Bafta opens 2015 scholarship for film, TV and games students

Applications are now open for Bafta’s film, television and games scholarship to help fund university education for emerging creative talent. Each scholar receives up to £10,000, mentoring from Bafta members and free access to events around the UK.

Anyone studying a postgraduate course in film, television or games can apply, with entries closing on on Friday 12 June. People of any age can apply although the scholarship is only available to UK nationals studying an eligible postgraduate course for the academic year 2015-2016.

Three students will also each receive a scholarship supported by Warner Bros. The film company will fund their university fees and provide a funded work placement within the company as well as mentorship and access to industry masterclasses.

Previous Bafta scholarship recipients include director Daisy Jacobs, whose short film The Bigger Picture was nominated for an Oscar. She said the scholarship had enabled her to complete the final year of her course and continue work on her film.

In return for the funding and mentorships, scholars are asked to share their experiences online and help young people get into the industry as part of Bafta’s youth outreach programs.

Sara Putt, chair of Bafta’s learning and events committee said it was crucial to support promising talent and not let people “slip through the net”.

“We believe that talented individuals, whatever their background, should have the opportunity to succeed in our industries,” she said, adding that mentoring as well as financial support was crucial for helping emerging talent.

Applications for the Bafta scholarship are open now and close on Friday 12 June.

by James Temperton

Microsoft’s OneNote Staff Notebook for Education app enables school staff collaboration

OneNote Staff Notebook

Microsoft has launched a free tool to help teachers and school staff to collaborate more effectively on curriculum development, administrative duties and internal policies.

OneNote Staff Notebook for Education lets education staff leaders — like principals or faculty heads — set up shared workspaces for teachers and administrators and enable them to organize and share internal information, event and meeting schedules, student progress, parent feedback, lesson plans and more.

The service can be set up and synced using Office 365 or SharePoint 2013, and users can access all content on the OneNote note-taking app across desktops and mobile devices.

The company launched OneNote Class Notebooks for teachers to distribute lesson content to their students last October. Microsoft says it is also working on similar initiatives for business users in the next few months.

From classroom to school–introducing OneNote Staff Notebook for education [Office Blogs]

Thinfilm’s smart bottle tells you if your Johnnie Walker scotch has been opened before

Thinfilm's smart label tells you about your bottle of Johnnie Walker.

                                         Above: Thinfilm’s smart label tells you about your bottle of Johnnie Walker.

Image Credit: Thinfilm

Perhaps you have heard about smart homes and smart light bulbs. Meet the smart bottle.

Yes, one of our most interesting new technologies is going to ensure that we can drink a bottle of scotch with the utmost confidence that it’s authentic. It will also give the scotch maker a way to engage more deeply with a consumer who might otherwise just toss that bottle away and never be heard from again. The smart bottle is part of the Internet of Things (IoT), or everyday objects that are connected to the Internet and have electronic brains.

Smart label on Johnnie Walker Blue Label smart bottle.

Thinfilm Electronics is revealing its smart bottle in a deal with Diageo, the maker of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label brand of scotch. The smart bottle can verify for you that your 12-year-old bottle of scotch has never been opened before, and it can also connect via near-field communications to your smartphone.

With a smartphone app, you can learn some new things about your Johnnie Walker Blue Label, get personalized promotions, and communicate with the liquor company.

“The manufacturer can engage in a conversation with a consumer that is more meaningful,” said Davor Sutija, Thinfilm’s chief executive, in an interview with VentureBeat. “We’re anticipating an amazing response to this.”

Thinfilm, based in Oslo, Norway, is showing off the smart bottle and the printed electronics that it developed for the bottle at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain. The company recently announced a deal with Xerox that will enable Thinfilm to print billions of chips per year on tiny labels as part of its plan to track IoT devices.

Thinfilm has figured out how to print chips such as sensors on tags that can be attached to bottles. Using Thinfilm’s OpenSense technology, a smart bottle can detect both the sealed and open state of the bottle. The tags and sensor information they contain will allow Diageo to send personalized communications to consumers who read the tags with their smartphones.

The project came from Diageo Technology Ventures, an experimental tech and investment arm of Diageo. The goal is to enable Diageo to send consumers targeted and timely marketing messages, whether at retail or after purchase. It can, for instance, send you cocktail recipes after you open the bottle.

Thinfilm’s NFC-based tags can be read by readers all across the supply chain, allowing retailers and manufacturers to track inventory to the point of purchase. The tech provides a new layer of security in ensuring the authenticity of the scotch. Sutija said the tag adds tens of cents to the cost of a bottle.

Thinfilm said these NFC tags compete with conventional static QR codes that are often difficult to read, easy to copy, and do not support sensor integration. The OpenSense tags can dynamically detect if a bottle is sealed or open with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone. To ensure authenticity, the tags are completely and permanently encoded at the point of manufacture. They can’t be copied or electrically modified. If a seal is broken, it gives off one kind of signal. If it is unbroken, it sends another.

Since the tag uses radio-frequency communication, it doesn’t need a battery. The radio signal itself provides the power that completes the connection between a reader and that tag.

Helen Michels, global innovation director at the Futures Team at Diageo, said in a statement, “Mobile technology is changing the way we live, and as a consumer brands company we want to embrace its power to deliver amazing new consumer experiences in the future.”

She added, “It sets the bar for technology innovation in the drinks industry.”

Diageo Technology Ventures was set up in September to help solve the company’s business challenges and unlock growth opportunities. The project takes advantage of advancements in sensors, electronic printing, material sciences, and mobile technologies. Diageo owns brands such as Crown Royal and Tanqueray, and it is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The tags will go into production later this year.

Google Will Now Pay You to Kill Bugs Year-Round

Up to $50,000 in individual rewards

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, speaks at Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, in San Francisco on June 28, 2012.

Google is making its annual contest to find vulnerabilities in Chrome a year-round affair.

The security contest known as “Pwnium” previously awarded cash prizes to developers once a year who found bugs in the Chrome browser or the Chrome operating system. Now the company is offering “infinity million” dollars on an ongoing basis to people that identify bugs (the company clarifies in a blog post that the contest can be modified at any time).

Individuals can be awarded between $500 and $50,000 for each bug they discover.

Google says the change in structure is an effort to prevent “bug hoarding,” in which coders would wait to disclose vulnerabilities until they could claim a reward once a year. “By allowing security researchers to submit bugs all year-round, collisions are significantly less likely and security researchers aren’t duplicating their efforts on the same bugs,” Google wrote in its blog post.

The new rules for Pwnium go into effect Wednesday.

By: @VLuck

Facebook Now Lets You Put Stickers On Pictures From Your Phone

Goodbye, lame Facebook photos. Hello, photos filled with cartoon characters!

Starting Thursday, you’ll be able to add stickers to your photos from Facebook’s mobile app on iOS and Android. You’ll see a new sticker icon when you upload a photo to Facebook on mobile; when you add a sticker, you can drag it to wherever you want, change the size and rotate it. You can keep or remove the stickers before you decide to upload the photo to Facebook.

As an example, check out this sticker collection based on Mark Zuckerberg’s dog Beast. Here’s what it looks like to add Beast stickers to your pics:

facebook stickers photos

You will probably recognize Facebook stickers from Messenger, where you can send them to your friends. As of last October, you can put them in comments too.

Facebook’s got a lot of different kinds of stickers to choose from, including images of famous characters like Hello Kitty, Power Rangers and Peanuts. You could previously ad stickers to photos, but you had to use a separate app to do it.

This new feature is yet another sign that Facebook is targeting mobile users significantly more than desktop ones. Last month the site told The Wall Street Journal that 85 percent of its users access the site on mobile at least occasionally and more than a third of users access it exclusively on mobile.

Mobile’s making money, too, since Facebook charges more for mobile ads. Facebook’s revenue rose to $2.5 billion last quarter, thanks, in part, to mobile advertising.

Oral-B Toothbrush App Shows Weather and News While You Clean


We all know we’re supposed to brush our teeth for two minutes or so, but how do you pass that time? Staring yourself in the mirror? Counting the seconds internally? Toothbrush maker Oral-B thinks you can make better use of that two minutes while still getting your teeth nice and clean. The new Pro 7000 SmartSeries electric toothbrush uses Bluetooth to connect with a smartphone app, which shows you the latest news and weather while you brush, making those two minutes fly.

It’s not just for entertainment, though: The app (for iOS and Android) also tracks usage, allowing you to “monitor and chart your brushing performance like never before.” That sounds a bit serious for any but the most diligent of dental caretakers, but it could help you identify how often you forget to brush after lunch or rush the process before going to work. The $220 price puts it firmly in the high-end range of electric brushes, along with its customizable modes and interchangeable heads, but gadget fiends might love the novelty of this ultra-smart hygiene appliance.

The Future Is Now: Touch-Screen Hair Dryers Are an Actual Thing

Touch Screen Hair Dryer

The year is now 2015, and although we have been patiently awaiting the launch of the hoverboards promised to us in Back to the Future II, this new hair innovation has us thinking we might not be so far from living like Marty McFly after all. Equipped with a touch-screen control, EGO’s new hair dryer ($198; looks almost like something that Judy Jetson would have adorning her vanity. The tool allows you to customize the temperature and dryer settings to your specific hair texture, but features more than just a pretty interface—the ceramic and tourmaline used on its interior have been proven to increase shine and impart a smoother finish. EGO’s dryer also features conditioning settings to ensure it doesn’t pull too much moisture out of damaged or color-treated strands. With another touch-screen dryer by CHI also on the market, we have one question: Can we link our iPhones up via Bluetooth? Replacing the traditional dryer noise with our latest Spotify playlist would really signal that we’ve reached Zenon-levels of the future.

Neptune Duo smartwatch that REPLACES your phone

The makers of the Neptune Duo want to pair a smartphone and smart wristband.

There’s not much on the surface to set it apart from the myriad other smartwatches on the market, yet this is interesting because it puts far more emphasis on the wearable, while the traditional phone is more the accessory.

For instance, you put your SIM card directly into the band. The phone is intended to give you greater control over the band and act as a larger screen for viewing media and so on.

I’m still on the fence with smartwatches and the like, but I’m intrigued by the different strategy this manufacturer is taking. I’d like to try it out if only to flip my entire on-the-go connectedness on its head, just as an experiment.

That said, I would be most annoyed if the battery on the band ran out and I couldn’t make a call even though I had this otherwise perfectly functional phone-like brick in my hand.

A curved, non-flexible physical design structure is matched with a speaker and microphone, coupled with internal capabilities such as a quad-core processor; 64 GB of storage, Wi-Fi, a GPS, and Bluetooth connectivity. Full efficiency is achieved through the Neptune Pocket, which can be used to charge the Hub on-the-go. Pre-orders can now be placed on Neptune’s official webpage.


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