Author Archive: Matt

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.

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By August 22, 2014 Read More →

HTC One (M8) for Windows

htc-one-m8-windows-designA few days ago HTC announced the latest itteration to the hugely popular and award-winning HTC One (M8) with their truly inspiringly named HTC One (M8) for Windows…

 

HTC offers Windows platform on flagship device, blends premium hardware with unique software experience

BELLEVUE, WA – August 19, 2014 –HTC, a global leader in innovation and design, today unveiled the HTC One® (M8) for Windows®, marking the first time an iconic flagship device offers multiple operating systems.

This new smartphone combines the stunning, award-winning design and experiences of the HTC One (M8) with the latest Windows Phone software on America’s largest and most reliable network. Verizon Wireless is the exclusive launch partner for the HTC One (M8) for Windows and it will be available in stores and online, with online sales beginning at noon EDT today and in stores tomorrow.

Unmistakably the One
The HTC One (M8) for Windows offers the same premium design of HTC’s award-winning HTC One (M8), which features an all-metal unibody design and an elegantly curved back to match the hand’s contours.

The unique experiences of the original HTC One (M8) have been brought to the Windows Phone version, including HTC BlinkFeed®, HTC BoomSound™, Duo Camera with UltraPixel™, Video Highlights, a 5MP wide-angle front-facing camera and support for the HTC Dot View™ case.

  • HTC BlinkFeed is uniquely integrated into the Live Tile layout and provides quick access to the content and social networks that matter most.
  • HTC BoomSound features dual front-facing speakers and a unique sound profile that deepens bass, enhances vocals and fine tunes track details for a rich, immersive listening experience. 
  • The signature HTC One Duo Camera with UltraPixel technology captures remarkable low-light images and offers a variety of after-effects for added artistic flair or humor.
  • Video Highlights offer consumers an easy and entertaining way to easily create mini-movies and animated picture reels set to music*.
  • A 5MP front-facing camera with wide-angle lens excels at taking personal pictures that let you capture more in the shot – more people, more scenery.
  • The uniquely designed HTC Dot View case provides consumers with instant phone access while the case is still closed. Users can answer calls, receive email & text notifications, check weather and more. And with the Dot View Case for the HTC One (M8) for Windows, personal digital assistant Cortana can help with reminders, queries and chit chat without having to open the case.

The HTC One (M8) for Windows is also covered by HTC Advantage™, which provides the industry’s only free cracked screen replacement program, along with a commitment to support timely software updates.**

“Consumers love the HTC One (M8) and today’s introduction extends that enthusiasm to new audiences hungry for choice in their mobile experience,” said Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC Americas. “HTC fills a gap in the market for unique devices that put a premium on form and function. Microsoft shares our vision, and that’s why we committed to bringing the Windows Phone platform to the
HTC One (M8).”

HTC One Plus a New OS Experience
Under the hood is Windows Phone 8.1 Update, which incorporates a host of meaningful innovations:

  • Cortana, Windows Phone’s truly personal digital assistant, makes her HTC debut in this phone. Adept at searching for sushi and setting calendar appointments, Cortana also offers the ability to proactively warn you when it’s time to leave for your next appointment or remind you to pick up milk on the way home.
  • Action Center provides one swipe access to all your recent notifications and messages, as well as programmable quick settings.
  • Apps Corner sandboxes apps and folders into a protected area of the phone.
    • Small business owners can use their HTC One (M8) for Windows as a point of sale device without making personal information available.
    • Users can separate personal and professional information, creating distinct experiences for work and pleasure in a single device.
  • Windows Phone takes on the chores of battery, data and storage management, and keying in passwords for known Wi-Fi networks, allowing users more time to explore the phone’s innovative functionality that truly puts consumer needs first.

“The HTC One (M8) for Windows is true to the flagship product’s award-winning design and unique experience while also taking the best of what Windows Phone has to offer,” said Darren Laybourn, corporate vice president of engineering for Microsoft. “We succeeded in offering customers the best of both our worlds with this phone.”

Availability
The HTC One (M8) for Windows is available beginning at noon EDT today, exclusively through Verizon Wireless online for a promotional price of $99.99 with a new two-year contract for a limited time or $29.99 per month on Verizon Edge, and available in stores tomorrow. Additionally, Microsoft Stores will sell the device with Verizon Wireless service and a special offer for a free HTC Dot View Case and screen protector for $25. The retro styling of HTC Dot View, HTC’s intuitive and eye-catching case that shows calls and alerts through a protective shell, is available as an accessory for the HTC One (M8) for Windows.

 

 

 

 

HTC One (M8) for Windows specification:

  • Size

    146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm

  • CPU Speed

    Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801, 2.3 GHz, quad-core CPUs

  • Memory1

    Total storage: 32GB, available capacity varies
    RAM: 2GB
    Expansion card slot supports microSD™ memory card for up to 128GB additional storage (card not included)

  • Sensors

    • Accelerometer
    • Proximity sensor
    • Ambient light sensor
    • Gyro sensor
  • Camera

    Duo camera
    Primary camera: HTC UltraPixel™ camera , BSI sensor, pixel size 2.0 um, sensor size 1/3”, f/2.0, 28mm lens
    HTC ImageChip 2. 1080p Full HD video recording
    Secondary camera: capture depth information

    Front camera
    5MP, BSI sensor, wide angle lens. with HDR capability, 1080p Full HD video recording
    Photo Edit with UFocus™, Dimension Plus™, Seasons, Foregrounder, Image match

  • AC Adapter

    Voltage range/frequency: 100 ~ 240 V AC, 50/60 Hz
    DC output: 5 V and 1.5 A

  • Weight

    160g

  • Platform Windows

    Windows® Phone 8.1

  • Network2

    2G/2.5G – GSM/GPRS/EDGE:

    • 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

    3G – WCDMA:

    • 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 14.4 Mbps

    CDMA:

    • 800/1900

    4G – LTE:

    • Bands 3,4,7,13
  • Connectivity

    • 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
    • NFC
    • Bluetooth® 4.0 with aptX™ enabled
    • Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
    • micro-USB 2.0 port
    • Support consumer infrared remote control
  • Multimedia

    Audio supported formats:
    Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 10)
    Recording: .aac

    Video supported formats:
    Playback:.3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 10), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3)
    Recording: .mp4

  • Display

    5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p

  • SIM Card Type

    nano SIM

  • GPS

    • Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS
    • Digital Compass
  • Sound Enhancement

    HTC BoomSound™
    Dual front-facing stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers
    Sense Voice

  • Battery3

    Embedded rechargeable Li-polymer battery
    Capacity: 2600 mAh
    Talk time:
    Up to 22 hours for 3G
    Standby time:
    Up to 528 hours for 3G

Posted in: News, Phones
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By August 8, 2014 Read More →

Features your Free Business Email is Sorely Missing

8373031051_04ea3f7b90_zThere are a number of free email providers out there, and many are used by the general public. While they may be good enough for tiny businesses and for personal use, emails can be a very important part of the office day – and just choosing the free options means your business could be losing out on some key perks.

While Google and Microsoft might offer free emails, the fact is that they aren’t secure or efficient enough to use in business. Here are some key paid email features that are worth considering when choosing a business email provider.

 

Massive Archiving Space

At some point, your normal in-box will get full and you’ll get a message prompting you to delete some messages. That’s all very well, but when you run a business, you need a record of every email in case of something going wrong and an audit being required.

Cloud storage email management providers can give you masses of space to store old emails, and give you the option to dig up whichever old ones you need whenever you need them.

Security

Standard email providers are not low in security, but your company may need something much more effective. Email encryption can stop hackers from finding out the details about your accounts, for example, by rendering information unreadable to unauthorised users.

In addition, heightened protection from spam and malware is essential – and that’s not something that free business emails are often party to.

Support

In the instance of email complications (such as lost emails, or technical issues), or if you or your employees are unsure how to make necessary changes to the functions of your email accounts, you can easily get support and help from free email providers.

If any connectivity issues come up or there’s any kind of malware or missing emails, paid email providers often have a dedicated support line to help you sort out the problem quickly and easily.

 

Risk Reduction

As a business moves and evolves, management of data can become difficult. Business Email Management from Mimecast can streamline this process, by implementing email security, DLP and retention policies to new employees after mergers and acquisitions.

When the tricky process of server upgrades is required, email management systems can secure data migration. In addition, this security continues even when your business server fails.

Email management systems will also include anti-spam, anti-virus, data leak prevention and full encryption services.

Tackling Spam

While standard free emails have a relatively good spam filter, they aren’t geared towards protecting business email in-boxes from spam. Depending on the nature of your business, your employees could get hundreds of spam emails a day – such as marketing emails – and they can cause serious problems when they clog up in-boxes.

Shelling out a little bit more for spam protection is essential. Keeping the network secure, anti-spam and anti-malware protection can give you freedom from spam emails and dangerous email attachments.

Posted in: Editorial
By August 7, 2014 Read More →

3 Recruiting Tech Tools for Strategic Hiring

shutterstock_187011389Recruiting expert Dr. John Sullivan warns recruiters and hiring managers that as the economy improves, they will quickly be faced with new recruiting challenges. Some of those challenges include intense competition in recruiting, corporate growth that overloads current recruiting systems, out-of-date recruiting strategies, rusty hiring managers and recruiters, the wrong recruiting metrics, and lack of recruiting resources.

The recruiting process traditionally involves many steps and time-consuming processes. With the rise of social media and mobile technology, recruiters who designate time out of their schedule to hire will get to the top candidates before the competition. Companies must make strategic recruiting a priority to compete for the top talent they need, and recruiting technology can help make that happen.

Jobvite

Jobvite is an innovative recruiting platform that includes applicant tracking, recruiter candidate relationship management, and social recruiting modules. It enables recruiters and hiring managers solicit referrals, improve the speed and quality of hiring, provide a positive candidate experience, and reduce recruiting costs.

Jobvite’s modules are Refer, Engage, and Hire, designed for employee referrals, candidate relationship management, and a total staffing solution. Refer lets employers automate the employee referral process with tools to encourage and measure social recruiting, including real-time metrics and reporting, plus ATS integration so employers can use Jobvite Refer within their existing systems.

InsightSquared

InsightSquared is a sales forecasting tool that helps sales managers and business owners use their sales data to analyse and drive sales staff performance. They can use it to identify strong and weak performers and the areas they can improve. This is valuable in workforce management, giving companies the data they need to plan for training or getting rid of poor performers.

InsightSquared’s other features include dashboards and scorecards that make access to valuable data fast and easy, call data integration so sales managers can analyse sales calls by employee, and goal tracker.

iCIMS

iCIMS is an easy to use talent acquisition software that provides a comprehensive cradle to grave recruiting solution, all the way through onboarding, with social media integration and automated reporting.

iCIMS three suites consist of Recruit, Connect, and Onboard. Recruit is a social applicant tracking system that enables recruiters and hiring managers to cut time out of the recruiting process and quickly find and recruit top talent. It includes mobile-optimised career portals, unlimited job posting, employee referral programs, and EEO compliance tools to streamline applicant tracking, provide easy ways for candidates to apply online, and circulate job postings throughout the web to expand posting reach.

Connect is a tool to build a qualified candidate pool and keep candidates engaged until hire. It includes effective marketing processes that incorporate videos and social networking groups to help improve candidate experience and employment branding. Employers that stay connected to a managed pool of engaged passive candidates always stay ahead of recruiting needs.

Onboard is a total recruiting solution that incorporates social distribution, expanded job board posting, branded career micro-sites, video screening capabilities, and automated I9 forms and E-Verify processing.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 30, 2014 Read More →

Access Blocked TV Content from Outside the UK with Hotspot Shield

hotspot-shield-11-700x462Bypass firewalls and online censorship with Hotspot Shield, and access your favorite television content from outside the UK today.

With some of the best athletes in the world competing for the World Cup title during the past month, many soccer fans around the world were looking for ways to stay up to date on the FIFA coverage while traveling or living abroad, where UK television channels and players like BBC iPlayer and UK TV are not always readily available. Fortunately, with Hotspot Shield, the world’s most trusted VPN (Virtual Private Network) service, you can unblock any website and get instant access to your favorite UK sites from abroad. To learn more about switching your IP address location and accessing television content from outside the UK, visit the official Hotspot Shield website and download your free trial today.

Online Players Rising Above Cable TV

With more and more people ditching cable TV and turning to the internet to watch their favorite television content, online players like BBC iPlayer are becoming increasingly popular among users not just in the UK, but around the world. Unfortunately, because of firewalls and censorship laws in some areas, non-UK users frequently encounter the issue of geo-blocked content when trying to access popular sites like ITV and UK TV from the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other countries. This means that people with IP addresses located outside the UK may not be able to access the same websites and online content they would normally have access to from inside the UK. By selecting an IP address from one of Hotspot Shield’s international server locations, you can bypass online censorship and unblock websites in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Western Europe, or anywhere else in the world, simply by changing your virtual location.

Watch World Cup Games Live Online

All of the FIFA World Cup games were broadcast online this year by BBC iPlayer, ITV and UK TV, with English-speaking commentators, but users in other countries were not able to access UK content without the help of a VPN service like Hotspot Shield. For users in the United States, ESPN also broadcast the games live online, but the content was only available to those who subscribe to popular cable providers like Comcast XFINITY. By downloading Hotspot Shield today, you can change your IP address location to the UK and instantly unblock your favorite online player, getting immediate access to your favorite television shows and worldwide events, like the World Cup.

Download Hotspot Shield Today (available on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS)

In addition to unblocking UK sites from abroad, Hotspot Shield also allows you to browse the Internet anonymously and protects your personal data from online snoopers. When you use public WiFi connections, you run the risk of internet service providers (ISPs) or malicious hackers accessing your personal information and recording your browsing sessions and private exchanges. With the help of Hotspot Shield, you can select an IP address from one of our international server locations, anonymize your online activity, and continue to enjoy familiar content online, regardless of where you are in the world. If you frequently travel abroad or currently live outside the UK, download Hotspot Shield and start watching your favorite online television content today.

By July 18, 2014 Read More →

Could this be the coolest TV screen ever?

From HD resolutions to curved screens, the TV game is always changing. LG has recently announced the latest ground-breaking development in the market, which takes the form of rollable TVs, as the BBC reports.

Taking how we tune in to the next level, the paper-thin televisions are so slight they can be rolled into a 3cm-diameter tube. And the company is not stopping there: LG is hoping to produce a huge 60in rollable TV by 2017.

This new development means that the humble gogglebox can be used in ways like never before. In honour of this, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the coolest TVs to ever have graced our planet.

Projector screens

Watching sport simply wouldn’t be the same without the trusty projector screen that takes pride of place in your local bar. In fact, recent times have seen them creep into our homes too, as telly addicts swap the small screen for a significantly larger one.

Previously, projectors and screens were costly to buy. Nowadays, you can pick up a quality projector from brands like Epson for around £250. Throw in a £56 projector screen from Rapid, and this option becomes incredibly affordable.

Piccadilly Circus

It would be difficult to install the next screen on our list in your home, but it definitely deserves a place in our run down. Piccadilly Lights, found near London’s Piccadilly underground station, is one of the city’s most famous landmarks.

Back in 2013, the advertising platform was brought into the 21st century with the installation of a new 24.6m by 4.8m SMD LED screen. Boasting 774,144 pixels, the screen is certainly a sight to behold — often by some 71,760,000 pedestrians a year.          

By July 9, 2014 Read More →

Enhancing security in the workplace

swipeFilled with important information and personal details, the last thing you want is unauthorised personnel gaining access to your workplace. Here are a few ways you can enhance security to ensure your premises is safe.

 

Restrict access to a building

You face a tough challenge monitoring who is entering a workplace if you make it possible for anybody to enter as and when they please.

Install a safety mechanism onto your entrances so that admission is only permitted when people either insert the correct code or show an access card. This way, visitors will need to speak with an employee or employer before they are granted access.

 

Have only one entrance for visitors

While it may be convenient to have multiple entrances when you employ hundreds or thousands of staff members, it’s not always necessary to make these accessible to visitors too.

Pick an easy-to-find entrance around your building — perhaps one facing out onto a main street or where there are no steps to climb — and then put up signs on every other door guiding visitors to the correct point of entry.

If you have the space and resources, go a step further by creating a reception area at this entrance. That way, someone will always be on hand to welcome guests and determine why they are visiting your offices.

 

Use visitor badges

Once you have determined that someone is permitted to be in your workplace, provide them with a visitor badge that is to be worn throughout the duration of their appointment.

This piece of equipment will instantly distinguish visitors from staff members and are great for informing employees about who someone is and where they work — no need for someone to introduce themselves over and over again!

Do you receive a number of visitors on a daily basis? Invest in a top-quality ID card printer from a specialist brand like Kalamazoo Direct and you can save yourself the hassle of having to outsource visitor badges every time a new client arranges a meeting at your workplace.

 

Keep crucial information out of sight

No matter how much you try to enhance security around your workplace, you are asking for trouble if you leave sensitive documents in clear sight.

Encourage members of staff to put important information in a locked cabinet once they have finished using it or when they have to leave their desks for a meeting.

On a similar note, employees who use computers should be told that their computer should be locked if they are away from the device for a sustained period of time.

 

Posted in: Editorial
By July 8, 2014 Read More →

4 Ways to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work from Home

Salesman working from home and talking on phoneThat traffic jam last week is what finally pushed you over the edge—your normally long commute of 30 minutes grew to two hours as you tried to get home from work. Although you like your job and your co-workers and your boss, lately you have found yourself dreaming of working from home—and that endless commute convinced you to set up a time to speak with your supervisor about doing just that.

The following tips can help you show your boss how and why working from home will be a great option:

Arm Yourself With Statistics

Before you go in to speak with your supervisor, you might want to print out some articles that show how employees who telecommute are more productive. For example, this digital article from Inc. Magazine notes that employers save an average of $11,000 per year if an employee telecommutes half the time. And, in case your boss questions if you would be putting in the required number of hours from home, assure him or her that telecommuters are almost two times as likely to work even more than they are required.

Have the Right Equipment

In order to successfully work from home, you’ll need the right tools and equipment as well as a home office that is amenable to getting a lot of work done. Before speaking with your supervisor, take some photos of your home office, and make sure that you have—or can easily get—the right equipment that is needed to telecommute. For example, most bosses will want you to have a decent computer, a reliable printer, great cell phone reception and secure access to any remote files.

If you are not already on the cloud at home, you may want to research cloud-based storage options that will prove to your boss that you can easily share documents and files with him or her and your co-workers. If you are confused about cloud storage, a website like Top 10 Cloud Storage does a great job of offering tips and advice about which cloud-based systems are best suited to your needs.

Explain Your Reasons

As Skip the Drive notes, your boss will probably want to know why you want to work from home. Prepare for this question ahead of time, and come up with serious and compelling reasons of why you want to telecommute. Instead of saying things like “I am so seriously tired of the office dress code, and at home I can dress the way I want to”—which will probably get you sent back to your cubicle in a matter of seconds—calmly and confidently explain how you will be more productive in a quiet home-based office, how your long commute is really draining or how you feel you could get more done without the distractions of co-workers.

Be Willing to Compromise

When speaking with your boss about working from home, offer compromises. Suggest that you give it a try two days a week, and take it from there. Or, if you feel super strongly about telecommuting and your boss seems to be less-than-thrilled about the idea, offer to take a small pay cut. Showing that you are willing to bend and work with your supervisor may help to convince him or her to give telecommuting a try.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 7, 2014 Read More →

Uncharged devices no longer allowed on US bound flights to counter terrorism

iPhone4-flatAmerica is banning uncharged mobiles or laptops on US-bound flights over bomb fears. A new measure is bound to cause chaotic scenes at airports around the globe, and is part of the US Transportation Security Administration’s effort to boost surveillance amid concerns that terrorists are plotting to blow up an airliner.

Jason Fernyhough, from mobile accessories distributor Accessory Lab, comments on the news: “most people board planes with enough charge in their devices for a few hours at most as, more often than not, devices will typically be switched off during flights. However, with this new security drive, I can see charging stations appearing at airports, rather like paid for Wi-Fi hotspots. Cafes and public areas will no doubt benefit from additional revenue, but also airport retailers selling mobile device chargers will see panic buying. In the short term, airport infrastructure will take a while to set up the charging booths and the cost to charge for passengers won’t be low, so we believe that there will be a boom in portable chargers and they will become a travel essential.

“To avoid any risk of being refused boarding on all US bound flights, portable chargers and power banks will ensure travellers have the ability to power up multiple devices and charge them very quickly before they board a flight. The keys considerations for travellers will be speed of charge, charging capacity, size of charger, durability and compatibility, which is useful for multiple devices.”

Accessory Lab has a range of chargers branded Olixar that will ensure anyone travelling to, or around, America can reach their destination. Please see information below.

Accessory Lab is also offering some advice on what to look for in a charger here: http://www.accessorylab.co.uk/2014/07/07/power-banks-and-portable-chargers-buying-guide

All Olixar products are available to buy now at www.mobilefun.co.uk, with prices starting from £19.99.

Posted in: Laptops, News, Phones
By July 1, 2014 Read More →

How Social Media Shaped Cell Phone Design

shutterstock_180921581In 1984, “The Brick” started the cell phone revolution—even with its bulky size and cost. Eventually the phone evolved into a sleek design with capabilities beyond the vision of the original designers of the mobile phone. In the last 30 years, cell phones have been updated from bricks to flip phones to the iconic iPhone. But phones weren’t the only thing that was changing. We were also revolutionizing the way we communicate with each other. Innovative social media platforms available on cell phones have enabled us to connect in a different ways. Designers have to continually keep up with the trends, so who knows where we will end up 30 years from now. Here are just a few ways that cell phones have advanced:

Increased Camera Capabilities

Social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, who boast a base of 26 million and 200 million users respectively, have forced companies to release phones with enhanced camera capabilities.

Selfie was without a doubt the biggest word of the year. People would take photos using their front-facing cameras and call it a selfie. Even though Sony Ericsson first introduced the front facing camera in 2003 with the Z1010, it wasn’t until Apple released the iPhone 4 that the phenomenon really took off. Now, virtually all smartphones include a front-facing camera so users can take selfies at the Grammy’s, on top of the Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, or take selfies at the gym.

Sprint’s PM8920 released the first camera phone, featuring a 1.3-megapixel camera. This number is dwarfed in comparison to what we have today. The iPhone features an 8-megapixel camera, the Sony Xperia contains 13-Megapixel camera and the Nokia Lumia 1020 has an astounding 41-megapixel camera. The increase allows users to take higher quality pictures to share with their friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Phone buyers are now cognizant of the camera quality in smartphones and often account for that in their purchasing decision. Even more amazingly, these phones are a fraction of the price they were in the ’80s and they are widely available from the major service providers.

Enhanced Video Recording

Smartphones are also equipped with the latest video technology. The best smartphones have the capability to shoot at a high frame rate. The amount of frames per second (fps) is the amount of unique images created in a second, thus raising the quality of the video. The Mobile Choice Awards named the HTC One the Best Video Phone of 2013 because it shoots at a remarkable 30 fps, allowing users to create videos mimicking the quality of Hollywood films. The newest technologies also work to regulate light so your shots have the optimum brightness.

YouTube, Instagram and Vine also are responsible for the advancement in video capability for smartphones. People love to share their experiences on video through their social media networks. Whether it’s capturing a child’s first step or recording your favorite band’s set, you will want to record it to share with your followers. Beyond sharing intimate, family moments there is a growing amount of people making money from their smartphone videos. Some Youtubers and Viners are even making a living off their creative aptitude, and they will continue to push for further video capturing innovations.

Keyboard Design

Cell phone manufacturers have had to alter device designs to keep up with all the different types of messaging and status updates. Innovative keyboard design all started with the immensely popular Sidekick, which featured a slide out keyboard that allowed users to easily text their BFFs. The BlackBerry has also been at the forefront of keyboard design because of their easy layout, which has sustained a dedicated base of users. Nowadays, touch screen keyboards are king as it allows users to quickly enter their status updates. There are even swipe keyboards that allow users to type faster than ever.

Posted in: Editorial, Phones
By June 28, 2014 Read More →

3 ways to make your office more energy efficient

System_separat.inddOffices waste a phenomenal amount of energy. Computers, lighting, copiers and other office equipment is often left on all day. This not only damages the environment, but significantly increases monthly outgoings. There are plenty of ways to make the office space more energy efficient; however, managing a whole team of people and trying to keep them motivated about energy efficiency can be very difficult.

These three techniques are easy to implement; will inspire your workforce; and save you a huge amount of cash over time. 

Install Air Conditioning

Comfort is the most important element of retaining a good level of employee morale. An uncomfortable workforce will lead to unhappy employees and reduce productivity by roughly 30%. The simple addition of air conditioning will create a more relaxing work environment, which will almost certainly reflect positively in your employees. 

With regards to energy bills, there’s a common misconception that air conditioning will cost more; however, that’s simply not the case. Macair state that a decent HVAC system can reduce energy bills and carbon emissions by up to 15%. Programmable thermostats will retain a constant temperature and ensure you don’t waste excess energy over-cooling or over-heating your workspace.

Turn off computers

In most office spaces computers are left on all day and all night; apart from on weekends. Turning off the monitor won’t cut it. At the very least turn off computers during the night. If possible, tell your staff to turn off their computers if they won’t be in use for an extended period of time – during lunch breaks and meetings, etc. Electricity is without a doubt the largest office expense in the billing department, yet most bosses won’t bat an eyelid when they see computers and monitors left on when they’re not in use.

In addition to turning off computers, tell your employees to turn of lights and other office equipment when they leave a room. If you need help inspiring your workforce, give them some kind of incentive program. For example, set a quota and use some of the saved cash to buy them treats, such as a box of morning donuts.

Install decent lighting

Installing decent lighting is vital. Wherever possible use natural sunlight. If you lack windows, ceiling lights or skylights are the best option. Think about energy efficient bulbs; while they can take a little longer to get bright, they’ll be far better in the long run, especially if you need to keep them on all day.

Think about your light placement. Sometimes it’s not the power of the bulb that needs adjusting, it’s the positioning. If you use lamps, place them in a triangular formation to maximize light projection. In addition, think about repainting the office. White walls and ceilings will reflect light better than dark colour schemes and could significantly brighten up the space.

Creating an energy efficient office isn’t just about reducing bills and protecting the environment, it can also positively affect business. Many companies will only choose to work with people who have green initiatives, even if they are more costly.

Set yourself targets and try to keep everyone motivated. Consider assigning one of your employees the role of energy coordinator and  make them your “eyes in the office.” This will help to keep your team aware of wasting energy.

Image Credit: Emco Klima

Image Caption: Installing an air conditioning system can significantly reduce bills and emissions.

 

Posted in: Editorial
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