Jeremy Frink

Jeremy Frink

Someone else who doesn't understand Section 230 of the CDA is suing search engines for "refusing" to delist revenge porn. The short complaint -- filed in New York and spotted by Eric Goldman -- is signed by an actual lawyer, but the complaint is so devoid of legitimate (or any) legal arguments, it could be mistaken for a pro se attempt.

According to the complaint, a number of sexually explicit videos were posted to porn websites after a relationship went bad. The plaintiff contacted the websites and had the videos removed, which would seem to have solved the problem. But it didn't. According to the plaintiff, Yahoo, Bing, and Google searches for her name still bring up websites containing the explicit videos. Here's the wording used in the complaint [PDF]:

5. That Plaintiff contacted Defendants, Google, Yahoo, and Bing to remove the name ANGELE BRILIHON BOLOU ABODO from Defendants' web search engine.

6. That the search Plaintiff's full name on Defendants' website led and still leads to pornographic videos of the Plaintiff, and other derogatory comments aimed at the Plaintiff and containing Plaintiff's full name.

A search for her name does pull up everything she complains of. According to Abodo, these search results have prevented her from getting a job and have tarnished her reputation.

However, her complaint demands the removal of her name from search engines, which is an impossibility. She obviously wants the search results for her name removed, but hasn't actually asked for that in her complaint.

This filing will be sent back for amending as soon as a judge reads it, but applying some fixes to that particular language won't turn this into a winnable case. Her other efforts -- contacting websites to have the videos removed -- is something she's had some success with. It won't work with every site and there's almost no chance the "derogatory comments" scattered around the web will be removed, no matter how much she petitions these websites. But that's going to be far more productive than this litigation will be.

Section 230 gives the sites immunity for users' comments. It's also the reason targeting search engines isn't likely to result in delistings. Search engines return search results. They're in no way responsible for the content contained in the search results.

This is the easiest route -- far easier than tracking down those making the comments or posting the videos -- but it has about the same chances for success. Even with the damage being done to Section 230 by courts recently, it's going to take far more than this bare-bones pleading to even begin to mount a successful legal battle over unflattering search engine results.

But this short filing does lie at the crux of an issue where Section 230 is likely to receive the most collateral damage: revenge porn. Legislative efforts have been made in many states and, with almost no exceptions, the efforts include language that undermines the protections of Section 230 by attempting to shift some degree of culpability to service providers. The same sort of damage could result from a precedential ruling in a federal court if any revenge porn-based case makes it that far.

The underlying activity is horrendous and does a significant amount of damage to victims, but shifting the responsibility anywhere but the person posting the content poses the risk of opening up service providers to criminal charges and/or civil litigation -- something that would do tremendous harm to openness and freedom of the internet.

This isn't the case that's going to start that ball rolling, however. The actual perpetrators aren't listed as defendants, which means this is nothing more than a low-cost Hail Mary by Abodo and her legal rep.

Author: Tim Cushing
Source: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170106/11431736420/destined-failure-woman-sues-search-engines-over-revenge-porn-search-results.shtml

Saturday, 07 January 2017 22:12

Google 101: A Quick Start for Beginners

In the last decade, Google has attained the ranking of the #1 search engine on the Web, and consistently stayed there. It is the most widely used search engine on the Web, and millions of people use it every day to find answers to questions, research information, and conduct their daily lives. In this article, we'll take a high level look at the world's most popular search engine. 

How does Google work?

Basically, Google is a crawler-based engine, meaning that it has software programs designed to "crawl" the information on the Net and add it to its sizeable database.

Google has a great reputation for relevant and thorough search results. 

Search Options

Searchers have more than one option on Google's home page; there is the capacity to search for images, find videos, look at news, and many more choices. 

In fact, there are so many extra search options on Google that it's difficult to find space to list them all. Here are a few special features:

  • Search for Books: If you're looking for text from a specific book, type in the name of the book (in quotes), or if you're looking for books about a particular subject, type in "books about xxx". Google will return results that contain content either in the book itself, and will offer links to Book Results at the top of the search page.
  • Google Calculator: Use Google's calculator by just typing in whatever calculation you'd like Google to figure out. For example: half a quart in tablespoons.
  • Google Definitions: Ask Google to define something by typing in define (insert term).

Google's Home Page

Google's home page is extremely clean and simple, loads quickly, and delivers arguably the best results of any search engine out there, mostly due to how it decides to rank pages due to relevancy to the original query and massive listings (more than 8 billion at the time of this writing).

How to use Google effectively

  • Be specific. Google is not an "intuitive" search engine (unfortunately, there aren't any!), and therefore cannot read your mind. Try to be as concise as possible; instead of "jeans", try "Levi 501 jeans".
  • Search for phrases. For example, if you're searching for a specific quote, type in "to be or not to be". Google will search for the entire phrase just how it appears in between the quotes. For more information on how use phrases in your searches, check out Looking for a Specific Phrase.
  • Be selective. Use "common words", such as and, if, not and numbers ONLY if you want them included in the search. Google excludes them otherwise. If you want them included, use a phrase search by putting quotations around your search query, or include the common word by putting a space and a plus sign right in front of it. For example, if you are looking for the season five DVD of "Sex and the City", type in "sex and the city dvd season +5".
  • Exclude extra results. If you want to narrow down your searches even further, focus your search by placing a "-" (negative sign) in front of words you want to avoid. For example, if you're searching for "coffee" and want to avoid Starbucks, you would type in "coffee -Starbucks" (without quotes). If you'd like to learn more about using the plus and minus symbol in your searches, read Basic Web Search Math.

More search tips

All you need to do is just enter a word or phrase and hit "enter". Google will only come up with results that contain all the words in the search word or phrase;so refining your search just means adding or subtracting words to the search termsyou've already submitted.

Google's search results can easily be narrowed down by using phrases instead of just one word; for example, when looking for "coffee" search for "Starbucks coffee" instead and you'll get much better results.

Google doesn't care about capitalized words and will even suggest correct spellings of words or phrases. Google also excludes common words such as "where" and "how", and since Google will return results that include all of the words you enter in, there's no need to include the word "and", as in "coffee and starbucks."

Author: Wendy Boswell
Source: https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-google-3482041

The CRTC promises high-speed connections to the rural areas lacking it, but their plan has holes

Going home for the holidays is always a welcome escape from school and the everyday hustle and bustle of life. However, ‘back home’ for me is the boonies, the sticks, the country. While the slower pace is nice, I always get a little more slow than I bargain for. Slow Internet, that is.

Sometimes, it’s slow enough to be deemed unusable. The idea of Internet in the bush is more of a symbol or an idea, a technological feat to strive for, than an actual service. With the United Nations declaring the Internet a basic human right in today’s technology-minded world, it’s astonishing that some rural areas still don’t even have basic access.

I’m not just a millennial with a socially acceptable addiction to being connected: the Internet is essential and crucial to functioning in our current society. So, it’s about time the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) decided to treat broadband Internet access as a “basic telecommunications service,” which means it’s finally time for them to give us in the countryside all the Internet.

They report that they hope to reduce the 18% of Canadian homes without adequate Internet to 10% in the next five years, and eradicate it entirely within the next 10 or 15. They’re also requiring service providers to put money into a fund — projected to grow to about $750 million worth — to facilitate these changes.

This may translate to increased prices on services to compensate. With no regulation on rates accompanying the new mandate, consumers are in a tight spot: if the CRTC makes service providers pay more money, those providers will take it straight from our pockets, and without proper policies in place, there’s no telling whether or not we’re going to be charged fairly.

The overall goal is to be able to offer high-speed Internet services to rural areas, with only the hope that they will be affordable. This isn’t good enough. This doesn’t equate to providing adequate Internet to all citizens, not when that access might itself be unfairly inaccessible for financial reasons. This lack of foresight demonstrates a real failure to provide the fundamental human right. What, exactly, is the CRTC doing?

The CRTC has come under fire for being stuck in the past and an obsolete regulator, but in spite of those flaws, it’s still the only credible Canadian regulator which is separate from government. While policing the Internet has always been frowned upon, financial regulation done in the interest of providing it for everyone at an affordable price would be in the best interests of Canadians.

The Internet has become key to meeting our most basic human needs. Newspaper classifieds have gone the way of the dodo. Finding a job, finding a place to live, and, not to mention, socializing is all done via a broadband connection. Even inmates have the right to access the web. Providing Internet service to all at a respectable speed is imperative, but not the final goal — it needs to be at a reasonable price, and we need to do more to ensure that.

Canada is ranked only 33rd in the world for Internet speed. If the CRTC is going to be relevant in our expanding technological society, it needs to work harder to protect the ‘public interest,’ even if the regulations and policies necessary to truly accomplish that are at the expense of the companies which provide Internet services.

Author: Kendra Nelson
Source: http://www.the-peak.ca/2017/01/stronger-internet-needs-to-come-with-stronger-policies

Amazon (AMZN) has been awarded a patent for a giant flying warehouse that acts as a launchpad for drones to deliver items within minutes.

The U.S. e-commerce giant described plans for an "airborne fulfillment center" (AFC) such as an airship or blimp that would float at an altitude of around 45,000. The airship will be stocked with lots of products.

When a customer places an order, a drone or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will fly down and deliver the package. Amazon insists that this would require little power because the drone would be gliding down rather than having to take off and land.

"When the UAV departs the AFC, it may descend from the high altitude of the AFC using little or no power other than to guide the UAV towards its delivery destination and/or to stabilize the UAV as it descends," the patent filing explains.

Amazon's filing reveals several uses for the warehouse blimp. One example is at a football match where customers may want certain items such as food or merchandise. Ahead of the game, the AFC could stock up on items and deploy these during the game with drones when they are ordered. The airship could also be used as a giant advertising board, allowing customers to order the items on display. All of these can be ordered "within minutes".

The drones would be able to communicate with each other via a mesh network to give information such as weather and route. UAVs could also recharge on the airship.

Amazon's filing explains that the blimp would remain in the air and be refueled and replenished using a shuttle. This could be a smaller aircraft capable of docking onto the AFC and unloading products as well as fuel.

If this plan saw the light of day, Amazon would likely need regulatory approval from aviation authorities which could be complex.

The patent filing was awarded in April this year but only circulated this week. It's not the first patent that Amazon has been awarded regarding drone deliver. In July, a patent showed how Amazon was thinking about tall buildings and structures such as lampposts or churches as docking stations for drones to recharge. Another patent described how drones would "talk" to each other to plan routes and communicate.

Amazon successfully trialed its first delivery by drone in the U.K. earlier this month and is pushing ahead with plans to make this widely available. The U.S. firm files and is awarded many patents but it does not necessarily mean the ideas will become reality.

Author: Arjun Kharpal
Source: https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/fbc8db06-eaed-3392-8fcf-9435a9e12d49/amazon-wins-patent-for-a.html

It’s easy to get sucked into the “busy” trap, stuck in a constant state of catching up. If you have a couple of days off during the holiday break, it’s a good time to hit the reset button, get around to tasks you’ve neglected, and start the New Year on the right foot.

Tackle Some Home Maintenance Projects

Now is a good time to get a head start on Spring cleaning and de-crapify your home. Start with a closet decluttering session. Identify your unwanted junk and sell, donate, or toss it. Then start cleaning, one room at a time.

Also, now is a good time to winterize your home. (Actually, a couple of months ago was a good time to do it, but if you didn’t get around to it, then now is the second-best time.) Here are a few things you can do to protect your home and keep it warm as temperatures get even colder: Weather strip, seal, and curtain your windows. Insulate your outlets and switches. Get rid of the draft under your door. Wrap your outdoor pipes.

While you’re at it, might as well tackle a little preventive maintenance, too, and keep your home from falling apart. A few common home repairs you can avoid with a little maintenance: Check for proper drainage to avoid foundation problems. Inspect old sewer pipes to prevent a sewage backup. Inspect your roof to avoid leaks.

It’s not the most thrilling way to spend your time off, but when else will you have time for these projects? Plus, you can clean and binge-watch Gilmore Girls simultaneously.

Finally Start That Book You’ve Wanted to Write

You probably won’t finish your entire manuscript over the holiday break, but it’s a good time to at least get started. Put a few words on the page, then come up with a writing schedule you can stick with for the rest of the year. Start the “don’t break the chain” system and steal this calendar to help you visualize the process.

While you’re at it, you can research what it takes to produce a book from start-to-finish, including the self-publishing process. Writer’s Digest is a useful resource for questions you might have about the process.

Similarly, if you’ve been thinking about launching a blog, you can use your downtime to do that, too. Research and set up the technical details: pick a platform, register your domain, and sign up for hosting. then come up with a regular writing schedule to stick with your goal.

Reach Inbox Zero

For some people, Inbox Zero isn’t just a fantasy. It’s possible to get through your massive amount of emails, it’s just takes some time and planning. The problem is, during regular business hours, for every email you delete, two more pop up in your inbox. The holidays are the perfect time to attempt Inbox Zero because, chances are, you have fewer emails coming through.

First, you can use a service like Mailstrom or Unroll.Me to clean up your subscriptions and remove yourself from unwanted mailing lists. Then, get your inbox organized. Use a tool like Sortd or switch to Inbox by Gmail to help automatically sort your emails according to category, like tasks, social, promotions, and so on. From there, come up with a system for maintaining this structure. If you really think Inbox Zero is a pipe dream, though, you can at least use your time off to come up with a system for organizing and managing your email flow so that it works better for you.

Get Your Finances in Order

Getting started with personal finance can be intimidating, particularly when your finances need a complete overhaul. You might not even know where to start. You don’t have to learn everything about money overnight, but if you have some down time, you can squeeze in a few lessons in Money 101.

There are a handful of super useful (and free!) online courses you can start during your time off. There’s the Family Finance course at Utah State University, for example. It consists of fourteen sessions at 100 minutes long that teach you budgeting, taxes, managing credit, and more. Purdue University has a whole course dedicated to Planning for a Secure Retirement, too. If you’ve been meaning to jumpstart your retirement savings, that course is a good place to start. Depending on how much time you have, you might even finish the course.

We’ve also created our own useful guides to help you learn personal finance basics, and you can find them here: How to Start Managing Your Money, For Those Who Never Learned Growing Up Adult Budgeting 101: How to Create Your First Budget In the Real World How to Build an Easy, Beginner “Set and Forget” Investment Portfolio The Start-to-Finish Guide to Buying a Home No Matter What, Building Wealth Always Comes Down to These Four Pillars

 

Again, you won’t learn it all at once, but while you have some free time, you might as well take that crucial first step toward better money habits.

Cross an Item Off Your Reading List

If you’re anything like me, you have a long list of books you’ve been meaning to get around to reading, you just never have the time to dig into them. Take out your reading list and pick a title.

Block out some time to get it done, pick a cozy area, and dig in. Alternatively, you could pick an audiobook and get your “reading” done while you’re tackling chores or other activities that don’t require much cognitive work.

If you don’t have a long reading list, and you’re just looking for a good book to start with, check out these novels that should be required reading for everyone.

Look for a Better Job

If you’ve been complaining about your job for a while now, why not use your time off to look for a better one? Aside from the possibility of finding something better, you may also dread going back to work a little less, too, knowing you’ve submitted some resumes and officially kickstarted your job search.

If you don’t have a resume, you can use a tool like Sumry or recently-mentioned Resume Beacon to help you create one. Then, review job boards specific to your field. LanceList is a great tool for freelancers, and MediaBistro is great for anyone in the writing, journalism, or media industry. If you’re looking for a new job in the healthcare or medical field, try HealtheCareers.

Even if you’re not actively looking for a new job, it can still be useful to search for one. It helps you stay up to date on the in-demand skills for your position. Plus, you never know what you’ll find.

Do Absolutely Nothing and Love It

Finally, there’s a case to be made for thoroughly enjoying your time off by not doing a damn thing. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing you can do for your productivity. You know that regular breaks are important when you’re focused on a task. You have to get up and shift your mind a little bit so you can come back to the task with a fresh perspective, reenergized. For that same reason, it’s important to take long breaks from your day-to-day routine. It’s crucial to self-care, and self-care is an important part of the process because: It prevents “overload burnout.” It reduces the negative effects of stress. It helps you refocus

Not everyone has a job that lets them take extra time off during the holidays. If you do, you might as well use that time productively, even if that means not doing anything at all.

Author:  Kristin Wong

Source:  http://lifehacker.com/seven-ideas-to-make-the-most-of-your-time-off-during-th-1790333637

In his predictions for 2017, John Kennedy forecasts how blockchain will be about more than money, IT will move to the clouds and bots will become humanity’s new best friends.

Predicting the future in tech is never an easy business, mainly because tech companies are, by nature, secretive and like to have the last word. Any time I predict what Apple is up to, for example, I always end on the line: “But only Apple really knows.” Because that is simply the truth.

But no one could have foreseen the events of 2016. We witnessed the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency, the loss of so many stars who wrote the soundtracks to our lives, the tragic killings in Nice and the bloody endgame in Aleppo, which will always be a shame for the world to remember.

Predictions for 2017 build on a crazy 2016

In tech, it was business as usual with very few real surprises; except maybe for Apple killing off the headphone jack in its iPhones; fake news infecting Facebook and allegedly influencing the US elections; Putin’s government hacking America; exploding Samsung Galaxy Note7s; hacking getting out of control, especially with ransomware and leaks to Wikileaks; Apple taking on the FBI; no one wanting to buy Twitter; Vine dying on the leaf; and mega acquisitions, such as Facebook buying LinkedIn and Verizon buying Yahoo. It all sounds like a rousing verse from R.E.M.’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It…

On the home front in Ireland, the biggest news was the European Commission lobbying a €13bn tax levy against Apple to the chagrin of the latter and the Irish Government; Britain’s decision to Brexit the EU; the stalling and stalling of the National Broadband Plan; and of course, mega acquisitions such as Verizon’s decision to buy Fleetmatics for $2.4bn and Intel’s acquisition of Movidius for an alleged sum $300m.

So, dear reader, what will 2017 hold for us through the tech lens?

Blockchain will be about more than just payments

If there was one breakthrough technology of 2016, it had to be blockchain: the enabling smart ledger technology that was fundamental to the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and a whole slew of new fintech start-ups and platforms.

But more and more experts are coming to the conclusion that blockchain technology could be very useful in ways that go beyond fintech or cryptocurrencies.

The ingenious automated technology could end up being an enabling force for a panoply of platforms and uses, such as network and systems management. The key is the digital trail of crumbs: blockchain technology – which underpins emerging digital, virtual or cryptocurrencies – consists of blocks that hold timestamped batches of recent valid transactions, which form a chain with each block reinforcing those preceding it.

Pay close attention to an interview I did with Seamus Cushley, PwC’s expert on blockchain who runs the company’s blockchain lab in Belfast. Cushley indicated that in the last nine months of 2016, some $1.4bn of investment went into blockchain start-ups.

According to Cushley, blockchain is being investigated not only as a way to enable the viable exchange of contracts for value in everything from FX trading to property acquisitions and more, it foretells the future structure of the internet as we know it.

The future of work

If, like me, you witnessed the onset of the internet being heralded as a revolution in how we work, leading to all kinds of newfangled ways of working, such as teleworking, e-working or nearshoring… you were had. Our lives were meant to get easier, there would be more quality time with loved ones, more time to be creative… wrong.

The digital world has created a noose that means people are working longer hours. Countries like France have even passed laws preventing employers from emailing workers after certain hours.

As skills shortages rise, stress levels soar and entrepreneurship becomes more appealing to talented young executives eager to break free of the rat race, employers will be forced to reassess how they conduct relationships with workers. How do they retain talent, get the best out of enthusiastic people and ensure health levels are optimal?

‘What is the future of work?’ is a question that employers and employees alike will obsess over in 2017 and beyond. Creative companies that value human capital will examine new ways of working, pilot intrapreneurship endeavours to help sate the entrepreneurial wanderings of top talent, vent creative frustrations and ultimately find the key to a quality work/life balance.

The old mantra that work should not just be a place to go, but somewhere you actually enjoy going to, might be dusted off and given a new shine.

Time will tell, however, if questions of the future of work will be a meaningful cause or just more management consulting navel-gazing.

Fintech goes mainstream

In parallel with the arrival in Ireland of mobile wallet services like Android Pay (recently) and Apple Pay (eventually), smartphone-toting consumers are going to embrace fintech apps as a cleverer way of managing their money.

Think of these apps as the Swiss Army knives of finance.

Companies like Dublin and London-based Circle – which enables users to instantaneously transfer funds to friends and family via the app or by text message on the iPhone, using blockchain as a core enabler and Barclays as a licensed service provider – are at the forefront of this trend.

Rather than displacing banks as some had feared, this signals a gradual move by banks to employ fintech apps on the front line as an easier and more cost-effective way to deal with consumers, while enabling them to focus on more productive, higher value work as branches become fewer.

Expect banks to employ programmes to franchise fintech apps or initiate outright acquisitions in 2017.

Machine learning becomes a discipline and no longer confused with AI

For too long, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have been lumped into the same conversation. That is going to change in 2017, as a broader understanding of what AI is all about pervades the tech industry.

Machine learning is remembering and AI is thinking, remembering, deciding and acting.

Quite simply, machine learning in apps and internet services is all about improving as time goes on, learning and assimilating users’ tastes and preferences – for example, for airline travel or hotels.

AI, on the other hand, powers the bots that have conversations with the users and employs machine learning as one powerful subset of a myriad of capabilities.

Start-ups and established tech players that use machine learning, which I have met on the trail from Amsterdam to Lisbon in the past year, are quite clear that it is not to be confused with full AI.

Beautiful Bots

Humankind’s friendship with bots – or automated artificial agents – will be cemented in 2017.

Facebook is currently leading the charge, creating experiences where already it is hard to decipher whether you are talking to a human or a machine.

This portends major changes for the future of customer relationship management, which no doubt Microsoft, Salesforce and fast-growing companies like Intercom are watching very closely.

Could bots be mankind’s next best friend?

Tech leaders will be the new business leaders

The digital economy is the economy. Across the world in 2016, thousands of traditional businesses went to sleep one night and awoke the next day as data businesses.

The trend will continue in 2017, as the internet, smartphone apps or other digital filters become the aperture through which consumers increasingly transact.

You are seeing this on retail floors of stores like River Island, where consumers can shop online and collect in-store, on flights with Ryanair where the digital experience continues long after you check in or check out, and the disruption that players like Airbnb and Uber are causing traditional industries like hospitality and transport, respectively.

This is signalling a major transformation in how companies deal with their customers and view their data. According to IDC, 50pc of the Global 2000 companies will be depending on digital products, services and experiences to connect with customers.

By 2021, it is forecast that a third of CEOs and COOs of Global 2000 companies will have spent at least five years in a tech leadership role.

Cloud will reign eternal

From being a mere concept in 2008 to today, where most consumers and executives rely on the cloud consistently – from Facebook and WhatsApp to Dropbox and Office 365 – cloud computing is increasingly becoming the nerve centre of IT infrastructure.

Ireland saw major data centre investments and acquisitions in 2016, from Apple building an €850m data centre in Athenry, Co Galway, to Facebook building a massive data centre in Clonee, Co Meath. Combine this with Equinix buying Telecity and its raft of data centres in and around Dublin, and it’s clear that Ireland is in the eye of the data storm.

This isn’t just about social media or e-commerce; the reality is that more and more IT infrastructure, which used to exist on premises in companies, will have moved to the cloud.

IDC predicts that by 2020, 67pc of enterprise IT infrastructure and software will be in the cloud.

By 2018, 60pc of IT will be done off premises and not only that, but 43pc will be processed at the edge by 2019.

In a nutshell, cloud won’t be an Amazonian concept (sorry AWS) but rather, a fully fledged reality that is 100pc trusted by users.

The fourth platform

As cloud’s roots grow deeper, the idea of computing as a thing that sits on our desk or in our hands will dissipate. Even as more and more of the world’s population join the mobile revolution, the golden era of the smartphone is coming to a close. That doesn’t mean the smartphone is going away any time soon, but it will become the lynchpin of a slew of new computing experiences that will draw our eyes elsewhere.

Big data, internet of things, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), 3D printing, robotics, next-generation security, blockchain – all of these technologies will happen around us, with data being the fabric and the smartphone being the connecting device.

In other words, computing experiences will be occur without relying on a primary screen as the conduit. This is the fourth platform.

The mainstreaming of AR and VR

VR and AR have been slowly entering the fray. 2016 was a significant year that finally saw Microsoft take the wraps off HoloLens, as well as Oculus Rift arriving, along with a slew of competing devices from HTC, Samsung and Sony.

VR has been a kind of revolution and it hasn’t. The high-end experiences promised by Oculus and Microsoft are still hampered by computing power.

At the lower end, smartphone-based VR experiences from HTC and Samsung – and let’s not forget Google’s Cardboard and similar products which can be found in any supermarket or toy store – are still gimicky.

Keep your eyes and ears (no pun intended) open for what Google intends to do with its Daydream headset, which portends a merging of the VR and AR worlds, so the headset can also overlay virtual reality experiences onto the physical world before us. In a sense, this could be the future of the recently shelved Google Glass or the newly launched Snap Spectacles.

Expect the games and experiences to become more intelligent and textured. Keep an eye on what Irish firm Immersive VR Education – creators of Apollo and Titanic virtual experiences – has planned in the year ahead, as VR and AR move from novel to to natural.

Smart things and voice

Like I said, smartphones will occupy less of the stage and give way to smarter things. 2016 saw Amazon up its game with Echo, its voice-based e-commerce service, as well as its Dash buttons, which order consumables like washing powder or nappies in just one touch.

Google will be no slouch in 2017, having already revealed its Google Home speech-based product at I/O earlier this year.

This is Google’s fourth platform play and the company is closely shadowing, if not exceeding, rivals like Apple on the payments front.

2017 will see a kind of arms race, where players like Amazon and Google will endeavour to become the partner of choice for a whole range of internet of things (IoT) players who see e-commerce as a potent ingredient in their smart things.

Facebook acceleration, Oculus telepresence and Slack rivalry

Rather than being email killers (if only), most workers are up to their tonsils in additional tools and things to keep an eye on; like Slack, Trello, Wrike, and other digital platforms aimed at simplifying workflow.

Others giants like Microsoft (Teams) and Facebook (Workplace) added to the cacophony in 2016.

It is high time that someone decided to dominate this space for once and for all with tools that eradicate the need for all the others.

There is a golden opportunity for Microsoft to do more to bring Skype and Teams together, or for Facebook to finally reveal its telepresence vision for the future of work with Oculus and Workplace.

Keep an eye on other dark horses like Cork-based Teamwork or Salesforce (which almost bought Twitter). They may do something to finally get rid of the screen noise and clutter (sorry, Microsoft) that is the reality of the modern-day worker.

The iPhone hits 10, Apple revs up for its newest phase

It is hard to believe that it is nearly 10 years since Steve Jobs took to the stage at Apple World in 2006 and said “One more thing …”

That one more thing was the iPhone and, having gone through more than seven different phases of the device, Apple will no doubt do something to celebrate the iPhone at 10.

Considering the phone’s form factor has remained mostly the same for the last three generations, I expect Apple to reveal a wholly new design to the iPhone to signal its next phase. As I said, only Apple really knows what this form factor will look like, but expect the design to inform all future phone designs from rivals in the Android camp. I mean, why break with tradition?

Another next phase for Apple, however, may see the company finally break its silence on what it intends to do with cars.

Apple is revving up to be a big noise in the IoT and healthcare spaces, but the idea of an Apple car is still igniting people’s imaginations.

Will Apple build a car or just a car OS? Given that Apple has so far dashed expectations on television hardware, the car idea is one that just won’t disappear.

Codenamed Project Titan and spearheaded by some of Apple’s top talent and roughly 1,000 workers, Apple may choose the timing of the 10th anniversary of the iPhone to shed some light on the future of the company for the next decade.

Will that involve four wheels? Definitely. But will it be an Apple car or OS? We’ll have to wait and see.

The Solar revolution

Given that Elon Musk’s master plan goes beyond cars and includes trucks, buses and homes, the attractive economies of scale of solar panels are hard to ignore.

Musk recently revealed his solar roof concept that would use tiles made of glass, which look like ordinary roof tiles, to power up homes.

This might not sound as crazy or unfeasible as you would think, when you consider that Scientific American recently said the average cost of solar models per watt dropped from $22 in 1980 to under $3 today.

It suggests that soon, an average solar tile per watt will be $1.75.

That makes 2017 a lynchpin year for a whole new revolution in solar energy.

But time will tell.

Author:  John Kennedy

Source:  https://www.siliconrepublic.com/companies/tech-predictions-2017

The Internet of Things and big data technologies have progressed enormously in 2016 – and 2017 is set to be a year when more enterprise use cases come to fruition

1. Rise of the Internet of Things architect

The IoT architect role will eclipse the data scientist as the most valuable unicorn for HR departments. The surge in IoT will produce a surge in edge computing and IoT operational design.

“Thousands of resumes will be updated overnight,” says Dan Graham, Internet of Things technical marketing specialist at Teradata. “Additionally, fewer than 10% of companies realise they need an IoT analytics architect, a distinct species from IoT system architect. Software architects who can design both distributed and central analytics for IoT will soar in value.”

2. Significant increase in the move to hybrid architectures

“Test/dev and disaster recovery will be the main components of a company’s environment that will be moved to the cloud, and production continuing to remain on premises,” says Marc Clark, director of cloud strategy and deployment at Teradata.

3. Deep learning moves out of the hype zone and into reality

Deep learning is getting massive buzz recently. Unfortunately, many people are once again making the mistake of thinking that is a magic, cure-all bullet for all things analytics, according to Bill Franks, chief analytics officer at Teradata.

“The fact is that deep learning is amazingly powerful for some areas such as image recognition,” says Franks. “However, that doesn’t mean it can apply everywhere. While deep learning will be in place at a large number of companies in the coming year, the market will start to recognise where it really makes sense and where it does not.”

By better defining where deep learning plays, it will increase focus on the right areas and speed the delivery of value.

4. More augmented reality-based products

Waze and PokemonGo are just the start. Imagine leaving breadcrumbs across your life journey.

“You leave a breadcrumb at the grocery store so next time you buy some taco shells,” says John Thuma, director at Teradata. “You walk into the store two days later, and an alarm goes off telling you to buy taco mix. Augmented reminders, augmented notation and augmented journey maps.

5. The battle for low power, wide area (LPWAN) networking will be fought

A research study from Business Insider estimates that 700 million IoT devices will be connected over LPWAN standards by 2021. Why? Because LPWANs will help IoT to take off.

“2016 was a year of big hype and little progress,” says Zach Supalla, CEO at Particle. “There’s a clear barrier of cost and power consumption when it comes to IoT products and if we can get these two pain points down, IoT will explode. LPWANs connect devices over a larger geographic area and use less power and those companies who can leverage these assets the best, will win out.”

6. Greater consolidation in the IoT market

The IoT market will see more consolidation as technology and processes improve.

Much like natural selection, the strongest ones will survive while the smaller players are gobbled up to build out more robust portfolios.

SAP just acquired an enterprise-grade IoT solution last month and Cisco made waves in February when it purchased Jasper Technologies for $1.4 billion.

“The rate at which these tech giants purchase startups will only increase as they continue to thirst for the innovation so many of these young companies are born from,” says Supalla.

7. A year of honing IoT talent

2017 will be a “team-building year” for many in the IoT space, says Supalla. Investments will be made in fostering internal talent and attracting the right external hires to address the complex needs of launching a connected product.

8. Striving for integration and security

Companies will continue to strive for integration while maintaining security – connecting business units and vertical industries such as marketing, healthcare and financial services, instead of restricting access to a handful of data scientists.

“Enterprises will finally be able to speak about big data in terms of ROI,” says Sushil Thomas, co-founder and CEO, Arcadia Data, “and not be limited to a TCO-only conversation that has surrounded it thus far.”

9. More businesses turn to Hadoop to scale

Organisations trying to scale their existing BI platforms to big data size will hit a brick wall with legacy analytics tools.

Research firms like Forrester have seen increasing interest from enterprises not only moving their data to Hadoop, but also running analytical applications on Hadoop clusters.

“Running BI natively on Hadoop allows analysts and business users to drill down into raw data, run faster reports and make informed decisions based on real-time data instead of abstracts,” says Sushil Thomas, co-founder and CEO at Arcadia Data.

10. New BI use cases will become the norm

“These will include city traffic services reacting to sensors in cars, bringing real-time and streaming data to the forefront in enterprises,” says Thomas.

Author:  Ben Rossi

Source:  http://www.information-age.com/10-predictions-internet-things-big-data-2017-123463379

Job fair is a highly-competitive place. You got to put your best foot forward in order to land in the job of your dreams, and if you just recently got out of college, then it would be a lot tougher fight since you need to “dress to impress” to land that very first job.

 

According to research, 48% of fresh graduates don’t have any job lined up right after graduating and this rate is increasing significantly year by year. To make it much more difficult, job market is getting more competitive than ever and since it is a competition, the competent and the aggressive are the most likely winners. Not only competence makes one a winner, you got to have an ounce of aggressiveness as well. Aggressive job hunters do not let the job call on them, they seek it – in the job fair. With proper approach, you will surely have a satisfactory result in your job hunting.

 

There was once this guy that I knew, Ben, who was laid off from his job. Not willing to just sit around the house and wait for something to happen, he searched the internet for a job. One week later, he found out that there will be a Tech Fair to be held in his area. He decided to attend it since he landed his last job at a fair.

 

Convinced with the potentials of the career fair, he armed himself by gathering helpful information on how to prepare the necessary papers so he can avoid the common resume mistakes that many overlooked as well as the kind of documents to attach with it. The next day, Ben set out with high confidence and hope. His confidence, however, was shattered when he saw the long queue of job applicants waiting to be ushered in. This was entirely different from his previous experience.

 

Not willing to give up, he kept wearing his courage and patiently waited in line. He saw familiar faces, friends, and even former coworkers. To kill the time, and also to properly prepare himself, he started asking questions regarding what was going on inside the fair and how to deal with it. Willingly, some of his friend, who were veterans of the career fair system, gave him these helpful tips on how to survive the highly competitive world of job fairs.

 

1. Go Straight to The List

 

As soon as you get inside, your priority should be the list of participating companies. From that list, choose the companies that interest you. Rather than spending your precious energy from wandering from booth to booth, find a place where you can go over the list.

 

2. Do A Quick Homework

 

On a listing sheet, which are usually being handed out and provided, check the job openings in the company of your interest. You may use a computer, if available, to look up the companies of interest.

 

3. Plan Your Route

 

Get a floor map of the venue. This is usually found at the entrance or at the reception table. Find the location of the companies of your interest on the map and plan your route so as to save time and energy.

 

4. Keep Yourself Calm, Energized and Enthusiastic

 

Try to make an impression to the company representative that you are highly interested in their company. Strike up a friendly conversation with a representative about the company and be a good listener.

 

5. Approach The Decision Maker

 

If possible, try talking to the hiring manager of the most senior of the team. There may be lots of useful information from recruiters or human resources personnel regarding the company, but the hiring manager is certainly the one with the most influence.

 

6. During Interview, Do Not Sell Yourself Short

 

Tell the interviewer about your strengths and what you can contribute to the company when hired. Companies are greatly interested in your potentials. Prepare a short statement about yourself and your credentials without being conceited. Two minutes is sufficient for this. The key to successful interview is capturing the interviewer’s interest.

 

7. Follow Up is Important

 

So try to ask for the name of the person you can call or write to. If you can ask for a business card, so much better.

 

8. Redundancy is Okay

 

When making a follow up through a letter, always re-attach your resume even if they already asked it on the job fair event. Two copies of each as you will be addressing the human resources office and the hiring manager. Mention in your letter that you have already met the company’s representative and been interviewed during the job fair. Reiterate once more your strengths and potentials and what you can contribute to the company’s welfare when hired.

 

9. Phone Them Up

 

One week is long enough waiting time to follow up through phone. You may inquire regarding the statues of your application.

 

10. Limit Not Yourself

 

Do not focus on one opportunity. Use the power of the internet to do research on other participating companies. Check to see if these companies have additional openings. In doing so, you can plan your job hunting well.

 

 

Author:  Junie Lou Rutkevich

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/

And all the other Apple news this week.

As the holiday season kicked off this week, some of Apple’s internal plans might have stepped out from the shadows.

Over the last several days, rumors have been swirling that Apple is hard at work on next year’s innovations. Those reports suggest the company is eyeing major improvements to its iPhone and is drumming up ways to make its mapping service Apple Maps compete more effectively with market leader Google Maps. Meanwhile, Cupertino has remained silent about its future plans, preferring instead to let the rumor mill do its thing while the company works feverishly on whatever is next.

But Apple wasn’t silent about all matters this week. The company’s CEO Tim Cook spoke in detail about Apple’s corporate values and touted the iPhone maker’s ongoing support for AIDS research. He also hinted that the long-awaited Bluetooth-based headphones, known as Apple AirPods, might finally find their way to store shelves in the coming weeks.

This is Fortune’s weekly roundup of the biggest Apple news this week.

It’s been an interesting week in Apple news and once again, as we detail the biggest headlines. Read on for more:

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter

  • Apple Maps hasn’t been able to match Google Maps in navigation accuracy or number of features, but Apple could be working on that. The company has reportedly secured approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones over roads around the world to capture photos, videos, and other traffic data that would be bundled with Apple Maps. The company is also reportedly working on a feature that would let users navigate the inside of a building. If all goes well, at least some of the new Apple Maps features could be released next year.
  • The number of iPhone 7 activations between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was up 13% compared to an average of the previous four weekends, according to mobile app analytics company Localytics. But that figure was down from last year’s iPhone 6s activation increase of 36% during the 2015 shopping weekend.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with USA Todaythis week that his company tries “thoughtfully” to “leave the world better than we found it.” The comments came after Apple announced it had expanded its support for the (RED) campaign, focusing on helping people with AIDS and hopefully eradicating the disease by 2030. Apple is offering a wide array of programs, all aimed at potentially donating millions of dollars in support of the fight against AIDS.
  • It’s a bad idea to buy Apple product chargers and adapters from companies you don’t know. A UK watchdog named Trading Standards tested 400 counterfeit Apple chargers recently and found that just three of them were protected against fire and explosion risk. The counterfeits are being sold in Australia, China, and the U.S. and pose a serious safety risk. The organization’s takeaway: Spend extra cash on genuine products.

Author:  Don Reisinger

Source:  http://fortune.com

There has been an increase in iOS thefts recently, targeting owners who are simply walking down the street, causing many individuals to fear that their iOS device may be next to disappear. Personal computers are also not out of the woods from this increase in theft; even when you keep your devices at home, the threat of misplacing them is also present. What should we do to ensure that our Mac or iOS device makes it back into our hands? The step-by-step guide we have below is made for new Apple purchasers, current users, and victims of theft who are looking for options.

 

Ensuring your information is adequately backed up

 

Whether you just bought your iPhone or Mac, or if you have been a long time user, it is never too early or too late to get yourself prepared for a possible lost or stolen device. The main aspects of preparation includes ensuring that you have adequate tracking, and that your information is adequately backed up. We will cover how to do both in the steps below:

 

 

 

 

1. You just bought your Mac or iOS device—congratulations! Now it’s time to protect it with AppleCare. Despite not protecting against theft or loss, it can work in your favor in the event that your recovered device turns out to be damaged. For iOS devices, AppleCare+ protects against two damage incidents with a fee. Below is info on how to purchase it.

  • For iPhone Users: Click Here – For iPad Users: Click Here.
  • When purchasing AppleCare+, you are required to have a device checkup to ensure you are not purchasing AppleCare+ for a device that’s already broken.
  • Keep all information handy and in a safe place (i.e. receipts of the device and AppleCare+ purchase).
  • Found your lost iOS device or stolen device and it’s broken? Go to your local Apple Store and pay $49 for a repair.

 

survivinglostiphone_icloudicon

 

2. Next step, ensure that you are fully signed up for iCloud. The cloud service allows you to have your contacts, calendar events, recent photos, music, apps, and more backed up. Targeted for increased productivity and easier device upgrading, iCloud is very useful for lost or stolen devices. You still have needed information readily available, and as we will show in the next step, it can even help you find your device. Here’s how to sign up for iCloud:

 

survivinglostiphone_icloudonMac

Backing Up Your Data On Mac

  • Ensure that your Mac has the latest update by first clicking the Apple symbol at the top, and then “Software Update”.
  • Click “System Preferences”, then “iCloud”.
  • When asked, enter your Apple credentials. If you’re not asked, you’re done!
  • Check the boxes for the services you want to have iCloud backup.
  • Whenever you sign in to iCloud on any iOS or Mac device, your information is applied if you choose it to be.

 

survivinglostiphone_icloudoniPhone

On iOS Devices

  • Go to “Settings”
  • Click on “iCloud”
  • Sign into your Apple ID.
  • Once signed in, select which services you’d like to back up.
  • “Storage and Backup” allows you to view your storage totals.

 

3. Now that iCloud is activated, it’s time to activate Find My Apple Device. No, it’s not exactly called that—for iOS users it is known as “Find My iPhone“, and for Mac users it’s “Find My Mac”. To activate Find My iPhone on your iOS device, simply download the app from the App Store, and login.

 

 

 

 

Using the Find My iPhone for iOS app is simple. The first page you are presented with is “My Devices”. Here, you are able to view the current status of all the devices connected to your iCloud account. When the device is on, you will notice a green light activated.

 

icloudfindmyiphone

 

When you visit the app, you’ll be able to see the devices under “My Devices”. “All Devices” loads a map showing the relative location of your devices with Find My iPhone active.

 

survivinglostiphone_icloudfindmyiphonemap

 

When clicking a specific device, you are able to click the green car to have driving directions to your lost or stolen device. For Mac users, it’s a bit of a different story; Find My Mac is technically already “downloaded” on all Macs with iCloud, so simply ensure that the box is checked in the iCloud settings in System Preferences.

 

But what happens when you don’t have either device near you to monitor their current location? No problem—simply go to iCloud.com, sign in, and go to Find My iPhone. You can activate an alarm, lock, or activate a remote wipe of your Mac or iOS device.

 

survivinglostiphone_preyformac

 

Bonus Tip: If you’re looking for more features in recovery of your Mac, or even your Android device, Prey is a great free service that lets you cover up to three devices.

 

Your Data: At Risk

 

The options above aren’t necessarily surefire ways to allow you to become reunited with your iPhone. For example, iCloud features including Find My iPhone are only helpful if your device is on and connected to a cellular/Internet connection. Also, if you don’t have a device discovery service active, it’s nearly impossible to recover your iPhone.

 

 

 

 

The only option in these situations is to cut off cellular service on the device in question and to purchase a new one. This doesn’t mean that your data isn’t at risk until then: for many users, their iPhone is their life. This means that services like Facebook and emails are connected to the device and easily accessible. Here are a couple of tips on what to do next:

  • Change Your Passwords Immediately

 

One of the best precautions you can make is to change the passwords of the services connected to your iPhone. This includes email addresses, social media accounts, and in some cases your Apple ID. This can prevent the possibility of compromising information to be posted on your accounts, and even more importantly, to prevent personal information from being stolen.

  • Monitor Account Activity

 

In the days after your iPhone is officially deemed lost, you should still monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity. Financial accounts are top priority if you made use of apps like Mint or your personal bank’s app. This will allow you to catch unwanted access, allowing you to contact your bank and bring the attention to them.

  • Prepare for the Future

 

This is also a great opportunity for you to safeguard your accounts from future attacks. If you are a Google user, for example, you may want to look into two-factor login: this works by requiring the individual to bypass two steps of information before gaining access. In return, this tricks systematic hacks and deters individual hackers.

Current Find My iPhone Users

 

If you are lucky enough to be a Find My iPhone user, the stressful situation of a lost or stolen iPhone is alleviated just a bit. At least while it is connected to an Internet connection, you are able to see the current status of your device. If you are near a computer, follow the following steps below to protect your information:

 

survivinglostiphone_icloud.com

 

 

  1. Go to iCloud.com
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID.
  3. Click on “Find My iPhone”
  4. At the top left, click on “Devices”
  5. After clicking on the device in question, on the far right you can do three things: play a sound, Lock, or Remote Wipe. Below, we have a short summary of which route is best for you:
  • Play a Sound: Perfect for a simple misplacement around you.
  • Lock: A simple misplacement when you see that your iPhone isn’t in your immediate vicinity.
  • Remote Wipe: A prolonged misplacement, a verified theft, or a misplacement in a compromising location (theme park, concert, etc).

 

Activating remote wipe when you just lost your iPhone or Mac under your bed can result in a huge headache, so be careful with that one.

 

Other Tips

 

For individuals who didn’t activate Find My iPhone, you still have options. First, call your service provider and inform them of your misplaced or stolen iPhone, which will allow your service provider to be informed in the event of high charges. They can also deactivate your iPhone. Informing the authorities can also be helpful in the event of a theft of any device.

 

Life After the Theft

 

Chances are, if you had your iPhone stolen, you will be even more determined to purchase a second iPhone this time around. You shouldn’t allow a theft to prevent you from being an iPhone user, and when you get a new iPhone, Apple makes it seamless to apply your old information onto your new device.

 

During the setup of your new iPhone, you are then asked if you’d like to Restore from iCloud Backup or Restore from iTunes Backup. When going with the iTunes route, all you have to do is simply connect your iPhone to the Mac that backed up your last iPhone. You can then click the iTunes backup under the options in “Restore from the Backup of: …” From there, click “continue”.

 

When going down the iCloud route, you can select the latest backup on the “Choose Backup” page. From there, click “Restore” and allow your iPhone to restart on its own.

 

 

Author:  EMMANUEL BANKS

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/

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