EMarketer does meta-analysis, in that it tracks and aggregates market research performed by other firms. It said on Wednesday that around 31.3 percent of the UK population were regular users of tablets. That doesnt mean each one of those people own a tablet they could be sharing one owned by a family member, for instance. Subscribe to gigaom.com A year back, tablets only had 22.3 percent market penetration in the UK, and next year eMarketer reckons it will be 38.2 percent. Heres the age group breakdown for that country: Its interesting to see these analyses from time to time, in order to track how tablets are gradually taking over. For many of these users, a tablet will obviate the need for a PC, which is why the PC market is shrinking so fast. The research firms figures also give a handy insight into comparisons between different countries. The firms most recent figures for the U.S., for example, suggest 40.5 percent tablet penetration. This is notably higher than the UKs, although eMarketer projects both countries will hit around the same level of penetration (just south of 50 percent) in 2016. Compared with the rest of the top five EU markets (Germany, Spain, France and Italy), tablet penetration is highest in the UK the average across the top five is 24.4 percent, though it is projected to hit 37 percent in 2016. According to eMarketer, around 59 percent of British tablet users are using iPads, which compares with 54.4 percent in the U.S.
Legionella bacteria in majority of UK composts
Picture: Complimentary by LYNDSAY BUCKLAND Updated on the 02 October 2013 Print this Legionella bacteria can be found in a significant number of compost products available to buy in shops, according to a Scottish study. The research by Strathclyde University said to be the first substantial analysis of Legionella in UK composts found the bacteria in more than half of the different brands tested. The research comes after six cases of Legionella longbeachae linked to compost were reported in patients in Lothian and Tayside in recent weeks. The researchers, writing in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, said they found the presence of Legionella bacteria in a significant number of commercial compost products. They examined 22 brands available to buy in the UK and some 14 contained a variety of Legionella species. Some of the species found are known to have caused disease in humans. The results suggest that the bacteria are a common part of the microflora found within the composts tested, the researchers said. Dr Tara Beattie, from Strathclydes department of civil and environmental engineering, said: Disease-causing micro-organisms are widespread in the environment, and therefore it is not too surprising that species of Legionella that can cause human disease are present in compost. We already know compost has been linked to human Legionella infection in countries such as Australia and New Zealand. Dr Beattie said a change in the composition of compost in the UK could explain why Legionella bacteria was found in so many brands. She said: Within the UK and across Europe, composts have traditionally been composed of peat, whereas sawdust and bark are more often used to produce compost in Australia and New Zealand. It may be that the change in composition of composts in the UK, moving away from peat-based products, could be resulting in Cialis species such as Legionella longbeachae being present in compost and therefore more cases of infection could occur. Dr Beattie said a larger-scale survey was now required to determine if these organisms are as widespread as the initial study would suggest. She added: It should be emphasised that although Legionella seem to be common in compost, human infection is very rare, especially if you consider the volume of compost sold and used. But with any potential source of infection, precautions should always be taken. The occurrence of these bacteria in composts in Australia and New Zealand, and the cases of infection that have been traced to compost, has resulted in hygiene warnings on compost packaging in these countries, and this is something manufacturers in the UK may wish to consider. Martin Donaghy, from Health Protection Scotland, said: The risk of becoming unwell from gardening activities such as working with compost remains very low. However, we would recommend good hygiene in relation to gardening such as wearing gloves, wearing a mask if dusty and washing hands immediately after use.
UK gears up for cyberwarfare offensives
As cybercrime continues to prove a lucrative way for hackers to steal valuable data for profit or as part of state-sponsored jobs — and many governments struggle to catch up and protect networks adequately against rising attacks — defense budget funds now need to not only consider physical threats, but digital warfare as well. Hammond commented: “Last year our cyber defenses blocked around 400,000 advanced malicious cyber threats against the government’s secure internet alone, so the threat is real. But simply building cyber defenses is not enough: as in other domains of warfare, we also have to deter. Britain will build a dedicated capability to counterattack in cyberspace and if necessary to strike in cyberspace.” In February, the National Audit Office named “addressing the UK’s current and future ICT and cybersecurity skills gap” as a “key challenge.” The NAO report was published as part of the UK’s 650 million pound ($1.09 billion) Cyber Security Strategy scheme, and said it could take “20 years” to address the skills gap at all levels of education. Not only could a dedicated task force of offensive security experts deter hackers in the future, but the Defence Secretary told the Mail on Sunday that cyberstrikes could work “alongside conventional weapons in future conflicts,” disabling communications, nuclear weapons, ships and critical hardware. To establish the new cybersecurity force, the UK will recruit experts in their hundreds from a number of fields. The recruitment drive will include civilian computer experts who will be part of the “Joint Cyber Reserve,” and their role will be to work alongside members of the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ to protect critical infrastructure and prevent data theft. The cost of the program was not disclosed, but recruitment is due to begin in October. Hammond commented : “Increasingly, our defense budget is being invested in high-end capabilities such as cyber and intelligence and surveillance assets to ensure we can keep the country safe. The cyber reserves will be an essential part of ensuring we defend our national security in cyber-space. This is an exciting opportunity for Internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities.” The UK is also seeking ways to train the next generation of cyberspecialists.