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Sales, Service & Marketing Consultant in the tech industry - this is my personal site of thoughts, tips and cool stuff from my head and round the internet. Would love to hear what you have to say - get in touch below

The Pixel Density Race and its Technical Merits 

While this has always been an issue that’s been in the background since Android OEMs started releasing devices with display PPIs above the 300-400 “retina” range, recent events have sparked a broader discussion into the value of pursuing the PPI race that is happening between Android OEMs. Within this discussion, the key points of contention tend to center upon the various tradeoffs from increasing resolution, and whether an increase in pixels per inch (PPI) will actually have a perceivable increase.

To Apple, pixel density is almost irrelevant. Making a good screen has many factors, pixel density being one of them. Because many Android handsets try to pack in more pixels than the human eye can see (beyond around 300 pixels per inch when held at 10-12 inches away), it means that other things are sacrificed, most notably battery life. Apple’s approach, however, has been one of practicality.

This visualisation shows the state of Android handset fragmentation, increasing with every year.

Android’s fragmentation has increased nearly 60% over the past 12 months. Last year OpenSignal detected 11,868 distinct Distinct Android devices that had downloaded their Android apps, but in 2014 that number has ballooned to 18,796 distinct Android devices demanding developers’ attention.

Only 20.9% of Android handsets are running the latest version of Android (4.4 Kit Kat), where 91% of iPhones are running iOS7. I don’t believe this can be a winning strategy.

via Cult of Android

Scientists Have Located the Brain's On/Off Switch for Consciousness 

'Consciousness' is not as elusive as some might think.

Labour unintensive

Visit the homepage of the Labour party, and take a look around. Can you see much? Can you see any policies?

http://www.labour.org.uk/home

I can see a link to Ed Miliband’s ‘energy ‘plan”, but nothing else. Not a single policy, not even a hint about what Ed Miliband’s Labour stands for.

Even Miliband’s MPs are lining up to attack him about lack of direction, among pretty much everything else - look at this list of quotes.

Labour won’t win next year, unless something big changes.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Cloud security - truth or dare?

Security is usually the number one topic of any given conversation to do with cloud computing. Is this warranted?

Well, yes – security is incredibly important for cloud computing. But it’s not that security is especially important for cloud systems because they’re inherently more insecure than privately managed systems.   Access can be bypassed in an on-premise system in the same way access could be bypassed through a system hosted in the cloud. For example, those rather large holes – passwords – exist in both cloud systems and privately managed systems. At the end of the day, any computer system is only as strong as its weakest link, and cloud computing brings with it the same risks we have been seeing for years elsewhere.

However, I’d go so far to say that the cloud is actually more secure because the technology and infrastructure associated with cloud is more modern than the technology developed years ago. Look at the open landline telephone or fax machine as a good example when compared to modern communications such as BBM and iMessage which use sophisticated end-to-end encryption.

Where does this concern over security come from? 

Let’s look at what cloud computing is first.

Typically, the cloud refers to the access of data and services held up there in the ‘cloud’. It’s not always clear because marketers like to promote cloud because it’s a hot topic.

Take a really common example of cloud technology. Gmail. Gmail isn’t that thing you access through your web browser at gmail.com (although you may be forgiven for thinking so). Gmail.com is a web interface to the cloud-hosted service called Gmail, which can be accessed from all manners of devices (and indeed other cloud services).

Enterprise systems may utilise a similar set-up – many off-the-shelf cloud solutions for business do – or they may be hosted in a ‘private’ cloud. This doesn’t mean your Gmail account isn’t private (quite the opposite, but let’s leave privacy for another time!). It just means that a service provider will manage your private servers, running your own set-up and processes remotely for you, by taking care of anything and everything that comes along with managing multi-million pound hardware.

The benefits of cloud are obvious: besides being far easier to hook onto and develop enterprise mobile app, for example, the fuss of managing the infrastructure is now gone. Regardless of the type, cloud systems are essentially the same as your on-premise system, but are instead managed by a service provider. If you’re concerned about security, that’s good. So, simply be sure to choose a provider that is, too.

Because the risks in cloud computing can be found elsewhere, I suggest that the benefits far outweigh the risks. The single most important benefit cloud computing brings to organisations is likely to be the fact that if you let your provider take care of your system – its access, its security, its maintenance - then your organisation can carry on doing what it does best without worrying about dedicating money or people to maintaining technology.

Not surprisingly, the cloud is one of the fastest growing areas of spend by organisations.  Global market analysts IDC estimate that more than 30% of organisations expect within three years to access almost half of their IT resources through some form of cloud - public, private, or hybrid.

Questions about security will always continue but they are becoming fewer as every day passes. 

Cross-posted over at bluefinsolutions.com

Wealth is made by creating value, not by exploiting people.

A first-person perspective of laser eye surgery

Yesterday I had eye surgery, to rid me of 10 years of contact lenses and glasses. The results are remarkable, with me achieving significantly better than 20/20 vision. 24 hours later, after a few hours of my eyes streaming like someone had rubbed onions in my eyes, I have achieved vision better than I ever could with contact lenses or glasses.

It really is amazing to think we can fix people’s vision so quickly and easily. I was elegible for Lasik (and with it being my eyes and all) opted for the full works, including Intralase and Advanced Customvue Wavefront (now rebranded to something called iLasik with iDesign). With my prescription of -4.5, the cost would normally be approaching £4000 for this type or surgery, but I managed to get it for far, far less than that with the help of a special offer (definitely talk about the cost, and ask for refererals to get the price down!)

The surgery was done by Optical Express, and honestly, although I haven’t investigated too the much the other options on the highstreet, I wouldn’t ever recommend anyone else. Optical Express use the latest laser technology, Optical Express have removed the need for a scalpel with all their Lasik treatments using Intralase (removing the problem of human error when making the cut), and their aftercare service is unlimited and comprehensive. They also offer a guarantee that you will achieve 20/20 vision, and perform almost 10 times more treatments per year over the second biggest, Optimax. Essentially, in the UK only Optical Express offer the best, and latest technology available in the world right now.

The technology

So what happens when you have your eyes lasered, and how does it work, and what’s it like?

Well, it slightly depends on the treatment. As I said I opted for Lasik Advanced Customvue Wavefront with Intralase. Lasik is the type of treatment which most people are eligible for. Recovery periods are around 24 hours, and within the day you can see amazingly well. Advanced Customvue Wavefront, now updated to iDesign, is a technology which maps the precise contours of your eyes, and corrects these personal bumps and dips in your eye during the surgery. The standard, conventional, Lasik procedure is a one-size-fits-all approach, which while doing the job, has a decreased chance of achieving 20/20 vision. iDesign also increases the quality of night vision by reducing glare and the halo effect, compared to what the chances of conventional Lasik achieves. The iDesign was also a bonus as I could joke to everyone I was also getting the ‘night vision bolt-on’.

Finally, Intralase refers to the use of another laser to first make the cut on your cornea. Typically the surgeon would use a blade to make the flap, but this procedure is automated and far safer. Intralase, combined with the Wavefront technology is the best technology available to correct vision, and is what is used by the US Navy Seals. For obvious reasons, I couldn’t wait for it to get it.

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Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? 

Physics may have well rendered belief in a supernatural being a pointless (and nonsensical) activity - but, philosophy?

Well, I believe philosophy is physics, or at the very least, the precursor to physics where we construct our hypotheses to then go forward with and test. With the boundaries of theoretical physics becoming blurred with philosophy, this is statement is becoming more true than ever.

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