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Apple releases new iPod

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More than a decade after it was first launched, the iPod has been given yet another new lease on life as Apple unveils a touch model and refreshes the colour options across the range.

Despite speculation that the iPod has reached the end of its life, Apple this week introduced a new iPod touch, along with a new lineup of colours for all iPod models. The announcement comes 14 years after the first iPod was launched in 2001, and amid a general consensus that increased capacity and capabilities of iPhones have made the iPod redundant.

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The iPod touch features a new 8 megapixel iSight camera, an improved FaceTime HD camera, the Apple-designed A8 chip with 10 times faster graphics performance for a more immersive gaming experience, and better fitness tracking with the M8 motion coprocessor. It incorporates the newly launched Apple Music service and access to a global 24/7 broadcast on Beats 1 radio.

“iPod touch gives customers around the world access to Apple Music, the App Store and iOS, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone, iPod and iOS Product Marketing. “With big advancements like the A8 chip and the 8 megapixel iSight camera, customers can experience next-level gameplay, take even more beautiful photos and enjoy their favourite music, TV shows and movies.”

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With the A8 chip, the same used in the iPhone 6, users can play more immersive games for hours at a time. iPod touch’s 4-inch Retina display and rich collection of gaming titles are further enhanced with iimproved graphics performance and thousands of Metal-optimised games. With the advanced iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, iPod touch owners, for the first time, can use popular features like slo-mo and burst mode. Three times faster Wi-Fi enhances FaceTime calls and download of movies and TV shows.

The App Store on iPod touch, available in 155 countries, gives users access to 1,5-million apps across 24 categories. iPod touch is also an ideal way to carry a music collection in one’s pocket. iTunes boasts the world’s largest music catalogue, and with Apple Music, customers have access to the streaming music service, Beats 1, Apple’s first ever live radio station, and Connect, where artists can communicate directly to fans. Apple Music is available on iPod touch through the Music app — users are invited to a 3-month trial, after which a monthly membership fee will apply. A family plan providing service for up to six family members is also available.

iPod touch comes with iOS 8 and a collection of powerful built-in apps, including iMessage, Photos and Health app.

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Availability

The new iPod touch and the entire iPod family in its five new colours is available from today through select Apple Authorised Resellers. iPod touch requires a Wi-Fi connection or a Mac or PC; USB 2.0 port; Mac OS X v10.7.5 or later; Windows 7, Windows 8 or later; and iTunes 12.2 or later. An Apple ID is required for some iPod touch features.

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Bring your network with you

At last week’s Critical Communications World, Motorola unveiled the LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. It allows rescue personal to set up dedicated LTE networks for communication in an emergency, writes SEAN BACHER.

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In the event of an emergency, communications are absolutely critical, but the availability of public phone networks are limited due to weather conditions or congestion.

Motorola realised that this caused a problem when trying to get rescue personnel to those in need and so developed its LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. The product is the smallest and lightest full powered broadband network to date and allows the first person on the scene to set up an LTE network in a matter of minutes, allowing other rescue team members to communicate with each other.

“The LXN 500 weighs six kilograms and comes in a backpack with two batteries. It offers a range of 1km and allows up to 100 connections at the same time. However, in many situations the disaster area may span more than 1km which is why they can be connected to each other in a mesh formation,” says Tunde Williams, Head of Field and Solutions Marketing EMEA, Motorola Solutions.

The LXN 500 solution offers communication through two-way radios, and includes mapping, messaging, push-to-talk, video and imaging features onboard, thus eliminating the need for any additional hardware.

Data collected on the device can then be sent through to a central control room where an operator can deploy additional rescue personnel where needed. Once video is streamed into the control room, realtime analytics and augmented reality can be applied to it to help predict where future problem points may arise. Video images and other multimedia can also be made available for rescuers on the ground.

“Although the LXN 500 was designed for the seamless communications between on ground rescue teams and their respective control rooms, it has made its way into the police force and in places where there is little or no cellular signal such as oil rigs,” says Williams.

He gave a hostage scenario: “In the event of a hostage situation, it is important for the police to relay information in realtime to ensure no one is hurt. However the perpetrators often use their mobile phones to try and foil any rescue attempts. Should the police have the correct partnerships in place they are able to disable cellular towers in the vicinity, preventing any in or outgoing calls on a public network and allowing the police get their job done quickly and more effectively.”

By disabling any public networks in the area, police are also able to eliminate any cellular detonated bombs from going off but still stay in touch with each other he says.

The LXN 500 offers a wide range of mission critical cases and is sure to transform communications and improve safety for first responders and the people they are trying to protect.

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Kaspersky moves to Switzerland

As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland.

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This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.

Global transparency and collaboration for an ultra-connected world

The Global Transparency Initiative, announced in October 2017, reflects Kaspersky Lab’s ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products. The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust. Trust is essential in cybersecurity, and Kaspersky Lab understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.

The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the first Transparency Center.

Relocation of customer data storage and processing

By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility, will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.

Relocation of software assembly

Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code. Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organisation and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.

Establishment of the first Transparency Center

The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Center that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year. This approach will further show that generation after generation of Kaspersky Lab products were built and used for one purpose only: protecting the company’s customers from cyberthreats.

Independent supervision and review

Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.

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