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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space…

Gadgets & Games

Doubts about cyber-bullying drive’s effectiveness

October 27 2010

Angus Council’s education convener has expressed doubts over the effectiveness of a campaign which Scotland’s largest teaching union hopes will help eradicate cyber-bullying of its members. The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) wants websites which host offensive remarks by pupils against teachers to be accountable to the same defamation laws as newspapers. The issue, which has become increasingly relevant in the wake of the rise of Facebook and Bebo, was thrust into the spotlight this week after an anonymous Scottish teacher found explicit, violent and sexual remarks made by pupils about her on the internet. But Peter Nield, who has been a teacher for 18 years, believes that while the campaign is a good idea it may be difficult to implement. He said, “I think this seems like a good idea, and not just for teachers, for any person who may find themselves subject to abuse on the internet. However, I’m not really sure how we can police this worldwide. If the remarks were made on an American website, for example, would the site still be accountable to our defamation laws? “How can we even be sure a site is operating from where it says it is operating? I do think if someone makes a complaint about defamatory material on a site then the operator should be legally obliged to take it down but I think most sites already have fairly good complaints procedures in place.” However, an EIS spokesman said that by the time offensive material appeared on the internet “the damage will already have been done.”AccountabilityHe added, “When a newspaper publishes an article or photograph, they are accountable for doing so. It is surely appropriate for internet sites, many of which are viewed by many millions of users, to be held to similar editorial standards. “Schools are already taking sensible precautions to combat cyber-bullying, by steps such as limiting access to certain internet sites and by having strict policies on mobile phone and camera use during the school day, but schools cannot eliminate the scourge of bullying on their own. “It will take a joint effort from the whole community, including the global community of the worldwide web, to tackle successfully online bullying. We cannot allow the lives of pupils and teachers to be damaged in the name of puerile entertainment.” A council spokeswoman said the authority was not aware of any cyber-bullying involving teaching staff. However, she added, “We have ongoing staff development opportunities on themes around bullying and cyber-bullying is a key element of this work. Although this policy and our work on anti-bullying tends to focus on pupils, the principles could equally apply to staff. “If cyber-bullying is reported, matters are investigated, resolved and individuals supported. We treat all bullying very seriously. “Angus Council has robust policies in place to deal with workplace bullying or threats of any nature towards its staff connected with their work.”


400 jobs could come to Dundee as part of proposed cyber hub

February 25 2017

Dundee could become home to Scotland’s first cyber security hub with the creation of around 400 jobs, if a Tay Cities Deal bid is successful. The news came as the city hosted more than 350 ethical hacking students and professionals from across Europe as part of a major cyber security conference at Abertay University. The Securi-Tay conference was intended to showcase local talent, allowing students and potential employers to meet. It is hoped that the proposed hub would mirror the success of the games industry in Dundee, attracting businesses and retaining talent in the city. Ian Ferguson, senior lecturer in cyber security, said: “We put a bid into the Tay Cities deal to create a cyber quarter in Dundee. “We are asking for around £20 million to set up a centre of expertise where academics, businesses and students can work together. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Security-Tay keynote speaker Gavin Holt live from Abertay Posted by Abertay University on Friday, 24 February 2017 “We already know how to create a cluster from scratch, as with the games industry, and we hope that we can achieve the same with cyber security. “Each year we have around 50 graduates in this field, and they tend to go to London or Manchester for work – it is a shocking leakage of talent. “We want to attract businesses here and create around 400 jobs, retaining our graduates in the city.” The Securi-Tay conference has grown from a gathering of around 20 people to the current 350, since it launched six years ago. Key speakers at this year’s event included former Abertay student Gavin Holt, senior security consultant at Manchester-based NCC Group. He said: “It’s fantastic to see how the conference has grown over the years and to see the high calibre of companies that it now attracts. “This event means Abertay students have a world-class conference on their doorstep and it’s a great opportunity for them to meet key players in the industry.” Abertay Principal Nigel Seaton said: “Cyber security is an increasingly important issue and it’s good to see another successful event at what is the UK’s only student-run conference of its type.” The conference featured talks and workshops on topics such as malware, ransomware and attack detection as well as discussion around the hacking of mobile apps and messenger services.

Angus & The Mearns

New figures on cyber bullying ‘worrying’

December 21 2013

Hundreds of cases of cyber bullying have been reported by schools across Scotland in the past three years, new figures have revealed. The numbers, obtained by the Scottish Conservatives, show at least 524 incidents have been recorded, but the majority of local authorities did not provide information. In Angus, 89 cases have been reported since 2010/11, while that number was 70 in Perth and Kinross. Dundee, Fife, Stirling and Clackmannanshire councils all failed to respond to the freedom of information request. Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said flashpoints have included children as young as eight verbally abusing each other via social media and youngsters exchanging insults over games consoles. There were also incidents reported of children filming bullying, then threatening to share the images online. Police have been involved in dealing with cyber bullying on numerous occasions, while several children were excluded for their behaviour. In some cases teachers were involved in additional training to deal with online bullying, while parents were summoned to meetings in school to resolve the problem. Ms Davidson said: “The picture painted here is extremely worrying, which is why we need local authorities to do more to collect and publish this information. “The lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of children are being made a misery as a result of cyber bullying. “That is a disgraceful situation and, with young lives being damaged, the Scottish Government need to take a lead on this.” An Angus Council spokeswoman said: “Angus Council takes a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and has robust policies in place to deal with bullying in all its forms, including cyber bullying.” A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Council said the authority has a proactive anti-bullying strategy, as well as robust policies and procedures are designed to protect school pupils using the internet. He added: “Bullying is not an increasing problem in our schools, but we are never complacent and it will never be tolerated. “Every report of bullying is taken very seriously indeed. The council launched an updated anti-bullying strategy last month.”

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km


Online bullying ‘reaching epidemic proportions’ and parents must be switched on if they are to help children

November 21 2013

Social media trolls have hit the headlines this year, as have the resulting tragic cases of teen suicides. As National Anti-Bullying Week continues, Nilima Marshall examines what needs to be done to stem the tide of online bullying. National anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label recently published the results of its Annual Cyber-bullying Survey, which revealed 69% of young people have been victims of cyber-bullying. Liam Hackett, founder of Ditch the Label, said: “Our survey illustrates that bullying, and cyber-bullying in particular, are reaching epidemic proportions. “Almost half of the young people we surveyed need more education on bullying and more support for the victims. “Radical new approaches need to be taken to counteract a problem that has profound and long-lasting effects on young people in the UK.” In the last year alone, there were repeated headlines of teens taking their own lives after suffering online bullying. These included 14-year-old Hannah Smith from Leicestershire, Joshua Unsworth, 15, from Lancashire and Erin Gallagher, 13, from Donegal. In Courier Country, Daniel Perry, 17, from Dunfermline, is thought to have killed himself because he was being blackmailed online. There have been calls for new laws to tackle cyber-bullying and the UK Government has come under pressure to introduce specific legislation to address the issue. While there is no legal definition of cyber-bullying within UK law, there are existing laws which can be applied to cases of online harassment. These include the Protection From Harassment Act 1997, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, the Malicious Communications Act 1988, the Communications Act 2003 and the Breach of the Peace (Scotland). In Scotland anti-bullying campaigns are led by the Scottish Government-funded respectme organisation. A different approach to cyber-bullying is taken in Scotland, as Pamela Graham of respectme outlines. “We have a very definite definition of bullying, which doesn’t rely on persistence and intent but which looks at the behaviour and the impact that it has on those involved,” she said. “Regarding cyber-bullying or online bullying we’re very clear in Scotland that it shouldn’t be seen as something separate from bullying. “Cyberbullying is a term which often instils fear and panic in people. It conjures up images of children and young people being stalked by ‘cyber-bullies’. But behind every bullying incident there’s a person. “We can’t think of bullying in one respect and cyber-bullying in another they’re both about behaviour, about friendships breaking down or relationships not working. “The behaviour is the same, as is the impact on those involved. It’s ‘how’ and ‘where’ this behaviour is taking place that’s changed. “Children and young people are spending more and more time online, whether through talking to friends on BBM or Facebook, or gaming with someone on the other side of the world. “They have access to smartphones, laptops and hand-held devices and this technology allows them to communicate in different ways. “This means that bullying can be more intrusive, targeting children and young people at all times of the day and night and offering fewer ‘escape routes’, as switching off their phone is rarely an option. “And while messages can be blocked, deleted or reported, they can be seen by hundreds of others within minutes and incidents can spiral out of control very quickly. “A comment made while angry to a friend can be seen and shared in no time at all.” She added: “Often, the biggest hurdle to dealing with online bullying is fear and anxiety among adults. “Adults need to know where young people are going online, just as they do if they’re going to a physical space. “They need to show the same level of interest and be just as concerned about where they go and who they’re with when they’re online. “We cannot abdicate responsibility for this to software. We, as adults, need to make sure we’re switched on to the ways in which young people are communicating so that if they come to us and say they’re being bullied, we know how to react.”

William to meet tech giants as he steps up fight against cyber bullying

November 12 2017

The Duke of Cambridge is to meet internet and technology bosses in his campaign against cyber bullying. William has already signed up giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat to his initiative combating abuse of children and young people online. He will meet senior representatives from leading communication, technology, social media and gaming companies as well as experts from charities on Thursday to discuss the progress made over the last 18 months. This morning The Duke attended the 4th meeting of The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying at Buckingham Palace. pic.twitter.com/WACf3FRtl7— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 17, 2017 The Duke is expected to announce the results of his taskforce so far at the event, which will be held at the Google and YouTube headquarters in King’s Cross London. He previously said that as a parent he had been “appalled” by examples of online bullying, including teenagers taking their own lives or developing eating disorders following social media abuse. Speaking last year, he said his aim was to “develop a new, positive strategy to combat bullying”. William has signed up a number of social media companies to his initiative against online abuse. “We want to build on the good work that is happening around the technology sector, to make it better aligned and future proofed,” he added. The Royal Foundation’s Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyber bullying was convened in May 2016 to support young people, particularly those aged 11 to 16, and their families affected by cyber bullying. Some of the world leaders in media and tech have joined children’s charities and parents to work alongside a panel of young people in the initiative. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Rachael Burnett'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '426c227c-4a8f-4193-9ade-e6207a724457'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'William to meet tech giants as he steps up fight against cyber bullying'});

Gadgets & Games

Angus school cyber bullies warned by council

April 13 2011

Angus Council has warned it takes a zero tolerance approach to the cyber bullies who make pupils’ and teachers’ lives a misery. The Courier can reveal that 32 incidents of online bullying were investigated in the county’s schools last year the first year Angus Council has kept a record of cyber-bullying incidents. There were 10 incidents in primaries and 22 in secondaries. Arbroath councillor Donald Morrison, a member of Angus Council’s education committee, said the figures show the local authority must continue their efforts in tackling bullying. The figures for last term were released following a Freedom of Information request. Figures for this year are just coming in from schools and are in the process of being collated. A council spokesman said, “Angus Council has a zero tolerance policy towards all bullying behaviour in its schools, providing clear guidance and advice to schools on dealing with bullying incidents. “All of our schools are required to involve and consult the school community in order to devise, publicise and implement their own school anti-bullying policy. “We have ongoing staff development opportunities on themes around bullying and cyber bullying is a key element of this work. “If cyber bullying is reported the matters are investigated, resolved and individuals are supported. We treat all bullying very seriously.” Like other types of bullying, cyber bullying can have fatal consequences. People have murdered or committed suicide after being cyber bullied. “Cyber bullying through social network sites is a worrying national problem and Angus schools are required to collect the number of reported incidents,” Mr Morrison said. “Any type of bullying be it cyber, verbal or physical, must be taken seriously because it causes so much suffering for victims, who can often feel isolated even from their own friends and family because, despite more support in place, there remains a stigma surrounding reporting incidents. “With the first year figures now collated, 32 reported incidents at Angus schools in 2009/2010 is still 32 too many and show that Angus Council must continue their efforts in tackling bullying.” Family Lives, a national parenting and family support charity, is calling for a stronger partnership between parents, pupils and teachers to tackle cyber bullying. The call is a result of an increase in concerned parents contacting the charity through its Parentline and its Bullying UK website.Social networkingIn an online survey Bullying UK found that 43.5% of respondents aged 11-16 had been bullied via Facebook, Bebo, Myspace, Twitter 51% felt that blocking the bully from further contact or communication was a vital tool and a further 68% felt being able to report the bully’s activities would be advantageous. Family Lives chief executive Jeremy Todd said, “Cyber bullying is a real concern to families and parents of bullied children often find the situation traumatic and difficult to manage. “Family Lives has noticed an increase in emails and calls from concerned parents, families and supporters. “Cyber bullying platforms ensure that children who are bullied have no respite as online and other social media permeates the school and home environment. “Bullying in schools is a real concern to families and parents of bullied children often find the situation traumatic and difficult to manage. Some families may find it difficult to report cyber bullying to the school concerned and parents should contact Family Lives, or visit www.bullyinguk.co.uk if they need support.” The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has called on Facebook and other social networking websites to react more quickly to complaints of abuse. Facebook say they encourage people to use reporting tools when they encounter offensive content.

Britons head online for Cyber Monday bargains

November 27 2017

The sales spending spree is expected to continue as an estimated 21.5 million Britons head online for Cyber Monday bargains. Experts predict it could even beat Black Friday to become Britain’s biggest shopping day, as online retailers slash prices and continue deals for the culmination of the four-day pre-Christmas shopping event. Cyber Monday has traditionally been a strictly 24-hour event, and online only – rather than in stores and online on Black Friday – but has evolved over recent years into a more extended period. Don’t fall victim to online shopping scams this #CyberMonday with our simple steps… pic.twitter.com/hvtwgpr8qQ— NCSC UK (@ncsc) November 27, 2017 Britons were expected to spend £7.8 billion over the four-day period including Cyber Monday, up 7% on last year, according to predictions by VoucherCodes and the Centre for Retail Research (CRR). Their figures suggest that Cyber Monday could overtake Black Friday by £7 million to become the biggest day for online and offline spending this year. Britons were expected to spend £2.6 billion on Black Friday – an 8% increase overall on last year. A number of big-name chains such as Amazon, John Lewis and Argos are continuing to offer bargains on Monday as part of the global sales bonanza. The UK spends more money during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday event than in any other weekend of the year, new figures from the Financial Conduct Authority, based on a billion bank transactions, show. A survey by PwC estimated that online was overtaking in-store shopping on Black Friday in every age group. Even 60% of over-65s planned on chasing bargains online instead of in-store, with the under-25s doing just 25% in store. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Reporters'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0187e7f6-637b-4df5-8e45-7a5533da6298'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Britons head online for Cyber Monday bargains'});


DUSA Media standing by ‘How to be an art student’ author

November 14 2013

A student magazine has come under fire for an article which describes art students in a derogatory way, branding them lazy, unwashed and untalented drug users. The supposedly humorous ‘How to be an art student’ feature has resulted in a furious online backlash after it was published in the Dundee University Students Association (DUSA) magazine, The Magdalen, and DUSA Media website. Written by student reporter Katie McIntyre herself an art student the article had a disclaimer stating it was intended as a joke, but its many offensive comments left some far from happy. The outrage reached beyond the university with some former teaching staff, graduates, and business owners expressing their disgust and claiming the piece devalues the renowned art school. Notable graduates of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) include international fashion designer Hayley Scanlan and 2010 Turner prize winner Susan Philipsz. University alumni and former DJCAD staff member Steven James Herd said the piece was “host to a series of ignorant, tactless and offensive remarks relating to a huge number of talented individuals.” Dylan Drummond, owner and director of Dundee production house Son of the Sea, accused the writer and editor of “cyber-bullying”, while Lauren McCorkindale, designer and maker at Starryeyed Crafts, added: “DUSA Media cannot be allowed to print stuff that alienates its students.” In a joint statement citing freedom of speech, the magazine’s editor-in-chief Danielle Ames and the manager of DUSA Media’s website, Felix Reimer, said they stood by the author, who had become a victim of online threats after the publication. They said: “Over the years, DUSA Media has covered many groups on campus in both serious and humorous ways. “We stand by our author, just as we have stood in the past with contributors across all our outlets who have expressed their views on a wide range of issues, and we will continue to do so in the future.” Iain MacKinnon, president of DUSA, said: “The editor of The Magdalen and the DUSA Media online manager, along with our other two media managers, have independent editorial control and we would not seek to censor them except in extreme cases. “Articles are not commissioned by DUSA, but rather suggested by students themselves. In this case, the author of the article is a DJCAD graphic design student who wished to write a self-deprecating humorous piece. “I have discussed this matter with all our media managers and I am sure they will take all feedback, both positive and negative, on board when publishing future content.” Dundee University declined to comment.