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 19, 2017 Read More →

A third of Brits choose LED lights to save energy: new research from reichelt elektroniks

britsLED lights have become a viable option for UK households wanting to make energy and cost savings, reveals a new survey by reichelt elektronik. Lasting significantly longer than conventional lamps, a third of respondents say energy savings are the biggest influencer when it comes to buying an LED light but upfront costs remain a barrier to purchasing.

Spotlight on efficiency and design

The survey revealed that the benefit of these energy savings is of greater concern than luminosity (21 per cent) and colour (9 per cent).

The findings also show that energy efficiency is the most important factor for a quarter of Brits when buying any lamp, as consumers seek the long-term cost savings on offer versus conventional bulbs. Efficiency is of particular concern to over 35s, with 37% of over 55s saying it influences their choice of lighting. Design with a wide range of lighting options (23 per cent) is the second most important factor for Brits.

Price only ranked the third most important purchasing factor overall. This shows consumers are becoming more concerned with qualitative aspects such as energy savings and design when choosing lamps. Consumer needs have shifted as they look for ways to become as energy efficient as possible instead of being primarily influenced by upfront pricing.

brits

UK households making the switch

73 per cent of UK consumers are already reaping the benefits of using LED lamps in their home, with 17 per cent of respondents having already switched to LED lights completely.  Over a quarter of Brits (28 percent) already use LED lighting in more than half of their household and 29 percent have converted a few lamps (less than half) to LEDs. However, costs are still cited as the biggest barrier to switching to LED lighting with 27% finding it expensive to do so.

Posted in: Editorial, News
By July 11, 2017 Read More →

Essential Tech To Survive A Festival Weekend

2017-07-11 (3)Festival season has now kicked off, and if you’re planning to spend a weekend away in a field at some of the UK’s best events or even abroad, then it’s best to consider some of the best tech around to keep you charged up and entertained. With a variety of must-have gadgets and technology available – Niall Green, CEO of Second Screen – a cutting-edge app developer for the creative industries – offers his essential tech recommendations to survive a festival weekend.

  1. Download the festival’s app
    The best way to plan your weekend is download the festival’s app. You’ll be able to find stage times, last minute lineup additions, secret announcements, exclusive content and much more. At Second Screen, we produce cutting-edge apps for festivals such as Isle of Wight Festival, Love Supreme, Livewire Festival, Boardmasters, Fusion Festival and many more – all of which enhance the overall festival experience and brings fans that much closer to the event.
  2. Invest in a powerbank
    No festival survival pack is complete without a powerbank. Finding power supply in a field is tough enough, let alone waiting hours on end in the long queues at the recharge tents.The answer is grabbing yourself a nifty powerbank- it should be the first thing to tick on your checklist. Invest in a good quality sturdy powerbank that can offer multiple recharges over the weekend. You’ll find it to be an absolute godsend when you’ve lost your friends in the middle of the night and you’re low on battery power.
  3. Pack a Bluetooth speaker
    When the music stops, it’s officially the campsite after party! Make sure you bring along a waterproof Bluetooth speaker so you can be campsite DJ for the weekend. It’s the worst feeling at a festival when you head back to your tent area after the headliners have finished and there’s no music.
  4. Protect your phone with a tough case
    It’s highly likely your phone will end up in the mud at some point. So, protect it. It’s one thing losing your phone during the craziness that goes on, but if you’re able to provide the best defence for you phone, then you should take full advantage of that.There are so many tough phone cases to choose from, so ensure you pick one that offers the best shock absorption, waterproof casing and screen security.
  5. Take a torch
    Avoid tripping over guy ropes in the middle of the night and endlessly stumbling around in the dark looking for a loo. By packing a torch you’ll solve all your problems with one essential gadget and you wont be loosing that valuable phone battery with its torch.

So whether you’re heading to the mud-covered fields of Worthy Farm or living it up in a teepee at Shambala this year, make sure you’re armed with some handy gadgets and tech to survive your festival weekend.

Second Screen, the brainchild of Niall Green, is a creative concept to bridge the gap between fans, artists and events – via apps. Second Screen has created numerous apps for the likes of pop sensation, Anastacia; as well as several prominent UK festivals, including The Isle of Wight Festival, East London Fringe Festival, Liverpool Sound City and Fusion Festival.

To find out more information about Second Screen go to www.secondscreenldn.com

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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 June 6, 2017 Read More →

Has F-Secure created the best cyber security system?

IMG_20170518_202958Not so long ago the world was a simpler place the internet was used to check emails and if you wanted to know what your friend had for dinner you asked them on your landline.  With the growth of technology and faster internet connections a whole new world of possibilities evolved.  It was a magical time when the impossible was made possible. A time where we waited patiently for a website to load and hoped that the connection was not disrupted with someone using your home phone.

It was 1995 and I went to watch ‘The Net’ starring Sandra Bullock as a young computer programmer, Angela Bennett.  This was the first time I witnessed computer hacking, I recall being completely horrified as Miss Bennett’s digital identity was erased and replaced with a new identity as Ruth Marx a wanted criminal.  This was almost a science fiction thriller, the technology we had back then was nowhere near as advanced in this movie and as I left the cinema I thought this could never happen to me, could it? Complacent with my anti-virus software I felt that this was enough to protect me.

Fast forward to the year 2017 and we are so technology dependent the millennials could never have coped with life in 1995 nowadays your friend who you have not spoken to in real life for years posts what they had for dinner and you click a like button to show acknowledgement.  We post our whole lives online, which can be argued to be a positive thing but if your home was hacked and your digital identity erased how much of your life would you lose?

The 12th May 2017 was the beginning of the worldwide cyberattack of the ‘WannaCry’ ransomware which targeted computers running Windows by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.  The world had its first wake up call that cyber attacks are a potential threat and that normal people can be affected.  In Britain, the NHS were affected and the ‘Wannacry’ threat dominated headlines making the average Joe take notice.  There is now an awakening that there could be a loophole in people’s security software. Perhaps smart devices have the potential to work against you if you do not have the right protection.

The smart move is to be prepared and not be in a position to get hacked in the first place.

 

Thankfully F-Secure a Finnish cyber security and privacy company established since 1988 have been working on a device to protect your home network and the forever growing number of IoT devices.

They have developed F-secure SENSE which offers a three layer protection; Firstly with the SENSE router that you connect to your existing router in your home, secondly the SENSE advanced security app allowing you to manage your home network and protect devices, even outside the home, and third, they have developed cloud protection which monitors your network for threats in real time.  

 

SENSE creates a complete secure home network that will prevent personal private information being shared with companies without your permission. SENSE was unveiled last month at The Next Web conference held in Amsterdam. Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer from F-Secure gave a speech about the internet of insecure things and captivated the audience with a tale on how your toaster will soon be connected to the internet, not for any benefit to you but the manufacturer.  He also discussed how people do not read instruction manuals and how back in the 80’s and 90’s video tape players all had a flashing display of 12:00 as no one had the patience to sit and programme the time.

 

Hypponen’s Law “Whenever an appliance is described as ‘smart’ it is vulnerable.” With this law in mind, F-secure had a task before them to create a simple yet powerful device that will protect your home network and the ever growing internet of things. “SENSE revolutionises online security by protecting your entire home network, not just specific devices. Its IoT security technology senses traffic from connected devices to provide extra protection against IoT threats”

F-secure SENSE was unveiled to a select few journalists and bloggers from Europe where we got to see the router in action.  Harri Kiljander, Director Customer Experience Design Consumer Cybersecurity demonstrated how the SENSE app and router work. Check out a short interview with Harri on the Techaddicts podcast hereThe app was simple to use as he connected two mobile devices to the router and demonstrated how the app would pick up a malicious website.

“Everyone in your SENSE network can surf the web with peace of mind. SENSE secures browser traffic by automatically blocking phishing, intrusive tracking and other malicious attacks”

Ultimately there will be other security routers similar to SENSE appear on the market but F-secure promise ongoing automatic updates that will be free, making every SENSE network even more private. Shipping now £169 with free delivery you receive the SENSE router plus one year’s security subscription.  Subscription costs £8.50 per month after the first year. F-secure have developed a product that in theory sounds like a device that every home will need, the monthly subscription is a small price to pay for a piece of hardware with software that will update to protect your home and IoT devices against computer viruses and hackers. Without the subscription, SENSE still functions as a powerful router. 

We will be unboxing and providing a full review within the next month here on the Tech Addicts.

Posted in: Editorial
By May 8, 2017 Read More →

The best ideas for Father’s Day

hfdIf you are stuck for ideas for some tech toys to keep your father hip and trendy this Father’s Day then here are a few items to consider.

The Braven 405

Is your dad addicted to the gym? This stylish waterproof speaker is equipped with a kickstand that permits freestanding use either in the gym of on the field and has an impressive 24hr ply time! The Braven 405 is easy to fold away and even has a built-in power bank that lets you charge you phone on the go – perfect for somebody who is always on the move.

The Incase Icon Pack

Is you Dad organised? This handy backpack lets him protect and carry his MacBook and other essentials. Perfectly padded with dedicated sleeves to keep all his tech bits protected.

Griffin Survivor Extreme for iPad Mini 4

The water resistant Griffin Survivor Extreme Case is perfect for protecting your father’s tablet. It has been designed to survive a 10th drop onto concrete, making it one of the most drop protective tablet cases available!

Incase City Duffel

This grab-and-go duffel bag is perfect for you Dad’s everyday commute. with an integrated, padded laptop sleeve and large main compartment, it’s perfect for carrying all his everyday essentials.

Griffin Survivor Strong

Tech obsessed Dad? then he’ll definitely be needing an additional drop protection case for his brand new Galaxy S8/s8+. Built without the bulk, this ultra-slim case is able to out-live a 2m concrete drop.

Posted in: Editorial, Gadgets, Promotion
By February 7, 2017 Read More →

5 tech tends to fly in 2017

reichelt elektronik Online Electronics and Components SpecialistWith 2017 well upon on us it’s time to take a look at what’s set to be the next big thing in the tech world. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or just after a nifty gadget, Holger Engelbrecht, Product Manager of Home & Security, and Tools of reichelt.co.uk gives the lowdown on some of the big trends that will be coming our way…

  1. Storage breakthrough with SSDs

Ever heard of 3D Nand Flash technology? It’s the latest range in SSDs and many of the big tech giants will be rolling it out this year. This technology is a type of flash memory in which memory cells are stacked vertically in multiple layers to help achieve higher densities at a lower cost per bit. Ultimately, 3D Nand Flash can offer higher capacity in a smaller physical space compared to 2D Nand. More space for less money – makes sense.

  1. Lightening fast USBs

The introduction of Thunderbolt 3 technology as the new interface for USB Type-C cables, has presented a desktop-level performance from a mobile computer. This advancement in technology supports the fastest data transfer and most video bandwidth available on a single cable in the world. To get technical, it provides 40Gbps – doubling the speed of its predecessor and eight times faster than USB 3.1 – it will be a technological marvel this year!

  1. The virtual reality revolution continues

Virtual reality is here and 2016 has proven to be the year that it’s moved into the mainstream. However despite many VR headsets on general sale, there is still a need for VR content that fully lives up to expectations. Expect a new expanded offering of VR content not just from gamers but also the film industry, streaming services, and even new areas like visual novels and comic books. Users still need a solid enough reason to invest in VR headsets. As slick as they may look, content is king.

  1. Smart home tech is the future

From decor-friendly gadgets and wireless power controls, right through to sophisticated security systems, advances in technology continue to make it easier to make homes smarter and safer, and it seems homeowners are waking up to the value. Day-to-day tasks are made simpler and it’s inevitable that more exciting smart home products will come to market this year. This year, sales of general smart home devices are up 21% at reichelt.co.uk, with one of the best-sellers being the Konig Smart home security starter set.

  1. Robotics

Robots are reaching a whole new realm of realism and this year promises to deliver a new generation of robot. The arrival of these mechanical companions is making the unthinkable a reality. We’ve already seen the announcement drone deliveries and there will be a whole host of new robotic product launched as the year goes on. Our fascination with A.I is fuelling the advancement of this technology at an alarming pace. Our robot friend, the Ubtech Humanoid Alpha 1S has been a hit so far and we’re predicting he’ll be just as popular throughout 2017.

As well as its robotic kits and smart home range, reichelt.co.uk offers a wider variety of tools, components, tech accessories and more – offering many items up to 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UK.

By November 16, 2016 Read More →

7 Essential Tips for First-Time PC Builders

asusmb_90mb0md0_01Building your own PC means creating a device tailored to your very own needs. It’s easy to upgrade, often cheaper and can perform much faster than traditional models. So, if you’re going down the DIY route and it’s your first time custom-building your own machine, here are 7 essential tips to consider, provided by German online electronics retailer, reichelt.

  1. Get clear on what you want from your PC. Make a list of all the programs, videos and applications you want to run on your PC. This will help you map out the components you’ll need – for example, if you’re a gamer, overclocking your Central Processing Unit (running it at a higher speed) may be important and requires a more effective cooling system.
  1. Plan before you build. Every build is unique, so take the time to visualize how each part will fit together, before buying and realising components aren’t compatible. Does your power supply prevent access to the motherboard? Is there enough space for your cabinet? Asking questions such as these will save you time in the long run!
  1. Test the connection. Always do a simple test-run before installing the components in your cabinet. This will save you the hassle of dismantling everything in case a component doesn’t work. Simply use your motherboard box as a framework and if all functions properly, you’re ready to build in.
  1. Keep thermal paste to a minimum. A small, pea-sized amount in the centre of your CPU (Central Processing Unit) is perfect. Too much and the thermal compound could behave as a conductor and stop your system from functioning properly.
  1. Don’t force anything. If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it. Most components attach together only one way, so simply try another method if it doesn’t work. Computer parts tend to be very fragile, so be careful not to damage your components in the process.
  1. Ensure good airflow.  Cooling your PC properly contributes to the overall performance and lifespan of your device. You can choose to cool your system with air or water. The air cooler is cheap and performs well, however, if you are planning to overclock (run your processor at a higher speed), a water cooler allows fans to run slower and quieter.
  1. A little maintenance goes a long way! Once you’ve built your computer, ensure that you open up the device and clean it regularly. Keep dust levels to a minimum and your machine will continue to operate at an optimum level.

For high-quality components to build your PC, reichelt can provide you with everything you need, with many products up to 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UK.

For gamers, we recommend the ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming 6 Motherboard, a high-value, feature-packed board which delivers outstanding performance. Processors, RAM and storage functions are also available; as is a great range of external hardware, such as the Denon HEOS 1 WS 2 Wireless Speakers with WiFi and optimised sound quality.

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