Posted:March 10th, 2014|By:elisekrucler
Since its creation back in the 1960’s, the Internet has always been about enabling rapid communication between people. Yes, it was technology that enabled that communication, but people were the driving force behind it.
Kevin Ashton, the first person to use the phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (back in 1999), coined the term to define the shift from human-dependent information, to information captured and transmitted by devices independent of human intervention.
By 2010, management consultancy firm, McKinsey, was predicting that the Internet of Things (IoT) would not only revolutionise business practices, but also reduce risk and control costs.
The Internet of Things is now a reality. Cisco predicts that 25 billion devices will be part of the IoT by 2015, with the figure set to double by 2020. But what is the Internet of Things? What does it really mean for business, why is Google buying robots and why is Facebook in talks with drone maker Titan Aerospace?
The term ‘Internet of Things’ refers to the billions of devices that connect to the Internet to transmit information, for example in the household. Google are seeing potential to start connecting all the devices making one solution for the consumer to buy. At the moment all devices are not all connected and communicating with each other. Wouldn’t it be great if your alarm clock could tell your shower to switch on, but say your alarm clock is made by Omega, and your shower is a Titon system. They can’t communicate with each other because there are no common standards.
Facebook have an interest drone maker, Titan Aerospace, in relation to a cheap alternative to satellites and providing Internet access in developing markets as part of its internet.org initiative. The goal is to cut the cost of access and connect “the next five billion people” to the Internet.
While Google may be coming first in the race, if the Facebook/Titan Aerospace acquisition goes through, Facebook would be in direct competition with Google’s ‘Project Loon’ a similar project using high altitude ‘weather balloons’ to connect the next five billion people and well on its way to leading the Internet of things.
Posted:February 27th, 2014|By:elisekrucler
There is a great atmosphere in the office following last night’s The Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work For awards night. We are very excited to announce we are placed at 42 in the top 100 list for small companies. It is a great privilege to be placed so highly on the list in our first year participating.
The list measures a number of factors including: workplace engagement; employee rewards and benefits; leadership; communication and information sharing; environment policies; contribution to the community; employee development and wellbeing; and financial stability and growth.
A few of the statistics we were pleased to learn about Fluidata are 59 employees feel excited about where the company is heading, giving us a 92% score on positivity, and 90% of Fluidata employees feel their jobs are good for personal growth while 89% thought the experience they gain will be valuable in the future.
With our MD, Piers Daniell saying “I hope other businesses will see that creating a great working environment makes business sense, as well as being the right thing to do for your people” we can see why 86% of staff say their bosses take an active interest in them as individuals and 82% agree that he helps them to fulfil their potential.
We hope to keep on the Best Companies to Work For list in future years and look forward to analysing the data to continually improve work place standards.
Posted:February 21st, 2014|By:emeliamorton
This year’s Winter Olympics are harnessing Omega technology used in Formula One to transmit data directly from bobsleighs racing to the finish line, including information on speed, G-force and vertical track positioning. This utilisation of technology has made the 2014 Sochi Games the most technologically advanced Games in history. According to Peter Hurzeler of Omega these units were initially developed three years ago and the battle ever since has been to ensure that the technology is as lightweight as possible to ensure it would be cleared for use at the Olympics. Technology has not been limited to use only at the bobsleigh contest, however, with both speed skating and cross-country skiing contests also benefitting and the majority of results becoming automated.
The switch from wired to wireless devices has been significant since the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver and such bandwidth demands have been taken into account by allowing for three devices per person this year in Sochi. Networks are also having to cope and adapt to huge increases in data volumes since 2010 due to the streaming taking place on various devices. High speed networks are absolutely critical throughout events like these, not just for audience interaction but also to ensure that news reporters globally are receiving up to date information on results and competitor profiles.
It looks to be that our reliance upon technology and networking will only continue to rise for future Olympic Games and the challenge which seems to be emerging is how to secure the data traversing networks, especially considering that each individual country hosting the Games will have different applicable private laws to be aware of. One of the prevention measures for security at Sochi is monitoring, if anything is detected as suspicious or unauthorised the connection is stopped instantly. As Patrick Adiba – Head of Olympic Games and major events, Atos, states “Russian Federal law permits the monitoring, retention and analysis of all data that traverses Russian communication networks, including internet browsing, email messages, telephone calls, and fax transmissions.”
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics may be the most data-intensive and networked Games ever, but they are unlikely to be the most private.
Posted:February 17th, 2014|By:andisoric
Last week I moved into a new flat in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park village in Stratford. By working within the industry for over 4 years I knew a pain and delay for installation awaited me. To my surprise I had a pleasant experience with my connectivity, compared to others who have recently moved into new build properties, such my MD, Piers Daniell, who moved into his flat to find a standard BT socket.
I moved into a three bedroom property with fibre already installed, activated and ready to use. It also has the option to upgrade to 100Mb/s and 1Gb/s, as and when I require it. Hyperoptic have done a great job in providing access to every flat in the newly built Olympic village (run by getlivinglondon). I didn’t have to wait for an engineer to arrive, or spend any time on the phone signing up. The process was a simple online form to complete; my service was up and running for when I moved in. A nice surprise was, I could receive a 20Mb/s download speed and around 1Mb/s up, but I noticed, the flat also had a BT Openreach router installed for Fibre to the Home (FTTH) from BT as an alternative. Based on other individual experiences, Piers’ especially, it isn’t the norm for new build properties as one would expect.
I found it strange that BT and Hyperoptic have both deployed FTTP into all flats so efficiently, then I realised it must be in relation to direct competition. It is great that I have been given two different options for high speed next generation connectivity, when other new builds are left having to use aged copper technologies, but it must be because of the competition that both Hyperoptic and BT have deployed their cutting-edge service. I understand that BT rolled it out first, in relation to the Olympic bid but it shows that BT can deploy FTTH technology if they want to. The situation seems to reflect Piers’ claim that BT are protecting where they can, their monopoly and only choose to involve themselves in true fibre projects where it is demanded by the developer. I hope I am wrong but it would be great to see some data on how many new builds that BT are enabling at the moment are benefiting from FTTP rather than DSL.
*Please note this article has been reviewed on 20/02/2014 in relation to feedback from BT Wholesale, rather than BT Openreach, that they were actually first to deploy FTTP to this development.
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Posted:February 5th, 2014|By:elisekrucler
It was mentioned last year was the worst year for data security being hacked. Is it true? The American Online Trust Alliance announced they estimated that over 740 million online records were exposed in 2013.
Firstly consider Adobe, 150 million exposed account credentials were exposed, leading to secondary breaches all over the Internet. In an official statement, research revealed that more than 150 million user IDs and passwords were stolen, including approximately 38 million active users.
Secondly, Living Social.com. This instance is unique as it was one of the first major breaches affecting a big consumer website and included encrypted password theft. Fifty million records were obtained leaving the hackers knowing passwords, names and email addresses, allowing them to be able to break into accounts on other websites.
Lastly quoted as the worst data breach of 2013, you guessed it, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, leaks the extent of the U.S. intelligence community’s Internet surveillance. This data breach brought the biggest headlines from all over the world and flagged security into everyone’s mind, raising global issues for data protection and security.
On a smaller security scale but one story that I particularly thought interesting, was the story of Naoki Hiroshima’s Twitter username hacking, story here. Naoki held a significant twitter username, @N, that was highly in demand; she was offered $50,000 for the account. This blog shows how easy it is to get past consumer security questions and take over a personal identity. The extortionist got past the likes of PayPal who pride themselves as a trusted and safe supplier ‘Build trust with PayPal branding on your website’.
While this is only one story of, I assume many from only last year, it raises an important issue for this year.