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 November 14, 2017 Read More →

Image Analysis Could Help to Predict Health Problems

shutterstock_154346687New research is showing how using advanced computer-aided analysis of medical images could help doctors to make great leaps in precision and personalised medicine.

Companies like Bitplane.com design and develop the software which will enable doctors to analyse medical images with ever-greater depth and granularity. Many specialists believe we’ll be able to spot problems in organs before the first symptoms are noticed. A recent study found that researchers could “predict” patient five-year mortality with nearly 70% accuracy. This is very promising indeed, as it could represent the chance to intervene and turn someone’s health around before it starts to present problems.

What is precision medicine?

Precision medicine, according to the US’ National Institutes of Health, defines precision medicine as a new approach to treating diseases that focuses on early or pre-emptive identification and intervention. This sort of medicine looks at a person’s genome, their environment and their lifestyle to formulate a unique risk and intervention programme.

Precision or personalised medicine relies on identifying the biomarkers that are known and accurate indicators of either a risk of a disease or the signs of its early development. Radiology and image analysis, as well as genetics, plays a vital role here.

X-rays and other medical imaging techniques have been used for decades to look for diseases, but they are only useful when the problems are relatively advanced. By using image analysis and machine-learning, doctors and patients will be meeting trouble – and hopefully combatting it – way before the halfway mark.

Medical imaging will also save a lot of time and money because it has the potential to do the same job, with the same (if not better) accuracy than microscopy, DNA analysis and biopsy, which are often used – and paid for – together.

How will it all work?

Medical researchers and developers will use thousands of CT images, X-rays of organs and tissue samples and so on to teach computers how to look for biomarkers that predict the development of disease. The eventual outcome of each patient (including mortalities) is already known, so by teaching the machines how to use the data alongside deep learning methods and genetic information, we’ll have computers that can spot the early signs of disease.

These machines will use data to identify patients most at risk of various diseases, as well as to predict their most likely prognoses in ways that are more sensitive and accurate than doctors can manage. Time, as ever, is of the essence and it’s hoped that by preventative medicine or early intervention, patient outcomes will be vastly improved.

If someone is, for example, at an increased risk of lung cancer because of their genotype, then a combination of a smoking cessation programme followed up by yearly chest scans could see that patient alive and well 15 years down the line.

Similarly, the early changes involved in chronic diseases like osteoarthritis could be spotted before the joints actually start aching, allowing the patient to adopt new exercise and dietary habits, as well as take whatever medical interventions are available to ward off the disease.

Posted in: Editorial
By September 15, 2017 Read More →

How to prevent data loss with your tech

While the world “data” can seem a little technical, it’s essential to the functioning of modern technology, and much of it is in your pocket and on your desk. All the content that you create and store on your computer and smartphone counts as data, and if you’re not properly organised and prepared, then it could be at risk.

Data includes your family photos from holidays and birthdays, crucial spreadsheets outlining your household budget and any work that you’ve done on your home computer. Losing all of this and more could cause major headaches and heartache, so it’s wise to take steps to prevent data loss from occurring by using one or more methods.

 

How does data get lost?

For many people, data loss often happens when their computers fail. Sometimes, the internal memory is wiped, and at other times, data loss takes place when a computer or phone suffers a hardware problem and technicians have to wipe it while fixing the issue.

Data loss can also occur due to human error. Pressing the wrong set of buttons and clearing all data happens more than many people might think, and the common disasters of spilling a drink over a machine or dropping it also cause losses.

These days, there is a new threat to data: ransomware attacks, such as the one that hit the NHS earlier this year, sees malicious hackers place software on your computer and threaten to wipe all your data unless a sum of money – the “ransom” – is paid. If you don’t have a backup in place, then this threat can really cause you concern.

 

Prevention is the best cure

As the saying goes, “be prepared” when it comes to data loss. Planning in advance to deal with the consequences of losing your data is essential, and carrying out regular backups is perhaps the most convenient option. Fortunately, carrying out backups of your data is simple and doesn’t require much effort.

With some modern operating systems, such as Mac OS, you’re able to use inbuilt software functions such as Time Machine to back up your data to the cloud. If you don’t have this option available, then don’t worry. You can use external software services such as Dropbox, and you can also invest in a piece of kit, such as an external hard drive, USB stick or Mini SD card, that does the job for you.

Slightly more people (38%) back up to external items than the 30% who use the cloud. However, while external services are definitely useful in preventing data loss, you’ll have to be disciplined in doing your backups to realise their full potential. They are also more vulnerable to getting lost or stolen, so you should take good care of them.

A final essential tip for safe data protection is to stay one step ahead of external threats such as ransomware. Changing your passwords regularly, not leaving yourself logged in on public computers and analysing all incoming emails thoroughly to check if they are valid are all good ideas to prevent data loss from occurring.

 

Worst-case scenario

While regular backups mean that you can simply download or transfer your files once a wiped or broken device is fixed, they don’t always work – and sometimes, they never even take place to begin with.

This is where data recovery services come into play. By going back over your devices and using expert techniques to find repositories of information, data recovery practitioners bring hope to those who have lost everything and need a helping hand. Firms such as Fields Data Recovery have become popular among people who are desperate to get their documents, photographs and information back and can’t see any other way to do it. By scanning the hidden corners of hard drives and knowing all the right places to look, data recovery providers can give their best shot at finding your lost information.

Ultimately, by being organised and staying on top of your data, it’s clear that you can implement an effective backup system designed to give you a strong chance of getting your files back if the worst does happen. However, when that doesn’t work, it’s always reassuring to know that there are other options out there such as data recovery.

When it comes to your photos, videos and communications, don’t risk your precious data. Put a backup system in place or speak to a data recovery consultant to protect your tech devices for the future.

Posted in: Editorial
By September 7, 2017 Read More →

Best Updated Apps of August 2017

Android app developers updated some of their apps to give the better performance and experience when using them. It is not only at the  best online casinos that player experience is prioritized.

Unkilled: MultiPlayer Zombie Survival Shooter Game

Unkilled is one of the best Android games on Google Play. In this game, your role is to accept different missions and kill all the zombies. New York City is under attack from frightening zombies threatening to e end of the world. Pick one of five exceptional characters and join the first class group known as the Wolfpack, a team tasked with battle the walking dead and findng the mystery behind the disastrous torment. Invest significant time from killing zombies and you can challenge your friends or other gamers in online PvP multiplayer fights. This game is inspired by a popular TV series ‘’The Walking Dead”.or play online casino games at new zealand online casino and win big.

The new features include additional missions, over 150, and 5 different classes of weapons with up to 40 weapons. You’re able to customize your character and guns with loads of skins to choose from. The game’s graphics give you the real-time experiences.

Bola: Budget and Expense Tracker

This is definitely one Android app you should have on your device. Bola is the best budget manager app of August 2017. It helps to track your paychecks, spending or expenses and save money. The app is easy to use and all the items you have recorded are traceable within seconds. When you use this app it informs you how much to spent on that day. It allocates your spending basing on your income, if you spend less today then the balance is added to your next day spending. Furthermore, Bola tells you when you should spend or save and shows your financial stability expressed in colours. Create budgets in any currency in the world and as many different budgets as you need. Sync your budgets via Cloud Sync and back them up.

Posted in: Editorial
By September 7, 2017 Read More →

The rise of digital marketing

Ever since the evolution of the internet ways of doing business are continuing to change. A rapid technological advance in the telecommunication sector has a direct impact on online marketing.  The way marketing is done is different and more advanced than a few decades ago. If you want your business to be successful in this era then the internet is the right tool for you. People now spend more time connected to the internet.

Other marketing channels such as televisions, radios, physical copies (magazines and newspapers) are being overshadowed by the internet. The web can reach millions of people anytime and anywhere. That is why it is given much attention. Marketers are creating digital ads and content to put online targeting potential customers. Online advertising revenue has been on the rise recently due to an increase in the number of ads. Casino also went digital now you can now online casino players can play the games anywhere anytime.

TV shows, movies, music, games and other forms of entertainment are being accessed more online. Research shows that 76% of people watch their favourite shows online. Most video ads pop up during these shows and this is a perfect marketing strategy of the 21st century.

Recently, YouTube expanded its streaming to reach new markets and also to increase its revenue obtained from ads. Social media companies generate their revenues from online ads, companies pay to advertise on these platforms. In addition, creating a social media profile helps businesses to inform and interact with their customers. You must come up with strategies to ensure that your products and services are well known.

Website visits now determine the success of your marketing strategies. Digital marketing is a success story of this era, businesses and clients are now efficiently connected worldwide. You can reach your customers anytime and anywhere. And for services like online casino south Africa you can complete transactions regardless of the time.

Posted in: Uncategorized
By August 7, 2017 Read More →

Building a career in the technology sector

In today’s world, many people are tech-savvy citizens. With smartphone usage on the rise and Internet access providing people with everything from supermarket shopping orders to TV shows whenever they want to view them, technology is booming.
When it comes to business, there’s a huge employment market available for those producing, supporting and developing all the new technologies that are used every day. It’s believed that there are over 47,000 digital technology companies in the UK alone, so training in this sector can open a wide variety of doors in your professional life.
Here is a look at what you’ll need for a successful career in the tech industry, what roles you can take up and how you can make the process as easy and streamlined as possible.

Varied range of jobs

Once you’ve set your heart on a career in the technology sector, your next step is to work out where you’ll specialise and which of the industry’s many jobs is right for you.

If you’re a strong communicator and good at problem solving, then a job as an IT technician might be right for you. This role involves working in environments such as companies, classrooms and other places where there are lots of non-technical computer users who need assistance, and you’re likely to find yourself responding to requests for technical help and sorting out issues with hardware and software.

There are also many roles in tech that are less customer-oriented. If you’re interested in modern technology but also have a keen eye for aesthetics, then you can combine your skill sets and become a website or software designer, tester or developer. Alternatively, if you’re good at the art of persuasion but want a tech-focused career, then you can join a company sales team and help promote their tech products.

Of course, before any of the software and hardware in schools and offices can be used. it also needs to be programmed. The earliest point in the life cycle of a tech tool is the development phase, and if you’re a strong critical thinker who is adept at using logic to solve problems, then a career in computer programming or coding might be suitable for you.

Qualifications and education

The qualifications required to kickstart your career in technology vary greatly. This is because there are so many different types of jobs in the tech sector, and the knowledge required is different every time.

To work as an IT technician, for example, there is no set qualification required. However, there are several IT professional bodies that offer qualifications to help you develop your skills, such as the Diploma in ICT Systems Support or the Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles. There are lots of apprenticeships available for IT technician jobs, so this might be an ideal route if you’d prefer to get practical experience.

For roles with more rare skill sets, you may need more specific qualifications. If you’re looking to work as a coder, then knowledge of major programming languages such as PHP or Python is essential, and some employers will also require a degree-level education in computer science.

If you’re looking to work in a tech sector role less directly related to key software and hardware infrastructures, then you may need a different qualification altogether. For example, if you’re looking to work in user experience, then skills related to design may be a stronger bet.

Become self-employed

Jobs in IT are increasingly becoming more contract-based, meaning that you’re required to work on a specific project for a set amount of time rather than as a permanent employee.

This offers a lot of flexibility and means that you can sample a wide variety of jobs but can also create administrative headaches. Contractors usually have to register as self-employed, and this means that you become legally responsible for your own tax affairs.

Registering with an umbrella PAYE (pay as you earn) company is a good option, as it essentially hands the responsibility over to a third party who will sort out all your tax affairs. This way, you don’t have to worry about time-consuming tasks such as filing returns to HMRC, while the clients whom you apply to work for are more likely to give you contracts, as they don’t have to deal with your tax affairs either.

Britain’s burgeoning tech sector is one of the most attractive industries for job seekers, not least because of the potential that it has for growth. Whether you’re looking to put your technical knowledge to good use in a support role or work on development projects of all shapes and sizes, employment in this sector is guaranteed to be meaningful, fulfilling and a lot of fun as well.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 25, 2017 Read More →

Technology- Stealing Jobs, or Creating New Ones?

Driverless carLately highly regarded people in business and science have come out with warnings that technology, and perhaps more specifically that robots and AI, is posing a big risk to many jobs as workers will no longer be required to do jobs machines will be able to do much faster, more efficiently, and perhaps most importantly of all- without a salary. This article will discuss if these fears are completely justified, and if the future of jobs and technology is really as pessimistic as it might seem.

Of course, it is inevitable that companies will want to begin using more technology if it allows them to earn higher profits, in much faster and more efficiently. However, it would be incredibly short-sighted to see this as a wholly negative thing. We cannot argue with the fact that whilst some jobs are becoming obsolete, new jobs in the realm of technology are growing ever more popular and higher in demand. Indeed, numerous jobs have been created that did not even exist 10 years ago. It is important to note, the world was entirely different 10 years ago before so many advancements in technology. There has been a boom in social media and the digital space, as well as many doors that have been opened within marketing, programming and other computer based positions. It’s true that driverless cars may result in some noticing a decrease in demand for their job, but there are now advertisements for driverless car engineers- a role no one would have considered just a few years ago. Other jobs that have been created in the past 10 years include: millennial generational expert, drone operators, YouTube content creators and big data analyst/data scientists. Perhaps it is important to keep up-to-date with the trends in the careers market in order to remain fully aware of the possibilities that are out there.

Of course, there is concern that technology is stealing jobs from people who will be unable to find a new position with their skillsets. It is accurate that some jobs that typically required a human worker can now be done more efficiently and cost-effectively via machine. Companies and the market will continue to see shifts and job positions will develop with the technology advancements. During an interview the vice president of Software Research at GE, Colin Parris, stated- “The only way to fight job losses is to train the talent that we have. Because in the future, we have to embrace robotics. It allows us to reduce cost. If I reduce cost, I have more money that I can use for innovation. The more money I have, the more new products I can create. The more products I create, the more workforce I can hire.” This statement helps highlight the balance of what technology does. Though its does draw away traditional jobs from the workforce, it also brings numerous jobs as well.

While the conversation of whether technology steals jobs or creates new ones will undoubtedly continue, the key thing to remember is that no matter what changes happen in the future, nothing will ever be able to replace the human-to-human conversation in business. As advanced as we expect technology, robots and AI to become, there will always be a place for the human workforce- even if that place isn’t quite where it was in the past.

Overall, it would be wise to get involved in tech careers if you are keen to remain in a relavent and expanding position. In fact, technology has not only changed the workforce, but also how we find jobs and how companies select potential employees. Many people use the Internet to find jobs on sites such as Jobrapido, which allow job seekers to find a clear list of all local vacancies and filter them to ones suitable for them. In turn, employers use automatic sorting systems to narrow down the curriculums of applicants, and often request interviews via Skype, online applications and sometimes even video CVs to be uploaded onto YouTube.  Technology is not all bad news, but some of the negative complications are not entirely out of the realms of possibilities. Intelligent thinkers like Stephen Hawkins and Elon Musk should be listened to as our world has plenty of technology developments to come and we need all the help we can get to maintain control over what is to come.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 7, 2017 Read More →

How mobiles and smartphones have opened up a new avenue of marketing

We are truly in the mobile age now. It has been two years since mobile overtook desktop as the preferred platform for performing internet searches, and even the minority who have yet to come over to that side of technology still use their mobiles and smartphones every day.

The world of marketing has, perhaps, been affected more dramatically than any other business discipline by the technological revolution. Digital marketing is poles apart from offline or traditional marketing from days gone by, and the opportunities presented by mobile technology provide yet another avenue for businesses to get their heads around. Let’s take a look.

 

Mobile phone use in the 21st century

There is a well-known cliché that we all spend most of our lives attached to our smartphones. However, like every cliché, it is based on truth. Just think about it for a moment – how often do you check your phone? Every 30 minutes? 15? 5? According to research, the average person spends five hours of every day attached to their mobile phone.

The fact is that people love their mobiles. Despite mobile overtaking desktop for browsing the web, people still only use their smartphones for that purpose around 11 per cent of the time. The rest is devoted to apps.

Companies in the US have been quick to see that the single best way of reaching customers is via their smartphones, and by 2019, more than 70 per cent of all digital advertising spend will be dedicated to mobile platforms. Organisations in the UK are rapidly following suit.

 

How to approach mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is a discipline that is not so different to other aspects of digital marketing but requires some specific considerations that are unique to the platform. Perhaps the greatest obstacle to overcome is the sheer scale of possibilities. With the vast array of mobile apps where you can utilise popups and banners, plus the opportunities raised by direct SMS to targeted customers, it is all too easy to opt for a scattergun approach, resulting in plenty of spend, but limited returns.

 

That is why it is so important to take a strategic approach and to make use of a specialist consultant such as Veoo in formulating and implementing your mobile marketing strategy to generate the optimum return on your investment. With this in mind, we will look at four areas that need to underpin your mobile marketing efforts.

 

  • Use the micro-moment

The phrase “micro-moment” was actually coined by Google, and refers to the fact that when we look to our phones for information, we want it concise and instant. Mobile marketing is not a time to be going into lengthy detail, so keep the message sharp, snappy and compelling.

 

  • Optimise

Perhaps the simplest way of strengthening your mobile marketing campaign is to ensure your existing content and communications are mobile friendly. That means AMP versions of your web pages and ensuring that direct communications, such as emails, are optimised to read properly on smartphones and tablets.

 

  • Don’t forget SMS

As mentioned earlier, not everyone uses his or her phone for browsing and email. Business SMS is a powerful tool for reaching a wide audience, and even technophobic grandmothers send and receive SMS messages these days. However, it is not just about reach. Open rates for text messages are at some 98 per cent, which is far higher than emails, which makes sense intuitively – after all, how many unopened emails do you have in your inbox compared with unopened SMS messages?

 

  • Keep it locational

If you are looking for a product or service on your phone, the chances are high that you need something close by. If you operate a Manchester minicab firm, then you evidently need to pop up for anyone searching for a cab in Manchester but are wasting marketing efforts if you appear when someone is searching in London. Sounds obvious, but most websites fail to give hyperlocal SEO the attention that they should.

 

Tapping into the smartphone generation

Next time you are sitting on a train or standing in a busy town centre, just look around you and count how many people are looking at their phones. You will be amazed, and possibly a little disturbed, by just how connected we are to our mobiles.

There has never been a better time to put this to business use and tap your company’s marketing strategy into the smartphone generation.

Posted in: Editorial
By October 27, 2016 Read More →

iPhone Data Loss and Recovery [Infographic]

iPhone Data Loss and Recovery [Infographic]

Data Loss and Recovery. An infographic by the team at Secure Data Recovery Services

Posted in: Editorial
By September 16, 2016 Read More →

The Future of Television

There’s no escaping it, television is a huge part of the culture of this country. According to statistics released by Ofcom, no less than 90 percent of adults tune into their favourite shows without fail every week. Our media is dominated by the lives of television stars, and as programming and technology continues to improve exponentially, there’s no way our love of television is going anywhere any time soon. Do you remember your first TV? Sometimes when we’re sat watching tiny beads of sweat on the brows of our favourite footballers, it can be hard to remember that television wasn’t always such an excellent viewing experience. Today we reveal what’s still to come in TV technology, and reminisce about days gone by…

 

Exciting developments…

Although impossible to see how picture quality can get much better than it is currently – the next leap in HD technology is said to be just around the corner, and will see 8k HD become the norm. Arguably the most exciting development on the block is organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), which is an advancement on LED technology that’s a whopping 1000x faster, and could allow hardware like roll-up screens to become a wonderful, and undeniably futuristic, reality.

In a recent interview, Paul Lever from Cheapest Electrical discussed OLED, “LG and Samsung both revealed potential models at this year’s CES, with the LG winning CNET’s Best of CES Award. Make no mistake, this is the most important advancement in TV technology in more than a decade, and a vast improvement over both LCD and plasma.”

When enjoying the perks of such advanced technology, it’s easy to forget how we got to this point. Let’s take a little look back, shall we?


In simpler times…

For 30 years, from the 1960’s up until the 90’s the predominant television found in houses across the nation was the cathode ray tube, or CRT TV for short. Usually no larger than 25”, the only real additional feature these models offered was access to Teletext.

 

A leap in quality…

As we rolled into the 90’s the latest technologies to cause a stir were plasma and LCD screens. Opinion was initially divided over which provided the best viewing experience – but eventually LCD was victorious, due to using far less energy, and having a better shelf life. Plasma screens were discontinued relatively recently in 2014.

 

A switch to digital…

Between 2008 – 2012 the country slowly transitioned from analogue to digital. This switch meant that 26 million people were instantly granted access to freeview TV – and all the additional channels, and features that came with it. Now viewers could pause live TV, record a whole series of their favourite shows with just the touch of a button, and could enjoy interactive services, which enhanced the viewing experience.

 

Along comes HD…

Next picture clarity was targeted, and 4k ultra high definition became the norm, improving the viewing experience tenfold. Digital TV meant people with the right televisions could now access multiple free HD channels, and providers like BT and Netflix made it possible for you to watch your favourite shows and sports in high definition.

 

Posted in: Editorial
By July 29, 2016 Read More →

Broken Appliance: Is it more cost effective to repair or replace it?

Appliances are essential when it comes to everyday household chores, however they’re not indestructible and it can be extremely irritating and costly when they begin to fault.

Some of the most common faults are pretty straightforward to put right. However, when the problem is out of your control then it’s time to face the tough decision whether to call in repair specialists or to invest in new model and cut your losses on expensive repairs.

To help make the decision for you, Glotechrepairs.co.uk have produced a handy infographic which they’ve put together with their own research and data to show you whether it’s best to fork out on repairs or whether it would be more affordable to buy a replacement model.

Scroll along the infographic below to see whether you should repair or replace your appliance.

Posted in: Editorial