Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 coming to the US soon

Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 coming to the US soon

From smartphones to laptops, 2016 is proving to be a busy year for Asus. Now, a press render of a new Asus ZenPad tablet has surfaced online. Popular leakster Evan Blass has released the picture on his Twitter account.

He has also revealed that it will be launched in the US soon with Verizon. While the official confirmation is still pending, the tablet is none other the recently announced ZenPad Z8 2017. While none of the features and specs of the device has been revealed, we already know what will kit offer. If you remember, Asus announced the ZenPad Z8 2017 last month at Computex 2017.

On the specs angle, the Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 is driven by an Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor running at 1.8Ghz and topped with Adreno 510 GPU. There are two different memory variants available for the device; one with 3GB RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage and another with 4GB RAM and 64GB of default storage. Moreover, the storage space can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card.

Display-wise, the tablet flaunts a 7.9-inch IPS LCD Capacitive touchscreen with the resolution of 2048×1536 pixels. Powering the device is a non-removable 4680mAh battery unit.

On the optics front, the Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 features a 13MP rear-facing camera with autofocus as well as a 5MP front-camera for selfies. As for software, it runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS.

Connectivity suite of the tablet offers Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, Type-C USB port etc. It is likely that the Verizon’s will ZenPad Z8 2017 differ a bit from the International version in terms of specs.

[“source-gizbot”]

The smart gadgets that make our homes easy prey

A survey of 15 devices by the consumer group Which? found that eight were vulnerable to hacking via the internet, wi-fi or Bluetooth connections. Picture: Pixababy

A survey of 15 devices by the consumer group Which? found that eight were vulnerable to hacking via the internet, wi-fi or Bluetooth connections.

It comes as manufacturers routinely install technology into new household products that allows them to connect to the “internet of things”, an umbrella term for devices that can go online.

This lets them work with smartphones and “home hubs” such as Amazon’s Echo and its virtual assistant Alexa, as well as the Google Home device.

For a report called The Hackable Home, Which? set up a home with a host of gadgets and hired a team of ethical security researchers, SureCloud, to hack it.

One of its most disturbing discoveries involved CloudPets smart toys such as cats, unicorns and bears that play back messages sent to a child from family and friends.

Which? said: “Building on a recently published flaw, SureCloud hacked the toy and made it play its own voice messages. Scarily, anyone could use the same method to speak to children from outside in the street.”

The team then used the toy pets to send commands to the Amazon Echo home hub, using its “voice purchasing” system to order cat food from the online retailer.

Which? also found a flaw in home CCTV camera systems, increasingly popular with families who use to them to keep an eye on their property when they are out. The consumer group’s researchers found the Fredi Megapix system operates over the internet using a default administrator account without a password.

It said: “This a real privacy concern and we found thousands of similar cameras available for anyone to watch the live feed over the internet. Worse still, the hacker can even pan and tilt the cameras to monitor activity in the house.”

The Which? team also found it was easy to crack the password on the Virgin Media Super Hub 2 router, letting it on to the Wi-Fi network.

The consumer group said: “After SureCloud gained access to our Wi-Fi network, it could easily control any devices that didn’t require a password.”

Alex Neill, of Which?, said: “There is no denying the huge benefits that smart home gadgets and devices bring to our lives. However, consumers should be aware that some of these appliances are vulnerable and offer little or no security.

“There are a number of steps that people can take to better protect their home, but hackers are growing increasingly more sophisticated.But even as they transform our lives, they put families at risk from criminal hackers taking advantage of security flaws to gain virtual access to homes, a report warns.

“Manufacturers need to ensure that any smart product sold is secure by design.”

[“Source-iol”]

 

Facebook Launches Online Civil Courage Initiative in the UK

Facebook Launches Online Civil Courage Initiative in the UK

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Facebook will launch the Online Civil Courage Initiative in the UK
  • Looks to train and fund local organizations to combat extremist content
  • EU said that social networks have improved in removing hate content

Facebook is launching a UK programme to train and fund local organizations to combat extremist material online, as Internet companies attempt to clamp down on hate speech and violent content on their services.

Facebook, which outlined new efforts to remove extremist and terrorism content from its social media platform last week, will launch the Online Civil Courage Initiative in the UK on Friday, the company said in a statement.

The new initiative will train non-governmental organizations to help them monitor and respond to extremist content and create a dedicated support desk so they can communicate directly with Facebook, the company said.

“There is no place for hate or violence on Facebook,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer. “We use technology like AI to find and remove terrorist propaganda, and we have teams of counterterrorism experts and reviewers around the world working to keep extremist content off our platform.”

The British government has stepped up attacks on Silicon Valley Internet companies for not acting quickly enough to take down extremist online propaganda and fostering “safe places” where extremists can breed following a string of attacks in recent months in London and Manchester.

 

Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter have responded by saying they have made heavy investments and employed thousands of people to take down hate speech and violent content over the past two years. Security analysts say the efforts have dramatically reduced the use of these platforms for jihadist recruitment efforts, although more work needs to be done.

Prime Minister Theresa May has sought to enlist British public opinion to force the US Internet players to work more closely with the government rather than proposing new legislation or policies to assert greater control over the web.

Earlier this week, May urged fellow European Union leaders at a meeting in Brussels to join her in putting pressure on tech companies to ‘rid terrorist material from the internet in all our languages’.

She called for the Internet companies to shift from reactively removing content when they are notified of it, towards greater use of automatic detection and removal tools – and ultimately preventing it from appearing on their platforms in the first place.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Risk-Based Thinking in Planning (6.0): Using the Business Operating System Approach

Image result for Risk-Based Thinking in Planning (6.0): Using the Business Operating System ApproachIn the 1990s, Omnex worked with Ford Motor Co. to develop the Ford quality operating system methodology, which with maturity and broad experience has evolved into Omnex’s business operating system (BOS) process.

The quality operating system promised and has delivered the following:
• Cross-functional management
• Visual management
• Process orientation
• Continual improvement teams

Omnex worked with Ford’s tier-one suppliers around the world in both the manufacturing and service sectors successfully implementing this process. Disciplined management meetings coupled with the visual analysis of key measurables (KPIs), Pareto diagrams, data-drive action plans, and Paynter charts to measure impact, helped these organizations improve tremendously. Ford, working with Omnex, also developed a quality operating system questionnaire that focused on aligning goals and objectives with KPIs and identifying key processes and process measures for key areas of customer focus.

QS-9000, ISO 9001:2000, ISO 9001:2015, and the high level structure

From 1995 to 2016, Omnex modified the quality operating system methodology, adjusting the approach to adapt to the requirements of evolving quality management system (QMS) standards. As a result, Omnex QMS, enterprise management system (EMS), and other management system implementations always included the quality operating system, renamed as the business operating system, or BOS, to support strategic planning and performance monitoring and improvement. BOS has always been the way Omnex fulfilled customer focus, process orientation, measurement of KPIs, management review, and continual improvement. BOS is crucial for any management system implementation. BOS is the essential process needed to fulfill the key requirements of management system standards, an ideal solution to how you need a process to fulfill the requirements (“shalls”) of ISO 9001 and similar standards.”

The BOS methodology and ISO 9001:2015

The ISO 9001:2015 QMS standard and the high level structure together focuses on “interested party expectations” and the “context” of the organization. Why focus on interested parties? The simple answer is that organizations need to satisfy more than just their direct customers’ requirements to stay in business. Additionally, organizations need to evolve beyond the “one size fits all” mode of thinking. Companies need to go beyond “one set of KPIs” for the entire organization, or “one strategy” for the entire business, or “one QMS.” With proper implementation, interested party expectations and context will help organizations identify KPIs, key processes, and action plans that fit the organization, whether it’s a manufacturing site or a design center. This is why organizations identify internal and external issues and interested party expectations, to determine how best to succeed in the environment their organization is situated.

See the BOS process below in figure 1:

Figure 1: BOS process (Click for larger image.)

The BOS process, as shown above, illustrates how goals and objectives are set based on the context, mission/vision/values, and interested party expectations of the organization. The goals are then translated to metrics via KPIs that measure performance with goal lines that identify the objectives. Finally, the KPIs are fulfilled via processes that help deliver the results. In other words, results are the outcome of the processes performing well. When processes improve, they drive results, helping organizations achieve their goals and objectives. The goals and objectives, in turn, help ensure that the enterprise achieves interested party expectations and the mission/vision/values of the organization.

Risk-based thinking

While implementing this process within hundreds of organizations over the past 20+ years, Omnex has understood that the improvement actions always addressed process variation in organization. In other words, the process risk was always related to the capabilities of the processes to deliver on the results reflected in the KPIs of the organization. Management system standards, via the high level structure, are requiring the organization to de-risk the planning process. In other words, the risk-based thinking in ISO 9001’s Planning (6.0), for instance, helps reduce the risk of management not meeting goals and objectives. If we can conduct a failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) to reduce design and manufacturing risk, why not conduct an exercise for identifying and managing enterprise risk?

Omnex suggests a disciplined process that identifies processes that affect a specific enterprise KPI and then identifying how the process can fail, including determining impact or severity combined with likelihood. The effect of the process failure on the business, either in business loss or business impact, and its likelihood defines risk.

Omnex uses two different risk forms—one simple and, when justified, one more-rigorous approach. See figure 2 below:


Figure 2

Implementing BOS

BOS implementation is streamlined to a six-step process as follows:

Step 1: Determine organizational context and interested parties
In this step, the facilitator interacts with the top management team to identify the key internal and external issues.

Step 2: Align policy, mission, vision, and values
The second step reviews and ensures that the policy (quality, environmental, or other), mission, vision, and value statement are aligned with the context of the organization.

Step 3: Identified interested party expectations are listed, grouped, and rated.
The rating is based on potential impact on the business failing to meet critical expectations. Rated from high (immediate business impact/dollar impact) to low (no impact to the business). This prioritization is applied to each expectation, always looking through the eyes of the interested party. This allows the organization to focus on those expectations most strategically critical to the business. Even employee expectations and the loss of key employees translates to business loss. See figure 3:

Figure 3: In this step, interested party expectations are grouped into categories.

Step 4: Establish strategic objectives
Goals and objectives are set around the grouped categories since they were deemed to be most important by interested parties. Omnex uses benchmarking to set short-term and long-term objectives in the BOS process.

Step 5: Identify key processes and KPIs
Once the goals and objectives are set, the key processes and KPIs are determined based on a process called alignment charting. In organizations that already have objectives and KPIs, the facilitator can skip step 4.

Step 6 and Step 7: Conduct risk-based thinking and select improvement projects
The alignment charts are studied and the process variation, based on process KPIs, is determined to enable identifying specific actions to reduce risk. These actions become projects championed by designated process owners.

Join Omnex on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, for our webinar, Risk-Based Thinking in Planning (6.0) Using the Business Operating System (BOS) Approach,” a case study of an organization and an illustration of the BOS methodology using Omnex EwQIMS enterprise software.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Get fit 2017: all the fitness gear you need to fight the festive flab

If the overindulgence of Christmas has inspired you to get fit in early 2017, we’ve got you covered.

Whether it’s the best fitness band to keep a track of your steps or a new treadmill for your home, we’ve rounded up all our top features into one handy guide.

Let’s kick off our ultimate fitness gear guide with five top tips from Nick Anderson. He’s a GB and EA running coach, PT, plus a coach for Saucony, High5, and the Running Bug. So basically, somebody who knows a lot about running!

Nick’s best running tips

  1. Enter a race or an event. This gives you a goal and real target, date and objective to work towards.
  2. Get a plan towards this goal or event and choose one thats realistic. It could be written by a top coach and aimed at your ability, pace and experience making it achievable.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people when chasing the resolution. This could mean training with friends or a running group to make your plan fun. Equally it could be buddying up with a friend to go to the gym or a new conditioning class.
  4. Join one of the communities aimed at supporting you and your new year resolution/pledge. RunningBug offer Run Yourself New and there is also the Jantastic community.
  5. Remind yourself why you set the resolution and how you were feeling at the time. We often get more time over the festive season in the build up to New Year to assess our lives, goals and direction. Then when New Year arrives we abandon the resolution as already too busy. Think about how you felt and ring fence the time to make this resolution work each day and week…..running just 3 times a week can see fantastic result for example!

Now read on for all the fitness gear you need in your life, from fitness bands to mobile apps

Best running shoes to buy

Picking up a great pair of running shoes is essential to ensuring your fitness regime goes to plan and we’ve tested a whole load of the best. Aside from making sure your feet are comfortable, a great pair of running trainers should offer support, let your feet breath and boast some extra nifty bits of tech to round things off. We’ve also got some top tips on choosing the right pair of shoes for your running style.

Read: best running shoes

Best running headphones

So, you’ve got your sparkly new fitness band, a treadmill for your home gym and stocked up on enough pairs of running shoes to last you the year, what else do you need? A great pair of running headphones, that’s what. Yes, we know, you could stick with the buds that came bundled with your phone, but we all know that they’re not very good. Instead, you should pick up a pair of dedicated ‘phones, which won’t fall out of your ears as soon as you start running. Many of these are resistant to sweat too, which is a must, for us anyway and they sound fantastic. Perfect for pumping out your handcrafted gym playlist.

Read: best headphones for running

Best football boots to buy

The options here range from solid, mid-range boots to wild flights of footwear tech fancy. Don’t forget to carefully choose between the various options that most of them offer with, for instance, variants for hard and soft ground. You should also probably be realistic about your skills. Having a boot that’s super-light and offers next to no protection is not a great idea if you’re not as fleet of foot as you once were. On the other hand, having a super-flash set of boots can give you added confidence and a better first touch, if you’re not completely hopeless in the first place.

Read: best football boots

Best sports sunglasses

If you’re looking for the best sports sunglasses you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put our eyes on the line testing the very best shades money can buy. Whether you’re running, cycling, golfing, or fishing this list is for you.

Read: best sports sunglasses

 Our buying guides for bikes

Nothing beats buzzing around town on two wheels during the summer months. Evening pub pints with pals are made even more appealing without the worry of sweaty public transport or the ferocious cost of cabs, while the daily commute can provide some much-needed post-winter fat removal when tackled on two wheels.

We’ve collated the best of this year’s offerings under £1,500 as well as the top electric bikes, road bikes under £2,000 as well as expensive elite choices.

 

[Source:- T3]

 

The Trump bump – when a diss from Donald is good for business

Moving on up ... thanks to Trump’s tweets.

When Donald Trump tweets, PR departments tremble in their designer footwear. “Pretty much everybody is dreading being the subject of a tweet,” said Kristin Dziczek of the Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research. “Getting hauled out into the court of public opinion with virtually no warning is not something anybody wants to get engaged with.”

No wonder: if, like General Motors, Ford or Toyota, you’re a car-maker manufacturing outside the US, having the president-elect attack your business model and threaten you with a massive tax bill (eg: “General Motors is sending Mexican-made model of Chevy Cruze to US car-dealers tax free across border.Make in USA or pay big border tax!”) is calamitous.

But not everybody need fear the tweeter. Meryl Streep couldn’t buy better publicity than have Trump tweet that she is “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes”. Truly, there is literally nothing that makes me want to programme a double bill of Sophie’s Choice and Out of Africa more than reading that. As someone – whose spell checker doesn’t work – counter-tweeted: “havnt you got a job to do like running a country isntead of bitching like some z list celebrity, im embaressed for you”, with good reason.

In his eight years on Twitter, Trump has sent 34,300 tweets to followers now counted at 19.2 million, attacking 61 companies or brands. Among them the BBC (“a scandal ridden wasteland – a one-sided piece of garbage!”), the makers of Glenfiddich (“We are getting rid of all Glenfiddich garbage alcohol from Trump properties”), Coca-Cola (“The Coca-Cola company is not happy with me – that’s OK, I’ll still keep drinking that garbage”) and – love this – Twitter: “Wow, Twitter, Google and Facebook are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton. Very dishonest media!”

Why does Donald diss? Trump has “like many bullies, a skin of gossamer”, observed Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair and longtime Trump enemy. On the plus side, let’s not forget, he is quite the wordsmith. “I hope everybody possible cancels their subscription to the failing, boring abd [sic] totally biased New York “Ragazine” – SAVE YOUR MONEY!” Did you see what he did there? “Ragazine”? Genius. And caps lock? Nice touch.

Whether Trump grows a thicker skin and stops using what Carter once described as his “abnormally stubby” fingers to terror-tweet from the Oval Office remains to be seen. But many must be hoping not. After all, for some, a late-night, rancorous terror-tweet from the most powerful man on Earth is just the thing to keep shareholders sweet. Here are some people and brands who got a bump thanks to Trump.

John Lewis

Last week, the Democrat congressman and civil rights veteran told NBC that he did not regard the recent election as legitimate and was not planning to attend Trump’s inauguration this Friday. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” he said. Furious, Trump tweeted: “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

Lewis responded at a memorial breakfast on Martin Luther King Day this week with a speech in which he didn’t deign to name Trump, but clearly alluded to him: “So I say to the future leaders of this state, the future leaders of this nation, of the world – you must never, ever hate. The way of love is a better way. The way of peace is a better way,” he said.

One result of the row is that March, Lewis’s graphic novel about the US civil rights movement, shot from 451st place in the overall bestseller lists to No 1, while his memoir Walking the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement rose 8,699 places to No 2. Further down the charts, his 2012 book Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, which recounts lessons learned as an activist, leapt from 34,480 to 175 in the overall bestseller list on Amazon.com and took top spot on the online bookseller’s philosophy of ethics and morality chart.

Think of it this way: some industry experts have been sceptical about whether a Trump presidency will be good for American business. But, in fact, even before he takes office, Trump is having a positive impact. Albeit unwittingly.

Vanity Fair

Restaurant critic Tina Nguyen once accepted a dare to eat an eyeball that a butcher had popped out of the skull of a roasted pig. “That eyeball,” she wrote, “tasted better than the Trump Grill’s Gold Label Burger, a … short-rib burger blend moulded into a sad little meat thing, sitting in the centre of a massive, rapidly staling brioche bun, hiding its shame under a slice of melted orange cheese. It came with overcooked woody batons called ‘fries’ – how can someone mess up fries? – and ketchup masquerading as Heinz. If the cheeseburger is a quintessential part of America’s identity, Trump’s pledge to ‘make America great again’ suddenly appeared not very promising.”

Nguyen’s review appeared in Vanity Fair under the headline “Trump Grill could be the worst restaurant in America” (just imagine the competition for that title) before Christmas, prompting Trump to tweet: “Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of @VanityFair magazine. Way down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!”

Unfortunately for Trump’s thesis, someone looked at Vanity Fair’s numbers and found that the magazine was not in trouble. Its website had 14.3 million unique visitors in October 2016, a 26% increase since October 2015, and more than double its October 2014 traffic. And paid circulation averaged 1.2m for the first six months of 2016, slightly higher than it was five years ago. The Condé Nast lifestyle magazine is bucking the trend of the print magazine sector beset by falling advertising revenues and plummeting sales.

But Trump’s tweet was only the latest salvo in a feud between him and Carter dating back more than a quarter of a century. When the former was an upcoming Manhattan real estate magnate, the latter was a writer for the satirical Spy magazine amused by Trump’s “vainglorious self-image”. “Just to drive him a little bit crazy,” recalled Carter, “I took to referring to him as a ‘short-fingered vulgarian’.” Carter still receives letters from Trump. “There is always a photo of him — generally a tear sheet from a magazine. On all of them he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers. I almost feel sorry for the poor fellow because, to me, the fingers still look abnormally stubby.” Just before Trump decided to stand for the Republican presidential nomination, Carter got the latest. “Like the other packages, this one included a circled hand and the words, also written in gold Sharpie: ‘See, not so short!’ I sent the picture back by return mail with a note attached, saying, ‘Actually, quite short.’ Which I can only assume gave him fits.”

When Carter invested in prominent restaurants in Manhattan, it wasn’t long before Trump delivered his assessment. “Worst food in city,” Trump wrote about the Waverly Inn in 2013. For the past four years, the tweet has been printed at the top of the Waverly Inn menu – presumably for its diners there could be no greater enticement to eat there than the short-fingered vulgarian’s opprobrium.

American Civil Liberties Union

Last week, the ACLU announced it had received more than $7.2m (£5.8m) from 120,000 individual donations. “This is the greatest outpouring of support for the ACLU in our nearly 100-year history, greater than the days after 9/11,” said the union’s executive director, Anthony Romero.

Why now? Because many are worried about what Trump will do to American civil liberties. Writing in the New York Review of Books, the ACLU’s incoming legal director, David Cole, said: “Will he be able to put in place all the worst ideas he tossed out so cavalierly on the campaign trail? Building a wall; banning and deporting Muslims; ending Obamacare; reneging on climate change treaty responsibilities; expanding libel law; criminalising abortion; jailing his political opponents; supporting aggressive stop-and-frisk policing; reviving mass surveillance and torture?” Not on Professor Cole’s watch.

He could well be a busy man. The day after Trump’s election, the ACLU tweeted: “Should President-elect Donald Trump attempt to implement his unconstitutional campaign promises, we’ll see him in court.”

New York Times

Vanity Fair isn’t the only part of the lamestream media to be getting a boost thanks to Trump. Subscriptions to the Gray Lady have soared by 132,000 since Trump’s election – a tenfold rise on the previous year, even though he had claimed that the paper was failing, and railed against it for backing Hillary Clinton. “Far from failing,” retorted Mark Thompson, the Times’s CEO, “we’re seeing remarkable response”.

Just maybe Trump has helped end the post-truth era he arguably created and is inadvertently helping catalyse the revival of quality journalism in an era dominated by the kind of fact-unchecked Twitter rants so virtuosically pioneered by the president-elect. Yeah, right. Let’s not go nuts.

 

[Source:- Gurdian]

 

 

GCHQ targets teenage girls to find cyber spies of the future

Teen girl on a laptop in her bedroom

Teenage girls are being invited to put their technology skills to the test in a competition that could unearth the cyber spies of the future.

The contest has been set up by GCHQ’s new National Cyber Security Centre as part of efforts to inspire more women to join the fight against online crime. Only 10% of the global cyber workforce are female, the intelligence agency said.

Girls aged 13 to 15 can enter the CyberFirst Girls Competition in teams of four. The first stage of the competition involves a series of online challenges, with the top 10 teams then progressing to a national final in London in March.

The GCHQ director, Robert Hannigan, said: “I work alongside some truly brilliant women who help protect the UK from all manner of online threats.

“The CyberFirst Girls Competition allows teams of young women a glimpse of this exciting world and provides a great opportunity to use new skills. My advice to all potential applicants would be: enjoy the experience and I look forward to meeting some of you.”

 

 

 

[Source:- Gurdian]

Visual Communication: The Next Step in Marketing [Infographic]

If you haven’t already heard, visuals can play a big part in boosting the performance of your marketing messages.

We’ve seen this most notably with the rise of video, with Cisco predicting that up to 82% of all consumer Internet traffic will be video by 2020. Facebook predicts that the News Feed will be “mostly video” by 2019, content with images sees up to a 94% increase in page views versus content without – all the available data points towards visuals being key.

As technology advances, we gravitate towards the mediums that best enable us to share our experiences. Visuals do that, so it’s worth including images and considering the role visuals play in your outreach efforts.

To add some more perspective to this, Creately have put together this new infographic of key image stats and trends.

 

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

Rick Perry didn’t understand the role of the Department of Energy

Rick Perry, former Governor of Texas, could become the United States’ next energy secretary. However, according to a New York Times report, Perry believed the role would help him champion the country’s oil and gas industry — which he has experience with during his time as governor. In fact, the job specification (and the majority of the department’s budget) actually centers on the nation’s $20 billion nuclear stockpile and overseeing national laboratories that form a major part of the government’s science remit. If approved, Perry has incredibly stiff learning curve ahead of him, encompassing nuclear management, science and technology investment.

Perry, who once demanded the elimination of the Energy Department, will start the confirmation process later today in front of the Senate Energy Committee. His predecessor, Ernest Moniz, was chairman at MIT and directed the institutes linear accelerator. Before Moniz, the secretary was Steven Chu — a Nobel Prize winner. Perry graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal science.

If approved by the Senate, Perry would oversee the US’ nuclear stockpile, as well as being in charge of refurbishing and maintaining it. The country’s nuclear weapons program is currently in the middle of developing a new weapons system that will connect all its missiles via a secure network. This will cost over a trillion dollars.

Meanwhile, the department attempting to protect its political impartiality, with new guidelines to ensure employees can continue their research without any political influence. According to the guidelines, scientists will be able to express their opinion, get the opportunity to review Department statements about their work, and that officials should not and will not ask scientists to tailor work to fit particular conclusions. As we reported earlier, the new regulations would require Rick Perry to appoint an independent Scientific Integrity Official to handle any complaints. (Also: How easy would it be to undo these new guidelines once the new President is inaugurated?)

The Department has reason to be concerned: It recently refused a request from the President-elect to name employees that have attended climate change meetings. It said it will provide publicly available information, but will keep staffers’ names under wraps to “respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence”.

The DoE also has a role in funding new energy ideas and the companies that bring them forward. It loaned Elon Musk $465 million towards Tesla, which the company is paying back ahead of time.

Does the former governor know what he’s in for? Michael McKenna, an energy lobbyist who worked on both Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign and Trump transition’s energy department team, which he has since left, told the NYT: “If you asked [Perry] on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy. If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve.” Mc.Kenna has since reportedly recanted his remarks, saying they were out of context.

Update: The confirmation process has started. Perry started by apologizing for his past efforts to squash the department.

“My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking. In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination.”

[Source:- Engadget]

Siri vs Google Assistant: The Battle of the Smartphone Assistants [Infographic]

Siri vs Google Assistant: The Battle of the Smartphone Assistants [Infographic] | Social Media Today

Virtual assistants are set to become a much bigger part of our every day process in 2017 and beyond. Already, Amazon’s Echo and Google Home are changing the way we interact around the home, and newer tools like Google Assistant and Facebook’s Messenger Bots are looking to expand that capacity to more of our everyday interactions.

Indeed, Google reported last year that 20% of mobile searches are now voice queries, underlining the shift. This is not just an advance in technology, this a whole new user behavior, one the next generation will grow up with, making it even more ubiquitous.

But right now, the option is growing, the uses cases are only just starting to take shape. So which of the current leaders in mobile personal assistants perform better – Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri?

 

 

[Source:- socialmediatoday]