Colors: Purple Color

Twelve people were fined after they were caught playing dominoes in a restaurant in east London.

Police officers found the group hiding in a dark room when they entered the building in Whitechapel, in the capital. The owner of the restaurant initially claimed those inside were workers, before admitting they were playing the game.

Tower Hamlets Council has been asked to consider issuing a fine to the owner for breaching tier four Covid-19 restrictions, the Metropolitan Police said. A video released by the Met shows the restaurant owner saying: "They're playing dominoes."

Chief Inspector Pete Shaw HQ and Covid Lead Central East BCU (Hackney & Tower Hamlets) said: "The rules under tier four are in place to keep all of us safe, and they do not exempt people from gathering to play games together in basements.

"The fact that these people hid from officers clearly shows they knew they were breaching the rules and have now been fined for their actions."

Nokia announced the technology that is supporting UK-based sailing team Alex Thomson Racing on its round-the-world race. British sailor Alex Thomson is onboard his HUGO BOSS boat from Les Sables-D’Olonne on France’s west coast for the Vendée Globe – a 24,000-mile, solo, non-stop, unassisted race around the world.

The technology partnership, which began in September 2018, has Nokia Bell Labs working alongside Alex Thomson Racing and its IMOCA (International Monohull Open Class Association) 60-foot boat to adapt existing and develop new connectivity and sensory technologies in extreme, mission-critical environments that will optimize and improve the performance of the skipper and the boat.

Utilizing technologies, ranging from augmented intelligence and wearable devices to sensors, machine learning, analytics and advanced communications networks, the partnership seeks to optimize the human performance of Alex Thomson while discovering and creating technologies for the 5G era that can enhance industrial IoT and mission-critical networks, so that they can operate in harsh physical environments.

Thierry Klein, Head of Enterprise & Industrial Automation Research Lab, Nokia Bell Labs, said: “Nokia Bell Labs is able to apply its expertise and innovations in industrial automation and the industrial internet of things (IoT) to solve some of the biggest challenges Alex will face in the race. These challenges are not that different from the situations faced by workers in remote mines trying to operate cranes or engineers in wind farms in desolate and rural settings. By optimizing Alex and his racing boat, we are creating the ideal symbiosis between man and machine that will help give Alex the edge he needs to win.”

 

Advanced sensors collect a large amount of data that is linked to data analytics and machine learning algorithms. Alex is wearing a custom-built sensing device to continuously monitor his physiological well-being. An array of hardened sensors are augmented with a network of nine cameras to deliver live video streams for a full 360-degree view of the boat and the sails. To guide Alex towards effective decision-making, Nokia Bell Labs built custom mobile applications for onboard data visualization.

             

The new state-of-the-art IMOCA 60 boat, HUGO BOSS, is equipped with advanced technology and communication solutions based on Nokia Bell Labs innovations. Seamless and reliable connectivity provides timely weather information for navigational and routing systems, and allows Alex to remain connected with his family and fans onshore in harsh conditions in the most remote parts of the world. An onboard edge intelligence and compute server collects, stores and analyzes data from all sensors and interfaces with the critical boat systems. Designed for rugged environments and optimized for size, weight and power consumption, it serves as the central brain of the onboard intelligence and data analytics modules that power the real-time awareness and optimization of the boat.

 

An augmented intelligent auto-pilot uses sophisticated machine learning models and algorithms to enhance the performance, robustness and stability of the onboard auto-pilot system through automated sensor-driven adjustments and performance prediction. An easy-to-use human interface allows Alex to configure and fine-tune the auto-pilot settings and parameters.

 

Birmingham City Council received its first batch of e-cargo bikes – manufactured by Raleigh - that was used by the Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) to support community food deliveries in the lead-up to Christmas. The city was one of the local authorities to secure funding to run an e-cargo bike pilot scheme.

The pilot, a long-term lease programme that includes maintenance and training for 13 e-cargo bikes and 7 e-cargo trikes, will provide a basis for the wider take up of e-cargo vehicles in the city. The scheme forms part of the Council’s broader plan to support sustainable freight vehicles and practices more widely.

Four of the new bikes will be kept by Birmingham City Council and will replace van trips as part of a move to modernise its transport fleet. The Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffar said: “I’m delighted that e-cargo bikes have arrived in Birmingham and in time to support the amazing work of the Active Wellbeing Society. This pilot scheme will help to improve air quality in our city and support organisations in their efforts to reduce emissions. It is another step towards achieving net zero carbon in Birmingham.

 

“We will be monitoring the impact of the pilot closely as we look to develop more sustainable freight initiatives in the future.”

The first delivery bikes arrived with four used by The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) over Christmas and beyond, to collect donations and deliver food and clothing to vulnerable people across the city. The bikes will also transport growing, bike repair and sports equipment as part of other free initiatives delivered by the cooperative.

Chair of TAWS and Ward Councillor Lisa Trickett said: “The eCargo bike scheme will really help our staff and volunteers to get essential items to where they are needed over the Christmas period. It is vitally important that we are able to work with our partner organisations to support individuals and families during such challenging times.

“The eCargo bikes will enable us to meet local need in a sustainable and efficient way.”

The bikes have been supplied and manufactured by Raleigh and are brand-new designs with the ability to carry up to a 100kg payload, plus the rider and travel up to 40 miles on a single charge with zero emissions.

Raleigh’s Commercial Partnerships Manager, Ed Pegram said: “Raleigh are very pleased to support the Birmingham eCargo bike share, it marks one of the first cargo share schemes in the UK supporting businesses become more sustainable and creating more liveable towns and cities with improved air quality and reduced congestion.”

A second batch of bikes will be delivered this year and loaned to the Council’s local partner organisations, to demonstrate how they might be used to support day-to-day operations and deliver goods and services.

 

Phoenix Point: Year one edition moves to December 3rd
on Steam and the Epic Games Store

 

Phoenix Point, the turn-based strategy game from X-COM creator Julian Gollop and Snapshot Games, announced that the upcoming “Year One Edition”, which collects the game with all previously released DLC and digital extras, will now release for Windows PC and Mac on December 3rd, 2020. This is one week earlier from its previously announced date of December 10th. Phoenix Point: Year One Edition will be available from most PC digital retailers, including Steam and the Epic Game Store.

Snapshot Games Head of Marketing, Eric Neigher said: “We know a lot of fans have been eagerly waiting for Year One Edition since we announced it earlier this year, and that’s why we are extremely pleased to be able to bring it to them a week earlier than we had planned.”  

Phoenix Point: Year One Edition includes all previously released content: 3 DLC Packs (“Blood & Titanium”, “Legacy of the Ancients”, and the “Living Weapons Pack”) and a slew of updates, upgrades, fixes, and new content suggested by the community.

Year One Edition is the best, most complete version of Phoenix Point yet released, and we’re excited for players to dive into new campaigns with new challenges.” said Julian Gollop, CEO of Snapshot Games and Lead Designer for Phoenix Point. “The team has worked extremely hard to get Year One Edition ready to go, and we know players are going to appreciate that hard work when they play the game.”

Phoenix Point delivers a new breed of turn-based strategy and action against an alien invasion. Build global alliances, manage your base, and command your forces in battles with dynamic objectives and destructible environments. Procedurally generated maps, branching storylines with multiple endings, and enemies that mutate to counter your tactics ensure no two playthroughs are ever the same. Since launch, Snapshot Games has continued to build on the core Phoenix Point experience with free and premium DLC, as well as a variety of gameplay improvements driven by community feedback.

 

Sony has pulled Cyberpunk 2077, one of the year's most-anticipated games, from the PlayStation store and offered refunds to all players. The unprecedented move follows complaints that the game has been riddled with bugs and glitches, and is prone to crashes. Earlier this week, the game’s developers CD Projekt Red offered refunds for the game.

The company has also committed to releasing patches to improve the game. It’s unclear when Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) plans to return the game to the PlayStation Store.

The company said: “SIE strives to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, therefore we will begin to offer a full refund for all gamers who have purchased Cyberpunk 2077 via PlayStation Store”.

Some users reported being unable to request the refund, even after the announcement - something Sony said it was working "to get up and running as soon as possible". It can still be bought on Xbox and PCs - and gamers who do not want be reimbursed for their PlayStation copies can still play the game and receive updates.

In Cyberpunk 2077, players live in a criminal world where they can pay to upgrade their bodies with technology. The action role-playing game was originally "announced" in 2012, but then re-announced in 2018 and then showcased with huge fanfare - and an appearance by Keanu Reeves - in June 2019.

The game reviewed well, with critics praising its gameplay and visuals - despite many visual glitches and bugs, which are common in large open-world games and often patched after launch day. But on release it became clear that versions of the game for older consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One ran poorly, with hitching, visual quality drops and slowdown that many players said made the game unplayable.

Those with the newest versions of consoles, or a high-end gaming PC, have not experienced the same level of issues. CD Projekt Red, which traditionally has focused on the PC market, had already acknowledged it "should have paid more attention to making it play better" on those consoles. The company says it will release patches to solve the problems in January and February.

A statement on the company’s website said: “They won’t make the game on last-gen look like it’s running on a high-spec PC or next-gen console, but it will be closer to that experience than it is now.”  It also encouraged users to use refund systems on the Sony and Xbox stores if they were unhappy.

However, PlayStation's policy is to usually not offer refunds if the game has been downloaded and played, "unless the content is faulty". That led to much confusion among players seeking refunds as directed by CD Projekt Red, who were refused such refunds by Sony. It is not clear if the removal of the game from the PlayStation store means that Sony has decided the game is "faulty" under its rules.

Hours after PlayStation's announcement that it was pulling Cyberpunk 2077 from sale, CD Projekt Red said the game was "temporarily" suspended "following our discussion with PlayStation". It said the game would "return as soon as possible" - but gave no date. Xbox users have also reported trouble with refunds, with many saying refund requests have been refused, despite an apparently flexible refund policy.

Microsoft says that while it considers all sales final, "we understand there may be extenuating circumstances" and it considers several factors for refund requests. But CD Projekt Red's chief executive told Reuters news agency it was not in discussions with Microsoft about pulling the game from the Xbox store in a similar way to Sony's move.

The studio also came under fire from fans when it announced staff would have to work overtime to finish the game - a process known in the industry as "crunch".

It had previously promised not to impose that kind of demand on its staff.

 

 

Nokia has announced today that it has deployed its G.fast solution to extend the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network of NetCologne, the largest regional telecommunications provider in Germany with over 28,000 kilometers of laid fiber-optic cables.

Nokia’s G.fast technology allows NetCologne to extend fiber service into buildings to give end users the option of accessing up to five times faster access speeds, reaching up to 1Gbps. Powered by Nokia software-defined access networks, NetCologne innovates with flexible cloud operations and brings new digital services to market fast in the greater Cologne/Bonn/Aachen area.

As a provider of network infrastructure to NetCologne for the last 25 years, Nokia is now set to support extensive upgrades to 30,000 Fiber to the Building (FTTB) installations, upgrading the last drop from VDSL2 to G.fast technology. Nokia G.fast 212 MHz technology will not only bring ultra-broadband speeds to NetCologne’s customers, the technology upgrade will also increase operational efficiency as zero touch provisioning cuts rollout costs and configuration time in half. Once NetCologne’s FTTB footprint is transitioned to G.fast, the Nokia Altiplano cloud platform will allow the operator to get better insights in increasing volumes of operational data and automate operations across the entire access network.

Horst Schmitz, Head of Technology at NetCologne, said: “We provide the city of Cologne and associated regions with leading-edge telecom services. Nokia delivered a highly customisable solution that is ideal for the next step in our network plans: bringing gigabit connectivity cost-effectively into buildings. On top, the cloud platform improves our automation capabilities today and for any future devices added to the network over time.”

Sandra Motley, President of Fixed Networks at Nokia, said: “We are proud to work with NetCologne as it embarks on the next phase of fiber expansion. NetCologne becomes a first-mover in the market with SDN-enabled G.fast, which will strenghten its competitiveness. Nokia’s software-defined portfolio enables NetCologne to advance into the cloud era with more agile, manageable and programmable broadband networks.”

Through the deployment, NetCologne will benefit from the following Nokia solutions:

  • Nokia Lightspan SX – industry-leading G.fast distribution point unit with advanced vectoring capability and highly efficient power circuitry, significantly reducing the power consumption per port.
  • Nokia Altiplano Access Controller – SDN controller with open programmable interfaces and intent-based networking enables simplified provisioning, reduced cost of operations, automation and portability for future network evolution.
  • Nokia GPON - (Gigabit Passive Optical Networks) OLTs (Optical Line Termination) – for greater speed and capacity for FTTH, enabling premium Gigabit services