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Barry O'Driscoll, Regional Manager, India, Sri Lanka and Mexico, Colombia markets, Education in Ireland under Irish state agency Enterprise Ireland, talked with the Free Press Journal about Ireland as a study abroad destination, options and opportunities for Indian students and much more. Here are the excerpts of the interview :

1. How does Ireland as a study destination differentiate itself from other popular countries for students such as the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc.?

Ireland is a leader when it comes to the ‘employability rate’ for graduates, both Irish and international compared to other countries. The Irish higher education system is very closely aligned to the skills needs of industry, so graduates in Ireland are renowned for being very much ‘employment ready’. The fact that Ireland produces highly skilled graduates, coupled with the country’s geographic location, as a stepping stone between Europe and the US means that a significant number of multinational corporations operate their Europe headquarters out of Ireland. This creates a very strong ‘post-study work’ ecosystem for graduates in Ireland.

Ireland is ranked in the top 10 for education according to IMD World Competitiveness Ranking 2019. As per Times Higher Education, universities in Ireland rank amongst the top 5% world-wide. In addition to this, the Irish government offers a valuable, 2-years stay-back option for international graduates and masters’ level. The country is ranked number-1 for attracting and retaining international talent, setting Ireland apart from other countries.

2. Are Ireland-bound Indian students coming from bigger cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore are you also seeing a trend of individuals from smaller cities applying to universities in the country?

The number of Indian students choosing to pursue their higher education in Ireland has been steadily increasing in the last 10 years. Ireland is firmly now on the radar of Indian students when it comes to study abroad options, and in 2021 around 5,000 students all over India chose Ireland for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Currently, the students applying to Ireland are based out of cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad, Lucknow, Chandigarh.

Furthermore, we are currently seeing an increase in the number of Indian students applying to Ireland at the rate of about 10% per year

3. What have been some of the positives and challenges that Education in Ireland has witnessed over the past decade in facilitating more Indian students to the country?

Ireland has progressively emerged as a desirable study destination for Indian students. It is a nation that has traditionally excelled at changing direction when confronted by challenges. Similarly, with the pandemic, the country chose to willingly embrace the opportunities that change offers. It has responded COVID-19 challenges and supported Indian students with healthcare aid and even provided a weekly compensation for students who lost their part-time job due to the pandemic.

Barry O' Driscoll

4. How is Ireland planning to encourage more international and Indian students in the next 10-15 years? Does it have plans to surpass the intake achieved by other countries in the Anglo-sphere?

The aim is not to attract international students in numbers beyond that of other English-speaking countries. Ireland is, after all, a small country with a population of just five million. What Ireland’s higher education institutions are aiming to do, however, is to build and grow a diverse international student community. Ireland's education system consistently ranks top 10 globally, attracting international students towards the quality of education it provides. The international students who come to study in Ireland come from EU member states such as France, Spain, Italy, Germany as well as non-European countries such as US, Canada, India, China, Malaysia, Nigeria and Mexico. Ireland currently has the fastest growing economy in the EU and there is an increased need for skilled graduates in sectors such as ICT, medical devices, pharma, finance, and agri-food. Highly skilled graduates play an important role in filling the critical skills needed in the Irish economy. That is the wider context in which Ireland is seeking more international students to choose Ireland. Irelands provides the benefits of pursuing education in an English-speaking country at the heart and the cultural, economic and technological leading edge of Europe that opens doors with a life changing experience. Besides, one of the primary reasons why Indian and international students are heading to Ireland is because of the ROI it offers – which in simple terms means the chances of a career boost following their graduation.

5. There used to be a two-year stay-back opportunity for students who studied in Ireland. Is that opportunity still available to students? If yes, have there been any changes in the same?

Yes, all international students seeking employment in Ireland, can stay-back with the help of the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme. Ireland offers a two-year stay-back option for non-EU students graduating at a Masters level.

6. Can we say the degrees sought in Ireland have total international acceptance with regards to jobs across the world?

Yes, all degrees from Irish higher education institutions are fully certified and internationally recognised. Industry led and practical programmes in Ireland make international graduates’ career-ready and highly employable in Ireland and beyond. Irish higher education institutions have an employability rate of 80-96% for students across sectors. In fact, Ireland is a hub for tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, TikTok, Facebook, Slack, LinkedIn and the likes of it. As per a report by “The Irish Times Top 1000” a number of Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Ireland. There are also wide-ranging industries including Financial Services, Life Sciences, Engineering, Pharmaceutical, Technology, and Business Global leaders such as Intel, HP, IBM, and Apple have long-established operations in Ireland. According to the OECD report Ireland will be the least affected economy in Europe.

7. Any additional SOPs for students who want to come to Ireland to study?

For international students, a number of factors compel them to apply to study abroad, Ireland in particular has proved to be an enticing prospect for international students. To provide a sum up insight as to how students can easily and practically plan to study in Ireland, one must consider their discipline of preference and look at the course options. Students are encouraged to use the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) to identify and compare different qualifications before making an informed decision. One of the best ways to gather information about the preferred programme, tuition fee, as well as funding and accommodation is by attending virtual or in-person fairs, especially official events run by the government of Ireland and Education in Ireland where top higher education institutions participate as well as the Visa Office, this information can be found on https://india.educationinireland.live/. A good grasp of the English language is an essential requirement for students whose first language is not English. An IELTS composite score of 6.0 - 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in any one component is a typical requirement.

8. What are some of the programmes that are popular among international students? Is there any study conducted on the same for students who want to study in Ireland

There is a steady demand for graduates of specialised disciplines in Ireland, and particularly those pursuing STEM subjects such as science, ICT, technology, finance and mechanical, software and electronic engineering. Job prospects are especially promising for those looking to grow in the IT sector which is the backbone of Ireland. It is anticipated that applications for courses in Design, Digital media, Hospitality, Animation, Cloud computing, and Aeronautics will see a surge in the coming years. However, Indian students usually gravitate towards popular courses like Engineering, Biotechnology, Computers, Marketing, Business, Pharmacy, Nursing, Law, and Communications. More recently, there has been an increased interest in courses that focus on emerging technologies such as AI, AgTech, Data Analytics and Science, and Cyber Security.

9. Since India is also looking at facilitating dual degree programmes with many universities abroad, are there any plans in the pipeline for collaborations between Indian and Irish universities?

Ireland’s higher education institutions are quite active when it comes to education partnerships with universities globally. There are certainly opportunities to develop this further when it comes to India. A number of Irish institutions currently have agreements with the likes of Delhi University, SRM, JNU and Vellore Institute of Technology. Furthermore, the implementation of NEP in India is a welcome move for both countries' dual degree collaborations. This will involve the introduction of new, innovative modules and courses. Programmes will also be more practical, which means that the curriculum will be more closely aligned with Ireland’s high education institutions. We are looking to renew and establish further partnerships with upcoming activities this year like familiarisation trips to Ireland and visits of Irish faculty to India.

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Fri, 05 Aug 2022 18:04:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.freepressjournal.in/education/studying-in-ireland-on-the-radar-of-indian-students
Killexams : The Last Scientific Calculator?

There was a time when being an engineering student meant you had a sword. Well, really it was a slide rule hanging from your belt, but it sounds cooler to call it a sword. The slide rule sword gave way to calculators hanging from your belt loop, and for many engineers that calculator was from HP. Today’s students are more likely to have a TI or Casio calculator, but HP is still in there with the HP Prime. It is hard to call it a calculator since the latest variant has a 528 MHz ARM Cortex A7, 256 MB of RAM, and 512 MB of ROM. But if you can’t justify a $150 calculator, there are some cheap and even free options out there to get the experience. To start with, HP has a free app that runs on Windows or Mac that works just like the calculator. Of course, that’s free as in no charge, not free as in open source. But still, it will run under Wine with no more than the usual amount of coaxing.

You might wonder why you need a calculator on your computer, and perhaps you don’t. However, the HP Prime isn’t just your 1980s vintage calculator. It also has an amazing number of applications including a complete symbolic math system based on xCAS/Giac. It is also programmable using a special HP language that is sort of like Basic or Pascal. Other applications include plotting, statistics, solvers, and even a spreadsheet that can hold up to 10,000 rows and 676 columns.

Portability

It is easy to think that HP provides the free PC software so you’ll go out and buy the real calculator, and that may be part of it. However, you can also get official apps for Android and iOS. They aren’t free, but they are relatively inexpensive. On iOS the cost right now is $25 and on Android it is $20. There are also “lite” versions that are free.

It appears that these apps are not emulating the actual calculator hardware, but are ports of the calculator code. So this isn’t a case of someone just writing a pretend calculator, these apps act like the real calculator because it is running the same source code. For example, there is an application, HP Connectivity Kit, that lets you talk to a real calculator over the network. The PC and phone versions will also connect just like a real device.

Programming

You can write programs on the device or if you have the HP Connectivity software (also free) you can write programs on your PC. You can even find some from the Internet. If you miss your old calculator, there is a define feature that lets you program like a key macro recording.

The programming language isn’t hard to pick up. Here’s a short snippet:


EXPORT AREAVOL()
BEGIN
LOCAL N1, N2, L1;
CHOOSE(N1, "Area or Volume?", "Area", "Volume");
IF N1 == 1 THEN
CHOOSE(N2, "Choose shape", "Rectangle", "Triangle", "Disk");
ELSE
CHOOSE(N2, "Choose solid", "Prism", "Cylinder", "Cone", "Pyramid", "Sphere");
. . .

Hacking and What’s Next?

You’d think that the real hardware would be a prime platform for hacking, but so far that’s still on the to-do list. The only really good hardware hack for the real calculator adds a Samsung battery with a higher capacity to the machine. There are also some enticing pads on the PCB that appear to support a buzzer and I2C communications, but there’s no firmware for it. There have been a few attempts to load alien firmware into the device, but there’s no full-blown development system. Getting to the JTAG port looks pretty intense. There’s also been the inevitable hacking of the communication protocol.

History is replete with products that seemed amazing for their day but turned out to be just a stopgap for something better. Cassettes gave way to CDs and then CDs gave way to digital music. Telephone answering machines gave way to voicemail. Calculators have that feel to them. How much longer will we need them? Are the virtual HP Prime applications going to overshadow the physical device?

Regardless, the Prime is state of the art and would shame a personal computer from a few years ago. You can only wonder if it will be the last great calculator, or if there are more yet to come. And a calculator still makes a nice project. Not all homemade calculators are simple.

Wed, 03 Aug 2022 11:59:00 -0500 Al Williams en-US text/html https://hackaday.com/2020/03/02/the-last-scientific-calculator/
Killexams : Use of Executive Training

Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.

Sat, 24 May 2014 16:04:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://smallbusiness.chron.com/use-executive-training-1835.html
Killexams : Human-Computer Interaction MS

In the human-computer interaction master's degree, you'll study how people interact with websites, computer systems, and software, enabling you to create intuitive interfaces that Strengthen how we interact with and use emerging technologies.

Program skills

The MS degree in human-computer interaction provides the knowledge and skills necessary for conceptualizing, designing, implementing, and evaluating software applications and computing technologies for the benefit of the user, whether the user is an individual, a group, an organization, or a society. Human, technological, and organizational concerns are interwoven throughout the curriculum and addressed in team- and project-based learning experiences.

Program facilities equipment

Over 300 computers for student use distributed among several labs, including active-learning labs for course instruction in programming, interface design, and application development. Computers include Mac OSX, Windows 10, Windows Server, and Linux available to all students. Students have class in or access to the Usability Testing Lab and the Center for Accessibility and Inclusion Research Lab. 

Program job titles reported

User Experience Researcher; UI/UX Designer; Interaction Designer; Usability Specialist; Entrepreneur; Frontend Developer; Mobile Applications Designer; Product Designer; Research Associate; Senior Software Engineer; UX/UI Developer

Program significant points

  • The core courses provide knowledge and skills in the conceptual and methodological frameworks of HCI and HCI research
  • Students may complete a thesis or capstone project. This experience is meant to be an empirical study of a HCI problem, which can be the development of a software product through user-centered design processes.

Select program hiring partners

Bank of New York Mellon; Blue Shield of California; Bose Corporation; Chatham Financial; Cisco; EPAM Continuum; Exponent; HP; Huawei Technologies; HubSpot; Juniper Networks; LenelS2; McGraw-Hill; Printforia; Retail Business Services, a proud company of Ahold Delhaize; RIT - MAGIC Spells Studios; Verizon; Whirlpool Corporation

95.9%

Outcome Rates*

Total percentage of graduates who have entered the workforce, enrolled in full-time graduate study, or are pursuing alternative plans (military service, volunteering, etc.).

88.90%

Knowledge Rate

*Total percentage of graduates for whom RIT has verifiable data, compared to national average knowledge rate of 41% per NACE.

Outcome % of Students
Employed 91.70%
Full-time Graduate Study 0%
Alternative Plans 4.20%
Outcome % of Students
Employed 91.70%
Full-time Graduate Study 0%
Alternative Plans 4.20%

Experiential Learning

Cooperative Education

What makes an RIT education exceptional? It’s the ability to complete relevant, hands-on career experience. At the graduate level, and paired with an advanced degree, cooperative education and internships give you the unparalleled credentials that truly set you apart. Learn more about graduate co-op and how it provides you with the career experience employers look for in their next top hires.

Cooperative education is optional but strongly encouraged for graduate students in the human-computer interaction program.

Creative Industry Day

RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education hosts Creative Industry Day, which connects students majoring in art, design, film and animation, photography, and select computing majors with companies, organizations, creative agencies, design firms, and more. You'll be able to network with company representatives and interview directly for open co-op and permanent employment positions.

Tue, 03 Mar 2020 07:59:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.rit.edu/careerservices/study/human-computer-interaction-ms
Killexams : ITIL Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library, better known as ITIL, is the pre-eminent framework for managing IT service delivery around the world. ITIL defines a service lifecycle model that prescribes specific processes and activities during the design, development, delivery, and support of IT services. For the purposes of this discussion, IT services are any IT activities that deliver business value to a company’s end users, customers and other internal or external stakeholders. Examples of IT services include centralized corporate email and corporate websites based on back-end IT processes, such as server and network administration. The current version of ITIL is known as ITIL V3.

By adopting the ITIL framework, companies ensure that their services are delivered according to a set of consistent, well-defined processes that incorporate best practices and processes, resulting in a predictable level of service for users. The benefits of ITIL include reduced cost of service development and deployment, improved customer satisfaction with service delivery, increased productivity from IT personnel, quality improvements, better management metrics of services and increased flexibility in adapting services to changing business requirements.

ITIL Certification program overview

In July 2013, Axelos took ownership of ITIL. It now maintains the ITIL framework and accredits training and examination institutes. Hundreds of ITIL Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs) are available to deliver training, and ITIL certification exams may be administered at the end of a training course or by an Examination Institute (EI), many of which work directly with the ATOs.

ITIL offers five different certification levels:

  • Foundation
  • Practitioner
  • Intermediate (Service Lifecycle and Service Capability categories)
  • Expert
  • Master

Be aware that ITIL uses a credit system for the Foundation through Expert levels, in which each certification earns a certain number of credits. Ultimately, a total of 22 credits is required to achieve ITIL Expert certification. (The ITIL Master has its own set of requirements, which you’ll read about shortly). The following graphic shows the structure of that certification scheme and its corresponding credits.

Credit: Axelos

What is ITIL?

Before you read on for certification details, it’s important to understand how the ITIL IT service framework is structured and what it has to offer.

ITIL was first developed by the U.K. Government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in the 1980s as a set of standardized best practices for IT services used in government agencies. From that narrowly focused start, ITIL has been adopted, revised and expanded into a comprehensive framework for managing IT service delivery in companies and organizations of all sizes, across all industries and market sectors.

In fact, IT has become a mission-critical service delivery mechanism for companies that rely on complex computing resources to keep their businesses operating and generating revenue. ITIL allows companies to define and implement a documented, repeatable process that assists them in staying focused on the large and small details involved in rolling out new IT services and managing those services afterward.

The ITIL service lifecycle consists of five practice areas or phases, with supporting principles, policies and processes within each phase:

  • Service Strategy: This phase focuses on defining services as strategic assets, and then maintaining and implementing a coherent, deliberate strategy. Service strategy principles address business processes, corporate governance and compliance, policies, corporate culture and decision-making, and ensure that the business is geared for service improvement.
  • Service Design: This phase includes the assessment of business management processes (service level, availability, capacity, etc.) to design and develop new service offerings or Strengthen existing offerings.
  • Service Transition: This phase covers the transition from development to production operations, including testing and quality control.
  • Service Operation: This phase defines how to manage services once they’re in production use. It addresses service operation processes, such as event management, access management, incident response, the application lifecycle and helpdesk support.
  • Continuous Service Improvement: This phase defines new requirements for the preceding phases of ITIL based on operational feedback and service levels. It helps to ensure that policies and procedures are followed, that service level agreements are met and that operational lessons learned are incorporated into existing and future service refinements.

Don’t let the scope of ITIL scare you away from the overall value afforded by this comprehensive lifecycle for IT services. The ITIL framework gives companies the structure and discipline required to design, develop, deliver and manage new or improved services in a timely manner and, most importantly, on a budget. Before ITIL, a lack of service management discipline and expertise led many IT projects to suffer budget overruns, veer off course or fail outright due to scope-creep, mismanagement and a lack of repeatable results. ITIL solves these problems quite nicely. In fact, ITIL is widely regarded as the pre-eminent standard for IT service management frameworks.

ITIL Foundation certification

The ITIL Foundation certification covers the basics of ITIL and is where most newbies start the process of learning ITIL and becoming certified. The certification has no prerequisites, and anyone with an interest in the subject matter can sit for this exam. ITIL Foundation certification exam prep can be accomplished via classroom or distance learning options, as well as via self-study. There is no requirement for you to complete a training course before you sit for the Foundations exam. The Foundation exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 60 minutes with a grade of 65 percent, or 26 correct answers, required to pass the exam.

Although the certification covers all the five practice areas of the ITIL service lifecycle, including how the different lifecycle stages are linked to one another, an IT pro who completes the ITIL Foundation level will likely need to complete the Practitioner or Intermediate certification before being able to qualify for service management positions.

ITIL Practitioner

The ITIL Practitioner certification is the latest entry to the ITIL certification scheme. This exam was offered for the first time in February 2016. As the name implies, the ITIL Practitioner certification is based on practical knowledge of ITIL processes and how those principles are implemented in the real world. An ITIL Practitioner can explain how to use the ITIL framework to support business objectives and focuses on organizational change management, communications, and measurement and metrics.

The ITIL Practitioner is considered the next step in the ITIL progression after achieving the ITIL Foundation (which is a prerequisite). It emphasizes the ability to adopt, adapt and apply ITIL concepts in an organization. Although the Practitioner certification is not required for upper-level ITIL credentials, achieving Practitioner certification provides three credits toward ITIL Expert certification. You can prepare for the Practitioner exam through self-study, in-person classroom learning or online and distance learning options. The Practitioner exam is 40 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum score of 70 percent, or 28 correct answers,  to pass.

The ITIL Intermediate certification is module-based, each of which focuses on a different aspect of IT service management. Relevant modules are categorized as either Service Lifecycle or Service Capability.

The Service Lifecycle modules are:

  • Service Strategy (SS)
  • Service Design (SD)
  • Service Transition (ST)
  • Service Operation (SO)
  • Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

The Service Capability modules are:

  • Operational Support and Analysis (OSA)
  • Planning, Protection and Optimization (PPO)
  • Release, Control and Validation (RCV)
  • Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA)

To enable candidates to meet their own career goals, AXELOS lets you achieve qualification in one category or by choosing modules from both categories. AXELOS recommends that you have at least two years of IT service management experience. Note that you must complete your Intermediate exam preparation by completing a training course offered by an accredited training organization (ATO), i.e., you cannot self-study then sit for the Intermediate exam.

ITIL Expert

The ITIL Expert is an advanced certification that encompasses the breadth and depth of ITIL processes and practices across all ITIL disciplines. ITIL Expert certification is a prerequisite for the ITIL Master certification.

To qualify for the ITIL Expert, you must obtain at least 17 credits from the Foundation, Practitioner and Intermediate modules, and pass the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) exam, earning a total of 22 credits.

ITIL Master

The pinnacle ITIL Master certification demonstrates an ability to apply the ITIL framework in real-world situations. The ITIL Master encompasses all ITIL principles and processes covered in the Foundation through Expert certifications. An ITIL Master must demonstrate complete mastery of the ITIL framework by completing the following:

  • Achieve the ITIL Expert certification
  • Demonstrate at least five years of ITIL experience in a management or leadership role
  • Submit a proposal for a service improvement
  • Submit a work package that demonstrates your ability to apply ITIL principles to a real-world business case, including positive impacts to a business service
  • Successfully complete an interview with an ITIL assessment panel

The cost of the ITIL Master runs about $4,000, which you pay after an EI accepts your initial application. Given the expense of this certification and its stringent requirements, only serious candidates should pursue the ITIL Master. That said, earning this certification indicates you’ve reached the highest level of achievement in your field.

IT professionals who possess an ITIL certification have always been valued by large corporations who have adopted the ITIL framework as an internal IT standard. What is beginning to change is ITIL’s increasing proliferation. Many small- and medium-sized businesses also now recognize the value of employees with ITIL certifications under their collective belts.

As IT becomes more important, SMBs are realizing the biggest benefits of maintaining ITIL-trained personnel on staff. Though no company wants to see IT projects fail, larger companies can usually absorb the loss of productivity, time and money that accompanies a failed IT service project. SMBs may not have the financial luxury of allowing an important IT project to fail owing to poor management and lack of processes. Thus, the value of an ITIL certification may be greater for enlightened companies that cannot afford IT project failures.

The good news about ITIL certification is that it is a valuable skill for almost any IT professional, from system administrators to chief information officers (CIOs). Many large companies have dedicated ITIL coaches or mentors who help shepherd projects through the various steps of the ITIL framework. These ITIL gurus have a wide understanding of the IT landscape and can usually spot trouble with a service design document or implementation plan in a matter of minutes.

ITIL certification is also a valuable credential for IT project managers, who are in the IT service trenches every day. Most project managers are already familiar with the development lifecycle process, so the principles of ITIL come naturally to them. IT managers, architects and engineers might not ever become ITIL Masters, but even a basic knowledge of the ITIL framework can assist with understanding and supporting the ITIL process.

AXELOS provides a Career Paths chart that maps IT service management job roles with skill levels. This chart is handy for certification candidates interested in specific jobs who need to understand how they fit into the ITIL service lifecycle.

ITIL training

Each ITIL certification webpage provides links to relevant study guides and syllabi. Those pursuing the ITIL Foundation certification should read the three-part blog series on preparing for and taking the ITIL Foundation exam. Those who are thinking about pursuing the Intermediate certification should use the ITIL Intermediate Training Navigator to match desired job roles and skills with the appropriate modules.

Formal ITIL training is available in self-paced online courses, instructor-led distance learning and instructor-led classroom classes. The variety of ITIL training offered and the collection of certified companies offering ITIL training ensures that anyone who is interested in learning about ITIL or becoming ITIL certified has an option that fits their learning preferences.

Although non-accredited ITIL training is available, we strongly recommend that you only utilize an ITIL ATO when you pursue ITIL training. Find a complete list of such training providers on the Axelos ITIL website.

ITIL 4

Axelos and the ITIL Development Group, made up of more than 2,000 ITIL stakeholders worldwide, began working on an update to ITIL V3 in late 2017. That work continued throughout 2018, and Axelos has announced upcoming changes to the ITIL certifications known as ITIL 4. ITIL 4 will provide sweeping changes to the ITIL certification program to better align with the growing complexity of modern IT. ITIL 4 also changes some of the certification program terms and titles to align with the new ITIL 4 program structure. Here is a look at the new ITIL 4 program overview:

Credit: Axelos

You’ll recognize some familiar terms as well as some new nomenclature incorporated into the ITIL 4 certification scheme. The certification still starts with the ITIL Foundation, and ITIL Master is still the highest level of ITIL certification, but how you get from Foundation to Master now allows two distinct paths, allowing you to choose the certification knowledge areas that best fit your interests and career goals.

The new Foundation exam is scheduled to be released in Q1 of 2019, with additional certification exam updates scheduled to be released in the second half of 2019. You can find more details on how existing ITIL V3 certifications map to the new program structure here: ITIL 4 Program Updates.

Note: We will update this article as the new ITIL 4 exam preparation courses and certification exams are released by Axelos so check back here often to learn more about ITIL 4.

Credit: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel

Ed is a 30-year-plus veteran of the computing industry, who has worked as a programmer, a technical manager, a classroom instructor, a network consultant and a technical evangelist for companies that include Burroughs, Schlumberger, Novell, IBM/Tivoli and NetQoS. He has written for numerous publications, including Tom’s IT Pro, and is the author of more than 140 computing books on information security, web markup languages and development tools, and Windows operating systems.

Credit: Earl Follis

Earl Follis

Earl is also a 30-year veteran of the computer industry, who worked in IT training, marketing, technical evangelism and market analysis in the areas of networking and systems technology and management. Ed and Earl met in the late 1980s when Ed hired Earl as a trainer at an Austin-area networking company that’s now part of HP. The two of them have written numerous books together on NetWare, Windows Server and other topics. Earl is also a regular writer for the computer trade press with many e-books, white papers and articles to his credit.

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10696-itil-certification-guide.html
Killexams : The Design & Implementation of Hand-tracking in ‘Myst’

Using Presence Platform’s upgraded Hand Tracking API, we introduced Hand Tracking with our most accurate update to Myst on the Meta Quest Platform, titled ‘Hands & More’. We’re super excited to finally let folks play Myst on Quest without physical controllers! In this post, we’ll discuss the evolution and iteration of implementing hand tracking in Myst—and in particular, adding more support for it in Unreal Engine 4.27.2.

Guest Article by Hannah Gamiel

Hannah Gamiel is the Development Director at Cyan—the studio behind the original ‘Myst’ games—and helped develop the new ‘Myst (2020)‘ which includes VR support. Originally coming from a purely technical background, she now helps lead production on all titles and manages business & tech efforts at Cyan. She has worked on titles such as ‘Myst’ (2020), ‘The Witness’, ‘Braid, Anniversary Edition’, ‘Obduction’, ‘Firmament’ (coming soon!), and more.

Designing Navigation for Hand Tracking

Picture indicating where you’d like to go. You likely thought of pointing, right? That’s why we opted to use a ‘pointing’ method for movement in Myst.

When you’re in teleport mode, you can point to where you’d like to go and the teleport ring appears at your destination. When you ‘un-point’ (by extending the rest of your fingers, or simply pulling your pointer finger back into your palm), the teleport is executed.

When you’re in smooth movement mode, pointing with your free-movement-dominant hand (which can be configured in our controls settings, but is the Left hand by default) will begin smoothly moving you around in the direction you’re pointing.

When playtesting movement with pointing, we found that hand tracking can sometimes be unreliable with your pointer finger and middle finger when it is occluded by the rest of your hand. The system isn’t sure whether those fingers are fully pointing or fully ‘enclosed’ in your hand. We added a bit of a ‘fudge’ factor to the code to account for more stable movement initiation/execution on this front—which we’ll go into a bit later when we discuss changes made to out-of-the-box Hand Tracking support in Unreal Engine.

Turning

The ‘point’ method doesn’t work for all navigation usages. When it comes to turning, we initially combined pointing with wrist rotation. Comparing the player’s wrist and the camera’s forward vector would indicate the direction of the turn (and how big the turn should be).We tried this initially since it seemed intuitive to keep the ‘pointing’ theme for navigation going between all modes.

Complications arose in comfort tests, however. In playtesting, most players would point forward with their palm facing the ground, as one likely would when attempting to point at something outside of a game as well. Rotating your wrist to the left and right (around the up axis of your wrist) while you have your palm facing the ground is challenging and has a very limited range of motion, especially if trying to turn away from your chest.

This issue is the same even if you asked a player to point at something in front of them with their palms facing inward. You can bend your wrist in toward your body quite a bit, but you won’t get the same range of motion bending your wrist away from your body.

So how did we solve this? We ended up assigning turning to a ‘thumbs-up’ gesture instead of a pointer-finger-pointing gesture.

Imagine giving a thumbs-up. Now turn your wrist right and left. Note that even though you don’t have a huge range of motion it’s still fairly consistent pointing either ‘left’ and ‘right’ with your thumb in this gesture.

This is what we settled on for turning in hand tracking mode. Although pointing with your thumb doesn’t seem like the most intuitive way to turn, it did end up being the most comfortable and consistent way of doing so.

With snap turning, rotating your wrist to the left or right from a thumbs-up position causes a single snap turn to initiate. You then have to return your hand to the ‘center’ (straight up) position in order to reset the snap, and additionally wait for a very short cooldown to occur to initiate a snap turn again.

With smooth turning, turning your wrist while in a thumbs-up position will begin rotating you left or right—once you leave a ‘dead zone’ that prevents a turn from occurring until you pass the threshold.

Handling Conflicts Between Movement & Object Interaction Poses

Of course, pointing a finger is too broad of a gesture to be assumed to only just be used for navigation. People will make the same pointing gesture to press buttons or interact with other things in the world just out of habit or their own expectation. It would be pretty jarring to walk up to (but not right up to) a button, point your finger to press it, and then suddenly (and unwantedly) move closer to it in-game (or initiate a teleport unintentionally)!

The way we prevent movement from occuring while the player may be interacting with something is by preventing any movement code from firing off when the hand making the ‘move’ gesture is within a certain range of an interactable object. This range has been tweaked multiple times to get to a good ‘sweet spot’ based on playtesting.

We’ve found that this sweet spot is around 25 cm from the world space location of the bone of the tip of the index finger. Myst is full of interactive objects of various sizes (everything from small buttons to very large levers) arrayed in both wide-open spaces and narrow hallways, so it took us quite a bit of testing to settle on this number. We initially tried 60 cm (about two feet), but that prevented movement from occurring when players still needed to get closer to an object. Likewise, anything below 25 cm caused undesired player movement to trigger when players were trying to grab or touch an object.

One of our best testing areas was the generator room on Myst Island, where you make your way through a narrow entryway and are then immediately greeted by a panel full of buttons. When the interaction testing area was too large, players were unable to move through the entry and toward the panel because it detected buttons within range of the index finger.

That said, 25 cm is what worked specifically for Myst. Other games may need to adjust this number if they want to implement something similar, with their own criteria in mind.

Designing Object Interactions for Hand Tracking

Right now, all grabbable interactions in Myst are built to work with hand tracking—turning valves, opening doors, pressing buttons, turning book pages, and so on.

The interactions piggy-back off what we had already set up for Myst with Touch controllers. There, pressing the grip button automatically blends the in-game mesh representation of your hand into a ‘grabbed’ pose, either putting your hand into a fist (if empty) or grabbing an object. With hand tracking, we’ve added code that will make a qualified guess as to when you have curled your fingers enough to ‘grab’ something and initiate the same logic as mentioned before.

For example, when you’re using hand tracking and your hand hovers over something that’s grabbable, your hand color turns orange (this is exactly what happens when you don’t use hand tracking in Myst VR as well). When you grab an interactable object by beginning to curl your fingers into a fist, an orange sphere replaces your hand mesh and represents where the hand is attached to the object.

The reason why we went with this method instead of making custom poseable meshes for your hands—or allowing your hands/fingers to appear to physically interact with portions of these objects—is because we wanted the interactions to be at parity with what we offer on the Touch controller side for now.

Pushing buttons works differently though. There’s no need for abstraction since buttons aren’t grabbable objects, and instead we allow you to simply push a button using generated capsule colliders between each of the finger joints on the poseable hand mesh. You can do all sorts of weird and fun things because of this—like using only your pinky or the knuckle of your ring finger to interact with every button in the game, if you really want to.

This implementation differs slightly from the way Touch controllers interact with buttons in the game in that we usually expect players to use the grip button on their controller to set the hand to be a posed ‘finger pointing’ mesh to get an accurate in-game button press on their end. With hand tracking, there’s obviously significantly more flexibility in the pose you can create with your hand, and therefore significantly more ways to press buttons with the same level of accuracy.

Menu/UI Interactions

For interacting with menus, we ended up going with the same interaction paradigm that Meta uses for the Quest Platform: a two-finger pinch between thumb and index finger, on either hand. This can be used both to open our in-game menu and interact with elements in the menu. No sense in reinventing the wheel here when players are already taught to do this in the OS-level menus when they first enable hand tracking on Quest!

Communicating All of This to the Player

Because hand tracking isn’t as common an input on Quest as Touch controllers, and because there may be some people playing Myst for the very first time (or even playing their very first VR game!), we tried to be considerate with how we communicate all of this information about hand tracking to the player. We made sure to include another version of our “controller diagram” specifically tailored to describe hand tracking interactions (when enabled in Myst), and we show the player specialized notifications that tell them exactly how to move around with their hands.

Additionally, we thought it would be vital to remind the player how to have a smooth hand tracking experience, once enabled. The player is notified in Myst’s menu that hand tracking stability is much better if they ensure they’re in a well-lit room and keep their hands within their field of view.

Meta also informs players that these are key to a well-tracked hand tracking environment, but we recognize that some players might jump into a game not having parsed Meta’s notices about this first, so we’ve chosen to remind folks in case they forgot.

Continue on Page 2: Engine Modifications Made in Unreal »

Fri, 05 Aug 2022 00:06:00 -0500 Road to VR en-US text/html https://www.roadtovr.com/design-implementation-of-hand-tracking-in-myst-oculus-quest/
Killexams : Remoticon 2021 // Rob Weinstein Builds An HP-35 From The Patent Up

Fifty years ago, Hewlett-Packard introduced the first handheld scientific calculator, the HP-35. It was quite the engineering feat, since equivalent machines of the day were bulky desktop affairs, if not rack-mounted. [Rob Weinstein] has long been a fan of HP calculators, and used an HP-41C for many years until it wore out. Since then he gradually developed a curiosity about these old calculators and what made them tick. The more he read, the more engrossed he became. [Rob] eventually decided to embark on a three year long reverse-engineer journey that culminated a recreation of the original design on a protoboard that operates exactly like the original from 1972 (although not quite pocket-sized). In this presentation he walks us through the history of the calculator design and his efforts in understanding and eventually replicating it using modern FPGAs.

The HP patent ( US Patent 4,001,569 ) contains an extremely detailed explanation of the calculator in nearly every aspect. There are many novel concepts in the design, and [Rob] delves into two of them in his presentation. Early LED devices were a drain on batteries, and HP engineers came up with a clever solution. In a complex orchestra of multiplexed switches, they steered current through inductors and LED segments, storing energy temporarily and eliminating the need for inefficient dropping resistors. But even more complicated is the serial processor architecture of the calculator. The first microprocessors were not available when HP started this design, so the entire processor was done at the gate level. Everything operates on 56-bit registers which are constantly circulating around in circular shift registers. [Rob] has really done his homework here, carefully studying each section of the design in great depth, drawing upon old documents and books when available, and making his own material when not. For example, in the course of figuring everything out, [Rob] prepared 338 pages of timing charts in addition to those in the patent.

LED Driver Timing Chart

One section called the “Micro-Programmed Controller” is presented as just a black-box in the patent. This is the heart of the systems, and is essential to the calculator’s operation. However, all the other parts that talk to the controller were so well-described in the patent that [Rob] was able to back out the details. The controller, and all sections of the calculator, was implemented in Verilog, and tested on an instrumented workbench he built to test each module.

Once everything was working in the simulations, [Rob] set out to build a working model. TInyFPGA models were used, one for each custom chip. A few understandable departures were made from the original design. An 18650 lithium ion cell powers the board, kept topped off by a modern battery charging controller. The board is larger than the original, and yes, he’s using the Hackaday-obligatory 555 chip in the power-on circuit. In this short demonstration video, you can see the final prototype being put through its paces side by side with an original HP-35, working through examples from the owner’s manual.

This is an incredibly researched and thoroughly documented project. [Rob] has made the design open source and is sharing it on the project’s GitLab repository. [Rob]’s slides for Remoticon are not only a great overview of the project, but have some good references included. Its clear he has a real passion for these old calculators and has done a fantastic job exploring the HP-35. But even after three years, there’s more to come. He’s thinking about making a PCB version, and a discrete implementation using individual logic gates may be in the works.

We wrote about the history of the HP-35 before. And if you like hacking into these old calculators, check out our writeup of a similar dive into the Sinclair scientific calculator.

Wed, 13 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 Chris Lott en-US text/html https://hackaday.com/2022/04/07/remoticon-2021-rob-weinstein-builds-an-hp-35-from-the-patent-up/
Killexams : Top speaker line-up announced for the Future of Education summit 2022

Leaders in business and academia will tackle The Pathway to Digital Transformation as they engage in one-on-one interviews and panel discussions at the 8th Annual Future of Education Summit, by CNBC AFRICA in partnership with FORBES AFRICA. This free-to-attend, virtually hosted event takes place on Friday, 29 July from 10.30am to 3.30pm, and is set to lead the dialogue on digital solutions in the tertiary education sector.

"We're very excited to welcome global leaders who have navigated digital platforms and are advancing the access and functionality of this space for the continent," said Dr Rakesh Wahi, Co-founder of the ABN Group and Founder of the Future of Education Summit. "The time for adopting digital solutions is now, but navigating a path that overcomes the challenges faced by the continent requires collaboration. That's why we're so looking forward to the solutions-driven approach of our speakers."

Dr Wahi, who will be welcoming this year's audience, is a visionary entrepreneur who has been involved with early-stage investments in emerging markets for the last 30 years. He is a well-respected member of the investment community and has distinguished himself in the field of IT, telecoms, media, technology and education investments. Alongside his role in the summit and with ABN Group, Dr Wahi is Chairman of CMA Investment Holdings that has representation through its portfolio companies in over 20 countries.

The 2022 Future of Education panellists

Bradley Pulford, Managing Director for HP, is one of the high-profile speakers joining the Future of Education Summit. In his role as Managing Director for HP Africa, Pulford is hurry to support and enhance the continent's rapidly accelerating economic growth and further HP's vision of diversity and inclusion.

Pulford is set to unpack the importance of digital equity in elevating the African education system during the Technology Challenges in Teaching and Learning panel discussion. accurate research conducted by HP shows that, while educators are positive about the future of the profession, there is an urgent need to Strengthen their soft skills for future-proofing classrooms. During his discussion, Pulford will unpack how private-public partnerships contribute to elevating the education fraternity and providing long-term support for educators.

Pulford will be joined by Dan Adkins, Group CEO for Transnational Academic Group, responsible for teaching in the Foundation and Business programmes. With a solid grounding in the IT industry worldwide, and an MBA and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Business Research from Herriot-Watt University, Adkins is well-versed in the uses of technology in the tertiary sector. He has lectured at university level across a number of subjects, and has overseen the development of multiple foundation programmes while also providing seminars on education for TEDx.

Also speaking on the syllabu is Prof Barry Dwolatzky, an Emeritus Professor and Director of Innovation Strategy at the University of Witwatersrand. Prof Dwolatzky, who has more than 30 years of experience leading students into the digital future, also serves as the Chief Visionary Officer for the Tshimologong Precinct, and is the Director and CEO of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering.

He will be joined by Suraj Shah, Lead for the Regional Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning at Mastercard Foundation (the Centre) who is responsible for the implementation of partnerships between the Centre and the various governments and ministries of education in Africa. He is currently aligning EdTech entrepreneurs with the governments of Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana, with the view to scale up technology innovations to Strengthen teaching and learning in secondary education at scale. He is passionate about women's empowerment and nurturing innovation and research among in sub-Saharan Africa.

The syllabu of Digital Transformation in Education will be taken on by Prof Gary Martin, CEO and Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Management since 2012. He is tasked with leading all aspects of the business, focussed on building leadership, management and workplace capability in Australia and internationally, across the corporate, government, not-for-profit and community sectors.

He is joined by Dr Kirti Menon, the Senior Director for the Division for Teaching Excellence at the University of Johannesburg who has served on national task teams with a research focus on access, exclusion and redress in higher education. As a Research Associate affiliated to the UJ Faculty of Education, Dr Menon is widely published in the fields of higher education, curriculum transformation, social exclusion and access.

Another expert addressing digital transformation is Prof Seth Kunin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University, Australia's seventh largest university – and one of the most international. Kunin's portfolio includes international relations; marketing, recruitment and admissions; transnational education through branch campuses and partnerships; study abroad and exchange; international scholarships; and quality.

Prof Mark Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor University of Southampton, brings in-depth knowledge to the panel having published more than 380 papers on advanced magnetic resonance techniques throughout his career. In his position at the university, he also holds a number of external appointments including membership of Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Board; Senior Independent Member of UKRI EPSRC's Council; and board member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, chairing their Research Wales Committee.

Unpacking Lessons from Covid & Developed World Transformation Strategies for African Education is another esteemed panel line-up, among them Prof Stan du Plessis, COO and Economics Professor and Stellenbosch University, a specialist in macroeconomics and monetary policy who has advised the South African Reserve Bank and National Treasury on macroeconomic policy.

Prof Kirk Semple, Director of International Engagement of Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University; will share his insights garnered over 30 years in academia, specialising in environmental microbiology. In his current role, he's been involved in international activities and partnerships for the university, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa.

Prof Zeblon Vilakazi, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of the Witwatersrand, has been instrumental in establishing South Africa's first experimental high-energy physics research group at CERN, working on the Large Hadron Collider. He has fostered international collaborative research as Director of iThemba LABS where he initiated a flagship rare, isotope beam (RIB) project. He has also played a role in securing a place for African academic partners in the development of practical applications through access to the IBM Quantum Computing network.

They are joined by Adetomi Soyinka, Director of Programmes and Regional Portfolio Lead for the British Councils Higher Education Programme in Sub Saharan Africa, with more than 15 years' experience working in the commercial and international development sectors and a demonstrated track record of achievement in the design and delivery of multiple youth centred projects across education, skills for employability and enterprise.

The British Council is collaborating on the summit, showcasing its commitment to investing in education and opportunity in Africa. Commenting on this, Soyinka said: "Education and innovation are critical pathways to Strengthen economic well-being of Africa's future, and being part of this summit aligns with our vision of connecting international education communities, identifing mutually beneficial collaboration areas, removing learning barriers, and facilitating partnerships between various higher education sectors in Africa."

Tackling the Transformation of Higher Education Leadership is Prof Malcolm McIver, CEO and Provost of Lancaster University in Ghana. He's an experienced academic and education manager with a successful history of working in the higher education industry, international education, and transnational education.

Jon Foster-Pedley, Dean and Director of Henley Business School in Africa – the first school to be accredited by The Association of Africa Business schools (AABS) - will also lend his expertise to the panel. Henley forms part of the Henley Business School UK, a leading global business school with campuses in Europe, Asia and Africa. He boasts 45 years of international working experience as a professor of innovation, MBA director, director of executive education, designer and director of numerous executive education programmes, and lecturer in strategy, innovation and executive learning. His interests are economic and educational transformation, sustainability and business evolution.

Jaye Richards-Hill, Director of Education Industry for Middle East and Africa, Microsoft Corp, will also provide her unique perspective on the syllabu when she joins the panel. She has more than 30 years of international experience in teaching and training in the education and corporate sectors. Richards-Hill has also worked on government-level projects, including the accurate Operation Phakisa Education Lab for the Office of the President in South Africa; and the Scottish Qualifications Authority Future Models of Assessment group; and was a member of the ICT in Education Excellence Group - a collective of education experts which advised the Scottish Secretary of State for Education on reforms to the national eLearning project and technology-driven transformation.

For the panel discussion on The Schools Business: Digital Transformation in Formal K-12 Schooling and Supplementary Tutoring, audiences can look forward to hearing from Edward Mosuwe, Head of Gauteng Department of Education, responsible for the overall leadership and management of the department, as well as serving as the accounting officer. Mosuwe has extensive experience in education having served as an academic at the then Technikon Witwatersrand (now the University of Johannesburg) and as a policy developer and a bureaucrat within the public service at national level.

Joining Mosuwe on the panel is Stacey Brewer, Co-founder and CEO of Spark Schools, an independent private school network which provides high quality, affordable education to previously underserved communities. Dean McCoubrey, Founder of the multi-award-winning EdTech Digital Citizenship Program and MySociaLife - teaching pupils media literacy and online safety – also joins the panel. He brings valuable insight into online learning, currently training Child Psychiatry Units on the latest online challenges to child development. Dean has also spoken at the World Innovation Summit for Education in Qatar (2019), The World Education Conference in Mumbai (2020) and World Mental Health Congress (June 2021), alongside many local education and mind health events.

Yandiswa Xhakaza, Director and Principal of UCT Online High School – one of the event sponsors -will join the discussion, bringing her expertise as an educationalist with significant experience in South Africa's basic education sector.

"I'm delighted to be joining the Future of Education Summit this year as a key speaker on behalf of UCT Online High School, our extended team of teachers, learning designers and support coaches," said Xhakaza. "I will be discussing UCT Online High School's successes to date, market impact, learning technology advancements and unpacking the issue of the digital divide. Along with Valenture Institute, we're committed to accelerating access to world-class high school education, so that we can unleash South Africa's potential."

The 2022 Future of Education individual speakers

This year's keynote address will be given by Prof Andy Schofield, Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University and an award-winning theoretical physicist working in the area of condensed matter physics specialising in correlated electrons. He studied Natural Sciences followed by a PhD at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he was appointed to a Research Fellowship in 1992. He moved to the USA in 1994 working at Rutgers for two years before returning to Cambridge.

During a one-on-one session, Bello Tongo the CEO of Tongston Entrepreneurship will discuss the syllabu Incorporating Entrepreneurship Thinking in Education from Primary to Tertiary Levels. Tongo has extensive experience as a multi- multi-award-winning entrepreneur, educator and industry leader whose company is one of the top 50 global education organisations according to the Global Forum for Education & Learning.

Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg and recently appointed Deputy Chair of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution will also engage in a one-one-one interview focusing on Transformation in the Education Sector. As an accomplished scholar with multi-disciplinary research interests – artificial intelligence in engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine – Prof Marwala will bring unique insights into this topic.

Included in this year's one-one-one interview is Robert Paddock, the CEO and Founder of Valenture Institute, a social enterprise turning physical limitations into digital opportunities by enabling students to choose an aspirational school regardless of their circumstances.

Don't miss out on these dynamic discussions that unlock technological potential for the tertiary education space! To book your place at the free-to-attend Future of Education webinar, register here https://hopin.com/events/future-of-education-summit-29-july-2022.

CNBC AFRICA in partnership with FORBES AFRICA extended thanks to the sponsors, The British Council, HP and the Transnational Academic Group, and UCT Online High School.

Tue, 26 Jul 2022 06:04:00 -0500 text/html https://www.businessghana.com/site/news/general/267381/Top-speaker-line-up-announced-for-the-Future-of-Education-summit-2022
Killexams : Stolen Credentials Selling on the Dark Web for Price of a Gallon of Gas

HP Inc.

New HP Wolf Security report exposes ironic “honor among thieves” as cybercriminals rely on dispute resolution services, $3k vendor bonds and escrow payments to ensure “fair” dealings

PALO ALTO, Calif. , July 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) today released The Evolution of Cybercrime: Why the Dark Web is Supercharging the Threat Landscape and How to Fight Back – an HP Wolf Security Report. The findings show cybercrime is being supercharged through “plug and play” malware kits that make it easier than ever to launch attacks. Cyber syndicates are collaborating with amateur attackers to target businesses, putting our online world at risk.

The HP Wolf Security threat team worked with Forensic Pathways, a leading group of global forensic professionals, on a three-month dark web investigation, scraping and analyzing over 35 million cybercriminal marketplaces and forum posts to understand how cybercriminals operate, gain trust, and build reputation.

Key findings include:

  • Malware is cheap and readily available – Over three quarters (76%) of malware advertisements listed, and 91% of exploits (i.e. code that gives attackers control over systems by taking advantage of software bugs), retail for under $10 USD. The average cost of compromised Remote Desktop Protocol credentials is just $5 USD. Vendors are selling products in bundles, with plug-and-play malware kits, malware-as-a-service, tutorials, and mentoring services reducing the need for technical skills and experience to conduct complex, targeted attacks – in fact, just 2-3% of threat actors today are advanced coders1.

  • The irony of ‘honor amongst cyber-thieves’ – Much like the legitimate online retail world, trust and reputation are ironically essential parts of cybercriminal commerce: 77% of cybercriminal marketplaces analyzed require a vendor bond – a license to sell – which can cost up to $3,000. 85% of these use escrow payments, and 92% have a third-party dispute resolution service. Every marketplace provides vendor feedback scores. Cybercriminals also try to stay a step ahead of law enforcement by transferring reputation between websites – as the average lifespan of a dark net Tor website is only 55 days.

  • Popular software is giving cybercriminals a foot in the door – Cybercriminals are focusing on finding gaps in software that will allow them to get a foothold and take control of systems by targeting known bugs and vulnerabilities in popular software. Examples include the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office, web content management systems, and web and mail servers. Kits that exploit vulnerabilities in niche systems command the highest prices (typically ranging from $1,000-$4,000 USD). Zero Days (vulnerabilities that are not yet publicly known) are retailing at 10s of thousands of dollars on dark web markets.

“Unfortunately, it’s never been easier to be a cybercriminal. Complex attacks previously required serious skills, knowledge and resource. Now the technology and training is available for the price of a gallons of gas. And whether it’s having your company ad customer data exposed, deliveries delayed or even a hospital appointment cancelled, the explosion in cybercrime affects us all,” comments report author Alex Holland, Senior Malware Analyst at HP Inc.

“At the heart of this is ransomware, which has created a new cybercriminal ecosystem rewarding smaller players with a slice of the profits. This is creating a cybercrime factory line, churning out attacks that can be very hard to defend against and putting the businesses we all rely on in the crosshairs,” Holland adds.

HP consulted with a panel of experts from cybersecurity and academia – including ex-black hat hacker Michael ‘Mafia Boy’ Calce and authored criminologist, Dr. Mike McGuire – to understand how cybercrime has evolved and what businesses can do to better protect themselves against the threats of today and tomorrow. They warned that businesses should prepare for destructive data denial attacks, increasingly targeted cyber campaigns, and cybercriminals using emerging technologies like artificial intelligence to challenge organizations’ data integrity.

To protect against current and future threats, the report offers up the following advice for businesses:

Master the basics to reduce cybercriminals’ chances: Follow best practices, such as multi-factor authentication and patch management; reduce your attack surface from top attack vectors like email, web browsing and file downloads; and prioritize self-healing hardware to boost resilience.

Focus on winning the game: plan for the worst; limit risk posed by your people and partners by putting processes in place to vet provider security and educate workforces on social engineering; and be process-oriented and rehearse responses to attacks so you can identify problems, make improvements and be better prepared.

Cybercrime is a team sport. Cybersecurity must be too: talk to your peers to share threat information and intelligence in real-time; use threat intelligence and be proactive in horizon scanning by monitoring open discussions on underground forums; and work with third-party security services to uncover weak spots and critical risks that need addressing.

“We all need to do more to fight the growing cybercrime machine,” says Dr. Ian Pratt, Global Head of Security for Personal Systems at HP Inc. “For individuals, this means becoming cyber aware. Most attacks start with a click of a mouse, so thinking before you click is always important. But giving yourself a safety net by buying technology that can mitigate and recover from the impact of bad clicks is even better.”

“For businesses, it’s important to build resiliency and shut off as many common attack routes as possible,” Pratt continues. “For example, cybercriminals study patches on release to reverse engineer the vulnerability being patched and can rapidly create exploits to use before organizations have patched. So, speeding up patch management is important. Many of the most common categories of threat such as those delivered via email and the web can be fully neutralized through techniques such as threat containment and isolation, greatly reducing an organization’s attack surface regardless of whether the vulnerabilities are patched or not.”

You can read the full report here https://threatresearch.ext.hp.com/evolution-of-cybercrime-report/

Media contacts:
Vanessa Godsal / vgodsal@hp.com

About the research

The Evolution of Cybercrime – The Evolution of Cybercrime: Why the Dark Web is Supercharging the Threat Landscape and How to Fight Back – an HP Wolf Security Report is based on findings from:

  1. An independent study carried out by dark web investigation firm Forensic Pathways and commissioned by HP Wolf Security. The firm collected dark web marketplace listings using their automated crawlers that monitor content on the Tor network. Their Dark Search Engine tool has an index consisting of >35 million URLs of scraped data. The collected data was examined and validated by Forensic Pathway’s analysts. This report analyzed approximately 33,000 active websites across the dark web, including 5,502 forums and 6,529 marketplaces. Between February and April 2022, Forensic Pathways identified 17 recently active cybercrime marketplaces across the Tor network and 16 hacking forums across the Tor network and the web containing relevant listings that comprise the data set.

  2. The report also includes threat telemetry from HP Wolf Security and research into the leaked communications of the Conti ransomware group.

  3. Interviews with and contributions from a panel of cybersecurity experts including:

    • Alex Holland, report author, Senior Malware Analyst at HP Inc.

    • Joanna Burkey, Chief Information Security Officer at HP Inc.

    • Dr. Ian Pratt, Global Head of Security for Personal Systems at HP Inc.

    • Boris Balacheff, Chief Technologist for Security Research and Innovation at HP Labs, HP Inc.

    • Patrick Schlapfer, Malware Analyst at HP Inc.

    • Michael Calce, former black hat “MafiaBoy”, HP Security Advisory Board Chairman, CEO of decentraweb, and President of Optimal Secure.

    • Dr. Mike McGuire, senior lecturer of criminology at the University of Surrey, UK and authored expert on cybersecurity.

    • Robert Masse, HP Security Advisory Board member and Partner at Deloitte.

    • Justine Bone, HP Security Advisory Board member and CEO at Medsec.

About HP

HP Inc. is a technology company that believes one thoughtful idea has the power to change the world. Its product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers, and 3D printing solutions helps bring these ideas to life. Visit http://www.hp.com.

About HP Wolf Security

From the maker of the world’s most secure PCs2 and Printers3, HP Wolf Security is a new breed of endpoint security. HP’s portfolio of hardware-enforced security and endpoint-focused security services are designed to help organizations safeguard PCs, printers, and people from circling cyber predators. HP Wolf Security provides comprehensive endpoint protection and resiliency that starts at the hardware level and extends across software and services.

©Copyright 2022 HP Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

1 According to Michael Calce, former black hat “MafiaBoy”, HP Security Advisory Board Member, CEO of decentraweb, and President of Optimal Secure
2 Based on HP’s unique and comprehensive security capabilities at no additional cost among vendors on HP Elite PCs with Windows and 8th Gen and higher Intel® processors or AMD Ryzen™ 4000 processors and higher; HP ProDesk 600 G6 with Intel® 10th Gen and higher processors; and HP ProBook 600 with AMD Ryzen™ 4000 or Intel® 11th Gen processors and higher.
3 HP’s most advanced embedded security features are available on HP Enterprise and HP Managed devices with HP FutureSmart firmware 4.5 or above. Claim based on HP review of 2021 published features of competitive in-class printers. Only HP offers a combination of security features to automatically detect, stop, and recover from attacks with a self-healing reboot, in alignment with NIST SP 800-193 guidelines for device cyber resiliency. For a list of compatible products, visit: hp.com/go/PrintersThatProtect. For more information, visit: hp.com/go/PrinterSecurityClaims.

Thu, 21 Jul 2022 04:34:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/stolen-credentials-selling-dark-price-163000009.html
Killexams : The Design & Implementation of Hand-tracking in ‘Myst’

Engine Modifications Made in Unreal

This is where it’s about to get a bit more technical… buckle up!

We’re currently using Unreal Engine 4.27.2 for Myst. Meta has some base code for hand tracking in Unreal—but not enough for a game like ours that requires better gesture and confidence detection. Much of Meta’s gesture detection and physicality libraries for hand tracking are only available in Unity at this time, so we needed to do some ground work on that front to get simple gestures like our ‘thumbs-up’ and ‘finger pointing’ gestures recognized in Unreal.

Additionally, there are some other elements folks will need to implement themselves for a shippable hand tracking project, which I’ll detail below.

System Gesture Spam Fix

The Oculus left-hand system gesture (this is for the menu button) will trigger even if you begin a pinch, instead of waiting to confirm the pinch has been in the same state for a period of time. We fixed this by changing the event in the Oculus Input library to wait for the pinch to complete (wait for the system gesture to fill in its confirmation circle) before firing off a notify event instead of doing so while it’s in progress.

Multi-Platform Build Stability

The Oculus Hand Component being serialized with any Blueprint will cause builds for other platforms (such as Xbox) to break during the nativization step. This is because the Oculus Hand Component is a part of the OculusVR plugin, which is only enabled for Windows and Android and therefore can’t have any of its components referenced in Blueprints when other platforms are built.

Nativization isn’t officially supported in Unreal Engine 5, but for folks in Unreal Engine 4, it may still be beneficial to keep it enabled depending on your project’s needs. Therefore, it isn’t feasible to include a hand component at the Blueprint level for games that are packaged for all platforms.

Our solution to this is that we’re only spawning and destroying the Oculus Hand Component in C++ on our Touch controllers whenever hand tracking is detected as enabled or disabled, and this functionality is only enabled for Android builds built for Quest. Hand Component source and all of our hand tracking code is excluded from all other platforms.

Unfortunately, this means that if you’re a developer with a Blueprints-only project that’s targeting multiple platforms and making use of nativization in Unreal Engine 4 and you’re considering implementing hand tracking for Quest, you may have to convert your project to a source project in order to avoid nativization issues building for platforms other than Quest.

Custom Whole-Hand Gesture Recognition

There’s no meaningful whole-hand-based gesture recognition built into the Oculus input library (other than finger pinches for system gestures) in Unreal. This means that if you make a thumbs-up gesture or a finger-pointing gesture that requires all other fingers to be tucked in, there isn’t anything built into Unreal that notifies you of that specific gesture happening.

Our solution for this was to implement our own bone rotation detection in the Oculus Hand Component, with adjustable tolerances, to infer when:

  • A finger point (with the index finger) is occurring
  • A grab is occurring
  • A thumbs-up gesture is occurring

All of them get fired off as input events that we can bind to in C++, which is where we house most of our base player controller, character, and Touch controller code.

Gesture & Tracking Stability Adjustments

When implementing and testing Hand Tracking support for Myst in Unreal, we noted some quirks with the tracking stability for certain fingers when they’re occluded by the rest of your hand. For example, if you’re:

  • Grabbing something with all of your fingers facing away from you
  • Pointing your index finger directly away from you

In the case of grabbing something with all of your fingers facing away from you, we noted that hand tracking may occasionally think that your pinky finger isn’t enclosed in your fist, as if it had been relaxed slightly. In fact, tracking accuracy of all fingers when in a closed fist with your fingers obfuscated by the back of your hand isn’t particularly high, even when it doesn’t consider tracking confidence to be low. This is an issue for when we expect the player to grab onto things like valves or levers and proceed to turn/move them without letting go too quickly—the hand tracking system might decide you’re no longer grabbing the object because it thinks you relaxed your fingers.

In the case of pointing your pointer finger away from you, sometimes the hand tracking system would consider your middle finger to be more relaxed than it actually was, or even pointing with your pointer finger as well. This was an issue for our navigation and movement systems. If the system no longer thinks you’re pointing with just your pointer finger, it might instead think you’re trying to grab something and stop you from moving, or unwittingly execute a teleport you weren’t ready to initiate.

Our solution for both of these scenarios was to add some individual finger thresholds for how much we’d allow the problematic fingers in these scenarios to be relaxed before we consider a hand as ‘not grabbing’ or ‘not pointing’. More often than not, the tracking system thought fingers were more relaxed than they actually were, instead of the other way around. We built these thresholds right into the place we decide to notify the user of the gestures the hand is making—right into the Oculus Hand Component.

Other Handy Utilities for Oculus Hand Component

We made plenty of modifications to the Oculus Hand Component source for our own custom gesture recognition, but we also made some modifications to it for some utility functions. One of the functions we wrote was a utility to get the closest point on the hand’s collision from some other point in world space. It additionally returns the name of the bone that is closest. We used this utility function for a variety of input verifications for different interactions.

For what it’s worth, we found that tracking reliability to the wrist bone was most consistent regardless of hand depth, so we did tests to that bone location more often than others.

Closing Thoughts

Hand tracking can be a really powerful, accessible addition to your game. For Myst, it took some work, but we worked ‘smart’ in that we tried to tie it into our existing input systems so we wouldn’t need to make too many overarching changes to the game as a whole. Our goal was to create a user experience that was intuitive and comfortable, without building an entirely separate input system on the back end.

Meta’s branch with Unreal Engine comes with hand tracking support out of the box and can definitely be used by a team capable of making engine changes. With that said, it needs some modifications to get it to recognize useful whole-hand gestures. We’re really looking forward to seeing Meta’s support for hand tracking in Unreal reach parity with what they offer in Unity. In the meantime, teams who are comfortable working with source-based projects in Unreal should find that they’ll have enough flexibility to get hand tracking to fit with their project.

– – — – –

We’re open to hearing what folks think about our process—and learning if there’s any interest in us providing a system like this in Unreal for folks to use and build upon. You can contact us at info@cyan.com for more information, or contact me (Hannah) on Twitter @hannahgamiel. Thanks for reading!

Fri, 05 Aug 2022 04:12:00 -0500 Road to VR en-US text/html https://www.roadtovr.com/design-implementation-of-hand-tracking-in-myst-oculus-quest/2/
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