post

Nintendo is offering $20,000 to hackers to break into the new 3DS

The electronics giant Nintendo is offering to reward hackers for breaking into its new 3DS system. There is a $20,000 (just under £15,750) top prize on offer, along with smaller prizes, depending on how successful hackers are at reporting bugs or faults in the system. The plan is to crowdsource testing of the system using the online community’s skills and vast numbers to check the platform’s stability.

Image Credit

HackerOne, a San Francisco-based company that manages system vulnerabilities, reported the Nintendo offer at the start of December 2016. The challenge gives hackers the opportunity to use their skills and get paid handsomely for the privilege.

Bugs for bounty

The idea behind the bugs for bounty move is simple. Nintendo wants to find weaknesses and faults in its 3DS handheld system to improve the player experience whilst gaming, of course, but also needs to secure its system against malicious hacks and cybercrime. This is of real concern when digital payments are being processed through Nintendo’s app store. Excellent security needs to be tested and in place to reassure users that their details are safe.

Using the online community as a software testing service is not a new idea, of course. Netscape introduced a bugs for bounties system back in the 90s that rewarded users who found problems in its systems. Scroll on 20 years and this type of crowdsourcing is now commonplace in the market. Organisations such as Facebook, Twitter, Adobe, Slack and LinkedIn have all used bugs for bounty offers to improve their systems; in addition, there are now companies devoted to providing testing solutions to the market, such as https://www.bugfinders.com.

Tangible benefits of testing

Whilst the primary motivation is revenue generation through Nintendo’s online store, there are other obvious benefits from the programme for Nintendo’s users. The challenge is one way in which Nintendo can deal with 3DS modding and cheats that can proliferate on some games and ruin player immersion and experience. Added to this is the ability for Nintendo to control information being shared on its system and to minimise the chance of inappropriate content being seen or shared by minors.

If you fancy using your hacking skills to legitimately make some cash, why not give the Nintendo challenge a try?

post

Will the Future of Financial Planning Necessarily Mean Robotic Advice?

Artificial intelligence will take over a large variety of jobs in the next 20 years, including financial advice, according to a report from analysts at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Image Credit

The report predicts that robots will completely transform the way that people manage their finances. People will be able to instantly tailor investment and financial portfolios to suit their own personal situation. But that isn’t all – it will also simplify taxes and debts, making finances easier for everyone.

The robots have already been dubbed the ‘robo-advisers’, and financial experts believe that they will even be able to have personal chats with their clients. While this may sound like an expensive service, it is very likely to be much cheaper than hiring a human financial adviser.

Robot Adviser Vs Human Adviser

A ‘robo-adviser’ may sound like something futuristic, but they are already available in the UK and the USA for people who cannot afford a human financial adviser. While this has made financial advice accessible to more people, is it as effective as a human financial adviser?

The short answer is no. Current robo-advisers are basically online wealth management services, and currently the systems cannot adapt to changing circumstances, so the advice that they offer can quickly become out-dated. According to Equities, robo-advisers are unable to communicate with their client, so they can’t adapt; instead, they base all of their predictions on one brief moment in time.

It seems that the best option currently is websites that join financial advisers with clients, such as https://www.intelliflo.com/. These systems have back office systems for financial advisers, so they can provide clients with affordable and useful financial advice.

However, robo-advisers are still in their infancy, and we can expect that they will change and improve considerably over the next two decades. It is entirely possible that there will soon be effective robo-advisers who can provide their clients with personalised and helpful financial advice.

Which Is Best for You?

Should you use a robo-adviser? If you have relatively simple finances and you aren’t looking for help with investments and future projects, a robo-adviser may be suitable for you, as it will help you to create a financial portfolio. However, a robo-adviser may not be the best option if you have complex finances.

post

How Long Will my Laminate Floor Last for?

Laminate flooring has many advantages – it is easy to install, easy to clean, and has a great finish. However, unlike a hardwood floor which after a period of time can simply be sanded and finished for a fresh look, a laminate floor that has suffered damage and wear and tear must be replaced.

Image Credit

As a result, it’s no surprise that consumers are interested in knowing how long their laminate floor will last.

Any Guarantees?

It is highly likely that a laminate floor will last beyond the manufacturer’s guarantee. Guarantees are given on laminate floors that they will last for six years or more. As with many products there is truth in the saying “you get what you pay for”, reflected by the fact that the length of guarantee offered increases with the price.

Top quality wood flooring, which you can find at http://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/, can come with a warranty of up to 30 years – which will clearly ensure that it has more than covered its cost.

However, it is essential to be realistic and not set your expectations too high. This is particularly true for those laminate floors which are installed in areas with above average footfall – hallways and kitchens for example, which are popular areas for laminate flooring in light of how easy they are to clean. However, in these areas in particular, the floor will be well used and is likely to show signs of that use.

Looking After Your Laminate

To ensure that you get the most out of your floor, it is essential to clean it correctly. Often laminate floors become terribly damaged simply because they are not cared for as they should be. It may pay to invest in a floor cleaner manufactured for use with laminate floors, and these can be found at many good flooring specialists, in particular an online flooring company who sell high quality laminate.

Thinking about how long a laminate floor will “last” may mean different things to different people. However, it is essential to remain realistic, as a laminate floor, no matter the quality, may not look as it did the day it was installed ten years later. The truth is that some laminate floors last very well indeed, but much depends on the product and its usage.

post

Why Further Research Needs to Happen to Assess the Role of Cannabis in Pain Relief

Medical marijuana is a hot topic today for all kinds of reasons. More cannabis is being sold and purchased in legal outlets, and it is being prescribed much more frequently as a treatment.

Why Further Research Needs to Happen to Assess the Role of Cannabis in Pain Relief

Image Credit

For those suffering from chronic pain, such as people afflicted with arthritis, the debate surrounding medical cannabis is of utter importance. Medical cannabis is being discussed with regards to policing, health effects, drafting policy and even its relevance for municipal zoning, but debate about its benefits and what is known about it – its potential uses and hazards – has been rather limited.

Limited Knowledge

The truth is that what we know about cannabis, based on scientific research that has been meticulously controlled, explored and recorded, does not amount to much.

As more prescriptions are dispensed to patients with chronic pain, this makes the dearth of information about medical cannabis an even more pressing situation to resolve. Various governments have been accused of blocking efforts to conduct research. Professionals such as health charities, physicians, medical researchers and clinicians should all be consulted too.

Patient Safety

Regulation and monitoring of the increasing number of legal dispensaries is critical. The products sold must be regulated also for content, quality and efficacy. Research has a vital part to play in helping all of this to happen, as it is needed to set out essential parameters. It is quite simple: this topic requires more data to move the debate forward.

Importance of Research

Although evidence suggests that medical marijuana can assist in managing pain, more extensive clinical data is required. Research is proceeding too slowly to allow patients in need to take advantage of the benefits of medical cannabis, according to this report from The Guardian. Patients and their carers are becoming increasingly angry over what they see as obstructions to useful research.

If you required the services of a clinical research organization, then it would be wise to consult the experts, such as the researchers at G and l scientific for targeted assistance.

The issue of medical cannabis is not going away any time soon. However, the debate needs to be informed by more data, which can only be obtained by conducting the same kind of rigorous trials that are applied to pharmaceutical products.

post

Violent video games and aggressive behavior: Is there a link?

Research shows that violent video games lead to increased aggression, but if and how this will turn to violence stirs, is to prove. Media and political discoursing frequently association exists between the use of violent video games and aggressive behavior in those who benefit. But what’s true? The violent video games have a direct relationship with the violence or not? Read More