Universities must do more to stamp out antisemitism on campus following reports of unfair practices that could amount to indirect discrimination, the Universities Minister has said today (17 May).Chris Skidmore has urged the sector to advance its efforts to tackle unacceptable religious hatred in higher education and is calling on all universities to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.The Jewish Leadership Council, Union of Jewish Students and Community Security Trust have raised reports of unfair practices in which Jewish societies have been asked to pay up to £2,000 for their own security at speaker events on campus, which the Universities Minister is concerned may amount to indirect discrimination.Mr Skidmore met with students yesterday (Thursday 16 May) to hear about their concerns and experiences of antisemitism on campus. In a letter being sent to universities this week, the Minister is calling on all institutions to reject such prejudiced practices, challenging institutions to step up and tackle antisemitism.Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said: Universities have a responsibility to ensure students do not face discrimination, harassment or victimisation of any kind and provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students.Guidance published in February, led by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, clearly states the legal rights and obligations around free speech for all institutions and student unions (SU). This sets out that universities, student unions and their societies must ensure they do not discriminate in the way they organise events.The government has also taken steps together with the sector to tackle hate crime and harassment, including through the Office for Students (OfS) which is supporting institutions in their work in the area.Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, Simon Johnson, said: Campaigns Organiser of the Union of Jewish Students, Daniel Kosky, said: Last year the OfS provided £480,000 for 11 projects tackling religious-based hate crime in higher education. One of the projects, led by King’s College London, aims to tackle religious intolerance and includes recognising the needs of religious communities within the university, strengthening reporting mechanisms, supporting new facilities as well as building awareness, understanding and tolerance of different faiths. King’s is also one of the first universities to accept the full IHRA definition of antisemitism.Universities UK (UUK) has set up a taskforce to consider what can be done to address violence, harassment and hate crime on campus, including on the basis of religion. The taskforce published a comprehensive report ‘Changing the Culture’ in 2016 which included a number of specific recommendations for the higher education sector on antisemitism.Many universities have made good progress on this, but there is still further to go to implement UUK’s recommendations fully. All higher education providers should also have robust policies and reporting procedures in place and investigate and swiftly address reports of hate crime, including any antisemitic incidents that are reported. There is no place in our society for hatred or any form of harassment and it is frankly appalling that the battle against antisemitism still exists. Free speech is vital to the independence and innovation that embodies the higher education sector and it must be protected. Not only does it fuel academic thought, but it contributes to a collective feeling of tolerance and acceptance in our universities that challenge injustice. In this context, it is unacceptable to oblige certain groups of students to incur additional costs because of their race or religion, just to counteract the actions of others. Institutions like King’s College London are already displaying leadership in this area but I expect our universities, as vehicles of change, to show moral leadership and accept the IHRA definition of antisemitism which shows that an institution and its senior leaders are serious about ensuring their campuses are tolerant environments where ideas and debate can flourish but persecution can never take hold. We welcome Universities Minister Chris Skidmore’s call for universities to redouble their efforts to tackle antisemitism, including the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Following our productive meeting with the Minister in April, we are grateful that he has acted on a number of our recommendations, including supporting the removal of prohibitive security costs for Jewish societies, and strengthening freedom of expression guidelines. Jewish students have long called for institutions to adopt the IHRA definition, and we now expect universities to follow the Government’s call. The National Union of Students have recommended they do so and Universities UK has also asked universities to individually consider adoption. Following a recent meeting convened by the JLC with member organisations UJS and CST, we are pleased to see that the Universities Minister will be calling on universities to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism and advising them that unfair charges to Jewish societies on campus for security are unacceptable. These actions will ensure that there is a safe, welcoming and tolerant environment on UK campuses and we are grateful to the Government for its continuing support for the welfare of Jewish students.
iOS 10’s applications are getting major overhauls as well. The Messages application, for example, can now display animated images and links. Emojis are also now 3x bigger in transcripts. There are also new message bubble effects to further indicate emotions with shaking effects.Handwriting is now supported in Messages, as well as shared sketching. The entire Messages screen can now be changed with emotional images, such as fireworks. Many of the new features of Messages appear similar to those offered by popular messaging applications Snapchat and WhatsApp.iOS 10 will have more connections and controls for home automation, said Federighi, indicating that iPhone owners will be able to unlock their doors, turn on their lights, and heat up their hot tubs automatically when they return home with it.For developers, interactive notifications, iMessage apps and VoIP extensions are all new vectors for interaction with users. These and other areas of the operating system, including Siri, and offer greater API access for iOS developers to enhance their applications. Thus, macOS Sierra and iOS 10 both bring with them SDK enhancements for developers that are based on the user-facing changes already detailed.Tim Cook then took the stage to discuss Swift. He said that Swift is the top language project on GitHub, and he discussed its use as programming language for teaching. He then announced a new iPad application designed to teach anyone how to program: Swift Playground.“Swift Playgrounds will revolutionize the way people learn to code,” said Cook. “There’s never been anything like this. We believe it’s the absolute best way to teach everyone to code.” Swift Playgrounds includes an onscreen coding keyboard for iPad designed specifically for Swift development. The application will be available for free.WatchOS and tvOS, Apple’s two other operating systems, will both receive updates to increase their integrations with the other platforms, as well as performance updates to improve their response time. Mac OS X is now simply macOS.The 27th annual World Wide Developer Conference kicked off this morning in San Francisco, and along with the new branding for the operating system, Apple also unveiled new features for macOS and iOS, including the Universal Clipboard, desktop sharing across devices, and enhancements to Siri.macOS and iOS will both receive updates this fall. The macOS update will be known as Sierra, and both updates will be free. The desktop operating system will also be receiving a major feature of iOS: Siri.(Related: Apple to open Siri to developers)Users will be able to use Siri voice commands to launch applications, search for files on their hard drives, and perform basic tasks on the desktop. Developers will have access to these capabilities for their applications as well. This move mirrors the recent trends from Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, all of which have desktop or standalone voice-recognition assistants with APIs.Universal Clipboard will allow users to copy and paste across their iOS devices. Links, for example, can be copied on an iPhone and pasted into a browser on a macOS device.Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software at Apple, detailed the changes planned for iOS 10. Notable features include a redesigned lock screen, expanded use of 3D Touch, and rich notifications. Other changes include live collaboration in Notes, conversation view in Mail, live image stabilization, and split view in Safari on iPad.
As part of Apple’s iOS 10.3 patch notes, the company said it will allow developers to respond to customer reviews in the App Store by the time iOS 10.3 is available.Giving developers the power to answer reviews means they can address unfair reviews and respond to customers that have questions about an application. With iOS 10.3, Apple is also adding an API where apps can request a review, but this system will decide if the review is appropriate.In the meantime, iOS 10.2.1 is available, but according to a report by Gordon Kelly, a Forbes contributor, Apple has failed to address the 30% battery bug. This problem causes iPhones to switch off at the 30% battery mark. While iOS 10.3 is still in testing, Apple has yet to mention if this problem goes beyond the iPhone 6S, and users do not know if this problem is “on the radar” for Apple with iOS 10.3, writes Gordon Kelly, a Forbes contributor.KDE Slimbook for KDE usersKDE has announced the KDE Slimbook, which comes pre-installed with Plasma and KDE applications that run Linux.The laptop has been directly tested by KDE developers. It is designed to give users a way to fix issues with the software, since there are at least three layers that could cause a problem, such as the KDE software itself and the operating system.More information on the new KDE laptop can be found here. The Node.js Certified Developer programThe Node.js Foundation wants to establish a baseline competency in Node.js. It has announced the inaugural Node.js Certified Developer program, designed to provide a framework to help enterprises identify qualified engineers.“The Node.js Foundation, with help from incredible community members and core experts, is creating a comprehensive certification program that broadens the funnel of skilled Node.js expertise available,” said Tracy Hinds, education community manager for the Node.js Foundation. “Whether working in enterprise environments or as individual consultants, those who become Node.js Certified Developers will be well-positioned to hit the ground running as a Node.js developer, possessing skills that are in high demand.”The program is expected to be available in Q2 of this year.Linux launches Kubernetes Fundamental CourseThe Linux Foundation wants to help developers and admins get started with Kubernetes. It has announced a new training course designed to teach users how to use Kubernetes to manage application infrastructure.The course will go over Kubernetes architecture, deployment and cluster access, along with some tips and tricks. Students of the course will be able to learn at their own pace and apply those concepts to a wide range of Linux distributions.Google Daydream VR appsGoogle is lifting the developer restrictions on its Daydream VR platform and allowing anyone to develop and publish applications. According to its Daydream developer page, apps need to meet all app quality criteria in order to qualify on Google Play.In addition, developers need to opt-in to Daydream on the developer console before publishing to users.
The service is also available as a public preview for Linux containers. The company plans on adding Windows container support soon. “This enables on-demand and nearly instantaneous container compute, orchestrated by Kubernetes, without having VM infrastructure to manage and while still leveraging the portable Kubernetes API. This will allow you to utilize both VMs and container instances simultaneously in the same K8s cluster, giving you the best of both worlds. Azure Container Instances can be used for fast bursting and scaling whereas VMs can be used for the more predictable scaling. Workloads can even migrate back-and-forth between these underlying infrastructure models,” Sanders wrote. Microsoft believes this solution aligns with its commitment to increase investment and engagement with containers. Recently, the company introduced Helm, Draft, and an open-source ACI connector. In addition, the company recently joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Microsoft announced a new solution designed to make it easier to run containers in the cloud. Azure Container Instances (ACI) is a new Azure service that lets developers get started in seconds without any Virtual Machine management or the need to learn new container orchestration tools. “Containers have fundamentally changed the way developers develop their applications, the way applications are deployed, and the way system administrators manage their environments. Containers offer a broadly accepted and open standard, enabling simple portability between platforms and between clouds,” Corey Sanders, director of computer for Azure, wrote in a post. “ACIs are the fastest and easiest way to run a container in the cloud.”Microsoft also announced the ACI Connector for Kubernetes this week. This is an open-source connector for deploying Kubernetes clusters to Azure Container Instances.