telanova Blog

telanova: the outsourced IT team that feels like your own

Providing advice, consultancy, helpdesk, monitoring and maintenance, updates, upgrades, security: all the things your in-house team would do, but better and at a fraction of the cost and hassle.

2018's Emerging Technologies - VR

If you blink, you might just miss them.

In the day and age of digital technology, it's hard to keep track of whats new and whats old. Here's a handy list of new and fast growing trends in the technology industry that you, as a consumer or a business, might benefit from.

Immersive technologies

By far one of the most exciting technologies that is steadily becoming available to consumers over time. Mostly designed and dreamt upon for the uses of gaming, modern Virtual & Augmented Reality has rapidly found more and more uses where the technology can be effectively utilised outside of the video game industry.

KFC were recently in the headlines for incorporating VR as part of their employee induction. Trainees would enter a virtual KFC kitchen, allowing them to learn health and safety, risks and methods without the associated risks of a real kitchen.

Skip Razzio, a clinical psychologist, has begun using VR to treat patients with psychological conditions such as PTSD, re-creating the emotions and feelings of war and helping them overcome them, or Autism, by helping people with the disability learn social skills and how to interact with people better.

The VR industry so far has seen nothing but an exponential curve in growth, from a $129m valued market in 2015, to a predicted $2.9b valued market in 2018. However, the main stunt to further growth is consumer availability. VR products, on a whole, are expensive. Whilst overtime these technologies will become cheaper due to increased competition, there are still only 2 main players in the market: Oculus and Vive.

Until this changes, VR will remain out of the hands of the average consumer and thus a danger to its future growth. Despite this, a future as pictured in the movie 'Ready Player One' is all too real.

Can you guess the next emerging technology of 2018? Find out next week!

The length of your tweet may be affecting your impact

Length of your tweet

New research ( arXiv:1804.02318 [cs.SI] ) into Twitter messaging has been carried out by Kristina Gligoric of EPFL, Ashton Anderson or University of Toronto, and Robert West of EPFL. Specifically they researched the differences in reactions of the public to tweets since Twitter expanded it’s character limit from 140 to 280 characters.

They analysed the retweets and favourites of almost 6 million tweets from before and after the change by Twitter. They excluded multi page tweets that were more common before the change and also did some analysis of the change of forms of words such as I’m to I am , and as might be expected after the shift there are less shortened wordings.

For most businesses and influencers though the key question is should they keep their tweets in the 140 character traditional style or start expanding their text to create lengthier prose.

After analysing almost 6 million tweets before and after the change, there was a clear answer. The longer the tweet the more successful on average it was, as captured by the number of retweets and favourites. Looking more deeply it was also noted that tweets that were constrained, ie. missed a word or shortened a word to fit the constraint tended to also be more successful. Though no conclusion was defined, the constrained tweets may have been of improved quality and hence why they were more successful, however further research is needed to confirm if the quality was higher in constrained tweets.

Next time you are looking to tweet the news of your latest development, ensure that you use the 280 characters, included some good quality information and make people want to get involved in the tweet.

#telanovaReporter

How your phone is leaking data in the physical world.

If you own a modern (post 2012) phone, then you may have had a pop up at some time on your phone when in a shop or cultural or leisure centre. It may be that you found the pop up on your phone useful, you clicked it and it led to an webpage of the place you were in and gave a coupon or information for the location.

What you may not have known is that same technology can also being used to track your movements. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) works by transmitting data to your phone over a very small distance (generally less than 7m). This is very useful in museums for instance, to tell you which room you are in and provide you with a map and information. In doing so your phone tells the beacon your MAC address (one of your phone’s unique identifiers).

Your mac address can thus be tracked as you move around the area covered with the transmitters, not all beacons will cause a popup, but it will receive your MAC address regardless to allow the tracking.

What’s the impact for the business? Tracking how people move around and where they stop allows for better product placement and keeping the flow moving. What’s the impact for you ? Tracking anonymous MAC addresses could mean that you do or don’t get offers depending on how often you are in the building. Imaging a regular shopper getting no offers, but a new shopper (new phone) being given the option of a voucher to help them become a customer.

Will you be keeping your Bluetooth on next time you enter a location, or turning it off to go stealth mode ?

#telanovaReporter

7 questions to ask yourself as a business owner after 150 million individuals have their data leaked

150 million individuals have their data leaked by a Fitness App. Data leaks are a common issue that continues to go on and on. Each time more and more money and time is lost by people, companies, and governments in fixing, patching, strengthening and understanding why it went wrong this time.

Let’s look at the positives on the latest data breach

  • The data breach was reported to all users within 4 days of the hack being discovered, and that was only a month after they believe it occurred
  • The passwords were all stored using encryption, although some the encryption was a lower level than it could have been.
  • Only usernames emails and encrypted passwords were exposed, no personal information such as date of birth, credit cards, height or weight

As yet the Under Armour (who own the MyFitnessPal app) have yet to confirm the cause, although speculation is that it was due to user clicking an infected email attachment. User training on security is becoming more and more important, if you don’t have a training program for your team that is run at least annually you are putting your customers at risk. As firewalls and antivirus and spam detectors have become more and more robust, the hackers are also adapting with more and more elegant and creative ways to get the link to the user.

Things to think about as a business

  • If you allow any (and we mean any) employee to connect their own device to your wifi, is that wifi separate from the corporate network ?
  • If you have any corporate mobile devices, are you monitoring the patch, firewall and antivirus status of the devices, what access to other physical ports are allowed?
  • What intelligent devices do you have on your network that are connecting and talking with the outside world, are they on a separate network ?
  • Are there any physical network cabling / ports in public places, are they disconnected or protected ?
  • How are you monitoring the training of staff on their security awareness, is cybersecurity awareness part of a new starters induction ?
  • Consider unwanted people that might enter the building, are staff aware of which doors should be kept closed ?
  • How would you detect a data breach ?

If you don’t have the answer to these 7 questions our security consultancy services are available to assist.

#telanovaReporter

The IT Productivity Paradox and how to fight it.

 

"You see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics" - Robert Solow


It doesn't make sense, does it? The fact that even though we live in the most advanced technological breakthrough in the history of mankind, we should see an exponential curve in productivity; but we don't. It has even been argued to be in decline. With the birth of global communication and easily accessed off-the-shelf technology and software that is designed to maximise efficiency, it's hard to believe that this is the case.

But it is. Matt Richel, for the New York Times, writes, “statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused."

He goes on to explain that the big Silicon Valley firms have a monster of their own creation wrecking havoc in the productivity statistics, with employees checking emails up to 77 times a day, with mundane tasks taking up large amounts of time e.g. group emails and attachments. According to Basex, the United States alone loses up to $650bn a year due to unnecessary tasks and delays that could potentially be remedied by more efficient IT systems being implemented.

So what on earth is going on?

The answer is actually remarkably simple and is known as The Productivity Paradox, which has taken countless victims over the years. It is the unusual observation that despite further investment in IT technology to improve productivity, worker efficiency has hardly budged. This is not an anomaly however; the same technology 'paradox' has been seen before in the early 20th century.



Put yourself back to 1881. You work in a dark, humid and hot factory powered by a steam engine. The sound of mechanical machinery is deafening. Labour turnover is at an all time high due to dangerous working conditions and disease. Then, out of nowhere, Thomas Edison arrives to save the day with his brand new electrical motor! You would of thought businesses would of jumped straight onto it, no?

Wrong.

By 1900, less than 5% of factories used electrical power and instead opted for the traditional method. It took until the 1920s, over 40 years, for 50% of factories to use electrical technology. From this, we can see that despite new and exciting technology that could revolutionise the way we think and work, we still hesitate to use it - and for quite some time.

Why? Because change is difficult and stagnation is easy.

We as humans are hardwired to resist and fight change. And so, with such a radical change needed to push through required electrical motor legislation (or in this case, computer technology) and despite us knowing the immediate and long term benefits of adopting a 'new way' to do things, it's still uncomfortable for us because it will completely upend the way we think - which is understandable to an extent.

But in truth, we all need to get over ourselves and take the initiative. We live in a world of easily accessed software that is a click away. Think of it this way - you have a document you need to distribute and get multiple colleagues to append. Would your business send it on Google Documents, with live editing powered by the cloud and automatic saving? Or would your business use the same method that has been around since the 1990's, requiring all users to send you a separate document and for you to compile it all together manually? 

Now ask yourself - which of these solutions is the steam engine and which is the electrical motor?

If your business is using the steam engine, telanova is at hand to help you join the IT Revolution. 

Email Facebook Google LinkedIn Twitter

We use cookies to provide you with the best possible experience in your interactions on our website

You agree to our use of cookies on your device by continuing to use our website

I understand