Canada judges can require Google to pull results globally, supreme court rules

Canadian courts can force Google to remove results worldwide, the country’s top court has ruled, in decision criticised by civil liberties groups that argue such a move sets a precedent for censorship on the internet. In its 7-2 decision, Canada’s supreme court found that a court in the country can grant an injunction preventing conduct anywhere in the world when it is necessary to ensure the injunction’s effectiveness. “The internet has no borders – its natural habitat is global,” the supreme court wrote in its judgment. “The only way to ensure that the interlocutory injunction attained its objective was to have it apply where Google operates – globally.“ Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.The case stems from claims by Equustek Solutions Inc, a small technology company in British Columbia that manufactures network devices, that a distributor, Datalink Technologies Gateways, relabeled one of its products and sold it as its own online and acquired trade secrets to design and manufacture a competing product. In 2012, Equustek asked Google to remove Datalink search results until the case against the company was resolved. While Google removed over 300 specific web pages associated with Datalink, it did so only on the Canadian version of its search engine.

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The supreme court of British Columbia subsequently ordered Google to stop displaying search results in any country for any part of Datalink’s websites. In its appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada, Google had argued that the global reach of the order was unnecessary and that it raised concerns over freedom of expression.The supreme court rejected Google’s argument that the right to freedom of expression should have prevented the order from being issued. “This is not an order to remove speech that, on its face, engages freedom of expression values,” the court wrote in its ruling. “We have not, to date, accepted that freedom of expression requires the facilitation of the unlawful sale of goods.“

The global reach was necessary, according to the court, because if the removed search results were restricted to Canada alone, purchasers both in and out of Canada could easily continue to find and buy from Datalink. OpenMedia, a Canadian group campaigning for open communications, opposed the ruling. “There is great risk that governments and commercial entities will see this ruling as justifying censorship requests that could result in perfectly legal and legitimate content disappearing off the web because of a court order in the opposite corner of the globe,” said an OpenMedia spokesman, David Christopher. Google cannot appeal the supreme court ruling. If the company has evidence that complying with the order would force it to violate other countries’ laws, including interfering with freedom of expression, it can apply to the British Columbia court to alter the order, the supreme court said, noting Google had not made such an application. Asus Customer Service

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Building the intelligent business: the need to be digital at the core

A new breed of business is already out there. These organisations have embedded data and technology in everything they do and at every stage of the value chain. And they’re getting amazing results. Why? Because they’re constantly unlocking new information and intelligence that keeps them ahead of the game.Born-digital businesses like Netflix, Amazon, Google and Baidu have never had a digital strategy. Their strategy is digital. It’s a crucial distinction.These companies have completely internalised the power of data and technology. What does that give them? Two core strengths: they can meet – and predict – new liquid customer expectations in real time. And they consistently meet or exceed shareholder expectations for agility, efficiency and continuous reinvention.

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Intelligent business: the time is now

These are Intelligent Businesses. And they’re the model that all other organisations will follow. There are a number of powerful forces behind this imperative. The first is the breathtaking speed of technology change. This is powered simultaneously by enormous increases in processing power and rapidly declining technology costs.The compounded doubling effect of Moore’s Law has reached a point of inflection in recent years, which is giving rise to incredible annual advances in computing power. And that’s setting the stage for the Second Machine Age, one in which new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, virtual reality, augmented reality and hugely powerful analytics engines are not just feasible but increasingly ubiquitous.At the same time, ever-lower barriers to entry in all industries – thanks to advances like the cloud and rapidly declining technology costs – mean that new competition can come from anywhere at any time, forcing the pace of innovation. Asus Helpline Number

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Which Windows programs for more advanced users do you recommend?

There are a dozen programs that I install on every Windows PC. Currently, these include the Firefox web browser, Unchecky, Search Everything, Paint.net, PIXresizer, FreeFileSync, Personal Software Inspector (PSI) and the full K-Lite codec pack, which includes Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC). I mentioned all of those in my previous answer, along with some alternatives. The main aim is to avoid problems such as accidentally installing foistware when downloading programs (Unchecky), trying to find codecs when videos Asus Support Number won’t play (K-Lite), updating applications (PSI), and not backing up essential data (FreeFileSync). Paint.net is a replacement for Windows Paint, while MPC-HC replaces Windows Media Player. Search Everything – unlike Windows 10’s File Explorer – makes it easy to find files, and you can drag and drop files from the search results.PIXresizer provides a quick, efficient way to batch-resize a folder of photos before uploading them to Facebook. There’s no point in uploading 5MB image files. Reducing them to around 0.5MB (512K) makes it easier to upload them over dodgy hotel wifi.

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None of these programs is hard to use, and they are suitable for people who aren’t interested in what their computers are doing. We are interested in that, I think …

Advance to go

So how do programs for beginners differ from ones for more advanced users? First, they are usually designed so that their default settings do what most people want, most of the time. Second, they hide the complexity of what the PC is doing under the hood.You could see this as dumbing down. This process was already evident at the 2001 launch of Windows XP. It accelerated with the arrival of billions of smartphone and tablet users, and Windows 10 apps. By contrast, a lot of serious programs – Microsoft Office, most of Adobe Creative Suite, Dragon voice recognition software, AutoCAD, Mathematica etc – and utilities were written in a previous century.For some concrete examples, consider ripping CDs and converting videos to different formats (eg for a phone or tablet). Ordinary users are usually happy to rip CDs using Apple’s iTunes or Winamp or whatever. These programs try to automate the process. Advanced users will use Exact Audio Copy and tweak the settings to get the best possible results.If someone asked me for a video recoder, I’d recommend something like the free version of WonderFox’s HD Video Decoder Factory, which has a few big buttons and hides all the details under defaults. What I use myself is XMedia Recode. This has no big buttons, provides a zillion controls and, by the way, comes with no instructions.

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Samsung Pay rolls out to HSBC, first direct and M&S Bank customers

Samsung Pay finally started rolling out in the UK in May, more than two years since it was announced, and the service is now available for more customers.From today, people with HSBC, first direct and M&S Bank accounts in the UK can use the mobile payment platform to buy goods on the high street. These three banks join MasterCard, Visa, MBNA, Nationwide and Santander. More partners, including American Express, will be joining soon. “Since launching in the UK last month, Samsung Pay has provided our UK users with a simple and secure payment method that can be used almost anywhere they can use their contactless payment cards”, said Conor Pierce, vice president, IT and Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics Asus Support Number UK and Ireland. “We’re delighted to add HSBC to our line-up of supporting partners, helping more people to transform the way they pay for day-to-day items.”Samsung Pay initially launched in South Korea on August 20, 2015 and in the US a month later. It then rolled out to banks in Australia, Brazil, Spain and Singapore last year. From May 16 in the UK, the wireless payment system went live on Samsung phones and works in a similar way to its competitors’ contactless payment systems (namely Apple Pay and Android Pay) by storing card details on devices and using an NFC chip. The system also works on London’s contactless TfL system.

To mark the launch last month, Samsung Pay added a set of exclusive features for UK users.”Samsung has worked with TfL on exclusive functionality for Samsung Pay that allows users to set a payment card up as a ‘transport card’ to use on all TfL services and most National Rail services in London,” the company explained. The method works by “simply by tapping a phone against the card reader, eliminating the need to wake your phone or verify with a fingerprint or PIN”. The South Korean firm also says that, in the future, shops in the UK will let customers add loyalty cards to their devices. What sets Samsung Pay apart from other contactless services is that it will be universally accepted – even by vendors who don’t have a contactless payment terminal. Not only does Samsung Pay work using NFC, but the service also takes advantage of a technology called magnetic secure transmission (MST)

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How to change Windows 10 startup programs

Over time a Windows PC will build up quite a collection of applications that are automatically started when you first turn it on. While some of these are useful – cloud syncing services for example, which work best when you don’t have to remember to enable them – not everything is really necessary.Every little ‘helper’ program adds a bit more time between you pressing the power button and your computer being ready to use. Thankfully in Windows 10 it’s very easy to see what’s causing the delay, and quickly remove the culprits.You can remove Windows 10 startup programs using the Task Manager, which is accessed by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Viewing startup programs using Task Manager You can change startup programs in Task Manager. To launch it, simultaneously press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Or, right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of the desktop and choose Task Manager from the menu that appears. Another way in Windows 10 is to right-click the Start Menu icon and choose Task Manager.Now you’ll see a wealth of information displayed, including background processes and the resources that they are currently using. To find the startup items click on the tab along the top that is marked Startup.This displays a list of everything that can load when you turn on your machine.
It’s important to note the Status column, as not everything on the list is actually enabled. If an item it marked as Disabled then you can ignore it as it will not load in the startup sequence.  Asus Support Number

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McAfee antivirus program goes berserk, freezes computers

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Computers in companies, hospitals and schools around the world got stuck repeatedly rebooting themselves Wednesday after an antivirus program identified a normal Windows file as a virus.McAfee Inc. confirmed that a software update it posted at 9 a.m. Eastern time caused its antivirus program for corporate customers to misidentify a harmless file. It has posted a replacement update for download.McAfee could not say how many computers were affected, but judging by online postings, the number was at least in the thousands and possibly in the hundreds of thousands.McAfee said it did not appear that consumer versions of its software caused similar problems. It is investigating how the error happened “and will take measures” to prevent it from recurring, the company said in a statement.The computer problem forced about a third of the hospitals in Rhode Island to postpone elective surgeries and stop treating patients without traumas in emergency rooms, said Nancy Jean, a spokeswoman for the Lifespan system of hospitals. The system includes Rhode Island Hospital, the state’s largest, and Newport Hospital. Jean said patients who required treatment for gunshot wounds, car accidents, blunt trauma and other potentially fatal injuries were still being admitted to the emergency rooms.

In Kentucky, state police were told to shut down the computers in their patrol cars as technicians tried to fix the problem. The National Science Foundation headquarters in Arlington, Va., also lost computer access.Intel Corp. appeared to be among the victims, according to employee posts on Twitter. Intel did not immediately return calls for comment.Peter Juvinall, systems administrator at Illinois State University in Normal, said that when the first computer started rebooting it quickly became evident that it was a major problem, affecting dozens of computers at the College of Business alone.”I originally thought it was a virus,” he said. When the tech support people concluded McAfee’s update was to blame, they stopped further downloads of the faulty software update and started shuttling from computer to computer to get the machines working again.In many offices, personal attention to each PC from a technician appeared to be the only way to fix the problem because the computers weren’t receptive to remote software updates when stuck in the reboot cycle. That slowed the recovery.It’s not uncommon for antivirus programs to misidentify legitimate files as viruses. Last month, antivirus software from Bitdefender locked up PCs running several different versions of Windows.However, the scale of this outage was unusual, said Mike Rothman, president of computer security firm Securosis.

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Facebook teaches bots how to negotiate. They learn to lie instead

Facebook’s 100,000-strong bot empire is booming – but it has a problem. Each bot is designed to offer a different service through the Messenger app: it could book you a car, or order a delivery, for instance. The point is to improve customer experiences, but also to massively expand Messenger’s commercial selling power.”We think you should message a business just the way you would message a friend,” Mark Zuckerberg said on stage at the social network’s F8 conference in 2016. Fast forward one year, however, and Messenger VP David Marcus seemed to be correcting the public’s apparent misconception that Facebook’s bots resembled real AI. “We never called them chatbots. We called them bots. People took it Asus Contact Number UK too literally in the first three months that the future is going to be conversational.” The bots are instead a combination of machine learning and natural language learning, that can sometimes trick a user just enough to think they are having a basic dialogue. Not often enough, though, in Messenger’s case. So in April, menu options were reinstated in the conversations.Now, Facebook thinks it has made progress in addressing this issue. But it might just have created another problem for itself.The Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) group, in collaboration with Georgia Institute of Technology, has released code that it says will allow bots to negotiate. The problem? A paper published this week on the R&D reveals that the negotiating bots learned to lie. Facebook’s chatbots are in danger of becoming a little too much like real-world sales agents.“For the first time, we show it is possible to train end-to-end models for negotiation, which must learn both linguistic and reasoning skills with no annotated dialogue states,” the researchers explain. The research shows that the bots can plan ahead by simulating possible future conversations.

The team trained the bots on a massive dataset of natural language negotiations between two people (5,808), where they had to decide how to split and share a set of items both held separately, of differing values. They were first trained to respond based on the “likelihood” of the direction a human conversation would take. However, the bots can also be trained to “maximise reward”, instead.

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Computing in schools – alarm bells over England’s classes

Computing education in England’s schools is going through a revolution, but there is evidence that too few pupils want to be part of it.Figures from the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) show only a modest rise in students taking the new computer science GCSE.

Experts are concerned.The British Computing Society warns the number studying for a computing qualification could halve by 2020.The organisation – which is the professional body for the IT industry – says that would be a disaster for the economy.The old ICT course, which was the main way school students learned about computing, is Asus Customer Service UK being scrapped, with the last GCSE entrants taking the exam next year. The subject, which was described by critics as teaching little more than how to use Microsoft Office, is being replaced by the more rigorous computer science GCSE.But figures from Ofqual showing entries for the exam rising to 67,800 this year from 61,220 in 2016 have set alarm bells ringing. With 58,600 still taking the ICT exam, the overall number getting a GCSE computing qualification has fallen slightly.The British Computing Society says that when ICT disappears, the computer science exam will fail to fill the gap.

“If we don’t act now,” says Bill Mitchell from the BCS, “by 2020 we are likely to see the number of students studying computing at GCSE halve, when it should be doubling. If that happens, it will be a disaster for our children, and the future of the nation.”The other big concern is that too few girls are taking up the computer science exam – in 2016 they made up just 20% of entrants, while the figure for ICT has been around 40%.Prof Rose Luckin says the subject has an image problem.

“Computer science is seen as more ‘techie’ and it is still dominated by men,” explains the expert from University College London’s Knowledge Lab, who has been researching and writing about the teaching of technology for 20 years.”Many girls believe computer science and coding is ‘for boys’ and they do not see desirable career options that appeal to them.”What seems clear is that the computer science exam is far more challenging, both for students and teachers. That was of course the aim, but those who warned that ending ICT risked throwing the baby out with the bathwater may now feel vindicated.Drew Buddie, who is head of computing at a school near London, has always argued that ICT was unfairly maligned and was far more creative than its critics assumed. Now, he says, “it is clear that many 14-to-17-year-old students, particularly girls, are not attracted to such a specific and narrow course.”

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Asus ROG Zephyrus

The Asus ROG Zephyrus is the first of a new breed of Nvidia’s Max-Q gaming laptops. You can find out more about what that means in my Max-Q explainer, but in brief, this is designed to be the ultimate gaming laptop for both efficiency and performance.First, the design. And what a design it is. Closed, it’s 17.9mm thick, but when you open it the chassis actually gets thicker courtesy of a small vent that folds down as you open the laptop. The reason for this is to increase airflow, and the extra 6mm it affords allows enough air to make its way in to fully cool its GTX 1080 graphics chip while under full load.The rest of the design is seriously impressive. Sharp edges, a creased lid and the pushed-forward keyboard all make for a unique proposition and one of the most distinctive gaming laptops I’ve ever seen.Full specifications include a beefy quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ, the aforementioned 8GB GTX 1080, up to 24GB of 2400MHz DDR4 memory and ultra-quick NVMe-based PCIe SSDs. At 2.24, it’s not super light but considering its power, it’s brilliant and relatively easy chuck into a backpack (which is something I was tempted to do before leaving).I did get to play a bit of Mass Effect. Even under maximum load, the laptop only puts out a maximum of 42dBA, which is a light whooshing that’s easily overcome if your room is slightly noisy or you have your speakers switched on. It gets even better: if you activate Nvidia’s new WhisperMode, the GPU software automatically tweaks your games’ performance, either by decreasing graphics quality or artificially decreasing frame rates. This keeps the GPU cooler and means the fans only spin up to a maximum 32dBA of noise. This isn’t silent, but it might as well be in any room with background noise. It’s seriously impressive.

The keyboard’s position will take some getting used to, but it has a light touch that some people will like, and others won’t. I found it quite nice to type on, and gaming felt responsive.The 15.6-inch IPS screen runs at 120Hz, which makes gaming feel silky-smooth. It also uses Nvidia G-Sync for synced-up, smooth gameplay under all circumstances. It’s a great panel, displaying the full 100% of the sRGB colour gamut. It is only Full HD, though, so to get the most out of your laptop you’ll probably want a nice, big external monitor.The touchpad doubles up as a number pad, which is lit up when you activate it.No pricing has been announced yet, but I’ve been informed that it’ll be cheaper than the also-Max-Q-certified Acer Predator Triton 700 that’s expected to sell for £3400. When the price is announced, again, I’ll update this piece  Asus Support Number

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Asus ZenFone Max Series Gets PowerMaster App for Battery Savings

Taiwanese smartphone maker Asus on Thursday announced a new app for its ZenFone Max series devices.The upgrade is available across ZenFone 3 Max series through an FOTA update that has already been rolled out to the users. The PowerMaster app will also be available for the older version of the ZenFone Max series.The PowerMaster app provides intelligent ways of charging, reducing energy consumption on unnecessary apps, and allows the users to enjoy better battery performance. As per Asus, with the “PowerMaster’s 2X Lifespan option turned on, battery’s longevity is extended drastically. The feature charges the phone intelligently to increase the amount of charge cycles the phone battery can normally support, and decreases the loss of capacity from the usual 15 percent to 7 pecent. It also manages to charge the battery while generating absolutely minimal heat. As a result, the battery ages slower while performing at its best.”

“With the ‘PowerMaster’ app, users can now not only extend the battery’s life but also benefit from the different technologies provided to increase the smartphone’s overall efficiency,” said Peter Chang, Region Head – South Asia & Country Manager for Asus India, in a statement.The software upgrade is equipped with nine battery-extending technologies to enhance the complete experience.Apart from the PowerMaster app, these include a new Reverse Charging feature, the Scan mode for suggested battery optimisations, an Auto-start Manager that customises which apps startup, new Battery Modes, a Boost feature to clear background apps, a Last Longer feature that displays options for battery savings, and finally, a Battery Usage feature to show detailed battery usage statistics per charge Asus Contact Number

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