Tag Archives: 2018

Reuters Top 100: Europe's Most Innovative Universities – 2018
April 25, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

For the third year running KU Leuven tops Reuters ranking of Europe’s most innovative universities, a list that identifies and ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries. A Dutch-speaking school based in Belgium’s Flanders region KU Leuven was founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V and continually produces a high volume of influential inventions. Patents filed by KU scientists are frequently cited by other researchers in academia and in private industry. That’s one of the key criteria in Reuters’ ranking, which was compiled in partnership with Clarivate Analytics, and is based on proprietary data and analysis of patent filings and research paper citations.

1. The library of the university KU Leuven “Katholieke Universiteit Leuven” is pictured in Leuven, Belgium, June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Overall, the most elite ranks of Europe’s Most Innovative Universities have held steady from last year, with the UK’s Imperial College London (#2) and University of Cambridge (#3) holding onto their top spots for the third straight year. Other leading institutions simply traded a few spaces, like the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (#4, up one), University of Erlangen Nuremberg (#5, up one), and the Technical University of Munich (#6, down two). The remainder of the universities in the top 10 moved up from the teens: The University of Manchester (#7, up nine), University of Munich (#8, up four), Technical University of Denmark (#9, up five), and ETH Zurich (#10, up one).

But even though the usual suspects continue to dominate Europe’s Most Innovative Universities, political uncertainty may be causing a big swing in where innovation happens. The trend is most clear if you consider the sum of changes in rank for each country’s institutions: The 23 German universities on this year’s list cumulatively rose 23 spots, more than any other country. Switzerland was second, with five universities up a total of 8 spots. And in contrast, the list’s 21 UK-based universities dropped a cumulative 35 spots.

2. Students walk out of a faculty building of Imperial College London, Britain, May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Why is this shift occurring? The United Kingdom’s “Brexit” from the European Union is almost a year away, but Europe’s scientific community may already be leaving the UK in favor of research institutions on the continent. A February 2018 study published by the UK-based Centre for Global Higher Education reports that many German academics view Brexit as an “advantage,” and hope to use it to attract UK researchers to German universities; in turn, UK academics report that their own postdocs aren’t seeking positions in the UK and are looking at the EU or United States instead. And as Brexit actually unfolds, it could get worse: A November 2017 study performed by the School of International Futures for the UK’s Royal Society describes a possible post-secession United Kingdom where universities compete for a shrinking pool of skilled workers, projects that used to receive EU funding wither, researchers receive fewer invites to join consortia and attend conferences, and overseas collaboration is limited. Similarly, EU-based businesses that fund research at universities may prefer to keep their investments within the region in order to avoid the tax and regulatory headaches of working with post-Brexit UK institutions.

The government of Germany has also established itself as notably pro-science, increasing federal research budgets and encouraging growth in emerging industries such as renewable energy. (German Chancellor Angela Merkel actually holds a doctorate in quantum chemistry, and worked as a research scientist before she entered politics.) According to a 2017 analysis published in the science journal “Nature,” researchers are “flocking to the country,” in part due to the country’s €4.6-billion “Excellence Initiative,” which has helped to attract at least 4,000 foreign scientists to Germany since 2005. And in 2016, the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, or DFG), the country’s main funding agency, allocated a record €2.9 billion in grants, posting a success rate for individual grant proposals higher than comparable UK rates.

Slideshow (8 Images)

This year’s university ranking also shows how smaller countries can have an outsized presence in the world of innovation. Belgium has seven schools on the list, but with a population of only 11 million people, it can boast more top 100 innovative universities per capita than any other country in Europe. On the same per capita basis, the second most innovative country on the list is Switzerland, followed by Denmark, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Ireland. And some large countries underperform despite bigger populations and economies. Russia is Europe’s most populous country and boasts the region’s fifth largest economy, yet none of its universities count among the top 100.

To compile the ranking of Europe’s most innovative universities, Clarivate Analytics (formerly the Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters) began by identifying more than 600 global organizations that published the most articles in academic journals, including educational institutions, nonprofit charities, and government-funded institutions. That list was reduced to institutions that filed at least 50 patents with the World Intellectual Property Organization in the period between 2011 and 2016. Then they evaluated each candidate on 10 different metrics, focusing on academic papers (which indicate basic research) and patent filings (which point to an institution’s ability to apply research and commercialize its discoveries). Finally, they trimmed the list so that it only included European universities, and then ranked them based on their performance.

Of course, the relative ranking of any university does not provide a complete picture of whether its researchers are doing important, innovative work. Since the ranking measures innovation on an institutional level, it may overlook particularly innovative departments or programs: a university might rank low for overall innovation but still operate one of the world’s most innovative oncology research centers, for instance. And it’s important to remember that whether a university ranks at the top or the bottom of the list, it’s still within the top 100 on the continent: All of these universities produce original research, create useful technology and stimulate the global economy.

To see the full methodology, click here.

(Editing by Arlyn Gajilan and Alessandra Rafferty)

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PlayStation Gold Wireless Headset Review (2018): Finally Golden
April 6, 2018 6:08 pm|Comments (0)

Have you ever tried using Sony’s pitiful little mono headset that comes with every PlayStation 4? It’s a chintzy freebie at best, and a no-good, annoying, keeps-coming-unclipped-from-your-collar, hanging hellion the rest of the time.

Sony’s 2014 Gold Wireless Headset also angered gamers due to a fragile, crack-prone headband. With this track record, you’d be forgiven for ignoring Sony’s new 2018 Gold Wireless Headset. I was pretty skeptical myself, but aside from a few issues, it’s been one of the best wireless headsets I’ve used on the PS4. I even recommended in our list of best PS4 accessories.

Black is the New Gold

Like the first PlayStation Gold Headset, the color is a bit of a misnomer. You won’t find any gold on them. Like a Model T, this headset is completely black, from earcup to headband, with part of it wrapped in a soft leather-like material. The headband and ear cushions have some extra padding on them, because of unique design of the headband and how it connects with the earcups.

Most headsets are full of hinges and hangers so they can turn and adjust every which way, but not the Gold. Underneath all that faux leather, its entire headband is a single curved horseshoe piece of metal (or possibly an extremely durable plastic) that you pull apart to fit your head.

The earcups don’t flex forward and back a whole lot (just a wiggle), but they can slide up and down the band itself, which makes for a surprisingly comfortable fit. Sony says these are designed to fit around the PlayStation VR headset. Those with wider heads, glasses, or larger ears may want to look elsewhere, though. This design gets less comfortable the bigger your head is, and the padding is thin enough that it will lightly pinch a pair of frames.

It’s not great for those of us with moderate-sized domes, either. I had to slide the earcups up some, which covered up the L and R labels, making it hard to figure out how to put these on. And because there is no boom mic, I had to spend a few extra seconds figuring out which end is the front and back. Sony is far from the first headset maker with this problem. A little rotation in the earcups would also make resting the headset on your shoulders and neck far more comfortable in-between matches.

Lost in the Gloss

The only area on the PlayStation Gold that isn’t brushed or leathery are the glossy vinyl-like edges of the earcups, where all the buttons and controls are located. It’s never a smart idea to gloss up the one area that’s constantly under attack by finger grease, but alas that’s exactly what Sony did here.

The controls themselves are okay, but could be easier to feel and find. Everything is on the left earcup, which seems to be the norm for most headsets. The mute button is on the lower back side, above it is a volume rocker and above that is a toggle for 7.1 virtual surround sound, which simulates surround. I don’t love this feature for most games because it sounds unnatural, but it’s present and accounted for.

On the front is another toggle, but this one adjusts your chat mix (how loud your friends sound compared to the game). Below it is a switch that turns off the headset or puts it in the standard or extra bassy setting. The extra bass adds to the immersion if you’re playing anything with explosions or bullet fire, and if you download the Sony Headset Companion app on your PS4, you can replace that bass boost with game-specific effects, or fully tweak the bass, treble, and mids to your delight.

It took some time to discover, but holding down the mute button also turns on two levels of mic monitoring, which Sony calls sidetones. This lets you hear your own voice as you talk. It helps me talk at a more reasonable volume instead of shouting just to make sure others are hearing what I’m saying. Try it out!

Missing Mic, Cool Connection

The lack of a physical mic is a bummer. None of my friends complained about the quality of my audio, but it wasn’t nearly as good as many headsets. Sony does attempt to isolate the sound of your voice, but it would do a much better job if it had a microphone that could be positioned near your mouth like most of its competitors.

Normally, I’d complain that it’s hard to know if you’re muted or not, but thanks to the high level of integration this headset has with the PS4 (it’s made by Sony, after all), a prompt pops onscreen in the upper left to tell you the battery life, mute status, and whether virtual surround is on any time you adjust a setting. I wish more headsets had this feature.

The battery indicator in that onscreen popup is especially helpful. The Gold gets a decent 7-ish hours of wireless play time thanks to its 570mAh battery, but that’s nowhere near the 15 hours Turtle Beach’s Stealth 600 (8/10 WIRED Recommends) can reach. Unlike that headset, this one comes with an optional 3.5mm audio cable, so even if you run out of battery, you can still plug it in to your controller and keep playing. With the cord plugged in you can use the headset with any compatible system or player. It charges with an included micro USB cable.

Wireless play has been stable and I’ve had no connection problems. It uses a USB dongle to transmit a 2.4GHz wireless signal, which I found to be very stable. The only cutouts I’ve had are when I leave and walk to another room.

Going for the Gold

This is one of the clearest wireless headsets I’ve used, and the bass is quite boomy. I found myself watching Netflix and listening to music with them on from time to time, even with a pile of other headsets to choose from. I still play Fortnite a lot, and the sounds of my footsteps pattering through the woods, avoiding conflict at all costs because I’m a terrible shot, are quite crisp.

The PlayStation Gold Headset can’t quite match up to expensive heavyweights like the hi-fi Arctis Pro line or comfortable Sony PlayStation Platinum, but it doesn’t have to. At around $ 100 it’s one of the best wireless headsets for PS4, and if you hook up that optional wire, it can connect to a whole lot more. It took Sony four years to get this headset just right, but we’re glad it decided to try again.

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Best Fitness Trackers (2018): Fitbit, Suunto, Garmin, Nokia, Apple Watch
April 1, 2018 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

This stark, minimalist device is a hybrid between an analog watch and a smart one. It looks like an elegant fashion accessory, but connects to the Nokia Health app on your phone to show stats like your heart rate, steps, and distance traveled. It’s simple and slim, with a velvety silicone band, and can transition from surfing to a wedding brunch without skipping a beat. And, at $ 180, it is one of the most affordable fitness trackers out there.
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AT&T to launch 5G in U.S. by late 2018
January 4, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – AT&T Inc, the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, said it would launch fifth-generation (5G) mobile network service in a dozen cities in the United States by late 2018, after international wireless standards for the network were finalised last month.

The 5G technology is expected to provide higher speed and response times than 4G networks used today.

Reporting by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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How to Use YouTube to Reach More People and Make More Money in 2018
December 28, 2017 6:00 pm|Comments (0)

In 2018, the importance of being found online is key. It’s how most people search for, well, anything. That’s step one. After you’re found, you want to hold the attention of your potential customer or client. With everything online today, that’s not easy.

It’s no secret online video is engaging and growing in popularity. That’s the reason more and more people are turning to YouTube to spread their message – whatever it may be. According to FortuneLords.com, almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day.

Some people see YouTube as a social media platform where you can watch silly cat videos. Others are using it to reach more people, grow their brands and businesses, and increase revenue.

Focus on SEO

Yes, YouTube is a search engine, just like Google. It’s owned by Google, so the strategies are the same.

“If you can get the video to rank in Google, then a lot of the searches that are being performed on YouTube will click on your video in the results. Then, YouTube will judge your video based on how people interact with it. User engagement is the most important YouTube ranking signal, said Christoph Seitz, the CEO of CFR Rinkens.

Time your video

When you’re creating your video, try to make it at least five minutes long.

“Similar to text-based articles, longer videos rank higher. They consistently outperform shorter videos on YouTube and Google, said Dan Roberge President of Maintenance Care.

Remember, the length of time people are engaged plays into how high you rank on the platform.

Team up with other YouTubers

In order to stand out by using video online, utilize a recognizable influencer whose audience aligns with your target demographic.

This is something I did with YouTuber Sunny Lenarduzzi a few months ago. Because we both share the same audience and work to help them achieve the same goal by doing different things, it was a great fit.

Many marketers believe influencer marketing helps them raise brand awareness on social media.

Use other platforms to drive people to YouTube

In 2018, many people will not want to waste time. They simply want to get the information they need that they catch on their social feed.  

“What organizations are doing to stand out is posting fun, informed content on YouTube, then distributing soundbites of that video through social media,” said Vijay Koduri, the Co-Founder of HashCut.

Koduri suggests teasing them with a five-second soundbite on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,  or over email and drive them to your YouTube channel to see more.

Be yourself 

Michael Freeby, a model and photographer who has randomly amassed nearly half a million views on YouTube said, “Don’t try too hard. Always be yourself and stay the best representation of your brand.”

That doesn’t mean don’t create high-quality content that people will go out of their way to enjoy. You should do that, but remember your brand’s core message. Make the content less about yourself, and more about presenting something of value for your audience.

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Microsoft commits to 50% renewable energy use in their Data Centres by 2018
October 1, 2016 3:50 am|Comments (0)

Data centres, central to cloud computing, is believed to consuming about 3 per cent of the global electricity supply and account for about 2 per cent of …


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