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Jaguar self-drive car revealed in New York

The first self-styled “premium” autonomous car has been unveiled in New York – and it’s a Jaguar.

The vehicle, made in conjunction with Google’s self-driving unit Waymo, will be tested on public roads this year.

By 2020, the firms say 20,000 self-driving Jaguar sport utility vehicles (SUVs) will be part of Waymo’s public fleet.

The launch comes a week after an Uber self-driving car killed a woman in the state of Arizona.

The investigation into that crash is ongoing.

Waymo has committed to launching the first fully-driverless taxi fleet – without a human safety driver – in Arizona by the end of 2018.

“That Waymo is moving forward shows a lot of confidence,” commented Tim Stevens, editor-in-chief of news site Roadshow.com.

“The company knows its technology is solid and it’s eager to allow a wider audience to experience it.”

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Facial Recognition App to be Trialled in Supermarkets

A new facial recognition app from British start-up Yoti could be trialled in two supermarkets, following a deal with self-service till maker NCR.

It would enable shops to check the age of customers buying restricted products such as alcohol and knives, without human intervention.

The free-to-consumer app works by pairing a selfie with an official document such as a passport. The data is encrypted, and Yoti says that it has no access to it.

Yoti has said that two UK supermarkets had won approval to try the ID system in 2018.

People enrol in the app by:

  • taking a selfie with an Android or Apple smartphone
  • verifying their phone number
  • taking a test to prove they are who they say they are

The selfie is then linked via the app with a photo-ID document such as a driving licence or passport. Those with chips on their passports holding their ID information can scan these to add veracity to the data being held. Yoti staff also verify the documents and that the selfie and photo on the passport or licence match.

When people come to use the app, the information stored with Yoti is used to verify a person’s identity.

Robin Tombs, co-founder and head of Yoti, said the technology could be used to confirm identities in other places such as pubs, nightclubs and on dating sites. Also, he said, it could be used to protect against ID fraud.

“It’s too easy for people to pretend they’re someone else, or gain access to all of our personal details,” he said in a statement.

“This is shown by the continued rise of identity related fraud and issues that cost time, money and inconvenience to many people every day.”

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Not Just Digital Skills

In a world where digital is slowly but surely taking over, it is clear that we need to invest in a workforce that is knowledgeable and equipped to cope in such a technological society, however as former GCHQ head, Robert Hannigan put “Digital is undoubtedly a huge part of our future, but we can’t lose sight of other valuable skills”.

The key is a balance of skills that only humans can possess our creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, communication and decision-making, combined with the speed and accuracy of robotic and digital systems.

Robert Hannigan also said “Parents need to encourage children to develop both technical and non-technical skills – only as balanced, well-rounded adults they will be able to lead a happy life and contribute to the country’s prosperity”

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Apple – Red Faced

Famous for leading the way in the world of technology, Apple was left feeling embarrassed after a demo of its new face recognition feature failed to work live on stage.

The company blamed the Face ID glitch on a lockout mechanism triggered by staff members moving the device ahead of its unveil

Apple’s software chief dealt with the hiccup by moving on to a back-up device, which worked as intended.

The new feature is said to be “effortless” to use and more accurate than its fingerprint-based Touch ID system. However critics have concerns about whether it will recognise facial features especially when wearing a hijab worn by some Muslim women, among other facewear.

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The Future of Siri

Apple announced at their recent annual WWDC developer conference  that they have opened up Siri, Maps and iMessage to developers – an admission that Apple can’t build the perfect software alone.

The new iOS 10, expected in September will see Siri carrying out actions that involve other apps, such as booking an Uber, sending a WeChat message or setting a workout through RunKeeper. This is catch-up for Apple, whose rivals Google, Amazon and Microsoft have all opened up to developers.

Apple will also integrate Siri’s machine-learning capabilites into its Messaging app, allowing the assistant to better predict what a user might say.

Siri will also come to desktop soon, some five years after launching on mobile, with Mac users able to command the assistant to search and open files and scan their calendar and emails to plan out their day.

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UK’s Media Sector to Soar

The UK is to overtake Germany to boast the largest entertainment and media sector in EMEA within two years, according to new research from PwC.

The latest forecast suggests the UK’s entertainment and media sector will soon be worth a staggering £62.8 bn compared to Germany whose sector will be worth £58.6 bn.

The growth is being fuelled by advertising revenues with global internet advertising revenues expected to become the largest advertising segment.

“Internet access combined with tablet and smartphone penetration has created a golden age for individuals interacting with media and the appetite of UK consumers shows no signs of slowing,” said Phil Stokes, UK head of entertainment and media at PwC.

Your job search should be enjoyable

IT Job Markets Stable

Despite the gradual decline of traditional IT roles, the IT job market remains buoyant and is set for stability for the foreseeable future. Current recruitment trends show an increase in demand for data analytics and cloud computing, says a research report from WEF.

Due to the new trends that include rapid mobile internet growth and technology adoption, IT job demand will remain stable globally even in emerging markets such as India, due to demand for digital technologies.

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Dell to be Renamed.

Dell and EMC are set to complete their merger at the end of the year and Michael Dell has unveiled the new company name- Dell Technologies.

The group of companies currently known as the EMC federation will all be renamed too.

However, the EMC name will live on in the form of Dell EMC – the new name for the enterprise business division – and EMC II, the infrastructure division.

In addition to Dell EMC and EMC II, Dell Technologies will also comprise VMware, SecureWorks, Pivotal, Dell (the client solutions business) and Virtustream.

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The Skills to Earn!

According to a study by Stack Overflow Careers the best paying languages in Western Europe are Ruby, C# and Node.js.

Employers are happy to pay higher salaries to employees with these skills as they are much needed and in short supply.

The most sought-after programming languages in the UK are SQL, JavaScript and C#, according to market tracker IT Jobs Watch.