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Tech Radar

This budget projector has a cool feature even some 4K models don’t offer

Blitzwolf BW-VP8 business projector – $99 at Banggood(£72.53/AU$132.75)An HD projector with Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, two USB ports and an HDMI connector for less than $100 is a pretty good bargain indeed. Add in a legacy VGA port, an audio port, the ability to mount it on the ceiling and AV-in and you have a solid budget projector.View Deal If you’re looking for budget business projector that doesn’t come with a massive price tag, you can’t go wrong with the BW-VP8 from Blitzwolf. The company is one of many challenger brands that have emerged from mainland China over the past few years and usually ply their trade on ecommerce sites (in this case, Banggood). What makes this projector particularly interesting is the presence of 802.11ac (otherwise known as Wi-Fi 5) and Bluetooth 5.0. In practice, this means better connectivity over larger distances, higher data transfer rates and other QoS (quality of service) improvements. In terms of specifications, it’s ahead of what we’d expect from a device that costs less than $100. This is an HD projector with a native resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and the manufacturer claims it has a brightness of up to 6000 lumens and 2000:1 contract ratio (although we have not verified this). You should be able to cast pictures to it using either a cable (for iOS systems) or wirelessly (on Android systems). Note, it also has a single 4W speaker and supports a number of audio formats. However, don’t expect a visual miracle;…Continue readingThis budget projector has a cool feature even some 4K models don’t offer

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Tech Radar

iPad deals: don’t miss this $50 discount on the brand new iPad Air 4 today

Those on the lookout for prime iPad deals in the run-up to Black Friday should definitely check out B&H Photo’s latest $50 off price cut on a brand new iPad Air 4 pre-order, currently available for two colors – Silver and Green. This is the second time we’ve seen this iPad deal crop up (Amazon had a sale a few weeks ago), but it’s the first time we’ve specifically seen the Silver color get a cheeky little discount. So far, it’s looking like the green color is definitely the least popular overall, which is a surprise to us as we think the new colors are all fantastic. Unfortunately, we can’t determine when this pre-order batch will ship exactly, but judging by the stock levels on the official Apple store, it looks like they’ll be shipping around November 17th. It’s also likely it’ll shift pretty fast too – this is based off the fact the previous Black Friday iPad deal at Amazon was only on sale for a single day. So, we’d recommend acting fairly quickly if you do want to bag this discount. We’ve just posted our new iPad Air 4 (2020) review here at TechRadar, so check that out for a full in-depth unbiased overview of this new Apple tablet. In short, it’s a fantastic tablet, and a great buy if you want those premium specs without shelling out for an iPad Pro. With tons of power, a lavish all-screen design, and a rather fetching squared-off aesthetic complete with…Continue readingiPad deals: don’t miss this $50 discount on the brand new iPad Air 4 today

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Tech Radar

Microsoft wants to make sure we don’t fall victim to murderous AI

Anyone worried about the threat of a Skynet-esque rise of the machines may be able to rest a little easier after the release of new protective measures designed to avoid a potential AI uprising. The nonprofit MITRE Corporation has teamed up with 12 top technology companies, including the likes of Microsoft, IBM and Nvidia to launch the Adversarial ML Threat Matrix.  The group says the system is an open framework created to help security analysts spot, alert, respond to and address threats targeting machine learning (ML) systems. ML Matrix Microsoft says the release was motivated by a continuing growth in the number of attacks against commercial ML sytems around the world. The company surveyed a selection of 28 major businesses, finding that almost all are still unaware of the threat that adversarial machine learning can pose, with twenty-five out of the 28 saying that they don’t have the right tools in place to secure their ML systems. In order to help reassure and advise such organizations, the Adversarial ML Threat Matrix looks to help empower security teams to defend against attacks on ML systems. The Matrix contains a number of past vulnerabilities and adversary behaviours spotted by Microsoft and MITRE over the years, as well as a whole host of Microsoft’s expertise in the security sector. “We also found that when attacking an ML system, attackers use a combination of “traditional techniques” like phishing and lateral movement alongside adversarial ML techniques,” Microsoft said in a blog post. The Adversarial ML…Continue readingMicrosoft wants to make sure we don’t fall victim to murderous AI

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Wired

Apple iPhone 12 Review: Solid, but Don’t Buy It Just for 5G

You’re probably stressed out as you’re reading this. Most people I know right now are stressed out. Maybe the last thing you’re thinking about is the new iPhone. Or maybe you are thinking about it because you want or need a new iPhone, but you don’t want to spend any more time than you need to deciding which iPhone to buy. This is a review of the new iPhone 12. I’m going to make this as straightforward as possible, so you can get back to the other things you need to do, whether that’s working, relaxing, sleeping, eating, homeschooling, watching, walking, Zooming, distantly socializing, or voting. This should be the least stressful part of your day. It’s an iPhone. If you have last year’s iPhone 11, as I do, or the iPhone 11 Pro, then you probably don’t need to upgrade to the iPhone 12. If your current iPhone is a few years old, you really want a better camera, and you have the disposable income for a new phone, then the iPhone 12 is a good choice. If you are considering upgrading to the iPhone 12 because you think having a 5G phone is going to change your life, you should absolutely not upgrade to the iPhone 12. Playing the Field The iPhone 12 starts at $799 if you choose a wireless carrier at the time of purchase. It’s $829 if you buy the phone unlocked from Apple.com. So we’re back to this bullshit. That’s for 64 gigabytes of…Continue readingApple iPhone 12 Review: Solid, but Don’t Buy It Just for 5G

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Tech Radar

HBO, WB TV channels to disappear from India by end-2020 – but don’t lose heart

The growing popularity of streaming platforms over traditional satellite channels in urban India appears to have claimed its first victim. WarnerMedia says it would soon discontinue the HBI and WB TV channels in India and other countries of South Asia.  The company said in a statement that both channels would go off air by the end of the year and blamed the low cable subscription costs for their decision. In India, one can subscribe to these channels at quarter of what it would cost an American home to get the services. In the US, the services cost approximately $2.  The services would also go off air from December 15 in Bangladesh, Maldives and Pakistan – all countries where the two channels are part of a bouquet that satellite cable networks such as Tata Sky and Sun TV sell directly to homes.  “After 20 years of successes for the HBO linear movie channel in South Asia and more than a decade with the WB linear movie channel, this was a difficult decision to make. The pay-TV industry landscape and the market dynamics have shifted dramatically, and the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for further change,” Siddharth Jain, SVP and Managing Director of WarnerMedia’s entertainment network in South Asia, said in a statement. While Hollywood movies are a big attraction for urban India, it is not so in most of the hinterland where Hindi and regional languages are spoken. Hence, despite the popularity of both HBO and WB in western markets,…Continue readingHBO, WB TV channels to disappear from India by end-2020 – but don’t lose heart

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VentureBeat

ProBeat: Shame on tech companies that don’t give employees time off to vote

This week, thousands of Amazon employees petitioned for paid time off to vote. The petition asked Amazon “to provide the entire U.S. employee workforce with a paid day/shift off that can be used anytime between now and Election Day on November 3. This additional paid day/shift must be available to all employees every year.” Given the already ridiculous voting lines that the U.S. sees, further exacerbated by the pandemic this year, this seems like a reasonable request. But not for Amazon — the company denied the request, and a spokesperson stated employees “can request and be provided excused time off. The number of hours and pay provided to employees varies by state in line with local laws.” Translation: Oh, is there a reason that this particular U.S. election is especially important? Take your petition and shove it. Our bottom line is more important. Amazon will keep doing the bare minimum required by the law. This is all par for the course. It’s like when Donald Trump “ruined the biggest layup in the history of debates” by refusing to condemn white supremacists. As the second largest employer in the U.S., Amazon should have taken this petition alley-oop and turned it into a slam dunk. But the story was so in-line with Amazon’s corporate behavior that it didn’t even hit Techmeme. Now, this column was going to be about panning Amazon for its atrocious stance. But a quick check while I was writing showed that the tech giant is not alone. While…Continue readingProBeat: Shame on tech companies that don’t give employees time off to vote

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Wired

Want Some Eco-Friendly Tips? A New Study Says No, You Don’t

This story originally appeared on Grist and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Need something else for your growing to-do list? Environmentalists have about a zillion things for you, give or take. Chances are that you’ve heard a lot of them already: Ditch your car for a bike, take fewer flights, and go vegan. Oh, and install solar panels on your roof, dry your laundry on a clothesline, use less water when you brush your teeth, take shorter showers … hey, where are you going? We’re just getting started! For decades, we’ve been told that the solution to our planetary crisis starts with us. These “simple” tips are so pervasive, they usually go unquestioned. But that doesn’t mean that most people have the time or motivation to heed them. In fact, new research suggests that hearing eco-friendly tips like these actually makes people less likely to do anything about climate change. Oops! Experts say there are better ways to get people to adopt green habits—and they don’t involve nagging or guilt-tripping. In the study—titled “Don’t Tell Me What to Do”—researchers at Georgia State University surveyed nearly 2,000 people online to see how they would respond to different messages about climate change. Some saw messages about personal sacrifices, like using less hot water. Others saw statements about policy actions, like laws that would limit carbon emissions, stop deforestation, or increase fuel efficiency standards for cars. The messenger—whether scientist or not—didn’t make much of a difference. Then the respondents were asked…Continue readingWant Some Eco-Friendly Tips? A New Study Says No, You Don’t

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Mashable

Amazon wants to copy your palm for contactless payment. Don’t do it.

Amazon is coming for your hands.  Not content to put a flying surveillance drone inside customers’ homes, the surveillance behemoth on Tuesday announced a plan to scan and store the “unique palm signature” of an untold number of Americans. Dubbed Amazon One, the company hopes the network of scanners will one day serve as an all-purpose form of identification.  You should absolutely not participate. Since the introduction of Apple’s Touch ID in 2013, followed by Face ID in 2017, many people have become desensitized to using biometric data as a form of identification. While those forms of biometric ID have their own drawbacks, Amazon One is different. Designed as a contactless payment and authentication system, Amazon One relies on scanned images of customer hands.  Unlike Face ID, which stores “mathematical representations” of your face on your personal device, Amazon One’s scanner sends “images” to the cloud. It is there, the blog post reads, that the company “[creates] your palm signature.” Amazon envisions a broad use for Amazon One — a use not limited to the two Seattle Amazon Go stores where the tech launched Tuesday.  “In most retail environments, Amazon One could become an alternate payment or loyalty card option with a device at the checkout counter next to a traditional point of sale system,” explains the company’s blog post. “Or, for entering a location like a stadium or badging into work, Amazon One could be part of an existing entry point to make accessing the location quicker and easier.”…Continue readingAmazon wants to copy your palm for contactless payment. Don’t do it.

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Tech Radar

Don’t install this Windows 10 update Microsoft just pushed out

The latest Windows 10 update has rolled out a selection of old and defunct drivers that could affect the functionality of certain hardware, users are reporting. As an example, some users have been served a driver update listed as “INTEL – System”, which is backdated to 1968 despite having been delivered via a Windows 10 2004 update this month. The offending driver updates – found under the Optional Updates settings panel – are said to have been pushed to certain devices that are not registered with Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program. In some instances, users have also found that the outdated driver updates mysteriously reappear in the updates queue, even after successful installation. Roll back your Windows 10 driver updates The role of drivers (also called device drivers or hardware drivers) is to allow hardware to communicate effectively with the operating system – in this case, Windows 10. Installing an outdated or default driver (as opposed to the latest custom driver provided by the manufacturer) can affect the ability of the hardware to function as it should and could even serve to disable the kit entirely. Driver updates found under Optional Updates in Windows 10 are usually the last port of call for system administrators struggling to fix an issue with a specific piece of hardware. In other words, there’s no need to install these driver updates if the associated hardware is fully functional. “If you have a specific problem, one of these drivers might help. Otherwise, automatic updates will keep…Continue readingDon’t install this Windows 10 update Microsoft just pushed out

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VentureBeat

Websites still don’t provide equal access in 2020 — and lawsuits are increasing

The coronavirus outbreak caused a shift in the usage of digital devices. As people worldwide become heavily dependent on the internet for essential information, work, school, entertainment, and basic needs such as medication and groceries, it’s clearer than ever that digital inclusion is crucial. Yet people with disabilities have struggled to stay informed, shop, and access critical services online due to text with low contrast and the confusion of filling out lengthy forms without labels — as well as a number of other barriers that make the web impossible for some people to use. Countries around the world have enacted various non-discrimination and web accessibility laws prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, and transportation. Examples of these are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 in the United States, and the European Accessibility Act  and EN 301 549 web directive in Europe. These laws mandate that digital content be accessible to individuals  with various disabilities, and many of them include deadlines for compliance and specific penalties for non-compliance. Canada’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), for example, mandates that public and private organizations in Ontario make their web content accessible by January 1, 2021 or be fined up to $100,000 and $50,000 respectively every day. Web accessibility regulation in the US Around 61 million people in America live with some form of disability — almost 20% of the population. Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)…Continue readingWebsites still don’t provide equal access in 2020 — and lawsuits are increasing