Posted:April 11th, 2014|By:michaelfevyer

Time is almost upon us for the addressing system of the Internet to almost be completely used up. I believe I have been saying this for the last 5 years, but it looks like in the next 12-24 months people are going to be brought to a halt. Thankfully most ISP’s have got more than enough IP ranges to cover us for the foreseeable future, as well as ready to start with the new system in the guise of IPv6.

Will our clients and future clients be affected? In one word, no. I can firmly say that Fluidata has been doing it’s upmost to make sure that in many years’ time, in conjunction with The Internet of Things, when you need to apply an IP address to your light switch, fridge, cooker and curtain rail, as many IP addresses will be available as needed.

But please give a thought to North Korea, who have been struggling in many ways, must as well consider their Internet IP range. The whole country have a total of 1024 IPv4 addresses. That’s it. In total. To put this into perspective there are many large businesses in the UK that have more IP addresses than North Korea. Maybe we have missed something or maybe it was just good planning on North Korea’s part, knowing that the addressing system was going to change they had the foresight to not go overboard with the amount of IPv4 addresses they needed. I’m yet to find out how far advance their IPv6 plans are but I’m assuming they must be years ahead of the UK.

Posted:April 4th, 2014|By:robadcock

As Fluidata begins the start of a new financial year, we continue to recognise the importance and benefits of true business grade Internet connectivity for SME’s supported by the benefit of the SuperConnected Cities Connection Vouchers Scheme.

The importance in ensuring all our existing customers and live prospects are aware of the Connected Cities voucher scheme cannot be under estimated. Not only due to the significant business benefits of business grade connectivity, but also due to the Connection Voucher Scheme expiring by 2015. The scheme allows SME’s to apply for a voucher worth up to £3,000 towards the installation costs of a new connection, giving businesses the chance to benefit from next level connectivity which may have previously been cost prohibitive due to often excessive installation costs. Now sought after business grade connectivity’s such as Fibre Leased Lines, EFM, FTTC & FTTP are being made available to smaller budgets.

Fluidata’s unique position within the market as a multiple network aggregator will allow customers to come to an informed decision based specifically on their own requirements, geographical location, business specific applications, and of course the chosen carrier and cost. All customers benefit from 24/7 support and a dedicated account manager to make the procedure as smooth as possible.

I would also actively encourage all landlords, serviced office companies and multi-tenancy office developments to pool multiple vouchers together; this provides opportunity for all the individual businesses that occupy a single building to make the most of this short-term opportunity for improving your connection during this financial year.

All 22 cities are now open and taking applications, the cities are; Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Derry/Londonderry, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Newport, Oxford, Perth, Portsmouth, Salford and York.

One of the first cities to receive and report back on the scheme was Belfast. The Belfast Telegraph mentions; “Twenty businesses in Belfast have reported a rise in turnover – some by as much as a quarter of a million pounds – in just a month after the installation of a super-fast broadband connection….”

 

Posted:March 27th, 2014|By:alastairrickey

Technology and connectivity has rapidly become ingrained in our day-to-day lives. Looking around me on the crowded tube this morning, I would say 90% of my fellow commuters had headphones in listening to MP3s, or hunched over a smartphone flicking through Facebook or playing a game. Admittedly I did have to look up from my own smartphone to see them. There is a growing group that are taking the next step in integrating technology into everyday activities. Ideas previously bandied around in sci-fi films, novels and computer games of only a few years ago are now becoming reality.

A man in Denver has dubbed himself ‘the most connected man on earth’, who uses a huge variety of devices and applications to track and analyse his life. Fitness trackers tell him how many calories he has burned, wearable cameras photograph his entire day, and a posture checker alerts him when he isn’t sitting up straight. He claims that through capturing this data about his life on what he calls his ‘inner-net’ he feels he has become healthier and more productive simply through increasing his self-awareness.

At a more extreme end of this spectrum are ‘biohackers’, who implant themselves with various augmentations. These tech advanced people range from having magnets under fingertips in order feel electromagnetic fields, a compass embedded under the skin that vibrates lightly when you face north, to entire computers that log and transmits data about vital signs to an Android phone. There are a number of websites dedicated to step-by-step guides for these DIY surgeries, like a wikiHow for wannabe cyborgs. While these procedures sound (and probably are) pretty grizzly, followers of Deus Ex and Bioshock games would be familiar with the ideas behind them.

A philosophy based around this augmentation, ‘Transhumanism’, has appeared – the idea that humans can better their existence and improve their abilities through the use of technology. The end goal is to become a ‘Posthuman’ – a kind of robotic version of a Buddhist bodhisattva.

Despite this sounding like the actions and ideas of sci-fi obsessed geeks, this sort of augmentation is all around us today. Hearing conditions are being eradicated with implants on the brain, and robotic prosthetics are replacing lost or non-functioning limbs.

This goes to show that our attitude towards technology is fundamentally changing. Technology is no longer a just tool to help us connect, compute and communicate, but is now a way to overcome our physical human limitations.

Posted:March 14th, 2014|By:maxstoner

Families in rural areas believe that slow broadband is damaging their children’s educational performance.

A recent report by NFU Mutual claims that one in three families in rural areas believe their connectivity to be beneath the standard required to access important, online educational resources.

If such statistics are accurate then this is yet another example of how rural communities are falling further behind urban counterparts due to poor connectivity access.

In an attempt to narrow the so called ‘digital divide’ the government plan to deliver superfast access to 95% of households by 2017. However within the telecommunications industry doubts remain over the governments and BT’s ability to deliver these targets and to ensure that those most in need are provided for.

Traditionally rural communities have been left without fast access because the cost for the carrier to deliver outweighed what return they might make from businesses and residents in such sparsely populated areas.

If you’re in an area where broadband access is slow, please sign up to INCA’s notspot map www.inca.coop/notspot to help build a picture of the areas in the UK most at need of faster internet access.

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.