No. 1 bike maker Giant eyes global expansion

BANGKOK/TAICHUNG — Taiwan’s Giant Manufacturing, the world’s largest bicycle maker, is looking to expand in Japan and Southeast Asia, hoping to secure future growth amid the slowdown in China, its CEO said.

“Beginning last year, this year, and next year, the China market will be down,” said Tony Lo, CEO of Giant, in an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review in Thailand, adding that he does not expect the Chinese market to bottom out until next year.

Giant encountered headwinds in China and reported a 41.7% drop in net income of $707.6 million New Taiwan dollars ($22.18 million) for the three months ending in September, announced on Nov. 11. The company’s revenue declined 11.4% to NT$15.15 billion for the same period. For the first nine months for 2016, the bicycle titan tumbled in both top and bottom lines, and is likely to suffer its first sales slide year-on-year for a full year since 2009.

As China posted the slowest growth in a quarter of a century, Lo said his company is searching for new opportunities, especially in Japan, where most people ride for transportation but cycling for sports and fitness is less well developed. The same is true for other economies, such as Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia.

In Japan, where Lo sees the most potential, he pledged to increase Giant’s brick-and-mortar stores from only 25 currently to at least 200 in three to five years.

“We see very rapid growth in Southeast Asia although the revenue contribution is still low,” said Lo. “It took us 30 years to develop the culture of cycling in Taiwan, and in China, it took us 20 years. I think it will take us around 10 years for Southeast Asia to pick up this cycling trend.”


CompTIA’s A+ vs Cisco’s IT Essentials

CompTIA’s A+ certification was one of the biggest reasons why CompTIA succeeded and expanded. And A+ has been a very well-reputed and demanded certification for a long time. And the new updates and changes to it will only make it stronger.

On the other hand, not many of you have heard of a certification called “IT Essentials”. This certification is actually not only one, but two. IT Essentials I and II have been part of the Cisco Networking Academy Program. Until sometime ago, IT Essentials certifications were called HP IT Essentials. Hewlett-Packard (HP) was a partner with Cisco in creating this certification track. And I believe that it was HP who created it first and embedded it into Cisco’s Networking Academy Program and few months ago Cisco kind of got independence with it.

CompTIA’s A+ is now divided into 4 exams. These exams are:

1. CompTIA A+ Essentials

CompTIA A+ Essentials covers the basic computer hardware and operating systems and skills like installation, building, upgrading, repairing, configuring, troubleshooting, optimizing, diagnosing and preventive maintenance, with additional elements of security and soft skills. The Essentials Exam validates the basic skills needed by any entry-level service technician regardless of job environment.

2. CompTIA A+ 220-602
The CompTIA A+ 220-602 exam is targeted for individuals who work or intend to work in a mobile or corporate technical environment with a high level of face-to-face client interaction like Enterprise Technician, IT Administrator, Field Service Technician, PC Technician.Ideally, the CompTIA A+ 220-602 candidate has already passed the CompTIA A+ Essentials examination. Candidates who pass both CompTIA A+ Essentials and exam 220-602 will be CompTIA A+ certified with the IT Technician designation.

3. CompTIA A+ 220-603

The CompTIA A+ 220-603 examination is people working in a remote-based work environment where client interaction, client training, operating system and connectivity issues are emphasized. For example people like Remote Support Technician, Help

Desk Technician, Call Center Technician will benefit from this certification. CompTIA A+ 220-603 candidate must have passed the CompTIA A+ Essentials examination. Candidates who pass both CompTIA A+ Essentials and exam 220-603 exams will be CompTIA A+ certified with the Remote Support Technician designation.

4. CompTIA A+ 220-604
The CompTIA A+ 220-604 examination is for people working in settings with where hardware related activities are emphasized. Example job roles include: Depot Technician, Bench Technician. CompTIA A+ 220-604 candidate also must have passed the CompTIA A+ Essentials examination. Candidates who pass both CompTIA A+ Essentials and exam220-604 exams will be CompTIA A+ certified with the Depot Technician designation.

A+ has evolved to cover wide range of needs and the secret of its success and spreading is that it is vendor neutral. Covering more areas in security, A+ certification would benefit the people new to computers to start a career in IT, and people who already have this information to validate their knowledge and get certified in it.

With the increasing number of training centers offering A+ courses, and these courses being affordable the only point to be taken against A+ is the exam price. CompTIA’s exams have always been expensive as compared to other certification paths like Microsoft or even Cisco.

IT Essentials

IT Essentials, as I have mentioned before, is divided into two parts:

1. IT Essentials I: PC Hardware and Software

This 70-hour, hands-on, lab-oriented course introduces students to information technology and data communications. The course stresses laboratory safety and working effectively in a group environment. Students learn how to build a computer and install different versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. This course helps students prepare for exciting career opportunities in computer technology. The course focuses on building a computer and installation of the motherboard, disk drives, CD-ROM drives, and video cards, installing and managing Windows operating systems, adding peripherals and multimedia capabilities, demonstrating knowledge of local-area network architecture, networking protocols, the OSI reference model, and TCP/IP utilities, connecting computers to LANs and to the Internet. In addition to basic networking concepts, the functions and configurations of a network are also covered. Cisco in their brochure say ‘IT Essentials I: PC Hardware and Software prepares students for the industry-recognized CompTIA A+ certification exam.’

2. IT Essentials II: Network Operating Systems

IT Essentials II: Network Operating Systems is an intensive introduction to multiuser, multitasking network operating systems. This course, which is also a 70-hour one, is mostly hands-on, lab-oriented course is designed to provide an overview of network operating systems, with specific focus on the characteristics of Linux and Windows operating systems. This course will be a stepping stone to help prepare students for challenging careers—for example, as skilled hardware and network operating system professionals. This course focuses on configuring network services, including basic network security and troubleshooting, using fundamental command-line features of the Linux and Windows Server environments, including file system navigation, file permissions, the vi text editor, command shells, and basic networking, exploring GUI features such as Applications Manager, Text Editor, printing, and mail, and performing basic administrative tasks in Windows. And Cisco says in the brochure ‘IT Essentials II: Network Operating Systems, along with the Fundamentals of UNIX course, will help prepare students for the CompTIA Linux+ certification exam.’

These statements from Cisco gives us the indication that they created this certification path not to challenge CompTIA in their homeland, A+, but to incorporate courses for starters and not become concerned with the CCxAs and CCxPs alone. This is a good approach, especially with the focus on networking in the IT Essentials courses, to cover a big slice of the communities in the whole world; IT career seekers.

Lots of people are changing careers to IT. And still there is a great shortage that is evolving not only in the developing countries but also in the North America and Western Europe. Information technology has become the center of our lives and as the users increase, people on the other side of the math (IT specialists) have to increase.

MIT Unveils Tech Designed to Enable Wireless VR

According to a recent news post from MIT, researchers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a prototype called “MoVR,” which can make any VR headset operate wirelessly. The system uses special high-frequency radio signals called “millimetre waves” (mmWaves), that allow for the untethered transfer of multiple Gbps, or billions of bits per second.

“It’s very exciting to get a step closer to being able to deliver a high-resolution, wireless-VR experience,” said MIT professor Dina Katabi via the news post, whose research group has been working on the technology. “The ability to use a cordless headset really deepens the immersive experience of virtual reality and opens up a range of other applications.”

The MoVR technology uses programmable mirrors that detect the direction of incoming mmWave signals, and can reconfigure themselves to reflect the signals to receivers on active headsets. According to PhD candidate Omid Abari, future versions of MoVR hardware could be as small as a smartphone, and would allow for multiple active headsets inside a single playspace, without blocking each other’s signals.

Check out our comparison of price, specs, and features of all of the major VR headsets on the market today, and notice that none of them include the word “wireless.” Also see our HTC Vive review, Oculus Rift review, and PlayStation VR review to see our thoughts on existing wired headsets.

Immune Engineering Genetically engineered immune cells are saving the lives of cancer patients. That may be just the start.

The doctors looking at Layla Richards saw a little girl with leukemia bubbling in her veins. She’d had bags and bags of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. But the cancer still thrived. By last June, the 12-month-old was desperately ill. Her parents begged—wasn’t there anything?

There was. In a freezer at her hospital—Great Ormond Street, in London—sat a vial of white blood cells. The cells had been genetically altered to hunt and destroy leukemia, but the hospital hadn’t yet sought permission to test them. They were the most extensively engineered cells ever proposed as a therapy, with a total of four genetic changes, two of them introduced by the new technique of genome editing.

Soon a doctor from Great Ormond was on the phone to Cellectis, a biotechnology company with French roots that is now located on the East Side of Manhattan. The company owned the cancer treatment, which it had devised using a gene-editing method called TALENs, a way of making cuts and fixes to DNA in living cells. “We got a call. The doctors said, ‘We’ve got a girl who is out of T cells and out of options,’” André Choulika, the CEO of Cellectis, remembers. “They wanted one of the vials made during quality-control testing.”

The doctors hoped to make Layla a “special,” a patient who got the drug outside a clinical trial. It was a gamble, since the treatment had been tried only in mice. If it failed, the company’s stock and reputation could tank, and even if it succeeded, the company might get in trouble with regulators. “It was saving a life versus the chance of bad news,” Choulika says.

Cellectis began developing the treatment in 2011 after doctors in New York and Philadelphia reported that they’d found a way to gain control over T cells, the so-called killer cells of the immune system. They had shown that they could take T cells from a person’s bloodstream and, using a virus, add new DNA instructions to aim them at the type of blood cell that goes awry in leukemia. The technique has now been tested in more than 300 patients, with spectacular results, often resulting in complete remission. A dozen drug firms and biotechnology companies are now working to bring such a treatment to market.

Protect ur children from online threats

This is the post excerpt.

5 major threats children face while using the internet, and how to prevent them.
The Internet has become the most dominant and attractive source of information, education, fun and socialization of all. Irrelative of our age groups, social status, sex or race, almost every one of us is utilizing the internet in one way or another.
As far as children are concerned (aged 10 through 16), the internet is much more dangerous to them than the streets. The stranger is no longer down the street, at the playground or in the shopping mall. Computers allow strangers to use on-line services to talk directly with your child from the privacy of their own home.
In this article, I will be focusing on 5 major threats children face while using the internet – unattended, and try as much as possible to come up with preventive means, in order to keep our children safe.
What are the risks?
1. Inappropriate contact: from people who pretend to be their own age, and may wish to abuse, exploit or bully them. (meeting in malls or other rendez-vous
2. Access to Inappropriate content: being able to access sexually explicit, racist, violent, extremist or other harmful material.
3. Children gaining access to your own personal information stored on your computer. Innocently sharing family pictures and information, addresses, phone numbers, and even credit card information.
4. Online Scam – Emails informing them that they won a prize and that they have to make a small payment to be able to collect their prize.
5. Sharing too much personal information, images and locations.
What your kids should know, and how should they act?
1. Don’t give out passwords, credit card, drivers license, etc. information while “on line”, even to someone who identifies themselves as a representative of your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or the chat provider. This has been a favorite scam of crooks.
2. Do not give out last name, street address, phone number or school/employer’s name. Never give out this information openly in chat, either. If/when you feel comfortable sharing this information with people, it can be given through e-mail or private messages.
3. Never share your plans or your parents’ on Facebook. Example: “We are all travelling to China tomorrow for 5 days”, or “My parents are out of town”. Funny but true, you just invited someone to break into your home while you are away.
How are parents advised to act?
Traditional Methods
1. Continuous discussions, and openness with children. Let them feel safe to share their online experience with you
2. Placing the computers in an open area. Somewhere close to the living room or the hallway
3. Timely limited access. Specific Hours per day
4. Randomly check their handhelds (mobile users) for weird activity
Technical Methods
1. Parental-control software enables you to filter and block specific sites and web pages that contain inappropriate material. It also allows you to monitor what your kids have been up to on a PC, and restrict which programs they use and for how long
2. Check recommended application for monitoring social networking activity (facebook, twitter, instagram and myspace)
General Security Advice and Information you must be aware of at all times.
1. Always keep your accounts secure. The best passwords are 8 to 12 characters in length and use a combination of numbers, keyboard characters and upper and lower-case letters. The longer your password is, the longer it will take someone (or more likely, some program) to crack it
2. Facebook has 1 billion users and 83 million (8.7 percent) are fake. How to spot a fake account on Facebook?
3. Every minute 19 people in the UK face cyber-crime
4. We all remember the picture albums we used to have back in 2000. Have you ever shared your pictures with your friends and gave them copies?
5. Share Your Story: with friends and family, on social networks and local media if possible. You can always ask to keep your identity discrete while sharing stories
6. Check lists of Pedophiles posted online, and by a lot of moms. Facebook has a group for example, which discloses their names
7. Hire a Web Detective if possible. Someone who is able to get you identities of abusers online
8. Avoid Spyware: A type of malware that collects your data and sends it to criminals
9. Deleted data is never wiped. Always backup your hard-drive and destroy it when you’re done with your PC, and before selling it or giving it away