News

What is Shellshock and Should You be Worried? 150 150 Simon Randall

What is Shellshock and Should You be Worried?

This isn’t a day at the beach, oh no. This is a software bug that has been sweeping the nation, but is it as dangerous as Heartbleed? In short, yes it’s extremely dangerous for those in the know. Shellshock otherwise known as Bashdoor, is part of a group of security bugs in Unix shell Bash. Bash is basically free software that is used on millions operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X, but can also be found ported to Microsoft Windows and Android devices.

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Smart Technology 150 150 Simon Randall

Smart Technology

Smart technology is a new age, an age where you can control everything around you from one single place. Smart technology allows us to automate our lives, including our homes. This infographic by Big Brother All Security looks at how smart technology has evolved and how it has made all of our lives easier with time saving devices. Did you know that industry experts are predicting 11% of all homes will be “smart” by the end of 2014?

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5 Essential Features of a Successful Intranet 150 150 Kerry Butters

5 Essential Features of a Successful Intranet

A company’s choice to integrate an intranet into their office infrastructure can be of great and, importantly, controlled benefit to the workforce’s communication and shared knowledge resources. Data sharing within the confines of a firewall, yet still with greater web access outside of this safeguard, is at its foremost reassuring to the organization that any sensitive information cannot be accessed outside of the company, yet still the workforce is not shackled by limited web access.

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Samsung, The Galaxy Note 4 And The Gear VR Headset 150 150 Kerry Butters

Samsung, The Galaxy Note 4 And The Gear VR Headset

Samsung’s surprisingly popular phablet series, it has just been revealed, is about to be blessed with a fourth generation. The Galaxy Note 4 with its 5.7” screen measures in at 518 pixels per inch (giving it a 30% increase on its predecessor the Galaxy Note 3) , and is set to be a solid upgrade over the earlier versions.

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How Big Data is Changing the Business World 150 150 Kerry Butters

How Big Data is Changing the Business World

 It’s very easy to assume that any new term that emerges in the tech world will just be a buzzword, with no real significance to anything of use. For the past couple of years the term ‘Big Data’ has often been labelled as such, but with plenty of corporate enterprises now on board with big data analytics, it’s time for those two words to shed any connotations of inflated bombast and for the rest of us to start taking note. Big data is changing the world of business, and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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Microsoft Won’t Patch Internet Explorer if you’re Running XP 150 150 Kerry Butters

Microsoft Won’t Patch Internet Explorer if you’re Running XP

In time, everything moves on, becomes updated, and eventually the old stuff just has to be chucked out to make way for the new. And so it is with Windows XP. Now 13 years old, Microsoft have announced that they will no longer be continuing to support the operating system so as they can better focus their efforts on future developments. Support for Windows XP officially ended on the 8th of April this year.

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Google, Big Data, and a New Cloud Service 150 150 Kerry Butters

Google, Big Data, and a New Cloud Service

With Big Data projects, the challenge is to clean and filter the huge amounts of information involved. It takes a lot of work to get to the point where business value can be extracted.

Over the coming year, Google will focus on releasing cloud tools and services that ease development tasks, while helping companies monitor their Big Data operations. At their I/O developer conference in June, the company unveiled a number of new products to achieve this.

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Why Cloud Computing Could Save the Planet 150 150 Kerry Butters

Why Cloud Computing Could Save the Planet

Cloud computing is an attractive proposition for any organisation not wanting to manage its data in-house, for several reasons:

  • Reduction in up-front capital investment, on infrastructure.

  • New cloud-based servers can be up and running in minutes, rather than weeks.

  • Flexibility, as companies need only pay for the capacity they actually use.

  • Elimination of maintenance costs related to occasional spikes in demand.

  • Increased automation and process efficiency.

  • Added levels of service, and technological expertise.

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The Internet of Things – Why It Matters 150 150 Kerry Butters

The Internet of Things – Why It Matters

And, what is it?

Well, in the Internet of Things (IoT), objects, animals or people are able to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. The IoT evolves from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and the Internet.

In the IoT, a “thing” could be animal, vegetable, or mineral – so long as it can be assigned an IP address, and given the ability to transfer data over a network. “Smart” devices built with machine-to-machine (M2M) communication capabilities are the most common.

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Everyday Objects, Updated for The Internet of Things 150 150 Kerry Butters

Everyday Objects, Updated for The Internet of Things

Picture a world where tiny, intelligent devices capture information about how we live, and what we do. And communicate with each other. In our houses, cars, and factories.

Coffee-pots talk to alarm clocks. Thermostats speak with motion sensors. All choreographed to respond to our needs, solve problems – even save our lives.

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Why Technology is Forcing Business Infrastructures to Adapt 150 150 Kerry Butters

Why Technology is Forcing Business Infrastructures to Adapt

Simple fact of evolution: when change occurs, you either adapt to it and survive, or don’t – and perish. In business, change is ongoing, and an organisation frequently relies on IT’s ability to develop and adapt technology to support new and improved processes.

Game-changers

In their 2013 report, “The Search for Creative Destruction,” analysts at Goldman Sachs identified 8 products or processes set to impact the business arena, with evolutionary consequences.

1. E-Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes (a.k.a e-cigarettes or e-cigs) could grab 10% of the global tobacco market ($10bn), over the next several years. Offering the “good” aspects of smoking, with “none” of the bad (also, not subject to excise taxes or settlement payments), the technology will offer high margins for manufacturers and retailers.

2. Cancer Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy trains the immune system to attack cancer cells, unlike chemotherapy (which can kill healthy cells) and “targeted” therapy (which cancers often develop resistance to). Combination therapies may earn $10-15 billion by 2025, with lung cancer as the primary sector.

3. Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

With energy savings of up to 85%, longer life-spans, and programmable capabilities, LED lighting could dominate the commercial sector by 2020.

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Android L Keeps Business and Home Separate 150 150 Kerry Butters

Android L Keeps Business and Home Separate

When Android L arrives later this year, it may put an end to the days of carrying separate devices for work and leisure. The mobile platform now boasts the ability to separate data on a single handset or tablet.

How It’s Been Done, So Far:

Historically, there’ve been five ways to access your business and personal accounts without having to carry two phones:

1. Virtual Machines

Created by software your employer installs on your personal phone. Mobile Device Management (MDM) software like Microsoft’s System Centre can control settings on your phone, making sure your security set-up is safe for work.

Virtual machine software like VMware’s MVP permits a phone to maintain a separate business environment with its own apps and settings, distinct from personal data. A phone within a phone.

2. Remote Desktops

Similar to a virtual machine, there are apps (e.g. LogMeIn Ignition on Android) that let a smartphone have access to a Mac or PC. You can see and control programs running on the faraway computer.

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New Jobs, New Workers, and New Digital Frontiers 150 150 Kerry Butters

New Jobs, New Workers, and New Digital Frontiers

The workplace has changed a lot, in the last 20 years. Today, there’s some form of computer at every desk, telecommuting is common, and traditional cubicles have given way to more collaborative work spaces.

Where do we go, from here?

Well, PSFK, a popular blog that also acts as a consultancy, has come up with its own version of the future of work, based on ideas that are already gaining ground. Their report runs to 138 pages (and costs around $150), but I’ve summarised several of the main points (and some input from other sources) below.

New Jobs…

A recent LSE/PSI project suggests the existence of a digital divide, with manual workers having less opportunity to learn and exercise new information-based skills – even though their knowledge of IT is substantial, from using computers at home.

At government level, there’s a widespread belief that the key to genuine improvements lies in encouraging more skills training among employees – especially in the areas of information and telecommunications technology. Policy-makers see raising the level and value of formal educational qualifications as vital to improving competency at work, and promoting more innovation and creativity.

In future, learning initiatives for young entrepreneurs will become common. In the Enstitute model, university students are matched with start-ups, where they learn the ins-and-outs of a company, take relevant Skillshare classes, work on projects, and sit in on panels.

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Android Apps on Your Chromebook 150 150 Kerry Butters

Android Apps on Your Chromebook

At Google I/O, the company’s developer conference in June, it was announced that Chrome OS will now support Android apps natively, and that Chromebooks will run them on-screen in their own windows.

Since most people who have Chromebooks also have phones, greater integration between Android devices and the Chrome OS should come as welcome news.

Great. When?

Sundar Pichai, Google’s Senior VP of Android, Chrome and apps, didn’t say when the feature would actually arrive.

“We’re in early days,” was his statement, at the conference. But he did demonstrate some of the functionality that Google proposes.

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VR Becomes Mainstream – Google’s Headset Dubbed ‘Cardboard’ 150 150 Kerry Butters

VR Becomes Mainstream – Google’s Headset Dubbed ‘Cardboard’

Being in another world – not just looking at a place on a computer screen, but actually experiencing it, as if you’re standing there.

That’s the magic of virtual reality (VR).

Till now, it’s largely been the province of clunky hardware, powered by high-strength processors. Expensive, and unattainable.

With a new app from Google that lets Android users transform their phones into VR headsets, this looks set to change.

Get Cardboard

You’ll need to; but, more of that later.

Google’s system, codenamed ‘Cardboard’, was a hit at the recent Google I/O 2014 developers’ conference. It’s so named, because the visor component which houses the phone can be constructed from simple materials. The aim is to create a low-cost platform users can assemble on their own.

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Security and the Cloud 150 150 Kerry Butters

Security and the Cloud

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years surrounding security and the cloud and it was something that delayed initial traction in the market until reasonably recently. However, as more and more businesses have made the transition, it’s clear that faith in cloud services has grown.

Despite a recent Ponemon Institute study, which found that moving to the cloud could triple the cost of a data breach, there’s still plenty of evidence to suggest that the cloud is much safer than many business premises.

45% of Network Attacks Due to Malware

A recent study by NTT Group found that businesses are still not doing enough when it comes to securing the company network. In fact, it was found (somewhat worryingly) that many businesses don’t even have the most basic protection, such as antivirus software and vulnerability scanning, in place.

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The Cloud and Data as an International Currency 150 150 Kerry Butters

The Cloud and Data as an International Currency

When people and organisations talk about putting information in “the cloud,” data is moved outside their premises, often to a service rented on-demand from large-scale providers like Google, Microsoft, or Amazon.  Cloud storage enables people to gather, retain and generate huge amounts of data – and to derive actionable intelligence from it.

Technological innovation has turned this information into a valuable corporate asset.

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Big Data and Market Estimates for 2014 150 150 Kerry Butters

Big Data and Market Estimates for 2014

With the usual caveats, about prediction being an inexact science, and “the value of shares can go down, as well as up”…

To Date:

 Almost two-thirds of 720 companies surveyed by Gartner last year said they were funding Big Data gathering and analysis projects, or planned to, by the end of 2013.

 A.T. Kearney forecasts global spending on Big Data hardware, software and services will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30% through 2018, reaching a total market of $114bn. The average business is expected to spend $8m on related initiatives this year.

 The high level of interest and hype surrounding analytics, Big Data and business intelligence (BI) has led to a proliferation of market projections and forecasts.

 

Advanced and Predictive Analytics (APA)

Simplified APA tools (less flexible than standalone statistical models, yet with more intuitive graphical user interfaces and easier-to-use features) are fuelling adoption.

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Why you should Consider Automating your Infrastructure 150 150 Kerry Butters

Why you should Consider Automating your Infrastructure

Virtualisation is the practice of running event or process simulations on a desktop, or through the cloud. It can be useful in creating models or scenarios for new products or scheduled events.

 For IT administrators, virtualisation cuts down on hardware costs and maintenance, but adds a host of new management tasks. Performing each job of monitoring, provisioning or maintenance is not only time-consuming, but leaves room for human error.

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Why the Data Storage Industry is Changing 150 150 Kerry Butters

Why the Data Storage Industry is Changing

For years organisations have been grappling with data backup and recovery issues. Like the need to decide what data needs to be kept in near-term storage for easy access, what can live at a second level where it’s still accessible (perhaps not immediately), and what can be kept in deep archives.

Big Problems

The rise of Big Data brings fresh dilemmas. Besides scale, there are characteristics of Big Data management that distinguish it from traditional approaches.

Big Data analysis often involves large data stores that are really only useful for a short period. Once the analysis is over, the data has served its purpose. The question arises as to whether it’s worth keeping at all, much less backing up.

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[Infographic] Adoption of Wearable Tech 150 150 Kerry Butters

[Infographic] Adoption of Wearable Tech

Wearable technology is the latest tech fad, with more and more people choosing to adopt it in the consumer space. As this infographic from Tech X shows, for the most part adoption remains centred around health related wearables which boost our motivation when it comes to taking daily exercise and monitor things such as sleep patterns.

The rest of 2014 and 2015 is set to see a further rise in wearable adoption, as companies such as Samsung and Apple fight to enter the market on a high. Whilst the Pebble is still regarded by most as the smartwatch to own, this coming year will see a host of new devices enter the market. Exciting times for those who love their gadgets, which according to the image is around 48% when it comes to who will buy.

Of course, it’s not all just health devices and smartwatches. Google Glass will soon release the

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Data is Meaningless Without Analysis 150 150 Kerry Butters

Data is Meaningless Without Analysis

There’s value in organisations being able to analyse social media information and compile profiles to better target their customers. But creating, documenting, and retrieving vast amounts of data is one thing. Understanding it is an entirely different matter.

Context is Key

Measuring ‘likes’ or searching for keywords and phrases is pretty straightforward – a “sentiment analysis”. You might be tempted to develop a marketing strategy directly derived from this.

But there’ll always be examples of impulse buys, or snap decisions in the heat of the moment. And data samples may include information that’s not so easy to quantify – like pictures or videos.

In fact, the majority of actions will be based on the context surrounding them. Brand A might cost less, but B offers greater satisfaction. The sports car looks great, but what about the kids? And so on.

If a data analysis tool can’t provide further context around the solutions it offers, it’s at best, an expensive waste of time.

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Why GoodData and HP Vertica have Collaborated 150 150 Kerry Butters

Why GoodData and HP Vertica have Collaborated

And, why should you care? Well, the partnership brings together two companies from opposing ends of the data analysis / management spectrum – and could light the way for future collaborations in this sector.

The Players

GoodData is a rising star in the field of cloud analytics. The venture-backed start-up recently introduced an Open Analytics Platform to provide a comprehensive set of services spanning the entire analytics lifecycle, from initial collection of records to data processing, visualisation and business intelligence.

With analysis conducted on the fly, GoodData is designed to be very easy for even non-technical business people to use.

Vertica is a high-performance columnar database which Hewlett-Packard acquired from Vertica Systems in 2011. Built to handle really large amounts of data, Vertica is better tailored to address the performance and scalability requirements of enterprise customers.

The Rationale

A key challenge faced by organisations today is the need for speed, high availability, and flexibility of data and analytics. Traditional solutions weren’t built to handle the variety and volume of data flowing through data-driven companies.

Amid increasing demand for its service, GoodData has in effect signed up as a customer of HP Vertica,

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Prepare for your New Quantified Employees 150 150 Kerry Butters

Prepare for your New Quantified Employees

The “Quantified Self” movement has emerged with the rise of wearable devices like Fitbit, Jawbone Up and Nike Fuelband. These gadgets help people monitor their daily health: activities like steps taken, stairs climbed, sleep, and water consumption.

Some devices deliver health tips through a corresponding smartphone or desktop app. The idea being that the more we know about ourselves, the healthier we can be.

Not only are we monitoring our bodies, we’re slapping instruments on everything else. Homes are being monitored by tools like Nest.

Then, there’s social media. Facebook encourages us to post data about where we are, what we’re doing, and who we’re with. When you Tweet, you broadcast your location, what you’re reading or thinking, and often your photograph.

In the Workplace?

The movement has seen organisations begin using data and insights from personal tracking apps given to their employees (or which they’re encouraged to sign up for).

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Top Technology Blogs that your Business Should Be Following 150 150 Kerry Butters

Top Technology Blogs that your Business Should Be Following

Originally a sort of online personal journal,  web logs or blogs have since evolved into a powerful method of communication. Breaking news, insider perspectives, whatever; there’s an infinite number, covering any subject.

 

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10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Consider Chromebooks 150 150 Kerry Butters

10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Consider Chromebooks

Modern businesses have a huge amount of choice when it comes to technology products these days. The power of the cloud means that less storage space on the device is needed now, which further increases choice. It’s possible now to work on wafer thin devices that need very little in terms of power, or of course you can choose to have a laptop or a device that’s powered almost entirely by the cloud.

What IS a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are lightweight laptop computers which run on Chrome OS, an operating system made by Google. Designed primarily to be used online, they’re best suited to professionals who already use services like Gmail and Google Docs.

The Chrome OS

Chrome OS is similar to Windows or Mac OS X, but sits on a Linux platform. It’s

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Google I/O Roundup: What you Need to Know 150 150 Kerry Butters

Google I/O Roundup: What you Need to Know

Google I/O is the company’s annual developer conference and much like the Apple equivalent it offers a number of new tools and approaches. The main news out of the tech gathering is the fact that the Android OS will feature heavily in the company’s future.

The I/O conference is a three-hour-long keynote presentation that’s held in San Francisco, with Google executives and engineers showing off a number of new products. The aim it seems was to add better tech functionality to everyday tasks and users lives. Android powered devices are destined for cars, living rooms, and wrists – wearable tech will be another new platform for Google’s OS.

Let’s consider some of the new tech, products, and innovations promised by the increasingly prevalent Google.

Android’s Lollipop

The newest version of the Android OS featured heavily at the conference and the VP of design at Google Matias Duarte led the discussion. The new OS is titled Lollipop or L for short and it comes with a load of new tools for users to enjoy.

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Top 5 Things to Know about Android L 150 150 Kerry Butters

Top 5 Things to Know about Android L

At Google’s most recent developer conference in San Francisco the company revealed its new mobile OS. The Android update is dubbed “L” or Lollipop and it sits within an emerging range of interconnected Google devices and software ensuring ease of communication between devices.

Let’s have a look then at some of the new approaches to the Android OS and how those may better the experience of this mobile software. This is this is the biggest Android update in a very long time.

New Look

Android 5.0 (or L) looks very different to the current Android 4.4 interface. L is much more vibrant than the current Android OS and it uses interface layers to provide a sense of depth.

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How the Cloud Brings You Better Workers 150 150 Kerry Butters

How the Cloud Brings You Better Workers

The cloud has helped to bring businesses around the world closer together. Cloud storage has made documents that would otherwise have to be downloaded immediately available, and cloud computing has brought familiar software to offices that would otherwise have to go without. But perhaps the greatest impact of the cloud on businesses in the future is how it is changing the shape of our workforces.

Everyone’s Local

Whereas in the past businesses were restricted in their hiring by both their location, and their budget for relocating the talent they wanted, cloud services like storage and remote desktops mean that it’s now possible for employees to work from practically anywhere as long as it’s got a data connection and they have a device capable of accessing it.

Remote working like this used to be a burden for businesses, as it often served as a disruption to regular operations. However, now that it’s possible to unify all documents and software in the cloud, there’s no disruption

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Overview of Amazon Cloud 150 150 Kerry Butters

Overview of Amazon Cloud

As more and more businesses move towards doing their business on the web, it’s important that the infrastructure is in place to handle the challenges that kind of move presents. When you’re not dealing locally with one another, or even with physical objects, there’s a huge amount to take into consideration. How long does a file take to transfer? How is someone going to have access to the right software? Will there be enough processing power available to the user when they need it?

These are all problems that cloud companies are now racing to answer, and cloud infrastructure is set to be big business in the future. Very few companies understand this better than Amazon; whose cloud services are among the top services available today for businesses looking to take themselves to the next level.

Amazon Cloud listed by Gartner as a leader in the ‘infrastructure as a service’ (IaaS) section of their Magic Quadrant report for the third time in three years. They also listed Amazon Web Services (AWS) as having the best complete vision and ability to execute of all others in the magic quadrant. If you needed more evidence of Amazon cloud’s prowess, you need only consider that the Amazon website itself, which received 164 million unique visitors in the USA alone, runs on AWS.

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Computing Degree or IT Certification? 150 150 Kerry Butters

Computing Degree or IT Certification?

It’s a hotly debated topic on IT forums; whether a degree is necessary to work in IT, or if you only need the correct certifications. Certainly all you need to technically do a job is the correct certifications and an understanding of any programs and work that might relate to your field. However, many employers are looking for more than just the ability to do the job.

The choice is partially financial. If you can afford to do a full time degree program, then it’s probably advisable, as a degree gives you a qualification that benchmarks salary and increases your earning potential as you go through life. There are also a lot of benefits to being in an academic environment for that long a time.

You’ll not only learn about your subject, but you will be given the chance to explore other talents that may be useful to you in the future. University is also often the place you make your first business contacts. Many people get their first jobs, or further business, through these contacts, and they can’t be underestimated.

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2014 Facts about the Cloud 150 150 Kerry Butters

2014 Facts about the Cloud

Cloud computing is something that’s here to stay. The legacy of the cloud has been debated for some time but now businesses are embracing this new technology at a faster rate. The cloud allows a business to free up its employees with bring your own device policies and remove them from tethered PC options.

There are plenty of reasons to jump on board the cloud bandwagon but there are likely still some areas of cloud computing (and its benefits) that remain unclear to some businesses. According to a recent study, one of the most important reasons to shift to cloud computing is to connect employees through a multitude of computing devices – ones that they already use.

The cloud is simply about removing traditional restrictions on data and making it readily accessible on multiple devices with no decrease in functionality. This better-connected world is becoming more and more commonplace. So, let’s consider some of the other benefits of cloud computing and some that you may not have thought of before.

Here are some cloud predictions for 2014.

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Google Gets Girls Coding 150 150 Kerry Butters

Google Gets Girls Coding

The IT skills gap is now well documented and there are a few initiatives going on around the world that seek to address the issue. In the UK we’re about to see Computer Science come in as a core subject in the curriculum which goes beyond the current ICT qualification and introduces coding and understanding how computers are put together.

At the moment, ICT is more concerned with using applications than anything else and whilst this is of course valuable when it comes to workplace skills, it’s not going to get anyone a job as an engineer or programmer.

Made With Code – Google Initiative

A new initiative from Google seeks to address the skills gap and the lack of women in IT. Last month the search giants announced that just 17% of its technology employees are women. With this in mind, the company has launched Made With Code, a website that provides access to

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A Guide to CompTIA Certifications 150 150 Kerry Butters

A Guide to CompTIA Certifications

In the online world it’s important to be known for your skillset. There are always going to be numerous competitor businesses doing the same job as you are. But the difficulty that consumers face is picking the right business, or even the best individual, to fulfill their needs. That’s why there are often plenty of different types of certified qualifications that a business can achieve to mark them out as qualified and good at what they do.

CompTIA is one of those qualifications and the certification demonstrates that an individual has a solid grasp on various aspects of the computing industry. There are many different potential accreditation types within CompTIA’s library. One such option is in the cloud computing industry. This means that someone certified by CompTIA has a business and technical perspective on cloud models and infrastructure, as well as a good knowledge of what is involved in moving a business infrastructure to the cloud.

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5 Really Useful Productivity Apps on Android 150 150 Kerry Butters

5 Really Useful Productivity Apps on Android

We recently wrote a blog post about the security problems on the Android OS. Many consider Android to have quite an issue with malicious coding and malware but that’s really not the case. So, in the spirit of becoming reacquainted with the mobile OS here are 5 apps to help increase your productivity.

Increasingly, smart phones are used as portable computers with nearly all of the functionality of a laptop or even a tethered PC. The proliferation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies ensures that more and more employees are joining the burgeoning ranks of the mobile, transient workforce.

With Android being the most used mobile platform we thought we’d help you out and save you some time. So, without further ado, here are our choices of the top five productivity applications available on the Android OS.

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The Truth about Android Malware 150 150 Kerry Butters

The Truth about Android Malware

Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world. Developing nations are jumping onboard this platform at a fast rate but there are some negatives to consider. Android has a bad reputation when it comes to malicious malware. This is often very dangerous and it can completely wipe a user’s phone and with it their personal details.

There are lots of accounts of harmful malware being discovered in apps and on Android running phones. Malware on Google’s OS seems set to rise and Google has recently begun patching some of the numerous holes in its mobile platform. Mobile malware is up by 700% since 2011 and most of it is destined for the Android OS.

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Introducing Swift – Apple’s New Programming Language 150 150 Kerry Butters

Introducing Swift – Apple’s New Programming Language

At a recent developers conference, Apple revealed its new iOS 8. This was met with mostly favourable responses and the current beta test is being used by a number of developers. The new iOS will be generally released sometime in Autumn this year.

That’s not all of the news to come from the Cupertino based company, and it seems that Apple is addressing its programming language. The Worldwide developers conference saw the introduction of Swift, which is widely regarded as an attempt to keep developers onside. Google’s Android OS is gaining market share and so Apple needs its own innovative approach to combat its rival’s success.

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What’s New in iOS 8 150 150 Kerry Butters

What’s New in iOS 8

It doesn’t seem too long ago that Apple released iOS 7. This was perhaps the biggest overhaul to its mobile software design since 2007. The new OS came from a post-Jobs era and the design came from Jony Ive.

iOS 7 made the iPhone more up-to-date and it allowed it to be more competitive when it came to the likes of Android. Windows 8 mobile software has been struggling, so iOS 7 was a tempting (if expensive) alternative.

Now however, Apple has revealed its plans for iOS 8 and it looks to be much the same as iOS 7 – but with a better, and more rounded, design. There’s a beta version of this software for developers to play around with and the software will be generally released in the fall of 2014.

With this new OS (perhaps not quite revolutionary) there are a number of changes for users to look forward to. Let’s have a look then and see what we’ve got in store in the coming months. It’s not ground-breaking, but it is an OS update that betters the functionality of iOS 7.

Update to the App Store

The App Store is already fairly good; it doesn’t have the dross of Windows 8, and it’s less cluttered than Android’s offering. It has however had some slight functionality tweaks to make it even better. The Wish List function wasn’t something that many folks seemed to use, but iOS

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What you need to know about Cryptolocker and GOZeus 150 150 Kerry Butters

What you need to know about Cryptolocker and GOZeus

Starting on May 30th a conglomerate of law enforcement agencies hailing from eleven different countries led by Europol and the FBI and with support from the private sector, have been working together to curb an online threat. Law enforcement, alongside Internet Service Providers and the Information Security industry, have been attempting to combat two specific malware groups – Cryptolocker and P2PZeuS (aka GameOverZeus).

Those malware groups however have been disrupted due to the efforts of law enforcement agencies. This isn’t to say the threat is negated however. Instead it marks a distinct shift in policing tactics and the number of countries working hand-in-hand shows just how seriously cyber crime is now considered.

Cryptolocker

This malware collective effectively holds your files hostage. An internet user will find those files inaccessible until they pay a ransom of one bitcoin, worth about $600 USD. This insidious threat is a pain and one that can be avoided – or at least that’s what the enforcement agencies believe.

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Why Audio/Visual Aids help In Business Communication 150 150 Kerry Butters

Why Audio/Visual Aids help In Business Communication

Perhaps the single most important part of business is good, clear communication. Your point has to be made well and be understood by your audience, be they staff or potential clients. The clarity and succinctness that you convey your information with is important and if it’s lacking you could end up with staff doing completely the wrong job.

But simply telling your staff what’s required of them and what your plans for the business are may not give them the clarity they desire. That’s why there are tools to aid communication within your business and a number of them are simple enough to use.

Let’s look at some.

Audio/visual aids can help business communication in a number of ways. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and every individual processes information in their own unique way. As a business it’s not only a good idea, but a necessity, to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Hence why numerous businesses use multiple audio and visual tools during presentation sessions. This approach is often referred to as a “multimedia presentation” and can include a number of disparate mediums:

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2014 Internet Trends Report 150 150 Kerry Butters

2014 Internet Trends Report

As the majority of those in the technology industry will know, it’s that time of year again when influential analyst Mary Meeker sets out the most important trends across the web for the year.

This year’s Internet Trends Report was presented at the Code Conference on Wednesday and takes a look at such things as tablet devices, media consumption, security, technology in certain sectors and much more. One of the most notable things about this report was the look at mobile devices and the proliferation of data that such devices are now generating.

The death of big data

As mobile and tablet shipments have risen, so too has the data generated risen in line with that. However, despite this just 1% of this data is currently being analysed, which is unsurprising given that Gartner has recently spoken about the death of big data.

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Obituary: Big Data 150 150 Kerry Butters

Obituary: Big Data

Donald Feinberg, VP and analyst at Gartner’s Intelligence and Information Group, recently said that Big Data will die within the next couple of years, thanks largely to the confusion which surrounds the term.

Once upon a time, databases were relatively small; tiny by today’s standards. Businesses had records of their customers’ accounts, built up manually over time, originally with pen and paper and later with microprocessors. Bigger companies started to have whole floors dedicated to data processing departments, ensuring that purchase orders and invoices we all matched and accurate, and accountants knew who had paid and who owed money, what had been bought and what had been cancelled.

With cloud computing and processing technology getting so small that you could practically map out the life cycle of a grain of rice, data started to get recorded and collected at increasingly faster rates and much more of it. Processors in cars and other equipment meant that a whole boatload of parameters could be constantly measured.

More and more measurables

Social media sites, ecommerce sites and other communal online gatherings meant that individuals could be adding to the pile of data already stored about them as they filled in forms and registered for things online. Photos, likes, friends, birthdays, political leanings, sexual orientation, marriage status, hobbies and interests…the list of measurables became endless.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] The Future of Cloud 150 150 Kerry Butters

[INFOGRAPHIC] The Future of Cloud

Whilst cloud computing is nothing new, it is a technology that’s taken a little while to gain real traction in business environments. This was due to a lack of confidence in aspects of cloud models such as security and the assumption in many circles that it was yet another buzzword that the technology sector had dreamt up.

To some extent the issue has also been the huge job that is deployment to the cloud, when thinking about moving entire infrastructures, or even just applications from the traditional onsite network to data centres which power the cloud.

However, over the course of the past couple of years, cloud computing has really begun to take off and it’s safe to say that it’s now becoming a trusted technology. According to the infographic below, courtesy of NerdGraph, by 2016 it’s thought that a huge two-thirds of all workloads will be processed in the cloud.

The stats don’t stop there though, all of the major cloud ‘as a service’ offerings are set for steady growth, with infrastructure seeing the largest at 11% and it’s thought that the use of Hybrid cloud will start to see a bigger increase, with a growth rate of 27% expected to rise to 47%.

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Graduate IT Jobs: What’s the Best Fit for You? 150 150 Kerry Butters

Graduate IT Jobs: What’s the Best Fit for You?

If you’re graduating this summer and looking to land the perfect job in IT, then it can be difficult to know which sector might be the best fit. This is because there are a very wide and varied range of industries that demand IT workers, far beyond the usual suspects such as vendors and big-name tech companies.

It’s likely that you’ll be attending a good few graduate fairs, where many companies are likely to be looking for the most talented candidates. So what can you do to ensure that you stand out from the crowd? It might be a fact that IT is one of those sectors that has been and still is suffering from a lack of incoming talent, but in the UK, with the curriculum changing to accommodate better IT learning, this is something that could very well change in the next five years or so.

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Is Your Business Security Good Enough 150 150 Kerry Butters

Is Your Business Security Good Enough

Computer security is an important issue for any business and it seems that hardly a day goes by without us hearing about another botnet, hack or malware attack doing the rounds. The most notable of late was a vulnerability in SSL certificates, and whilst there’s little evidence to suggest that hackers have taken advantage of the Heartbleed bug, it still brings to the fore the ever-increasing problem that is network security.

For businesses, securing the company network isn’t a particularly difficult task, nor is staff training, but many still don’t have adequate enough protection to ensure that the company, or even customer, data is safe.

According to a recent survey carried out by the Poneman Institute, this is due to many enterprises lacking the tools to protect their information and “a disconnect in executives’ perceived value of data”. The study saw a huge 80% of IT professionals state that their company execs don’t seem to see the correlation between a cyber-attack and loss of revenue when it comes to stolen data.

Security is lacking all round

This is a worrying statistic, as security has to be a priority in this technological age that we live in. If customer data is stolen, firms stand to lose not only a loss in business due to the spectre of a system audit, but also possible fines and even the loss of customer confidence. Even if it’s not customer data that’s stolen, the loss of sensitive data from within a company can have serious ramifications for the future.

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Implementing Cloud-Based BYOD Policies Safely 150 150 Kerry Butters

Implementing Cloud-Based BYOD Policies Safely

BYOD adoption is on the rise in SMEs. Cloud based services have opened up businesses to the world of bring-your-own-device, allowing SME business managers to save internal spending by encouraging employees to use their own laptops, phones and tablets.

However, these devices are often only intended for personal use, not commercial. This means that they can be ill-suited to the security needs of your company and you may end up spending the money you thought you were saving on implementing new security for these phones. There are still plenty of benefits to a BYOD environment however, so the best thing we can suggest is that you familiarise yourself with the potential downfalls of a BYOD office and plan for it appropriately.

Increased Threats

Some SMEs have been struggling with the new threats presented by a BYOD environment, so it’s important to ensure that if you do adopt BYOD you have the security infrastructure to cope with it.

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Improve your Business with Videoconferencing 150 150 Kerry Butters

Improve your Business with Videoconferencing

Whilst the economy is now on the up for many companies, money’s still tight, and businesses are looking for ways to cut costs without negatively influencing their productivity. This is particularly true amongst SMEs who find they’re struggling to stay connected to remote workers and clients. Working from home is on the rise, and companies are having to go further afield for clients. This means that, above all, good communications are needed to hit deadlines and make sales.

Cost Effective

A lot of companies, when the concept of videoconferencing is raised, will dismiss it because they consider it too expensive. In reality, videoconferencing can save businesses huge amounts of money. Whilst the upfront costs do mean an initial outlay for business grade products, the rising price of travel means that you will swiftly recoup that spending after a few months of centralised communication.

Reducing the amount your employees travel will also have a positive impact on your business’s carbon footprint, making your business more environmentally responsible AND saving you money. These alone are good enough reasons alone to consider videoconferencing, but there’s more.

The Personal Touch

It’s been suggested that centralising many of your business communications through videoconferencing means that you can save that money for the big, important face-to-face meetings that a business manager needs to have once or twice a year. This is certainly true, but it does videoconferencing a disservice in that it suggests you cannot have a personal experience without being in the same room.

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Future Gazing: Where Will The Internet of Things Take Us 150 150 Kerry Butters

Future Gazing: Where Will The Internet of Things Take Us

Buzzwords are synonymous with the technology world and it seems that the list is ever growing. From growth hacking to responsive design, technology and its applications are constantly adapting. In this transient online world it can be hard to keep abreast of all the emerging technologies.

One such buzzword (or perhaps buzz-phrase) is the Internet of Things (IoT). This is something that vendors are arguing has arrived and is important to the future of internet networking. However, other industry thought leaders and analysts suggest that the IoT may not be quite so prevalent or influential as some thought.

So, then, lets consider the Internet of Things and look at its applications. Perhaps a point of warning here: there are difficult to remedy complications that come along with the Internet of Things.

What is the Internet of Things

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Cloud Computing Models Explained 150 150 Kerry Butters

Cloud Computing Models Explained

Cloud computing is becoming much more well known and many businesses and even homes are starting to utilise its services. Cloud computing uses the web and provides users with online storage options and services such as web-based email and video services. Businesses have either implemented cloud computing practices or are considering doing so.

Although cloud-computing practices have been around for some time now they have yet to receive full-blown recognition. Many services utilise cloud-computing practices and perhaps the best example is in free, web-based email services such as Gmail (how long it’s been around will give you more of a sense that cloud is nothing new).

Computer users, likely unknowingly, use the cloud when they contact friends through instant-messaging, video-messaging mediums, and voice-over-IP. Data-backup services also use the cloud and let users store data and files on a public or private online cloud account.

Cloud is increasingly popular

With cloud computing becoming so saturated it seems increasingly prevalent for businesses to utilise its services. However before that happens it’s a good idea to understand as thoroughly as possible the service that your business wishes to adopt. So, to help you get to grips with cloud-based principles, here’s an explanation of the three main categories of cloud computing.

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[VIDEO] What is Cloud Computing? 150 150 Kerry Butters

[VIDEO] What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing has been around for some time but it’s only really in the past couple of years that the technology has really taken off. We’re now seeing more and more businesses adopting cloud services and many are now even moving beyond the most popular Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model into Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). However, with technology comes jargon that many people find difficult to understand or define and this is as true of cloud as anything else.

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