Most of us know of the breathalyzer, the device that all police officers carry in their cars to check if you’re over the alcoholic tolerance levels whilst driving. The simple device has been in use for decades and helped police officers across the globe arrest drivers that are breaking the law by drinking. Now there seems to be a so-called “textalyzer” device appearing.
The new device will help authorities determine whether someone involved in a road traffic accident was using a mobile device unlawfully, causing them to be distracted whilst driving. The technology is made by a company called Cellbrite, the Israeli firm that was rumored to have assisted the FBI with cracking the iPhone.
Drivers involved in accidents would have to submit their phone to roadside testing from a textalyzer device. The device would then determine if the driver was using a mobile device ahead of a crash. In a bid to get around the Fourth Amendment right to privacy, the textalyzer would not conversations, contacts, numbers, photos, and application data private. It will solely say whether the phone was in use prior to a motor vehicle mishap. Further analysis, which might require a warrant, could be necessary to determine whether such usage was via hands-free dashboard technology and to confirm the original finding.
The range of potential possibilities concerning the forthcoming Oculus Rift headset promises to be both exciting and also worth the wait, in theory, the problem lies with headset compatibility for the extensive array of PCs that are currently on the market. It seems Oculus have already thought of this and have recently released details of specially crafted PC bundles that have been tested to ensure the headset will work with the machine.
Oculus have announced the first set of machines from well-known computer manufacturers ASUS, Alienware and Dell; these PCs have been tested and also certified by Oculus. The headset manufacturer has also confirmed that the first bundles will be available to pre-order for consumers starting from the 16th February 2016 at 8 am pacific time.
Other confirmed details include the stockists that will be able to accept pre-orders for the bundle, these are, Best Buy, Amazon and the Microsoft Store. There is no word as yet if the UK will receive these bundles as the company has stated that it will “ship in limited quantities to select countries and regions” One would have thought these bundles would eventually be available within the UK when you consider the size and also profitability of the market.
Below is a selection of Oculus-ready’ PCs that the company has announced, it has also been stated that consumers who were excited enough to purchase an Oculus Rift without yet owning a compatible PC, the company said pre-order customers will be able to purchase a discounted PC at a later date.
The price of these bundles will start at $1,499, for that you will receive an “Oculus-certified PC and everything that comes with Rift – the headset, sensor, remote, an Xbox One controller, EVE: Valkyrie Founder’s Pack, and Lucky’s Tale”.
Donald Trump is a divisive figure who seems to thrive on controversy. Whenever he voices any sort of xenophobic or racist remarks, his popularity increases. While there’s an ongoing discussion in the UK about banning Trump, you cannot overlook his ability to resonate with certain voters in the USA. The majority of Trump’s rhetoric revolves around making America great through nationalistic, patriotic speeches and decrying the current state of the USA. During a talk at Liberty University today, Trump made outlandish claims about Apple’s workforce and promised to bring employment back to US citizens:
“We have such amazing people in this country: smart, sharp, energetic, they’re amazing,”
“I was saying make America great again, and I actually think we can say now, and I really believe this, we’re gonna get things coming… we’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries.”
Clearly, this is pure fantasy as bringing a huge amount of manufacturing jobs back to the US isn’t financially feasible. Apple is well aware they can acquire labour in the Asian market at a reduced rate, and maximize profits. While it’s possible for some jobs at the company to be created in the USA, Apple isn’t obliged to offer jobs to a specific nation. In all honesty, this is another political tool being used by Trump to try and emphasize his pro-American ideology. Whatever the case, Trump has become a laughing stock in many countries and his views are mocked all over social media platforms. This is exemplified by various internet memes and brief Vine clips.
Apple has rightfully received criticism for its tax avoidance and could face a hefty charge by the European Commission. On the other hand, the idea that someone running for president can suddenly bring the US workforce back to a company driven by profit is absurd.
“The PC market continued to face persistent challenges from longer-PC lifecycles and competition from mobile phones and tablets, despite the slowing growth in those markets,” IDC reports. “However, economic issues like falling commodity prices and weak international currencies, as well as social disruptions in EMEA and Asia Pacific that disrupted foreign markets were a larger factor for 2015.”
The industry is confident that, despite a steady decline over the last few years, the PC market is set to level out in the coming years.
“The PC market remains competitive and the economic environment weakened further with the recent drop in the China stock market,” Loren Loverde, Vice President of IDC, said. “However, PC replacements should pick up again in 2016, particularly later in the year. Commercial adoption of Windows 10 is expected to accelerate, and consumer buying should also stabilize by the second half of the year. Most PC users have delayed an upgrade, but can only maintain this for so long before facing security and performance issues. We continue to believe that a majority of these users will purchase another PC, motivated by new products and attractive pricing.”
“Changes in the OS market also had a significant impact with the end of support for Windows XP and promotions of low-cost PCs driving a surge in replacements in 2014 that combined with the launch of Windows 10 and a free upgrade program to delay new system purchases in 2015,” the IDC press release continues.
“Lastly, while some very attractive new PCs have been launched, the market is taking some time to respond to new OS and hardware configurations – deciding when to upgrade and evaluating slim, convertible, detachable, and touch variations versus more traditional PCs. Nevertheless, many of these products have received positive reviews and there’s potential for a faster commercial transition to Windows 10 in 2016 than we saw for prior versions of Windows.”
The market saw substantial growth with detachable tablets, which are counted as separate to PCs, with sales up 3% in 2015.
Alex Graves, a specialist in Long Short-Term Memory recurrent neural networks at the University of Toronto, published a number of fascinating findings before the documentation was quickly removed. Graves’ research is astonishing and revolves around the concept that specific data points in combination with a Long Short-Term Memory recurrent neural network can accurately predict complex sequences. To test this hypothesis, Graves created a program which analyzes the graphology of handwriting.
The software is able to judge the characteristics of each person’s handwriting technique and formulate new sentences with a staggering degree of accuracy. It’s not perfect, and a professional graphologist could probably tell the difference. However, it’s a technical feat and one which could be used to forge your signature or personal style. Everyone’s handwriting contains an assortment of individual nuances and computers can now decipher between minute changes in cursive text. The research team have released the tool which converts up to 100 characters in 5 distinct handwriting styles. In all honesty, I can’t see this being used in a positive manner and only to help online fraud. This probably explains why the original research post was removed from all public avenues.
Do you think this technological feat will simply be used be cybercriminals to commit identity fraud?
The Orange County Public Schools District have chosen to monitor people’s social activity in their area, the district announced on Thursday that it has signed up with a service called Snaptrends, which bills itself as “Pioneering Location-Based Social Media Discovery.” It promises to “quickly identify actionable insights.”
The public schools insisted that the purpose of the software was “to proactively prevent, intervene and (watch) situations that may impact students and staff.”
Cnet contacted the Orange County Public Schools District to ask how far this monitoring will stretch — current information suggests that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube will be monitored for specific keywords.
They also asked what the district would say to a parent who believes this is unnecessary stalking of their kids. However, there was no response.Schools from Huntsville, Ala,. to Glendale, Calif., have decided that they must, in one form or another, monitor what their students do on social media.
It does make me wonder what level of detail they can see, on a personal and irrelevant level, surely that is an invasion of students privacy?
We’ve all become used to Google, Facebook and other commercial cohorts scanning our messages and generally following us around 24 hours a day. Somewhere buried deep within us might be the idea that they’re only doing it for commercial reasons and don’t care one whit about our personal lives andpre dilections — unless they can make money out of them. It’s business, not personal.
With schools, it’s a little different. They’re specifically monitoring what kids do in private — even if that might be publicly available information — with a view to preventing bad behavior.
Thank you to Cnet for providing us with this information
Encryption, the word has been used a lot recently in news reports and in virus attacks,
It is a technology that essentially locks your files up with a key that only you know, no-one else can get to that data without authorisation. It’s a really neat technology and has increased security across the globe and of course, with it involving IT and computers, it is involved on most computer science courses.It may sound crazy that a computer science course could be classified as an export of military technology. But under the Defence Trade Controls Act which will come into force next year – there is a possibility that even educational and research activities could break Australian defence export control laws.
The reason that this has become an issue is because a skill that you may learn at school or college could be used against the military. Like building an army to fight against yourself. Many protocols and methods are used in encryption that, if exploited could theoretically give students access to lots of information they shouldn’t even know existed. All listed on the Australian government’s Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL for short)
The DSGL contains detailed technical specifications. Very roughly, it covers encryption above a certain “strength” level, as measured by technical parameters such as “key length”. However, how powerful must encryption be to be classified as “dual-use” and a risk to the data. The specifications released as part of the law are so imprecise that they potentially include an algorithm you learned at primary school called division. If so, division has become a potential weapon against the military, and your calculator (or smartphone, computer, or any electronic device) is a potential delivery system for it; quite amusing really!
If you’re living somewhere else, these issues are not unique to Australia; the rules are copied almost verbatim from an international arms control agreement. What is unique to Australia is the strict level of regulation.
The first computer, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), weighed about twenty-seven tons and took up about 1,800 square feet of space.
Over on Kickstarter, Next Thing Co. is taking funding for a project called C.H.I.P which is tiny. Actually, tiny is an understatement because this fully functioning computer is smaller than a 3½-inch floppy disk. Skepticism abound on its capabilities but according to the project’s Kickstarter page the computer is slated to have a 1ghz processor, 512mb of memory, and 4gb of storage space which is pretty amazing considering its diminutive size. Beyond that, it actually has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities allowing you to attach a wireless keyboard and mouse. It’s also described as being compatible with any screen with output methods ranging from composite to HDMI and anything in between. The sad part is that it’s probably more powerful than my laptop!
Considering that just recently we had an article covering how Twitter cut support for MS-DOS gaming in embedded tweets, those of you who were disappointed by the news will be excited to know that C.H.I.P can also play MS-DOS games. It doesn’t stop there though as the device will come pre-installed with dozen of apps and allow you to get even more through an open source community.
To say the least, it’s impressive – if not remarkable – considering that you can get one just by funding the small sum of just $9 over on their Kickstarter page and expect to get it anywhere in the world by December. I personally spend more on that getting lunch on the daily!
When we take a wide look at the pre-built systems market in the UK, the number of names out there that one can choose from is growing on a near day-to-day basis. The scale at which each of these system integrators run does vary quite considerably and on the high-end of the scale where the big names such as Scan Computers and Overclockers UK dominate the market, competition is fierce and the number of systems that each name has to offer covers an incredibly wide range of budgets. When we look towards the other end of the scale, where getting your name out there is key, pitching just high-end systems that costs hundreds to buy is not exactly going to be an easy way of doing this. Instead of offering systems on the upper end of the performance scale, the other option is to create a line of budget friendly systems that contain a more modest level of performance making them ideal for the first time buyer who is just getting their feet into the door and the world of gaming on a PC.
Based in Rushden, Northamptonshire; Braebo Computers, compared to the big names out there, are a small company that was setup by two brothers since they started building systems for the public back in 2002. Since then they have developed a small range of systems, all with components from some of the biggest brands in the industry and whilst their operation my be small, they strive to offer excellent value for money with a customer service that would rival that of the market leaders. Building quality systems that are suited to your needs are where they excel and this ethos is what is driving them forward in a highly competitive market space.
The system that we are taking a look at today is one of their latest creations, offering an all-AMD based lineup consisting of the latest A10-7700k APU and an R9 270 graphics card, along with an SSD courtesy of Corsair, 16GB of memory from Crucial and off of this is spread out across one of Gigabyte’s top performing AMD boards – the F2A88X G1 Sniper. Alongside the system itself, our review package today consists of a full desktop setup that Braebo offer to all of their customers meaning that we have all the basic items needed to get the system up and running – ideal for the first time buyer. In this care package we have a 22″ monitor for AOC and a USB mouse and keyboard set from Microsoft. In addition the Titan comes with the lastest version of Windows 8.1 pre-installed and the added extra of a wireless card for connecting your new system into your home network. It looks as though all the basic essentials have been taken care of and ticked off, so lets take a look at the Titan system and see what it’s made of.
Compared to the full on specifications of the systems that we have seen up to today, Braebo’s Titan is more modest and this all comes down to its target audience. When looking across the board at every pre-built system that can be bought, the main bulk of these are aimed directly at the mainstream consumer and up towards the super enthusiast, where money is no object and performance is everything. The Titan brings this all back down to earth with a more basic lineup of components that round-up to a price that is more suited to the entry-level end of the spectrum.
When we look at the accessory set of a pre-built system, on the whole it is made up of all the little extras that come with each individual component such as manuals, adaptors and cables. Braebo’s Titan is no different, although depending on the package that you opt for, you can choose to get a complete setup headed your way instead. in the complete package Braebo bundle in a 22″ AOC monitor and a Microsoft mouse and keyboard set, giving you everything that you need to get up and running.
Computers that can identify objects seem a thing from the future. Apparently, it is more close to reality than any of us think. Birmingham Young University from Provo, US – has found a way to make computers identify objects without the need of a human helping hand.
According to Dah-Jye Lee, BUY engineer, algorithms have become so advanced that they can make a piece of software identify objects by themselves from images and even videos. Lee is the founder of this algorithm and from what he describes, it is based on the computer making decisions on its own based on the shapes identified on the images or videos analysed.
“In most cases, people are in charge of deciding what features to focus on and they then write the algorithm based off that,” said Lee, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. “With our algorithm, we give it a set of images and let the computer decide which features are important.”
Lee’s algorithm is said to learn on its own, just as a child learns to distinguish a cat from a dog. He explains that instead of teaching a child the difference between the latter, we are better off showing the two images and let the child distinguish them on his or her own. Just like a child, the algorithm has been shown four image datasets from CalTech, namely motorbikes, faces, airplanes and cars, having the algorithm output 100% accurate results on each of the datasets. However, the algorithm had a lower rate of success with human faces, being able to accurately distinguish 99.4%, but still gave a better result than other object recognition systems.
“It’s very comparable to other object recognition algorithms for accuracy, but, we don’t need humans to be involved,” Lee said. “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time. You just run it.”
Professor Lee mentioned that the highly complicated algorithm may be used in a variety of tasks, from detecting invasive fish species to identifying flaws in produce such as apples on a production line. However, the complexity of the algorithm can go way beyond that.
According to a an article from Fudzilla, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have built a software that can search the web on a non-stop basis and learn common sense.
A normal human that browses the internet daily can learn a handful of information. However the software, dubbed the Never Ending Image Learner (NEIL), was designed to search for images and do its best to understand these images on its own. The program runs on two clusters of computers that include 200 processing cores, way beyond the ability to process information for a normal individual. As NEIL grows a visual database it is expected to gather common sense on what is being called as “massive scale”.
The designers have already shown some unique findings that could relate to common sense, such as “Deer can be a kind of / look similar to Antelope,” and “Trading Floor can be / can have Crowded”. The results so far are not really spectacular, but it is sign of progress. Computers do not have the ability to comprehend, that’s why software is based on conditions and functions.
Abhinav Gupta, assistant research professor in Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute said that images were the best way to learn visual properties. People learn this by themselves and, with NEIL, computers could gain that ability as well.
In the UK there are a growing number of system integrators to chose from when buying a new PC and with such a competitive market, it is not the easiest of tasks to decide who to buy your new system from. Whilst many people do opt to go for the bigger, more well known names such as PC Specialist, Overclockers UK and Scan, there are a whole host of smaller companies out there who strive to offer high quality systems and customer service alike.
For many people, including myself UK Gaming Computers are a company that until now I’ve never heard of. Formed in 2009, the Essex based integrator that have been building custom systems like no other in their thousands, offering unique paint jobs, modifications and even bespoke system builds on a per-client basis. As well as building systems, UKGC also offer an extended line of services which include laser panel cutting, airbrushing and even wrapping your system in caron fibre.
The companies main focus is on quality over quantity and this is how they have managed to build up a rapport for some of the best individual systems in the UK market. Up to this point UK Gaming Computers have never had one of their systems reviewed, so I will say that I am a little privileged to be the first person to take a proper look at one of their systems and give my thoughts back on it. The system that has been sent across to me is UKGC’s latest creation and also their new flagship mini-PC and goes my the name “Minos” – meaning the ‘Son on Zeus. As well as being a flagship system, the case has also been covered in a new prototype paint finish, which adds another style to the extensive selection of finishes that are already on offer.
The Minos starts from £1,629.99 inc VAT and can be purchased here, however the system that we have has had a couple of additions made to it and as a result is a little more expensive.
Warranty: 3 Years complete / Life-time technical support
Price: £1,810.59 inc VAT + Delivery (£16 + VAT)
There is no prizes for guessing what chassis the system comes in and don’t worry, the system was packed inside another protective film along with the clear warning that the system likes to be handled with care.
Opening the box up, I am a little surprised to see a ton of packing peanuts included on top of the standard protective foam that the chassis is otherwise shipped in (Note at this point I’ve not been made aware of the paint). This goes to show that UKGC take pride in their work and wish to protect it in the best way possible for transit between themselves and you the customer.
In a separate packet came all the user manuals for the key parts of the system, along with the motherboards WiFi antenna and mains power cable.
Panasonic have pleaded guilty to charges that they conspired to fix prices in two major markets, laptop battery packs and auto parts, of course we are a little more interested in the battery scandal than we are the car parts but it is still good to see that justice caught up with people who have been effectively ripping people off for years.
The US government has stuck a whopping fine of $56.5 million on Panasonic for the two conspiracies, while 15 executives across several companies will be serving jail time for the crimes committed, and since some parts of the price-fixing stem back 15 years, we can only assume they may be getting locked up for quite some time.
Panasonic have been ripping off auto manufacturers for 15 years by working with other companies to inflate prices in a bid to “fix, stabilize, and maintain the prices” of lighting equipment that was sold to companies such as Honda, Mazda and Nissan.
SANYO Electric, which is owned by Panasonic since an acquisition in 2009 was also charged with working with LG Chem to price fix cylindrical lithium-ion battery packs that are used globally for laptop computers, although it is unclear at this time which models were effected.
“The conduct of Panasonic, SANYO, and LG Chem resulted in inflated production costs for notebook computers and cars purchased by U.S. consumers,” said Joseph S. Campbell, an FBI official involved in the investigation, in a statement released Friday by the Justice Department.
This is a win for consumers and while we may have lost out in the past, this is one scam that has been brought to an end.
Keep your eyes peeled on this page as we update you with constant photos of our coverage from Computex 2013. All Computex based content articles about upcoming products and news will be found here.
This page will be split into pages for each manufacturer that we cover, and at the bottom of the page will be a handy navigation bar so that you can check out pictures of exactly what you want to see and yes of course that will include a page devoted to booth babes.
Stay tuned at we prepare for day 1 of Computex 2013 in the hot, humid climate of Taipei, Taiwan.
According to the latest IDC report on PC shipments figures for Q1 of 2013 (January to end of March) are reportedly looking a bit grim. The big problem for the world as a whole is that we are still seeing suppressed demand for PCs which already started with the financial crisis in 2008, the recovery is much slower than expected and with the increasing rise of high performance Tablets and Smartphones some are unsure as to whether shipments will ever fully recover.
The particularly bad figures for Q1 of this year are reportedly due to the economic “slowdown” in China, where growth rates have fallen from 9-10% in late 2011 and early 2012 to around 7% in late 2012 and early 2013. With China demanding less PCs and the West becoming increasingly fixated on Tablets and Smartphones, being a PC vendor is certainly an undesirable position to be in to say the least.
In 2012 China accounted for 21% of global PC shipments, making it by far the World’s largest market for PCs. IDC analysts say we will see a close to double digit (8-10%) decline in PC shipments for Q1 of 2013 followed by a 5%~ decline in Q2 of 2013. Only in Q3 and Q4 might we actually see some growth/recovery but the uncertainty of making future predictions mean that this isn’t guaranteed either.
IDC says that the PC industry needs to innovate with attractive new PC designs and it needs to offer more competitive pricing to convince users to opt for a PC instead of a tablet.
What do you think of the current PC market trends? Are PCs becoming obsolete? Are tablets better? Have you bought a PC recently? Let us know what you think.
Rick Delgado is a freelance writer who specializes in technology advancement and network forensics. He enjoys keeping up with the latest gadgets and anticipating the next breakthroughs.
As the physical world has moved digital, so have criminals. Before, it would have been difficult for a thief to steal important information from a company. They would have to break in to the office itself. Now however, everything is stored online and if a company isn’t careful that information could be easily accessible by outsiders.
Just as you would want to make sure your home has the best security system possible to protect the assets inside, companies need to make sure their online information is securely locked up. If you think that online attacks couldn’t possibly happen to your company, think again. Consider the following three aspects of network security that many people overlook.
1. It is cheaper to prevent cyber-attacks than wait to fix them
A study of U.S. companies revealed that out of the companies affected by cyber-attacks, most ended up paying close to $3.8 million a year to fix the problem. Those companies could have saved a lot of money if they had been a little more cautious. It may seem like a big investment at first, but network security will pay off in the long run.
2. Loss of information due to theft accounts for the highest external cost for businesses
Businesses are always looking for ways to increase productivity in the workplace. They come up with fancy ideas like rewards programs, weekly interviews or even throwing office parties. While these all may be helpful, companies also need to consider how they can prevent situations that will drastically disrupt productivity.
Imagine what would happen if on a busy workday, the entire office was shut down. It could result in a loss of important clients, big sales, or a number of other things. If your company network is infiltrated with a virus your company could be out for several days.
In addition to loss of work time, reports have shown that information theft can add up to almost half of all external costs for many companies. Disruption or loss of productivity as a result of fixing the problem is the next highest cost. If companies knew these statistics they would likely put a stronger effort into establishing an effective network security system.
3. Hackers also want to get into your computers at home
While every business should take necessary precautions to protect their information, don’t forget about your home computer as well. Just because you don’t have classified documents saved to your home network, it doesn’t mean no one wants access to it. Hackers or crackers will often look to take control of a home network so they can then launch attacks on other networks without being traced. Even though their final target may be a large corporation or a government agency, working through your network will give them the cover they want.
There are also people who simply want to cause trouble. If you don’t have strong security they could access and change information or even reformat your hard drive.
Enermax are a brand that through some way or another, you have most likely come across at some point in your life. Generally this would be the census if you have used one of their amazing world-renowned power supplies or one of their silent and bright coloured LED fans, or even as of late; a powerful CPU cooler or chassis which is a slightly new venture for them, and from what we’ve seen, a very successful one thus far.
With these product launches into different markets working for them, they are not stopping at just releasing products to these ranges, as they have delved straight into another market area, with PC audio, but not in terms of sound cards as you’d expect, but with more of an add-on style device to amplify your sound and give extra clarity from your audio that is already configured.
Now a device such as this, should not just be aimed at the desktop user with a fixed machine location, but instead appealing to the mass market of desktop users and those that are on the go with netbooks and notebooks, and that’s exactly who the DreamBass from Enermax is aimed at with its USB connectivity and striking design, so lets get straight into it to see if Enermax can make another successful merge into a very large, yet still niche market of audio products or if it will just be a gimmick that we’ve seen other brands try before.