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Hope on the horizon as Adare Village shines bright with annual…

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first_img TAGSKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick Post RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Roisin Upton excited by “hockey talent coming through” in Limerick LimerickNewsHope on the horizon as Adare Village shines bright with annual Christmas Tree centre pieceBy Meghann Scully – December 8, 2020 190 Print WhatsApp Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener IN a year like no other, the Village Hall Committee in Adare Village, Limerick are doing their utmost to bring festive cheer to the community keeping one very special tradition alive – the annual village Christmas tree – albeit in a different way.While the annual Adare Village Christmas tree lighting gathering could not take place this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, the village Christmas tree this year has been lit up and it shines brightly as a beacon of light and hope for everyone who passes through this beautiful village.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The charming Adare Village Christmas tree is a very special tradition.  Over the years it has been described by many as the ‘first feeling of home’ as people returned to the area for Christmas holidays with family and friends.  The Adare Village Hall Committee are more committed than ever to keep this tradition alive in 2020.This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Memory Bulb tradition and it is even more poignant this year.  The community can buy a bulb on the tree to represent someone they have lost. Everyone who purchases a bulb receives a memory card showing each and every person’s name so they can all be held in the heart of the community.This has become a cherished keepsake from year to year. These cards are delivered locally by the committee but are posted out all over the world.  Bulbs cost €5 each and this year information will be circulated to every household in the parish.  Details will follow soon.The Village Hall Committee are also planning a big celebration for next year.  In 2021, the village celebrates the 75th anniversary of Lady Nancy Dunraven gifting the first public tree in the country to the community of the Village.  A tradition which has stood tall since.Chairman of the Village Hall Committee at Adare Village, Paudie Griffin, said: “We hope the village Christmas tree will bring a new sense of togetherness in the village this Christmas and remind people of our wonderful community and the need to shop local and to keep our village alive.“We have so many wonderful shops, boutiques, pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels which we all need to support. The tree this year was funded by a ‘ go fund me page’ set up by the committee. This has been very well received with donations coming in from around the globe and we thank everyone for their support.”“The message is loud and clear from Adare Village.  Our tree will stand proudly at the top of the village this year to represent our fight against Covid, to honour the people we have loved and lost and to show solidarity with our frontline workers.  Covid won’t stop this wonderful tradition!  It makes our hope burn brighter.” he added. Facebookcenter_img Previous articleWATCH: “We don’t mind who the public want to win”- Morrissey says Limerick focused on selfNext articleWATCH: Ireland End Autumn Series With Convincing Win Over Scots Meghann Scully Email Twitter WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Advertisement Linkedin Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live last_img read more

Speech: FST speech to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council Dinner: 27 September 2018

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first_imgIntroductionChief Secretary, distinguished guests, Lords, ladies, gentleman, it is a pleasure to address you this evening.As a finance minister, I am often told to keep things small, not big.As the Minister responsible for taxation, I look to Hong Kong for inspiration.Because your tax code is 270 pages. Our is 17,000.So I have some lessons to learn!One Country, Two SystemsLadies and gentlemen, over twenty years ago Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher agreed the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” ……a structure designed to protect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, independent judiciary, rule of law, and rights and freedoms of its residents and others in the Special Administrative Region.And at the time, of course, it was not without its critics……many people felt a sense of trepidation about what was to come……with some prophesising a highly regulated economy or indeed, even economic decline.But the critics have been proved wrong, and Hong Kong has indeed stood the test of time.“One Country, Two Systems” has protected the success of Hong Kong……and it is vital that this continues……as part of the faithful implementation of the Joint Declaration.More than ever, Hong Kong has been characterised by strength and prosperity.Today it stands as one of the most thriving and energetic cities in the world……like London, a global financial powerhouse……and the gateway to China – one of the biggest markets in the world.And more than ever, we should perhaps reflect on Hong Kong’s legacy……and take on board the lessons of history.Because in the immortal words of Mark Twain, history doesn’t repeat itself – but it does rhyme.As the UK prepares to the leave the European Union……to face the world ……we acknowledge that we will always be a part of Europe……but we are ready to take control of our future……as a sovereign nation, as Global Britain.Just as Hong Kong challenged the naysayers all those years ago……our country has the chance to do precisely the same.The ties that bind us togetherChief Secretary, by geographic fate, the UK and Hong Kong stand as lighthouses in our regions……bordered by sea, gateways to commerce, with a shared history of entrepreneurship.But geo-politics is not the only thing that binds us…… because we both share certain special qualities.We are filled with a sense of determination, of adventure, and in our economic affairs – an unwavering commitment to cross-border trade.These are qualities that will allow the UK and Hong Kong to survive the turbulence of the 21st century……and grasp the opportunities it undoubtedly presents. And, as the UK faces a time of unprecedented change in her history, we are looking to our international partners……and especially to those with which we have deep historic ties.The enduring relationship between the UK and Hong Kong has its foundation in a shared history……but it has grown into so much more than that.Just look at the 300,000 British citizens resident in Hong Kong……to the tens of thousands of Hong Kong students who study in the UK every year……to the British Council’s Festival of Ideas next January – which will showcase the best of UK creativity and innovations.So, we have a strong base of shared values……and a legacy of exchange – be it of ideas, culture or people.But as a Treasury Minister, it is the continued strength of our economies……and the two-way flow of trade and investment upon which I want to focus on this evening.Tapping into new markets togetherOur two great economies are deeply intertwined……Hong Kong remains the UK’s second largest export market for goods in the APAC region……investment from Hong Kong into the UK has increased by 35% since 2010……and Hong Kong is home to over a third of all British investment in Asia.And as we leave the European Union, we will look to further enhance our partnership with Hong Kong.Because despite appearances, no financial centre is an island……both the UK and Hong Kong are leading global hubs……in facilitating trade and prosperity throughout Europe, Asia and beyond.And we are stronger when working together.Through the annual London-Hong Kong Financial Forum, we have committed to explore and capitalise on the issues facing our financial industries.It is only by harnessing the forces set to reshape financial markets – rather than avoiding them – that we can continue the UK and HK’s mutually beneficial relationship.Globalisation, climate change, infrastructure, technology……should be taken and acknowledged for what they are……as opportunities to seize.Take for example the untapped potential of green finance……and the role it could play in funding 21st century corporates……and facilitating infrastructure projects worldwide.In Asia – this could range from the Greater Bay Area to the trans-continental Belt and Road Initiative……and here at home, I am proud to see green finance being put to use as we build the UK’s Northern Powerhouse.Green finance has the potential to be a rapidly expanding force of financing.To meet the infrastructure needs of developing Asian economies would require $1.5 trillion in investment per year until 2030.We should all rise to the challenge as to how green finance can be targeted to plug that gap.This vision will only be attained if leading financial centres – like London and Hong Kong – work in tandem to scale-up the sector……and foster the right environment for a competitive green marketplace to emerge.Green finance of course is but one area of innovation that the UK and Hong Kong can capitalise on.At this dinner last year, the UK-Hong Kong FinTech Bridge was witnessed by the Chief Executive and the Chancellor of the Exchequer……to enhance connectivity……pool our mutual expertise……and permit our firms to access the capital, talent, accelerators and start-ups in both jurisdictions.The bridge that extends between us will apply cutting-edge technology to turbo-charge our financial industries.I am a great believer that FinTech has enormous power to transform international finance……and create a more efficient, productive and bespoke industry for corporates and consumers.So I am thrilled that the UK and Hong Kong remain at the frontier of this sector.In the months and years ahead, green finance and FinTech are but two aspects of an ambitious bilateral agenda.I welcome the Chief Executive’s support of our Strategic Dialogue on Trade Partnership……which gives us a way to identify and address any remaining barriers to trade between the UK and Hong Kong.And we are preparing for the 8th London-Hong Kong Financial Forum……working to ensure corporates and investors can access new opportunities……and delivering the innovation and thought leadership necessary to meet challenges bigger than any one financial centre.Because the joint investment opportunities are vast – just take the rise of China.It is expected that up to $600 billion in foreign funds will enter the Chinese stock market in the next 5 – 10 years……channelled through Stock Connects that are operational in Hong Kong……and soon to launch in London.Already around 60% of all Chinese capital flows through Hong Kong……often hiring UK professional services firms as intermediaries and advisers.The opportunities to fully explore the potential of investment in China ……is something we should both consider a priority in the years ahead.I know I speak on behalf of the Chancellor and the Government when I say that we are committed to exploring the synergies between Hong Kong and Global Britain……collaborating to bring us both greater prosperity and competitiveness.ConclusionSo, to conclude this evening, I want to share this quote with you:“Britain must always think and act internationally. But rather than rely on our influence within the confines of a narrow Europe I would have us fulfil our destiny as a nation with global interests and a special understanding of the world derived from our history.”That was Margaret Thatcher speaking in Asia before the handover of Hong Kong in 1997.And her words have never been more relevant.As we prepare to face the world as Global Britain, eager to embrace the opportunities this country voted to explore……we are looking beyond Europe; we are looking East.There has never been a better time to unlock the full potential of our relationship with Hong Kong, a natural ally in the East.I look forward to strengthening the bonds between us……for the years to come.Thank you all very much.last_img read more

TBT: Matt Kirk Sets Unsupported A.T. Speed Record

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first_imgA handful of close friends awaited Matt Kirk atop Springer Mountain, Ga., in August, 58 days 9 hours and 38 minutes after he left Mount Katahdin in Maine. Sunlight filtered through the thick fog that was covering the mountain. Then a long and lean hiker appeared through the mist, and in a few final strides, he reached the summit plaque to the sound of cowbell and cheering.It was the accomplishment of a lifetime for Kirk. After being introduced to camping at age 17, Matt fell in love with the Appalachian Trail on a trip to the Grayson Highlands in Virginia with his parents. He tackled a northbound trek of the A.T. in 2001 when he was 20 years old. Long-distance running and hiking became an obsession. He went on to add thru-hikes of Vermont’s Long Trail, the Colorado Trail, California’s John Muir Trail, and in 2011, the Mountains to Sea Trail in North Carolina. He also set records thru-hiking the Bartram Trail and completing the South Beyond 6,000 Challenge.Now, at age 32, he has accomplished his toughest trek to date: an unsupported southbound thru-hike. He hiked to all of his resupply points and even made his own ultra-lightweight backpack, setting a new unsupported A.T. speed record in the process.What inspired you to hike the A.T. again, this time with a goal of sub-60 days? I learned about Ward Leonard’s extraordinary feat of hiking the A.T. in 60.5 days during my first thru-hike of the AT in 2001. He accomplished this back in 1990, and it fascinated me that the record had stood for so long. As my competence in fast packing grew over the years and I found myself in a position with summers off, I thought I’d give it a shot.Considering how hard it must be to train well for such an endeavor, how did you fit in the time and miles? During the year leading up to the attempt, we were living in downtown Brevard, N.C., where I could literally hike from our home into the mountains of Pisgah for weekend-long outings. My training was rather minimal, and I relied on the cumulative experience of 12 years of hiking and ultra running to be successful.What was your longest day? Shortest day? My longest day was my last day. From Low Gap Shelter, where I ducked out from the rain from one to four o’clock in the morning, it was 43.2 miles. My shortest day was on day 11 when I hiked 22.9 miles from Zealand Falls to Lonesome Lake Hut. Ironically, that was nearly the longest day in terms of daylight. The Whites are just that rugged.When, if ever, did you feel confident that you’d make it under 60 days?I think it was around Hot Springs when I calculated that I could break 60 days by averaging around 35 miles per day for the remainder of the trek. My knee was feeling much better, so I started to feel really good about my chances at that point.What were the highs and lows of the journey?There are far too many to list! It’s interesting how highs followed lows. To give an example: I was cold and wet as I hiked out of the Mahoosucs in the dark. And yet, even before I reached the warmth and comfort of the White Mountain Lodge in Sherburne, NH, I came to relish the raw beauty around me: descending rugged terrain, spooking countless porcupines and feeling more alive than ever. The entire journey was an emotional roller coaster just like that particular night on the trail.What new insight have you gained after such an amazing accomplishment?I definitely learned a lot about myself. Moving quickly through the Appalachians also gave me a unique perspective of these finite and fragile mountains. I hope to share this experience with others as best as I can through writing.Were you still able to enjoy the typical AT thru-hiker’s social experiences?Yes, maybe not to the extent of most hikers, but it’s about quality, not quantity. I feel fortunate that I got to meet some really cool people, even if it was for a very short period of time. Talking with and getting to know these folks was a highlight of my journey.What was the longest that anyone hiked along with you?I recall bumping into and hiking with a father and son team for 10 miles or so in Vermont. That was probably the longest that I hiked with anyone along the entire trail.Is it true that you make your own gear? If so, why?Yes, a lot of my gear is homemade. By making my own gear, I not only dialed in a system that really works, but also developed skills to be creative and resourceful on the trail. It’s a huge time investment, but it’s also time well spent.What was the most important piece of gear on this adventure?My brain.What did you eat? How many calories per day? I ate a lot of peanuts, raisins, and a variety of snack and energy bars. I also cooked a dinner most evenings on the trail, which added some variety to the diet. I started with a budget of 3,500 calories per day in my drops, but quickly figured out that was insufficient, so I started supplementing whenever and wherever I could.What do you think about social media and/or forum posts revealing a hiker’s location?I think it’s ultimately the hiker’s responsibility to take the preventative actions required to ensure the safety and integrity of his/her hike since no one can control what others do or say. It’s important to be transparent about a record attempt, but not in real time.How much did unplanned trail magic actually aid you in getting to your next resupply?I received trail magic on several occasions and I’m very grateful to the trail angels who came out to provide this support for all hikers. However, without this magic, I would’ve still made it to my next resupply. On a self-supported hike, it’s equally foolish to rely on unplanned trail magic as it is to turn it down.How low do you think the record could go in the future?  Who do you think could beat your record?I don’t think sub-50 would be possible without a support crew. But given a good year, I believe an experienced hiker could break 55 days. I’m not going to name any names, but there are several people who come to mind. I just hope they don’t make it look too easy.last_img read more

Special Olympics on Hold Through May

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first_imgIndianapolis, IN – As government officials and health care experts across our state, our nation, and the world continue to explore ways to combat the spread of COVID-19, we all must do our best to be a part of the solution.  For the thousands upon thousands of individuals who are a part of Special Olympics Indiana — which exists to break down barriers for people with intellectual disabilities and to bring people together through year-round programs and events centering on sports — doing our part means disrupting our typically-full calendar by postponing or cancelling events and by discouraging the people we serve from taking part in any and all group activities during this difficult time.Special Olympics International has strongly advised us to extend our ongoing suspension of all practices, competitions, and events involving athletes levels through at least May 31.Again, Special Olympics Indiana will cancel or postpone ALL planned in-person activities at the County, Area, and State levels through May, including but not limited to ALPs University and all 10 Area Spring Games. We are currently exploring options for rescheduling or hosting a condensed version of our beloved Summer Games later in the year, but those plans are uncertain and will be subject to our ability to safely resume activity in a timely manner without endangering the health of our athletes and volunteers. More details will be communicated when available; in the meantime, rest assured that we will be monitoring the situation closely and will make every effort to resume our regularly-scheduled programming as soon as possible.Courtesy of Special Olympics Indiana President and CEO Jeff Mohler. Furthermore, because the necessary opportunities for training and preparation will no longer be available to competitors this spring, the 2020 Indiana Summer Games will NOT go on as planned on the weekend of June 12-14 in Terre Haute.last_img read more

Digitain launches peak customisable engine – ‘Bet Generator’

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first_img Submit Share Suren Khachatryan – DigitainIndustry multi-channel platform and systems supplier Digitain has bolstered its sportsbook capacity by launching new betting engine ‘Bet Generator’ – a fully customisable vertical tailored for player preferences.Announced as a major product initiative, Bet Generator has come to market with a host of unique features and innovations, such as allowing players to set desired wagers and potential returns on their ‘risk appetite’ – which in turn sees Bet Generator automatically generate a customised bet.Additional functionalities see players able to select a total number of events on their bet, ranging from 2-30 – with Digitain’s algorithmic driven betting system then compiling the chosen bets at random via a customised bet slip.Launching Bet Generator, Suren Khachatryan, CCO at Digitain, said: “Our latest innovative betting functionality is set to offer a completely new betting instrument for our operator partners – and we’re delighted to be delivering something so unique.”In its product notes, Digitain details that its new engine has been developed to optimise all core functions of a bookmaker’s operational value chain, meeting scale demands of live betting environments within a fragmented legislative landscape.Furthermore, Bet Generator is backed by Digitain’s proven rapid deployment capabilities and centralised control systems, powering a sportsbook engine which comprehensively covers 65 sports and 7,500 leagues, added to more than 3,000 betting markets and 35,000 live events per month.“The latest generation of player is looking for operators to provide a betting experience tailored to them, and it’s our job to provide our partners with the tools to do so,” added Khachatryan. “Bet Generator caters to that need and more – delivering a market-leading betting engine that meets all appetites for risk.” Digitain and LSports double up for simulated tennis roll out June 30, 2020 Related Articles SBC Webinars and Digitain present Finding Value in Untapped Markets July 14, 2020 StumbleUpon Why reliability of service is an integral part of TVBET’s strategy August 6, 2020 Sharelast_img read more

CARICOM not doing enough to support cricket – WICB’s Nanthan

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first_imgGEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC): The Vice-President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Emmanuel Nanthan, says regional governments are not doing enough to support the development of cricket in the region. Nanthan’s declaration comes as the Dave Cameron-led WICB and CARICOM appear to remain at loggerheads over a recommendation calling for the dissolution of the board by a review panel setup by CARICOM and the WICB. The WICB appears to be preparing for a legal battle with CARICOM to resist the recom-mendations of the Review panel by hiring Dominican lawyer Anthony Astaphan. Nanthan is insisting that the problems with West Indies cricket have little to do with WICB’s governance, but a lack of resources from regional governments to fund training. “It costs the WICB about US$1 million to train a cricketer from the Under-15 level to the elite level in international cricket,” said Nanthan, a sports administrator for the past 20 years. “Eighty-seven per cent of all amounts spent by the Windwards and Leewards in age group tournaments is represented by accommodation costs, air and sea travel costs and the cost of meals for players who are away from their homes. No wonder on an annual basis the Windwards and Leewards are always at the bottom of the table in the early rounds of the regional competition.” A recent meeting in Grenada between CARICOM prime ministers and a WICB delegation to discuss the panel’s governance report made little progress except for an agreement for future meetings. WICB’s defiance appears to have been fired-up following a subsequent board meeting in St Lucia, which also discussed the governance report. “Did the academics look into this? Are the nation states encouraging cricket in the communities?” asked Nanthan. “I say all this so you can understand the costs of the opportunity, which you have been offered through the opportunity of the Professional Cricket League.” STATE’S ROLE The WICB vice-president added: “Early education in sports in schools is the responsibility of the State. The responsibility of training to achieve successful performance and results for national teams in regional and international sports is the responsibility of the governments.” Nanthan says the WICB is prepared to make amendments, but stressed that only share-holder territories can legally dissolve the WICB. “We are prepared to make some changes as we did following previous Governance Reports,” he told Kaieteur News in Guyana. “However, on the basis of a corporate review and legal advice, only the shareholders of the WICB can dissolve the company – the WICB. And similarly only shareholders can appoint new directors to the board, whether they are independent or shareholders directors.”last_img read more

SA internet ‘turnaround has begun’

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first_imgCisco warns that change won’t happen overnight, however, with only some of the 300-plus contenders being in a position to manage their own networks, due to their ability to raise the necessary capital. “But the market has been anticipating this change, and numerous small, semi-legal networks have sprung up around the country in the past year,” Goldstuck said. “Many of these should emerge above the radar with their new licences, along with new entrants into the market.” “We believe these changes will lead to sufficient levels of competition, increase access to internet usage and, in turn, increase global competitiveness and economic diversity,” Cisco Internet Business Solutions senior manager Reshaad Ahmed said, adding that the evolution and changes in the local telecoms industry could not have come at a better time. Seacom cable Restrictive regulator environment ‘Death of dial-up’ At the same time, the market as a whole has seen a continued dramatic shift from dial-up connections to broadband, with growth in both ADSL and 3G at more than 50%. “South Africa could, potentially, go from five major service providers to more than 300 overnight,” said Ahmed. “The combination of new licensees, policy directions, and municipality networks has set the stage for a highly competitive telecommunications marketplace, with consumers and businesses leading the charge toward choice, competition, and fair market value.” Goldstuck describes the minister’s decision as a pivotal moment, but one that should have occurred four years ago: “In that time we saw growth slow to a near standstill, and the possibility of bringing access to underserviced area becoming ever more remote. Goldstuck said that one could see the emergence of a broadband culture in South Africa, held back only by the restrictions still placed on data capacity – which should start becoming a non-issue by the middle of 2009, when a new undersea fibre-optic cable enters operation. South Africa’s internet user base has seen its highest rate of growth since 2001, increasing by 12.5% to 4.5-million over the past year, according to the Internet Access in South Africa 2008 study by local internet research firm World Wide Worx. But it is only one of a series of new cables in the works, which will make the connectivity landscape completely unrecognisable for both South Africa and the rest of the continent by 2013. “At that point, dial-up will effectively be dead as a connectivity option – it is more expensive, and utterly inappropriate to the changing nature of the internet,” he said. “Once everyone who is connected is on broadband or high-speed networks, the internet will come into its own as an environment for business collaboration and personal interaction.” 8 December 2008 Encouraging new servicescenter_img SAinfo reporter “We are therefore pleased with the findings, as they indicate a positive trend for economic growth – we belive that pervasive broadband at the right price is a key enabler for economic prosperity,” Ahmed said. The Internet Access in SA 2008 report shows that growth has come largely on the back of dramatic take-up of broadband offerings by small businesses, which alone accounted for half of the growth in the market, mainly through connecting office staff to their ADSL links. The Seacom undersea cable, commissioned mainly by new market entrant Neotel, will increase South Africa’s international bandwidth 40-fold, and will mark the beginning of what World Wide Worx describes as a seismic shift in the internet landscape in Africa. Those that do take up the challenge will need to spend a significant amount of time building a business model that will be sustainable, innovative, and takes advantage of the strategic position with which a contender is faced, while employing the capabilities of existing service providers. “It spells the birth of an entirely new industry, and we are already seeing the market champing at the bit to become part of that industry,” Goldstuck said. The study was backed by US-based Cisco Systems, and the findings were released during the Networkers at Cisco Live! conference in Johannesburg last week. Delegates at the conference heard that one of the obstacles was a highly restrictive regulatory environment, with the Minister of Communications only deciding late in the year not to oppose a court ruling allowing all network operators to supply their own telecommunication infrastructure. “The increase comes on the eve of the biggest shake-up in South African internet access we’ve seen since the dawn of the commercial internet in 1994,” World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck said in a statement last week. SMEs go broadband “It is imperative for all relevant stakeholders to drive broadband to encourage new services: skills, education, business interaction, and lowering the cost of doing business.” “It is only the beginning of a dramatic turnaround, and is occurring despite numerous obstacles in the way of growth.” Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Should the Internet of Vibrating Things be worried?

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first_imgIt’s been a bad period for Canada’s Standard Innovation Corp., with the news that their popular connected “pleasure device” (aka a vibrator…now everyone settle down), We Vibe 4 Plus, is easily hackable being followed by a corresponding lawsuit.The smart vibrator released two years ago is marketed towards couples spending time apart. It’s Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi- compatible and able to be controlled remotely by either partner using a cellphone app called We-Connect. This allows users to control the toy’s intensity and vibration patterns. Other features built into the app include private text messages and video calls.At the latest DefCon conference held in August in Las Vegas,  two independent hackers from New Zealand, known digitally as goldfisk and follower, presented a talk titled “Hacking the Internet of Vibrating Things” that revealed that the ways  that the way the vibrator connects with its controlling app isn’t secure – making it possible to remotely seize control of the vibrator and activate it at will.See also: That connected device already knows your mom’s maiden nameThe pair also discovered that the app itself was sending the temperature of the device back to Standard Innovation every minute, and any time the intensity of the vibration changed — in effect providing data of when and how often someone is using the vibrator.This data is stored on corporate servers and in the terms and conditions of the device the manufacturer reserves the right to pass it on to the authorities. “What are the implications of who they’re going to give that data to,” asked goldfisk. “In their privacy policy, they say ‘we reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information if required to by law’, but what does that actually mean?”A new form of sexual assault?While some may at first find the concept amusing, the reality is that the security of a sex toy should be taken seriously. As goldfisk commented during the talk:“The company that makes this vibrator, Standard Innovation: They have over 2 million people using their devices, so what’s at stake is 2 million people…A lot of people in the past have said it’s not really a serious issue, but if you come back to the fact that we’re talking about people, unwanted activation of a vibrator is potentially sexual assault.”In a statement in response to the workshop, Standard Innovation shared that they have engaged external security and privacy experts to conduct a thorough review of our data practices with a view of further strengthening data protection for our customers. They admit to this data collection, too:“We do collect certain limited data to help us improve our products and for diagnostic purposes. As a matter of practice, we use this data in an aggregate, non-identifiable form. Processor chip temperature is used to help us determine whether device processors are operating correctly. And vibration intensity data is used for the purposes of helping us better understand how—in the aggregate—our product features are utilized.”In September a Canadian woman known only as N.P in an 18-page class action lodged a civil suit against Standard Innovation. She says she bought herself a $130 We-Vibe from an Illinois retailer in May but never realized “that We-Connect monitors and records, in real time, how they use the device.”Standard Innovation likewise failed to mention “that it transmits the collected private usage information to its servers in Canada.”Standard Innovation released a statement this week that they have updated the We-Connect app and app privacy notice. This includes an option for customers to opt-out of sharing anonymous app usage data is available in the We-Connect settings and a new plain language Privacy Notice outlining data collection.A short history of long breachesIt’s worth noting the world’s first smart vibrator, Vibease, only came on the market in 2015. Yet it’s not the first leak of sensitive data. At CeBIT in Hannover earlier this year, security software firm Trend Micro revealed that it was able to successfully hijack a vibrator that connect to the internet with an on-stage reveal.Using a PIN of 0000—the default option for most bluetooth devices—Trend Micro’s researchers were able to easily connect to the vibrator and implement its own software to take control over the device.In 2011 developer Andy Baio revealed that Fitbit health and activity trackers were revealing users’ sexual activity stats online. The company had made users’ profiles and activity public by default, to encourage social sharing and friendly competition. As a consequence, over 200 Fitbit users’ “sex-ercise” were showing up in Google search results.Then only recently a Consumer Report into Glow Pregnancy App revealed that private health and sexual information was easily accessible, even to those without any hacking skills. Anyone with an account could request that data of another to be shared without the sharer requiring to supply permission to do so.This meant that “anyone — loving partner, obsessive ex-husband, or anonymous creep — could link his account to any Glow users, if he knew the woman’s email address.” Other vulnerabilities would allow an attacker with rudimentary software tools to collect email addresses, change passwords, and access personal information from participants in Glow’s community forums, where people discuss their sex lives and health concerns.It’s clear that security regulations in both connected devices and personal health apps need to have greater security measures implemented that involve “opt in” consent to the sharing of information, along with penalties for unsafe devices. This needs to be combined with greater consumer education and a populace that digital devices take their security seriously in the first instance.And maybe a really secure safe word. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Cate Lawrence Related Posts How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua…center_img Follow the Puck Tags:#data#Def Con#digital app#Fitbit#Glow#hacking#Internet of Things#IoT#security#sex toys#Vibease#wearables What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

Ranieri bracing up to end Uniteds unbeaten run

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first_imgClaudio Ranieri does not lack the motivation when it comes to playing Manchester United as he bids to end their unbeaten run.The Red Devils have not lost any of their 10 matches since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became Mourinho’s interim successor in December.The Norwegian has received plaudits for his style of play which has seen United back in contention for a Champions League position just two points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.In contrast, Saturday’s opponent Fulham are in a relegation battle and have won only once in their last five league games, but Ranieri fancies his side’s chances.“We must be positive and have to fight,” Ranieri told reporters. “If we don’t fight and lose, you lose before you play.“It’s not tragedy, it’s football. We used to fight. If the opponent is better, well done to them. I want to see my players fight until the end. My fans will be happy seeing the players fight for every ball.“Sooner or later they [United] have to lose. Why not against us?”Ranieri admits Solskjaer is doing enough to land the job on a full-time basis, despite acknowledging United’s unbeaten run has an end date.He wants “soldiers”.Claudio Ranieri says his Fulham side for ready for a fight as Manchester United arrive at Craven Cottage this weekend.Cristiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic, Manchester UnitedVidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.👉 https://t.co/u5eJ5D4KOf pic.twitter.com/acjfJNwEit— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 7, 2019“He deserves it at the moment,” Ranieri disclosed via FourFourTwo. “He shows the players are with him. Manchester has changed the mentality, why not?“The result speaks for him. All victories and one draw, the players change their mind, more involved and they are fighting together.”The Italian boss is wary of the threat of Anthony Martial knowing him fully well in his Monaco days.“I signed him for £5 million, it was good business,” the Italian said. “He was very fantastic. I watched him during an under-22s match against Monaco [playing for Lyon] and was impressed.“When the chance came to buy him, I said, ‘Take this guy, because for me he could have a good future’. He came to Manchester and well done to him.“He’s very good. He can dribble, [he’s] strong, fast. There are so many good players [in the United team] – [Paul] Pogba, [Marcus] Rashford, so many. We must be concentrated and strong, positive to show our personality during the game.”last_img read more

State Looks to Establish Robotics Center at Ft Benning

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first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Leaders in Columbus, Ga., helped the Army celebrate Fort Benning’s 100th anniversary this past month, but state and local officials continue to look ahead in their effort to support the installation. The state, for example, is proposing to establish a Robotics Center of Innovation at the post, an initiative designed to reinforce Fort Benning’s R&D mission for the infantry, armor and cavalry, reports the Ledger-Enquirer. Autonomous systems have a range of applications for the Army, including clearing areas for troops and military vehicles and transporting heavy loads into combat zones.“Robotics show great promise for everything from logistics to medical to taking some of the load off the soldier, to going in and being able to provide weapons systems to augment the soldier to make sure he has more and more lethality on the field of combat,” said Gary Jones, executive vice president of military and government affairs at the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.Read “Fort Benning 100 Years,” a special series of stories published by the Ledger-Enquirer to celebrate the post’s centennial.Photo courtesy of robotLabolast_img read more