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The abstract world of coding is ideal for people who are blind or have low vision, but to there is a high barrier to entry to getting started, with students first needing to learn to touch type for example. Today at BETT education show, Microsoft announced Code Jumper, a tethered hardware device designed to teach children who are blind or have otherwise impaired vision how to code. Instead of poking at tablet screens or typing into laptops, students are taking out brightly colored plastic pods, connecting them together with thick white wires and then adjusting the pod’s buttons and knobs. These physical components will be used to create computer programs that can tell stories, make music and even crack jokes. “There really isn’t an equivalent to this physical way of programming,” said Jonathan Fogg, head of computing and IT at New College Worcester. The early access to basic coding skills is important, Fogg said, because many kids who are blind or low vision are drawn to careers in computer science. He thinks that’s partly because many of the skills kids with low vision develop to navigate the world make them good at the kind of computational thinking that’s helpful for a computer science career. And, he said, traditionally it has been a career that is more accessible to people who are blind or have low vision, because of tools such as screen readers. There's more posted on OUR Forum.

On 25 and 28 May 2018, the National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) received group complaints from the association's None Of Your Business (“NOYB”) and La Quadrature du Net (“LQDN”). LQDN was mandated by 10 000 people to refer the matter to the CNIL. In the two complaints, the associations reproach GOOGLE for not having a valid legal basis to process the personal data of the users of its services, particularly for ads personalization purposes. The CNIL immediately started investigating the complaints. On 1st June 2018, in accordance with the provisions on European cooperation as defined in the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the CNIL sent these two complaints to its European counterparts to assess if it was competent to deal with them. Indeed, the GDPR establishes a “one-stop-shop mechanism” which provides that an organization set up in the European Union shall have only one interlocutor, which is the Data Protection Authority (“DPA”) of the country where its “main establishment” is located. This authority serves as “lead authority”. It must, therefore, coordinate the cooperation between the other Data Protection Authorities before taking any decision about a cross-border processing carried out by the company. In this case, the discussions with the other authorities, in particular with the Irish DPA, where GOOGLE’s European headquarters are situated, did not allow to consider that GOOGLE had a main establishment in the European Union. More details can be found on OUR FORUM.

Cybercriminals are increasingly recognizing that smaller businesses can be lucrative targets as they are able to devote fewer resources to security. Phishing defense specialist Cofense is launching a new Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) program aimed at providing SMBs with human-driven solutions designed to stop an active phishing attack. Cofense has partnered with a targeted group of service providers to provide their customers the dedicated resources required to strengthen defenses, build attack resiliency and ultimately stop real attacks in progress. "Phishing remains the top cause of security breaches, and when it comes to leveraging humans to help stop those threats in their tracks, SMBs can face a significant disadvantage compared to enterprises with more resources," says Robert Iannicello, VP of global channel sales at Cofense. "Our MSSP program will arm more small and mid-sized organizations with the necessary tools to build attack resiliency and most importantly, report, respond to and stop active phishing threats. Also, our programs will offer key incentives and pricing designed exclusively for our MSSP partners to ensure their go-to-market success. We look forward to enabling more partners and their customer organizations with the resources needed to thwart phishing attacks across the globe, regardless of company size and scope." Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.

noyb, a European privacy enforcement non-profit organization which focuses on commercial privacy issues on a European level, has filed ten GDPR complaints with the Austrian Data Protection Authority, on behalf of ten users which it represents, against eight online streaming companies for violations of Article 15. "As GDPR foresees € 20 million or 4% of the worldwide turnover as a penalty, the theoretical maximum penalty across the 10 complaints could be €18.8 billion," says noyb. According to Max Schrems, noyb's Director, all those companies (i.e., Amazon, Apple, DAZN, Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, Flimmit, Netflix) have been tested to check their compliance of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) "right to access" provision described in the EU regulation's Article 15. The "right to access" grants all EU citizens the "right to get a copy of all raw data that a company holds about the user, as well as additional information about the sources and recipients of the data, the purpose for which the data is processed or information about the countries in which the data is stored and how long it is stored." After testing the eight companies "right to access" compliance, noyb found out that none of the eight streaming companies were fully compliant with Schrems going as far as to say that they were all engaging in "structural violation" of the EU data protection legislation. There's more to this post on OUR FORUM.

The EU Copyright Directive has made a lot of waves lately given that many fear that some of its provisions will lead to increased censorship, with almost 4.5 million Europeans signing a change.org petition to stop Article 13. This article was the one that attracted almost everyone's attention seeing that it will require large online platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to always keep an eye out on what their users are uploading and block all copyrighted items such as videos, images, and text. The other controversial article part of the EU Copyright Directive is Article 11, a provision which will force news aggregators to pay the copyright holders a fee for every news item they link to. Google, one of the most heated critics of the two provisions, is now testing a new search engine results page (SERP) template where the EU Copyright Directive is applied to the listed search results "to understand what the impact of the proposed EU Copyright Directive would be to our users and publisher partners," according to Search Engine Land. EU Copyright Directive will turn SERPs into a ghost town according to Google. As the SERP screenshots show, Google's search results will look like a deserted town, with no article titles, no images, and no news summaries, or "like pages that have failed to completely load" as Search Engine Land's Greg Sterling very appropriately describes them. Learn more on OUR FORUM.

During this year’s recent CES conference in Las Vegas, attendees got a preview of the evolution of high-speed internet. It's called LiFiMAX and offers an internet connection based on invisible light. It gives a 100Mbps downlink data rate and 40Mpbs uplink rate, making it ideal for use in a professional setting. Also, since LiFiMAX offers internet without radio waves, it's a good fit for industrial environments that are sensitive to them, or for people who believe they feel negative health consequences due to radio wave exposure. At CES, there was a LiFiMAX presentation during one of the conference days, as well as on-demand demos throughout the event. As such, people could learn about technology and how it works. But, even if people weren't at CES, the LiFiMAX concept is pioneering enough to make people curious. This innovation is the latest offering from Oledcomm, a company that is not new to the idea of using light to help people connect. Oledcomm also rolled out the My LiFi lamp before this invention came on the market. It's a light for households, and as well as providing internet access, users can change the intensity of the output depending on the time of day, such as if they want bright light in the mornings to help them wake up, or dimmer illumination at night to help them wind down. As for the LiFiMAX, the most suitable use seems to be in a conference room or a coworking space. That's because the gadget offers an internet connection to 16 people at once. Follow this thread and more on OUR FORUM.