Apple to release HomePod device in Canada, France, and Germany in June

Apple’s first foray into the world of voice-operated interactive speaker assistants will hit several more markets during mid-June. The HomePod, which is Apple’s competitive answer to Amazon’s Echo devices and Google Home speakers, will soon make its way into Canada, France, and Germany. The speaker first arrived in February in the United States, so it’s no surprise that other markets will now get to add the high-end device to their homes or other environments.


A report from TechCrunch on Tuesday indicated that the Homepod will be available in those areas on June 18. In conjunction with the news, a new update for the Homepod was made which gave support for three additional languages: Canadian English, French, and German. There are plans to add Canadian French as a supported language at some point later this year.


The new iOS 11.4 update that arrived on Tuesday gave several other new features to the HomePod speakers. Those included stereo pairing and support for “multi-room AirPlay 2” streaming abilities. HomePod owners reportedly need to perform an iPhone update under the “Settings,” “General,” and “Software Update” area of their mobile devices to get the new HomePod features working.


The Apple HomePod speakers currently cost $349 each in the United States, but there haven’t been any reports regarding what they will cost in the new markets this June. The price of the speaker has been among the early stumbling blocks for Apple as they try to compete with Amazon and Google products. In addition, it’s been said that the functionality of Siri on the speaker has been lacking, whereas the Echo and Home speakers seem to better integrate their voice assistants. However, the sound quality has been praised and the recent updates seem to take that music experience to another level for home entertainment.


The generally mixed feedback about the Apple HomePod has also come with a mystery regarding how good (or bad) sales of the speakers have been. However, it seems imperative for Apple to begin introducing their devices into as many markets as possible so they won’t become completely overrun by Amazon and Google taking over the markets. With the brand new territories announced for the HomePod, it will give Apple about “half a dozen” countries where their high-end device is available.

Honesty and Advertised Internet Speeds

The Internet has quickly become one of the fastest-growing technologies of all time. In a short number of years, the ability for you to stream data into your home on-demand has become rather commonplace in the first world. There are still issues however with the access to reasonably priced Internet in a number of countries around the world. Even in the countries that do have access to the Internet, there are still sometimes issues when it comes to the advertised speed of your connection and the speed that you are actually receiving. A recent law which has been passed in the United Kingdom looks to change this.

These new laws seek to provide stricter regulation in regards to the manner in which Internet service providers are able to advertise their Internet service speeds. In the past, these companies were able to advertise with vague terminology such as “speeds up to.” This was legal as long as it was possible to provide these maximum listed speeds to a minimum of 10% of customers at any point during the day. According to the new laws, advertised maximum speeds must be available to a minimum of 50% of customers during peak usage times.

Several companies in the United Kingdom have already changed their advertising to reflect the new laws, and as a result, the speeds that they are advertising have dropped. In one case an Internet service provider had to decrease their listed advertised speed from 17 Mb per second to 11 Mb per second. These speeds still do not take into account the possibility for poor Wi-Fi connection and other sources of potential interference.

Even with more honesty in the advertising of the speeds of provided Internet service this still does not take the steps that are necessary in order to change the underlying issues. The infrastructure that provides the country with their data connections is incredibly outdated. The Internet connection speeds available in the United Kingdom are outperformed by almost every other European country. If the United Kingdom wishes to remain competitive, it should become a strong priority to update the infrastructure that is available within their country.

The new Nature Journal is being boycotted by thousands of AI researches

It seems that the immense success and prevailing progress being made by machine learning and AI has attracted publishers who are trying to create paid subscriptions and fees to access the information. Whether it be for promotional incentive towards researchers, or financial gain directly obtained by the journal, this should have no longevity within the machine learning community One publisher by the name of Springer Nature has announced a new journal titled Nature Machine Intelligence. This publisher has already created over 50 other journals including the word nature in the title. It is clear that these organizations are trying to intercept information that is already being shared publicly, and attach a price to it. They are trying to turn something that is accessible to everyone into a paid subscription. The idea of paying for the results of studies when taxes are already being paid by the public to fund this research seems preposterous. The selling point amongst many of these concepts is that being a part of ‘brand name’ journal can help promote the research being conducted. I feel like this idea is counter-intuitive to the spreading of information and research in the field of AI. Making people pay to access something will only limit the accessibility and inherently lower the level of interest people dispose towards this field. I think moving forward with these journals and pushing them into the community would be a substantial step backward for all parties. Closed access publications should have no place within the machine learning and AI research and information community. A substantial reason why this field of research should never be a closed access market is that it is still in its infancy, and is lacking the historical traditions that other fields have established. This would only slow the rate at which this information can be retained and expanded on. Machine learning is currently growing and thriving more than ever. It is proving that it does not need these publishers in order for it to prosper, but the more the system leans towards a closed access model, the more it will start to become attached to the typical journals that control that kind of information.

New Computer Technology Will Allow Early Detection of Cancer from Blood Sample

Technology has now made it possible for computers to not only detect cancer in a patient’s body but to pinpoint where it is located. This information is achieved from a blood sample taken from the patient. Genome Biology published the research on this program in their journal.


The DNA from cancer cells ends up in the bloodstream during its earliest stages. The program looks for specific molecular patterns in the blood sample to see if cancer DNA exists. The program compares the patterns located in the sample against tumor epigenetics from other cancer types collected to determine if the sample contains cancer cells. This technology is allowing for a unique chance of early detection for quicker and possibly more successful treatment.


Professor Jasmine Zhou is the co-lead in this research. She is with the University of California at Los Angeles where she has helped in the creation of this non-invasive method of detecting cancer in patients. The computer-driven program has been designed to detect cancer as well as identify the form of cancer present. This technology is still being advanced and will need further validation, but is promising to be one of the most significant benefits to people with cancer.


Testing of this program consisted using the new technology against two other methods. There were twenty-nine blood samples taken from liver cancer patients. Also taken were twelve samples from patients with lung cancer and five samples from breast cancer patients. Each test was conducted ten times to ensure results were accurate. The error rates on the two optional methods were much higher than the error rate with the new computer program designed by Professor Zhou and her team.


Professor Zhou states the results of the test were evaluated on only those three types of cancer. These types of cancer were chosen for the test to show how the program will work against varying forms of cancer. If the kind of cancer a patient is developing has a tumor in a well-circulated organ such as the liver or lungs; then the easier it will be for the program to pick up the DNA from the blood sample. Organs such as the breasts are not as well circulated and make detection more difficult as the DNA is not flowing as freely in the bloodstream.

FBI Warns Americans to Reset Their Router Due to Hack

The FBI has recently warned Americans that the same hackers behind the DNC 2016 hacks of the Presidential election are now going after home and commercial wifi routers. The law enforcement agency warned everyone to turn off their router and turn it back on. This is said to clear the cache of the router which prevents the hack from being successful.


This simple fix, unfortunately, is only technical. The US DOJ has identified the culprits of the hacks as the Sofacy Group, also known as APT 28 and Fancy Bear. These hackers are directly employed or at least affiliated with the Russian national security services. In this particular hack, the Kremlin-affiliated groups have infected millions of home and business routers across the globe.


The FBI and other US intelligence agencies have proof that the malware from these state-sponsored hackers threatens the people of the United States in a number of ways. The name of the current malady is “VPN Filter“. The malware shuts down the router that it infects and also collects any information sent between that router, connected devices, and the internet.


This means that any website logins, passwords, confidential numbers, etc. could be stolen using this malware. With the tools available to the vast majority of consumers cannot detect this virus. However, when you reset your router that ends up deleting part of the program that causes the problem. The issue is that this solution does not permanently delete the file- it essentially treats the symptom and not the cause.


The ongoing cyber crisis between the United States and Russia is shaping up to be another front in the Cold War 2.0. This hack is designed to scrape as much personal information about users in the United States as possible. This is to steal financial information like bank accounts, credit card numbers etc. They also look to find compromising material in order to gain leverage during negotiations.


The FBI recommends that if you believe you are infected with this malware that you wipe and reinstall the OS of both your internet connected devices and router. This is the only current solution known that will completely remove the program. You can also reset your router for a short-term solution but this will not permanently remove the malware.

Your Free VPN Could be Harvesting and Selling Data

You have probably heard of VPN because most people use it to increase their safety while browsing the internet. Generally, there is a clear understanding that a VPN, also known as a Virtual Private Network, encrypts your data by protecting it from the government, hackers and online advertisers seeking to penetrate your browser and inseminate information. However, on the contrary, a recent news article highlighted that there are companies out to destroy web users who utilize a VPN by stealing their private data and selling it to different companies that may find the information somewhat useful. Despite their claims of protecting users from different online attackers, the VPN owners have confidently reflected that they have no good intentions when handling user’s privacies. This is true when it comes to free VPN machines.


Background Information


Moreover, there is by no means, a strict protocol for VPN network. Therefore, having a trademark sign of VPN is preferably not a definite assurance of the machine’s viability to protect its users. Simply put, this means that a particular VPN could be running while your internet traffic is routed to a different server. However, it does not undoubtedly assure you that you are covered from intruders. Moreover, if you have a free VPN, you should be worried about the risks involved in it because your passwords are probably being scanned. That is not all as there is more to be stolen including sensitive information. Without a doubt, this goes to show that with a free VPN, your data will always be stolen by hackers.


Technological Research


In a technology news report this week, an advocacy group tasked the FTC to conduct investigations on a hotspot shield titled free VPN. This research aimed to establish the causative agent of sharing sensitive information through VPN’s alongside leaking confidential information through different channels irrespective of them promising to protect their users from such risks.


The Outline


For those who are using any form of VPN service, as long as it is free, know that you are not protected. Moreover, there is a high possibility that these companies are harvesting your data thereby selling it to some of the highest bidders. With that said, it is important for you to consider purchasing your VPN, as far as safety is the major objective.

Kiwi Robots Deliver Food Around San Francisco

At the U. C. Berkeley campus, Kiwi robots are a common sight hurrying to deliver food to the hungry students. The robots are below knee-high and are similar in looks to a wheel box, only much more high-tech. The Kiwi robots leave from the headquarters of their creators which is a stone-throw away from the campus grounds.



The business has already fulfilled over 10,000 orders. Something that differentiates this company from other delivery bots businesses is that the testing phase was done on campus grounds instead of on a sidewalk in a busy area. San Francisco even had to ban such testing on sidewalks and streets because it was getting a bit too crowded. The Kiwi delivery bots are also a lot more compact than its competitors and so they take up a lot less space.



On the U. C. Berkley campus, there is an endless supply of testing opportunities for the Kiwi bots as hungry students abound at all times. The testing of the robots has been going well for the company, and the students of the university as well as teachers seem to quite like the small robots wheeling down corridors to deliver a much-needed snack. Most students describe the robots as cute.



The company’s robots come in several different sizes to fit a broader scope of delivery needs. The approach of the company is modular, and so varied sizes are used for various tasks. The Kiwi robots are designed for the last 300 meters of the delivery. Until then, the small four-wheeled bot takes a ride in another robot that does the heavy lifting.



The multi-modal system was developed after using a single size robot to go from the restaurant to the client’s doorstep. The company noticed that doing things that way was inefficient and so they developed two more types of robots. One is inside the restaurant, the other is a semi-autonomous tricycle going on the streets, and then there are the small robots delivering the meal to the client.



As of yet, Kiwi is only a startup. The robots are not mass produced for international sale, not even nationwide sale. The company has a lot to do before they reach that level. Fortunately, the plucky startup has a plentiful of ideas to go around and work on for the near future.

Top Browser Selections

The better the web browser, the better experience that you will have cruising round the Internet. A crappy browser will set you up for all kinds of problems. Most people start out with the browser that is packaged with the program on their computer. The majority of computer users continue on happily with the browser, even if it is not the best. Sooner or later, the computer user is going to start looking for a new browser. Often, they are confused about the browsers and don’t realize that today’s online world is filled with browsers that are absolutely amazing. For example, Firefox and a few other browsers were upgraded and are top quality browsers.



Firefox sadly lagged behind a number of the top browsers. The good news is that the browser is back in charge and in high demand because of the new changes. Sources report that the once very popular browser has gone through a number of important changes that will make you want to upgrade your current version of the browser or simply download the new version to your computer. Here is something worth noting. This is the first complete update to the browser in about 13 years. Now, the new version of the browser is faster, does not hog your system, and is equipped with new privacy tools.


Google Chrome

More users than ever are downloading Google Chrome, because of the recent changes. The new browser is very efficient and take up minimal screen space. Users often complain about browsers that take up the entire screen. This simple improvement will help drive the browser up in popularity. They’ve added a wide variety of extensions and the ability to customize the browser to your own liking.



Opera has a very minimal part of the browser market. However, it is a very fast loading and efficient browser. Opera also is equipped with a turbo feature that speeds up browsing. Included are other great features like a battery saving mode for mobile users, along with an ad blocker.


One Month Facebook Ban In Papua New Guinea

The PNG (Papua New Guinea) government has banned Facebook for 30 days. This was done in a bid to look at the effects of the platform on its users, and crack down on “fake users.”

Sam Basil, the country’s communication minister, said the temporary closure would allow the ministry’s analysts to do analysis and research on people using the website, as well as how they used it. The move was caused by growing concerns with regards to productivity, security, and social well-being.

During the process, information would be collected to detect any Facebook users who post misleading and false information, upload pornographic images, or use fake accounts to hide their identity. Such users and their content would be filtered and deleted. As a result, genuine people using real identities will be the only ones able to access the network and use it responsibly.

PNG’s communication minister has consistently raised concerns regarding the privacy protection of Facebook users in the country. Basil became vocal after the Cambridge Analytica incident, which discovered that a private company had received private data of millions of users from Facebook.

The minister stated that the vulnerabilities and risks of Facebook were more than the possible threat of data breaches. He said Facebook had the potential of acting as an unregulated advertising platform, which would cause cyber-security issues and be a threat to people’s productivity. The most vulnerable groups of people were employees and children.

Additionally, the PNG government said it would determine how other countries were successfully handling such issues. They would also look into how government policies would impact private users of Facebook.

Dr. Aim Sinpeng said the ban raised some troubling questions. He is a renowned professional in politics and digital media from the University of Sydney. Sinpeng said normally Facebook was banned in other countries indefinitely, like in China, or temporarily in the run-up to elections.

Sinpeng added that a one month ban is not sufficient as little can be achieved in such a short time. According to the expert, Facebook analysis can be done without a ban. He finished by saying if the government was concerned with fake news, they could handle the problem without issuing a ban.

Luiz Carlos Trabuco Fosters Leadership Transitions As Brandao De Mello Steps Down

After years of probing the eventuality of change and how elusive it is, experts, especially in the industry of banking, agree that organizations must embrace change or perish eventually. In this case, that change entails reshuffling in critical areas of the organization. Yet, one of the biggest and challenging aspects in at all is implementing the transition process. For that reason, when Brandao de Mello announced his resignation in late 2017, the employees of Banco Bradesco were somewhat apprehensive. However, since it was time for him depart, the employees had to embrace change and learn how to live with the eventuality of always having a new leader at some point in their lives.

Background Information on Leadership

For more than twenty-five years, Brandao de Mello served at Banco Bradesco. As the chairman, he was in charge of making most of the decisions. Nevertheless, when he turned 91 years old, he felt the need to allow someone else to provide excellent services for his clients. For that reason, a vacuum was left in the bank. Since he had no immediate replacement, he elected one of the most admired leaders to serve for a few months until when the panel for election was ready to select a leader to serve permanently. Luiz Carlos Trabuco oversaw critical operations following his vast experience while first serving as a junior advocate for Banco Bradesco alongside working with his clients to develop diversified portfolios for the bank.

Read more: Bradesco anuncia substituto de Trabuco

Service Delivery

From Brandao de Mello’s legacy, allegiance and persistence are the two key lessons that crop out from his commitment to serving Banco Bradesco. Moreover, having joined the bank when he was sixteen, it has been one busy and dedicated road of garnering vast experiences to elevate the service delivery portfolio of the organization. Besides, he was also the longest-serving leader of his kind. Therefore, it was the right time to let go and perhaps allow the leadership reigns take a new dimension.

Carlos Takes Over

As he stepped down, Brandao de Mello was categorical about his plans. For instance, he insisted that Banco Bradesco must only recruit from the already serving leaders. Therefore, he first elected Luiz Carlos Trabuco to step in for the short-while in which the board of directors was still struggling to find a new replacement according to Of course, Trabuco’s election was pegged on the fact that he vastly understands the banking system. Besides, he has been making significant decisions in the organization.

The Overall Replacement

In a few days, Luiz Carlos Trabuco was already serving as Brandao’s replacement at the moment as chairman. Therefore, just like he impressed the board of directors in the past when he joined the organization as a child, he upheld the leadership reigns of Brandao de Mello. From his perspective, the culture inseminated by Brando de Mello had to be passed to the next generation of leaders. Perhaps, that is why when it was time to elect who would permanently take over Carlos as a president was active in the entire election process. Octavio de Lazari became the newly elected president.

The Outline of Leadership

Octavio’s election was primarily pegged on his ability to coordinate technical banking operations. Moreover, it was discussed that he was the best fit for the banking institution because of his vast experience, technical and finance expertise. Over and above that, it was clear that Octavio, just like Luiz Carlos Trabuco, joined Banco Bradesco over four decades ago. Consequently, as he takes over, he is expected to match Brandao’s leadership reigns.