextortion

The first thing Mr May has to explain to those who get in touch is that Scam Survivors cannot recover any money the victim has been persuaded to hand it over.

In his experience, the average victim will end up around £1,000 out of pocket, but some will go a lot further - one man who recently made contact with the support group had given more than £500,000 to a male Russian scammer he thought he was in a relationship with.

"We say upfront, we can't get your money back. We can't offer you emotional support. We're not psychiatrists. We're just people who know how scams work and how to deal with them," he says.

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Advice for victims

  • Drop all contact with the scammer.
  • Don't try to track them down - remember, the scammer has your real details and possibly compromising information about you. It's not worth the risk to continue talking to them, and especially not worth confronting them.
  • If you sent cash, there's no realistic way to get it back - beware the "recovery scam" where the scammer then claims to be an agency able to get the money back, for a fee.
  • Contact the police.
  • Share as many details about the scam as you can to warn others.

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To prevent being a victim, his advice is simple: "Google everything."

Search the images you are sent, the messages you receive - often scammers use the same material and the more widely shared it is, the more likely it is to end up on a website dedicated to exposing scams.

If you fear blackmail, Mr May suggests setting up an alert so that you are notified if your name is mentioned online. If, in the case of sextortion, a video is published on the net, you will then know straight away and can report it, as you are likely to be tagged in it.

"Be aware and learn how to search everything," he says.

"If someone sends you a picture or text, search it, try to find out as much as you can. If you're unsure don't send them money."

filing tabsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and cyber-crime reporting service, said all scams reported to it are passed on to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which is part of City of London Police.

However, a spokeswoman told the BBC that only around 30% of all fraud cases had "viable lines of inquiry".

"We know that at these levels it is difficult for law enforcement agencies to investigate all these crimes," said a spokeswoman.

"We have to maximise our resources where there is the best chance of a successful investigative outcome."

Professor Alan Woodward, cyber-security expert from Surrey University, said it was still important to keep reporting scams to the national body even if individual justice was not always possible.

"For those contacting Action Fraud UK to report a crime it may appear that little happens, but your information is vital in constructing an accurate picture of where, when and how online scams are occurring," he said.

"It may be that the police are unable to solve your individual crime but by studying the big picture they are able to zero in on the scammers.

"Your report could be vital in completing the overall picture and enable law enforcement to prevent others suffering as you have."

No sympathy

Some people argue that the scammers themselves are also in desperate situations - many of them operate in some of the poorest parts of the world, such as West Africa and the Philippines.

Wayne May has no sympathy.

"These people aren't Robin Hood types," he says.

"If you go online and scam people you have the money to go online, if you can't afford food you can't spend hours in an internet cafe."

He is, however, haunted by one occasion when a woman from the Philippines he was scam-baiting offered to perform on webcam for him. When he declined she then asked if she should involve her sister.

"She called this girl over and she couldn't have been more than nine or 10," he recalls.

"That horrified me. I said, 'Don't do this, not for me, not for anybody. You shouldn't do this'. I couldn't talk to her again after that. I had to completely walk away."

He says he has no idea what happened to her.

"I can't let it affect me too much, otherwise I wouldn't be able to do what I do," he said.

"I've been doing it for almost 12 years now, and if I let every case affect me I'd be a gibbering wreck in the corner."

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Common Scams

Romance - when a scammer builds an intense online relationship with someone, then asks for money

Sextortion - when a victim is persuaded to carry out a sex act on webcam which is then videoed and the scammer demands a ransom in return for not publishing the content on the net

Pets - a pet is advertised for sale, and then fees are demanded in order to get the pet to its new owner. The pet does not exist.

Hitman - Someone claims to be a hitman and says that they have been paid to kill you. They then say that if you are prepared to pay more, they will not carry out the threat.

419 - named after section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code - claiming money from another person under false pretence: such as needing assistance to release a large sum of fictional inheritance.

Source: bbc.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 9th Oct 2017

 

Phones being chargedImage copyrightBALOON111

Image captionMost modern mobile gadgets get their power from a lithium battery

Lithium batteries can be made to charge 10 to 20 times faster by using asphalt, suggests US research.

Scientists at Rice University speeded up the charging time by making one component of a battery using carbon derived from the viscous liquid.

In tests, batteries made using asphalt charged to full power in minutes, said the researchers.

They also found that using asphalt stopped the formation of deposits that can shorten the life of a battery.

Faster fuelling

"The capacity of these batteries is enormous," said Prof James Tour, who heads the lab that developed the batteries.

"What is equally remarkable is that we can bring them from zero charge to full charge in five minutes, rather than the typical two hours or more needed with other batteries," he added.

To make their batteries, the Rice team used carbon derived from asphalt that was mixed with graphene nanoribbons and then coated with lithium metal.

Prof Tour said the manufacturing process behind this new approach was simpler than earlier techniques it had developed for making fast-charging batteries.

The Rice team has put prototype batteries through hundreds of cycles of charging and discharging to ensure the technology is stable.

This testing also revealed that the batteries were less likely to suffer the build-up of structures called "lithium dendrites" that can gradually spread through a device limiting its life.

Details of the research were revealed in the scientific journal ACS Nano.

The Rice group is just one of many developing faster-charging technologies.

Earlier this year, battery start-up StoreDot said it would introduce its quick-charging batteries in 2018, although some analysts were sceptical about its claims. Tesla, Qualcomm and many others are also working on ways to speed up charging.

Ben Wood from the CCS Insight consultancy expressed some doubts about the Rice research.

"We see so many of these claims and I have learned through experience to be extremely cautious about them," he said, adding that physics often got in the way of batteries being charged very swiftly.

Also, he added, because people now kept their phones for longer they might not like the idea of technologies that forced them to change their phone earlier than they planned or involved them paying to have the battery swapped.

Stuart Miles, founder and head of the Pocket-lint tech news website, was more sanguine about the research.

"As our demands on batteries become stronger and stronger, ensuring they can charge faster is at the forefront of everyone's focus," he said.

"A lot of what we do with our tech is limited by battery capabilities, but just imagine what could be achieved if we could top up our phones or computers in the same way we top up our cars with fuel."

Source: bbc.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Sun 8th Oct 2017

Simple Education & Schools IT Support 30 day contract pricing

 

  Education & Schools IT Support (4 hour response)
On-Site Tech Day £500.00 + VAT per day
Server Monitoring £66.00 + VAT per month
Cloud Service Support £66.00 + VAT per month

Please call 0800 880 3360 (01675430080) for more information or email u2us@discus.co.uk

Business Pricing - Click here

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Sun 8th Oct 2017

Simple 30 day Business IT Support contract pricing

 

  Business IT Support (4 hour response)
Server Support £166.00 + VAT per month
Workstation Support £20.00 + VAT per month
Cloud Service Support £66.00 + VAT per month
On-site Technican £680.00 + VAT per day

Please call 0800 880 3360 (01675430080) for more information or email u2us@discus.co.uk
 

Education Pricing - Click here

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 4th Oct 2017

 

Mohammed playing Xbox

Mohammed spends his days playing computer games and looking after his granddad. He's only 14, but he hasn't been to school since December. The idea was to home school him - but things didn't quite work out like that, reports the BBC's Sue Mitchell.

He lives in a spotlessly clean Bradford semi-detached house, with pale wood flooring and deep, comfortable sofas. His mother works part time as a nursery nurse and his father is a taxi driver.

His mum admits she is totally out of her depth.

She says she agreed to try to educate Mohammed herself at the suggestion of his school, after he was excluded for bad behaviour. She wanted to keep him out of the only alternative, a pupil referral unit.

Mohammed wasn't opposed to the idea at first. "I thought it would be good because I wouldn't mix in with bad children," he says.

But it was harder than he expected. "My mum isn't a proper teacher, she just helps nursery kids. She's not a teacher for maths, science and English. I couldn't learn from her."

His dad, who works long hours, tells him that he is squandering his life opportunities. "He says: 'You've just ruined your chances' - that I could have had a good education and done my GCSEs and had a good life, but now I've wasted that," Mohammed says.

Mohammed

Many families say home schooling works well for them. But Mohammed is one of a growing number of children who find themselves falling out of the state education system, according to Richard Watts, the chair of the Local Government Association's Children and Young People's Board.

He says it's increasingly common to hear of schools "effectively putting a lot of pressure on parents to home educate their kids to get them off their rolls, particularly when exam time comes around".

Mohammed was only 13 when he was excluded from school for setting off fireworks in the corridor with other boys. "We went to a meeting, but they said there's no way of him coming back to the school," says his mum.

Mohammed had already been in trouble with the school authorities for fighting. "At school he thought they ganged up on him and called him names, trying to provoke him. Mohammed is really quiet, but if he hasn't done nothing he'll be upset by it," his mother says.

"When Mohammed first settled into secondary education he was good. I think it's that he finds it hard to settle down and so much depends on his friendship group."

By year nine it became clear that he would no longer have a place in mainstream education. It was either home education or a place at the same pupil referral unit that his older brother had attended. His family didn't want him getting into the same bad crowds as his brother.

So when the school suggested home education as the only alternative, Mohammed's mother readily agreed. "I never knew about the home schooling. I'm not that very educated myself and I'm not good with computers," she says.

Mohammed

The council had suggested a home education website. "We had a few links but because of my home life situation and working I hadn't enough hours. He'd be depressed every morning and I'd put him on the home education website but it wasn't working for him," says Mohammed's mum.

When she tried to get Mohammed out of bed to work, he refused.

Now she doesn't bother trying and he passes his time helping his granddad, who has a serious lung condition and needs round-the-clock care.

I do think about my future - it's not going to be good

Mohammed, home-schooled after exclusion

For a brief period he attended Raising Explorers, an after-school facility in Bradford that tutored Mohammed for a couple of hours a week.

"It was hard to start over and not mess about and think about what I'm doing and to concentrate," he says.

"When I first went to the after-school club I was new, my background was different and I made mistakes. I got put on report and was doing good, but when people disturb me I just get annoyed and retaliate back," he says. He was excluded for brawling with another boy.

Mohammed says he regrets the bad behaviour that lost him his place in a mainstream school.

"I used to go to school and do stupid things I didn't think it would come to this, I thought I'd just do it a bit and I'd have a chance. I was falling behind at school anyway, but now that I don't have school I won't have any education for my GCSEs. I do think about my future - it's not going to be good."


Find out more

Out of School, Out of Sight is broadcast at 11:00 on Wednesday 4 October on BBC Radio 4, or listen again on iPlayer


Abdur Rahman, who runs a project working with excluded youngsters, says that like Richard Watts he is coming across an increasing number of cases where parents are persuaded to home educate, yet don't have the capacity to do so.

"These schools don't ask about the ability of parents to teach - that isn't part of the discussion. Schools work like businesses and it isn't about looking out for the child, it's about saying to Mum and Dad that: 'This is what you have to do because your child isn't engaging and it will keep you out of trouble.' It's a strategy that the schools are increasingly using."

The inspection of home education is carried out by local government officials, but it is a voluntary register and although numbers are thought to be growing, there is no real idea of how many families are doing this. It's because so little is known about the extent and quality of home education, that Lord Soley recently introduced a private members bill aimed at bringing in a mandatory registration system.

He says that there are concerns about the quality of education some youngsters are receiving. There is also a cost for schools who take back pupils like Mohammed when home education hasn't worked.

"These pupils who fall behind have disruption to their own education outcomes, but then if they go back into schools they cause problems across the board as they try to catch up. It isn't helping them and it isn't good for the schools when it doesn't work," he says.

Mohammed playing Xbox

Bradford Council is currently discussing school options with Mohammed and his family. A spokesman says the details of individual cases cannot be discussed, but any parent has the right to choose to home educate their child at any stage of their formal education.

"Local authorities can give advice but have no role in deciding whether this should happen," the spokesman continues.

I used to be around other children and I was happy - now I'm by myself and it's just boring

Mohammed, on missing school

"When the local authority becomes aware of an electively home-educated child, we offer a home visit or to meet at another venue. The local authority has no statutory duty to monitor the quality of home education on a routine basis. However, we always work to keep contact with parents to ensure our information about the child is kept up to date.

"All parents of electively home-educated children can contact our home education team at any time and parents can apply to the local authority for a school place at any point. The local authority will always look to work with the district's schools to find a solution which works for the child and their parents."

Mohammed's mum is currently trying to get her son back into school.

"I want him to do his GCSEs and go further, to study and move on to what he wants to do - instead of just finishing with no qualifications in a cruel world. I want him to try hard and I've told him, but there's nothing else I can do. Mohammed says he'll do anything to go back to school and to study," she says.

Mohammed agrees. He says he desperately wants to be back in the classroom.

"When I used to go to school I used to be around other children and I was happy. Now I'm by myself and it's just boring alone, I don't like it."

Source: bbc.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 4th Oct 2017

If ignorance is bliss, what is basic stupidity?

Amber Rudd: I don't understand encryption and I don't need to

I'm with stupid T-Shirt. Design by Always Awesome Apparel and available via Amazon.com

Home secretary Amber Rudd has admitted that she not only doesn't understand encryption, but argued that she doesn't need to, and reiterated her call for technology companies to weaken computer security for the benefit of law enforcement agencies. 

Rudd has seemingly carried on in the role of home secretary where her predecessor, Theresa May, now Prime Minister, left off - taking a hard line on technology and internet companies for the supposed aid they provide to terrorists and other ne'er do wells, particularly child abusers

Appearing at a Spectator magazine fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference yesterday, Rudd was asked whether she knew what she was talking about on the issue of encryption - and admitted flat out that she doesn't. 

 

However, she claimed that didn't matter, and then accused technology experts of "patronising" and "sneering" at politicians who try to regulate their industry.

According to the BBC, she argued that the technology industry must do more to help the authorities access encrypted messages on services, particularly WhatsApp, that she argued were "helping criminals".

She said: "It's so easy to be patronised in this business. We will do our best to understand it.

"We will take advice from other people but I do feel that there is a sea of criticism for any of us who try and legislate in new areas, who will automatically be sneered at and laughed at for not getting it right.

"I don't need to understand how encryption works to understand how it's helping - end-to-end encryption - the criminals. I will engage with the security services to find the best way to combat that." 

Michael Beckerman, CEO of the Internet Association appearing on the same panel, pointed out that internet security is based on mathematics, and that security can't be weakened for the benefit of one actor - governments - without weakening it, full stop. 

"I understand the principle of end-to-end encryption - it can't be unwrapped. That's what has been developed," she said.

"What I am saying is the companies who are developing that should work with us. We don't get that help - although we sometimes get it in a fulsome way after an event has taken place." 

And, this morning, Rudd doubled-down on her argument in her speech to conference

After revealing a joint Anglo-Canadian project called Project Arachnid that can, she suggested, crawl the internet identifying images of child sexual abuse, helping to get them taken down, she continued her assertion that technology companies should do more to help governments tap internet communications services. 

"End-to-end encryption services, like Whatsapp, are being used by paedophiles. I do not accept it is right that companies should allow them and other criminals to operate beyond the reach of law enforcement. There are other platforms and emerging trends that are equally worrying.

"We must require the industry to move faster and more aggressively. They have the resources and there must be greater urgency. If not, the next generation of our children will have been needlessly failed." 

Amber Rudd, meanwhile, not only has Conservative Party leadership pretensions, but is rumoured to already be banking donations and to have hired polling firm CTF Partners to help her launch a bid

However, her stock is so low that she would probably be trounced against any likely rival in a Party vote, if Conservative MPs were somehow persuaded to select her as one of the two candidates to be put to the Party membership for the final vote. 

Source: v3.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 27th Sep 2017

Crowd outside Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City

Fans celebrate the grand opening of the flagship Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Today, we are pleased to announce plans to open a flagship store in London on Regent Street at Oxford Circus. This is one of the world’s most exciting shopping destinations and represents another step in our journey to meet our customers.

The United Kingdom is home to some of our most passionate fans. We already enjoy connecting through our partners and in our digital stores, and look forward to bringing a physical store to the region as another great choice for customers to experience the best technology from Microsoft.

Investing in more solutions for customers
We are proud to see the impact that our physical stores have on the communities where we operate, from greater confidence in customers who visit in person and then shop online, to our partner ecosystem. Our customer experience in our physical stores generates confidence and trust in our products and services.

Cindy Rose, head of Microsoft in the U.K. and our partner throughout the location selection process, says: “We couldn’t be happier to be opening a flagship store in the heart of central London at Oxford Circus, where two of the world’s most iconic shopping streets meet. We know our customers and fans, whether they are from London, the broader U.K. or just visiting, will love our bold plans for the space. This will be so much more than just a great place to experience all that is possible with Microsoft, but a real hub for the community where we’ll be bringing to life our passion for helping people explore their creativity through an ambitious program of workshops and training along with moments that work to unite the community.”

Connecting one customer at a time
Digital skills are critical in today’s world as the speed and pace of technological innovation accelerates. Microsoft Stores offer free workshops and digital training programs integrated into our daily store schedule so that students, entrepreneurs, educators, families and creators can succeed in the modern workplace. We regularly host opportunities for our customers to discover and learn through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs, including YouthSpark camps where can learn about computer science, take Minecraft coding classes, leverage LinkedIn for business, and participate in Xbox game design sessions.

Microsoft Store is a place to have fun! Our stores are hubs for local gaming communities, where fans gather to play their favorite games like “FIFA” or “Forza” during events or in one of the competitive tournaments in our Mixer NYC Studio. We are excited to extend similar experiences to our customers in London.

Creating opportunity with the local community
Our approach to retail is simple — a complete and quality experience for our customers to interact directly with Microsoft. We enter markets with the goal of strengthening the experience, creating more career opportunities, and contributing to the local community and entire region. We have seen this executed in our flagship locations in New York and Sydney — some of my favorite examples include seeing U.N. Youth Advocates gathered in our store to share their projects and ideas for empowering people in their own cities, towns and villages, or when students joined us from Regional New South Wales to participate in coding and Minecraft events.

Our store stands for the best of Microsoft. We are excited to showcase gaming, mixed reality, AI (artificial intelligence), and all technology that empowers people to achieve more. Look for more details in the future!

Source: blogs.microsoft.com
 
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