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Microsoft has unveiled a special Minecraft Limited Edition Xbox One S during its Gamescom livestream.

Considering the millions of people who play Minecraft it’s frankly surprising that Microsoft has taken this long to honour the game with a special version of its flagship games console.

Now that it’s here though, we have to admit, it certainly makes an impact.

Unlike most limited editions though this isn’t just a new paint job. The Minecraft Edition features a completely new design with a transparent lower base unit and a physical pixel-like texture to the top of the console.

There’s also a completely custom-designed Xbox One controller as well and custom system sounds whenever you turn the console on or off.

While Minecraft started on PC its growth has been exponential moving quickly to smartphones, tablets, portable games consoles and then of course Microsoft’s Xbox One.

More recently the company decided to use Minecraft as a way of showing of its new HoloLens mixed-reality headset.

In addition to a new version of the Xbox One S, Microsoft have also confirmed it will be releasing a unique pre-order version of the Xbox One X, its new super powered 4K games console.

Similar to the Xbox One’s Day One Edition, the £449 Project Scorpio Edition is a subtle change in design that rather than screaming your dedication to video games is a subtle reminder that you jumped on the bandwagon before anyone else.

Finally with Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro looming in the background Microsoft has confirmed that over 100+ games (both currently available and upcoming) are going to be enhanced for the Xbox One X.

Best Game Trailers 2017

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From smart socks to workout clothes that measure exertion, wearable body sensors are becoming the latest 'must-have' technology. Now scientists report they are on the cusp of using silk, one of the world's most coveted fabrics, to develop a more sensitive and flexible generation of these multi-purpose devices that monitor a slew of body functions.
Source: science daily

The Apple Watch Series 3 has now been given an alleged release date. The LTE-powered smartwatch will reportedly ship in Q4 this year to be launched alongside the much-awaited iPhone 8.
Source: tech times

While NASA’s Cassini spacecraft might be on a collision course with Saturn we’re happy to report that its Juno spacecraft is still absolutely bringing home the goods in orbit around Jupiter.

Most notably is this absolutely breathtaking new image from Juno’s on-board camera.

Taken on the 10 July during Juno’s seventh close flyby the image shows Jupiter effectively flipped on its side as the spacecraft heads from the north of the gas giant down to the south.

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The image was then edited and enhanced to perfection by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran.

These two have been edited and enhancing NASA’s images for a while now proving time and time again that as long as NASA keeps uploading the raw data they can turn it into something as stunning as this.

The pair recently produced this fantastically moody image of Jupiter’s ‘Little Red Spot’ which can be found on the planet’s northern hemisphere.

Jupiter’s ‘Little Red Spot’ has been tracked by scientists since 1993 and is what’s known as an anticyclone.

As explained by NASA, an anticyclone is a weather phenomenon where winds around the storm flow in the direction opposite to that of the flow around a region of low pressure.

While the perspective suggests that you’re looking upwards at Jupiter’s north pole the image has in fact been rotated so that the top of the image shows the south pole instead.

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Spotify says white supremacist bands are not welcome on its platform after being alerted to their presence in a week that has seen a wave of individuals and public figures stand up to messages of hate.

“Illegal content or material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us,” a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement.

We are glad to have been alerted to this content ― and have already removed many of the bands identified today, whilst urgently reviewing the remainder.”

On Monday, Digital Music News published a list of 37 hate bands, as classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which its author said were available on Spotify as of publication time. The center shared a list of white supremacist groups in 2014 after discovering many of them were available on iTunes.

Within weeks, Apple began pulling the bands. As of Wednesday, the majority are not available on the U.S. site. Many of the groups still appear to be available on Spotify.

The streaming giant says hundreds of thousands of record labels and aggregators contribute music to its catalog, and views them as being primarily responsible for the content on its platform. But it promises to take “immediate action” against tracks that violate its policies, once brought to light. 

While it continues to review the hateful tracks, the company has added a new, pointedly curated playlist of its own. Titled “Patriotic Passion,” the list features songs by Jimi Hendrix, James Brown and others, encouraging listeners to learn more about “upholding American values” by visiting the SPLC’s website.

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Microsoft’s Bing search engine has become the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons today and it’s all because of a single image.

Every single day Bing’s homepage shows a beautiful photograph. Today’s was of an absolutely breathtaking beach in Croatia. Here it is:

 

Now at first glance you might be thinking there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this picture. It is as you would expect, beautiful, idyllic and a perfect way to start your day.

You would of course be extremely wrong. Eagle-eyed developer and now internet hero Andrew Lyle saw what no-one else wanted to see.

See it yet?

That’s right, hidden amongst the utopian shades of of blue and gold someone has drawn what is quite clearly a penis into the sand of what has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

In defence of the the algorithm/moderator that chose the image for Bing’s homepage it is extremely hard to see at first glance. This is however the internet we’re talking about and so it was only ever going to be a matter of time.

It’s important to treasure these moments, these rare flashes of human error that remind us no matter how good technology is, sometimes a penis drawn in the sand will just slip through the net.

Microsoft has quite understandably not only photoshopped the image so it removes the offending artistic creation but has always now changed the image to a completely new one.

And so life carries on.

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A team of scientists and medical experts at Michigan State University have discovered a symptom that if found could be a sure sign that a heart attack is imminent. 

Led by Professor of Medicine Dr. George S. Abela, the team examined materials that were blocking the coronary arteries and discovered that it was in fact cholesterol, but as large crystals.

By looking at over 240 different emergency rooms and examining cases from them, they found that this hardened cholesterol was present in over 89% of cases.

Cholesterol crystals are a particularly nasty side-effect of plaque build-up inside the heart. Made from fat, calcium and other substances these crystals can start to expand as they harden within the arteries.

“In previous studies, we showed that when cholesterol goes from a liquid to a solid, or crystal state, it expands in volume like ice and water,” Abela said. “This expansion inside the wall of the artery can tear it and block blood flow causing a heart attack or stroke.”

To try and get to the bottom of how these crystals are causing so much damage they went directly into over 240 emergency rooms across the US.

Once a heart attack patient was admitted they would suction out the crystals and examine their size and hardness. What they found was that large clusters of crystals had been able to break through the plaque and walls of the arteries and had even entered the heart itself.

In addition to the physical damage caused by the crystals tearing through the arteries they were also able to confirm that the crystals activated the production of inflammation molecules known as Interleukin-1 beta which can inflame and aggravate arteries.

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While all this might sound quite scary there are two piece of very good news to come out of the discovery.

The first is that now they have a better understanding of a key warning light before a heart attack they can do more to combat it.

“Now that we’ve shown how extensive cholesterol crystals are irritating and blocking off these arteries, treatments that dissolve these crystals may be used to reduce heart damage,” Abela said.

The second is that it reinforces what medical professionals have been preaching for years which is that continued exercise and dietary choices have a proven ability to reduce the formation of these crystals in the first place.

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Brexit or not, the UK will be adopting the EU General Data Protection Regulation ("EU GDPR") and plans to update our own Data Protection Act. What does it mean for UK citizens and UK-based businesses? What is going to change? And why is it happening?

Firstly, it's important to recognise that the original incarnation was created in 1998; a simpler time in a land without smartphones, online banking or smart homes. Much has changed since then; nothing more so than our relationship with companies and data.

The new regulation, which aligns the UK with the forthcoming EU GDPR (which will also be formalised into law when it takes effect on 25th May 2018), should be music to consumers' ears. Having better data processing controls should help to reduce identity theft, and it could even protect us from physical harm - imagine if someone hacked into your health records and changed your blood type? Yet for businesses, things may be more complex.

Greater accountability

Under the new regulations, the definition of what constitutes Personal Data has been expanded. Now it can also include data such as IP, or genetic data, which could easily be used to identify an individual even if they are not named directly.

Consumers will also have enhanced privacy rights. They continue to have a right to request a copy of any data a company holds about them, and also to ask for their data to be rectified or restricted, as well as permanently deleted if asked.

Particularly daunting is the fact that companies who are data controllers will in many cases have to notify the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) within 72 hours of a personal data breach, giving detailed information including the number of records compromised, the likely consequences to individuals, and the remediation steps taken. This will be no mean feat.

Added to this, unlike planned annual audits, the regulation requires continuous compliance. This is not a one-time tick box exercise; people need to be on guard the whole year round.

If a company fails to comply - either by not having the proper controls in place, losing customer data or failing to make it available to customers within a reasonable time - they may face extreme fines of up to 4% of their global turnover. A sobering thought for any company.

GDPR needs to be seen as a friend and not foe

Taking the lead on GDPR will actually serve businesses well in the long-run. Being able to prove a commitment to transparency and demonstrating dedication to safeguarding customer data and privacy are not just admirable, they are profitable.

It could help businesses to increase customer loyalty, reduce churn and differentiate against competitors. Conversely, failures could negatively impact reputation, share price, valuations and bottom line revenues.

How to mitigate risk

However, there is no 'GDPR solution', no silver bullet and no quick technology fix; no matter what security vendors will try to tell you. The process burden will be acute, and compliance cannot be guaranteed.

But there are steps that businesses can take to help mitigate their risk:

1. Conduct a thorough GDPR compliance risk assessment/gap analysis: Identify what your most important personal and/or sensitive data is, where and how it is being stored and what your biggest areas of risk are.

2. Develop appropriate controls and processes: Manage personal and sensitive data throughout its lifecycle, from when it is collected, through to establishing consent, to processing and evidence of erasure.

3. Deploy a security incident detection and response tools: Have the ability to identify where and how a security breach has occurred, which data has been impacted and how you can reasonably mitigate the threat - fast.

4. Have a privacy breach response plan: Have an operational plan that identifies key stakeholders, clearly defined roles and responsibility of core incident response team, communication and notification strategy.

5. Correlate to business context: Don't work in silos. Create a holistic GDPR compliance solution that helps you to join the dots and contextualise any incidents with business risk.

It is important to remember that GDPR is designed to protect individuals' rights to privacy. EU Regulators know that you can do all the right things and still be the victim of a breach, it's just the way of the world we live in. It is important that a company must demonstrate that they have a thoughtfully considered their GDPR compliance requirements and have taken appropriate steps to achieve compliance.

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Everyone knows that when it comes to furthering your career or getting a new job, LinkedIn is the most important social media tool at your finger tips.

Perhaps you created a LinkedIn account as a result - though maybe begrudgingly because of the amount of email you heard the site generates - because nowadays, virtually all recruiters expect professionals to have a profile.

But you might not realise the site has just undergone some major changes - so if you're serious about progressing up the career ladder, it's vital you go back in and edit your profile now.

Keep going until its 100% complete too if you haven't already. It's also a great opportunity to make sure your profile is accurate, professional and stuffed with relevant keywords.

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Image: Pixabay

After all, you don't want to risk being overlooked because your LinkedIn is incomplete, full of errors or out of date.

It's also worth bearing in mind that, like many social media sites, LinkedIn introduces changes every year or so, so it's a good idea to subscribe to the professional networking platform's official blog to keep on top of any future tweaks.

In the meantime, here's what you need to know about the latest changes to the online behemoth, which now has a massive 500million users, and which boasts that for each new connection you make, you'll expand the reach of your professional network by an average of 400 people, 100 companies and more than 500 jobs...

Your photo

Your face now shows in a circle above your headline, rather than a square to the left, giving your photo centre stage and making it even more important.

Yet a staggering number of profiles still don't include a headshot, despite LinkedIn's own research which shows that profiles with photos are seven times more likely to turn up in searches, encourage 21 times more profile views, nine times more connection requests and 36 times more messages than those without.

The circle gives you less space, making it even more crucial to choose a professional-looking picture. Make sure your photo is a close up of you facing forward and making eye contact with the camera. LinkedIn's new editing and filter features make it easier to enhance your profile photo too, even if you can't afford to hire a professional snapper to take one.

2017-08-16-1502896840-999332-womantyping.jpg
Image: Pixabay

Your summary

Only the first two lines of your summary now show up automatically - anyone logging onto your profile will need to click on 'view more' to see the rest of it. This means it is now crucial to hammer home your USP and the most relevant key words to the role you have or the one you want in those first two precious lines. Try to make them engaging and encourage the viewer to make that click and read on.

Skills/Endorsements

You used to be able to see a profile's top 10 skills before the 'view more' drop down option. Now, LinkedIn only shows the top three. It selects these automatically according to how many endorsements you have received.

However, you can override this and re-order your skills yourself to show the three you think add the most value to your profile first. This will also encourage your connections to endorse you for your most relevant skills. Make sure your top three skills are important, searched for and show what you can offer to any relevant employer or potential connection.

Order of content

LinkedIn now has a standardised layout so you can't customise your profile and move important content to the top anymore. As a result, the words you use on your profile need to work even harder. Make sure they are compelling, authentic and easy to read, as well as SEO optimised - and check and double check for any spelling or grammatical errors.

2017-08-16-1502896915-9297173-LinkedIn2.jpg
Image: Pixabay

Ramp up your connections

LinkedIn has made it easier to expand your network with a 'Connections of' filter which allows you to see your connections' connections. Use it to connect with relevant people and increase your chances of getting a referral for a job. Just click on 'See connections' on the right hand bar of your profile page, then find the person who might have the best ones. You can then use the 'connections of' filter to find other useful people.

It's not just about your work experience

Despite all these changes, it's worth bearing in mind that LinkedIn was, and still is, about much more than a list of job titles and your workplace skills.

It can give potential employers, clients and business partners a real sense of who you are. However, this doesn't mean posting photos of your baby or office party, no matter how cute or funny. Keep it relevant and professional.

Instead, it's a great idea to make sure you give details of any voluntary work you've done or charities you support.

Don't underestimate this feature. According to LinkedIn, 41% of employers consider volunteer work to be as important as paid work.

2017-08-16-1502896972-8056483-LinkedIn3.jpg
Image: Pixabay

And finally...

You might not have logged in to LinkedIn for a while before the site made these tweaks. But now that you have, why not promise yourself to dedicate regular time to LinkedIn?

Set a few minutes aside every week to like, comment, connect and share on the platform and you will amplify the chances of recruiters coming across your profile - and your next LinkedIn email might just be a job offer...

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The smartwatch age is upon us. Rumours of its demise have been greatly exaggerated, and despite two years of negative headlines it seems that smart wrist devices are here to stay. But the Swiss watch world don't seem to have got the memo.

While the fashion world has jumped on board in their droves - with brands like Louis Vuitton, Fossil, Michael Kors and Movado flocking to Google's Android Wear - just Tag Heuer of the Swiss world has embraced the full smartwatch experience.

I'm the co-founder of Wareable, the leading website dedicated to smartwatches and all aspects of the connected self. I'm here to impart some unsolicited advice for the Swiss watch-making fraternity on how to crack the smartwatch market.

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Image: Wareable

Do think long term

Don't bet the house. Don't bet your whole smartwatch play on one device. Design and produce within your means, test the waters. Use your experience building exclusivity to test products in small numbers. Learn and come back with something new - scale and roll out. This is something that Tag has excelled at, producing in relatively small numbers, and building on its brand. And guess what? Its second smartwatch sold out in days.

The smartwatch game isn't going to be won in 2017. The soothsayers around smartwatch oblivion have been proved wrong, and Apple has shown that scale is possible. But while it might feel like smaller brands have to fight for scraps off Apple's table, it's important to think long term.

Do Collaborate

Take a look the technology market - how many solo players do you see out there? Small guys don't last long. Collaboration is the key. The consensus within the Swiss watch community now seems to be backing Android Wear, Google's OS which has emerged as the only true credible operating system to power smartwatches, that's open to third parties.

The key is not to try and build your own OS. There's a reason that brilliant operating systems are made by Microsoft, Apple and Google - they take colossal amounts of engineering, design, and when you've done that bit, then you need to nurture an ecosystem of apps and updates.

Then there are other kinds of partners. Join up with the likes of Misfit or Jawbone to handle your fitness features. Join up with Facer for dials and watch faces. Hell, even sign up a partner for straps. The point is that collaborations are what make tech tick, and can be a great way to build and market a smartwatch in 2017.

Do focus on making beautiful watches

So far I've been playing down the Swiss watch market. Don't do this and don't do that. But that's because these guys have a very important job to be focusing on: making beautiful watches. This is their thing, this is what they do.

We've already seen great examples of it, with Tag Heuer at the high end, but also Movado's Tommy Hilfiger at the low end. The TH24/7You (terrible name) is a bog-standard smartwatch, but it's 20x more desirable than anything from Huawei or LG - and costs less too.

It's an open goal for Swiss guys to be able to build and market desirable watches. Stick to it, do it well and you'll have tech giants running scared.

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Image: Montblanc

Don't start trying to make your own apps and experiences

I roll this advice out all the time, and it echoes my point about using partners. It harks back to the first Android phones - once the platform was proved and widely adopted, phone makers started layering their own software on top.

The resulting situation was awful. Crappy apps on bloated operating systems - we actually saw phones running slowly. Google is a lot tighter around brands abusing its OS in this way these days, but there have been glimpses with Casio and Polar layering their own ecosystems on top.
Polar did this with aplomb - it's a development powerhouse with a very mature ecosystem. But our review of the new Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20 complained about apps and integrations that simply didn't work, and data from workouts that was collected, but not able to be reviewed or analysed.

Don't fall into that trap.

Don't tack on loads of tech

Just because tech exists, don't feel you need to implement it onto your brand new smartwatch. Mont Blanc's addition of a heart rate monitor was a mistake in my opinion, adding considerable bulk to the device, when there's little need for it. Sure, there's a wellness story there, but I'm not sure Mont Blanc will ever be able to tell it effectively. There's more to tracking fitness than bolting on a sensor.

It comes back to that theme - don't innovate. Let the tech guys worry about miniaturising the tech and raising awareness to your customer base. Don't ever sacrifice your own values of design and desirability for a tech story.

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