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23 May 19:41

A programmer has some harsh things to say about a popular t-shirt sold at Google's developer's conference

by Julie Bort

Eat sleep code T shirt both at Google i/oDan Kim. Photo used with permission.

While attending Google's developer conference, I/O, programmer Dan Kim noticed a booth selling a T-shirt with a popular saying: "Eat, sleep, code, repeat."

He was not pleased.

"'Eat, sleep, code, repeat' is such bullsh--," he wrote on Medium.

"Eat. Sleep. Code. Repeat.' was printed on everything," he wrote, adding, "I’d seen the phrase before, but this time it burned into my brain, probably because it was being so actively marketed at a large conference. I literally let out an 'ugh' when I saw it."

Because, the truth is, the underlying idea of that phrase isn't so cute. 

Eat sleep code T-shirtDan Kim. Photo used with permission.It's not just another way of saying "I love programming!" It's part of the not-so-subtle message that programmers are constantly being told that if you really want to make it — if you want to command respect in your profession and be known as a "real programmer" — than you must love programming so much it is literally all you do in your life. And all you want to do.
Kim is a professional Android programmer for a company called Basecamp, which creates project management software.

And he, for one, is sick of that message, writing:

There’s a damaging subtext, and that’s what bothers me. The phrase promotes an unhealthy perspective that programming is an all or nothing endeavor  —  that to excel at it, you have to go all in. It must be all consuming and the focus of your life. Such bullsh--.

In fact it’s the exact opposite. ... a truly balanced lifestyle  —  one that gives your brain and your soul some space to breathe non-programming air  —  actually makes you a better programmer.

Eat code repeat shirtDan Kim. Photo used with permission.To understand just how pervasive this indoctrination is, a couple of months ago, Alex St. John, a famous video game developer and exec, someone who has hired a lot of programmers over the years, caused an uproar when he published a controversial article in VentureBeat.

St. John argued that game programmers that didn't love to code so much that they were willing to sacrifice themselves for the privilege had a poor attitude and should give their jobs to someone who did love it enough. (St. John called it a "wage slave" attitude.)

St. John even wrote a recruiting slideshow filled with controversial and sexist ideas on how to find programmers (preferably young) and cultivate this idea in them.
The sad thing is that for those that buy into this message, the stress of working like that has been known to literally drive some of them beyond burnout, even affecting mental health.

Code repeat t shirtDan Kim. Photo used with permission.For instance, some time ago a programmer named Kenneth Parker wrote a blog post about the hardest working programmer he ever knew. He called it "I Knew a Programmer that Went Completely Insane."

On top of that, of course, doing nothing but work isn't a sign that you work at a great job, it's a sign that your company lacks project management skills.

Kim is one voice trying to stop the madness.

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05 May 18:41

Microsoft Will End Free Upgrade Offer For Windows 10 In July

by Brad Sams
Windows 10 Hero Good

Windows 10 Hero Good

When Microsoft announced Windows 10 last year, they made the OS a free to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 but as we approach the first anniversary of its release, the free upgrade offer will be going away.

This is an interesting move by Microsoft as they have been aggressively trying to upgrade as many users as possible so that they could meet their 1 billion device goal within three years after release. By removing the free upgrade options, the new price for the OS will be $119, which will create a large barrier for new users looking to move to the OS. As a result, this change should slow down the adoption rate of the platform.

Windows 10 has been well received by the majority of its user-base and considering the company will soon start charging for the bits that you can now get for free today, it’s worth upgrading your machine to avoid this fee.

Many assumed, myself included, that Microsoft would permanently keep the free upgrade offer for the OS and only charge OEMs and those who did not have a valid Windows 7 or 8 key. But, here we are, Microsoft is going to put up a paywall for the OS starting later this year, which means you need to move quickly if you want to take advantage of this offer.

Now, this could be a clever tactic to get users to upgrade with the threat that the free option is going away, as Microsoft is saying after July 29th you will have to pay $119 for the same bits, and only time will tell if this brings a surge of new users to the platform. Of course, Microsoft could always revert back to offering Windows 10 for free at a later time, but it’s not worth the risk of waiting when the OS has been well received and is a stable operating system.

You can check out the announcement post here, for more information.

The post Microsoft Will End Free Upgrade Offer For Windows 10 In July appeared first on Petri.

01 May 09:48

Pirate Bay Gets a ‘Massive’ $9 in Donations, Per Day

by Ernesto

thepirateThree years ago many popular torrent sites added an option to donate via Bitcoin. The Pirate Bay was one of the first to jump on board, a development which caused concern among copyright holders.

The RIAA even informed the U.S. trade representative about this looming threat. The music industry group warned that Bitcoin could make it harder to crack down on pirate sites.

“In April 2013, the site started accepting donations from the public by Bitcoin, a digital currency, which operates using peer-to-peer technology,” the RIAA wrote.

“There are no central authority or banks involved which makes it very difficult to seize or trace Bitcoin funds,” the music industry group added.

Bitcoin does indeed make it harder to seize funds, as law enforcement would need access to the computer where the wallet is kept.

However, Bitcoin also makes it easy to see how much donations are coming in. All transactions are public and traceable which allows anyone to see how much money Pirate Bay is making through donations.

This is exactly what we decided to do. Using the publicly listed Bitcoin wallet address, which is shown on every Pirate Bay page we found that 376 donations, roughly one donation per day, were sent over the past year.

The total amount of Bitcoin received during this period adds up to 8.21 BTC. At the current exchange rate this equals $3,500 in donations over the past twelve months, or $9.34 per day.

Needless to say, Pirate Bay’s operators are not getting rich off user donations.

TPB featuring the Bitcoin address

It appears that the interest in donating has tapered off over the years. Last year Custos Media Technologies reported that the site had received 126.64 Bitcoin in its various wallets between 2013 and 2015, which is significantly more.

TPB Bitcoin earnings from 2013 till 2015

That being said, even the 8.21 it received last year is a fortune when compared to other prominent torrent sites.

ExtraTorrent also lists a Bitcoin address on its site, as well as in the uploads of their ETTV and ETRG release groups. This wallet amassed a total of 4.31 in donations since 2013 which is roughly $1 per day.

Again, that’s quite a treasure trove when we look at the donations that are coming in at KickassTorrents, which is currently the most-visited torrent site.

Since 2013 KAT has raked in a measly 0.96 BTC, which is roughly $250, or two dozen cents per day. Admittedly, KAT doesn’t promote donations and the address is only listed in the site’s FAQ.

It’s pretty safe to say that if the RIAA and other copyright holders are concerned about the revenue going to pirate sites and groups, there’s little to worry about in respect of Bitcoin or user donations in general.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

25 Apr 09:56

Over two-thirds of German industrial companies were hit by digital crime in the past 2 years

People wearing balaclavas are silhouetted as they pose with a laptops in front of a screen projected with the word 'cyber' and binary code, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014.  REUTERS/Dado RuvicThomson Reuters

HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) - More than two-thirds of German industrial companies have been victims of digital crime in the past two years, according to a survey carried out by Bitkom, Germany's IT, telecoms and new media industry association.

The most common offence was the simple theft of equipment such as computers, smartphones or tablets, but a fifth of companies surveyed reported that sensitive documents, components or designs had been stolen, while 18 percent said their production had been sabotaged with the aim of damaging or paralyzing it.

Such crimes cost German manufacturing industry more than 22 billion euros ($25 billion) a year, Bitkom estimated following its survey of 504 German manufacturing companies with at least 10 employees.

"With the digitization of production and the networking of machines over the Internet, new contact points arise that are vulnerable to attack," Winfried Holz, a Bitkom executive committee member, said in a statement issued at the Hannover Messe industry trade fair.

"German industry, with its numerous hidden champions, is an attractive target for cybercriminals and foreign intelligence services," he added. Germany has hundreds of small and medium-sized family-owned manufacturers that are world leaders in their niche.

Bitkom said the 69 percent of manufacturing companies affected by cybercrime was a far higher proportion than the 51 percent average for German companies in general.

About 70 percent of the machinery and equipment manufacturers surveyed said they had been victims, 68 percent of chemicals and pharmaceuticals producers, 65 percent of electronics makers and 61 percent of carmakers.

Cybercriminality was most often found in production or assembly, with 36 percent of reported cases, followed by 30 percent in warehousing and logistics, 29 percent in IT and 23 percent in research and development.


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20 Apr 10:05

Antitrust chief: Google’s restrictions on Android device makers breach EU law

by Kelly Fiveash

Google faces more competition charges in the European Union, after the 28-member-state bloc's antitrust commissioner concluded in a preliminary decision that the company had abused its dominant position by imposing restriction on Android device makers.

A Statement of Objections—which outlines Brussels' charges—has been sent to Google this morning, competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Google will now be given the opportunity to respond to the commission's concerns. Vestager said that Google had pursued a "strategy to protect and expand its position in search," by imposing what the commissioner described as "unjustified restrictions on manufacturers and mobile network operators."

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

18 Apr 15:25

Beverly Hills plans to use driverless cars for public transport

by Cadie Thompson

beverly hills carsAndrey Bayda /

The swanky California neighborhood of Beverly Hills is planning to introduce a fleet of  self-driving cars to help facilitate public transportation. 

Beverly Hills' City Council recently passed a resolution to create a program that would use a fleet of driverless cars to facilitate the city's public transportation system.

The idea is that people will use their smartphones to request an autonomous vehicle, which will then take them from point A to point B within the city limits. 

The program is still very much in the early stages, but the City Council said in a press statement that they are already working to develop the infrastructure to support autonomous vehicles. 

According to a Beverly Hills press statement, the city is currently designing a citywide network of fiber optics cables, which will help smart cars communicate while on the road. 

No word yet on what cars will be used in the fleet, but the statement mentions that the city will work to develop relationships with manufacturers of self-driving cars like Google and Tesla. 

Beverly Hills, of course, isn't the only city looking to introduce autonomous vehicles into its public transportation system. 

Singapore already has a program in place that enables people to hail an autonomous shuttle via smartphone app. Amsterdam has a similar program and London will be introducing a trial this year that uses driverless pods. 

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08 Apr 15:22

How to create a killer LinkedIn résumé in 5 minutes

woman on laptopShutterstock

If you want to discover how to attract clients using LinkedIn, it's critical to understand what your ideal audience on that particular platform wants... and what they don't.

For instance, they're not interested in reading an online version of your work résumé. (In fact, that's about as far away as you can get from creating a killer LinkedIn profile.)

They do want to know, as quickly as possible, who you are, what product or service you provide, and how that product or service can help them achieve their goals.

They also have to know how to take next steps to working with you, so they are going to be frustrated if you don't place your contact information in some strategic places.

I want to show you how to create a client-attracting, lead-generating LinkedIn profile in five minutes or less. Before I get there, however, I need to make one thing clear: If you want to attract your ideal clients and customers on LinkedIn, you must adhere to these two core tenets: Speed and Clarity.

The fastest way to ensure you deliver on those two key elements is to think about one simple reality: How most of us tend to consume content online.

Even as you're reading this post, you're likely flicking along on your phone or scrolling on your laptop, scanning and moving fast, stopping only when something stands out and grabs your attention. Your ideal customer is doing the same.

When it comes to laying out your LinkedIn profile in a way that appeals to prospects who are quickly scanning to see if you have what they need, the "copy and paste" template below works as well as anything I've seen on the platform.

Best of all, the entire process should take less than five minutes.

The copy-and-paste template for generating Leads on LinkedIn:

(Note that I use ALL CAPS for sections like "WHAT I DO" and "WHO I WORK WITH" to help those headers stand out, since LinkedIn, as of this writing, doesn't allow you to use bold or italic text on your profile page.)



[Insert Bulleted List of Job Titles, Industry Names, Client Types, etc.]

WHY IT WORKS: When you partner with [MY COMPANY NAME], you get the most efficient, effective, and affordable [PRODUCT or SERVICE] that [TARGET AUDIENCE] are looking for right now.

WHAT MAKES ME DIFFERENT: [Answer that question! What makes you unique/different/better than similar vendors or competitors? XYZ years of experience? Certifications/Patents/etc.? Something else?]

WHAT OTHERS SAY: [Copy and paste two-three testimonials in this area. Make them specific to the product or service you're offering or the industries you're serving. Focus on the results clients got from using your product or service. Include the full name of the person and his or her company to give your testimonials more legitimacy.]

HOW IT WORKS: [Explain how your process -- "we start with a free evaluation, we do an analysis of your website's SEO rankings," etc.]

READY TO TALK? Feel free to connect with me here on LinkedIn, drop me a line at [EMAIL ADDRESS], visit me online at [WEBSITE URL] or call me directly at [PHONE NUMBER].

Look here: great LinkedIn summary examples.

If you want to see some great examples of how LinkedIn Riches students of mine have followed this format to near perfection with their LinkedIn profile summary sections, check out these profile pages:

Your turn — update your LinkedIn summary!

Time to take action! Copy and paste the template above into your LinkedIn summary section, then leave a comment below and let me know how it turns out!

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25 Mar 18:07

4 rituals that will make you an expert at anything

by Eric Barker

photographerZach Dischner/flickr

We hear a lot about “10,000 hours” being what it takes to become an expert. But the majority of people totally misunderstand the idea.

So I decided to go to the source and talk to the guy who actually created the theory.

Anders Ericsson is a professor of psychology at Florida State University. His wonderful new book is "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise."

So what does everybody get wrong? 2 things.

First, the “10,000 hour rule” is not a rule and it’s not an exact number. The amount of time varies from field to field. It’s an average. But it’s always a lot and more is better. Here’s Anders:

In most domains it’s remarkable how much time even the most “talented” individuals need in order to reach the highest levels of performance. The 10,000 hour number just gives you a sense that we’re talking years of 10 to 20 hours a week which those who some people would argue are the most innately talented individuals still need to get to the highest level.

What’s the second mistake? Becoming an expert is not merely doing something over and over for 10,000 hours. There’s a right way — and an awful lot of wrong ways — to spend that time.

Let’s learn the right way … 

Getty / Tim Boyle

1. Find a mentor

The most important part of deliberate practice is solitary practice. Hard work. But that’s not the first step.

The first step is social. You need to know what to do. And that’s where mentors, coaches and teachers come in. (To find the best mentor for you, click here.) Here’s Anders:

They need to talk to somebody that they really admire, a person that is doing something in a way that they would like to eventually be able to do. Have this person help you identify what it is that you might need to change in order to be able to do what that other person is doing. Interview that person about how they were able to do it, and then have that person help you identify what is it that you can’t do right now and what are the steps towards reaching that desired level of performance.

The secret here is “mental representations.” You want to be able to clearly and specifically visualize the right way to do something in your head. This is what separates the experts from the chumps.

From Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise:

What sets expert performers apart from everyone else is the quality and quantity of their mental representations. Through years of practice, they develop highly complex and sophisticated representations of the various situations they are likely to encounter in their fields… These representations allow them to make faster, more accurate decisions and respond more quickly and effectively in a given situation. This, more than anything else, explains the difference in performance between novices and experts.

How good can those mental representations get? Top chess players can play blindfolded.

They can see the board in their mind’s eye. And Anders explains that they don’t even train to do this, with enough hours it just occurs naturally.

So you need a clear idea of what it is you’re trying to do, whether it’s playing an instrument or performing an appendectomy. The clearer your vision of it, the better you’ll be able to detect and correct mistakes. Here’s Anders:

What a skilled musician does is think about what kind of experience they want to give the audience. Once you have an idea here about what it is that you want to produce, then you can now start working on trying to be able to generate that experience. That requires a representation about what it should sound like. Then, when you try to do it, you’re going to find that there are going to be differences between the representation and their performance. Those differences you can now focus on and eliminate. Successively, you’re going to be able to produce that music performance that sounds like what you had originally imaged.

And you want to keep improving those mental representations as you learn, creating a clearer and clearer image of every detail.

(To learn the four rituals new neuroscience research says will make you happy, click here.)

Okay, you talked to someone who is better than you and you’ve got an image in your head of how to do things right. Now just do that over and over until you begin crying uncontrollably, right? Wrong…

Flickr / GoToVan

2. It’s not “try harder,” it’s “try different”

Anders says the biggest problem most people have with getting better at something is that they’re not actually trying to get better at something.

Doing something over and over again does not necessarily make you better at it. If it did, we would all be excellent drivers. Repetition is not expertise.

To prove the point (and to scare the crap out of you) I’ll mention that this applies to doctors as well. Think your surgeon is better because he’s been doing this for 20 years? Nope. He’s probably worse.

From "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise":

Research on many specialties shows that doctors who have been in practice for twenty or thirty years do worse on certain objective measures of performance than those who are just two or three years out of medical school. It turns out that most of what doctors do in their day-to-day practice does nothing to improve or even maintain their abilities; little of it challenges them or pushes them out of their comfort zones.

To improve, you need to get out of your comfort zone. Anders says this is one of the most critical things to remember. Mindlessly going through the motions does not improve performance.

When you try to get better at something is it fun? Yes? Congratulations, you’re doing it dead wrong.

Anders cites a study where they talked to singers after practice. Who was happy? The amateurs. The experts were pushing themselves. It was hard. And they were tired afterwards, not elated.

Dan Coyle says you only want to be succeeding in 50-80% of your attempts. Less than that and you’ll get frustrated. More than that and you’re not pushing yourself.

And you want to be working on your weak points. That’s how you get better.

From "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise":

First, figure out exactly what is holding you back. What mistakes are you making, and when? Push yourself well outside of your comfort zone and see what breaks down first. Then design a practice technique aimed at improving that particular weakness. Once you’ve figured out what the problem is, you may be able to fix it yourself, or you may need to go to an experienced coach or teacher for suggestions.

And your goals need to be specific. Don’t say, “I want to be better at business.” Say, “I want to get better at engaging the audience at the beginning of my presentations.”

(To learn how to be happier and more successful, click here.)

So you’ve accumulated the knowledge on what’s right, what you’re doing wrong and what you need to do to get better. And that’s where most people breathe a sigh of relief. And then they fail miserably. Here’s what’s missing…

flickr / zoetnet

3. It’s about doing, not knowing

You’ve read half this blog post. Are you half of an expert now? No.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that knowing equals doing. It doesn’t.

Watching a lot of football does not make you a great quarterback. 60 years of sitcoms hasn’t made people funnier.

From Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise:

When you look at how people are trained in the professional and business worlds, you find a tendency to focus on knowledge at the expense of skills. The main reasons are tradition and convenience: it is much easier to present knowledge to a large group of people than it is to set up conditions under which individuals can develop skills through practice.

Once you have the knowledge, you need to focus on building the skills. Remember the three F’s:

1. Focus
2. Feedback
3. Fix it

You need to concentrate on having your execution match your mental representation. Then you need objective feedback on how well you performed. Then you need to analyze what you did wrong and how to do it better.

From "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise":

Get outside your comfort zone but do it in a focused way, with clear goals, a plan for reaching those goals, and a way to monitor your progress.

(To learn the schedule that the most successful people follow every day, click here.)

So you know the right system for improving any skill. But a lot of people might say, “I’m not a violinist or an athlete. This won’t help me in my career.” Wrong…

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
25 Mar 23:24

Europe must resign itself to a long-term terror threat

Italy terrorism BrusselsMaurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA via AP

Paris (AFP) - Europe must learn to deal with the likely deaths of many more innocent people in jihadist terror attacks, experts have warned as Belgium struggled to get back to normal after a week of bloodshed and extremist manhunts.

The Brussels attacks, in which 31 people died and more than 300 were injured, came only four months after Paris was hit for a second time in less than a year by major jihadist atrocities.

And this may only be the start of Europe's suffering, according to Simon Palombi, international security expert at the London-based think-thank Chatham House.

"We are not doing anyone any favors by not being honest about this. We face a serious and long-term threat and this will not be the last attack by a long shot," he said.

Politicians on the continent must prepare the public for further deadly violence because "they dropped the ball in not taking the threat as seriously as they should have when Britain and the US did."

He was also highly critical of EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini who shed tears about "a very sad day for Europe" at a press conference during her visit to Jordan where she said relations between the EU and the Muslim country sent a "most powerful message of strength and friendship" in the wake of the suicide bombings in Brussels.

"It doesn't help the public one little bit when they see their leaders crying on television," claimed Palombi. "We have to toughen up in some respects. Emotions are understandable at these times, but politicians need to show an example."

A former UN counter-terrorism expert, Palombi also argued that Europe's complacency had left it dangerously vulnerable. 

The jihadists "have found the weakness in European intelligence systems, which cannot be solved overnight, and which will allow them to strike again. The public must be prepared for this." 

How people cope

People can live with "terrible but infrequent violence of the type of which Europe is experiencing now", said John Brewer, professor of post-conflict studies at Queen's University in Belfast.

"While bombs were going off in Northern Ireland for decades every other day, people still went to work, fell in love and got married," he told AFP. "It was those routines that got them through it."

Having studied the long-running Sri Lankan and Northern Ireland conflicts, Brewer found societies can learn to adapt. "People cope by continuing with their normal lives and by distancing themselves from those who are suffering most."

For psychologist Carole Damiani whose group Paris Aide helps victims of the attacks in the French capital, "people don't have a choice — they have to take the threat on board. But we have to steer a path between the pitfalls of being hyper vigilant about possible attacks and to pretend nothing has happened."brussels memorialMaurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA via AP

Social media, however, is complicating that process, Brewer warned.

He said it has "collapsed the distancing mechanism we put in place to protect ourselves" from extreme violence. 

Social-media trauma

"We are being exposed to far more trauma and emotion from these attacks than we would have in the past, because the violence is being recorded on people's phones who were right there, which can traumatize everyone," he said.

But the technology also has a positive side. "The very democratic nature of social media means we all can share your distress which makes it easier to bear."

Psychiatrist Patrick Legeron, who specializes in stress disorders at Sainte Anne hospital in Paris, said the attacks had created "a very strong feeling of insecurity and invisible, non-controllable danger."

"A lot of people have realized that the problem is massive and will be recurrent," added French psychologist and criminologist Jean-Pierre Bouchard. But "we cannot live in a permanent state of anxiety.

"Some people are going to change their behavior, and avoid certain areas they find risky," he said, but most will not.

For Michel Olivier, however, a former French special forces officer whose book "Ne pas subir" (Do not give in) was published this week, all has changed utterly.

"In a country at war you do not live as before," he said, referring to France's state of emergency which is still in force.

He said people needed to take responsibility for their own security. 

"You should not allow yourself to be transported passively" on a bus or metro, he said, but to be aware of possible risks and sit or stand at the back or the front of trains to be able to get out faster in case of emergency. 

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22 Mar 22:36

In Europe, terror is the new normal

A man walks by solidarity messages written in chalk outside the stock exchange in Brussels on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Explosions, at least one likely caused by a suicide bomber, rocked the Brussels airport and subway system Tuesday, prompting a lockdown of the Belgian capital and heightened security across Europe. At least 26 people were reported dead. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Paris, Copenhagen, Brussels. In just over a year three European capitals have been ravaged by bombs and gunfire.

After each attack life slowly returns to normal. But it's a new normal for Europe, where terror alerts are always on high and where people in cities so far spared major violence assume it's a matter of when, not if.

"With each atrocity that occurs we change," said Ian Duncan, a Scottish member of the European Parliament in Brussels. "We become less open. We pull down barriers and close doors. But it is a direction we are following now."

The carnage in Brussels on Tuesday came as Europe was still reeling from the November attacks by Islamic militants in Paris that killed 130 people. In the following months France and Belgium have looked like countries at least partially at war, with soldiers in the streets, lockdowns and deadly shootouts with militants.

The rest of Europe has watched with trepidation.

"These were attacks in Belgium. They could just as well be attacks in Britain or France or Germany or elsewhere in Europe," British Prime Minister David Cameron told the BBC on Tuesday. He said Britain's threat level remains "severe," meaning an attack is considered highly likely.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks at the Brussels airport and in the city's subway that left dozens dead and scores more wounded.

French President Francois Hollande said the attacks targeted all of Europe and he warned of a long "war" ahead.

Though people in Western Europe have dealt with the threat of violence from Muslim extremists as well as homegrown nationalist and revolutionary movements for decades, the idea that a "war" is playing out in their streets is hard to imagine. But the recent frequency and scale of attacks have made some Europeans feel that it's just something they have to get used to.

"Five years ago you didn't think about it so much," said Francesca Cervellini, a 20-year-old Italian tourist as she passed by the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm. "It didn't happen so often before. Now it's everyday life. It's normal."

In Moscow, security has been tightened notably at everyday locations in the wake of a series of attacks in the past 15 years. There are metal detectors at the entrances to all subway stations, all passenger rail stations do luggage scans, most indoor shopping centers have metal detectors and glowering guards. Airports do luggage scans at the entrance.

In Western Europe people are more reluctant to trade civil liberties and an open society for more security. But after each attack that equation changes, at least temporarily, said Catherine Muller, of the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton, England.

"Terrorism is one of the risks people normally overestimate because it is very scary and has a strong emotional effect," said Muller.

While those fears are perfectly understandable, she said, it's important to remember that "no matter what policies or laws are in place, there's not going to be 100 percent security."

In Germany the fear of terrorism is less acute than in France or Belgium, but the risk of such attacks is something far-right and nationalist groups focus on a lot, especially in connection with the influx of migrants from the Middle East.

There haven't been any attacks by Islamic extremists in Germany since Arid Uka shot dead two American servicemen at Frankfurt airport in 2011. However there have been several attempted attacks that failed or were foiled.

German mainstream politicians have also been at pains to point out that Germany is a target for Islamic extremists and it's probably a matter of when, not if, such an attack happens.

Even in small countries on Europe's periphery the same fears are palpable.

Denmark witnessed an attack in February last year, when a gunman, apparently inspired by the Charlie Hebdo shooting massacre in Paris a few weeks earlier, opened fire against a free-speech seminar and outside a synagogue.

Sweden hasn't seen an attack since a suicide bomber blew himself up in Stockholm in December 2010, but failed to kill anyone else. But reports of hundreds of extremists from Sweden joining Islamic State fighters in Syria and last year's unprecedented influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa have sparked concerns that an attack will happen sooner or later.

"It could happen tomorrow or in a year or in five years," said Dani Amouri, a 23-year-old Stockholm resident who left Lebanon five years ago. "In Sweden, Denmark, Germany, everywhere. There is no peace in the world anymore. Not even in Europe."

Duncan, who represents the Scottish Conservatives in the European Parliament, was supposed to give visitors from Scotland a tour of the European Parliament on Tuesday. Instead they had to stay in their hotels.

He said the violence made him think about what, if anything, one can do to be more vigilant when moving in public places without overreacting.

"It's not like a film where you can see the villain approaching," Duncan said. "Is it someone carrying a backpack? Is it someone who doesn't look like me? I can't tell you what I should try to avoid."


Associated Press writers James Heintz in Moscow and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.

NOW WATCH: IAN BREMMER: Greece is headed for a humanitarian disaster

03 Mar 19:50

Oculus Founder: Rift will come to Mac if Apple “ever releases a good computer”

by Kyle Orland

It's been almost a year now since Oculus announced that the consumer version of the Rift virtual reality headset would only support Windows PCs at launch—a turnaround from development kits that worked fine on Mac and Linux boxes. Now, according to Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, it "is up to Apple" to change that state of affairs. Specifically, "if they ever release a good computer, we will do it," he told Shacknews recently.

Basically, Luckey continued, even the highest-end Mac you can buy would not provide an enjoyable experience on the final Rift hardware, which is significantly more powerful than early development kits. "It just boils down to the fact that Apple doesn’t prioritize high-end GPUs," he said. "You can buy a $6,000 Mac Pro with the top-of-the-line AMD FirePro D700, and it still doesn’t match our recommended specs."

"So if they prioritize higher-end GPUs like they used to for a while back in the day, we’d love to support Mac. But right now, there’s just not a single machine out there that supports it," he added. "Even if we can support on the software side, there's just no audience that could run the vast majority of software on it."

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

12 Mar 14:12

11 common tech myths you should stop believing today

by Steven Tweedie

low battery on iphone wideBusiness Insider, William Wei

Is it bad to charge your phone overnight? What about charging an iPhone with an iPad adapter?

Despite how often we use devices like smartphones and laptops, we have plenty of questions about how they work. And with so much information out there — not all of it true — it's hard to know if we're treating our electronics properly. 

We're here to debunk some of the biggest misconceptions out there. 

Mac computers can’t get viruses

Business Insider

Yes, Apple computers are susceptible to malware, too. Apple used to brag its computers aren't as vulnerable as Windows PCs to viruses, but the company quickly changed its marketing page after a Trojan affected thousands of Mac computers in 2012.




Private/Incognito browsing keeps you anonymous


There’s a misconception that “incognito” and “private” are synonymous with anonymous. If you’re using Incognito Mode in Google Chrome or Private browsing in Safari, it simply means the browser won’t keep track of your history, import your bookmarks, or automatically log into any of your accounts. Basically, it's good for keeping other people who use your computer from seeing what you've been doing. But it won’t keep your identity hidden from the sites you visit or your ISP — so keep that in mind if you’re visiting sites you shouldn’t be.



Leaving your phone plugged in destroys the battery

Business Insider, William Wei

If you’re like most people, you probably leave your phone plugged in overnight long after the battery is fully charged. Some used to say this would hurt your phone's battery life, but in fact, there's no proof that this damages your phone’s battery in any way. Modern smartphones run on lithium-ion batteries, which are smart enough to stop charging when they’ve reached capacity.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider
11 Mar 13:05

Netwerken KPN en T-Mobile bijna gelijkwaardig aan elkaar

by (Tim Wijkman van Aalst)
Nederland hoort tot de top in de wereld als het gaat om netwerkdekking. Bijna op het gehele Nederlandse grondoppervalk is wel mobiele dekking beschikbaar. Toch zijn er altijd kleine verschillen tussen providers. KPN en T-Mobile hebben volgens het Finse bedrijf Omnitele de beste netwerken.
10 Mar 08:07

'EU gaat Google aanklagen voor machtsmisbruik met Android'

by (Tim Wijkman van Aalst)
Het ziet er naar uit dat Google op korte termijn een aanklacht kan gaan verwachten van de Europese Commissie (EC). De EC doet al langer onderzoek naar vermeende machtsmisbruik door Google in het Android besturingssysteem.
09 Mar 00:30

Microsoft is beating Apple in a key battle for the future of computing (MSFT, AAPL, GOOG)

by Matt Weinberger

microsoft surface bookScreenshot

Overall tablet sales are looking at a 5.9% drop for 2016, reports analyst firm IDC.

But by 2017, IDC says, the rise of keyboard-detachable tablets — like the Microsoft Surface Book, the Apple iPad Pro, and the Google Pixel C — will return the tablet market to stable, if single-digit, growth.

And it's Microsoft that's poised to take full advantage of the rise of the detachable.

IDC projects that Windows 10 devices, like the Surface Book laptop and Surface Pro 4 tablet, will ride that wave to a 74.6% share of the detachable tablet market by 2020, up from 53.3% in 2016.

Microsoft's growth will come at Apple's expense, with that same report projecting that the iPad will go from 28.5% market share in detachable tablets today to 7.3% share in 2020. Currently, Apple's only detachable tablet is the gigantic iPad Pro, although there are rumors that the secretive company will soon debut a smaller model.

Android detachable tablets like the Google Pixel C will stay pretty steady, IDC predicts, with 18.2% marketshare in 2016 and an estimated 18.1% in 2020. 

Tablets with detachable keyboards represented only 8% of the broader tablet market in 2015, but they will account for about 30% of the market in 202o, IDC says.

In fact, detachable tablets increasingly look like the future of the broader PC market, no matter which operating system you favor. IDC has previously calculated that detachable tablets were actually already saving the shrinking PC industry.

If you factor in detachables, according to the past report, IDC estimates that the PC market's expected 3.1% decline next year becomes a positive 1% to 2% of growth. It's not exactly barnburning growth, but any increase is better than the alternative. 

ipad pro surface pro 4Screenshot

The trend plays right into Microsoft's hands: The company was among the first to push "detachable" devices with its Surface tablet. Companies like Dell, HP and Samsung soon followed with their own versions.

And so, as the world increasingly demands touch-based computing, Microsoft and its Windows 10 operating system are well-positioned for the future — even if PC sales shrink, detachable tablets are rising, and most of them will need Windows 10.

Of course, as PCWorld points out, IDC also predicted that Microsoft would dominate the smartphone world. So take it all with a grain of salt.

NOW WATCH: We got a hands-on look at the Surface Book — Microsoft’s first-ever laptop everyone’s freaking out about

24 Feb 04:19

Boston Dynamics' latest robot is here to make humanity irrelevant

by Rich McCormick

Boston Dynamics has a long history of producing terrifying robots, and its scientists have a long history of kicking, taunting, and teasing them. That ill-advised practice continues in the company's latest video, showcasing its next generation Atlas droid, a bipedal bot capable of striding through snow, picking up boxes, opening doors, and — by the looks of things — one day murdering humans.

Atlas' gait is a bit awkward — it stumbles as it walks around the woods near Boston Dynamics' offices — but the machine is relentless, righting itself before it takes a tumble. If it does get knocked over, as it does when one of the company's scientists plants a boot in its back during the video, then it can get back up by itself. The robot's even...

Continue reading…

14 Feb 02:01

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are depending on 'the greatest marketing trick of the century' to save business

by Kate Taylor

smartwater with nails@smartwater on Instagram

In the next few years, bottled water will likely overtake carbonated soft drink sales. Surprisingly, that could be good news for soda giants — and bad news for consumers.

“Bottled water is the marketing trick of the century,” writes John Jewell in The Week.

Companies selling bottled water, he argues, have managed to convince Western consumers that buying water is a healthier choice than sugary soda.

However, the comparison is a case of false equivalence. Bottled water isn’t simply an alternative to soda — it’s an alternative to the much more inexpensive and eco-friendly tap water.

"The purchase of bottled water allows us to communicate our uniqueness and the care we have for bodies and the environment," writes Jewell.

This nutrition-minded and independent sense of self is exactly what soda giants like Pepsi and Coke are currently trying to tap into.

Bottled water@smartwater on Instagram

In 2014, the volumes of major water brands including Nestle’s Poland Spring, Coca-Cola’s Dasani, and PepsiCo’s Aquafina grew 7% to 9%. For comparison, Coke and Pepsi’s volumes fell close to 3% in the same time period.

Consumers’ thirst for bottled water is only growing — on Thursday, major European bottling company Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. reported that total water volume increased 12% in 2015.

“We’ve had some substantial investments in R&D that have allowed us to put out more new products,” Al Carey, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, said at Beverage Digest’s Future Smarts conference in December. “Not all of it is skewed toward healthy, but very much healthy and very much single serve.”

hiker drinking bottled water in desert@smartwater on Instagram

Bottled water’s manufactured status as the healthiest beverage around is exactly the reputation that Coke and Pepsi want to earn. In recent years, the company has been plagued by sugar-related concerns that drove soda sales down and negative headlines up.

However, while bottled water costs as much as 2,000 times as much as tap water, the beverage yields surprisingly low profit margins for companies. So, these beverage giants are not only investing in simple bottled tap water — the most straightforward marketing trick in existence — but also new, pricier takes on the classic H2O.

jennifer aniston smartwater@smartwater on Instagram

In 2016, Pepsi is debuting new sparkling Aquafina flavored waters. The drinks will be the “official hydration sponsor of New York Fashion Week” this spring, a glitzy title that continues the elevation of the most basic beverage. At the same time, Coca-Cola is rolling out sparkling Smartwater, with actress Jennifer Aniston acting as spokesperson.

Bottled water is a $13 billion business that, logically, doesn’t need to exist.

Jewell sums up his piece on the industry saying that bottled water is a symbol of a “disposable culture” that values branding over the environment. Coke and Pepsi would likely disagree with that sentiment — but if there is one thing these soft drink giants can do, it is market a beverage.

NOW WATCH: Coca-Cola is now selling milk and it costs twice as much as regular brands

06 Feb 15:35

Facebookbericht van getuige van treinongeval gaat viral

Een Facebookbericht over een treinongeluk is vandaag duizenden keren gedeeld, schrijft RTV NH. Het ongeluk gebeurde afgelopen donderdag. Een80-jarige vrouw uit Heiloo kwam om het leven toen ze in paniek raakte terwijl ze op een spoorwegovergang stond.

Een getuige die zag dat haar omstanders direct na het ongeval foto's maakten van de stervende vrouw, goot haar boosheid in een Facebookbericht. Haar open brief ging vandaag viral.

Piepende remmen

Elisabeth Gerrits-Molenkamp richt zich in haar Facebookbericht tot de overleden vrouw: "Wat er gebeurde zag ik niet, maar wat ik daarna zag zal voor altijd op mijn netvlies gebrand staan. U en uw fiets waren geschept door de trein die met 90/120 km per uur op u af kwam."

Terwijl de oudere vrouw vervolgens voor haar leven vocht op het spoor, grepen omstanders direct naar hun mobieltjes. "Het enige wat ik kon doen was tegen ze schreeuwen dat ze het beter uit hun hoofd konden laten die te gebruiken voor filmpjes of foto's."


Gerrits-Molenkamp schrijft dat niet iedereen haar oproep op prijs stelde. Een 'bijdehante meid' vroeg Elisabeth waarom ze geen foto mocht maken. "PARDON? Wat denk je nou zelf, er ligt hier een mevrouw te vechten voor haar leven, en jij wilt even stoer foto's maken zodat je die het internet op kunt slingeren of aan wie dan ook wilt laten zien?"

"Het liefst had ik geen van dit alles willen zien, maar u had vast ook niet dood willen gaan, daar op die plek, met zoveel pijn en zoveel respectloze mensen om u heen. Het spijt me, lieve mevrouw, dat u dit is overkomen. Het spijt me, lieve echtgenoot en andere familie dat uw geliefde op deze manier is weggerukt uit jullie leven."

Ander geluid

Ze deelt haar verhaal om een ander geluid te laten horen. "Ik wil dat een ieder die boos wordt vanwege vertraging met de trein de andere kant van het verhaal ziet, omdat ik hoop dat mensen die denken 'ik kan nog wel even onder de spoorboom door' dit nooit meer zullen doen, het kan zomaar je laatste keer zijn."

06 Jan 16:21

Dutch government: Encryption good, backdoors bad

by Glyn Moody

(credit: Rainer Ebert)

The Dutch government has released a statement in which it says that "it is currently not desirable to take restricting legal measures concerning the development, availability and use of encryption within the Netherlands." It also notes that forcing companies to add backdoors to their products and services would have "undesirable consequences for the security of communicated and stored information," since "digital systems can become vulnerable to criminals, terrorists and foreign intelligence services."

The Dutch government's declaration, translated by Matthijs R. Koot, looks at both sides of encryption—the benefits it provides by allowing sensitive information to be protected, and the issues it raises for the police and security services. It recognises that crypto "enables everyone to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of communication, and defend against, for instance, espionage and cyber crime. Fundamental rights and freedoms as well as security interests and economic interests benefit from this."

But it also acknowledges that the use of encryption by criminals "complicates, delays, or makes it impossible to gain (timely) insight in communication for the purpose of protecting national security and the purpose of prosecuting criminal offenses. Furthermore, court hearings and the providing of evidence in court for a conviction can be severely hindered."

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

23 Dec 09:12

London adopts e-paper signs for real-time bus schedules

by Engadget

Picture the scene: it’s raining and you’re waiting for a night bus in London, with very little charge on your phone. Wouldn’t it be great if the bus stop had some up to date arrival times? So you didn’t have to pull out your phone and refer to Citymapper or Google Maps? Transport for London (TfL) is now trialling e-paper displays at a small number of bus stops which show timetables, route maps and real-time travel information. The screens are roughly the same size as a conventional bus stop sign — equivalent to three A4 sheets of paper, stacked on top of one another — and include some colourful buttons for illumination and page switching.

The hope is that the new displays will be both readable and environmentally friendly. Like a Kindle, they should be readable in bright sunlight and require less power than a conventional full-colour screen. TfL says they can be charged from a solar panel too, and retrieve bus arrival information over 3G. For now, it’s only available in one location, near Waterloo Bridge, although the plan is to introduce a further three in Parliament Square, Piccadilly Circus and Sloane Square next month. They’re be trialled until the autumn — a full roll-out would probably be too expensive, but this should give TfL a better idea of its future viability.

Via: BBC

The post London adopts e-paper signs for real-time bus schedules appeared first on AIVAnet.

15 Dec 14:54

Hoverboard-riding Lucozade thief could make legal history in the UK

by James Vincent

A Londoner who stole a crate of Lucozade while riding a two-wheeled hoverboard could make legal history in the UK as the first person to be prosecuted for using such a device on the sidewalk. According to a report from The Evening Standard, 19-year-old Omaree Lindsay has been charged with theft and driving a "self-balancing scooter" on a public footpath — which can be prosecuted as an offense under the UK's Highway Act of 1835. CCTV footage published last week shows Lindsay entering a shop in Mitcham on a hoverboard before leaving with the pack of energy drinks.

Although it sounds strange to prosecute someone under legislation nearly two centuries old, as FullFact points out, the law in question bans any form of "riding on footpaths"...

Continue reading…

11 Dec 18:00

After more than 72,000 customers complained, Microsoft offers them more cloud storage

by Julie Bort

Microsoft CEO Satya NadellaBusiness Insider/Julie Bort

Over 70,000 customers took to the Microsoft OneDrive forum to complain when the company reneged last month on its promise of unlimited storage to Office 365 customers, capping them at 1 terabyte. It also reduced storage on free accounts from 15GB to 5GB.

So, on Friday, Microsoft apologized to these customers and announced it is changing its policy, again. It is giving them the chance to get their 15GB of free storage back.

Microsoft is not, however, going back to unlimited free storage. In fact, as Business Insider previously reported, months before Microsoft formally withdrew that promise, the company had been dragging its feet on honoring it. 

When Microsoft formally announced it was backtracking, it blamed customer abuse, saying a few people were storing too much stuff in their unlimited OneDrive accounts.

Customers took to a Microsoft forum called "OneDrive UserVoice," intended to be a place where OneDrive customers could suggest new features and vote on them. A post on November 2 called "Give us back our storage," was upvoted by over 72,000 OneDrive customers, with over 4,000 comments. In that post the OneDrive user complained:

I have been a long-time OneDrive fan, but after this upgrade I can no longer recommend it as my promised storage has been taken away. Some of us actually store a normal amount of stuff in OneDrive. Why makes us pay for those who went over the top?

Onedrive unlimited announcementBusiness Insider/Julie BortAnd the votes and comments were rolling in every since. On Thursday another user was frustrated by Microsoft's apparent lack of response: 

"Who finds it just unbelievable how this thread exploded with no response at all? It makes you wonder just what the hell is going on at Microsoft."

A Microsoft spokesperson told Business Insider that the new change in storage policy is a direct response to that post that went crazy on UserVoice.

Microsoft is offering people on that forum a chance to sign up to get their 15GB of storage back, and to get back the additional 15GB of photo storage that Microsoft had at one point also promised people.

The spokesperson told us that anyone can request 15GB of storage through the sign-up page, although the announcement would be made on the UserVoice forum first.

The offer will be valid for a year, through January 31 2016, the spokesperson says.

Microsoft also reiterated that those Office 365 customers who were over the new storage cap when Microsoft changed its policy will not be charged for their excess storage for a year. Those using the free OneDrive service who exceeded 5GB can request a free one-year subscription to Office 365, which includes 1TB of storage.

So everyone gets a year to move their files, or to come to terms with paying Microsoft for the OneDrive service.

Here's the full blog post:

In November we made a business decision to reduce storage limits for OneDrive. Since then, we’ve heard clearly from our Windows and OneDrive fans about the frustration and disappointment we have caused. We realize the announcement came across as blaming customers for using our product. For this, we are truly sorry and would like to apologize to the community.

We realize the announcement came across as blaming customers for using our product. For this, we are truly sorry and would like to apologize to the community.

While we are not changing our overall plans, we'd like to clarify what we are doing for customers impacted by the changes and share a new offer which we hope will go a long way in making the situation better for our biggest fans.

Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscriptions will continue to include 1 TB of storage. Any subscriber who received additional storage as part of our unlimited offer will keep it for at least 12 months. For anyone unhappy with the decision to not offer unlimited storage, we will offer a full refund.

For customers of our free service who have over 5 GB of content and who are directly impacted by the storage change, we will offer one free year of Office 365 Personal, which includes 1 TB of storage. These customers will receive an email with redemption information early next year.

In addition, for our biggest fans who have been loyal advocates for OneDrive, we are adding a new offer that lets you keep your existing 15 GB of free storage when the changes happen next year. If you also have the 15 GB camera roll bonus, you’ll be able to keep that as well. You can sign up to keep your storage at the link below.

We are all genuinely sorry for the frustration this decision has caused and for the way it was communicated. Thank you for sticking with us.

NOW WATCH: The CEO of this billion-dollar company explains why employees aren't allowed to ask for a raise

08 Dec 18:05

Apple has been making a lot of bad design choices lately (AAPL)

by Antonio Villas-Boas

This year, we've seen some of the most questionable Apple design choices in recent memory. The iPhone and iPad, new Macs, and Apple TV look great, but it's a different case when you look at the new line of accessories the company launched in 2015.

First, there was the new Magic Mouse 2, which was announced in October. The charging port was placed on the bottom of the mouse. That makes it essentially useless when you're charging it.

magic mouse 2 charging port lightningApple

For a company that rarely sacrifices function for form, this was a bizarre choice. And the pundits on Twitter didn't let up:

Tweet Embed:
At least you can charge the new Magic Mouse and use it at the same time. Wait…

Tweet Embed:
Could just bore a massive hole in your desk if you want to charge the new apple mouse and use it at the same time

Then there's the new Apple Pencil, the optional $99 stylus that works with the big-screen iPad Pro. It looks fine on its own, but things get really weird when you charge it by plugging it directly into the iPad's Lightning port. PCMag's Sascha Segan said that plugging in the Pencil directly into the iPad Pro feels "a little precarious; the Pencil sticks out of your iPad Pro in a way that feels like it might break off."

apple pencil ipad pro chargingApple

And if you don't want your iPad Pro to look like some sort of medieval weapon while you're charging your Apple Pencil, you're forced to use another questionable design choice. The iPad Pro also comes with a tiny, easy-to-lose dongle that'll let you plug the Pencil into the wall just like the iPhone. Bizarre.

apple pencil adapter dongleApple

The Pencil wasn't the only problem with the iPad Pro, though. There was also the Smart Keyboard, which costs $179 and got pretty poor reviews. It's unattractive and doesn't let you prop your iPad up at different angles. It's also a pain to type on. Apple may be pitching the iPad Pro as a replacement for your laptop, but that's impossible to do with such a poorly designed keyboard.

ipad pro and apple keyboardApple

Meanwhile, the accessory company Logitech made an iPad Pro keyboard that's more attractive and a lot easier to type on.

ipad pro logitech keyboardApple

Finally, Apple unveiled a whole new wave of criticism with the launch of the iPhone 6S Smart Battery Case. It has a built-in battery and gives your iPhone a few extra hours of juice.

Behold:apple iphone battery caseApple

Apple's new battery case looks odd. It's like the Apple's silicone case for the iPhone, but with a weird growth on its back.

Other battery cases with fully rounded backs, like Mophie's Juice Pack Air for the iPhone 6S, actually look better than the "protruding growth" look Apple went with.

mophie space packApple

And the early reviews weren't kind about the design. Lauren Goode from the Verge said: "It looks like you tried to shove a few too many credit cards and ID cards into the back of your iPhone case."

What's even stranger is how the battery indicator light is only found inside the case, which forces you to remove the iPhone to check the battery case's charge.

Tweet Embed:
THE LIGHT IS ON THE INSIDE OF THE CASE. I mean… is this product a troll?

Goode wasn't alone either. Twitter was full of tweets Tuesday morning bashing the Smart Battery Case:

Tweet Embed:
We put the LED charge indicator *inside* the revolutionary new Smart Battery Case because fuck you. 🖕🏻

Tweet Embed:
The clunky Apple battery case, and the need for it, is the biggest argument to just put a 30–50% larger battery in the iPhone to begin with.

It's surprising to see Apple put so much effort into its accessories only to be outdone by third-party competitors like Mophie and Logitech.

They're not terrible products, but they compromise too much. The Magic Mouse should be able to charge while it's still in use, and the new iPhone Smart Battery Case looks so awkward that you'll wish Apple had just made the iPhone slightly thicker in the first place in order to give you more battery life. As a tentpole for innovation, it's surprising that this is the best Apple can do.

NOW WATCH: Here's how the iPad Pro stacks up against the Surface Pro 4

19 Nov 18:41

Reclaiming Disk Space on Windows 10 by Removing Modern Applications

by Daniel Petri
Windows 10

I recently wrote about a tip for cleaning up of the space used by the Windows 10 upgrade program. Although this helps clear up space to some degree, a lot of disk space is still used by the operating system itself, and much of that space is taken by the built-in modern apps that are bundled with the operating system.

Warning: The procedure outlined below will save you a few hundreds of megabytes on the system’s disk. At the same time, it may cause your system to lack some of the built-in functionality. Please carefully test this procedure before applying it to a production machine. In addition, I cannot over stress this: Make sure you have a working backup of your system.

Having said that, let’s see what we can do to save you some disk space by removing the built-in modern apps from your system.

First, let’s see where the apps are installed. Most of them are located in a hidden folder called C:\Program Files\WindowsApps. You can see the folder’s content in the following picture.

Note: If you want to view the contents of this folder yourself, you will need to take ownership of the folder. If you don’t know how to do that, perhaps it’s best you don’t mess with your system. In addition, if that is the case, I urge you to consider the following steps and double-verify that you’ve got a working backup of your system.

Removing the built-in modern apps will free up most of the space taken by this folder, but there are two things that you need to know about.

First, uninstalling an app from your user account will not remove the app from the disk. It will remain there in a “Staged” state, which is a mode in which the app itself is not removed so that Windows can re-create the built-in apps for a new user account if such is ever created and if one logs on to the system. Therefore, these apps continue to take disk space on your computer even though they seem to be uninstalled.

That is why if you attempt to manually uninstall all the apps using the “Uninstall” option in the Start menu, the apps will not really be removed.

To truly remove the apps, you must remove them from the system account, and that will prevent them from ever being reinstalled for new users. You should also remove the apps from any user account that has already logged on to the system.

Second, although you can manually uninstall each and every app with an individual command (for some command samples see link), you may find it easier to simply remove all apps at once. However, doing so will uninstall all apps, including apps that you may find handy, such as the Calculator or the Microsoft Store app. If you’re ok with that, proceed. If not, halt now, and check your priorities.

I’ll show you how to reinstall the Store app later in this article.


To remove all built-in modern apps from your computer running Windows 10, follow these steps:

First, review which apps are pre-installed by default with Windows 10.

1. Open PowerShell with administrative privileges. The easiest way to do this is by clicking on Start and begin typing “power”. The first result should show “Windows PowerShell”. Right-click it, and select “Run as Administrator”.

If prompted to continue by User Account Control (UAC), click “Yes”.


2. In the PowerShell window type in the following command:

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers

Click Enter.

You will see a list of all modern apps that are installed for each user.

Under the “PackageUserInformation”, you see which users have this application installed. If you see a “Staged” status, it means that the app is prepared for installation into each new user account.

3. Type the following command to remove all modern apps from the system account:

Get-AppXProvisionedPackage -online | Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage -online

Click Enter.

4, Type the following command to remove all “Modern” apps from the current account:

Get-AppXPackage | Remove-AppxPackage

Click Enter.

5. Type the following command to remove all modern apps from a specific user account that has already logged on:

Get-AppXPackage -User <username> | Remove-AppxPackage

Click Enter.

6. Type the following command to remove all modern apps for all users:

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage

Click Enter.

You may get errors about various apps that cannot be removed. That’s okay because these are an integral part of Windows and cannot be uninstalled.

All apps are now uninstalled for all users:


Note the size of the apps folder:



7. As noted at the beginning of this article, running these commands will also uninstall and completely remove the built-in Microsoft Store app. To get that back you will need to run the following command in a PowerShell window:


$app = (Get-AppxProvisionedPackage -Online | where {$_.DisplayName -eq "Microsoft.WindowsStore"}).InstallLocation

Click Enter.

Then type:

Add-AppxPackage -Register $app -DisableDevelopmentMode

Click Enter.

The Store app should be restored, and through it you may reinstall any app you want.


The post Reclaiming Disk Space on Windows 10 by Removing Modern Applications appeared first on Petri.

16 Nov 13:05

Anonymous declares ‘war’ on ISIS

by Dave Smith

Anonymous hacker

The international activist group Anonymous has declared “war” on ISIS, the extremist militant group that claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks in Paris over the weekend.

Anonymous posted a video to YouTube on Saturday. In the video, a person wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, who claims to represent Anonymous, said the group intends to hunt down the members of ISIS, adding “we will find you, and we will not let you go.”

“We will launch the biggest operation ever against you,” Anonymous said. “Expect massive cyber attacks.”

As for what Anonymous plans to do exactly, that’s uncertain. But Anonymous could disrupt ISIS’s communications (via social media and other websites) through distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, or it could try hacking ISIS computers to share the identities of its members. For as long as the group has existed, Anonymous has operated almost exclusively online and has done most its work through hacking and these DDoS attacks.

Anonymous’s video against ISIS has been watched nearly a million times on YouTube. The hacktivist collective created a similar video after Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French magazine, was attacked by terrorists in January. Around that time, the group started taking down extremist websites and running social media campaigns against the terrorist organization.

“The French people are stronger than you and will come out of this atrocity even stronger,” Anonymous said in its newest video.

You can watch the whole video from Anonymous below.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How 5 things that happened to you in childhood shape you as an adult

03 Nov 07:30

'Super-agers' study may reveal secrets to staying young

by Kerry Sheridan

Regular exercise and a Mediterranean diet are known to help foster healthy aging

Miami (AFP) - Mary Helen Abbott, 77, paints her lips bright pink, still smokes the occasional cigarette, keeps up on all the gossip at the retirement home and wears a short skirt to fitness class.

She giggles as the aerobics instructor shouts -- "Swagger! Like you are going to meet someone famous!" -- then she and a dozen seniors throw shoulders back, lift their knees high and strut around the exercise studio.

Abbott is what scientists refer to as a "super-ager," and she is taking part in a $3.2 million study that aims to uncover the secrets to staying sharp and healthy into old age.

While some hunt for medications to treat or prevent dementia, others, like University of Miami neuropsychologist David Loewenstein, are interested in why some people are spared altogether.

"I study Alzheimer's disease, but if we want to unlock the mysteries of the brain we also have to know why some people age successfully," said Loewenstein.

The five-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health is open to people age 63 to 100 who have not been diagnosed with dementia, and who are either in good mental shape or have early signs of memory failure, known as mild cognitive decline.

Loewenstein is particularly intrigued with how some people seem to be able to fend off memory loss, whether by genetic, environmental or other means.

He cites studies involving autopsies on people 85 and above -- a population in which about one in three suffers from dementia.

Nearly another third of this age group have post-mortems that reveal significant hallmarks of dementia -- known as plaques and tangles in the brain -- but seemed just fine while alive.

"How can people function at these higher levels? Science has not been able to answer that," said Loewenstein.

"And that is what we are trying to figure out."


- Staying busy - 


Of the 100 people enrolled in Loewenstein's study so far, more than 40 live at East Ridge, a retirement village that resembles a typical suburban neighborhood in south Florida, with wild peacocks roaming beneath the palm trees, people driving around the manicured grounds on golf carts, and rows of single-story homes divided into multiple apartment units.

Such tranquility does not come cheap. Residents must pay $111,000 up front, then a monthly rent of $2,700 or more, depending on the size of their living space.

Soon after arriving seven years ago, Gwen North, a retired kindergarten teacher who appears decades younger than her age of 85, took on the responsibility of running the thrift store.

"I work probably six days a week," she said, happily.

At age 86, her husband Art is known as the go-to-guy around town -- perpetually ready to chat, share information, or fix electronics that have broken.

Art and Gwen have already taken memory tests and are giving samples of their spinal fluid so that it can be studied for the earliest biological markers of aging. They have even arranged to donate their brains for further study after they die. 


- 'Exercise in a pill' -


So what has kept them young? 

"Staying busy. And good genes," said Gwen.

"Just working. And my wife," added Art.

It turns out, there is scientific data to back up their claims.

"We have known for a long time that people in the workforce are better than people out of work," said Laura Carstensen, founding director of the Stanford University Center on Longevity, addressing a forum on aging at the National Academy of Medicine last month in Washington.

"Work -- paid or unpaid -- may improve cognitive functioning."

Regular exercise and a Mediterranean diet are also known to help foster healthy aging.

"Geriatricians I know say that if we could put exercise in a pill form it would be the most sought-after drug on the market," she said.


- Social connections - 


Abbott confesses that prior to entering the retirement home, she was not doing so well. After her husband died, she lost weight and felt lonely.

"One of the big reasons I like being here is I got tired of eating by myself," said Abbott.

She clearly thrives on social contact. Now, she plays golf every Monday and rides the bus to church on weekends. 

Abbott leads the welcoming committee and knows everyone, from the gay couple who just moved in, to the woman in her 90s who nearly died but is now lifting weights again in exercise class, to the woman with the raven hair who had a tryst with a doctor 20 years her senior, then married him, and has stayed married to him for some 40 years.

She recounts these vignettes without malice, exuding pure delight at knowing the details of others' lives.

There's some science behind this, too.

"Epidemiological studies show that people with a lifetime of cognitively stimulating activities and social connections are much less at risk for cognitive decline as they age," said Loewenstein.


- Economic burden -


Of course, it is impossible to ignore the economics of healthy aging. Many of the residents at East Ridge are educated and white. They saved their earnings, invested well and benefited from the boom in real estate prices.

The poor are often more prone to the ravages of aging. Research also shows that African-Americans and Hispanics suffer disproportionately higher rates of dementia than the country's whites.

With cases of dementia in the United States set to triple, reaching 132 million by 2050, some experts warn the disease could bankrupt major world economies and cripple health systems.

But Carstensen believes society could also benefit from a new perspective, one that doesn't automatically conflate aging with illness.

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02 Nov 12:47

The Rise of Political Doxing

by Bruce Schneier

Last week, CIA director John O. Brennan became the latest victim of what's become a popular way to embarrass and harass people on the Internet. A hacker allegedly broke into his AOL account and published e-mails and documents found inside, many of them personal and sensitive.

It's called doxing­ -- sometimes doxxing­ -- from the word "documents." It emerged in the 1990s as a hacker revenge tactic, and has since been as a tool to harass and intimidate people, primarily women, on the Internet. Someone would threaten a woman with physical harm, or try to incite others to harm her, and publish her personal information as a way of saying "I know a lot about you­ -- like where you live and work." Victims of doxing talk about the fear that this tactic instills. It's very effective, by which I mean that it's horrible.

Brennan's doxing was slightly different. Here, the attacker had a more political motive. He wasn't out to intimidate Brennan; he simply wanted to embarrass him. His personal papers were dumped indiscriminately, fodder for an eager press. This doxing was a political act, and we're seeing this kind of thing more and more.

Last year, the government of North Korea did this to Sony. Hackers the FBI believes were working for North Korea broke into the company's networks, stole a huge amount of corporate data, and published it. This included unreleased movies, financial information, company plans, and personal e-mails. The reputational damage to the company was enormous; the company estimated the cost at $41 million.

In July, hackers stole and published sensitive documents from the cyberweapons arms manufacturer Hacking Team. That same month, different hackers did the same thing to the infidelity website Ashley Madison. In 2014, hackers broke into the iCloud accounts of over 100 celebrities and published personal photographs, most containing some nudity. In 2013, Edward Snowden doxed the NSA.

These aren't the first instances of politically motivated doxing, but there's a clear trend. As people realize what an effective attack this can be, and how an individual can use the tactic to do considerable damage to powerful people and institutions, we're going to see a lot more of it.

On the Internet, attack is easier than defense. We're living in a world where a sufficiently skilled and motivated attacker will circumvent network security. Even worse, most Internet security assumes it needs to defend against an opportunistic attacker who will attack the weakest network in order to get­ -- for example­ -- a pile of credit card numbers. The notion of a targeted attacker, who wants Sony or Ashley Madison or John Brennan because of what they stand for, is still new. And it's even harder to defend against.

What this means is that we're going to see more political doxing in the future, against both people and institutions. It's going to be a factor in elections. It's going to be a factor in anti-corporate activism. More people will find their personal information exposed to the world: politicians, corporate executives, celebrities, divisive and outspoken individuals.

Of course they won't all be doxed, but some of them will. Some of them will be doxed directly, like Brennan. Some of them will be inadvertent victims of a doxing attack aimed at a company where their information is stored, like those celebrities with iPhone accounts and every customer of Ashley Madison. Regardless of the method, lots of people will have to face the publication of personal correspondence, documents, and information they would rather be private.

In the end, doxing is a tactic that the powerless can effectively use against the powerful. It can be used for whistleblowing. It can be used as a vehicle for social change. And it can be used to embarrass, harass, and intimidate. Its popularity will rise and fall on this effectiveness, especially in a world where prosecuting the doxers is so difficult.

There's no good solution for this right now. We all have the right to privacy, and we should be free from doxing. But we're not, and those of us who are in the public eye have no choice but to rethink our online data shadows.

This essay previously appeared on Vice Motherboard.

EDITED TO ADD: Slashdot thread.

21 Oct 12:47

Microsoft wants US government to obey EU privacy laws

by Glyn Moody

Microsoft has published a blog post by Brad Smith, the company's president and chief legal officer, on the implications of the collapse of the Safe Harbour arrangement between the EU and US. In the post, Smith calls for the US government to agree that "it will only demand access to personal information that is stored in the United States and belongs to an EU national in a manner that conforms with EU law, and vice versa."

Smith declares that "privacy really is a fundamental human right," and points out that privacy rights are not meaningful if they change every time that data moves from one jurisdiction to another. "Individuals should not lose their fundamental rights simply because their personal information crosses a border. While never stated quite this directly, this principle underlies every aspect of the European Court’s decision, and it makes sense."

As a consequence, Smith believes that "we need to ensure across the Atlantic that people’s legal rights move with their data." If that were to happen, and the US were to apply EU law to EU data held in the US, it would satisfy the stipulation of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in its Safe Harbour ruling that the legal protection for the personal data of EU citizens held in the US must be “essentially equivalent” to that available to them in Europe for it to be acceptable under EU legislation.

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13 Oct 12:55

The Dutch Safety Board released this chilling animation of MH17 being hit with a missile

by Amanda Macias

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, was hit by a Buk surface-to-air missile over the eastern part of Ukraine, the Dutch Safety Board has concluded in a final report.

"No scenario other than a Buk surface-to-air missile can explain this combination of facts," the report said.

A pro-Russian separatist standing at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, is seen in this July 18, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev/Files

"It was a Buk missile that hit the left upper part of the cockpit," a visibly shaken relative, Robby Oehlers, told reporters, just after being briefed by Dutch officials in The Hague, the AFP reports.

The warhead, fired from rebel-held eastern Ukraine, detonated to the left side and slightly above the cockpit, as shown in a video re-creation from the Dutch Safety Board. 

mh17 gif"The forward section of the aircraft was penetrated by hundreds of high-energy objects coming from the warhead. As a result of the impact and the subsequent blast, the three crew members in the cockpit were killed immediately and the airplane broke up in the air," the report said.

"Wreckage from the airplane was distributed over various sites within an area of 50 square kilometers. All 298 occupants were killed."

flight mh17 gif

Here's how Buk missiles work:

buk rocket

Buk m2_rear_ky

And here is the full video via the Dutch Safety Board (and here is the full report):

SEE ALSO: Investigators: MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made Buk missile fired from a rebel-held area

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NOW WATCH: Investigators say flight MH17 was struck by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile

08 Oct 19:55

DuckDuckGo CEO calls out Google and says it's 'a myth you need to track people to make money' (GOOG)

by Tess Danielson

DuckDuckGo CEO gabriel weinbergIt's a myth that search engines like Google need to keep track of people's digital footprint to make a profit, at least that's what Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of rival search engine DuckDuckGo, says.

DuckDuckGo bills itself as the search engine “that doesn’t track you," and recently announced it sees more than 10 million searches a day.

In a recent "AMA" (ask me anything) hosted by Y Combinator’s Hacker News, the outspoken critic of Google made it clear that his company doesn’t need to mine user data to stay afloat:

"DuckDuckGo is actually profitable! It is a myth you need to track people to make money in Web search," Weinberg told Hacker News. "Most of the money is still made without tracking people by showing you ads based on your keyword, i.e. type in car and get a car ad."

The concept is rather simple: if you look for the price of, say, a Microsoft Surface Book, you get an ad for the laptop in your results; as opposed to having your search for “hotels in Paris” follow you around three months after typing it into your browser, as Weinberg explained in a recent interview with Business Insider.

“The issue with Google is they run four of the biggest ad networks in the world and only one is search related,” he said. “The rest are on millions of sites and apps across the Internet and they use tracking to do better at ads on these third-party sites,” but then go on to apply the data for searches, which Weinberg believes is a central conflict.

DuckDuckGo was created in 2008, before online surveillance and privacy became major concerns. But business has been booming since the NSA revelations, which showed the extent internet tracking programs such as PRISM went to collect people's meta-data.

DuckDuckGo search engine

Weinberg went on to explain that direct searches on DuckDuckGo have increased 600% since the revelations, which is on track to do 3 billion searches this year. He attributes the recent success to the combination of a change in attitudes about online privacy — citing a Pew Research poll showing 40% of Americans believe search engine providers shouldn’t retain information about their activity — along with DuckDuckGo’s partnership with Apple and Mozilla, both of which have had rocky relationships with Google and have come out in favor of encryption.

But even with a growing customer base, Weinberg said in both in his previous interview with Business Insider and during his Hacker News AMA that the biggest issue facing the search engine is simply getting noticed.

“A very small percentage of people have ever heard of DuckDuckGo,” he explained on the AMA forum. “As a result, we think we have a lot of room to focus on making the product better and growing, and that is really our future plans in a nutshell.”

One of those future plans includes DuckDuckHack, or “community-driven instant answers for most searches,” which will provide information on everything from Lego parts to municipal bonds.

“Right now anyone can suggest an instant answer source, and anyone can develop it,” Weinberg wrote. “The answers themselves and the entire platform [are] open source.”

But as DuckDuckGo experiments with new features and expansion, Weinberg says the best thing loyal users can do for the company is spread the word.

SEE ALSO: We talked to the CEO of the world's most private search engine about why people prefer it to Google

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NOW WATCH: 8 Tips For Google Search That Will Streamline Nearly Everything You Do