Tag Archives: InfoWorld tech news

REPORT: The UK will be short of 800,000 digital workers by 2020 as a result of Brexit

A coder Jonatan Poljo works in the Mojang company office in Stockholm January 18, 2013. A pool table, a pinball machine, board games and Lego dot the offices of Mojang, the small Swedish company behind the wildly popular Minecraft video game, and one of its founders is wearing a tuxedo and purple tie on a recent

The UK tech industry risks a shortfall in skills to the tune of 800,000 jobs by 2020, according to research published on Sunday by policy group Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec).

The study, first reported by The Sunday Times, urges the UK government to take urgent action and create a new high-skilled visa for overseas tech workers.

In order to qualify for the hypothetical six month visa, immigrants would have to have studied at a designated institution or passed certain exams in specific programming languages. Anyone that doesn’t receive a job offer after the six month visa runs out would have to return to their home country.

Alex Depledge MBE, chair of Coadec, said in a statement: “If Britain is going to succeed in a post-Brexit world, the UK’s tech sector must be able to hire global talent. That means a smart visa system that enables the best and the brightest to come to the UK from wherever they are in the world.”

Tech workers from outside the EU currently have to apply for one of 20,000 Tier 2 visas, which are also open to accountants, solicitors and management consultants, or one of 200 “exceptional talent” visas, which are endorsed by Tech City UK.

taavet hinrikus transferwise ceoCoadec’s report will be launched in Parliament on February 21 by digital economy minister Matt Hancock and MP David Jones, who is the minister of the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU).

Coadec claims that the digital tech sector, which received £6.7 billion from investors in 2016, accounts for 3 million jobs in the UK.

The organisation also claims that on average, three of a tech startup’s first 10 hires are from outside the UK, the report claims.

Taavet Hinrikus, cofounder of fintech firm TransferWise, said in a statement: “For the UK’s tech sector to thrive, we have to find solutions to the current talent and skills shortages.

“It’s everything from how we build the capacity in the UK through education, and how we attract the best from around the world through immigration policies. Post-Brexit, the need is even more pressing.”

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NOW WATCH: People are boycotting Budweiser because of this immigration-themed Super Bowl ad

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YouTube is killing off its unskippable 30-second ads (GOOG)

Susan Wojcicki

YouTube will stop serving unskippable 30-second ads to users in 2018, Google announced on Friday.

The company will instead push its other unskippable ad formats, including the 6-second ad unit it launched in April and its 20-second ads. (We first spotted the story on Campaign.)

A Google spokesperson told Business Insider: “We’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.”

According to YouTube, more than half of its video views come from mobile users, where a 30-second ad can negatively affect consumers with a smaller data plan.

The video sharing website also faces competition from Facebook, which began testing mid-roll ads, allowing advertisers to insert ads after users have watched 20 seconds of a video, earlier this year.

SEE ALSO: Privacy browser Cliqz has acquired the ad and tracking blocker Ghostery

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NOW WATCH: Watch Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad — it makes a strong statement on immigration

Microsoft Office 2010
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A single typo let hackers steal $400,000 from a bitcoin rival

thief robber stealing hack riot

Typos aren’t just a headache — they can sometimes have very costly consequences.

On Friday, digital currency Zcoin announced that a typographical error had let an unidentified attacker make a profit of around $400,000 (£320,000).

Zcoin is similar to Bitcoin — it’s a digital currency powered by cryptography, and without any single central bank. It’s based on Zerocoin, a software protocol that was developed to to provide its users with “complete financial privacy and anonymity.”

But in implementing it, the Zcoin made a single screw-up. “Yesterday, our team found a bug in our implementation of Zerocoin,” Zcoin community manager Reuben Yap wrote in a blog post on Friday. “A typographical error on a single additional character in code allowed an attacker to create Zerocoin spend transactions without a corresponding mint.”

In other words, they got a single letter wrong in their code — and this let a hacker steal coins by cashing out from single transactions multiple times.

Yap emphasises that there’s nothing wrong with Zcoin’s cryptography — it was just the typo that was the problem. “The exploit happened due to the bug in the code and not from any weakness in the cryptography. The bug from the typo error allowed the attacker to reuse his existing valid proofs to generate additional Zerocoin spend transactions,” he wrote.

In short: It’s human error, they argue, rather than any fatal flaw in the Zcoin project.

The still-unidentified attacker was able to steal around 370,000 Zcoins — around $680,000-worth (£546,000) at current exchange rates, according to CoinMarketCap. Almost all of these have already been sold on, netting the attacker a profit of around 410 bitcoin — $437,000 (£351,000) — according to Zcoin.

The attacker evaded detection for weeks by slowly making payments and withdrawals. “From what we can see, the attacker (or attackers) is very sophisticated and from our investigations, he (or she) did many things to camouflage his tracks through the generation of lots of exchange accounts and carefully spread out deposits and withdrawals over several weeks,” Yap wrote.

“We estimate the attacker has created about 370,000 Zcoins which has been almost completely sold except for about 20,000+ Zcoin and absorbed on the market with a profit of around 410 BTC. In other words, the damage has already been mostly absorbed by the markets.”

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Visual Studio’s cloud IDE gets smarter about builds

Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team Services cloud-based application development platform is improving pull requests, package management, and GitHub build integration.

Upgrades will make it easier to work with pull requests assigned to teams, Microsoft said in a bulletin discussing improvements planned for rollout during the next few weeks. “When a PR is created or updated, email alerts will now be sent to all members of all teams that are assigned to the PR,” the company said in release notes on Team Services. A future release will support pull requests assigned to Azure Active Directory groups and teams containing these groups.

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How mobile technology is transforming lives in rural India

A Morning Ride Deep in a rural village in India outside the city of Jhansi, children play on dirt roads where goats and cows roam. The humble and colorful homes have mud floors, and women collect drinking water from wells. All the sights and sounds are quintessential aspects of the region, with the exception of one feature — the use of smartphones to save lives. Read More

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Snap ad exec Sriram Krishnan leaves, but not why you think

sriram Flying from SF to LA every week sucks, and so Sriram Krishnan is leaving a big financial opportunity at Snap to ditch the commute. The former Facebook Audience Network executive spent the last year running Snap’s Ads API and platform, and now he’s leaving. The move was reported in Recode today, saying “The timing here isn’t great for Snap”. But that immediately… Read More

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A little-known startup that has quietly amassed 100,000 Wall Street users just scored a big investment

bgc partners trading floor

  • OpenFin, a startup that helps electronic-trading firms build their desktop applications, has raised $15 million in funding.
  • Backers include JPMorgan, the high-speed trading firm DRW, and the venture capital firm Euclid Opportunities.
  • The firm wants to become what iOS and Android are to the mobile application world.

You might have heard of the high-speed market-maker Citadel Securities or the interdealer broker TP ICAP. Then there’s TruMid, the bond-trading platform backed by George Soros and Peter Thiel, and the Treasury-trading startup OpenDoor.

One little-known firm connects them all — and many more Wall Street trading firms — behind the scenes: OpenFin. Now the startup, which helps electronic-trading firms build their desktop applications, is getting its moment in the spotlight.

The firm has raised $15 million in a Series B fundraising round from investors including JPMorgan, the fintech backer Euclid Opportunities, and the high-speed trading firm DRW. Bain Capital Ventures, Pivot Investment Partners, and Nyca Partners have already invested in the firm, as have the likes of Cris Conde, former CEO of SunGard, and Tom Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters.

jpmorganThe vision, according to OpenFin CEO Mazy Dar, a former chief strategy officer at Creditex, is to become to Wall Street what iOS and Android are to the mobile application world.

“When you have the iOS layer, and Android, that is the layer that enables developers to know what they are building their app in,” Dar said. That’s what OpenFin aims to become.

The firm already has 35 investment banks and trading firms signed up, according to Dar, and it powers applications licensed on over 100,000 desktops. He said the firm has been increasing revenue 100% year-over-year for the past few years and is close to being cash flow positive. The $15 million investment will enable the firm to expand — Dar plans to double headcount from 25 in New York and London currently to 50 within a year.

The aim is to become “the industrywide operating layer,” he said. Right now, OpenFin is typically delivered to a desktop together with an application that runs on it. The hope is that, in time, OpenFin will be on the desktop independent of any application, becoming a kind of finance application ecosystem of its own.

“OpenFin enabled us to reach hundreds of client desktops instantly with an operating layer already vetted by many major banks and financial institutions,” said Tony Schiavo, chief technology officer at TruMid.

There are three key pillars to OpenFin’s strategy. The first is to have apps that can be downloaded and updated easily — the same way you would download apps on your phone — and then have them update regularly.

Then there’s the layer of security, a key issue for any Wall Street institution. Finally, there is interoperability, or letting the apps talk to one another — the same way social media apps connect on your phone.

“We’re in a world where apps are siloed and by and large do not talk to one another,” Dar said. “The human sitting in front of the six monitors is the integration layer. With OpenFin, they are now able to talk to one another, share data and contacts.”

SEE ALSO: An ugly war of words between traders has descended into Game of Thrones references

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Snap just lost a key ad exec weeks before its IPO

Sriram Krishnan

A key ad exec is leaving Snap less than a year after joining the company — and only a few weeks before the company’s hotly anticipated IPO. 

Sriram Krishnan, who left Facebook in February 2016 to help lead advertising efforts at Snapchat’s parent company, is stepping down from his role at Snap. The news was first reported by Recode’s Kurt Wagner, but Krishnan later announced it via Twitter on Sunday. 

“After a great year at Snap, I’ve decided to leave and move back to SF to be closer to @aarthir, family and friends,” Krishnan Tweeted, adding in another tweet that he’s excited to be doing something “new and different” but will be taking time off for now. 

At Facebook, Krishnan led one of the upcoming threats to Google’s ad dominance: Facebook Audience Network. He was hired by Snap to help boost the company’s monetization efforts. 

It’s unclear why Krishnan is leaving Snap, but the travel between his home in San Francisco and Snap’s headquarters in Venice Beach may have been taking a toll, Recode reports. 

His departure isn’t ideal for Snap, which is less than a month away from its initial public offering on March 2. Snap is seeking an IPO valuation of up to $22 billion

SEE ALSO: Here’s who is going to get rich from the Snap IPO

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NOW WATCH: How to escape quicksand — it’s easier than you might think

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The 12 cities with the most trees around the world

sheep's meadow central park

There’s a global movement to encourage cities to grow more trees and plan more parks. But which ones have the most green space today?

To get a clearer picture, MIT’s Senseable Lab partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to create Treepedia, a site with interactive maps that show the density of greenery in major cities around the world. 

The researchers used information from Google Street View to determine what they call the “Green View Index,” a rating that quantifies each city’s percentage of canopy coverage based on aerial images. When it launched in 2016, Treepedia featured 10 cities, but the team has since added five more to its list. 

The goal of Treepedia is to make make urban planning more accessible to those outside the field, MIT’s Carlo Ratti said in a press release.

Check out which cities boast the highest Green View Indexes below.

SEE ALSO: Kimbal Musk — Elon’s brother — just opened a shipping container farm compound in New York City

12. Los Angeles, California — 15.2%

Check out the interactive map of Los Angeles

11. Tel Aviv, Israel — 17.5%

Check out the interactive map of Tel Aviv

10. Boston, Massachusetts — 18.2%

Check out the interactive map of Boston

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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There’s a hidden menu in Android that lets you unlock experimental features — here’s how to use it (GOOG)

android nougat multi windowAndroid is famously open to customization, but you may not know that Google keeps a few more settings tucked away in a hidden menu called the System UI Tuner.

It’s not available on every device — you’ll have less luck if yours has a heavy UI skin — but it’s worth checking out to see which features may be arrive with future Android versions. For example, some of the features Google brought to the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update — where it was first introduced – are now standard with Android 7.0 Nougat.

Here’s how to access the System UI Tuner, and a quick rundown of what it can do with the latest version of Android.

SEE ALSO: 8 new things Android 7.0 can do that iOS can’t

If you’re familiar with the chrome://flags shortcut in Google Chrome, the System UI Tuner is more or less that. To activate it, pull down the Quick Settings menu, then hold down on the gear icon in the top right corner until it starts spinning. It should take 5-7 seconds.

Let go, and you’ll see this little notification at the bottom of your display.

You’ll know you did things right if you see a little wrench symbol next to the Settings gear.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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