Category Archives: technology

EU plan new telecoms rules

“Our future is digital, and these rules are key to creating a gigabit society throughout the EU,” said Urve Palo, Estonia’s Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology.

The Council granted the Estonian presidency a general mandate to begin negotiations with the European Parliament on new rules for the electronic communications sector that will prepare Europe for the era of 5G by promoting investment, competition, consumer protection and the development of new services.

 “I am pleased that the Estonian presidency has obtained this first mandate earlier than we expected. We will now make every effort to achieve solid progress in talks with the Parliament by the end of the year. The unanimous support for our proposal shows the Council’s commitment to deliver on the digital single market.” Explained the Estonia’s Minister.

Boosting investment is necessary to ensure that the EU is able to meet the ever-growing demand for gigabit connectivity, which is a vital part of the digital revolution.

The minister added that work on this file reflects the importance the Estonian presidency attaches to connectivity and 5G. “In July, my colleagues and I signed the declaration on the adoption of 5G. At the Tallinn Digital Summit, European leaders also discussed how to promote 5G and connectivity. These steps will be reflected in the meetings of the European Council and the Telecoms Council later this month.”

The proposed rules, the European Electronic Communications Code, cover a wide range of areas, from consumer rights to operators’ access to networks and member states’ cooperation on spectrum management. The overhaul is intended to reflect changes in the market since the introduction of the current rules in 2009, and will provide a future-proof framework for a swift and extensive roll-out of 5G and other new generation technologies. These new technologies will facilitate the introduction and expansion of innovative digital services such as connected and autonomous cars, smart cities and smart energy grids.

The Council mandate widens the scope of electronic communications services to take account of the growing importance of services provided over the internet (also known as ‘over-the-top services’, or ‘OTT’), which includes VoIP, messaging apps and email. This is a major change compared to the current rules, which cover only traditional services that are linked to a specific number, such as text messages and landline and mobile calls. Certain characteristics of the service, such as whether the user pays for the service, will determine which rules will apply. In addition, the mandate includes a review mechanism to ensure that end-user rights remain up to date in view of the quick pace of change in business models and consumer behaviour.

The mandate provides for increased cooperation among member states to make radio spectrum available to operators in a timely and predictable manner. However, the Council text acknowledges that the best way to use spectrum varies across the EU, for a number of reasons, including physical geography, population distribution, market conditions and borders with non-EU countries. It also takes into account the fact that member states may need flexibility to react to technological and market changes in their management of spectrum.

The Council’s position updates current rules on operators’ access to networks to encourage competition and make it easier for companies to invest in new infrastructure, including in more remote areas. The mandate allows authorities to reduce the level of regulation to some extent where markets are competitive but introduces safeguards where these are necessary to ensure that the effective regulation of the market is not undermined.

The Council retains the core regulatory approach based on ‘significant market power’ (SMP), which has proved its value over the years in opening up markets to new entrants. However, as market players are becoming increasingly complex, SMP regulation alone is not enough to ensure competition in all cases. SMP rules will therefore be complemented with symmetric regulation of all providers of electronic communications networks in certain situations. In addition, the Council mandate introduces some additional tools to allow national regulatory authorities to address issues that may arise in certain market circumstances, such as duopolistic situations.

The mandate was granted by member states’ ambassadors at a meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper I).

An initial exploratory ‘trilogue’ meeting with the European Parliament is expected to take place by the end of October, if the Parliament confirms at its next plenary session that this is possible.

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Drones: safety first

”Drones offer tremendous opportunities for new services and businesses. That is why we want Europe to be a global leader. I am confident our modern and flexible regulatory framework will give rise to new European champions in this sector. But safety always comes first. If we don’t move fast enough, the near misses between drones and airplanes could one day have disastrous consequences. I am therefore calling on the European Parliament and the Council to swiftly agree on our proposal from December 2015.”  Said Violeta Bulc said, Commissioner for Transport .

The European Commission is today giving a push to speed up the implementation of EU-wide rules for the use of drones in the European Union. More than 1200 safety occurrences – including near-misses between drones and aircrafts – were reported in Europe in 2016, which underlines the pressing need for a modern and flexible EU regulatory framework. The Commission is therefore calling on the European Parliament and the Council to agree on its proposal from December 2015 establishing an EU-wide framework for drones. Pending this adoption, the Commission’s Single European Sky Air traffic management Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR) is today making half a million euro available to support the demonstration of “geo-fencing” services. These can automatically prevent drones from flying into restricted zones, such as the vicinity of airports.

Germany ready for eletronic identification means (eID)

Germany is the first Member State to complete the formal notification of an eID under the 2014 Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS Regulation).

The European Commission calls for a wider use of electronic identification means across the EU, as Germany has taken the final step to enable its citizens to use the electronic Identification means (eID) to access online services in other Member States.

As part of the Digital Single Market, this step is needed to ensure a mutual recognition and the use of national eIDs across all Member States. This accomplishment arrives on the eve of the Tallinn Digital Summit of 29 September, where Heads of State and government will discuss further plans for digital innovation in the years to come. Once eIDAS will be fully operational, EU citizens and companies will have the choice to use the eID to access online public services in other Member States. In addition, commercial services will be able to rely on such eID for their business offering across the EU. While the Members States are free to decide whether they notify their eIDs, they all must recognise the eIDs of other Member States that have already been notified.

Europol: new solutions for ATM Malware Protection

“The joint industry – law enforcement report by Europol’s EC3 and Trend Micro shows that the malware being used has evolved significantly and the scope and scale of the attacks have grown proportionately. While industry and law enforcement cooperation has developed strongly, the crime continues to thrive due to the major financial rewards available to the organized crime groups involved. This report assesses the developing nature of the threat. I hope that it serves as a blueprint for future industry and law enforcement cooperation,” said Steven Wilson, Head of EC3.

Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and Trend Micro, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions today released a comprehensive report on the current state of ATM Malware. Cashing in on ATM Malware details both physical and network-based malware attacks on ATMs, as well as highlights where the malware is created.

ATM malware has evolved from requiring physical access to infect the machines to now successfully attacking network-based access using the bank’s corporate network. The report dissects recent attacks using bank networks to both steal money and credit card data from ATM machines, regardless of network segmentation. These attacks not only risk personally identifiable information (PII) and large sums of money, but also put banks in violation of PCI compliance standards.

“Protecting against today’s cyber threats and meeting compliance standards require increased resources that are not always available for organizations, including those in the financial services industry,” said Max Cheng, chief information officer for Trend Micro. “Public-private collaborations strengthen the global, ongoing fight against cybercrime, and help fill the resource gap for organizations. This report furthers Trend Micro’s commitment to helping law enforcement and private businesses mitigate future attacks and protect individuals.”

In addition to the public report, a limited-release version is available to law enforcement authorities, financial institutions and the IT security industry. This private report provides greater detail for public and private organizations to harden ATM and network systems and prevent future attacks against financial institutions.

UK: new objectives for continued science success

 

Continued collaboration in science and innovation is an important part of the UK’s future partnership with the EU. This is the message the UK Government is expected to set out in a new paper published today.

The paper on science and innovation will lay out a range of mechanisms and areas for future collaboration that the UK will seek to discuss with the EU as part of the negotiations on the future partnership.

It will also consider areas where there are precedents for countries outside the EU to participate in pan-European programmes such as Galileo and Copernicus.

The UK space sector is worth over £11.8 billion to the UK economy, and employs at least 37,000 people around the country. Our work in the European Space Agency has put Tim Peake in space and is enabling us to explore Mars.

The paper will also lay out projects on nuclear research including:

 

·         the Oxfordshire-based JET (Joint European Torus) which is funded by the Euratom Research and Training programme and supports 1,300 jobs in the UK, 600 of which are highly skilled scientists and engineers; and

·         ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) which has generated over £450m worth of contracts so far for UK business

 

The UK will also continue to collaborate with European partners through international organisations that are not part of the EU for example the EUREKA network that helps SMEs collaborate on R&D across borders and CERN, the European platform for particle physics and the fundamental laws of nature of which the UK was a founding member.

 

Other initiatives where the UK will seek to explore options for future collaboration include the European Medicines Agency and EU framework programmes. The current programme, Horizon 2020, has over 7,300 UK participants so far and has seen many successes through collaboration, including through the Innovative Medicines Initiative and:

 

·  Through the HYFIVE project the UK together with other EU and international partners has taken hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to market, moving Europe towards a competitive low-carbon economy and providing cleaner air to all

·  The UK has worked with other EU and international partners to train young researchers to exploit big data through the LONGPOP project

·  Through the PAL project the UK has collaborated to build robots that interact with children to help manage their diabetes.

 

Secretary of State David Davis said:

 

“As the Prime Minister set out in her Lancaster House speech, a global Britain must be a country that looks to the future. That means being one of the best places in the word for science and innovation.

“This paper sends a clear message to the research and innovation community that we value their work and we feel it is crucial that we maintain collaboration with our European partners after we exit.

“We want to attract the brightest minds to the UK to build on the already great work being done across the country to ensure that our future is bright and we grow this important sector.”

 

Science Minister Jo Johnson said:

 

“From space exploration and developing better and safer medicines, to nuclear fusion research, the UK and Europe have a long history of close collaboration to meet the world’s great challenges. It’s in our mutual benefit to maintain this successful partnership, and this paper clearly outlines our desire to have a full and open discussion with the EU to shape our joint future.

“With science and innovation at the heart of our Industrial Strategy and our additional investment of £4.7 billion for research and development, we are ensuring we are best placed to continue being at the forefront of new discoveries, and look forward to continuing that journey with the best minds across Europe.”

 

The UK is a world leader in science and innovation and the paper also states that we want to continue to be a hub for international talent and sets out that it is vital we ensure research communities can continue to access the high level skills that support the science and innovation sector. It will say that the UK will seek to agree a system for continued recognition of professional qualifications, and will continue to welcome the brightest and best after we exit.

 

The paper makes clear that the Government is committed to maintaining the UK’s status as a world leader in science and innovation and strengthening its science and research base, which already includes four of the world’s top ten universities, a world class intellectual property regime and more Nobel Laureates than any country outside the United States.

Fujitsu Introduces “LiveTalk” at CEBIT

 

Fujitsu LiveTalk is a software that, for situations in which multiple people share information, such as meetings or classroom settings, recognizes a speaker’s speech, immediately converts it into text, and displays it on multiple PC screens.

Amongst some trendsetting innovations straight from the Fujitsu Labs in Japan, the Fujitsu LiveTalk solution was one of the highlights experienced at the Fujitsu booth at CEBIT 2017.

This software from Fujitsu has been developing simultaneous interpretation into 19 languages and makes communication in foreign languages blindingly easy. It is a communication tool that translates speaker’s speech into text via speech recognition and displays the content on a PC, tablet, or smartphone screen in real time. The spoken text is smoothly and reliably translated into any language available.

Focusing on the issue of communication with people with hearing disabilities, and based on the technologies of Fujitsu, which has been advancing initiatives in universal design, Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory developed and commercialized LiveTalk, a participatory communications tool for people with hearing disabilities that creates a smoother and more natural communications environment.

We interviewed Mr Michael Erhard head of communication of Fujitsu Central Europe.

  • What are the features of Live Talk?

“LiveTalk was originally designed for people with hearing disabilities in Japan. It was developed in a second step for simultaneously translations in many languages and at the moment support 19 languages as for example English, Chinese , Korean, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian. It is a learning system and it is quick to catch up with the other languages due to its autodidactic skills based supported by artificial intelligence.”

  • When it will be available in the market?

“It is the first time we presented this system in Europe. At the moment is available in the Japanese market and we plan to be present in the other markets”.

  • What are the ideal customers for this product?

“In the first step some 100 organisations in Japan use this system in order to communicate with disabled people, in particular with people with hearing disabilities, for example hospitals, government offices, businesses and educational institutions. These institutions have to communicate with people with hearing disabilities and they had to use the sign language so only few people were able to communicate. Live talk solved this problem. In particular, the system allows for keyboard input as well as speech input, so that hearing-impaired people can participate fully, alongside speakers of other languages.

Even without a human transcriber or other assistance, which until now has been required when hearing-impaired and hearing people work or learn in the same environment. Another possible application is for example in multinational organisations where the system is able to translate simultaneously in different languages even if multiple participants speak at the same time. ”

  • How easy is it to use?

 “It is very easy to use, because it can be used directly in the system and no additional hardware is necessary. It support every device with a microphone like PC, tablet, or smartphone. The spoken text is smoothly and reliably translated into any language available. “

  • What about the problem related to pronunciation?

“As I explained this system is a learning system with artificial intelligence in the background. The speech is converted into text and displayed on PC screens in real time with speech recognition using handheld and headset mics. If there are any mistakes in the conversion of speech into text, the system allows for keyboard input as well as speech input on the PC. When I tried the system the first time it was poor not so perfect, then I tried a second and a third time and the system got better. Basically a learning system it means the recognition of the voice will be better and better with practice.  ”

Extract of the interview:

 

La tendance high-tech de 2016 sera la réalité virtuelle #technologie #belgique #vr

realite-virtuelle

Une centaine d’entrepreneurs belges et étrangers se sont donnés rendez-vous ce jeudi au 9e VR Meetup belge.

Les VR Meetup sont des rassemblement de développeurs, designers et entrepreneurs passionnés de réalité virtuelle où s’échangent technologies, applications ou inspiration. La Belgique y participe depuis longtemps déjà; son VR Meetup est aujourd’hui le 5ème plus grand en Europe.

La popularité croissante de la VR attire les investissements des entrepreneurs. Selon le bureau international d’études de marché TrendForce, la valeur totale du marché de la réalité virtuelle (hardware et software) atteindra 6,7 milliards $ en 2016 et dépassera les 70 milliards $ en 2020.

La VR permet aujourd’hui de discuter avec des amis grâce à un casque VR (Beloola, http://www.beloola.com/), de voir un film de haute qualité en totale immersion (Immersia, http://www.immersiafilms.com) ou encore assister à une formation ou de s’immerger dans des concepts encore inexistants (HakoBio, de l’entreprise bruxelloise OUAT!, http://www.ouat.eu/live-science). Grâce à cet essor, la VR fera bientôt partie de nos vies.

Bruxelles accueillera le premier VR Hackathon européen du 15 au 17 janvier prochain. Lors de ce grand rassemblement, les participants ont 36 heures pour développer une application de réalité virtuelle la plus aboutie possible dans diverses catégories. Le VR Hackathon est une initiative du MIC et des clusters bruxellois software.brussels et screen.brussels.

Information et inscription: http://vrhackathon.com/brussels.html