Produced monthly for businesses and schools in the Thames Valley
Smartboards for 2014
iPhone 6 Released
New ICT Curriculum
By Mike | October 2014
By Natasha | October 2014
By Sam | October 2014
2014 brings the launch of the new SMARTBoards for academic year. A total redesign of the board means interactivity is taken to the next level. At 178cm (70"), the SMART Board E70 is the optimal size for classrooms and its high-definition LED display provides brilliant visuals to capture the attention of every student. It encourages collaborative experiences that will inspire your students and teachers, bringing classrooms to life. For the first time children can collobrate on the same board, using two pens in the same instance for true interactivity been student groups and teachers. Gone is the old SMARTBoard skin around the board which was liable to breakage and replacing it with four cameras detecting every subtle hand and pen movement.
The best part of these boards is the fact that they are still compatible with a majority of all the projectors currently in use in schools. This means that if your board is reaching the end of its usable life but your projector is currently working fine then a simple swap out can take place.
Apple has created two larger iPhones, one big, the other even bigger: the iPhone 6 sports a 4.7-inch screen, while the iPhone 6 Plus goes full "phablet" with a 5.5-inch display. Both of the new iPhones boast flatter designs, ship with somewhat faster A8 processors, slightly improved cameras, speedier Wi-Fi and LTE, better voice quality if you're using voice-over-LTE, and more on board storage. Both 2014 models also incorporate Apple Pay, the new and potentially revolutionary NFC-powered payment system that turns the phone into a credit card. Apple Pay could be the biggest feature on these new iPhones if it works as advertised; stay tuned for more on that when it launches in the US in October.
See, here's the problem: Apple has added two phones at once for the first time. And they're both pretty similar. So which one do you pick?
The good news is that the iPhone 6, which feels great to hold, has nearly all the same features as the 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus both have larger screens than previous iPhones. They both have new A8 processors. They both have 16, 64, or 128GB of storage. They both come in three colours: white/silver, white/gold, and space grey, which is black/darker silver.
The differences between the two aren't that tremendous, but they're important. The 6 has a 4.7-inch, 1,344x750-pixel display. The 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch, 1,920x1,080-pixel display, plus optical image stabilization in the camera and the ability to run more apps in horizontal-landscape mode, with split-screen effects like an iPad. It's also significantly bigger, and weighs more -- but it does have a longer battery life.
Which one will you pick?
There is new Curriculum for ICT in Schools. Teachers now have to teach children how to code and set up networks. “Oh No” I hear some Teachers Shouting, “How can I teach my Pupils to do this when I have no Idea how to do this myself?” Well I can tell you there is no need to panic. Educational Software Companies have been developing Programmes to teach Coding for a while now. Let us take Scratch for example. This involves using code to make a cat dance on a screen. It gives you helpful buttons and instructions so you can teach yourself in a lunchtime and come up with an exciting and interactive lesson plan for your Pupils. There are other aspects to the new curriculum that involves software that teachers have been using for years already. For doing presentations Teachers can use Microsoft PowerPoint and for Data collection and Statistics Microsoft Excel is more than up to Job. We can provide training for Microsoft products with our Microsoft accredited Trainers. Cybersupport can also be on hand to consult schools on the new Curriculum and recommend ways that you can teach this new Curriculum without any fuss. We are always here to help and always try our best to assist you in any aspect of your ICT.
Next Version of Windows
By Martin | October 2014
The Internet of Things
We have just had the launch of the new version of Windows from Microsoft. Here are a few key points I got from the presentation:
First major thing is that they have skipped a number – this is going to be Windows 10. In answer to the question “What happened to version 9” they answered “When you see the product in its fullness, I think you’ll agree with us that it’s a more appropriate name”. Really helpful.
They have introduced multiple desktops. This has been a feature in Mac OS X and most Linux versions for years – it was only a matter of time before Microsoft did it. This feature is part of something new called Task Viewer which essentially make more use of the old Alt+Tab function.
Their big push is for increased productivity hence the above feature.
Windows will recognise when you are using a device with a mouse and keyboard or on touch-screen and adjust its UI to suit. For example, when you have a mouse and keyboard attached you get a more traditional start menu like Windows 7 but it will have live tiles etc. On a touch screen device, you get the Windows 8 style Start screen.
They are building every version of Windows for every device to be the same so computer, tablet, phone etc will all be version 10 and be about the same. It's due to be released in the later part of 2015 so probably Q3 or Q4.
Weird little feature demonstrated in that we can now ctrl+V into command prompt where we have never been able to before.
Visit preview.windows.com for a video and for a download for the tech preview edition. MS want to get more user and developer feedback than ever before to make this version as good as they can get it.
By David | July 2014
The Internet of Things is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring any interaction. Driven by miniaturisation, the affordability of components such as cheap Bluetooth sensors, and the growing ubiquity of technologies such as Wi-Fi, it is now possible to connect devices in a way that would never have previously been thought possible. Although the concept wasn’t named until 1999, the Internet of Things has been in development for decades. The first Internet appliance, for example, was a Coke machine at Carnegie Melon University in the early 1980s. The programmers could connect to the machine over the Internet, check the status of the machine and determine whether or not there would be a cold drink awaiting them.
With the further development of IP (internet protocol) addresses, we could easily assign an IP address to every “thing” on the planet. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things, using data gathered without any help from us, we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling and whether they were fresh or past their best. Examples of possible uses have to do with security, peace of mind and savings. Consumers can be notified when a door is opened or there is movement in the house or office while they are away.
We can programme the lights and heat to turn off when no one is present in the house, which can mean huge energy savings. You can unlock your doors or turn on and off your lights via your mobile phone. In the biotech field, sensors and microscopic robots could be placed in the circulatory system, tracking blood pressure and scanning for early stage cancers.
The car insurance company Drive Like a Girl installs on board car computers that monitor your driving and offer cheaper premiums to those drivers who prove less likely to have an accident.
The Internet of Things will raise questions and concerns about data privacy, data sovereignty and security. BUT what would happen in the event that our devices were hacked by someone with the ability to shut off our water supply, or take control of our cars, or unlock the doors of our houses from thousands of miles away? For those working in the field, however, these are temporary concerns, which can be addressed with the right amount of planning
Game Over for Gameover
By David | July 2014
There is currently a large amount of mainstream media coverage taking place regarding a potentially damaging new virus that is threatening computers worldwide. This media coverage has led a number of our clients to ask about the ramifications of such an attack.
GameoverZeus has been used to steal banking credentials, infect victims with the CryptoLocker malware and more. This virus has apparently infected over 7% of UK computers and is a very real threat to machines – the theory behind this particular virus is, essentially, once infected your files will be encrypted with a password which can only be released by paying a ransom to the virus maker. This threat has been proved real and confirmed by the FBI, however this does not mean that it is something to unnecessarily panic about.
In order for you to be covered from any potential virus attack it is important to have done two things: Have a fully up-to-date and operating antivirus solution Ensure your files are backed up securely. Both of these tasks may already be part of your Cybersupport agreement and will, as a result, not be a worry to you. Should you want us to come in and make sure if everything is functioning correctly and provide a current security report then simply give us a call and we can organise this. The same rules apply to any Windows computer that you may use at home. Even though these are not covered by the same SLA agreement with Cybersupport, we are still happy to take a look at any personal computers at a discounted rate. It is easy to dismiss these virus threats as empty media hype, however planning your security and keeping it fully up-to-date is always essential and will protect yourself from this or any other future breakout.
If you have any questions, queries or concerns about this virus outbreak or any security matter then do not hesitate to give us a call and we can discuss it further. Our job is to keep you safe.
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