Tag Archives: Technology

Top Tips for Travelling with Tech

No matter where you go you will always see other people using all modes of technology. You’ll even be using it yourself to board your plane, book your accommodation, even pay your bills while you’re away with stored credit card details. You are likely going to bring your phone with you, your tablet, and the chances are high that you’re going to bring a high-tech camera wherever you go. While it’s a nice idea that you can go on holiday and leave your technology at home, it’s not always practical.

Top Tips for Travelling with Tech
Top Tips for Travelling with Tech

The thing is, if you are travelling with technology, you need to make sure that you can keep it safe. It’s always useful to have technology on hand if you’re in a new place. Using a mapbox matrix API to be able to plan your day-to-day route when you’re travelling around a new place is helpful, but if your phone gets stolen what are you supposed to do? Electronic devices can be very useful, but you have to charge them and keep them with you at all times so that you can travel safely. Here are some of the things that you need to know about travelling with technology.

  • You’re going to need mobile phone signals and Internet access. There is no use in carrying your technology with you if you can’t connect to anything. If you’re using digital cameras to video your holiday, you want to be able to plug it into your laptop and send your videos or blogs over the airwaves. There’s no point in bringing electronic devices if you can’t connect to the Internet, so prepare for using your mobile phone abroad, your tablet and your laptop on your trip and research connectivity before you go.
  • Check your Internet security. If you’re bringing your technology into foreign places that have a Wi-Fi connection, you’re putting yourself at risk. You should never use a public Wi-Fi if you want to keep the information on your phone, your tablet, your laptop and even your camera safe. Public Wi-Fi does not protect you from being hacked, and anybody nearby with the appropriate equipment can log into any of your devices and steal your information. The best thing you can do here is to set up a trip-only email address to use while you travel, and arm yourself with a VPN.
  • Plan ahead for airport security. No matter what technology you are travelling with, you will have to take it out of your bag and scan it through security so that the airline can see what’s going on before you get on the plane. Security screeners have to examine your computer to make sure that there’s nothing on it that’s dangerous. Take everything out of the cases and make sure that you can grab them swiftly from your bags and leave them out onto the security belt.
  • Don’t forget to insure it. Insurance is important if you’re bringing technology with you on holiday. If it gets stolen or lost, you want to be able to claim on said insurance. Standard travel insurance and device cover should help.

 

How Technology Can Be a Useful Tool For Your Business Needs

In order for your business to run efficiently and help you get through your mountain of tasks, you are likely to have technological aspects that help you manage your tasks. This reliance on technology now can be more useful than you think when you run a business, so it is definitely worth ensuring that you have the latest technological trends to help you improve your business efficiency. Here is how technology can be really useful when you run your own business. 

Helps You Be More Efficient

If you don’t want to just rely on pen and paper then you can always use an app to help you write down what you need to do on a daily basis which will act as a gentle reminder of what you need to get done and how far away you are from achieving this. This is particularly useful when you have a lot of things to remember and do not want to forget anything important.  

Gets Tasks Completely Quickly 

As long as you keep your technology up to date, then it will run as smoothly as possible. The best way to do this is to try this so that you know you have the latest software possible for your computer system. This is important so that you protect it from any possible viruses that could harm your software and damage your business files. 

Helps Your Organise Your Finances 

Keeping on top of financial matters will be important when you run your own business. If you can utilise spreadsheets or apps that help you manage the financial aspect of your business it is going to be a lot easier to know what your budget is and how much money you are making. Using technology can be a great way to manage your business finances. 

How Technology Can Be a Useful Tool For Your Business Needs
How Technology Can Be a Useful Tool For Your Business Needs

Enables You To Communicate With Your Team 

Whether you are having remote business calls with employees in different locations or want to provide a PowerPoint presentation to everyone in a meeting, technology can help you achieve this. It enables you to effectively communicate with your team and outline your business goals. This can be a great way to relay your message and ensure your team is up to date on what your business targets and goals are. 

Easily Processes Your Customer Orders 

Having software that enables your business orders to be processed is certainly useful when you run a business. It makes things easier for your customers to be able to place their orders with you but also just as crucially makes it a lot easier for you to keep track of what you need to fulfil.  

New tech solution will address the ‘cocktail party problem’ 

  • Leading listening tech provider, Nuance Hearing, has launched a state-of-the-art directional microphone to help address the ‘cocktail party problem’. 
  • The ‘cocktail party problem’ – an inability to understand speech in a noisy environment – can affect up to 41 per cent of adults, according to research. 
  • The Voice Selector Converse uses built-in microphones and an advanced algorithm to track the source of sounds, allowing the user to easily focus on a conversation and tune out background noise. 
  • In tests, users were able to understand speech on average three times better than without the product. 
Nuance Hearing - New tech solution will address the 'cocktail party problem' 
Nuance Hearing – New tech solution will address the ‘cocktail party problem’

Nuance Hearing, a leading global provider of focused listening technology, has launched a new device that provides powerful relief from auditory distraction and background noise. 

The Voice Selector Converse helps overcome challenging hearing situations for those who struggle with the ‘cocktail party problem’, offering a tech solution to understand conversations in a crowded room, without the need for hearing aids. 

Using cutting-edge beamforming technology, eight built-in microphones track the source of sounds, reducing the level of background noise and enabling the user to focus on the dominant voice. The result is a world-leading directivity index (the relative reduction of overall noise in relation to the target sound) of 15dB in real-time performance, which compares to an industry-standard of 4-5dB. This improvement helps the listener to focus, effortlessly tuning out the sounds that do not matter and tuning into the ones that do. 

In audiology testing, users were able to understand speech on average three times better than without the product. 

Ori Goren, CEO of Nuance Hearing, said: “Since 2015, we have been delivering powerful and advanced hearing solutions that deliver optimum performance. We know that many people in the UK are suffering in silence, unable to feel comfortable or enjoy conversing in busy environments, and are proud to have launched an innovative tech solution to help combat this. Through innovative technological solutions, we are passionate about improving the quality of life for a diverse group of people, making every environment more accessible and helping ensure personal success and empowerment.” 

New research* suggests that 41 percent of all UK adults admit to having the ‘cocktail party problem’ where they struggle to understand speech in a noisy environment. Over a third (36 percent) said noisy environments caused them stress and anxiety and 60 percent of those with hearing problems said they would be open to trying out tech to help them hear in a busy environment.

The Voice Selector Converse has unique auto-steering technology which picks up the dominant speaker, even when they are moving about. Alternatively, the user can manually switch between speakers when conversing a group. 

It also captures, processes, and plays audio at a record speed of six milliseconds (0.006 seconds). It’s a multifunctional device and can be used as a table microphone or remote microphone – ideal for most scenarios where background noise can be an issue. 

Hearing loss currently affects 12 million people in the UK. The World Health Organisation estimates that 1 in 5 people worldwide live with hearing loss, expected to rise to 1 in 4 by 2050. Unaddressed hearing loss can have a devastating impact on people’s ability to communicate, study and earn a living. It can also impact on people’s mental health and their ability to sustain relationships1 and has recently been associated with a faster degree of cognitive decline. On average, people wait ten years before getting help for hearing loss. The ‘cocktail party problem’ where people have difficulty understanding speech in noisy situations can often be the first sign of a hearing loss.                                                                          

Franki Oliver, audiology specialist, RNID, said:“While it might not seem obvious at first, having difficulty understanding speech in background noise is usually one of the early signs of hearing loss. The ‘cocktail party problem’ is the name used to describe the brain’s inability to filter out background noise and tune into what someone is saying in a busy environment. Most people with hearing loss experience difficulty in these situations. 

“It’s important to check your hearing if you start to notice difficulty in background noise, feel that people mumble, or you ask people to repeat themselves. It’s second nature for people to have their eyes checked regularly but we don’t have the same attitude towards getting our hearing checked yet. The sooner hearing loss is identified, the earlier someone can start benefiting from life-changing hearing devices. Hearing loss can also be linked to conditions such as dementia so early intervention is vital.”

4 Benefits You Gain From Having Fast Broadband

If you’ve been on your broadband deal for a long time, you might be wondering what it is exactly that you’re missing out on by not having a new and fast broadband package. There’s plenty to be gained from fast broadband, and it’s becoming the new standard for households that rely on technology often. If you’re not using your TV or the internet in your home, then you’ve little to gain from upgrading your broadband, but for those who are often online – a fast broadband package has every benefit for you to gain.

4 Benefits You Gain From Having Fast Broadband
4 Benefits You Gain From Having Fast Broadband
Easier working from home

In the past few years, we’ve seen more and more people working from home, and it’s becoming quite common practice for many previously office jobs. Of course, there are still those that would prefer to attend the workplace, but working from home has proven more than comfortable for many people. Without fast broadband, working from home can take even more time than it needs to. Being hindered by slow internet speeds is not something you want, and if you spend a lot of time browsing, downloading, and uploading while you’re working – you’re going to feel the effects of a slow internet speed.

Great for the family

Households with more than one person can be quite straining on your internet allowance, and without a fast internet package, you’re not going to be getting the full potential of your broadband. Having too many people on a slow internet speed and bandwidth is going to cause everyone else’s in the house to be slow too. Homes with a lot of phones, computers, consoles, or TVs can be very intensive, and even apps like Netflix can disrupt the internet causing everything to lag and slow down. If you often experience buffering or pauses mid-way through what you’re watching on TV, this is why.

More technology

Homes with slow broadband packages can’t support many pieces of tech that are connected to the internet. Because of this, you might be put off buying newer pieces of technology. The slowness and waiting around that you get from older packages can be tedious, and no one would want more of that for even more money. If you want to see some of the best deals available, you should check out this full fibre 500 broadband package – a broadband deal that won’t ever let you down.

Never miss out

When you’re trying to catch things live, it can be difficult to get a steady stream as a result of slow broadband. For those of you who enjoy watching live sports games, then this is something that you should be concerned about. Having your TV slow down for even a few moments can cause you to miss something crucial, which isn’t necessary to deal with.

Even if your package is old, most providers often update their packages with the prices. That means that you’re not always going to have to pay more for an updated deal. Old deals tend to remain at their price until you change it to a newer one.

How You Can Use Technology For A Business Advantage

If you are a business owner with products or services to proffer, you need a way to get your information “out there” for the masses of potential consumers to engage with and experience. Enter technology. There are a variety of ways to work with and use technology to your continued advantage.

App

Everybody seems to have a mobile phone. They are practically extensions of oneself at this point. You use your phone for shopping on all levels, ordering food, purchasing tickets, research, and entertainment, and the list goes endlessly on. This is why you need to engage with a professional company for mobile application development

Can you imagine seeing your company as an app on a smartphone? Consider the endless ways you can meet your customers’ needs and meet them where they are at that moment. When they need something, they press the tile and the world which is your company opens up for them to engage with.

If you think that creating an app is a daunting prospect, think again. A team of developers will meet with you to discuss your ideas and gain knowledge of your company. If you already have a website in place, they will use that as a building block in the creation process. Next, they will create a bespoke solution that will grab your app users’ attention and keep them coming back for more.

Social Media

The term social media has different connotations for different groups. While the distinctive platforms connect people socially on a personal level, they can be masterful tools to wield to create a professional online presence.

Create company accounts on a variety of social media platforms for maximum exposure. You can use Instagram to create curated stories about your company and any social programs you and your employees support. Show your followers who you are and what you stand for. Make videos on TikTok showing how your product functions in different settings. Craft expert videos for YouTube showing tutorials and guides for how to use your products. Use Twitter to keep your followers up-to-date on the latest product releases or offer teaser tweets for upcoming events.

Here is a quick overview of how to use social media to help your business.

Dedicated Employee

An actual human employee is certainly not part of the technical equation; however, if you notice an increase in digital traffic across apps, websites, and social media platforms, it may behove you to designate an employee to monitor these. Having either a full-time focus on these areas or adding it as part of a current employees’ job description will prove beneficial.  

When your company can respond to comments, whether they are positive or negative, and answer questions about your products or services, that immediate attention to social media will show the world that you care enough about their thoughts and concerns to be attentive and respond. If a dissatisfied customer posts something negative, or even an honest review that does not reflect well for you, your employee can acknowledge their issue and offer to remedy it. 

This is all done in the public eye and reflects transparency. All of this effort further advertises and promotes your company. Today, consumers want to know more than the product they are purchasing. They want to know the values and ethics of the company behind the product.

The Impact of Tech on the Forex Industry

There’s no doubt that the forex market has enjoyed exponential growth in the digital age, with the total daily trading volumes having increased from $5.1 trillion to $6.6 trillion in the three years between 2016 and 2019.

This growth has a great deal to do with technological advancement, as new innovations have begun to impact on forex trading and make the market more accessible to part-time and novice investors.

In this post, we’ll look back at how forex used to be traded, while appraising the impact of technology on the wider FX industry. 

How Was Forex Traded in the Past?

Interestingly, trading forex is as old as the history of civilization, with people in ancient times known to exchange goods and services for an agreed price (which would often be represented by raw materials or food).

The issue here was assigning and establishing value fairly, so future generations of civilians resolved to develop commodity money and, over time, metal coins and paper currencies with predetermined stores of value.

This paved the way for the international forex market that we know and love today while making it far easier to exchange goods between nations. It was in the 17th century that the first ever forex market was established in Amsterdam, with this further facilitating global market exchanges and creating opportunities for investors.

Prior to 1944, the value of international currencies was pegged to gold, but this changed with the advent of the ‘Bretton Wood System’ immediately after the Second World War.

This was forged to create a stable environment and allow for increased international trade after the war, while it underpinned an adjustable pegged foreign exchange market.

With this system, major currencies chose to peg their value to the US Dollar, but this failed in the early 1970s when there was no longer enough gold to back the amount of greenback in circulation.

How has Technology Changed Forex Trading?

Since the 70s, the market has evolved to be governed by a free-floating exchange rate, where the price of specific currency pairs is influenced by an array of factors including geopolitical conflicts and the wider macroeconomic climate.

From a technological perspective, one of the biggest changes occurred with the advent of online brokerage sites.

Such entities replaced the traditional middleman and corporeal trading floors across the globe, creating an online portal and making a host of markets more accessible to aspiring traders.

As a result, investors can now engage in forex and indices trading through a single online interface, enabling real-time market analysis and the execution of live orders.

More recently, we’ve seen the emergence of automated and AI-influenced trading online. Ideal for scalpers and day traders, automation has helped individuals to optimise the number of orders that they execute in real-time, while AI is improving the analysis of even unstructured datasets and driving more informed trades in the process.

AI has also improved the quality and functionality of so-called “forex robots”, helping to eliminate human error and increase profits over an extended period of time.

 

5 Things to Consider Before Setting up Your Virtual Office

With the ever-changing job market, it is becoming more and more important for people to be able to work from anywhere. Virtual offices are one of the best ways to do this because they allow work and life to coexist. The costs associated with these virtual offices can be surprisingly low because they offer a lot of value for those who use them. They provide a high level of privacy in a professional setting and allows you to have an office without actually having an office.

Although they must be set up on your own, there are a few companies that offer virtual address services for lower rates than others; this is certainly worth looking into if you’re strapped for cash or just want some peace of mind while working remotely. 

It is not uncommon now to see people working remotely and from home. In a recent study, it was found that nearly half of the people in the US work remotely or from home. This could be because many people are trying to live a healthier lifestyle. It could also be due to the fact that work these days is more available online than in-person. Here are five things you need to consider before setting up your virtual office. 

  1. Location

These offices offer all the perks of working from home without the need to travel. Whether it is a coworking space or virtual office, these businesses provide more flexibility in terms of location and hours.

  1. Workplace Culture

The first step in building a virtual office is figuring out what type of environment you want to be in. For example, if you are new to the workforce or just starting out as an individual, it may be best for you to have a more casual work environment

  1. Communication Tools

Nowadays, many people are working remotely. This has led to the rise in the use of communication software and tools. Communication tools have been developed over time to facilitate communication among remote workers. The introduction of these tools has led to changes in the workplace culture as well. It is important to note that virtual offices also have their share of problems like distractions and lack of focus. However, these tools can help to reduce the distraction and get the work done effectively.

  1. Technology

If you are a busy individual, then you already know the importance of having an efficient office. Therefore, we can expect more and more technology to be introduced in the workplace. This is good for the virtual office because we can use this technology to work from anywhere.

Movement of work from the physical location to remote locations will continue as it becomes more feasible and easier. In addition to this, because remote teams are able to work simultaneously with people located in different time zones, they are able to get things done at a faster pace.

  1. Virtual Assistant 

Virtual assistants can help companies navigate all the tasks that come with a modern business. Virtual assistants are also known as chatbots, who are living online and respond to different queries through text-based chats on various websites. The most popular platforms for this service are Facebook Messenger and Telegram, where many companies have their own bots. Adding them with virtual offices means that companies can have their own automation system to help with customers. 

How To Have A Better Relationship With Your Phone

Your phone is likely a big part of your life, and thanks to technology, our reliance on our phones have only become more significant. However, it’s important that regardless of what you use your phone or how much you use it, you have a good relationship with your phone. It’s good to know you can switch off without feeling the temptation to just pick up your phone within seconds of putting it down. Here are some tips on how to have a better relationship with your phone.

Manage Your Notifications

Firstly, a big part of the temptation that comes with looking at your phone is the notifications. If you’ve got lots of notifications popping up on your screen, then you are more than likely to check them out, rather than simply leaving your phone alone and checking on it later. Managing your notifications can be a good way of dampening that urge to check your phone for messages and changes on your social media handles, for example. You can manage your notifications very easily within the settings of your phone or on the apps that you use regularly.

Often enough, these apps will automatically put on notifications because they’ll want to be able to get a hold of your attention quickly. However, if you’re manually switching off your notifications, then it can definitely help you avoid your phone when you need to concentrate your attention elsewhere. Those who manage their notifications, actually check their phones a lot less as a result.

See If You Can Go A Period Of Time Without It

The real test of how reliant you are on your phone is to leave it alone and see just how long you can go without using it. For most of us, this is going to be a challenge and perhaps not a surprise when it comes to how difficult it is when you put your phone down, to not pick it up. Doing this though can really help you to acknowledge that there’s a problem but to also train yourself to get better at leaving your phone for longer periods of time. Try doing it throughout the week and work your way up to longer amounts of time without it.

Being able to go for half an hour to an hour is a great start, but for some, even that might not be attainable without building the time up beforehand.

Monitor Your Usage

We all use our phones for different reasons. Some might be for mainly work, and others might be mainly to socialize. Some may use it for both, but whatever you use it for, it’s good to pay attention to your usage. You can find your usage on your phone’s settings. This can be really helpful in finding what you might be more addicted to when it comes to your phone. Whether it’s browsing through your photos, checking social media platforms, or answering emails, it’s all detailed in this area of your phone.

Usage is important because you’ll likely find some shocking results that you didn’t expect when it comes to the amount of time spent on your phone. However, it’s worth looking at because it may hopefully, help you change your perspective and attitude towards your phone. You may consciously use it less due to the stats that your phone shows you.

Take Regular Breaks From The Screen

Regular breaks from your screen are important because if you’re not giving yourself a rest, it can impact you physically and mentally. It’s always good to at least take a break every hour, especially when it comes to your computer and phone devices. We forget just how quickly an hour can go when we’re consumed with our phones. Whether that’s watching endless Tiktok videos to binge-watching a Netflix series.

Even though it’s good to have a phone when you’re on the go so that you can indulge in your favorite shows or to keep yourself occupied during your commute, be sure to take rest time into consideration.

A sign of spending too long on your phone is tired or sore eyes and even headaches. Switch off if this happens so that you can let your body recover.

Get The Right Eyewear To Protect Your Eyes

When you’re looking at a screen for hours on end, whether it’s a phone or other electronic devices like a computer or television, it’s good to look after your eyes. Blue light is a problem for your eyes as it can really put some strain on them. It can dry them out and make them look sore and so it’s always good to wear blue light blocking glasses. Eyewear can really help to ensure that your eyes are protected when on your phone and navigating the internet.

They’re affordable to buy, and they’re going to save you a lot of future health issues as a result. Check out https://www.eyeglasses.com for some of the best options for your eyes.

Try To Rely On It Less

When it comes to your phone, it’s important to reduce your reliance on picking it up but also needing it for various tasks in your daily life. If you can, try to rely on it less and instead use your own awareness or knowledge. It might be that you use more traditional formats in replacement of your phone and that can really help to rely less on your phone too.

If you find that you’re relying too much on your phone, then it’s all about working out what is making you go to your phone the most. That way, you tackle it a bit at a time until you’re able to pick it up less.

Having a better relationship with your phone is certainly important, especially as we live in an age where we’re so reliant on our technology. Make sure that you do everything you can to help reduce your usage when necessary and to give yourself a break from your phone.

Gadget Man – Episode 132 – Retro Gadgets – Part Two – Sony Walkman

In the second of my 10 Retro Gadgets of the Week, I talk about arguably one of the most important inventions of the 20th century!

Don’t forget to listen in to the podcast link above where I talk about the gadget and its functions.

Sony Walkman

The Sony Walkman was a portable cassette player launched in 1979, it started a revolution in personal audio cassette players and altered the listening habits of people and brought music to the masses wherever they might be.

 

Soundabout, Freestyle and Stowaway

Originally invented as the Sony Pressman to allow journalists to record interviews using a compact device, it became a personal entertainment device shortly after, settling on the name Walkman after being names the Soundabout, Freestyle and Stowaway. It very quickly became very popular and Sony began marketing it under a single brand-name, the Sony Walkman was born.

Originally the Walkman came with two headphone sockets with individual volume controls and a Hotline button which lowered the volume levels and opened the microphone to allow for station announcements to be heard or the user to have conversations with other people.

Sony Walkman Hotline
Sony Walkman Hotline and twin Headphone sockets

Other manufacturers such as Aiwa, Toshiba and Panasonic soon followed suit launched competing products, but the devices all became known as a “Walkman” as the brand-name crossed over into popular culture and entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 1986.

Walkman Effect

The Walkman was used when walking, exercising and running. Sony launched the ‘Sports Walkman’ which offered a degree of waterproofing and allegedly drove the fitness craze of the late ’80s. It was during this time that cassettes began outselling vinyl as millions of people chose the Walkman for their entertainment.

As music delivery advanced forwards, Sony was quick to adapt the brand to suit new formats, thus they launched the Sony Discman for the CD marketplace, the Sony DAT Walkman, MiniDisc Walkman and Sony Watchman TV.

Without the Sony Walkman, we wouldn’t have modern personal music players and most certainly would never have seen the Apple iPod. Sony continued the brand of Walkman into the modern smartphone marketplace.

Don’t forget to listen to the podcast above! Like, Share and Subscribe and I will see you next week for the Retro Gadget No.3

Thanks to Matt Marvell at BBC Radio Suffolk for having me on his show as a guest again this week.

Matt Porter
The Gadget Man

Technology And Cyber Security

Crimes that are associated with cybersecurity are from being problems created by the digital age as some would have you believe. Things like fraud and identity theft both existed long before the first computer was invented and criminals were finding ways of evolving their plans without the use of the internet. However, it is fair to say that now they have moved their operations on to the digital landscape it is time we are all prepared.

With that in mind, we are going to take a look at some of the tech options available to you so that you can stay safe and secure.

Understanding The Threat

The first thing you should do when it comes to cybersecurity is to build up your knowledge of what the threat actually is. That means learning what the different types of attacks are that might come your way and what form they are going to take. Before we look into these areas it is important to note that while the threat might seem extreme, there will always be people creating tools to help you combat these problems and sometimes common sense is your best line of defense.

Two of the common types of cyber attacks are listed below and the way they are used is also given as a brief description, this information will be critical to your success in staying safe online and in the digital world:

  • Malware

This term refers to malicious software such as:

  • Spyware
  • Ransomware
  • Viruses
  • Worms

Usually these types of software breach a computer’s security due to the user clicking on a link or downloading them without knowledge. This is where common sense will be a big factor in your security. To avoid having your information stolen through your PC or having malicious software break your home network, don’t click on links from unknown sources.

  • Phishing

This might be one of the terms you are most familiar with. Phishing refers to the practice of sending out communications that are fraudulent such as from a bank or government official that asks for private information. The aim is to steal sensitive data or payment details by posing as a trustworthy source. Once again you should use your own initiative to avoid these attacks where possible.

Software To Help

So, now you know some of the threats you are facing, what can you do? Well, there are some great basic tools that you can use to prevent falling victim to these attacks. The first is to ensure that you have a secure antivirus installed on your device. Companies like McAfee and Norton have been working tirelessly for years to provide you with software that will fight off malware that finds its way onto your computer.

However, sometimes you can get a data breach through alternative methods due to the fact that phishing scams can be highly evolved. Something you can do is sign up to protection services such as https://budgetboost.co/lifelock-cost-review/ that will look for breaches of your private information and secure it up.