Best gap year tech: from Torino to Tokyo, these gadgets will help you have a great time

If you’re planning a gap year or packing for the trip of a lifetime, you’ll want to cram as many creature comforts into your backpack as possible, not to mention some tech on which to record and share some phenomenal views and bragging rights. We’re rounded up some near-essentials (aside from a huge backpack and warm coat) to make travelling easier and more exciting, whether you’re trekking through jungles and camping in the wild or catching trains and seeing the sights of Europe. Just don’t forget your toothbrush.

Sure, you’ll need a massive rucksack for lugging your worldly possessions from hostel to hostel, but it won’t be much use for sightseeing in a busy metropolis. Thankfully, there’s the Wolffepack that comes in many forms, including the ‘Capture’ for photographers that keeps all your tech, money and passport safe and sound.

Designed to allow users to reach into their bag without the hassle of unstrapping and taking it off, the backpacks all come with a  clever ‘orbital trapeze’ system that allows a wearer to swing the pack from their back to their front effortlessly. While this is a time saver, it’s also great if you want to keep your bag where you can see it on a sketchy street or busy train.

The Capture holds 26 litres and comes with a removable camera pod, three compartments, tripod clip, laptop sleeves and waterproof rain cover. With Carbon fibre, Kevlar and Dyneema cords, it’s also built to withstand the wildest of adventures.

GoPro HERO5 Action Camera

While serious photographers seldom travel without an SLR, the GoPro is brilliant for people on the go and perfect for recording bike rides and scenes you’ll want to remember in years to come. The HERO5 Black is dubbed the ‘best GoPro ever’ and supports video resolutions up to 4K at 30 frames per second, video stabilisation and stereo audio recording, as well as professional quality 12MP photos.

A simple one button control and two-inch touch display makes operating it a breeze and it’s waterproof without a housing up to 33 feet – great for recording a white water rapids ride or trip to a waterfall. Once users have recorded their envy-enduring footage, the HERO5 can auto-upload their photos and videos to the cloud for safe keeping and share it easily online. It makes bragging easy.

Cat S30 smartphone

You may be surgically attached to your iPhone or top-of-the-range Android in the city, but we all know dropping these handsets can prove to be an expensive mistake. Instead, why not invest in the Cat S30 handset. Built to be work in extreme environments, the water, dust and shockproof smartphone is designed to survive a 1.8-metre drop test and has an easy grip design as well as 12 hours talk time and up to 19 days standby – perfect if you’re staying in the back-of-beyond (or have mislaid your charger).

Price: £239.99 | Buy Cat S30 smartphone

Griffin Survivor Extreme

A tablet is a godsend when you’re pushed for space, working as a map, address book, novel, games console and internet café if you’re lucky. But they can be delicate, making a ruggedized case a sensible investment. Griffin Technology makes an array of ‘Survivor’ cases for different models, including the iPad Air 2 (pictured) to protect their backs and screens.

The new ‘Survivor Extreme’ is built to enable the iPad4 mini to survive drops onto concrete of up to 6.6-feet, cushioning falls within the impact-resistant shell. Its slide on design all but eliminates the air gap between touchscreen and the screen guard for extra protection, while its sealed shell protects the device from mud and water.

Price: £69 | Buy Griffin Survivor Extreme

ThermaCELL ProFLEx Heavy Duty Heated Insoles

Whether you’re trekking at high altitudes or staying in a drafty hostel, your toes can get chilly, especially once the sun has set. ThermaCELL ProFLEx Heavy Duty Heated Insoles heat up a user’s feet and can be controlled using a smartphone with a Bluetooth connection. The accompanying app lets users warm their feet to a chosen temperature. When this is reached, the insoles temporarily turn off before switching on again.

They’re cushioned to make walking boots more comfortable and include removable, replaceable extended life batteries so users can swap them out without having to wrangle their insoles out of their shoes or boots. One charge taking just two hours provides up to 8.5 hours of warmth. There are Bluetooth Pocket Warmers too for people who want heat on demand in a more flexible package.

 

 

[Source:- T3]

Can web design stand the test of time?

featured_webdesign

2016 marks my twentieth year as a web designer. While it’s crazy to think that so much time has gone by, it’s downright cringe-worthy to think of the sites I designed back then. Seriously, some of them look like they belonged in the dark corner of shame atGeoCities.

Humor aside, it’s understandable if a website built 20 years ago doesn’t quite live up to today’s expectations for form and function. After all, both technology and taste have changed a whole lot over that amount of time.

And, as designers, we evolve with those changes. Our existing skills are honed as we continue to learn new ones. New tools arrive to replace the old and outdated.

But it’s worth wondering if the sites we’ve created more recently will hold up better than their ancient predecessors. Is that even possible?

IS WEB DESIGN CYCLICAL?

It seems that, at some point, just about every print design trend from the last half of the 20th century has made a comeback. The illustrated print ads of the 1950s, the psychedelic 60s, groovy 70s, futuristic 80s and grungy 90s have all been brought back into vogue.

If anything, web design has always been more about pushing forward than looking back

But what about web design? Well, I’m not always up on the latest fads but I haven’t seen table-based layouts or large images sliced into a hundred pieces much recently. Once in a while you see something from the past, but it’s usually as the butt of a joke. That sense of nostalgia just isn’t the same.

If anything, web design has always been more about pushing forward than looking back. But with all of the improvements made in recent years – maybe this could change to a degree.

LOOKING BACK TO MORE RECENT TIMES

As opposed to what I did in the 1990s and early 2000s, looking five or six years into the past brings me a different type of cringe. The designs themselves don’t get me—it’s more about functionality and how I chose to implement it.

2010 began the “WordPress Era” of my career, where I began using it regularly for site building. In those early days of creating with WordPress, my knowledge of how to get things done in development wasn’t quite as sharp. Plus, the software didn’t have as many helpful administrative and developmental features. So naturally, both the software and I have improved over time. Now, I’ve got a real comfort level and a process for it all (which, of course, means that it will all completely change any minute).

Probably the biggest thing missing from this time period is responsive design

Design-wise, I can certainly see that my work is a bit different now than it was then. Some of the more advanced CSS3 techniques weren’t widely used yet. Probably the biggest thing missing from this time period is responsive design. That was all coming into light but not as universal as it is now.

While the designs are different, they still look respectable (to me, anyway). Six years is certainly a lot less time for a design to get dated than twenty. But I’ll be interested in looking back on this crop of sites after a few more years and see how they hold up.

STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE

So how will the website you launched today hold up over time? I’d argue that, while the design trends will undoubtedly change, what we do today will hold up fairly well years from now.

That’s because we have reached a time when readability, accessibility and adherence to standards are so widely recognized and implemented by designers and developers.

It’s easy to see now that the designs of 15-20 years ago were, for the most part, missing those principles that we now hold dear. Not necessarily because designers didn’t care about them, but a lot of those concerns simply weren’t known at the time. The web was a new medium and best practices weren’t around in any widespread manner.

In that way, if we create something today that implements those best practices, we’re apt to have fewer cringe-worthy moments when looking back at our portfolios.

That’s not to say that we won’t have a laugh at a color choice or a bad stock photo we used. Those things will always change with the times. It just won’t be that put-a-paper-bag-over-your-head terrible site I mentioned earlier.

NOW, TO ANSWER THE QUESTION…

Designers will continue to push their craft forward – always finding new and creative ways to tell a story. While that’s important, it seems like the really big changes will be in what tools we’re designing with and the platforms we use to build websites.

Change will present new challenges and creative opportunities for designers

WordPress, for example, is planning to use a lot more JavaScript in its UI. Version 4.3 of the popular Jetpack plugin is going to use React.jsfor its administrative interface.

This type of change will present new challenges and creative opportunities for designers. Maybe that means our designs might not look dated as much as the way we implement them will.

So, I believe I have arrived at an answer: Yes, a web designer’s portfolio can stand the test of time. Just not in the nostalgic, cyclical way of print design. Technology simply won’t let us rehash the past very much.

Instead, we can look at a well-done website from 2016 and say that it looked and worked as it should given the technological constraints of the time. That’s something we should all be proud of—no matter how many years go by.

 

[Source:- Webdesignerdepot]

 

Detecting and correcting factory faults, cyberattacks in real time

Detecting and correcting factory faults, cyberattacks in real time

Spotting a glitch on the factory floor in real time—and reconfiguring around it—are the goals of a new $4 million project led by University of Michigan engineering researchers.

The project, which also involves researchers from the University of Illinois and Cornell University, aims to increase factory productivity and American competitiveness.

Modern advanced manufacturing plants hold hundreds of software and hardware components. Their robots, conveyer belts, sensors, control systems and communication networks have intricately choreographed roles in a sector that yields 12 percent of the nation’s GDP.

But machine failures, operators’ mistakes and, increasingly, cyberattacks can halt production—leading to expensive unscheduled downtime or potentially dangerous situations. In 2015, for example, hackers breached the control system in a steel mill in Germany and made it impossible for operators to properly shut down a blast furnace. News accounts described the damage as “massive.”

The new project—made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation—will yield “a revolutionary methodology for controlling manufacturing systems,” the researchers say. They call the methodology “software-defined control.”

Central to the new approach is a continuous, full simulation of the manufacturing plant. The team will produce this simulation and develop software that compares a plant’s actual operation to what they’d expect based on the simulation.

“The idea is you have the physical manufacturing plant and the simulated model of the plant so if there’s a difference between the two, you can detect a fault or a cyber-intrusion,” said project principal investigator Dawn Tilbury, associate dean for research and professor of mechanical engineering at the U-M College of Engineering. “The goal is to develop control systems for manufacturing systems that are secure and reconfigurable automatically.”

Such systems could reprogram how parts flow through the plant to avoid a faulty piece of equipment.

“Our work aims to develop the science and enabling technologies to transform manufacturing systems from the current paradigm of low efficiency and high susceptibility to system disruptions to a new era of system-level anomaly detection, classification and action,” said Kira Barton, U-M assistant professor of mechanical engineering. “This will lead to less downtime, faster responses to disruptions and a more efficient manufacturing system.”

Indeed, the rise of automation calls for a better way to keep tabs on plant operation, Tilbury said.

Students learn how to program and use an industrial manipulator. Credit: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering

“Automation may increase efficiency and raise quality, but it brings with it vulnerabilities,” she said.

Robots are networked, and the companies that produced them can often log in remotely to make repairs. These are legitimate endeavors, but they can also be weak links in the cybersecurity of the system.

As manufacturing systems become more complex and digitally connected, they become increasingly susceptible to disruptions that can cause significant financial losses.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigated 97 cyberattacks at critical manufacturers during the fiscal year ending in June 2015, according to a report by its Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Emergency Response Team.

Cyberattacks to manufacturing plants are a relatively new phenomenon. The FY 2015 number that federal officials examined was double the previous year. A more clear and present risk—and this one to the nation’s economy—is that of unscheduled factory downtime. It’s one of the most prevalent causes of inefficiency in manufacturing, the researchers say. When a cyberattack or a broken machine stops a factory in its tracks, the cost can run tens of thousands of dollars a minute.

“Manufacturing systems produce the vast majority of products in the modern world—automobiles, computers, textiles and toys, to name just a few,” said Sibin Mohan, U of I research assistant professor of computer science. ‘Improvements in the design and operation of manufacturing systems will have a huge financial and social impact on companies and consumers, and that’s crucial to economic competitiveness.”

While the project focuses on discrete part manufacturing, the researchers say it translates well to semiconductor manufacturing and batch processes.

“The work will combine techniques from multiple disciplines, spanning control theory, modeling of physical properties, machine learning, and cybersecurity, to detect and deter such attacks. The collaboration will be exciting as well as challenging,” said Elaine Shi, associate professor of computer science at Cornell.

This grant is one of three announced today through NSF’s Frontier program, which aims to advance the state of the art in cyber-physical systems.

“NSF has been a leader in supporting research in cyber-physical systems, which has enabled and accelerated multidisciplinary research in a number of application domains,” said Jim Kurose, NSF’s head of computer and information science and engineering directorate. “We look forward to the results of this new award, which expands our Frontier projects portfolio into the area of cyber-manufacturing.”

 

[Source:- Phys.org]

‘s time to say goodbye to Linux 4.6

Linux Tux

If you’re using a version of Linux based on the 4.6 series of the kernel, the software’s lead maintainer has a message for you: It’s time to upgrade.

Greg Kroah-Hartman on Tuesday announced the arrival of Linux 4.6.7 and made it clear that it will be the last in the kernel’s 4.6 series. Version 4.7.1 made its debut on Tuesday as well, and that’s where the future lies, Kroah-Hartman said.

“This is the LAST 4.6.y kernel to be released,” he wrote in the 4.6.7 announcement. “Please move to 4.7.1 now, you have been warned.”

The 4.6.7 kernel maintenance update includes 63 file changes, with 618 insertions and 271 deletions, along with fixes for hardware and file systems and a variety of updated drivers. To ensure that their Linux-based systems keep running smoothly, organizations should at least implement this update, said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.

Just as important, though, is to begin planning or shifting over to the new 4.7.1 kernel.

“The potential risks of avoiding a move aren’t initially overwhelming, but over time, systems remaining on the old kernel face running less efficiently and becoming less secure,” King said. “Given the availability of the stable new 4.7.1 kernel, accepting those risks is both unnecessary and nonsensical.”

Among the improvements brought by the 4.7 line, which launched late last month, are support for Radeon RX 480 GPUs and a new Linux Security Module, along with numerous new drivers and bug fixes.

 

 

[Source: Computerworld]

Microsoft squanders browser dominance in record time

browsers ie safari opera chrome firefox

An predicted 33 million customers deserted Microsoft’s browsers closing month, pushing the Redmond, Wash. business enterprise‘s browser strategy ever closer to the edge of irrelevancy, in keeping with analytics statistics published these days.

Internet Explorer (IE) and Side combined to account for 36.7% of the worldwide consumer share — a stand-in for the wide variety of computer and notebook Computer owners who ran the ones browsers — in June, according to U.S.-based metrics supplier Internet Packages. June’s IE variety was down 1.nine percent factors from May also, the eighteenth directly month of losses.
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Inside the remaining 12 months alone, IE — a bucket into which Computerworld also pours Home windows 10’s Aspect — has misplaced 17.3 percentage points, representing a loss of just about a 3rd of what the browser controlled a 12 months ago.

As recently as November 2015, IE accounted for extra than 1/2 of the global browser person proportion.

Chrome persevered to rake in former IE users, as Google’s browser added 3 percentage factors to its percentage last month, ultimate out June with forty eight.7%. Chrome took bragging rights because the maximum popular browser in April whilst it slipped beyond IE for the first time. Chrome’s price of growth has been astounding, doubling its consumer share in only over one year.

If Chrome maintains at the blistering growth rate of the past 12 months, it will reach the 50% mark this month.

Like IE, Mozilla’s Firefox also lost consumer share in June, falling another nine-tenths of a percent factor to eight%. Except Mozilla can arrest the flight, its desktop browser may want to drop beneath the 5% mark as early as October, threatening the corporation‘s lengthytime period survival, which is based on search sales from the likes of Yahoo to pay the payments.

Other pinnacle browsers, Apple’s Safari and Opera Software‘s Opera, remained flat and showed a small advantage, respectively.

But the massive browser story remained the surprising shrinkage of IE.

In June, forty one% of all Windows customers ran a Microsoft browser, a determine that become down from forty three% the month earlier than. The difference among May additionally and June: A decline of 33 million whilst calculated using Microsoft’s oft-expressed claim that 1.five billion Desktops run Home windows worldwide. The simplest consolation for Microsoft became that June’s losses were less than Might also‘s, when an predicted forty eight million users ditched IE.

Over the past three hundred and sixty five days, nearly three hundred million customers dumped IE. However most of the people of those losses — simply over -thirds — have taken location on the grounds that January.

It changed into no coincidence that IE’s losses extended in 2016: That changed into while a Microsoft mandate kicked in.

Microsoft instructed IE customers in August 2014 that they have to upgrade to a more moderen model by January 2016. However while Microsoft probably made this selection to reduce assist feessupporting one model in place of six — the flow had a faceteffect that the corporation could not have foreseen. (For if it had, it would not have accompanied thru.)
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Faced with Microsoft’s call for to improve to the newest version of IE, people alternatively rethought their preference of browsers.

The clear winner: Chrome.

Google Calendar helps make the most of spare time

Google added "Goals" tools to free calendar applications tailored for smartphones powered by Apple or Android software

Google added “Goals” tools to free calendar applications tailored for smartphones powered by Apple or Android software, using artificial intelligence to let software figure out when one could fit in workouts or lessons

Google has made it tougher for people to hide behind excuses when it comes to finding time to hit the gym or learn new languages.

Google added “Goals” tools to free calendar applications tailored for smartphones powered by Apple or Android software, using artificial intelligence to let software figure out when one could fit in workouts or lessons.

“Whether it’s reading more books, learning a new language or working out regularly, achieving your goals can be really hard,” Google product manager Jyoti Ramnath said in a blog post.

“That’s why starting today, we’re introducing Goals in Google Calendar.”

People can add personal goals such as going for runs or getting to gyms, and then Google calendar software analyzes schedules for optimal times to squeeze in activities, according to Ramnath.

Calendar will automatically reschedule time for personal goals if conflicts arise, and is programmed to automatically reschedule activities if users simply prefer to put them off.

The more people use the Goals feature in Calendar, the better the software gets at picking times for personal objectives, according to Google.

“Calendars should help you make the most of your time, not just be tools to track events,” Ramnath said.

 
[Source:- Phys.org]

Time to Change a Diaper or Car Tire? Futuristic Fabrics Will Let You Know

Time to Change a Diaper or Car Tire? Futuristic Fabrics Will Let You Know

A new nonprofit will seek to speed the arrival of next-generation fabrics that can store energy, control their own temperature, change color and behave like computer sensors. MIT professor Yoel Fink, who is leading the effort, envisions the creation of an entire new industry: textiles for the 21st century.

“It’s really giving for the first time since the beginning of history fabrics a new meaning,” Fink said. “This stuff is hanging on you, but what value are you deriving from it?”

Fink envisions clothing made of fabrics that track a person’s health and help medical professionals provide better care. One day Fink said we’ll select clothing not only for how it looks, but what it can do for us. Fabrics that store energy could provide climate control, helping a person endure extremely hot or cold conditions. Sheets on a bed could provide the perfect temperature and monitor our sleep cycles.

This is the latest example of attempts to bring technology to our attire. Nike has patented a sneaker with an activity tracker built in so that information can be shared with a smartphone app. UnderArmour has shown a strong interest in next-generation fabrics that track fitness data. But so far these efforts haven’t delivered a hit product with such technology, offering a reminder that futuristic fabrics still have a lot of room for development.

Eventually Fink thinks such next-generation fabrics will be everywhere fabrics are from plane wings to tires and diapers. Such fabrics could trigger a notification when a tire or diaper needs changing.

While the tech industry talks of “wearable” devices such as smartwatches, next-generation fabrics would literally create wearable computing devices that hang in our closets. What looks like a typical shirt might actually have some of the abilities of your smartphone or smartwatch.

One of those involved in the initiative is Drexel professor Genevieve Dion, who brings a background in fashion and industrial design. She thinks better fibers may allow someone with a medical condition to carry on with their life more easily. For example, a stroke patient could wear what looks like a typical glove that would help them move and grip things without trouble.

“If I can wear it and be a part of the world and don’t need to draw attention to myself because I’m wearing a weird device, it allows me to carry on and be a productive member of the society,” Dion said.

Fink acknowledged such clothing items would be more expensive than traditional fibers. But he envisions clothing that would be subsidized by companies willing to offer a discount in exchange for receiving data the fabrics collect.

The nonprofit institute, which will be based in Cambridge, Mass., will involve universities, start-up incubators and companies around the country. It’s called the Advanced Functional Fibers of America Institute, and it has won a government competition for funding. Of the partnership’s $317 million (roughly Rs. 2,107 crores) in funding – coming from companies, investors, universities and some US states – $75 million (roughly Rs. 498 crores) will come from the Defense Department. Ashton Carter, the secretary of defense, announced the news Friday morning at MIT.

Military applications could include uniforms that are harder for enemies to see, or that help service members distinguish friend from foe while looking through certain eyewear. Eric Spackey, the institute’s interim chief operating officer, pointed to a graphene antenna his company Bluewater Defense is building into military backpacks as an early indication of what futuristic fabrics have to offer.

 

[Source:- Gadgets360]