Knops – The volume button for your ears


What if you could adjust the volume of life itself? No more flights filled with crying babies. No more risk of your ears falling off at that concert. No more loud neighbors Only the sounds you like to hear, when you want to hear them. Sounds good? Well, hear us out. Double pun. Super intended.

You’ve got our attention. But no more puns, please. Agreed. We are talking about Knops; the volume button for your ears. This acoustic hearing solution will give you full control over the surrounding sounds you hear. All day every day… More at kickstarter.

I like the idea, but they would be way better if they were largely invisible to other people.

The Guardian pulls out of Apple News and Facebook’s Instant Article

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Publishers aren’t happy with the deal platforms are cutting them. Now, the Guardian has dropped both Facebook’s fast-loading Instant Article format and will no longer publish content on Apple News.

The publisher had gone all-in on Instant Articles, running every single Guardian article via the format for the last year. It was one of first U.K. media owners to adopt the Facebook format, alongside BBC News in the spring of 2015. The Guardian was also among the first publishers to join the Apple News app when it launched in the U.K. in October 2015. It ran all its articles in the app… More at DigiDay.

I can’t see how publications will make enough profit on platforms that are so congested by other titles. They surely need to produce quality content in their own space.

Best and worst broadband providers of 2017


There’s a reasonable chance you’ll face a technical issue with broadband: 21% of our survey respondents reported a problem with very slow speeds over the past year, 17% told us of frequent connection dropouts, and 14% had hitches with their router.

There are a few things you can do at home to help. It’s a good idea to place a router close to where you’ll be using the web, and put it on a raised surface instead of the carpet.

But ultimately it’s your provider that is responsible for fixing faults and keeping you up to date with progress. Our survey shows big differences in the quality of technical support. More than 70% of Utility Warehouse and Zen Internet customers rated theirs as excellent or good. Only 26% of TalkTalk’s found it to be either, and 18% described it as poor or very poor… More at Which.

It appears that the bigger providers are struggling in certain areas.

Yes, this is a router


This pretty drool-worthy Ferrero Rocher-esque router (codenamed the Norton Core) doesn’t just distribute wireless internet… it distributes protected wireless internet using machine learning, deep packet inspection, intrusion prevention, and other highly advanced techniques to protect your home network from any threats. On the inside is a phased-array antenna capable of doling out speeds up to 2.5Gbps (let the 4K streaming begin!) with incredible range and reach, thanks to Norton’s advanced beamforming technology… More at YD.

I will never buy any Norton product, but boy is that a visually pleasing product.

Does your neck hurt?


Smartphone user complaints about neck and back pain from Forward Head Posture (FHP), also known as text neck, are on the upswing, Reuters reports. Thankfully, there are ways to minimize your chances of injury.

Surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles published a study in The Spine Journal that showed posture-related injuries from smartphone use are increasing… More at Digital Trends.

Be careful out there.

Ever wondered if that ‘free wi-fi’ hotspot is secure?


In general, devices which support Wi-Fi can be used securely on any Wi-Fi network which allows VPN traffic to transit the network. However, there are risks associated with using Wi-Fi which must be considered and accepted before its use is permitted.

Many devices expose a rich set of services when connected over Wi-Fi. Risk owners of deployments which use Wi-Fi should be content that the increased attack surface of these devices is within the bounds of acceptability. For example, some devices may expose synchronisation services over Wi-Fi to allow media and data to be synchronised.

Others may present a screen sharing service which allows the contents of the device’s screen to be shared with networked peripherals. Services may also be accessible locally when the VPN is connected, effectively causing a split tunnel. These attack surfaces should be considered on a device-by-device basis and only permitted where the risk is acceptable… More at NCSC.

Useful information in the link above. Thanks to Neil.