Category

Iot

Category

The technical side of where our internet signals come from can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you consider the worldwide scale of these signals. Servers basically provide the websites and internet to our homes that we use on an almost daily basis, our home Wifi boxes are designed to be able to tap into those signals to allow us access to many different programs and pages that are available online.  

The basic answer behind the question of what a server actually is doesn’t have to be complex as a server is basically a piece of computer hardware that provides access for our devices to get onto any website or application you want to use. As technology has developed and more and more businesses bring out their own websites and programs there has been a huge demand for servers that are capable of much more complex processes as well as being able to deal with an increased amount of traffic on websites. Servers have become much more of a priority for maintenance as a small issue can have a devastating effect on a company if potential customers cannot access pages due to a technical fault.  

Where are Servers Located and Maintained?

The location of many servers is kept a secret in order to protect businesses around the world, as the everyday running of many corporations rely upon the servers being maintained and monitored to avoid technical issues and server shutdowns. Without the servers the accessibility of business webpages all over the world could be affected which is the time where customers are not able to shop online, this could be very detrimental to the profits and revenue that is brought in especially if an issue persists due to an issue with the servers not being able to accommodate for huge amounts of website traffic.  

The demand for twenty-four-hour maintenance on servers has never been higher with many businesses paying huge expenses to have the best technical minds on-site to deal with and resolve any issues. Having professional guidance on the matter is a great tool to have access to as you and your business are left much better prepared for a crash on the servers, with some cases being that an issue can be resolved before it occurs which will save money and inconvenience in the long run.  

Who Uses Servers?

I think it is safe to say that everyone at some point in their lives has used a server of some kind before, whether they knew about it or not servers are used within any webpage or application that is connected to the internet. As the functionality of the internet and technology only grows further it is likely that servers will become an even more important part of the technology industry over the coming years.   

The number of people that use technology is likely to continue to grow as more and more people are attracted to the world of the internet as more companies move to an online platform. With this in mind even those few people who do not currently rely upon technology and the internet within their everyday lives, it is likely that they will be forced to convert and change with the times as it is virtually impossible at this point to avoid the internet and using technological solutions. Businesses are likely to put more and more funding into the maintenance of their servers as the traffic on many online stores and websites grows at a very fast rate.  

Should You invest in VPS?

As a strong internet and server connection becomes a more desirable attribute to have, more people are wondering how to ensure they have access to a strong signal within their homes. The answer is simple and an option that many people take would have to be investing in a VPS or VPN (Virtual Private Server/Network), this service can be used by the everyday person to ensure a reliable signal within the home or by businesses to limit connection failures and technical issues.  

A VPS works by duplicating the existing server signal and limiting it for private use in your home or business premises, this limits the amount of traffic on your server as you are the only one with access to it. As most server technical faults stem from overuse and accessing this prevents many issues from occurring. Private servers are available for a fee from a number of different providers, depending on your needs I would recommend that you do some research into what is available, or read a list of the best VPN providers in 2021 to ensure you are getting high-quality service and connection strength.  

Why are Servers Necessary in Everyday Life?

If you have not realized it by now then let me remind you that servers are necessary for any service that you use which runs off of an internet connection. You may not understand the technical aspects but let me tell you that if you have used any form of social media, any online websites, or online shops then you have used your devices to access a server. With a significant portion of shopping and retail taking place on an online platform, servers are only going to grow in size and connection capabilities so that the increased demand and scale of the required connection can be catered for.  

In recent years we have been made more aware of our impact on the environment. We know now that our actions as a species have directly affected the atmosphere and weather. Summers are hotter. Winters are colder. And if we don’t make a change, we are in serious danger.

One innovation that has been a huge boost to the green initiative is the introduction of electric cars. These function exactly like normal cars, but rather than running on fossil fuels, they are powered by electricity. This means they have no carbon emissions and present no danger to the environment.

A lot of countries have been happy to introduce electric cars. Others have not. This includes the USA. The nation that is leading the charge in fighting against electric cars. This is odd considering Tesla, one of the worlds leading electric car companies, is American.

Texas

Some states have happily welcomes electric cars. But this is to be expected of those more liberal states. What really needs to happen is a massive red state needs to step up and prove to the others that electric cars are the way forward.

And it seems Texas has taken up this job. This came as a surprise to a lot of people, but it’s true. Texas is paving the way for electric cars and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it. But how exactly are they doing this? Let’s break it down.

Tax Breaks

Texas is following the example Norway set. Norway introduced a massive series of tax breaks for people looking to buy electric cars, but also providing tax breaks to any company looking to sell electric cars in their nation.

Texas is looking to copy this method exactly. This would mean an owner of an electric car would pay less road-tax overall. And companies, such as Tesla, would have to pay less tax to sell their cars in Texas. This is a win-win for everyone. It means the price of electric cars will go down. As the price decreases and the reduced road-tax for owning one, more people are sure to get on the electric car trend.

Purchasing the Car

Texas is also making it easier for people to get a new car as well. We did a comparison of title loans in Texas against other red states like Florida. And Texas has removed a lot of the red-tape surrounding it. Interest rates on loans are capped at a lower rate, making it more viable for customers to get an electric car without breaking the bank or forcing themselves into excessive debt.

Free Charging

When you own a car, you know as well as I do that the biggest cost isn’t buying the car itself. It’s the fuel cost. And gas prices are only ever going to go up. Not down. A time will come when fuel is so scarce that gas will cost triple what it does now.

But Texas is incentivizing people to go electric by offering free charging in a few year’s time. This means there will be no additional fueling costs while driving. This is already a practice in Norway, so it is no surprise Texas is following suit.

Free charging does of course incur a cost to the state, but that cost is one Texas is willing to take on as the long-term benefits will be nothing but positive. Alongside the decreased pollution, Texas actually stands to save money by providing free charging.

You may not know this, but each state in America has to bid on the amount of pollution they are allowed to produce each year. If a state produces more pollution than allowed, it can be hit with very hefty fines. And they have to pay a steep upfront cost each year to cover the pollution they know they will be producing. So by increasing its green effort, Texas will save more money than it will ever spend on providing free charging.

We can only hope other states follow the example of Texas. If they do we might see a marked improvement in the global carbon footprint in the coming years.

 

 

Dating has been around for nearly as long as man has. Although over the years, our requirements for a relationship has become focused more on someone’s personality and interests, rather than whether or not they could protect us from a sabretooth tiger. Throughout the twentieth century, the ways in which we dated, continued to develop alongside technology. And it is only within the last decade that dating has changed drastically again with the invention of dating apps. These apps typically use geolocation technology to find potential matches that fit your requirements in your area. The road that has taken us to this current state of dating is a long and interesting one.

 

Lonely Hearts Columns

In 1695, an advert appeared in the popular magazine called A Collection For Improvement Of Husbandry and Trade, a young woman stated that she was seeking a “gentleman about 30 Years of Age, that says he had a Very Good Estate” who sought a “Good Young Gentle- woman that has a Fortune of 3,000 pounds or thereabouts”. This is the first known record of a lonely hearts advert in Britain. A lonely heart advert was a way for someone who was seeking a relationship to list their own qualities as well as what they were looking for in a partner in hopes somebody reading the magazine who shares their desires and values would reply. This is not too dissimilar to online dating profiles today and would essentially become the later template for online dating. Lonely hearts adverts would often have their own column in a newspaper or magazine, and within 1870 and 1900, 20 newspapers were created that were dedicated entirely to lonely hearts ads. These adverts would eventually wain in popularity as the 20th century continued, although there are some columns still going to this day if you fancy giving them a try!

 

Computer Assisted Matchmaking

Although our recent concept of online dating through the use of apps has only been solidified in the past ten years, companies have been using computers to aid with matchmaking since the 1950s. In 1959 as part of a class project at Stafford, Jim Harvey and Phil Fialer founded the Happy Families Planning Services which used a questionnaire and an IBM 650 Magnetic Drum Data-Processing Machine to help match those seeking relationships. Based on this concept, the St. James Computer Dating Service founded by Joan Ball, becomes the first commercially run computer-generated matchmaking company in 1964. These types of dating services would start to become more commonplace as the twentieth century went on.

 

Online Dating

By the 1990s, computers were now becoming more commonplace and were affordable to have at home. This allowed for the introduction of online dating websites that would become popular during this time period. Kiss.com became the first-ever dating website in 1994 with Match.com following shortly after in 1995. These became our modern templates for technology-assisted dating that we recognize today. On these websites you created a profile, filling out personal information such as your age and religion which could be filtered in a search feature to help yourself and others narrow down their preferences to find someone who fits their desires. During the 90s and 2000s, dating sites would continue to grow in number and popularity as the Internet become more readily available across an increasing number of devices.

 

Dating Apps

Grindr became the first dating app of its kind in 2009 by using geolocation technology to find suitable matches near to the user. It was designed to be used by those in the LGBT community, primarily gay men. This change in technology also marked a change in society as acceptance for LGBT couples has increased. Lots of similarly designed apps that also used geolocation were soon to follow including Tinder in 2012 which has since become the most recognized dating platform. With most people nowadays owning their own smartphones, you can now date online from wherever you can carry your phone. So, if you’re struggling to find the one, why not download one of the many apps available, google some cheesy pickup lines or love quotes and sayings for him or her and see where the world of online dating takes you!

Our society is literally built on the backs of construction workers. All the world’s greatest scientific marvels and artistic achievements were only possible because our ancestors put in the hours of back-breaking labor to build shelters.

Shelter protects us from the cold and the dark. It stopped predators from attacking us in our sleep. It increased infant mortality rates and overall health and wellbeing. And with the invention of shelters, we saw many more innovations come forth to improve our quality of life even more. Indoor plumbing. Central heating. Refrigeration.

The greatest devices ever built wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the men and women who built the houses and labs they were created in. This is why today we want to take a look at the World of Construction and how technological innovation has changed and shaped it over our history. Everything from the old, yet significant inventions. To the new and modern cutting tech construction tech.

Saftey

Time was that construction was a dangerous profession. It still is, but less say today than one hundred years ago. Any major construction project is allocated a number of deaths or injuries that can occur before it is considered a problem. This is a grim, but indisputable fact that there are bound to be accidents.

But we have been seeking to minimize these accidents throughout our history. In ancient times people cared little if someone died building something. Mainly due to the fact construction was carried out by slave labor.

Nowadays, we put more value on human life. This is why modern construction workers wear a safety-focused uniform at all times. Hard Hats were one of the most significant inventions in this field. Made of a light-weight yet super resilient plastic. These hats are designed to make a significant impact and reduce the damage to the wearer. It has been proven that the introduction of hard hats reduced workplace accidents by a significant factor.

High-vis jackets are another invention that utilizes incredible tech to improve safety. They make use of cat-eye and reflective technology to be hyper-visible. Even in minimal lighting. This is important on a construction site as it can be, at times, difficult to spot a person. But their jackets make them stand out even from 100 stories up.

Efficiency

Recently I hired this concrete contractor for the project in my Florida home. They arrived and the job was done in a couple of days. I, of course, took this for granted as that is what I expected. But in the past mixing concrete was a tiresome and long procedure. Any work that needed concrete could take weeks or months. Whereas today a concrete mixer cuts the workload in half.

The tech itself is simple. An electronic spinning mechanism allows the concrete to be mixed automatically and quickly. But it just goes to show how even the simplest of tech innovations has the biggest impact on construction, and in turn our society.

This leads me to one of the greatest innovations of construction. The Crane. Cranes are not new by any means. There is proof that the ancient Egyptians used man-powered winches and cranes to build the Pyramids and other monuments. But modern cranes make use of two types of innovation to improve on this design.

Firstly, they are automated to a degree. No longer do they rely on man-power. They use technology to lift incredible weights with ease. The second is the fact they are built using modern industrial technology. This allows them to reach the highest heights imaginable. This wouldn’t have been possible in ancient times dues to the unstable nature of the materials they would use.

Planning

No construction project starts overnight. You can’t just find a plot of land, buy the materials, and dive in. There is a lot of rigorous and detailed planning that needs to occur before anyone can step on site. A lot of this planning is carried out by the architects before construction begins.

It involves a lot more than simply a creative flair and straight lines. It requires a lot of maths and scientific knowledge. A building is a sturdy, yet complex thing. Making use of a number of different materials and techniques to support the massive weight of itself.

In the past, this planning would take a long time. Mainly due to the fact that all the calculations had to be manually and checked over and over again. And then this process was repeated at the construction process as planning had to be done carefully.

Now we can make use of fantastic computers and calculators to help cut down on the calculation times. Something that could have taken a month to plan out can be done in a week or even a few days depending on the size. Gone are the days of using an abacus to sort these things out.

Another thing that we can do to help utilizes the power of simulations. These programs can perfectly simulate what the building will look like with its current specifications. It can then be given real-world physics. This lets the simulation calculate if the building will actually hold up one constructed. This can stop any potential disasters from happening further down the line and ensures construction is as safe as it can possibly be.

 

 

2020 may have been an absolutely terrible year in a lot of areas. Socially we were all locked down and confined by a global pandemic. Politically the world has never been more divided. But there is one area that still stands strong amidst all this chaos. And that is the world of Video Games.

Every year it seems the gaming world is blessed with new fantastic titles, incredible gaming stories, and fantastic new technology to make our gaming sessions more intense. So as we leave 2020 behind us, we want to take a look at some of the most popular games of 2020. To remind ourselves that there was some light in the darkness.

Warzone

Call of Duty is a staple of the gaming world. You can always bank on there being a new CoD released in any given year. And you can guarantee that it won’t break from the winning formula that has made CoD such a success.

But Warzone did try something different. The battle royale genre has become rather saturated in recent years. Thanks to the success of Fortnite. So it’s no surprise that CoD would try to get in on the action.

But Warzone differs in one respect. It takes the winning CoD gunplay and combat systems to create a totally different experience. And with plenty of hacks, cheats and aimbots for warzone to help you win, it is no wonder Warzone was one of the most popular games of 2020.

Fall Guys

Move over Mario party, there is a new party game in town. Fall Guys appeared out of seemingly nowhere and became the summer smash hit. Everywhere we looked we saw articles and videos of Fall Guys. The charming take on gameshow such as total wipeout being played by 6ft tall bean men won hearts and minds everywhere.

The game uses the battle royale formula but is decided over a series of rounds where random mini-games are played. The stakes are always high as there can only ever be one winner. The game keeps things fresh by changing the theme every season. Everything from Wizards and Knights to Frozen winter wonderland. We personally cannot wait to see what exciting new minigames make an appearance in 2021

Among Us

Among Us has been around for a while now. But it was only this winter that it really came into its own. Moving from relative obscurity to being one of the most popular games on the planet. It takes the traditional werewolf/mafia gameplay idea and puts you and a small crew against alien infiltrators.

You have to use all your wits to complete the tasks and uncover the aliens before everyone is murdered. This seems simple but you have to deal with the fact that your teammates are often random people who seek only to troll you. Among us is playable for free on mobile or for purchase on other systems. We recommend playing the PC version as keyboard integration is much easier to use than a phone touchscreen.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But for millions upon millions of gamers, the release of Animal Cross NH was a monumental occasion. Especially since people found themselves stuck indoors for a long time, this game offered everyone an escape to a more idyllic world full of friendly animals and comfy scenery.

The new iteration in the series added a lot of quality of life improvements the game has been calling out for. A crafting and milestone system to encourage continued play. Improved multiplayer and the ability to terraform the landscape.

 

It isn’t unusual to see medical professionals telling people they need to spend less time on their phones or away from their computers. Eye-strain, RSI, back-ache, and a number of mental conditions can be linked to prolonged exposure to technology and the blue light emitted from our screens.

And there is the massive social movement that aims to encourage us to step away from our screens and engage with the world around us, as our forefathers had to. And these people are often met with criticism. Particularly from the younger generations who have only known this digital world.

So why are we now seeing a stream of medical professionals recommending people start investing in smartwatches? Contrary to their usual stance of advising us to cut down on our technology use, they now want us to take it a step further.

 

SmartWatches

For those who are unaware, a smartwatch is exactly what it sounds like. A smartphone-style watch. They look like a normal wristwatch and strap on just the same. But the clock face is actually a screen and it functions similarly to a modern phone. Scroll through apps. Bluetooth connection. And they even display the time, fulfilling their primary function as a watch.

They are extremely useful for anyone who leads a busy lifestyle. You can check messages and emails on them, get live weather updates and some even offer facetime functionality. But there is one function that is responsible for the sudden surge of recommendations from doctors.

 

Monitor

A few years ago you may recall FitBits became all the rage. They made the perfect Xmas present and it seemed everyone and their mother was out sporting a sleek FitBit. And they received a lot of positive press as they were encouraging people to take their health more seriously and exercise regularly.  Some medical companies even began promoting FitBits to encourage their use. For a brief time, you could get FitBit supplies at the face med store and other medical suppliers.

Some studies have looked into this phenomenon and have suggested that the data recorded and shown by a FitBit almost turns working out into a game. And humans are more likely to engage with something when they can see results in metric form.

But, of course, once a workout was done and dusted a lot of people would simply remove their FitBit for the day. This is where the smartwatches come into play.

Consistent Data

The biggest upside to a smartwatch is they are designed to be worn throughout the day. Aside from their social functions,  most smartwatches also contain all the tracking equipment as a FitBit.

This is the biggest reason medical professionals are encouraging people to invest in smartwatches. The ability to track your own biometric data throughout the day is fantastically useful to a doctor. If you ever found yourself falling ill or are injured, the data can be compiled and provided to the hospital to give a much more detailed medical history. This will allow for a greater degree of certainty when making a diagnosis.

Another useful function is that these watches can alert emergency services if you are in need of help. Gone are the days of needing to call for an ambulance. Even now we are hearing stories of people who have been saved by their smartwatches knowing they were having a heart attack before the patient did.

The Downside

It’s no wonder doctors are encouraging people to wear a smartwatch as often as they can. But there is a downside, as with anything. Firstly, they are extremely expensive at the moment. Being a luxury item, it is going to be a long time before we see them come down to more affordable prices.

There is also the argument raging about how our devices track and monitor us. In our society today it is nearly impossible to do anything or go anywhere without being tracked. So some argue these devices are just a step towards giving our bodies over to the cooperate machine.

We hope a day will come when everyone can make use of the safety a smartwatch can provide. Until then, I will stick to my FitBit.