Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact pre-orders from Sony’s store come with free goodies

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We wrote about the open pre-orders of the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact in Europe last week, but those were third-party retailers’ offers. Sony’s launched its own pre-orders, with freebies and… you got the hint. A couple of Xperia XZ2s with assorted cases The pre-order offers aren’t available in all countries where Sony has a presence, and even where they are, they vary by country. For example, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK are getting the Wireless Charging Dock & Style Cover Touch with XZ2 pre-orders. In the UK, if you go for the Compact, it’ll be just the Style Cover Touch… – Latest articles

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Android 8.0 Oreo rolling out to Galaxy Note8

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Samsung began rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in early February (only to hit pause for about a week to fix random reboots), and Verizon became the first US carrier to roll out Oreo to those devices a couple days ago. Now there’s word that Oreo is rolling out to Galaxy Note8 users in France and possibly some other countries.

According to SamMobile, Oreo began rolling out to Note8 owners in France yesterday.

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Android 8.0 Oreo rolling out to Galaxy Note8 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Court axes FCC robocall rule for being too broad

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The previous FCC leadership took some aggressive steps to fight robocalls, but they've just been scaled back. A DC Circuit appeals court has shot down an FCC rule for reportedly going far in its definition of an autodialer. The regulations defined…
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Facebook Oculus Go standalone VR Headset expected to launch at F8 conference on May 1

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Facebook is said to be planning on launching the Oculus Go VR Headset at F8 Developer Conference on May 1 according to sources of Variety. Facebook declined to comment just as expected. The company first introduced the Go VR Headset back in October 2017. During the announcement in October, company executives mentioned that the Oculus Go VR headset would be available to consumers in early 2018. Since it powers with the same software as Samsung’s Gear VR headset, it will out of the box have support for thousands of VR games and 360-degree video experiences, and other streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and HBO. The Oculus Go VR Headset comes with an integrated display and all of its computing power directly into the headset, eliminating the need for phone or PC. Furthermore, the headset will come with a 32 GB of onboard storage for the $ 199 variant, and 64GB model will sell at a higher price. Unlike the  Oculus Rift headset, Oculus Go doesn’t have any positional tracking technology. If rumors are to be believed, Facebook said to have given a model of Oculus Go VR Headset that is very much like the final retail product some time last year. At CES 2018 in January, the company announced that it was partnering with Xiaomi …
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WWDC 2018: Apple, Siri and the future of mobile voice automation in iOS 12

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Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is just over three months away, but we already have some idea of what the company will likely be showing off in iOS 12 to drive the next generation of our mobile devices. Here’s a look at Apple’s Siri voice assistant and automation.
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Efforts in Disaster Prediction Take a Step Further with IoT Sensors

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The past decade has seen hundreds of natural disasters in various countries. While the US stays one of the most affected ones, developing countries remain the major sufferers particularly due to denser population and poor evacuation infrastructure. Catastrophic events lead to massive destruction of property and incalculable loss of human and animal life, and handling the post-event adversity is an extremely challenging task that follows.

Is IoT making an impact in efficient natural disaster preparedness?

With adverse climate change becoming more of a concern for the entire world, experts continue to explore the use of the Internet of Things technology in addressing and optimizing the emergencies that arise as a result of natural calamities. Whether the occurrence includes earthquake, tsunami, wildfire, volcanic eruption, flood, hurricane, tornado, landslide, extreme weather conditions, or any geological process, the loss is often uncontrollable. However, we are fortunately in an era where the immense advancement in technology can help to reduce the intensity of immediate and eventual effects. To be precise, the Internet of Things technology has become sophisticated in no time – extending its practical application areas. Several researchers, scientists, and IoT experts from around the world have been taking efforts to deploy this smart technology in minimizing the destruction caused due to natural disasters.

IoT, although cannot prevent any disaster from happening, can definitely aid in efficient disaster preparedness. It has been found to be useful in predicting the upcoming event and delivering an early warning to community through smart systems.

Why is IoT a highly potential technology in disaster prediction and management?

The very first application is, by default, to minimize and possibly prevent the risk of a natural catastrophic event. With the help of GIS, smart devices, and satellite communication, the IoT technology can be used to design the systems meant for early warning.

Following this, awareness about the upcoming event is another important application. What could create awareness and offer quick guidelines about the preparedness better than social media? Conventional media also play a major role.

Real-time communication in order to deliver an emergency response is the next potential application of IoT here.

The most challenging and probably the most exhaustive job that follows any disastrous event is recovery and rescue. The IoT technology can be efficiently used in creating online systems that search missing people and even manage emergency funds.

Moreover, IoT-enabled devices and systems can function as an alternative way for communication when the conventional infrastructure for communication is poor, sensitive, or not working. Though the latest innovations in IoT do not directly account for disaster preparedness, they do bring about excellent disaster resilience. However, deployment of IoT-enabled devices helps here in a totally different way. It does not help in disaster preparedness and resilience but enables a viable option to communicate in such circumstances, in form of limited or emergency communication.

How do IoT sensors contribute in disaster preparedness?

IoT sensors development is perceived to be an excellent innovation that poses itself as an efficient solution to the lack of foresight which intensifies the adversity of any natural disaster and the following emergency situation. This is exactly what the sensors concentrate on, by monitoring multiple climatic parameters. IoT sensors can be installed within a particular area to create a system that ultimately acts as an emergency unit in case of catastrophic events. Weather parameters, such as humidity, moisture, temperature, air quality, pressure, water level, and many more are constantly monitored by these sensors and the moment any one or more of them reach a dangerous level, the sensor network grasps it.

Any other notification system could hardly match up the speed of sensors notification, when it comes to alerting emergency responders and message broadcasters. Moreover, sensors contribute to the available data that provides the real-time details about weather, possible ways of evacuation, traffic, medical services, and police. They in a nutshell anticipate the upcoming hazards well in advance so as to help decisions regarding the next plan of action.

Sensors that are designed to predict flood situations through identification of possible critical hazards affecting infrastructure, have to be installed in a strategic manner. Flood depiction and management system can be complicated but if well planned and implemented, its versatility does an excellent job in flood-like events. Several IoT sensor network systems can efficiently function on an automated response solely on the basis of the real-time data absorbed by the sensors. In case of a forest fire, IoT sensors on trees monitor temperature, moisture, CO and CO2 levels. Local population is notified in advance and all the details are informed to firefighters even before they reach the location.

Researchers are further working on specific IoT sensor types, including infrared and microwave. While the former one may have its application in flood prediction and management, the latter one is foreseen to be a valuable sensor in case of earthquakes.

The post Efforts in Disaster Prediction Take a Step Further with IoT Sensors appeared first on ReadWrite.


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Use Facebook, Instagram and social channels to market the right way — learn how for only $29

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There’s marketing. Then there’s social media marketing. And after you drill into the philosophies of both, the two appear as different as a horse and buggy parked next to a Tesla. Opinions change fast, algorithms change fast — and if you’re trying to sell a product or an idea in the online landscape of Facebook, Twitter, and their contemporaries, there’s a hyper-specialized skill set you need to possess. The Silicon Valley Digital Marketing Institute prides itself on that social media knowledge. Now, they want to give it to you with this SV Social Media course with certification, available right now…

This story continues at The Next Web
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Skills: UK nation of IoT marketers, not engineers warns critical report

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The UK has hundreds of thousands of IoT professionals – just not the right ones, suggests a new employment report. Chris Middleton explains why the UK needs to take urgent action to rethink its workforce.

There are 28 qualified professionals for every Industry 4.0 post advertised in the UK, according to a new report.

The document finds that there are an average of 14,368 Industry 4.0 jobs advertised every year in the UK, and nearly 400,000 qualified professionals in total (399,719 people).

Over 150,000 of those professionals are either actively or passively searching for new work, it says, meaning that there is an average of 11 experienced people for every new job opportunity in the IoT and related areas.

The report has been produced by a new organisation called i-AMdigital, which describes itself as a “talent partner” for enterprises working with digital technologies such as IoT systems, robotics, AI, big data analytics, and 3D printing.

A nation of marketers

Delve into the granular detail, and the report reveals a fascinating – if not altogether positive – picture of the UK’s new technology sector.

Despite the prevalence of skilled and talented professionals in analytics, engineering, and IT systems – with degrees from universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, and London’s Imperial College and University College – the UK is overwhelmingly sales and marketing focused, it says.

Nearly one-third (31 percent) of the entire Industry 4.0 workforce is in business development and sales positions – in roles such as IIoT or big data sales managers – versus just five percent in research and development, across areas such as AI and robotics.

Over one-quarter of those sales professionals want to change jobs, it finds, while 31 percent of the UK’s researchers are actively looking for new opportunities too. The report implies that the marketers may find it much easier to do that than the researchers.

With recent findings that the UK spends too little on R&D – 1.4 percent or less of GDP – compared with countries such as the US, Japan, France and Germany, the figures are troubling. With Brexit on the horizon, the UK needs to at least double its R&D spend to compete on the world stage.

With its historic strengths in areas such as computer science, AI, and the Web, Internet of Business suggests that the UK should aim even higher than three percent of GDP.

At the recent Westminster eForum on AI policy, attended by figures from government, academia, and business, a senior civil servant told Internet of Business that the UK is now being “actively excluded” from European science and technology research programmes in which it has previously had a central role.

Too many unfilled jobs

So what of the rest of the UK’s Industry 4.0 workforce?

Nineteen percent work in engineering roles, such as data scientist or machine learning engineer, says the report, and a further 19 per cent in more traditional IT positions. In both cases, one-quarter of those professionals are looking for new opportunities, says the report.

The remaining seven percent of industry experts are consultants, according to i-AMdigital.

This employment breakdown reveals another big challenge for the UK’s IoT and Industry 4.0 sector: 37 percent of all the relevant jobs advertised in the UK are in traditional IT roles. That’s nearly twice the number that are in sales (20 percent) or specialist engineering (22 percent). Just four percent of advertised jobs are in marketing, and three percent in consulting.

In other words, the UK market is flooded with marketers and sales people when it really needs to be full of qualified IT workers who can fill tech positions.

There are seven active professionals for every sales job, adds the report, and also for every R&D post. However, the survey demonstrates that there are different explanations for this parity: there are far too many marketers and far too few research roles.

This reinforces both anecdotal employer evidence and the findings of several local jobs surveys: the UK has countless unfilled IT vacancies, even in supposed digital hotspots, such as Brighton or Manchester.

In a world of social platforms and surface noise, it seems that the UK is overly focused on selling things that it doesn’t know how to produce or run itself.

The report also finds a strong bias towards London and the South-East. Forty-three percent of Industry 4.0 jobs are in London, it says, versus just two percent apiece in other hotspots, such as Manchester, Birmingham, and Bristol, and just one percent in Edinburgh.

More, the report reveals that many Industry 4.0 professionals are working for a small number of major companies, such as Accenture, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, Boston Consulting Group, and EY. In short, the big consultancies and systems integrators are mopping up the UK’s talent – which is perhaps no surprise.

However, with so little investment being put into R&D nationally, that focus on working for big-ticket, overseas giants is likely to remain – despite the success of innovation zones and startup hubs, such as Tech City, Sensor City, and others.

Internet of Business says

The UK’s track record in innovation is second to none. And it’s good to know that the country’s IoT and Industry 4.0 market has 400,000 qualified and experienced workers: that’s a positive message. But in other respects, these findings ought to ring alarm bells in Whitehall and among employers. 

Here’s why. First, the government has refocused its industrial strategy on AI, robotics, and autonomous systems, with a new Office for AI and other welcome initiatives. This means that digital expertise is critical, and Whitehall is funding new PhD opportunities, and more. That’s good news.

However, it’s clear that – at present – the UK has the wrong workforce mix for an ambitious, independent future. The country urgently needs to refocus on R&D and on nurturing the hard skills and experience in the technology sector. Not just from the top down, but also from the ground up at local level.

At present, the UK has too few research positions for its world-leading experts, too many unfilled digital posts in its big towns and cities, and a job market full of marketers and sales people.

More, the UK is overly reliant on London and on a small number of big companies.

With reports that several banks are reconsidering their positions in London, post-Brexit, and news that Unilever – the UK’s third biggest company – is quitting the country for the Netherlands after almost a century, there is a risk that other major employers and IP owners may follow.

The facts are stark: if the big consultancies, IT giants, and systems integrators think about leaving too, then the UK will be in big trouble. And that’s not a message that will be easy for thousands of marketers to sell.

• i-AMdigital has produced similar reports on the US and European markets, which we will publish soon.

Read more: South Korea most automated nation on earth, says report. The UK? Going nowhere

Read more: IoT sends demand for mobile skills soaring, say recruitment experts

Read more: Inmarsat research: skills gap threatens IoT innovation in energy sector


IoTBuild is coming to San Francisco, CA on March 27 & 28, 2018 – Sign up to learn all you need to know about building an IoT ecosystem.IoT Build

The post Skills: UK nation of IoT marketers, not engineers warns critical report appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Meerkat was the darling of SXSW in 2015. Here’s why it pivoted three months later and became HouseParty.

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HouseParty CEO Ben Rubin in 2015, wearing a Meerkat t-shirt

Founder and CEO Ben Rubin explains the livestreaming company’s extreme makeover on Recode Media.

Three years ago, the mobile livestreaming app Meerkat was the app of South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. But this year at SXSW, Meerkat’s founder Ben Rubin was happy just hanging out.

On the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, Rubin reflected on why, just months after SXSW 2015, he pivoted the Meerkat team away from livestreaming into a different product, HouseParty. For starters, the splashy debut was not as carefully orchestrated as it may have seemed at the time.

“Two weeks before the conference, people were already streaming and talking about ‘Meerkat at South By,’” Rubin said. “But it was just me, a chubby guy with a yellow t-shirt that didn’t even know he was going to South By four days before that.”

The mobile broadcasting model — later mimicked by Facebook Live, Facebook-owned Instagram and Twitter-owned Periscope, among others — wasn’t good for making “meaningful connections,” Rubin noted.

“The amount of people who can make meaningful live content on a daily basis is very, very few,” he said.

Although Meerkat attracted millions of users, the company noticed that they would broadcast once or twice and then peace out — so, Meerkat became HouseParty, which lets multiple friends video chat with each other simultaneously (think FaceTime, but for groups). Rubin characterized that decision as a “pivot from courage,” rather than a “pivot from fear.”

“The pivots from fear always come too late, and three months before you run out of money,” he said. “A pivot from courage is the one where everybody’s shaking in the chairs in the board meeting. Everyone was afraid because I was this crazy guy who’d just raised $ 12 million.”

You can listen to Recode Media on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

On the new podcast, Rubin said the thing he cares most about HouseParty creating is a sense of “presence” among the app’s users — a technological fascimilie of hanging out in the same room with other people, including not-close friends. Half of the app’s users are under the age of 24.

“Everybody has two or three friends who they can FaceTime at any minute, out of the blue,” he said. “But there’s another 20 people who, ‘It’s gonna be weird if Peter FaceTimes me out of the blue, why should I answer this?’ With HouseParty, it’s actually okay to say ‘I’m around’ and for your friends to opt in, and their friends can join in.”

“That’s one of the beautiful things about the internet, the ability to have connections that you otherwise would not have,” Rubin added. “Everything became flattened into a two-dimensional feed. A real dialogue between people is bringing back empathy that I think we’ve been missing.”

If you like this show, you should also sample our other podcasts:

  • Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, is a weekly show featuring in-depth interviews with the movers and shakers in tech and media every Monday. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
  • Too Embarrassed to Ask, hosted by Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode, answers all of the tech questions sent in by our readers and listeners. You can hear new episodes every Friday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcastor wherever you listen to podcasts.
  • And finally, Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events, such as the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on Apple Podcasts — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Peter. Tune in next Thursday for another episode of Recode Media!

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How to Edit Hosts File on Mac

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How to Edit Hosts File on Mac

“Hosts file” basically translates domain names or NetBIOS names into IP addresses. It’s used for multiple purposes like blocking spyware and controlling the access to websites as well as network traffic. Based on your requirements, you can edit your Mac’s Hosts file to remain in complete control.

Before proceeding, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. For instance, you must have the IP address of the device you want to send your Mac to, or the domain names you wish to keep your computer away from. Thanks to the Terminal app, working on Hosts file is a hassle-free experience.

How to Edit Hosts File on Mac

How to Edit Hosts File Using Terminal on Mac

Step #1. Launch Finder app on your Mac and then click on Applications from the sidebar. Next, double-click on Utilities. Then, double-click on Terminal as well.

Or simply search Terminal in the Spotlight.

Open Terminal on Mac from Spotlight Search

Step #2. Now, enter the command: sudo nano /etc/hosts and then hit return.

Step #3. Next up, enter the administrator password and then press return.

Enter System Password on Mac

Step #4. Nano text editor will appear. Now, to add a new device or domain, simply move the cursor using the arrow keys and position it after the text in the window.

Hosts File on Mac

While mapping an IP address on your local network to a domain, type in IP address, and press return.

Step #5. Next up, you have to enter the domain name.

  • To keep your computer away from certain sites, make sure to use “”
  • will default to the local machine even if it has been assigned a different IP address by its router.

Step #6. Next up, you need to hold down the control and O keys to save the file.

Then, use control and X to exit.

In the command line, enter sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder Then, press return.

It will flush the DNS cache of your computer. Read more on how to flush DNS on Mac.

That’s all there is to it!

Over to you

So, now you know how to make the best use of the Hosts file to keep malicious spyware at bay. Have any feedback? Do share it with us.

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