Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Angry mob undresses woman and rip her clothing after she dressed provocatively

Woman in mini skirt 
By: John Roberts 
A group of men attacked a woman who was dressed in a mini skirt.

The men attacked the woman claiming that she was dressed inappropriately. The woman was spotted walking on the street in Kitengela, a town in Kenya.

The angry mob claimed the dress was too short. They argued with the woman to change into something more appropriate. When the woman ignored their request the men attacked her and undressed her.

The men then ripped her clothing apart so she could not put them back on, claiming that “it was better for her to go naked because her intentions were clear,” according to press reports in Kenya.

According to a witness, the crowd gathered around the woman and forcibly undressed her. Her clothes were torn and thrown away ensuring that she had nothing to cover her body as a punishment for dressing provocatively.

“Most women in the town of Kitengela, dress modestly, and everyone is expected to adhere to their standards,” Aminah Wangai, 62, from Kenya told

Many people gathered to watch as the drama unfolded.

The woman was left on the floor with nothing to cover her body.
A Good Samaritan who witnessed the incident offered the woman a long dress so she could go home.

The victim's mothers was warned not to let her daughter leave the house without her approval, according to press reports in Kenya.

SkySweeper bot will check power lines to keep people out of danger

Robots are being used to replace people in dangerous jobs all the time, and the SkySweeper is one that looks to help by climbing across just about anything rope-shaped in order to help people out.
The cost of robotics today makes it so they are only deployed in the most dangerous of situations. In the case of power line crawlers — robots designed to help determine the safety and health of any given power line — they are far too expensive to hand out to every single person on the job. The same goes for using a similar robot to check out a rope bridge flung across a dangerous mountainside or an old, potentially unsafe zipline. We have the tools, but they are so expensive that most people don’t or can’t use them. SkySweeper is looking to dramatically lower the cost of these kinds of robots by rethinking how they move across power lines and ropes.
Nick Morozovsky, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at University of California, San Diego has assembled a power line crawler that works like an inchworm crawling across the line. The motor that controls the bot is at the center of the design, which flexes like an elbow to push the robot along as actuator clamps grip the rope. The push or pull motion is designed to be controlled remotely, so the robot can scoot in either direction as it moves.
This early prototype demonstrates a better design for these kinds of machines, and offers a lot of room for customization to suit the needs of the task at hand. Power line crawling, for example, would need custom sensors to help test the lines and make sure they are functioning correctly. In the video, Nick discusses the flexible design and how it would be possible to deploy variations of his SkySweeper in dozens of different use cases, due mostly to the design and the significantly lower cost to implement.

NASA lets us watch the Sun spin for 3 years in 4 minute video

Monday, April 22, 2013

Turkish Fashion Designers Make Muslim Style Chic

Turkish Fashion Designers Make Muslim Style Chic
In Istanbul on a recent Friday, it was time to send the page proofs of Ala magazine to the printer. Ala, which means “the most beautiful of the beautiful,” is the world’s first fashion publication for conservative Muslim women. Its office doesn’t feel like a bastion of traditional Islam: The talk is of models, photo shoots, deadlines, and accessories.
Zeynep Hasoğlu, Ala’s new editor in chief, sits behind a giant desk, her brown eyes amplified with dark eyeliner and mascara. She wears a black blazer with matching pants, her tiny frame weighted by a massive tiered rhinestone collar necklace. Stiletto shoes complete her outfit—a look that many of her readers want. “We are trying to convey international fashion to ladies without infringing on our values,” says Hasoğlu. She flicks through her iPad as she describes an unfulfilled need of affluent women who have money to burn but little understanding of how to spend it. They don’t know about Islamic designers because Muslim fashion has been a word of mouth industry.
Ala, launched in 2011, is the primer these women want. It features models in head scarves with well-crafted outfits in the latest colors. One recent article, titled “Looooooong skirts!” gives tips on skirt designs and mixing and matching. A recurring section visits Istiklal Street, the central retail promenade on the European side of Istanbul, to photograph fashionable but conservative women. Like many of Ala’s readers, they sport sleeves that fall at least to the middle of the forearm and no bare leg is revealed. Yet with their head scarves they wear jeans and boots or skirts and form-fitting jackets.
Taha Yasin Toraman launched Etesettü 15 months ago. That’s Turkish for hijab, the veil worn by observant Muslim women. The site sells black cloaks that cover the whole body as well as tight pea coats that hug the waistline. “There are many online shopping websites in Turkey, but there were none for conservative women,” Toraman says. He is launching an English-language site by August for the rest of the Muslim world.
Turkey’s fashion industry has its detractors, who condemn the idea that conservative women can wear flattering modern apparel. Women should instead avoid drawing attention to themselves, as Islam calls for. Female attire has long been a contentious subject. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the secular founder of modern Turkey in the 1920s, urged Turkish women not to cover their hair. After a military coup in 1980 momentarily checked the rise of the Islamic parties, the government banned head scarves for university students and public servants. The ban was partially lifted in 2010.
Under Sunni Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has enjoyed a decade of prosperity, which has given rise to an Islamic middle class. It is widely reported in the media that around 60 percent of Turkish women now wear a head covering. Mehmet Dursun, chief executive officer of Armine, Turkey’s top retailer of Islamic fashion, cornered the local head scarf market nine years ago before becoming a one-stop brand for middle-class Muslims. The retailer has a house line of apparel, shoes, and soon handbags, to be made in the same factory that makes Michael Kors bags. Armine apparel and accessories are sold in 1,400 stores, including in the U.S., the Netherlands, and Britain. Gross revenue in 2012 was $56 million. “I would like to be the conservative Hermès further down the line,” Dursun says.
The one thing absent from Turkey’s fashion scene is name-brand designers: Most work in relative obscurity for retailers like Armine. One exception is Filiz Yetim, maker of bridal gowns for the modest. Yetim, who on an April day was wearing a beige head scarf, a black blouse tucked into a long beige pencil skirt featuring floral appliqués, and gold and silver bracelets, designs gowns that feature a head scarf, full sleeves, and a floor-length hemline. The going price averages $4,000 to $5,000—not much for a handmade item. Yetim says she’ll charge more in time. “In two years, this vision of personal fashion will be more established, and we will ask what is due,” she says.
The bottom line: Turkey’s fashion designers are reinterpreting traditional dress for Muslim women, creating a new industry in the process.

The Luxury Market for Babies and Toddlers Is Back

The Luxury Market for Babies and Toddlers Is Back

When my daughter was born, my sister-in-law gave her a beautiful cashmere sweater. My baby promptly spit up all over it. The next time I tried to put it on her, it was already too small. Model and designer Julia Restoin Roitfeld, the wealthy daughter of former French Vogueeditor Carine Roitfeld, wants to help me buy a new one. In March she launched a website for mothers called Romy & the Bunnies, featuring interviews with socialite mommies—publishing heiress Fabiola Beracasa says of her postpartum workout, “We have been spending a lot of time in our Hamptons house, where I have access to a fantastic indoor swimming pool”—and very high-end baby clothes. “Must-haves” include a $70 LemLem sleeveless cotton onesie and a cotton Appleseed sweater from Tane Organics that retails for $83.
Romy joins the upscale playgroup of Gwyneth Paltrow’s website Goop, which recommends $700 Ouef cribs, and the flash sale site Gilt Groupe, whose baby gear section offers $52 Bensimon Tennis Forres shoes. Even the devoutly middlebrow People magazine has a celebrity baby website that links to $200 Stella McCartney bomber jackets for toddlers.
The luxury baby market didn’t really exist before the 1990s, says Alan Fields, the co-author of Baby Bargains, a consumer handbook for baby products. Baby-only megastores such as Buybuy Baby and Babies “R” Us (both founded in 1996) included products at all price points and helped to stoke demand for $500 cribs and $200 baby monitors. So did the introduction of online commerce in the early aughts, which allowed pricier European companies such as the Italian brand Peg Perego to pick up market share with its $800 strollers. And when the Bugaboo Frogs stroller was featured onSex and the City in August 2002, it pushed the entire stroller market up, says personal finance expert Helaine Olen. “Suddenly, a $700 UppaBaby stroller looked reasonable.”
The luxury baby market declined precipitously in 2008. IBISWorld senior retail analyst Nikoleta Panteva says sales of baby and kids clothing dipped 9.2 percent during the recession, and revenue fell from $10.3 billion in 2007 to $9.4 billion a year later. But the category has rebounded; by 2014 it’s projected to grow 4.3 percent to $10.6 billion.
This return in part reflects the improvement of the economy but also a growing number of older parents who have more disposable income. Since 1990 the number of first babies born to women older than 40 has tripled. Our parenting-obsessed culture is sold on the idea of buying the “right” products for our children, says Olen. “A lot of cribmakers are having their cribs Greenguard certified,” author Fields says. The process, allowing companies to guarantee their furniture doesn’t contain dangerous chemicals, raises the price of a crib from about $200 to at least $600. Fields estimates that organic crib bedding is 15 percent to 20 percent more costly than its nonorganic counterpart.
Fields and Olen also point to the tabloids. Both Us Weeklyand People have weekly sections devoted to celebrities and their offspring, featuring shots of stars such as Hillary Duff shopping at Splendid with her baby son. IBISWorld’s Panteva adds that Gen Y moms and dads, born between about 1970 and 1990, are particularly brand aware. Sites such as Romy & the Bunnies may have a sort of Bugaboo effect, pushing the rest of the market up. Unless you’re well-off, you probably won’t shell out $70 for a onesie. But that $35 organic-cotton baby dress that Gisele Bündchen’s daughter was photographed in starts to seem completely affordable. Spit-up not included.

There’s a Legendary version of Skyrim coming to PC and consoles

At the beginning of this week Bethesda announced that they were done with Skyrim. The development team is leaving the game behind and moving on to their “biggest and best work yet.” In other words, the original game and three major DLC packs are all we are going to see from this Bethesda title.
That may come as a disappointment for some Skyrim fans, but for anyone who hasn’t picked up the game yet, or lost/traded their copy long ago, it provides an opportunity for Bethesda.
Polish gaming website Ultima has started listing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. It seems Bethesda wants to squeeze a bit more profit out of the game by re-releasing all the content in a single package.
This Legendary Edition isn’t official yet, but it would be silly forBethesda not to do this as the collection is bound to be very good value for gamers choosing to pick it up while pushing sales up even further than the millions (10 million+) already sold. It’s also good news for anyone on a skinny Internet connection as the three DLC packs alone (DragonbornDawnguard, and Hearthfire) add up to almost 1.5GB of data.
No release date is listed for the Legendary Edition yet, but I doubt it can be that far off considering all Bethesda needs to do is get the discs printed for each platform.

Metro: Last Light requires a GeForce GTX Titan to run optimally

Games consoles have dominated the games market for several years now, with the side effect being the PC usually just gets a console port. And with the Xbox 360 and PS3 now several years old, their games don’t exactly stress the hardware inside a modern PC.
With the Xbox 720 and PS4 both shifting to an x86 architecture, that’s sure to change in the next couple of years. But before then we have a game being released that will truly push the limits of your PC if you have the hardware to run it optimally.
Metro: Last Light is a first-person shooter that has been developed by 4A Games and is being published by Deep Silver. It’s set for release on May 14 and is the sequel to Metro 2033. With the release date so close, Deep Silver has released details of what kind of PC hardware you’ll need to run it, specifying minimum, recommended, and optimum specs.
To play the game you only need a 2.2GHz dual core processor, 2GB RAM, Windows XP, and either a GeForce GTS 250 or Radeon 4000 DirectX 9 card. That’s a minimum though, and Deep Silver suggest you have at least Windows Vista, a 2.6GHz quad core chip, 4GB RAM, and a DirectX 11 graphics card like the GeForce GTX 580/660 Ti or Radeon HD 7870.
It’s the optimum settings that really caught my attention, though. Anyone who has played Metro 2033 knows how gorgeous it can look with a decent rig. I expect that to be the same case with Last Light, and 4A Games will have attempted to use every ounce of performance you can add to a system. That means, if you have one of those $1,000 GeForce GTX Titan graphics, Metro: Last Light will take full advantage of it, as the gameplay trailer below should hint at.
In fact, the optimum settings for the game actually read like the ultimate gaming rig at the moment. You’ll need a 3.4GHz Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, Windows 7 or 8, and a 6GB GeForce GTX Titan. That’s not a cheap system to build, but will future-proof your gaming for 2 or 3 years at least.

Ship just got real in Leviathan: Warships trailer

Leviathan Warships
Most video game trailers attempt to show off the game’s most exciting and interesting elements. Adventure games show off exploration and platforming, MMOs show large groups of players attempting to take down a mob at once, and first-person shooters tend to bandy explosions about. Strategy games, on the other hand, don’t exactly have the most exciting in-game scenes, and can’t quite show off a deep, complex system in a short trailer. The developers behind Leviathan: Warships, a boat-based strategy game, realized this and produced an appropriate trailer if we ever saw one.
Not only does the narrator’s dulcet tones and smooth jive make us want to put on a smoking jacket, swirl some brandy, and suss out the best strategy for blowing up enemy warships, but the self-awareness of the pitch is downright refreshing.
If you have been paying attention, after the Humble Indie Bundlehelped the indie market explode, the term “indie game” began describing a genre of gameplay and aesthetics as much as it described the method of funding put into the game. At some point, if you’ve seen enough indie game trailers, you might start to sour on how each game acts completely unaware that it’s just another physics-based puzzle platformer with a “retro” aesthetic. The developers behind Leviathan: Warships seem to be fully aware that strategy games are slow and difficult to convey as exciting in a short trailer. So, they thankfully played to that, and gave the world one of the best video game trailers we’ve seen in recent memory.
Paradox Interactive’s totally chill turn-based naval strategy game will release on April 30, for Windows and OS X, as well as for iOS and Android tablets. If you’re into strategy games, Leviathan: Warships actually looks pretty good. However, we’d be happy if the team that made the above trailer took a break from game development and became video game trailer consultants.

Activision releases 24 Black Ops II: Uprising screenshots to celebrate launch

Vertigo - Final Boarding Call
Activision has stated that Call of Duty: Black Ops II saw the largest day-one shipments in its and the game industry’s history (even though a pirate copy appeared a week before the launch). So DLC for the millions of gamers who picked up the game was a given. Yesterday, Xbox 360 owners gained access to the second DLC pack, called Uprising, first, and Activision/Treyarch have released 24 screenshots in a bid to entice a purchase.
Uprising can be broken down into a collection of 4 new multiplayer maps and a new Zombies experience called Mob of the Dead, all of which is explained in the video below:
Uprising is available exclusively on the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live for the moment. Both PC and PS3 owners don’t yet have a confirmed release date, and that’s probably part of the exclusivity deal Activision signed with Microsoft. Microsoft doesn’t want you thinking about playing this on another platform if it can help it. However, I doubt PC/PS3 owners will be waiting more than a handful of weeks for the DLC to become available.

Former Sega employee reveals Sega Pluto prototype console

Sega Pluto front view
Sega has been out of the home console market for over a decade, with the last Dreamcast rolling off the production lines in early 2001. But a new console was revealed yesterday, albeit it an old one that never made it past the prototype stage.
The console is called the Sega Pluto, and apparently only two prototype units were ever made. The one you see in the gallery above is owned by a former Sega of America employee who somehow ended up with it on his desk at Sega. When he got laid off the Pluto was placed in a box and taken home.
Since then, the owner, known by the name Super Magnetic on theASSEMbler forums, moved to Japan and left his Pluto in the US. But some 14 years after acquiring it he now has it in Japan, sourced a power cable for it, and decided to share some pictures. Unfortunately it’s a region locked NTSC unit and he doesn’t have any US games to play, but it does boot.
As for what’s inside the Sega Pluto, it looks to be a modified Saturn that includes the NetLink 28.8kbit/s modem as standard. It allowed Saturn consoles to be linked up using a dial-up connection for multiplayer gaming, with support built into games including Daytona (NetLink Edition)Duke Nukem 3DSaturn BombermanSega Rally, and Virtual On.
The Sega Pluto never made it past the prototype stage, but the casing carries the Saturn logo suggesting Sega intended to market it under that name. You can also see it is a very different design to the standard Saturn. Most notable is the flip-top optical drive.
According to the discussion on ASSEMbler, the Pluto was nowhere near seeing a release. The casing is CNC machined and the black painted on, showing how early this unit is. Super Magnetic is considering opening the Pluto up for further shots, but is also considering selling it due to the predicted high value of the unit. A disc has also been found by another user that is an internal Sega Saturn CD-R that holds a terminal specifically for Pluto.
I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard of the Sega Pluto. Regardless of whether it gets sold or not, we’re sure to see videos of it running games before too long, and hopefully images of its internals, too.

Gran Turismo 6 listing for PS3 appears on Newegg

The Gran Turismo series is a system seller for Sony. Whenever a new game carrying that name gets released it sells millions of copies and console sales spike. So with the launch of the PlayStation 4 later this year we were a bit surprised to discover in February that Gran Turismo 6 will remain a PS3 title.
More evidence that GT6 continues to be a PS3 title has appeared this week in the form of a listing for the game on Newegg. No price, release date, or details about the game are included in the listing, but it’s clearly marked as a PS3 game. And according to CVG, Sony will officially announce the game in the next few weeks.
Polyphony Digital are well known for their very slow pace of development, so asking them to switch Gran Turismo 6 over to the very different PS4 architecture would likely come with years of delay. I’d be very surprised if there isn’t a plan in place to update the game (quickly) for a PS4 re-release though.
For PS3 owners, GT6 could form the last AAA title for Sony’s current gen console. That game, along with The Last of Us, would form a nice end to this generation of PlayStation and give Sony some extra revenue to spend on the PS4 marketing campaign. However, there must also be a concern such games will eat into potential PS4 sales at launch. A PS3 and two games is going to cost less than the price of a PS4 after all.

Ouya only places 73rd in 3DMark Ice Storm mobile benchmark

Ouya developer kits started shipping out in December and everything looks on track for the retail launch later this year. But having hardware available to play with means we are starting to see exactly what the tiny games console is actually capable of in terms of performance, and it’s not great news depending on your viewpoint.
James Coote of games studio Crystalline Green was one of the developers who got an Ouya dev kit. He and his team are developing the game Executive Star for the Ouya, but wanted to see what kind of performance the hardware could achieve using one of the most well known benchmarking suites: 3DMark.
So, Coote got in touch with Futuremark, who obliged by providing him with a copy of 3DMark Ice Storm, which has been created specifically to test mobile device performance. You can see the video of 3DMark Ice Storm running on Coote’s Ouya below:
Just watching it as a demo video it looks pretty impressive, but the end result and overall score isn’t great. Ouya scores 4084 and comes in 73rdin the 3DMark rankings. That puts it well behind a Galaxy S3, the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, but well ahead of the Nexus 7.
On the face of it that doesn’t seem to bode too well for the console, but I’d argue it probably doesn’t matter all that much at the moment. Remember, this is a $99 games console, and one that will havehundreds of games available at launch many of which already look and run great on much lower spec Android phones and tablets. Ouya really isn’t about performance and shouldn’t be judged as such like the $500+ consoles always are when they launch.
The Ouya performance is middling at best, but at $99 it’s good enough and lets not forget we are expecting yearly hardware refreshes that should cost less than the $99 you paid to get the original while bringing large gains in performance.

Court triples EA’s NFL lawsuit payout, gamers to get up to $20.37 per game

Publishers have been scrambling to add no class action lawsuit clauses to their terms and conditions of late due to the damage they can do to a bank balance. EA is suffering just such a lawsuit at the moment, and the settlement payout the company agreed to has just tripled.
The class action lawsuit dates back to 2008 when two gamers filed against EA over the 5 year exclusive agreement the publisher had with the National Football League. The agreement saw EA become the only company allowed to publish NFL games for five years. The gamers argued the deal created a monopoly and therefore inflated prices for the games.
Years of litigation followed with EA eventually agreeing last year to pay gamers $6.79 per last gen (PS2, GameCube, Xbox, PC) title purchased carrying an Arena FootballMadden NFL, or NCAA Football title. Gamers who bought similar current gen console titles (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) were due $1.95 per game. The settlement covered all games released between January 1, 2005 and June 21, 2012, and EA put aside $27 million to cover the claims.
Now those compensation amounts have been tripled after a modification to the settlement due to there being fewer claimants than expected. So if you are part of the class action lawsuit (Pecover v. Electronic Arts), you will now receive $20.37 per qualifying last gen game and $5.85 per qualifying current gen game. So if you loved your NFL sports games, this could end up being quite a big payout.

Bethesda officially done with Skyrim, moving on to bigger and better things

After the game’s release back in November of 2011, Bethesda released three major DLC additions to SkyrimDawnguard,Hearthfire, and Dragonborn. If you were too engrossed in the snowy, bleak land of Skyrim before those major releases, Bethesda also released a high resolution texture pack, as well as added Portal 2′s lovable Space Core to the game. Now, after those five additions, Bethesda is calling it quits on Skyrim, and moving on to what the team is calling its “biggest and best work yet.”
No, they didn’t announce anything regarding what it might be. However, in a post on the company’s blog, Bethesda stated that the aforementioned biggest and best work yet is now at a point where it requires the studio’s full attention,  so everyone will be pulled off Skyrim and focusing on whatever the next title is. Bethesda did note, though, that Skyrim will still receive minor updates when necessary, which most likely refers to bug fixes.
The game developer kindly thanked everyone for playing Skyrim, and making it as big of a deal as it ended up being.
As for what the next project might be, it most likely won’t be the next Elder Scrolls, as Bethesda holds the fate of another popular franchise in its hands that could use a fair revisit, Fallout. It also published last year’s assassinate-em-up Dishonored, and is onboard to publish Doom 4. Bethesda is not working on The Elder Scrolls Online, as its parent company, ZeniMax Online Studios is in charge of that.
By comparison, Elder Scrolls IVOblivion, did seem to get the royal DLC treatment. From silly armor for your horse, to a massive alien-like continent in the excellent Shivering Isles expansion, Oblivion seemed to enjoy a more frequent stream of content, but hey, Skyrim got magical screaming powers. Whatever Bethesda churns out next is sure to be worth shifting its focus away from Skyrim. This blogger hopes it’s a sci-fi game with an explorable Elder Scrolls-style world.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why we need Windows 8


You’ll read lots of reviews out there describing Windows 8 as a schizophrenic operating system.
All those reviews are true. No need to repeat them here.
The separation between Windows 7 functionality and Metro style applications and interface is like night and day without the transitions of dusk and dawn.
Windows 8 has to exist, and the way it exists today is the only way it can exist. The only way the Windows 8 interface really makes sense is with a touch screen. If you’re lucky enough to have one then the interface is quite nice and makes competitors like Android and iOS feel old and clunky.
Of course, even with a touch screen, most of your existing applications won’t be optimized for touch and you’ll spend most of your time on a Windows 7 style desktop with your same old Windows 7 applications using your mouse for control.
Clearly, this has to exist. We need a bridge to get from all non-touch devices, to all touch. The fact it looks the same as my xbox and phone and technologies like Skydrive make everything I do accessible across all my devices is just bonus.
A similar example was Windows Vista. Vista made massive security improvements in both architecture and application behaviors. Sadly, we all suffered through those annoying UAC prompts. But honestly, it’s not that Windows 7 implemented big changes to UAC. It’s simply that enough time had passed that most applications had cleaned up their behavior and no longer required administrator level access to perform basic tasks.
Sometimes, Microsoft just has to take one in the chops to drag the industry forward. That summarizes Windows 8. Without it, touch enabled laptops and desktops will never happen. That’s clearly the future, but we need the bridge to get there – thank you Windows 8.

Top 7 ways to secure your Web site

Pleasing customers is a top priority for business owners, and building trust is a large part of that.
When an e-commerce Web site gets hacked or compromised, customers are at risk of identity theft — not great for repeat business.
Here are seven tips that help secure your Web site and keep your customers coming back:
Up-to-date SSL certificates. SSL certificates show visitors and customers that a site is secure by displaying ‘https’ in their address bar. Expired certificates trigger credibility-damaging certificate warnings in Web browsers.
Regular Web site malware scanning The best SSL certificates come with Web site Malware Scanning that checks the site daily and warns of possible infections, which if undetected can lead to search engine warnings, black listing and damage to customers’ computers. It’s also a good idea to monitor for vulnerabilities that cybercriminals could use as an unlocked back door to your site.
Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates Extended Validation SSL shows up differently in the new generation of browsers and has been designed to make it easy for people to definitively know who they are doing business with. And so your customers can know that you are you and not somebody pretending to be you in order to steal their credit card details or personal information. It proves the Certificate Authority you purchased your SSL certificates from has been independently verified, and that your company has been through a rigorous vetting process.
Always-on SSL Always-on SSL is a security measure that provides login-to-logout protection for website visitors. It doesn’t replace your existing SSL certificates, but instead extends protection over a user’s entire session on a Web site. Some of the world’s largest and most trusted Web sites have embraced Always-on SSL to provide persistent protection and a secure experience for their online users.
Security explanation page By talking about security you let your customers know that you take it seriously. Answer the questions of the safety conscious before they ask and educate those who are less well informed about what the security signs on your site mean for them.
Up-to-date server softwar If your server software is outdated then it’s not secure and neither is your Web site. Be sure to install all patches and upgrades for your server software, including content management software and database, as soon as they become available, just as you would on your own PC.
Trust marks Trust marks displayed in search results can increase traffic to your site by inspiring confidence in its security. In addition, trust marks on your Web site encourage visitors to become customers. For example, 94 per cent of respondents* to an online study said they are more likely to continue an online purchase when they see The Norton™ Secured Seal. (Symantec Online Consumer Study, February 2011).
There is no good excuse when a customer has their identity stolen and it can result in a financial loss and damage to your reputation. Follow these best practices to prevent fraud and keep your customers happy!

Who gives a hoot about paying interns?

There is a great deal of commentary regarding HootSuite, a Vancouver social media company, and its practice to offer unpaid 40 hour per week internships in exchange for work experience. Apparently, the internships are not linked to the fulfillment of any academic program requirements, but are intended to provide opportunity for interns to gain work experience that will make them more employable and able to secure paid work.
HootSuite is not unique. I know a student who worked part-time for free as a summer social media intern to gain relevant experience in hopes that it would enable her to get a paying job. Living at home, this intern’s main expenses were her transit costs; however, not everyone may be as fortunate to have parents helping to “pay the rent” so to speak.
Should the practice of free internships be stopped or regulated? One may argue that those who are not part of an academic program may lack skills, and are actually “repaying the employer” in exchange for the training that is provided.  Unless the intern has some related or relevant skill base that they bring to the internship, the employer is “paying” for the loss of productivity, and training resource time to ensure that the intern develops a level of skill and knowledge to be able to contribute to the workplace. In other words, although the company is not paying the intern, there is a cost to the company in hosting the intern.
However, let’s consider this more closely.  I would suggest that a company would not put an untrained, unpaid intern into a role where there is a great deal of risk associated with error. I would also suggest that the learning time required to handle the intern opportunity in this instance is likely not protracted. In other words, one could conjecture that within a few short weeks (or even days!) the intern is “qualified” and “productive” and able to contribute on the job.
Therefore there is a strong basis to argue that there should be no unpaid internships as the interns do provide value to the company. In other words, lets not continue with this practice that is like having a version of “sweatshops.”
As an offset to the unpaid internships, many companies offer stipends. The student who I mentioned earlier in this post progressed to a paid internship the following summer. She received $500 per month and got excellent experience. But given her knowledge from her Post Graduate Certificate in Corporate Communications, and the expertise from her unpaid internship of the prior summer, she did feel somewhat undervalued and underpaid.
What she received was far less than any minimum wage payment. Unlike some “paid” internships, she got her stipend monthly versus some internships that only provide a stipend if you fulfill a minimum service requirement which is generally an entire summer.
Regardless of the amount of the stipend, this student’s parents, however, were thankful that she was experiencing “positive cash flow” – anything is better than “no flow.” Well done, daughter of mine! This did lead, post-internship, to a more significant and better paying job.
So, the progression here was clear, straight and sound. The unpaid intern role served as experience that she presented when seeking the paid intern role as part of her academic program; and the stipend paid intern role resulted in her getting an actual salary! So, like it or not, the unpaid internships can serve a purpose and provide that important introduction to the workplace.
It would be wonderful and fair, however, if companies did acknowledge the contributions of their interns with a financial reward. The offset for the contributions made by the intern would more than pay for any stipend they receive. Also, lets look at this way; think of how that remuneration would help the intern to contribute to the economy via discretionary spending? “A Tim’s double-double, anyone?”
What do you think? Should companies be required to pay for interns? Is a monthly stipend enough or should a minimum wage be mandated in all instances?  Do you think companies will stop having interns if they are required to pay?

iPhone 5S to feature ‘touch-on’ display New screen tech being evaluated for trial.

iPhone 5S render
Apple’s next iPhone may be equipped with better, more responsive touchscreen technology, sources familiar with developments have claimed.
According to supply chain gossip in Taiwan, the iGiant is reportedly in talks with Chimei Innolux, the country’s biggest LCD manufacturer, to produce a so-called ‘touch-on’ display for the handset we’re unofficially dubbing the iPhone 5S, even though it has only just introduced a thinner, lighter ‘in-cell’ panel with the iPhone 5.
This is amid reports that the in-cell screen on board the current-gen iKit often fails to register fast scrolling inputs - particularly on a diagonal angle - a problem that is not exhibited by the on-cell displays used on older iPhones.
By contrast, touch-on technology is said to boast a higher sensitivity, while still being thin and light, meaning it should not compromise the handset’s slim form factor.
Rumours suggest that Apple has already ordered a trial production of its seventh-generation iPhone in a relatively low volume of around 100k units, in preparation of an alleged launch in summer
Aside from a more reactive display, the iPhone 5S is also expected to sport a material that is more resistant to scratches and scuffmarks, which have been a huge source of frustration for owners of the iPhone 5, which uses an anodised aluminium chassis.

Frankenstein console mod accepts 18 different types of game cartridges

Project Unity
If you’re a collector and have a plethora of gaming consoles sitting up in your attic or hiding away in your basement beneath mounds of the very cartridges they play, it’s most likely a huge bother for you to play your games. You probably don’t have enough inputs, televisions, or even physical space to set everything up. That’s where Project Unity comes in. Rather than just a decently powered computer loaded up with every ROM imaginable, this console mod includes the original boards of 15 different game consoles, but is all controlled through one controller, outputs through one SCART, and is powered by one supply. Best of all, it accepts both original cartridges and ROMs from 18 older gaming consoles, making it so you can both collect physical copies of prized cartridges, but easily play them out of a single box.
A modder that goes by Bacteria created this Frankenstein console, and it took him around 3,500 hours of labor and a little over $1,000 to build. The console contains boards for the Atari 7800, Colecovision, Intellivision, Amstrad GX1000, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, TurboGrafx X, NeoGeo MVS, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, GameCube, and PlayStation 2. Furthermore, the PS2 can play PS1 games, the Atari 7800 can play Atari 2600 games, and the GameCube can play Game Boy Advance games.
Since Bacteria designed Project Unity to be hardware-based, the unit weighs around 44 pounds, and the inside of the console has over 100 feet of cables, which looks like this:
The modding doesn’t stop there, though. He had to create various interfaces in order for the single controller to work across 18 different consoles. Each interface is a modded NES cartridge (keeping with the theme of being buried under a mountain of cartridges) into which the controller plugs, and translates the player input to the appropriate console. The controller has a bit of a Jaguar look, which is unfortunate, but it gets the job done.
Project Unity controller
So, while the overall rig might’ve cost upwards of a grand, and is a pain to lug around, Bacteria has certainly solved the problem of being able to collect your games and play them too. If you aren’t into storing a bunch of cartridges in an attic somewhere and having to replace cartridge batteries every now and then, you could always just stick to ROMs or digital storefronts. You wouldn’t have a monstrous console sitting in your living room, though.

25 Tips for ACCA Exam Success

Here are 25 Tips to help you Pass your ACCA Exams. Much success in ACCA examinations can be achieved by following these simple guidelines which are relevant to all ACCA Examinations. I will be covering paper specific advice in another article.
The suggestions have been grouped into five learning phases:
  1. Planning Phase
  2. Studying Phase
  3. Practicing Phase
  4. Preparation Phase
  5. Performance Phase

Planning Phase

1. Planning: Before you start to prepare for your next ACCA exams, take some time out to decide how you plan to prepare yourself for the examinations. Do not wait until the results of your previous examinations have arrived since by then you would have already wasted two precious months of the exam session.
When planning, consider for example the exams that you intend to undertake, the amount of time you have to prepare for the exams, your expected work routine, family commitments and so on. Try to draft a timetable based on the number of expected days you have for each paper you intend to appear in the ACCA examination.
When forming your own timetable try to be flexible and realistic. The most important thing however is to actually draft one since a written plan is more likely to secure your commitment and motivation early in the exam session than one that only exists in you mind.
2. Familiarity with Syllabus and Structure: Studying the syllabus of ACCA exams would help you to focus on just the examinable topics. Syllabus guide also details the depth at which a certain topic is examinable by referring to the 'intellectual level' of a particular topic. Guidance about intellectual levels referred to in the syllabus and how to use them can be found in the following article from Student Accountant:

It is essential that you cover the entire range of topics given in the syllabus. You should also try to familiarize yourself with the exam structure early in the preparation.
3.Examiner's Approach Interview: Examiner's Approach Interviews available at ACCA Website give you first-hand insight into what examiners are looking for in answers provided by a student, which syllabus areas they consider to be most important and how they intend to approach the examinations in the future. They are therefore a must read for anyone intending to perform well in the ACCA exams.

4. ACCA Approved Study Texts: You may wish to consult notes provided by your tuition providers or friends but you must always study at least one of ACCA's approved study texts (latest versions) to be on the safe side. The approved study texts are thoroughly reviewed by ACCA for coverage of the entire syllabus and also for any revision incorporated after changes in the syllabus. Therefore, you will be taking a huge risk by relying solely on exam notes which may not be as comprehensive or up to date as the text books.

Studying Phase

5. Objective Oriented Approach: Try to set achievable targets for each day. The targets you set should be focused on factors that will actually help you to succeed in ACCA exams (e.g. to cover a chapter or syllabus area in one day, to attempt a past paper, etc). Setting targets based on for example number of hours may not be as effective.
6. Concepts: Always try to understand the underlying concepts behind a given topic. While you may be able to earn some marks for pure knowledge (particularly in the Knowledge Module), most number of marks in ACCA exams are for application of your concepts in a given scenario. Building your concepts right from the beginning in your ACCA studies will help you further down the road as you build upon those foundations in the more advanced papers.
7. Seek Help: If you are struggling with a particular topic, do not be embarrassed in asking your teacher or a friend to help you. Get help immediately and avoid letting things to pile up until it is too late.

Practicing Phase

8. Past Papers Practice: Extensive past paper practice under exam conditions is essential to improve time management, concept building and stress management during the exam. Nothing hurts your chances to pass more than unanswered questions because of lack of time. Always time your practice questions and although it might be very tempting, never peek at the answers before you have finished! Simulating exam conditions during past paper practice will not only help you in keeping track of time during the exam, it will also assist you in managing stress.
ACCA students are extremely lucky to have Model Answers to past paper questions from the examiners themselves. It is very helpful and vital resource for students as it provides them insight into how an answer may be ideally structured and drafted.
However, care must be taken when studying the suggested answers. Firstly, the answers may only reflect the syllabus, laws and standards in place at the time of the respective examination. Exam kits from ACCA approved publishers may be more appropriate for practice of subjects that are constantly evolving such as Financial Reporting and Taxation. Secondly, do not waste time memorizing chunks of the model answers since they have been provided for the purpose of guidance only. Examiner cannot possibly expect a student to produce an answer of such caliber and depth under exam conditions. However, you should try to learn the general content, logic, flow, style and structure of the model answers and try to reproduce those qualities in exam.
9. Examiner Reports: Examiner Reports are published on ACCA Global Website after every exam sitting highlighting the common mistakes and problem areas encountered by students. It is surprising how few students actually make use of this resource. A careful read of the examiner reports could assist you a lot in improving your exam technique especially in case you have been stuck with a paper for quite some time now and have not been able to figure out the cause of failure yet (or have been attributing it to bad luck!).
10. Marking Schemes: Marking schemes can help you in judging the number of distinct points that you need to mention in respect of a given question and the depth of your answer. Studying marking scheme when practicing past paper questions can assist you in understanding the relative marking for different types of question requirements. A typical marking scheme for example would allocate one mark per point for a basic question requirement such as 'list', 'identify' or 'define'. More than one mark per point is usually reserved for question requirements that require students to demonstrate a higher capability such as 'explain', 'compare', 'distinguish', 'analyze' and so on. An awareness of the likely basis of how your answer will be marked by the examiner can guide you in writing the right number of points in your answers and in appropriate detail instead of focusing on just one or two main points. So for example, if a 10 mark question asks you to 'list' certain factors, it would be safe to assume that a brief list of ten, short and punchy, points can secure most marks on offer. If however a question requires you to 'explain', it would be better to provide five points with a bit more detail.
11. Exam Paper Analysis: It may be useful to look at the trend in past examinations. For example, what type of questions are most frequently asked? Which topics are tested most? Has an important syllabus area not been tested in last several attempts? You could use this information to prioritize certain key topics that you would like to focus more on. However, do not rely on pure guesswork. Trying to extrapolate the trend into your next exam sitting may leave you with a few surprises. Just use your analysis as a tool to highlight important areas rather than to eliminate syllabus areas that you feel will not be tested again from your study plan.
12. Examiner Analysis Interview: ACCA publishes Examiner Analysis Interviews for each exam paper on its website detailing the examiners' view of the performance of the students in previous examination sessions highlighting the prevailing weaknesses among students and the future focus of examinations. Analysis interviews are very helpful in guiding students on how to improve their performance in exams.
Examiner Analysis Interviews can be accessed through the following link:

13. Technical Articles: Student Accountant magazine offers several exam relevant technical articles geared towards topics in which students have often underperform. Pay special attention to technical articles released just before the month of the exam since they might hint at topics that could potentially be tested in the upcoming examination. Examiners also discuss in these articles the impact on ACCA examinations of the changes in syllabus, examination structure, standards and legislature and should therefore not be ignored by students.
Student Accountant magazine can be accessed through the following link:

Preparation Phase

14. Revision: Allocate sufficient time in your study plan for revision towards the end of the exam preparation. Going through the whole study text when only two or three days remain in the exams is not recommended. You would probably feel overly exhausted and stressed from trying to retain the information contained in the study texts in such a short span of time. A better approach would be to draft your own study notes through out the exam session which you could then use for revision purposes right before the examinations. Exam Pass Cards from one of the approved publishers could prove handy in case you are not in the habit of making your own notes.
15. Visit the Exam Centre: I personally know a friend of mine who could not make it to the exam centre in time because of a traffic jam. He could have avoided this delay (like most others managed to do so) by knowing alternative routes to the exam centre. It is therefore important for you to know not only the precise location of the exam centre but also alternative routes to get there. If unsure, plan a visit to the exam centre before the exam date. This may also help you in estimating the amount of time required to get there.
16. Sleep well before the exam: Ever got the feeling that you are suddenly forgetting everything you have learned right before the exam? It was probably because you stayed up too late the night before the examination. A good rest before the exam is essential in order to remain alert and focused during the exam. While it may be very tempting at 3 am in the night before the exam to study 'one final chapter', fact is you would probably be doing yourself more harm than good. Sleep early and rise fresh on the exam day.
17. Panic Control: ACCA exams require you to apply your knowledge in a given context. This requires you to be able to think logically. Last thing you want happening to yourself is to get panicked before the exam. This can leave you confused during the whole exam and force you into making errors that could be easily avoided. The trick is to just think positive before the exam starts. You may try to recall your achievements and accomplishments, the effort you have (hopefully) put in and the prayers of your loved ones. Stay away from students who are trying to memorize a 500 page text book 15 minutes before the exam. They will only make you more nervous. Just relax and hold your nerve!

Performance Phase

18. Reading Time: Effective use of the 15 minute planning and reading time could help you to produce more relevant, well planned and structured answers in the exam. Reading time is ideal for highlighting and understanding the key requirements of all questions. Remaining time could be used to draft brief answer plans and in case of Professional Stage examinations, you may use this time to select the most appropriate optional questions you wish to answer.
19. Question Requirements: Close attention should be given to the precise requirement of each question. If it appears to you that two parts of a question are asking the same thing, don't congratulate yourself but rather read the question carefully again. It is important to have understanding of what the examiner is demanding before you proceed to answer the question. It would be a waste of time if you realized half way through the answer that you have misinterpreted the requirement of the question.
20. Answer to the Point: ACCA marking scheme is very specific in rewarding marks. If a seven-line introduction to an answer does not relate to the question requirement in any way, it will not attract any mark. It is therefore more worthwhile to go straight towards answering the question requirement rather than wasting time in lengthy introductions. A valid exception to the above would be instances where you have been specifically asked to draft answer in a form of a report or a memo. In such cases, try to keep the into as brief as possible.
Examiners also encourage students to include several different points in their answers rather than explaining few points in too much detail. Studying marking schemes and examiner reports could help you understand these aspects of exam technique.
21. Plan you Answers: Examiners always appreciate well-structured answers. A little planning at the start could help you give the necessary structure and coherence to your answers. Try to insert short answer plans before the answers which should be crossed afterwards to avoid confusing the examiner. This gives examiner the impression that you have tried to organize your answers and also, in case time runs out, an answer plan mentioning the key points could be rewarded few marks even if the answer was left incomplete.
22. Facilitate the Examiner: Examiners have a tough time checking loads of answer sheets from hundreds of exam centers worldwide. Make every effort to ensure their time is not wasted unnecessarily while checking your answer sheet. Mark the question numbers clearly and try to follow the sequence of sub-parts to avoid confusion. Writing is perhaps not something that could be changed over a short notice. However, if people in the past have found your writing hard to read, try to improve it over the course of time. Make sure you leave ample space in the answer booklet for any unanswered question that you may wish to return to later in the exam in order to avoid having to squeeze your answer in a little space or asking examiner to find the remaining portion of the answer elsewhere in the answer book. Cross out any rough workings clearly to avoid any confusion.
In short, make life easy for the examiner and at least you will avoid any repercussions for not doing so.
23. Do not leave any question Unanswered: If you fear you will not be able to complete the answer to a question in time, simply jot down a list of main points before proceeding to answer in detail. In case you were unable to complete the answer, examiner would know that you aware of the main points and reward you accordingly. If you do not know the right answer to a question, guessing would not hurt specially in the objective type questions in the knowledge module. However, always answer questions that you know first and leave the guesswork towards the end of the exam.
24. Review: As you advance in ACCA examinations, it becomes increasingly hard to complete the exam in the allotted time. If luckily you have some time remaining towards the end of the exam, review the entire question sheet first to make sure you have missed any question part. You may then quickly review your answer booklet for any obvious errors. If you still have time left, try to improve answers that you feel you can most easily do in the remaining time.
25. After the Exam: If you have another exam scheduled soon, try not to waste too much time discussing the exam you have already given with your friends (especially if it did not go too well!). Go home, get a good rest and come fresh and well prepared for the next exam.
I hope you have found these tips helpful. Please share this article with your friends if you found it useful! I will be posting some exam specific advice for ACCA students soon. Best of luck with your Exams!
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