Archive for July, 2010
Brits trust the internet more than friends and colleagues when it comes to handing over personal information, according to a study published today by data storage specialists NetApp.
The research, which polled 3000 adults, revealed that while the average adult freely divulges a string of personal details on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, most would not give friends or colleagues their PIN number.
Despite 86 per cent of adults saying they would never hand over their PIN to someone they know, one in twenty people have their home address visible on a social networking sites.
Similarly, whilst only five per cent of people would let their best mate have access to their PIN number, 50 per cent of respondents have their relationship status visible online. 28 per cent also have their partner’s name visible and 20 per cent have the name of their employer visible online.
Unbelievably nearly two thirds of people also have their date of birth on networking sites which is always a security question when telephoning banks or building societies.
Speaking on the findings Paul Wooding, Head of UK Public Sector for NetApp comments: “It’s ironic that so many people are cautious with friends and family when it comes to security details, yet include really personal data on social networking sites.”
“It’s really alarming that people have so much confidential information like a home address available on their Facebook profile. As soon as you update your profile saying you are off on holiday all your hundreds of friends and now potentially anyone searching on Google, will know your home is empty for the next few weeks.”
The poll also revealed that a blasé seven per cent of people said that the whole point of social networking sites was so people can keep track of you and know what you’re up to.
Although a quarter of people did admit that the amount of information they had freely available on the World Wide Web did sometimes worry them.
But when it comes to our nearest and dearest it’s a different story, with less than half of people trusting their partner with their PIN number for their main cash card.
But it’s not just our friends who we don’t trust – three quarters of people said they do not trust the government with their personal data and more than two thirds also said that they feel that the government acts like Big Brother, and knows far too much about them.
For more than half of Brits (52 per cent) the biggest bone of contention is the government having access to our medical details.
The next big issue for respondents was data records on salaries, which 20 per cent objected to being held by the powers that be. One in twenty British adults were also sensitive about the government holding information on the amount of benefits we receive.
These issues were reflected in the concern around the security of government data shown by the poll. 78 per cent of those polled advised that incidents of public sector workers losing laptops containing personal data on members of the public worried them, with medical information and then salary information being the items they are most worried about being leaked.
A spokesman for NetApp added: “The risks of the government data being leaked or lost is minimal to the risks of security lapses on social networking sites. People need to look after themselves and really think about the information they make visible.”
“Technology today means that organisations are well equipped to be able to store and manage data effectively. The fear is perhaps heightened because of high profile cases of data breaches but in reality many of us are sharing very personal and sometimes sensitive information with the whole world without giving it much thought.”
INFORMATION PEOPLE DIVULGE ON NETWORKING SITES
Full name: 92 per cent
Hometown: 62 per cent
Date of Birth: 59 per cent
Relationship status: 49 per cent
Secondary school: 40 per cent
Marital status: 33 per cent
University/College: 30 per cent
Partners name: 28 per cent
Employer: 20 per cent
Job title: 18 per cent
Parental status: 17 per cent
Primary school: 16 per cent
Children’s names: 9 per cent
Full address: 5 per cent
Although one in ten men (9 per cent) admits to working on holiday, the vast majority of Britons (92 per cent) believe that taking a laptop on vacation would not cause arguments with their partner or family. This is a chief finding of a nationwide survey unveiled today into Britons’ use of technology on holiday.
The online study of more than 2,200 members of the Great British public carried out by YouGov and Softwareload.co.uk, Deutsche Telekom’s online download portal for software applications, also found that whenever possible 13 per cent of Britons take their laptops on holiday with them. 16 per cent of men take their laptop away on holiday compared to just a tenth (10 per cent) of women. Just four per cent of women said they do a little work on holiday when they take their laptop with them on holiday. But technology hasn’t completely taken over; only five per cent of Britons say they would choose using recreational software on the laptop – such as educational software – while on holiday over reading a good book.
“While holiday is often a time to leave work behind and maybe even switch off the mobile, technology can enhance our holiday time with useful travel guides, language learning and translation apps available for laptops and mobiles,” said Dirk Lebzien, Head of Softwareload. “Our research shows that people are comfortable with their partner bringing their laptop computer on holiday with them, and thankfully few people are choosing work when on vacation.”
Softwareload’s study also found that a large number (39 per cent) of those surveyed are ‘embarrassed’ that they can’t speak the local language on holiday. Women (42 per cent) are slightly more likely than men (37 per cent) to feel embarrassed from just using English. 18-24 year-olds (43 per cent) and 25-34 year-olds (45 per cent) are more likely to feel embarrassed about not speaking the local language than any other group.
27 per cent of 18-24 year-olds said they would find translation software and offline maps stored on their mobile phone useful when on holiday, a higher percentage than any other group. Currently, although 31 per cent of UK holiday makers are aware that travel apps and dictionaries are available on mobile devices, only six per cent of Brits regularly use them, Softwareload found.
Muvizu is a free 3D animation application, integrated with an online collaborative community, that gives individuals or groups the power of the Unreal Engine 3 to create compelling videos in minutes, not months. You don’t need specialist kit or training, just a good idea.
The joint competition invites anyone to download Muvizu 3D and use it to create an animation of no more than one minute and thirty seconds.
Submissions close on 31 August 2010 and the winning films will be screened at the 18th Raindance Film Festival between 29 September and 10 October in London’s West End.
On top of worldwide recognition with Raindance, award-winning makers of high-end 3D systems Workstation Specialists are supplying the following prizes:
- A high-end mobile graphics workstation: WSM – Power 15.6″ 3D Graphics Configuration with Intel® Core™ i7 720QM 1.60GHz 64Bit Quad-Core Processor;
- A high-end graphics workstation: WS1600 High End 3D Graphics Configuration with Intel® Core™ i7 930 2.83GHz 64Bit Quad-Core Processor;
- A graphics workstation: WS1400 with Powerful 3D Graphics Configuration.
Upload your video to YouTube through Muvizu in 720HD resolution (keeping the .set file) and set it to ‘Private’.
Start your film title with “Submission for Muvizu prize competition at Raindance Film Festival” then email the video’s url to email@example.com together with your name and contact details.
Entrants must be 13 years or over to enter the competition individually, but a Muvizu gatekeeper account holder can submit an entry or entries on behalf of younger children.
Raindance Founder Elliot Grove said: “Raindance has always believed that filmmaking should be an experience which is accessible to anyone, and true to this, the wonderful people at Muvizu have created software which allows people to make animated videos without specialist hardware, software, or training.”
The Muvizu application, which includes all the assets and tools needed to create 3D movies, is available for free download from www.muvizu.com, a portal that enables users to collaborate on film, audio, and drama projects with easy-to-use tools and results you can view in real time. The philosophy behind Muvizu 3D is for content creators to put less energy into animating characters and more effort into directing them on-screen. The goal is to foster collaborative fillm-making by uniting people with contrasting skills through Muvizu’s virtual workspace and storyboarding capabilities.
The Muvizu website also offers new users tutorial videos to help get then started.
The Social Network is an upcoming 2010 drama film directed by David Fincher about the founding of Facebook, I saw the trailer for it yesterday at the Cinemas and it reminded me a little of The Pirates of Silicon Valley Movie (1999), a film about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
Anyhow The Social Network film features an ensemble cast which consists of Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song, Rashida Jones, Max Minghella, Rooney Mara, Malese Jow, and Joseph Mazzello.
The film was written by Aaron Sorkin and adapted from Ben Mezrich’s 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal. The film is distributed by Columbia Pictures and is set for an October 1, 2010 release. None of the Facebook staff, including founder Mark Zuckerberg, will be involved with the project. One of the co-founders, Eduardo Saverin, was a consultant for Mezrich’s book.
Here’s a trailer for The Social Network Movie:
And here’s a trailer from The Pirates of Silicon Valley Movie:
Dragon Quest IX launches on Nintendo DS
The phenomenon which has gripped a whole nation in Japan is heading for the UK with a major launch this week.
Queues a mile long formed for the launch of Dragon Quest IX in Tokyo with sales of 2.4 million in the first weekend – a world record launch in a single country.
And huge crowds are expected at the official UK launch of the game, in association with GAME, this Friday when Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity will perform at the launch in the Westfield Shopping Centre, London. Already the game is attracting outstanding reviews from the UK press.
Such is the impact of Dragon Quest in its native Japan, the latest launch was even held on a Saturday morning, when games previously always launched on a Wednesday, in order to stop mass truancy by children and adults missing work in the race to get their hands on this immersive role-playing game.
In one district of Tokyo the local authorities have roped off special zones for Dragon Quest players so they don’t wander off the pavements or collide with other pedestrians while immersed in the handheld game on their Nintendo DS.
The nine games in the Dragon Quest series have sold a total of 53 million games in Japan alone, beaten only by gaming icons Mario and Pokemon for sales. And in Tokyo there is even a restaurant devoted to Dragon Quest where diners eat off screens showing the game. The first eight games were aimed almost exclusively at a domestic audience, but with Dragon Quest IX it has been aimed at a more global audience.
James Honeywell from Nintendo UK said: “Britain is one of the biggest gaming markets in the world and after the phenomenal success of this franchise in Japan, it looks like the Dragon Quest craze is really set to take off over here.”
“Reviewers in the UK have already given Dragon Quest IX some of the highest ratings we’ve ever seen for such a game, reflecting the focus this time on getting European gamers into this Japanese phenomenon.”
Neil Ashurst Head of UK PR at GAME added: “We’re delighted to be hosting the UK launch of Dragon Quest IX and with Diversity performing as well, we’re sure that there will be crowds of our customers and shoppers at Westfield wanting to try out this great game.”
Already the Guardian has described Dragon Quest IX as “A massive and rewarding undertaking that will keep your DS busy for much of the summer” while The Independent called it “a handheld marvel”.
Dragon Quest IX: ‘Sentinels of the Starry Skies’ allows players to put themselves in the role of the game’s hero or heroine, a guardian angel fallen to Earth who must embark on an epic adventure in the mortal world where they must protect the mortals, battle many foes and ultimately complete a Quest which will return them to the Kingdom of Angels.
Diversity will be performing at the launch event at Westfield Shopping Centre at 1pm on Friday July 23rd. The launch is being staged in association with GAME, Westfield.
Not quite sure why Prime plc, a company who funds, designs, constructs and maintains buildings is launching Gemsta, a social networking site which lets you quickly and easily FIND, SAVE and SHARE things you find online whether that be for shopping, travel or work.
But I guess it just goes to show you any business can have a go! Here’s a press release which may be of some interest.
Are you one of the many internet users who often search for the same information across a number of your favourite sites? If the answer is YES, then Gemsta can offer you a platform to create a free centralised search location to access your frequently queried resources.
Gemsta’s unique MultiSearch technology, which allows users to search multiple sites simultaneously, can be now be customised to help find anything quickly and easily from a personal choice of sites. Gemsta requires no specialist software and is accessible from anywhere online. Up to 16 sites per zone can be organised into structured grids or funky frames with added colourful backgrounds.
“It takes a matter of minutes to organise your weblife, simply register and complete a four step process using the Find Wizard,” explains Jonathan Franklin, managing director, Gemsta.com. “You can choose from over 400 sites including search engines, shopping sites and social media sites. Just select a frame, drag your chosen logos into the 16 space grid, choose a background, name your zone and you are away!” continues Jonathan.
The Find Wizard is just one part of the newly structured FIND within Gemsta.com. It joins comparison shopping, vouchers and deals, 3D shopping and wishlist – plus the comprehensive
pre-organised shopping zones and 6 web search zones. Once you’ve found FIND you’ll wonder how you ever got on without it!!
Plus coming soon – the ability to SAVE anything you FIND on the web and organise it into personalised folders, then SHARE it with a chosen few or the whole world.
Damaged laptops will cost British business £2.073 billion in repair and data replacement costs in 2010, research from IDC and Panasonic has predicted. This cost does not include effects to business continuity, lost business or customer dissatisfaction. More than 14% of the 9.265m laptops sold to British businesses between 2007 and 2009 will suffer from damage or accidents this year and with an average repair bill of £1576 to cover parts, lost productivity and data, the overall cost to British business will be a staggering £2.073 billion.
The research, commissioned by Panasonic Toughbook and undertaken by technology analyst group IDC, shows that 20% of laptops in business require repair each year with 14.2% of repairs coming from physical damage or accidents.
“With a 14.2% chance of physical breakage per year, and a £1,576 repair and data replacement bill, IT Directors should realize that every laptop is carrying a potential hidden cost of £224 per year,” said Stephen Yeo, Panasonic Toughbook EMEA Marketing Director. “This means that over a 3 year life, a laptop has a hidden cost from breakage of £672 and this could be considerably higher for workers in areas like field service or sales. With Panasonic Toughbooks cutting the risk of damage by over 80%, businesses can reduce this hidden cost by an average of £537 per notebook over a 3 year period.”
Sources of damage
In the survey, 72% of respondents with damaged notebooks reported that they suffered damaged keyboards, followed by 66% with damage to the display screen. Non-exposed parts most prone to damage included batteries and hard disk drives, both cited by more than 50% of respondents.
Human error and carelessness were responsible for the greatest sources of damage with 72% of respondents saying they dropped their laptops, 66% spilling liquid onto the devices and 55% reporting they fell off a desk or table.
The departments most likely to damage their laptops were field services, followed by office and administrative support and sales.
Problems caused by laptop damage or failure
63% of respondents reported lost productivity as a result of their laptop damage or failure, while more than a third reported loss of important company data or information (37%) or lost and delayed sales (34%).
And with IDC predicting business laptops outselling commercial desktop computers by 2012, the analyst group recommended businesses look more closely at the type of laptops they buy. “IDC believes that a sound notebook procurement strategy should incorporate clear metrics regarding product quality with an eye toward durability,” said David Daoud, IDC Research Director for Personal Computing. “Companies should look to procure notebooks that are built to withstand a variety of rigors, not just from dust, dirt, and extremes in temperature, but also from day-to-day bumps and spills. Companies should look for notebooks in which key components like keyboards and displays have been hardened, while insuring that the integrated parts are of ruggedized-grade quality.”
“The use of laptops has become pervasive in business with more and more departments taking advantage of the flexibility and convenience they offer but little attention is being paid to the type of products being bought and the impact of their total cost of ownership on the business,” commented Stephen Yeo, Panasonic Toughbook EMEA Marketing Director. “Businesses should consider whether a Ruggedized laptop is required by their staff because in many cases the higher initial purchase price is rapidly offset by the longer lifetime expectancy of the products and their much cheaper ongoing running costs.”
The research is based on a survey of 300 US companies by IDC and reported in the whitepaper “The Business Case for Ruggedized PCs”. The impact for UK business has been extrapolated using IDC data on laptops sold to businesses in the UK between 2007 and 2009. A copy of the research report can be found at: http://www.toughbook.eu/node/4055
As promised Karen Cheng a Program Manager on the Excel team has posted a blog post on how the Microsoft Excel 2010 Missle Command Game was made. You can find it here. Don’t forget to download the game here.
In today’s post, we’ll show you how the classic arcade game Missile Command was created in an Excel spreadsheet. We also explain how it’s made in this video. In this game, missiles drop from the sky, attacking the city. You must click on the missiles to destroy them….