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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:20:26 +0000
Best touchscreen laptops 2018: the best touchsceen laptops we've tapped this year
Phablets might be the biggest craze, but if you want to do more with your touchscreen, then a laptop is the smart buy and we've rounded up the best.

Welcome to our list of the best printers in 2018. Here you'll find the very top models of printers, be they for the home or the office. This list is constantly updated, so you'll get top advice for buying the best printer for your needs.

There are so many decent multi-purpose printers at very competitive prices these days, so you're spoilt for choice when looking for a new printer. Some will even offer cashback incentives when you buy them, so it's worth keeping an eye out for those offers. To make things even easier, our list of the best printers cuts through the jargon to make buying your new printer as simple as possible.

We've also split this list into the best inkjet printers and the best laser printers, and we include standard printers as well as multi-function ones. No matter what type of printer you're after, we have one for you, and our price comparison tool makes sure you get the best deals on the printer of your choice as well.

Best inkjet printers

HP Deskjet 3630

The Deskjet 3630 is a decent printer for the price, offering reasonable print speeds and the ability to connect to mobile devices without breaking the bank. Just be wary as its ink cartridges can be priced when picked up from shops. It doesn't quite have the build quality of HP's more expensive Envy models, but if you're looking for an initially cheap model that catches the eye when sat on a shelf, the Deskjet 3630 is a great option.

Read the full review: HP Deskjet 3630

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 review

The WorkForce Pro WF-4630 is a solid printer for small businesses and workgroups given its fast print speeds, solid print qualities and remote printing and scanning capabilities. Using the larger XL print cartridges, the WF-4630 delivers economical print costs that rival laser printers.

Read the full review: Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630

Canon Pixma TS8050

Great for the traveling professional or someone who needs a small printer for occasional use, printing photos or using the scanner function. It's a bit pricey to buy - and to run - but the flexibility and quality of the printouts is excellent.

Epson EcoTank ET-4550

Consumables are usually expensive when it comes to printers. So it is quite surprising that one vendor, Epson, single-handedly decided to challenge that status quo by allowing users to refill their printer using ink bottles. What's even more surprising is that Epson includes two years of ink with the package; no more expensive cartridges and instead, you have enough material to deliver 11,000 pages worth of black and colour inks (that's 700ml worth of liquid). Oh and there's even a three-year warranty making this a great choice for bean counters fixing the TCO of their printers. The ET-4550 lacks the features found on cheaper competitors – it is relatively slower (although it has a higher printing resolution) and has a small paper input tray.

Canon PIXMA TS9150

If you're looking for a great all-round printer which doesn't skimp on print quality for your photographs, then we don't think you will be disappointed by what the PIXMA TS9150, Canon's flagship printer, has to offer.

While it's certainly more expensive than some of the cheap two in one printers you can pick up, it's not a bad price for something which produces high quality prints, especially if you only need to print at A4 or below.

Best of all, the print quality here is stunning, and it also has an attractive design. While the looks of your printer may not seem that important, it does mean you don't feel the need to try and hide it away out of sight if you're using it at home.

Best laser printers

Samsung M2885FW 4-in-1 Multifunction Xpress

This temptingly priced printer offers 28ppm printing at up to 4,800 x 600 dpi (effective, rather than optical, resolution). With wired (Ethernet/USB) and wireless (Wi-Fi/NFC) connectivity, duplex printing, decent eco settings and support for a wide range of media, the Samsung is an excellent all-rounder, although the multi-purpose tray can only handle one sheet of media at a time. The main cassette has a more useful capacity of 250 sheets.

Samsung Xpress M2070W

The M2070W delivers a lot of bang for your business buck – there's NFC printing from compatible smartphones, online document sharing, and a clever Eco system that supplements the usual toner saving mode with a feature to remove images from documents by replacing bitmaps with sketches.

Factor in claimed speeds of 20ppm, a clever scan to mobile feature and an effective print resolution of up to 1200dpi and you've got a multifunction printer that's well worth considering.

Brother DCP-9020CDW

The DCP-9020CDW is a baby Brother – it's an entry-level all-in-one aimed at small offices, and with claimed speeds of 18ppm and a resolution of up to 2,400 dpi (effective) it has a decent spec for the price. It can upload to cloud services such as Dropbox and OneNote, it's wireless with WPS authentication and wireless direct printing, and its running costs are competitive. It also offers automatic duplex printing and its colour screen makes it easy to install and operate. This device is a solid all-rounder for PCs and mobile devices alike.

dell1

This is a colour laser printer, plain and simple. It has a relatively small footprint on the desk thanks to a surprisingly compact design. The printer is fitted with a 150-sheet main paper tray and a 100-sheet output tray, with an integrated drum/fuser unit and manual duplexing capabilities. Controls are adequate, with a two-line LCD display and a number of buttons for basic menu navigation. The C1760NW also offers an Ethernet connector, 802.11n Wi-Fi and a USB 2.0 port; although there is no USB host connectivity. The printer is aimed at office or small workgroups and has a high-rated speed of 15ppm for black and colour. This is a good workhorse for everyday printing, where colour isn't a major part of the mix.

Brother HL-3140CW

At the time of writing (January 2016), this Brother was Amazon's best-selling laser, and with good reason – for very little cash you're getting a superb wireless colour laser. However, at this price don't expect rock-bottom running costs – it's a printer for livening up documents with the occasional flash of colour, not constant photo printing.

It doesn't have automatic duplexing or an Ethernet port, but the HL-3140CW delivers superb print quality, reasonable mono running costs and good wireless features for a very low price.


Tue, 24 Apr 2018 12:51:19 +0000
The best printers of 2018: inkjet, color, mono and laser printers
All-purpose printers are a booming market, and you're spoiled with the amount of choices available.

Once upon a time, a new report about the potential of the blockchain published by an international bank could become a sensation. These times are long over, for the financial potential of the blockchain has long been universally recognised. Over the last years, many financial instruments emerged with the “blockchain-based” label, including money transfer services, decentralised exchanges, insurance services and decentralised asset management services. In the beginning of 2018, it can be said with confidence that the blockchain is “actively used in the field of financial and banking technologies” without exaggerating a bit. However, the potential of the blockchain is far from being exhausted: it promises to dramatically transform other spheres of life.

How does this technology become so promising? Blockchain is a database that exists simultaneously in the computers of a great number of people who do not know each other but, at the same time, it is protected from any outside interference and establishes a mechanism of trust connecting single persons to each other. This mechanism allows to exclude middlemen because the transactions are implemented automatically and there is no need for third parties with special powers. In the business context, this social feature helps solve an important problem, cutting down the expenses. It is no wonder therefore that one can run across the blockchain anywhere, from legal services to the data storage market. 

Notarial system and ‘smart contracts’

One of the key principles of the blockchain, the immutability of the information once uploaded, makes it possible to use the blockchain as a modern counterpart of the notarial system. The blockchain is immutable and therefore can guarantee the existence and the authenticity of certain information – the lawyers were among the first to notice this.

The ‘classic’ use of the blockchain in the notarial field includes authenticity certification and notarisation of birth, marriage, and land ownership certificates as well as the legality check of concluded agreements. Moreover, it became even easier to check the authenticity of agreements because even a human is no longer needed for thee procedure.

The blockchain serves as base for decentralised applications with smart contract functions that are automatically executed after the transfer of the contractual amount by the payer to the account of the recipient.

The companies offering blockchain-based notarial services include BlockSign, Stampd and Stampery. Several years ago one of the American blockchain startups started to cooperate with the Holberton School in San Francisco: the graduate diplomas were planned to be issued with the help of the blockchain.

There is no doubt that the idea to record the land ownership register in the blockchain has already taken root. Preventing multiple transfers of ownership rights was discovered to be much easier when following the information in a register available on any computer of the ministry than when using a dusty physical ledger or a programme closed for everyone except several employees of a special agency. Such countries as Georgia, Swеden and Ukrаine have taken an active interest in implementing the blockchain technology for this use. 

Voting

The blockchain’s capacity to fix the upcoming information and to carefully preserve in from unauthorized changes or theft was in great demand in the fields where it is important to guarantee the expression of the free will of the voters, from the election of the party members to the shareholder vote in a large IT corporation.

The Flux Party in Australia was among the first to suggest the implementation of a blockchain voting system: in 2016, the members of the party announced their desire to introduce the ‘democracy as a service’ pattern and launched a mobile application that accumulation the opinions of the citizens on particular draft laws and recorded them into the blockchain.

At the same time, the Libertarian Party in the USA declared that it would count the votes at the internal election of the delegates to the national Libertarian convention with the help of a blockchain machine provided by Blockchain Technologies Corp. When a QR code containing ballot was inserted into a vote processing machine, the data was automatically recorded in the distributed ledger protecting the data from falsification.

In Russia blockchain voting was implemented by the National Settlement Depositary team when testing an e-proxy voting system prototype running on a distributed ledger: the system made it possible to count the votes at the meetings of securities holders. 

Copyright protection

The blockchain mechanism suggests that the technology can be also used to protect the intellectual property rights. One of such projects is Ascribe, a service that enables artists to confirm their copyright for the object of art and to send already protected digital intellectual property by e-mail. Such applications are also important in everyday situations when it is important to check the authenticity of a photo, audio or video: a blockchain service would mark the file with a stamp certifying the time and the place of its creation and then upload such a certificate to the distributed ledger. 

Logistics

The blockchain also simplifies the channeling of goods and makes it more reliable because all the stages of the travel of the goods to the end buyer are recorded in the unique system and the substitution of goods in the travel line becomes impossible.

One of such companies, Provenance, tracks the goods, enabling users to follow the process online. The provenance of certain products can be checked by scanning a code on the package: the system will reproduce the whole information, up to the name of the factory worker that packed it.

Another service, Wave, solves other problems related to the global chains of delivery of goods, the issue of bills of lading. The service brings together all the members of the chain through a distributed record book where they can directly exchange documents and promises to render the global trade completely paperless. 

Data storage

One of the latest trends on the blockchain market is the decentralised cloud data storage. The services of decentralised data repositories offer individual providers to lease unused computing capacities and users to save money on powerful hardware. Many of them use blockchain platforms, rendering such services much safer than the traditional cloud repositories provided by large corporations.

While the providers of computing capacities receive a fee for the space they offer, for end users the decentralised storage service may be cheaper than Amazon or iCloud.

The year 2017 saw emergence of such projects as Storj, Filecoin and Sia. They plan to create decentralised data repositories that would be targeted both at the business and at the general public.

Some of these services are based on certain blockchain platforms (especially Ethereum), losing a part of the crypto market, for instance, the decentralised applications (dApps) based on other platforms (Graphene, EOS, Waves). The Casper API project announced an elegant multiplatform solution, including a single decentralised cloud storage infrastructure that can be employed by all the dApps, both existing and not yet created.

Casper API solves the problem of data storage safety by the preliminary encryption of the information received, and then copying it and storing in four replicas. The data is also fragmented. Therefore, no network node will get an access to the whole information, and will not be able to fully use it even if it manages to steal and decipher it.

First available indicator, the results of the ICO of the FileCoin project, testify to the need for such services: during the ICO, the project rаised more than $257 million, becoming one of the greatest crowdsales of 2017. Who knows, perhaps the decentralised data storage will become the second largest (after the financial sphere) field for blockchain technologies?


Tue, 24 Apr 2018 12:25:53 +0000
Post-hype: 5 fields besides finances that really use blockchain
Blockchain is sweeping the globe - Casper outlines some use cases you may not have thought of

What is Industry 4.0?

From smartphones to smart fridges, technology has played a major role in advancing most areas of our everyday lives - but it is also transforming the world of industry. 

Industry 4.0 is the label given to the gradual combination of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices with the increasingly technological world around us.

This includes using large-scale M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) deployments to help manufacturers and consumers alike provide increased automation, improved communication and monitoring, along with self-diagnosis and new levels of analysis to provide a truly productive future.

Factories will become increasingly automated and self-monitoring as the machines within are given the ability to analyse and communicate with each other and their human co-workers, granting companies much smoother processes that free up workers for other tasks. 

Industry 4.0 - the latest news

29/03 - Why mobile is at the heart of Industry 4.0 - Industry 4.0 or the IIoT will change every sector and mobile will play a huge role...

22/03 - IoT security spend to reach £1bn in 2018 - Gartner figures suggests increased awareness of threats is boosting spend...

10/03 - Forget smart fridges: the Industrial Internet of Things is the real revolution - Industry 4.0 is already here and making massive differences...

25/02 - Industry 4.0: an industrial evolution, rather than a revolution - The connected, intelligent factories of the future will usher in a new generation of industry...

20/02 - UK businesses unprepared for Industry 4.0 - Manufacturing industry in the UK has done little to adopt automation and other digital technologies... 

30/10 - 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' could unlock billions for the UK - Embracing Industry 4.0 technologies could be key to major new benefits, report claims.. 

Why Industry 4.0? What happened to Industry 2.0 and 3.0?

Industry 4.0 is not a new technology, nor is it a business discipline, but in fact a new approach to achieve results that weren't possible 10 years ago thanks to advancements in technology. 

Some will also tell you that it's in fact the fourth industrial revolution - but what does that mean?

The first industrial revolution saw Britain move from farming to factory production in the 19th Century. The second spanned the period from the 1850s to World War I and began with the introduction of steel, culminating in the early electrification of factories and the first spouts of mass production. Finally, the third industrial revolution refers to the change from analogue, mechanical, and electronic technology to digital technology that took place from the late 1950s to the late 1970s.

The fourth, then, is the move towards digitisation. Industry 4.0 will use the Internet of Things and cyber-physical systems such as sensors having the ability to collect data that can be used by manufacturers and producers. Secondly, the advancements in big data and powerful analytics means that systems can trawl through the huge sets of data and produce insights that can be acted upon quickly. Thirdly, the communications infrastructure backing this up is secure enough to be used by heavy industries.

Smart factories, which will be at the heart of Industry 4.0, will take on board information and communication technology for an evolution in the supply chain and production line that brings a much higher level of both automation and digitisation. It means machines using self-optimisation, self-configuration and even artificial intelligence to complete complex tasks in order to deliver vastly superior cost efficiencies and better quality goods or services.

Who started Industry 4.0?

A German government memo released way back in 2013 was one of the first times that 'Industrie 4.0' was mentioned. The high-tech strategy document outlined a plan to almost fully computerise the manufacturing industry without the need for human involvement.

Angela Merkel, German chancellor, spoke glowingly of the concept in January 2015 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, calling 'Industrie 4.0' the way that we "deal quickly with the fusion of the online world and the world of industrial production."

To that end, the German government is investing some €200 million (around £146 million, $216 million, or AU$278 million) to encourage research across academia, business and government, and Germany isn't the only country where advancements are taking place.

The United States has the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC), a non-profit organisation made up of manufacturers, suppliers, technology firms, government agencies, universities and laboratories that all have the common goal of advancing the way of thinking behind Industry 4.0. 

It is aiming to construct an open, smart manufacturing platform for industrial-networked information applications. The hope is that it will eventually enable manufacturing firms of all sizes to gain easy and affordable access to modelling and analytical technologies that can be customised to meet their needs.

How much is Industry 4.0 worth?

Anything attached to the Internet of Things or increased automation is worth a tidy sum and Industry 4.0 is no different. 

Recent figures from KPMG has estimated that the component markets of Industry 4.0 are estimated to be worth more than US$4 trillion by 2020.

This is above the expected value of the Internet of Things (IoT) market, which Gartner has estimated will be worth almost US$3.7 trillion by 2020.

Businesses everywhere are thought to be able to benefit from embracing Industry 4.0, with a recent government report claiming that utilising this advanced technology could benefit the nation's manufacturing sector by around £445 billion and create around 175,000 jobs, 

Much of this is down to the thirst for higher productivity and cost reductions from using real-time data. This can also be another area where technologies of the future, such as 5G, will have an effect and make sure the "things" are buzzing away at optimum efficiency.


Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:48:34 +0000
What is Industry 4.0? Everything you need to know
Our guide to the latest news in the Industry 4.0 market

TfL has revealed that London's transport network is going increasingly contactless when it comes to payments, with over half of all journeys now paid for this way.

Transport for London has released new figures showing that over 17 million pay as you go (PAYG) trips are being paid for using a contactless debit or credit card, or smart device.

At some stations, including popular commuter locations such as Blackfriars, Shoreditch High Street and Clapham Common, the figure is even higher, nudging over the 60 percent marker.

And along with contactless cards, the number of payments using a mobile device has also risen sharply, with around one in eight contactless journeys in London now being made using a smartphone or other connected device.

On the rise

Since the launch of contactless payments on the TfL network back in September 2014, more than 1.7 billion journeys have been completed across the capital.

On buses and trams, the use of contactless has also increased rapidly - with around 45 percent of all pay as you go journeys now using contactless.

Travellers using London's airports are also increasingly contactless, with more than 35 per cent of PAYG journeys from Heathrow airport, and more than 55 per cent of trips from Gatwick airport towards London use the technology. 

“Contactless ticketing has made travelling in and around London and the South East by bus, Tube or rail quick, convenient and affordable," said Shashi Verma, TfL's chief technology officer.

"We’re delighted with how popular this innovation has become and, with the future extension of this technology across the Elizabeth line, even more customers will benefit in the future. We are also now working with other world cities to share our experience and knowledge to help them introduce a similar ticketing system in the coming years.”

TfL also revealed that work is now underway to expand the reach of contactless pay as you go journeys across more of its network in the coming months. This includes the new Elizabeth line, set to open later this year, as well as TfL Rail services to Heathrow from May 2018, and journeys as far as Reading in December 2019.


Tue, 24 Apr 2018 01:05:18 +0000
TfL journeys dominated by contactless payments
More than 17 million TfL trips across the capital are made using contactless every week

If you thought using Facebook was free, think again.

The old adage “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” holds true for Facebook’s business model, which many pundits have argued it build on trading users’ personal data as currency. And what the social media platform does – or allows others to do – with that data has recently copped a lot of criticism in the wake of the ongoing Cambridge Analytica Scandal.

Facebook has a tough fight ahead of it as it tries to restore its name and win back public trust, and the latest shot in that war is an official blog post titled Hard Questions , which seeks to reassure Facebook users that they “are not the product”.

Just semantics?

In the post, Facebook’s vice president of advertising, Rob Goldman, addresses the question, “If I'm not paying for Facebook, am I the product?”

“No,” is Goldman's answer. “Our product is social media – the ability to connect with the people that matter to you, wherever they are in the world. It’s the same with a free search engine, website or newspaper. The core product is reading the news or finding information – and the ads exist to fund that experience.”

While Goldman is quick to compare Facebook to a “website or newspaper”, the social media platform has historically fought against any suggestion that it’s a media company.

In fact, when questioned by the US Senate as to which companies are Facebook’s direct competitors, CEO Mark Zuckerberg struggled to come up with an answer.

No such thing as a free lunch

It's hard to define what service Facebook truly offers, even for its CEO. It not only owns the world's largest social media network, but sells advertising space and, now, hardware such as the Oculus Rift VR headset and it's seemingly delayed smart speakers.

While the company may claim its main product is the social media site itself, it's not hard to understand why Goldman's statement rings hollow.

Strictly following the flow of money, Facebook's free social networking site is largely able to make a profit through the collation and collection of user data, which is then supplied (usually indirectly) to advertisers in order to target ads. 

Most would argue that this structure makes the advertisers the clients – no matter how Facebook wants to spin it – and this blog post likely won't do much to change that perception.


Mon, 23 Apr 2018 16:06:10 +0000
Facebook insists 'users are not the product' in new statement
Facebook has published a statement comparing its services to newspapers, and says it's really built for sharing information.

Finding the best 3D printer doesn't need to be difficult or expensive thanks to our guide to the best 3D printers on the market today. In this list, we provide clear and concise information on a wide range of 3D printers, helping you to choose the best 3D printer for your needs.

Our very own price comparison tool also scours the internet to find the very best deals on 3D printers, so when you've found the 3D printer that's right for you, you can buy confident in the knowledge that you're paying the best price.

From compact 3D printers that can sit on your desk, to budget 3D printers and huge industrial-grade 3D printers that can create large 3D printouts, we've listed the very best 3D printers available in 2018. Read on to find the best one for your needs.

MakerBot Replicator+

The MakerBot Replicator+ is the successor to the popular MakerBot Replicator 3D printer, and the new version has brought improvements to nearly every part of the Replicator. This means the Replicator+ is faster and quieter than the previous version, while maintaining its excellent design and safety features. This desktop 3D printer is expensive, but it offers excellent print quality, and uses 1.75mm polylactic acid (PLA) filament. It's also user-friendly enough for home users and hobbyists to use - as long as your budget can stretch to the high asking price. 

XYZprinting da Vinci Mini

If you're looking for a budget 3D printer, then there really is no better option than the XYZprinting da Vinci Mini. It remains one of the most affordable ways to get into 3D printing, and also the easiest, thanks to an easy-to-use interface. Just because it's a budget model, doesn't mean it doesn't produce good results, and the 3D printed objects it creates are very impressive considering the price - and size - of this 3D printer. Speaking of size, the XYZprinting da Vinci Mini is an impressively compact printer that makes it easy to store in an office or on a desk.

Ultimaker 2+

The Ultimaker 2+ is a 3D printer that offers amazing print quality, making it one of the best 3D printers for professional use. It is incredibly reliable when it comes to producing 3D models, and the accuracy of the 3D replications is incredibly impressive. If you need a 3D printer that can reliably reproduce many 3D objects accurately, this is a fantastic choice. However, it is expensive, and the fact that it is aimed at professional environments means it's less beginner-friendly than some of the other 3D printers here. Home users are better off looking elsewhere.

Formlabs Form 2

The Formlabs Form 2 is an excellent 3D printer for enthusiasts who don't mind paying extra to get the very best print quality. It's a beautifully-designed 3D printer, and can be connected to PCs via USB, Wi-Fi and Ethernet. It doesn't quite have the print reliability of the Ultimaker 2+, but the print quality more than makes up for a few errors.

M3D Micro 3D Printer

The M3D Micro 3D Printer is an excellent 3D printer for beginners. Its low price means you're not investing lots of money if you're not entirely sure 3D printing is for you, while the compact, cube, design means it can be easily placed within the home or office. It looks good, and is impressively quiet when in use. The print quality isn't the best, however, and it is only able to make small models (not too surprising, considering the diminutive size). However, if you're looking for your first 3D printer, this is an excellent choice.

FlashForge Creator Pro 2017

The FlashForge Creator Pro 2017 is the best 3D printer that sits between budget 3D printers and expensive professional models. It's a lot cheaper than pro models, though it maintains the build quality and reliability that you'd come to expect from a professional 3D printer. It's not quite as cheap as the budget and beginner models in this list, but it offers greater accuracy when printing 3D models. It is a tad noisy in use, however.

LulzBot Mini

If you're looking for a first 3D printer to learn the ropes with, then the LulzBot Mini is another excellent choice. It's got a decent price, and is easy to use, though the print speed is quite slow. The hardware is open source, which means it has a flexibility that propitiatory hardware lacks, as a committed community of makers can work together to create add-ons for the printer.  

CubePro Trio

The bulk of home 3D printers are limited to one- or two-colour printing, but the CubePro Trio has the capability to print three different materials in one session. This can be especially useful if you want to create an enclosed mechanism: nylon can be used for the gears, ABS for the surround and PLA for the support structure that can then be dissolved with caustic soda. The CubePro is an ideal solution for modellers and engineers who need to create 3D prints with moving parts.

BEEVERYCREATIVE – BEETHEFIRST+

In general terms 3D printers are designed as boxes with purpose, however BeeTheFirst has created a printer with both quality of print and actual design in mind – this is a machine that really wouldn't look out of place in a modern living room. BeeTheFirst has also thought about how and where people will be wanting to use their printers – at work, home or both – and has incorporated a thin design with a handle that enables the printer to be easily transported. 

Lulzbot Taz 6

Initially you might be hard pressed to see the differences between the Taz 5 and 6; both feature a solid open frame build, large print base and ease of use.

However take a closer look at the refinements in design and improvements in usability and the upgrades quickly stand out. Features such as the auto leveling base has evolved from the one featured on the Luzbot Mini and works just as well on this larger scale, and the slight changes to frame layout and control panel are all welcome.

The Taz 6 is a big machine with an impressive print area of 280mm x 280mm x 250mm, with a 0.5mm nozzle capable of a minimum layer height of 75 microns and takes 2.85mm filament.


Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:00:18 +0000
The 10 best 3D printers of 2018
Looking to own a 3D printer? Here's the best 3D printers you can buy today.

Image credit: GMTO Corporation/Mason Media Inc.

Space telescopes like Hubble and Kepler might get all of the attention, but humanity's very biggest telescopes are all here on Earth. 

Astronomy is essentially about studying light, and when it comes to giant telescopes, it's visually a case of bigger is better. Cue a whole new generation of awesome-sized observatories due to go online in the early 2020s.

The very finest telescopes are almost always built in the same places on our planet. Chile's dry Atacama desert is a favorite for telescope builders, largely because there are over 300 clear nights a year, and it's possible to build on freezing cold mountaintops at a whopping 10,000ft or higher. 

That puts the telescopes high above the hottest, densest part of the Earth's atmosphere, thereby avoiding distortion. 

Chile’s Atacama Desert is among the highest and driest locations on the planet | Credit: G.H


Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:20:14 +0000
The giant telescopes that will change everything we know about the universe
From 'seeing' a black hole to solving the riddle of dark matter, these colossal mirrors on mountains will change astronomy forever.

For information about adding your event to this list and featured listing opportunities please contact mike.moore@futurenet.com.

Love it or loathe it, events and conferences are often where wheelers and dealers in the world of technology meet to decide on the future of the industry.

Ironically, technology itself has accelerate the demise of some massive tech events (like Comdex) but the result is that the remaining ones are more focused, alive and bustling than ever before.

TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal have joined forces with the tech B2B PR industry to curate a list of national and international technology events, conferences and happenings.

IP Expo Manchester

April 25th-26th, Manchester

IP  EXPO Manchester is part of Europe's number one Enterprise IT event series, for those looking to find out how the latest IT innovations can drive their business forward. 

Why attend?  The event showcases brand new exclusive content and senior level insights from across the industry, as well as unveiling the latest developments in IT. IP EXPO Manchester now incorporates six events under one roof including: Cloud & IoT, Cyber Security Manchester, Networks & Infrastructure , Data & Analytics, DevOps and AI.

Microsoft Build

May 7th-9th, Seattle

Microsoft’s ultimate annual developer event, where the most innovative minds in tech will meet under one roof to get inspired, create tomorrow, and code the future. 

Why attend?  Attend discussions, demos, and hands-on labs led by innovative future thinkers to share knowledge and inspire all devs to imagine tomorrow. 

The Webby Awards 2018

May 14th, New York

The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organisation honouring internet excellence during 2018.  

Why attend? The awards recognise excellence in seven major media types: Websites, Film & Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Social, Mobile Sites & Apps, Games, and Podcasts & Digital Audio. 

TM Forum Digital Transformation World 2018

May 14th-16th, Nice

This year’s Digital Transformation World presents media and analysts an unrivalled opportunity to be at the heart of industry change by speaking with leading global CSPs about what they are doing to transform into digital providers. 

Why attend?  Meet the 120+ companies collaborating through rapid proof-of concept Catalyst projects on: artificial intelligence; blockchain; zero-touch operations; ONAP; lifecycle service orchestration; 5G; smart cities; digital ecosystems and more. 

Critical Communications World

May 15th-17th, Berlin

CCW brings the critical communications industry together under one roof to drive innovation and knowledge exchange. CCW is the largest exhibition of its kind, gathering critical communications professionals from all around the world. 

Why attend?  The event presents up-to-the-minute policy, insight and intelligence alongside real-world case studies and best practice advice.

IRMS Annual Conference 2018

May 20th-22nd, Brighton

This major industry gathering provides an annual opportunity to get an independent view on the key challenges surrounding this critical resource, brought to you by the internationally renowned Information & Records Management Society (IRMS). 

Why attend? A packed programme of inspirational speakers, lively discussions and unbeatable networking opportunities – centred around the latest thinking, industry innovations and best practice from world-class organisations. 

VR World London

May 22nd, London

Now in its 3rd year, VR World 2018 is a 2 day conference and exhibition focused on Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality and its impact beyond gaming. 

Why attend?  With 4 in-depth event tracks and over 150 leading speakers, no other European event covers the market in as much detail. 

infoShare

May 22nd-23rd, Gdansk, Poland

infoShare is where you can share your story and make your ideas happen. Here you will find knowledge and inspiration, form meaningful relations and create a truly innovative technological society.

Why attend? The biggest technology conference in central eastern Europe brings together thought leaders in the IT industry with a packed programme of speakers and sessions.

NITEC 18

May 22nd-24th, Berlin

Top officials from NATO, European and North American companies will meet at NITEC18 industry conference to discuss NATO’s digital transformation and the Alliance’s emerging technological and cyber needs and to explain how companies can take part in NATO business. 

Why attend?   The event will outline upcoming business opportunities in the areas of NATO IT modernization, missile defense, Air Command and Control, cyber security, intelligence, etc. and will provide direct access to NATO Programme managers as well as get-together opportunities for NATO, academia, technology hubs and commercial technology companies (including start-ups, entrepreneurs, and Small and Medium Enterprises).

Diversity in Technology 2018

May 24th, London

Following a sell-out conference last year, Diversity in Technology 2018, Europe’s largest conference dedicated to diversity and inclusion, is returning for a day full of inspiring keynotes, panel discussions, technical sessions and diversity-focused workshops. Join 500+ tech leaders and professionals including BBC, Bloomberg, Sky, HSBC, BBC, Amazon amongst many more

Why attend?  The conference will connect and empower people from minority groups, provide practical insight into ground breaking technologies, and enable organisations to build truly diverse and inclusive cultures. 

Accountex 2018

May 23rd-24th, London

Accountex gives decision makers the unique opportunity to discover new products from over 200 exhibitors, hear keynotes from leading industry names, and all whilst networking with a who’s who of the industry.

Why attend? 16 theatres, 150 expert speakers, over 180 CPD-accredited Keynotes, seminars and workshops, and 200 exhibitors.

Brain Bar

May 31st - June 2nd, Budapest

Brain Bar brings together the brightest minds from all over the globe to discuss what's to come in some of the most exciting fields of technology.

Why attend?  Speakers from the fields of technology, science, politics, business and philosophy to discuss the hottest and most controversial questions shaping today and tomorrow, from the morality of AI and Big Data security to body modification and animal intelligence 

Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit 

June 4th-7th, National Harbour, MD

Adopt your business' security strategy for digital business transformation at the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit - the premier event for cybersecurity and risk management leaders.  

Why attend? Updates concerning the latest trends and issues in the cybersecurity space, providing you with the comprehensive security update you need to enable successful digital business transformation.

InfoSecurity Europe 2018

June 6th-8th, London

Infosecurity Europe (Infosec) is the region's number one information security event featuring Europe's largest and most comprehensive conference programme and over 400 exhibitors showcasing the most relevant information security solutions and products to over 19,500 information security professionals. 

Why attend?  Join Europe’s largest information security community and be part of the future of the industry. 

Machine Intelligence Summit

June 6th-7th, Hong Kong

The 5th Global Machine Intelligence Summit will explore the latest technical advancements in A.I., machine learning and their applications in different areas such as business, healthcare, education, finance, automation, etc.  

Why attend?   Confirmed speakers from: Alibaba, HSBC, DBS Bank, TVB, NASA, GogoVan, DHL and more.   

Machine Learning in Healthcare Summit

June 6th-7th, Hong Kong

The 5th Global Machine Intelligence in Healthcare Summit will showcase the opportunities of advancing methods in machine learning and their impact across healthcare and medicine. Learn the AI tools and techniques set to revolutionise healthcare applications, medicine & diagnostics from a global line-up of experts 

Why attend?   Discover the machine intelligence tools & techniques set to revolutionise healthcare applications, medicine & diagnostics.

Tech for Britain

June 7th, London

Tech for Britain is the UK's premier conference for those working in technology, with some of the finest leaders in the space taking to the stage to deliberate over the challenges and opportunities surrounding technology impact within the enterprise. 

Why attend? With sessions on everything from disruption to tech culture, there is something for all sectors.

AI Summit London

June 12th-14th, London

Now in its 3rd year, The AI Summit is the world’s first and largest conference & exhibition to look at the practical implications of AI for enterprise organisations, the actual solutions that are transforming business productivity. The AI Summit aims to help the business leader, data scientist, engineer successful implementing their AI projects.

Why attend? Join 10,000+ visitors, 3000+ delegates, 300+ speakers at The AI Summit London and secure your place at the front-end of the 4th Industrial Revolution

Open Source Summit Japan & Automotive Linux Summit 

June 20th-22nd, Tokyo

Automotive Linux Summit connects the developer community driving the innovation in automotive Linux together with the vendors and users providing and using the code in order to drive the future of embedded devices in the automotive arena.  

Why attend? The leading conference for technologists and open source industry leaders to collaborate and share information, learn about the latest in open source technologies and find out how to gain a competitive advantage by using innovative open solutions.

Women of Silicon Roundabout 2018

June 26th-27th, London

Join 3000 tech leaders and professionals at the UK’s vibrant centrepiece for women in tech. Speakers include Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho CBE, Baroness Joanna Shields, Microsoft, Monzo Bank, Facebook, GoCompare.com, eBay & many more!

Why attend? Hear from the best speakers in the industry, enhance your entire skills portfolio and celebrate gender diversity in the world’s fastest growing industry.

LinuxCon China

June 26th-28th, Beijing

At LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen, attendees will collaborate, share information and learn about the newest and most interesting open source technologies, including Linux, containers, cloud technologies, networking, microservices and more; in addition to gaining insight into how to navigate and lead in the open source community.

Why attend?  Three conferences in one, this event is a technical conference for developers, operations experts (architects, sys admins, devops), business, compliance and legal leadership and other professionals to come together in an informal setting to learn from open source experts, have fascinating discussions, collaborate with peers, and gain a competitive advantage with innovative open solutions. 

Blockchain Summit London

June 26th-27th, London Olympia

Blockchain Summit London is a 2 day conference and exhibition connecting over 2,500 industry leaders, business decision makers, tech innovators and investors. 

Why attend?  Based on unrivalled content and exceptional networking opportunities, Blockchain Summit is the largest dedicated Blockchain Event in Europe.  

Gartner Catalyst Conference

August 20th-23rd, San Diego

Catalyst Conference is the only multi-role event for technical professionals and is designed to help attendees execute their organisation’s key technology initiatives. 

Why attend? Understand the latest technology trends and master the skills that digital business transformation demands.

Open Source Summit North America

August 29th-31st, Vancouver

Open Source Summit is the premier open source technical conference in North America, gathering 2,000+ developers, operators and community leadership professionals to collaborate, share information and learn about the latest in open technologies, including Linux, containers, cloud computing and more.

Why attend?  Four events in one, Open Source Summit is a technical conference where 2,000+ developers, operators, and community leadership professionals convene to collaborate, share information and learn about the latest in open technologies, including Linux, containers, cloud computing and more.

The FutureTech Expo

September 14th-16th, Dallas

An in-depth look at some of the hottest areas in technology today, including Blockchain & Bitcoin, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security / Hacking, Quantum Computing, 3D Printing, and Virtual / Augmented Reality.

Why attend? Over 5,000 expected attendees, 70 top-notch speakers and 100+ exhibitors discussing the latest trends in the technology industry.

Connected World Summit

September 25th-26th, London Printworks

Connected World unites over 2,500 industry leaders, tech innovators, decision makers and investors. Now in its 4th year, it has grown exponentially in content, technologies and audience size; with our original Connected Home and Cities tracks now complemented with disruptive subjects such as Blockchain, 5G and AI. 

Why attend? Hear from over 200 exclusive visionary speakers with implementation case studies and solutions presented exclusively at the show. 

Open Networking Summit EU

September 25-27th, Amsterdam

ONS Europe brings together business and technical leaders across enterprise, cloud and service providers to share learnings, highlight innovation and discuss the future of open networking and orchestration.

Why attend?  ONS is the largest and most inclusive Open Networking & Orchestration event in the world, bigger and better than ever before.

Hotel & Spa Tech Live

September 25th-26th, London

Hotel & Spa Tech Live is the UK’s premier event for the technology, systems, products, and services that are breaking new ground in the hotel and spa sector.

Why attend? As technology becomes more critical to the hospitality industries, Hotel & Spa Tech Live provides you with an unprecedented opportunity to find the very latest cutting-edge supplies designed to create a truly unforgettable experience for your customers, from the innovators behind these industry-transforming solutions.

Restaurant & Bar Tech Live

September 25th-26th, London

Restaurant & Bar Tech Live is Europe's largest exhibition dedicated to the emerging technology and services that are forming the future of restaurants and bars. The show provides a view into the dining of tomorrow and will offer restaurant and bar owners the opportunity to find the latest products, services, systems, and advancements from across the globe.

Why attend? Visitors will be able to see, test, and touch the technology that will transform the way they run their business, attract customers, and set themselves apart from the competition.

World Summit AI 2018

October 10-11th, Amsterdam

World Summit AI will gather the whole ecosystem, Enterprise, Startups, Investors and Deep Tech from every corner of the globe in Amsterdam for 2 days of knowledge-sharing and networking. From applied solutions for corporate and enterprise to the implications of Artificial Intelligence on society, including ethics and AI4good, World Summit AI will tackle head-on the most burning AI issues for 2018 and beyond.

Why attend? In 2017, the summit sold-out and brought together thousands of AI explorers, the most influential people in AI as speakers and all the big tech companies including Google, Facebook, IBM, Amazon, Intel, Uber and Apple. In 2018, we’re expecting over 4,500 attendees and 140 of the brightest brains on stage to tell you everything you need to know about AI.

Open FinTech Forum

October 10th-11th, New York

Focusing on the intersection of financial services and open source, Open FinTech Forum will provide CIOs and senior technologists guidance on building internal open source programs as well as an in-depth look at cutting-edge open source technologies, including AI, Blockchain/Distributed Ledger, Kubernetes/Containers, Quantum Computing, that can be leveraged to drive efficiencies and flexibility.

Why attend? Hear the latest news, views and opinions from some of the industry-leading minds.

Open Source Summit Europe

October 22nd-24th, Edinburgh

Open Source Summit is the premier open source technical conference in Europe, gathering 2,000+ developers, operators and community leadership professionals to collaborate, share information and learn about the latest in open technologies, including Linux, containers, cloud computing and more.

Why attend?  Four events in one, Open Source Summit is a technical conference where 2,000+ developers, operators, and community leadership professionals convene to collaborate, share information and learn about the latest in open technologies, including Linux, containers, cloud computing and more.

Big Data LDN

November 13th-14th, London

Big Data LDN is a free to attend conference and exhibition where delegates discuss the big questions and share ideas with forward-thinking peers and leading members of the Data community.

Why attend? Hear from 100+ expert speakers in 8 technical and business-led conference tracks, including real world use-cases and discuss your business requirements with 80+ leading technology vendors and consultants.

Infosecurity North America

November 14th-15th, New York

The Infosecurity conference comes to North America, featuring multiple theatres and content on the show floor to ensure that education is more readily available to all. 

Why attend? Infosecurity North America will provide end-user buyers with a focussed business event environment that facilitates valuable networking, immersive learning and leads the critical debate through cutting edge content.  

Hyperledger Global Forum

December 12th-15th, Basel, Switzerland

Developers, vendors, enterprise end-users, and enthusiasts of business blockchain technologies will converge in Basel, Switzerland December 12–15, 2018 for the inaugural Hyperledger Global Forum. 

Why attend? The first two days will feature a forum with keynotes, breakout sessions and a technical showcase. The following two days will feature hands-on tutorials, and workshop events, with the week culminating in a hackathon.

CES 2019

January 8th- 11th 2019, Las Vegas, USA

For 50 years, CES has been the launch pad for new innovation and technology that has changed the world. Held in Las Vegas every year, it is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies and where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.

Why attend? More than 3800 of the biggest tech firms exhibiting.

BETT 2019

January 24th-27th, London

Bett is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape, bringing together the global education community to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as the role technology and innovation plays in enabling all educators and learners to thrive.

Why attend? Over 850 leading companies, 103 exciting new edtech start ups and over 34,700 attendees (131 countries represented) will all be present.

Mobile World Congress 2019

February 25th - 28th Barcelona

The world's biggest mobile trade show marks another year in Barcelona with a stellar line-up of speakers and exhibitors.

Why attend? Over 2,300 exhibitors will gather in Barcelona to showcase the newest technologies and most innovative products available. Take your place among the companies that are shaping the connected future.

RSA Conference 2019

March 4th-8th, San Francisco

RSA Conference 2019returns to San Francisco - take this opportunity to learn about new approaches to info security, discover the latest technology and interact with top security leaders and pioneers.

Why attend?  Hands-on sessions, keynotes and informal gatherings allow you to tap into a smart, forward-thinking global community that will inspire and empower you. 


Mon, 23 Apr 2018 12:24:36 +0000
Top Tech Conferences: The Ultimate B2B tech events and show guide for 2018
We're compiling the ultimate list of technology events so you don't have to.

Popular ride-hailing app Careem has revealed that a cyber-attack on its systems back in January 14th has led to customer and driver information been compromised.

As initially reported by The National, up to 14 million customers and 558,000 drivers had details such as customers’ name, email address, phone number and trip data stolen.

In an email to customers and a blog post, Careem said that once it detected the breach, it immediately put security measures into place to deny access to the compromised systems. The company says it performed an internal investigation along with an external cybersecurity firm and law enforcement officials.

Careem has reiterated that credit card information and passwords have not been compromised, as these are stored on a third-party encrypted server.


Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:20:32 +0000
Ride-hailing app Careem says up to 14 million customers' data was compromised
No password or payment information was affected in a cyber-attack on January 14th

If you're looking for the best business printers for your office, then you've come to the right place. We've assembled the top printers for business use in 2018, making the process of finding the right one, for the right price, as easy as possible.

There's a lot to consider when buying a business printer. You want to make sure it has all the features you need, such as photocopying and faxing, while also being able to print high volumes of documents quickly, and with excellent image quality.

So, without further ado, here is our list of the 10 best business printers on the market today. If you're not sure about what type of business printer you need, head to the bottom of our guide, where we explain the best ways to find and buy the best business printer that suits your needs.

So where do you need to start? Even the most modest office will likely be networked, and sharing a resource as useful as a printer is an essential. So you should only be looking at printers that are capable of networked use. Wired offers speed and robust function for a fixed office. Wireless is flexible, cheap to deploy but not as fast in use.

Here are the best 10 printers for businesses - as chosen by the Techradar Pro team - large and small, from a basic monochrome lasers suitable for a small business and a home office through to a small departmental multifunction printer.

Ricoh SP-213w

The notion of the large, expensive laser printer should have long been dispelled and if nothing else can do that then the Ricoh SP-213w will. This small-footprint mono printer costs less than many inkjets but has the capability to provide basic wireless-based print services to a home office or smaller office. With a monthly duty cycle of 20,000 pages per month, a 1200 x 600dpi print resolution and a print speed of up to 22 pages per minute, its small size shouldn't hide the fact that this could be a little workhorse. Beyond these basics, the Ricoh SP-213w offers manual duplex, a Print and Scan mobile app, support for PCL and a two-year pan-European warranty.

Samsung Xpress M2835DW

If you want an affordable printer for your business that excels in black and white print quality - and is a speedy performer to boot - then you really can't go wrong with the Samsung Xpress M2835DW. Its small and compact body contains a huge host of features, and its easy to use and understand buttons makes quickly firing off prints a piece of cake.

It supports both wired and Wi-Fi connectivity, runs quietly and can even be controlled via smartphone. Its Eco mode allows you to control the amount of power and ink it consumes while printing, and overall this is an absolutely fantastic business printer.

Brother HL-L8360CDW

The Brother HL-L8360CDW is an excellent all-round printer for the office. Thanks to its large capacity and fast print speeds, this is a printer that won't grind to a halt in a busy environment.

It's not just fast either - the print quality is also very good as well. It prints in both black and white and colour, and it has low running costs as well, making this an economical choice in the long run.

Ricoh SPC-240DN

There was a time, not so long ago, when colour laser printing was exorbitant. That has fortunately changed with the likes of the Ricoh SPC-240DN doing their best to bring prices down. This is a massive printer at nearly 24kg so you will need to have a strong back and enough desk space to take it on board. Its starter toner kit will produce around 1000 pages and probably better than inkjet ones which dry out with time. It can print up to 16 pages per minute (colour or mono) and has a duty cycle of 30,000 pages per month. It offers both Ethernet and USB ports and, with a 250-page input paper tray, has enough to make a small office pleased. However, at 600 x 600dpi, its print resolution may leave some wanting for more.

HP PageWide Pro 477dw

The HP PageWide Pro 477dw isn't going to win any design awards but what it lacks in aesthetics it really does make up for in functionality and speed. This entry-level office multi-function inkjet printer offers all the standard print, copy, scan and fax features you'd want to see in an office workhorse. Add to that wired Ethernet alongside wireless networking and it has all the connectivity, too (including Wi-Fi Direct and NFC). Suited to the home and smaller small office, it has a conveniently compact footprint, until you open its paper trays to print. A top speed of 55ppm is stunning for this class of printer, particularly considering its asking price. The inclusion of a 50-sheet automatic document feeder adds to an all-round excellent paper handling capability. Its ability to multitask with print and copy jobs nicely complements the large touch-capable LCD screen.

Epson EcoTank ET-4550

Consumables are usually expensive when it comes to printers. So it is quite surprising that one vendor, Epson, single-handedly decided to challenge that status quo by allowing users to refill their printer using ink bottles. What's even more surprising is that Epson includes two years of ink with the package; no more expensive cartridges and instead, you have enough material to deliver 11,000 pages worth of black and colour inks (that's 700ml worth of liquid). Oh and there's even a three-year warranty making this a great choice for bean counters fixing the TCO of their printers. The ET-4550 lacks the features found on cheaper competitors – it is relatively slower (although it has a higher printing resolution) and has a small paper input tray.

Ricoh SG-2100N

Ricoh makes it four in our shortlist with the SG-2100N, a bargain basement printer that brings together the best of inkjet and laser technology. It delivers the sort of performance usually associated with devices costing three times its price. A water insoluble, viscous ink combined with a higher-than-average print resolution and a print speed – 29ppm – that surpasses anything at this price range (albeit in draft) make this Ricoh printer one of the best on the market for very small offices. Other features worth noting are manual duplex capabilities, a two-year onsite warranty (parts and labour), a well thought out design, affordable consumables, an Ethernet port and a generous input paper tray.

Read the full review: Ricoh SG-2100N

HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 Wireless All-in-One Printer

The HP Officejet Pro 8720 All-in-One is a practical and affordable business printer that also comes with copy and fax capabilities, and it can connect to your network wirelessly as well. It's an excellent fit for small to medium-sized businesses, but for larger organisations it may struggle to keep up. It's got excellent printing speeds, however, and the touch screen makes it simple to use. However, it lacks a few business-orientated features that its more expensive brethren boast,and it's not quite the best when it comes to print quality, either. However, this is an excellent business printer if you're conscious of your budget.

Brother MFC-L8650CDW

This is a heavyweight colour laser multifunction device intended for small business or workgroup use. Its slabby black and white design is functional and includes a large touchscreen for control, though the printer is only rated up to a recommended 3,000 pages per month. The MFC-L8650CDW includes a 50-sheet automatic document feeder which handles duplex scans and the printer offers duplex copying and printing as well; a welcome surprise! It's rated at 28ppm for both black and colour prints dropping to about seven sheets when printing in duplex. It can handle input from USB, Ethernet or via wireless hook-up, with support for iOS and Android mobiles. A USB port offers scanning to and printing from USB drives.

Brother HL-S7000DN

If only the fastest printer will do, then consider the HL-S7000DN. Surprisingly enough, it is an inkjet printer rather than a laser one. It's fast enough to print out the entire contents of the Bible (Old and New Testaments) in about 20 minutes at the speed of 100 pages per minute (that's roughly 500 words per second). If your needs are less ambitious, then the 500-sheet capacity of its input and output tray should suffice. There's also a 100-sheet multipurpose tray to accommodate other media types. As expected, it prints at a resolution of 600 x 600dpi, has a Gigabit Ethernet LAN port, Wi-Fi and a USB 2.0 port. Its maximum monthly duty cycle, 275,000 pages or 16 A4 reams printed every day, should satisfy even the busiest offices.

How to buy a business printer

Multi-function features can be found across the board and at all cost scales. Basic features start with USB Key and card readers for PC-free printing, moving to scanner and copier functions. At the higher end, automatic document feeders (ADF) can manage 50 copies in a single go and produce booklets including duplex printing, stapling and folding. Often the basic ADF features will accommodate most medium-sized offices.

In the past there has been a marked difference in Cost Per Page (CPP) between lasers and inkjets but in recent years, inkjets have managed to drop their prices to compete. Either way it's important you carefully assess the CPP of each device.

Manufacturers measure the toner or cartridge yields with an industry standard ISO rating. So you can safely assess the total price of replacing all the cartridges or toners divided by the print yield across all the potential models.

The total volume of prints you're going to make also needs to be taken into account. Devices often quote a "duty cycle" monthly maximum and recommended figures. These are the total number of prints it's designed to handle per month. If possible assess the number of prints per employee for the office and ensure the device is capable of meeting your current and future demands.

Finally in the past colour especially for laser printers has demanded a premium, that's not so much the case these days. However these models are still more expensive due to the additional materials required for the toners and printer manufacture. There's still a big enough differential that if you don't need regular colour you should opt for a mono model, perhaps using a cheaper inkjet or even out-of-house printing for occasional colour requirements.


Mon, 23 Apr 2018 00:32:24 +0000
Best business printer: top 10 printers for your office 2018
We make your life easier by picking out the best business-class printers on the market today.

PayPal Australia has made a number of changes to its financial services guide, including adding a new $5.99 fee for overseas personal money transfers to a “friend and family member”.

If all or part of that transfer is covered by a credit or debit card, Aussies will also cop a 2.6% fee, plus a currency conversion fee. Before the updated terms, this fee was 2.4%.

It’s important to note that the new fees are incurred by Australian account holders sending money out of the country that doesn’t involve international commercial transactions. 

And while it might be meant for sending your family some dosh when needed, it should be noted that some sellers request a “personal transaction” as opposed to a “goods and services” settlement when making a purchase. 

Commercial transactions, however, will not incur any fees if there is no currency conversion required. So as long as you pay in Aussie dollary-doos, you won't be paying extra fees for buying something.

[Via Reddit]


Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:47:36 +0000
PayPal Australia introduces a new $6 fee for overseas money transfers
PayPal Australia has added a $5.99 fee for any personal money transfer made to an overseas account.

Every Ikea shopper faces the same dilemma: shell out hundreds of dollars to have someone build your bargain-priced beds and bookshelves, or spend hours following inscrutable assembly instructions, losing bolts and screwing the wrong parts together until your head explodes.

Mercifully, thanks to a group of roboticists in Singapore, Ikea shoppers could eventually have a third option. 

The Control Robotics Intelligence Group (CRI) recently unveiled a fully-automated, two-armed robot capable of assembling a STEFAN chair kit on its own—in only nine minutes. 

CRI details its findings on the “limits of robotic manipulation” for “automatic assembly of an Ikea chair” in the latest issue of Science Robotics (behind a paywall). 

The tech relies primarily on using computer code to program specific movements, as opposed to any artificial intelligence (AI) technology. 

For over two years, CRI has trained its robots in specific actions, from bimanual pin insertion to twisting the chair around at specific angles. Each action humans can perform naturally takes months of work to implement in a robot’s coding. 

“In this work we were interested in achieving the low-level capabilities such as perception, planning and control, rather than in the high-level reasoning,” Pham Quang-Cuong told Scientific American

The robot’s arms are capable of sensing through tactile feedback if, for example, a peg has successfully been inserted into a hole, or has fallen to the ground. 

However, Quang-Cuong did say that they hope “to integrate AI methods in our future work”. 

Teaching robots to assemble Ikea furniture is considered a major milestone in the robotics field, and CRI wasn’t the first to achieve it. Back in 2013, MIT professor Ross Knepper built IkeaBot, an AI-based robot that could assemble furniture without needing blueprints or specific instructions. 

Instead, Knepper’s robot uses a “geometric reasoning system” to study the available parts and holes and then figure out organically how these should fit together. 

Eventually, CRI’s goal would be to synthesize physical coding with AI reasoning. In the report, the group projects that the robot will be programmed with a construction sequence for each Ikea catalog entry. 

And they “envision such a sequence being automatically determined from the assembly manual, through natural-language interaction with a human supervisor or, ultimately, from an image of the chair". 

Being able to tell your personal construction robot, “Okay, build my Brusali table” could be pretty exciting. However, based on the speed of the research, we’re still several years away from it being a possibility. Even for the first STEFAN sequence, CRI is still working out the kinks. 

Assembling the assembly robot

An AI-powered device like IkeaBot might seem more impressive than one that runs on rigid coding. But CRI’s robot has a positive that IkeaBot and other furniture-building bots lack: it’s made up of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. 

IEEE Spectrum revealed CRI’s toolkit for the two-armed robot: “two Denso industrial arms, Robotiq parallel grippers, force sensors, and a single depth camera.” That means that CRI could easily mass-produce the robot for sale. 

Whether consumers could buy this robot for their own furniture isn’t yet clear. Quang-Cuong emphasized that the robot tech would be ready to sell soon, but to factories. 

Presumably, the middleman factories would still charge people for assembly and delivery costs, so it’s unclear if this would really help consumers all that much. 

Still, if these robots did end up available for Ikea shoppers putting together their new furnishing, throwing together a dining room set of chairs in less than an hour, it could save everyone a lot of time and trouble. 

Via Scientific American


Fri, 20 Apr 2018 11:28:37 +0000
Frustration be gone: this robot will build Ikea furniture for you
A Singapore-based robotics company plans to incorporate AI tech and Ikea's entire catalog into its two-armed assembly bot.

Telecom giant Airtel is reportedly in advance talks with Netflix to provide free streaming access to customers using Airtel TV app. The two companies had already tied-up to provide the Netflix App on Airtel’s internet and direct-to-home service platforms. 

"Netflix and Airtel are in advanced discussions for an exclusive tie-up to offer Netflix content to Airtel mobile customers. Several rounds of discussions have been completed between the two companies and the deal could be announced in the coming weeks," sources close to the deal told PTI.

"As per the discussion, the subscription fee will not be charged for Netflix but customers will have to pay for data that they will consume for accessing Netflix content," the source said.

A master stroke for Airtel?

To recall, Airtel had partnered with Hotstar in February 2017 to expand Airtel TV app’s range of offerings, while also aiding the service provider to reach Airtel’s wide mobile customer base. 

Similarly, this tie-up could help Airtel bring more users to their network and help Netflix develop a larger viewer base in India. 

Currently, Netflix’s expensive monthly plans have been restricting them from acquiring new users on their platform. Competing services like Amazon Prime Video (Rs 999 for a year) and Hotstar (Rs 1,200 for a year) are eight times and three time cheaper than Netflix respectively. Getting it for free would be a huge deal for both Airtel and Netflix, and a win-win for the viewers. 

Right now, Netflix is one of the biggest paid video streaming services in India. The content is free for a month, post which, users need to pay Rs 500 a month for single screen, Rs 650 for two-screen access, and the 4K package is for Rs 800 a month.

Netflix entered India in 2016, when there was no major paid video streaming service available. The existing services had neither a vast content library nor the value that Netflix offers. 

A setback for JioTV

The rivalry between the two biggest telcos Airtel and Jio begun soon after Jio debuted with their disruptive data and calling plans. Initially, Jio’s free giveaway of data, voice and services led to bottoming out of revenue and margins of both small and big telecom companies. 

While companies like Aircel went bankrupt, others like Vodafone, Idea and Airtel were forced to pander to the benefits offered by Jio. Out of all, Airtel has consistently been neck-to-neck with the competition. The telco now has equally affordable prepaid and postpaid plans, has added and upgraded services, achieved partial implementation of VoLTE and much more to retain their customers.

One of the new additions to these services is the Airtel TV, which is their answer to JioTV. Unlike the recharge plans, what matters here is the content and that it is affordability. If Airtel succeeds to get Netflix on the Airtel TV app, it would be a big win against Jio.


Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:23:05 +0000
Bingers rejoice! Airtel TV might be offering you Netflix for free soon
Airtel is reportedly in preliminary talks with Netflix to provide free streaming access to customers using the Airtel TV app. Could this be the big move to take Jio down?

By making a minor change in its terms and conditions of use, Facebook is moving the data of all users outside of the US, Canada and the European Union from its Ireland headquarters to its offices in California, effectively escaping the EU’s new privacy protection law.

This shift in responsibility comes despite Facebook’s promise to protect user data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The move will be completed before the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law goes into effect on May 25, and will affect users from Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America. That’s about 70% of all Facebook users.

Escape route

Under the EU’s new law, Facebook, or any company, becomes liable to fines of up to 4% of their global turnover in case of a data breach. For Facebook, that could amount to around US$1.6 billion.

In a statement to Reuters, Facebook downplayed the significance of the changes made to the terms and conditions, saying, “We apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland.”

Yet, when questioned by the US Senate whether the social media giant would adhere to the GDPR, Mark Zuckerberg said yes but noncommittally referred to the GDPR “controls” as opposed to its “protections”.

Once the jurisdiction moves away from Ireland, Facebook will be governed by the more lenient laws of the US, giving the company some freedom on how it handles user data.

[Via Reuters]


Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:16:03 +0000
Facebook will move the data of 1.5 billion users to avoid EU’s new privacy law
1.5 billion Facebook users will be moved from Ireland to the US, where authorities won’t be able to fine companies for data breaches.

Graphene is the wonder compound that’s being hailed as the solution for battery life problems, the building block for paper-thin Wi-Fi receivers, brain-computer interfaces, and many other major technological breakthroughs.

So why isn’t it everywhere? Well, long story short, it’s incredibly difficult and expensive to make. But that could possibly be about to change thanks to a team working out of the prestigious MIT labs. 

In a paper published in online science journal Applied Materials and Interfaces, the team claims that is has managed to create the world’s first roll-to-roll graphene production, paving the way for a scalable, industrial method of graphene creation.

Mass market roll-out

Up until this point, the creation of graphene has mostly happened in tiny batches, using a process called vapor deposition which involves heating copper foil which then has carbon deposited onto it in combination with a mix of gases.

As you can imagine, this process is time consuming, laborious, and expensive. Not to mention it only creates small amounts of graphene, not the sheets that are likely to be needed in real-life applications.

The new process uses roll-to-roll manufacture which is very much what it sounds like, a sheet of copper is transferred from one roll to another, with the vapor deposition happening in the middle of the transfer. You can see the process below:

“Graphene starts forming in little islands, and then those islands grow together to form a continuous sheet,” says John Hart, associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity at MIT. “By the time it’s out of the oven, the graphene should be fully covering the foil in one layer, kind of like a continuous bed of pizza.”

This will allow for vast sheets of graphene to be produced. Now before you get too excited (we’re not over-excited, you’re over-excited, shut up) this process is currently being used to create graphene for the purpose of filtration.

Now, we’re certain that some people will get really jazzed about the idea of a graphene filtration membrane, but we’re most excited about the technological applications. Well, one of  the paper’s other authors, Piran Kidambi, had this to say:

“The system gives you a great degree of flexibility in terms of what you’d like to tune graphene for, all the way from electronic to membrane applications.”

So, brain-computer interfaces? Long-lasting batteries? Maybe. This is still in the testing phase and so could be years until we see the positive effects of it in devices we actually get to use. 

Via MIT


Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:01:19 +0000
Mass-produced graphene: MIT may have cracked it
A study at MIT has produced the first ever mass-produced graphene sheets, using a roll-to-roll process.

Creating an online store for your business is about to get easier than ever thanks to a new launch from iZettle.

The Swedish fintech firm has today announced a new e-commerce platform that will allow small businesses to create and launch their selling online in just a few minutes.

Available in the UK from today, the iZettle E-commerce platform lets businesses set up a custom shop quickly and easily, or gives them the guidance needed to start selling across blogs or social media. The service supports all major credit cards and online payment services, including PayPal.

Customers can also quickly add "buy buttons" to their existing sites, opening themselves up for business 24/7. The platform can be used to give an immediate overview of all sales, whether online or in-store, allowing businesses to spot popular products or trends quickly.

Faster

The service is open to UK users as part of the iZettle Go PLUS full-feature package, which is on offer for £29 per month.

Its launch comes as iZettle looks to extend its operations across Europe, with e-commerce offerings becoming increasingly vital for many businesses. 

The company is best known for its mini card readers, which have allowed small businesses across the world to accept card payments without needing to invest in costly infrastructure.

"This is iZettle’s biggest product launch since 2011 and it is a huge moment for us," said says Jacob de Geer, iZettle CEO and co-founder. 

"Today’s consumers expect businesses to be present both offline and online, and half of iZettle’s users currently don’t have an online shop and the other half struggle with different complex online systems. iZettle E-commerce solves these problems, helping small businesses find new customers and sell more - all from one place."


Thu, 19 Apr 2018 04:00:01 +0000
iZettle makes it easier than ever to start an online store
Setting up online stores will be easier than ever with new iZettle e-commerce platform

The end of financial year sales in Australia are inching closer with each day that goes by. That means there’s some massive sales to look forward to, with plenty of tech selling cheap.

The end of financial year is when retailers are looking to get rid of aging stock they’ve accumulated and are also often trying to hit yearly sales targets. This is good news for the consumer, with aggressive discounts available on a wide range of products – from cars to home appliances and pretty much everything else in between.

It’s also a good time to get your own business finances in order. You’ll find plenty of discounted products that are tax deductible, making the EOFY sales a great way to upgrade your business tech too.

Taking advantage of these sales online can take the weight off your feet, literally, giving you more time and energy to trawl through the numerous online storefronts to find the best deals – or you can let us do the hard work while you sit back, relax and watch this space.

The Australian TechRadar team will keep updating this page with all the best tax-time deals for 2018. If last year is anything to go by, most of the offers we share here end on or before June 30, so make sure you check in regularly if you want to score the best EOFY bargains.

EOFY sale: What to expect in 2018

Laptops and PCs: There's always plenty of computing gear on sale during the EOFY sales. Manufacturers like Microsoft, Lenovo, Dell and HP usually host their own sales on their sites, but you’ll also be able to grab laptops and desktop PCs from major retailers like Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi as well. You can expect to see average discounts of about 15% to 20%. You’ll even be able to snag bargains on computing accessories as well, with printers, keyboards, SSDs and external hard drives all going on sale during this time.

Smartphones and tablets: If you’ve been holding off on buying a new phone, the EOFY sales might be a great time to score a relatively recent model without having to pay full retail price. Samsung's latest Galaxy S9 handsets and Apple’s iPhone X and iPhone 8 flagships could well be available for less, as could older models. Great budget handsets can sometimes have even more tempting price tags as well. It'll likely also be a great time to save on some excellent tablets, potentially even select iPad models.

Home entertainment and personal audio: There were plenty of TVs, soundbars and speakers on sale during last year’s EOFY sale. We can expect to see more of the same in 2018, with excellent bargains on Bluetooth speakers, smart speakers and great sounding headphones to be had.

Gaming: Last year saw some great discounts on console bundles. With some blockbuster games just waiting to be played, you can expect to see them bundled along with either the PlayStation consoles or the Xbox One. And if you’d like to see the Nintendo Switch go on sale, you likely won’t be disappointed there either.

Cameras: Last year saw plenty of cameras go on sale: from compacts to DSLRs and action cams, too. It will be a great time to snag the more expensive enthusiast- and pro-level cameras, with varying cashback deals often available from manufacturers as well. It might also be a great time to move from DSLR to a mirrorless model. You’ll also be able to get discounts on accessories like lenses as well. You can expect to see GoPros for less as well as some excellent handycams.

Home appliances: If you’re looking to renovate your home, the EOFY sales will help you save plenty on the new appliances you’ll need. You can expect to see bargains on not just Dyson vacuum cleaners, but also fridges, dishwashers, washing machines and plenty more.


Wed, 18 Apr 2018 12:44:52 +0000
The best Australian EOFY tech deals 2018
Everything you can expect from this year's end of financial year sales.

A large number of tech firms – 34 companies in total – have signed a new collaborative agreement to help fight cyber-attacks.

The companies in question include the likes of ARM, Facebook, HP, Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, and Symantec, and the Cybersecurity Tech Accord pledges to help defend customers worldwide against cybercriminals who engage in hacking and spreading malware.

This comes after Juniper Research predicted last year that cyber-attacks on businesses and organizations across the globe would cause total economic losses of around $8 trillion (around £5.5 trillion) through to 2022.

Microsoft President Brad Smith commented: “The devastating attacks from the past year demonstrate that cybersecurity is not just about what any single company can do but also about what we can all do together. This tech sector accord will help us take a principled path towards more effective steps to work together and defend customers around the world.”

Global action

So what exactly does the agreement specify that the companies in question will do? The first point is to mount stronger defenses against cyber-attacks globally, along with opposing any efforts to tamper with or exploit these firms’ products and services.

Those are fairly obvious starting points, but the agreement also says that the companies will move to “increase cybersecurity capacity in every sector and region”, empowering developers and businesses to better protect themselves.

And finally, collective action is promised, with various partnerships planned with the likes of security researchers and industry experts to help better deal with vulnerability disclosures, to share threat intelligence and generally work against the spread of malware.

The first meeting of the companies will happen at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, and future actions will include collaboration over security guidelines and broadly developed features to combat cybercriminals.


Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:20:16 +0000
Facebook, HP, Microsoft and other tech giants vow to fight cyber-attacks
As the predicted cost of cyber-attacks on businesses rises to a colossal amount…

Some of humanity’s greatest scientific inventions—penicillin, X-rays, pacemakers, the microwave—were all created after researchers accidentally discovered how they could work. 

Now we can add a new, monumental creation to that list: a mutant enzyme that starts degrading plastic into its original, natural components, discovered by sheer accident.

Two years ago, Japanese scientists discovered a plastic-eating bacterium that could break down Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics in about six weeks by secreting an enzyme. PET is typically found in plastic bottles and takes 400 years to degrade naturally.

To see how the PET-killing enzyme worked, a different group of scientists tweaked its molecular structure to see how much it would slow down the degradation speed. Against their wildest expectations, the manipulated enzyme broke down PET plastics faster than the original.

John McGeehan, a professor at University of Portsmouth, UK, led the research, and told the Guardian that, while the discovery was “a bit of a shock”, he’s incredibly excited about the implications. 

While the tweaked enzyme was only “20% better” than the original, McGeehan claimed the percentage was irrelevant: “It tells us that the enzyme is not yet optimized. It gives us scope to use all the technology used in other enzyme development for years and years and make a super-fast enzyme.”

Other industrial enzymes for purposes like biofuel production have apparently been supercharged into working “1,000 times faster” than natural bacterial enzymes “in a few years”, and McGeehan’s team wants to replicate that speed for their PET destroyer. 

Currently, the enzyme takes “a few days” to begin breaking down plastics, and about six weeks to finish the process. Divide 42 days by 1,000, and you’re looking at only 10 hours. Mass-produced, fully-optimized enzymes, which are non-toxic and biodegradable, could have a significant impact on our huge plastic piles in a short amount of time. 

A desperately needed solution

Over a million plastics bottles are produced every minute, and nations overflowing with plastics are dumping these bottles into the sea, where they form ocean habitat-destroying piles. And to replace those bottles, plastic makers drill for oil to produce more PET. 

“Oil is cheap, so virgin PET is cheap,” said McGeehan, but by recycling plastics back into plastic materials, “we won’t need to dig up any more oil”. 

To combat these ever-growing garbage islands, scientists like McGeehan will attempt to turn their enzyme into a spray that can be deployed on floating refuse. 

Most scientists seem to find this promising, but one University of Manchester Professor, Adisa Azapagic, warned the Guardian that rapidly dissolving these plastics could have unintended consequences. 

“A full life-cycle assessment would be needed to ensure the technology does not solve one environmental problem – waste – at the expense of others, including additional greenhouse gas emissions,” Azapagic said.

Via Engadget



Scientists accidentally created a mutant, plastic-eating enzyme
They hope is to 'optimize' the genetically-engineered creation to degrade plastics in hours instead of centuries.
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