Lawnmower prompts Northern Lights alert

Lawnmower prompts Northern Lights alert

A lawnmower has been blamed for wrongly triggering sensors that predict when the Northern Lights will be visible in the UK! A red alert issued via the Aurora Watch mailing list was withdrawn after sensor readings were found to be ‘spurious’. Investigations revealed that a lawnmower had got too close to one sensor – causing a massive spike in the data.

Aurora Watch, which is run by scientists at the University of Lancaster and takes readings from lots of magnetometers to work out when the auroa borealis will be visible across Britain, said they would be taking steps to ensure this did not happen again.

www.bbc.co.uk/technews (25th August 2016)

Apple accused of iPhone 6 defect

Apple accused of iPhone 6 defect

Apple has been accused of failing to correct a ‘design flaw’ which is said to be causing many iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets’ screens to flicker and become unresponsive to touch. Repair specialist iFixit suggested that two chips were to blame and ran the risk of detaching from a circuit board over time.

Newer iPhone 6S and 6S Plus phones are said not to be prone to the fault because the same two chips are connected to a different component in these models.

Neil Mawston, from Strategy Analytics, said ‘there doesn’t seem to be any quantification about precisely what percentage of iPhone have been affected, so it’s difficult to tell if this is a minor or major problem. Apple customers pay a premium for their iPhones, and they expect premium after-sales service.’

www.bbc.co.uk/technews (24th August 2016)

Anti-bullying recognition for Hereward College

Anti-bullying recognition for Hereward College

A group of young people from Hereward College have been trained as Diana Award Anti-bullying ambassadors and are part of the National Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Network. They are responsible for leading anti-bullying initiatives in the college, encouraging fellow students and staff to take action against bullying. More than 16,000 students have been trained to be Anti-Bullying Ambassadors across the UK and just a few schools and colleges (Hereward College being one) have been selected to be showcased for their outstanding work. Filming took place at the college to be shown at a national celebration event at the UK’s Facebook headquarters.

Dayna Donnelly, Student Mentor at Hereward, said: ‘It’s a real privilege to be able to highlight the work of Hereward’s anti-bullying ambassadors in this way. The focus at Hereward has been on preventing bullying rather than solely dealing with the consequences. We are so proud of the young people who do any amazing job to help change the behaviours and attitudes of learners and the college as a whole.’

C&W in business Issue 54 (July/August 2016)

Pokeman Go is unleashed in the UK

Pokeman Go is unleashed in the UK

Pokeman Go, the mobile game that has become a phenomenon, has arrived in the UK. It has already been available in the US, Australia and Germany but some UK gamers found ways around the country restriction to get early access.

The app lets players roam a map using their phone’s GPS location data and catch Pokémon to train and battle. The game has added millions to the value of Nintendo, which part-owns the franchise.

However, some people have raised concerns about the app’s safety. The Chief Executive of the children’s charity NSPCC has urged the app’s makers to adapt the game, warning that adults could use it to prey on children.

The game uses a smartphone’s GPS location and real-world maps to track players as they move around. Players can visit Pokestops – typically landmarks or buildings – and collect free items in the game. The main aim is to catch Pokémon, which pop up along the way. The game provides an augmented reality experience, using the smartphone’s camera to provide a live view of the world, with Pokémon superimposed.

www.bbc.co.uk/technews (14th July 2016)

Identity Fraud up by 57% on social media

Identity Fraud up by 57% on social media

Data taken from 261 companies in the UK showed the number of victims of identity theft rose by 57% last year. Cifas, the fraud prevention service, has suggested that fraudsters are increasingly getting people’s personal information from social media sites – such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Cifas said that there were more than 148,000 victims in the UK in 2015 compared with 94,500 in 2014. A small percentage of cases involved fictitious identities but most fraudsters assumed the identity of a real person after accessing their name, date of birth, address and bank details. More than 85% of the frauds were carried out online. Increasingly, fraudsters used social media to put together the pieces of someone’s identity.

How do you avoid being scammed?

The Get Safe Online campaign warns people –

  • not to give away details such as phone numbers, addresses or date of birth, or pictures of their home, workplace or school, in either profile information or posts
  • to use the privacy features to restrict strangers’ access to your profile
  • be aware of what friends post about you, or reply to your posts, particularly about your personal details and activities
  • pick a user name that does not include any personal information
  • use strong passwords
  • update your computer’s firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware programmes. Up to 80% of cyber threats can be removed by doing this

www.bbc.co.uk (5th July 2016)

Microsoft to buy LinkedIn

Microsoft to buy LinkedIn

Microsoft is to buy the professional networking website LinkedIn for just over £18bn in cash. Microsoft will pay $196 a share – a premium of almost 50% to Friday’s closing share price. The deal will help Microsoft  boost sales of its business and email software as well as access to the world’s biggest professional social network with more than 430 million members worldwide.

Microsoft has said that LinkedIn will retain its ‘distinct brand, culture and independence’. Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, said that LinkedIn would be a valuable asset that can be deeply integrated with a number of Microsoft assets such as Office 365, Exchange and Outlook.

www.bbc.co.uk/news (13th June 2016)