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Archive for October, 2015

First 8K TV screen to be put on sale by Sharp in Autumn

October 26, 2015 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Computers, Customer Service, Search Clinic, Uncategorized

The high resolution of 8K screens means you can stand very close to them without seeing the individual pixels

The high resolution of 8K screens means you can stand very close to them without seeing the individual pixels

Although several companies have developed “super hi-vision” resolution test models, this is the first such TV to be made commercially available.

The 8K format provides 16 times as many pixels as 1080p high definition. It creates an image so detailed that it can appear three-dimensional.

However, the 85in device’s 16m yen ($133,000; £86,000) price is likely to limit sales.

Interest is expected to come mainly from broadcasters and other companies involved in testing the format.

One analyst suggested it would not become a serious proposition for members of the public until the turn of the decade.

Japan’s NHK is the only broadcaster so far to announce plans to create and broadcast 8K content.

Japan’s a region in which the average size of TVs sold tends to be smaller, and we think the minimum size 8K TVs would be sold at would be 65in.

So for the time being, he expected manufacturers to focus their efforts on trying to convince families to buy 4K sets instead.

They provide a quarter of the resolution of 8K, but are being made in sizes of up to about 100in to create “cinema-like” experiences in the home.

Due to technological restraints, owners of Sharp’s LV-85001 will have to use workarounds to take advantage of its full capabilities.

Its built-in TV tuner cannot actually receive broadcasts in 8K. Instead, video has to be fed in via four separate HDMI cables, which are needed to handle the quantities of data involved.

The resulting image delivers 104 pixels per inch.

That is about a fifth of the density of modern high-end smartphone displays, but is more than enough to allow people to read relatively small-sized text or make out intricate details when standing close to the screen.

MI5 boss warns of cyber terror risk

October 17, 2015 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Browser, Computers, Customer Service, Cyber Security, Personal Security, Search Clinic, Uncategorized

The serving boss of the UK’s home security agency told the Today programme it was becoming more difficult to obtain online information.

The serving boss of the UK's home security agency told the Today programme it was becoming more difficult to obtain online information.

Advances in technology are allowing terrorists to communicate “out of the reach of authorities”, head of MI5 Andrew Parker has told the BBC.

He said internet companies had an “ethical responsibility” to alert agencies to potential threats. But MI5 was not about “browsing the lives” of the public, he added.

Ministers are preparing legislation on the powers for carrying out electronic surveillance. Mr Parker, in the first live interview by a serving MI5 boss, said what should be included in new legislation was a matter “for Parliament to decide”.

MI5 boss Mr Parker also told the BBC:

The terrorism threat is the “most serious threat Britain faces in security terms”
Six alleged terror plots have been foiled in the past 12 months, which Mr Parker said was the highest number he could recall in his 32-year career “certainly the highest number since 9/11”
MI5 had to “make choices” about where to put resources, and make sure they were “focused where the sharpest threat is”
On the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby: “There cannot be a guarantee that we will find and stop everything. That’s not possible. We can’t monitor them all the time.”
He rejected the suggestion that security service tactics can lead to radicalisation saying it was “completely untrue”
He paid tribute to the people who work at MI5 and their work “which so often goes unrecognised”

He said online data encryption was creating a situation where the police and intelligence agencies “can no longer obtain under proper legal warrant the communication of people they believe to be terrorists”.

It was a “very serious” issue, he said, adding: “It’s in nobody’s interests that terrorists should be able to plot and communicate out of the reach of authorities.”

The overall context is a terrorist threat, that MI5 says is growing, technological change and recent concerns over privacy and surveillance.

The question of whether new legislation will maintain existing capabilities against a backdrop of technological change or provide new powers will not be clear until the detail is revealed.

Much of the communications material MI5 needs is held abroad, often by US companies, and he made clear he would like more co-operation from them.

There is recognition from the security and intelligence services that justifying their intrusive capabilities will require more transparency.

That openness may be provided not just by legislation but also by speaking publicly and even coming into a BBC studio.

Mr Parker said the shape of the terror threat had changed “because of the internet and the way terrorists use social media”.

He said they were using secure and encrypted apps and the internet to “broadcast their message and incite terrorism among people who live here”.

The UK’s terror threat is rated as “severe”, which means an attack is highly likely.

Big banks consider using Bitcoin blockchain technology

October 07, 2015 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Blogs, Customer Service, Google, internet, Search Clinic, Uncategorized

The basic technology underpinning the Bitcoin virtual currency could be used by some of the world’s biggest banks.

The basic technology underpinning the Bitcoin virtual currency could be used by some of the world's biggest banks.

Nine banks, including Barclays and Goldman Sachs, may adopt the blockchain system that logs who spends which virtual coins in an ever-expanding computer equivalent of a ledger.

The banks want to use the blockchain method because it is hard to fool – making fraud more difficult.

It could also speed up trading systems and make deals more transparent.

The project to test blockchain-like technology is being led by financial technology firm R3 which has signed nine banks up to the initiative.

The other seven are JP Morgan, State Street, UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse, BBVA and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Technical meetings with the banks had prompted discussion of how it could be used within banks’ trading arms.

For Bitcoin, the blockchain acts as a globally-distributed ledger that logs transactions. Everyone involved with the virtual currency contributes to the way the blockchain verifies each deal. The sheer number of people involved makes it very hard for one bitcoin user to get fraudulent deals verified and approved.

Despite this, Bitcoin has been hit by a series of scandals and thefts although most of these came about because hackers exploited weaknesses on exchanges where coins are traded or in digital wallets where they are held.

The banks were most interested in the technical architecture underpinning the blockchain that could be adapted for their own ends. The first place the blockchain was likely to find a role was as a log of who bought which stocks or shares, he said.

By adopting the technology banks could cut the cost of reporting transactions and working out who bought what and when, he added.

No timetable has been given for when technical trials of the blockchain-like technology might begin.