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Category: Tech

Artificial Intelligence: What Is It & Does It Benefit Us?

Those of you with a keen eye on the tech world will know that artificial intelligence receives a lot of attention. It’s sometimes referred to in its abbreviated form as AI, but what is it? What does this type of technology allow us to accomplish? More to the point, does it benefit society?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

The simplest definition is that this branch or technology involves things that are capable of performing tasks on their own. This includes machines, software programs, etc. The idea is that AI technology automates tasks, but also that the technology learns from previous work. It’s also possible to communicate with smart AI machines and get them to do tasks by commanding them to do so. Unfortunately, the actual description of artificial intelligence is more complex. There’s not enough space to write about it in this article, but you can read this post that talks about the three different types of AI technology.

Does AI benefit us?

Again, I’ll lead with the short answer: yes!

The whole purpose of AI is to help human beings. Some people think it’s to replace them, but that’s not true. Most instances of artificial intelligence exist in ways we don’t realize. Take a look at the technology around your home – do you have any smart devices? A smartphone has AI inside it, as do things like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Loads of household items are being developed with AI technology to improve their functionality. The overall advantage is that it’s easier for you to do a range of different tasks. 

Furthermore, artificial intelligence is really coming to the fore in a commercial sense. Businesses rely on it more than ever before. You can find instances of AI in HR throughout so many organizations. By using smart technology, HR teams can streamline the recruitment process. AI can analyze large sets of data and fit job candidates into categories based on their applications. The same applies to many other areas of business as well. Marketing relies on artificial intelligence to help with things like real-time bidding on Google Adwords.

In a more physical sense, manufacturing companies have used smart machines with AI for years. They allow for more precise construction of equipment in factories. It gets rid of human error, speeding up productivity. 

Should you be worried about AI?

There are lots of concerns about artificial intelligence. Many of which stem from sci-fi films where sentient robots suddenly take over the world. Is this a possibility? Right now, it seems highly unlikely. It’s worth reading up on the benefits of risks of artificial intelligence, but there’s nothing to worry about right now. Your smart fridge isn’t going to break free and start attacking you. For now, it’s simply a new piece of technology that makes life easier. 

Hopefully, this answers the main questions you had on this topic. Personally, I think artificial intelligence is a groundbreaking technology with many useful applications. As long as the tech-heads in charge don’t try and create crazy sentient cyborgs, we should be okay!

Stand Out From The Crowd: A Guide For Software Developers

Since the digital era, there has been a rise in the number of software developers, and this is due to the growing demand for the service. Rollback ten years ago and there was far less in the market so the competition may not have felt so fierce. Today there are multiple developers all pitching out for the same jobs, so what can you do to make you stand out from the crowd?

Simplicity is always attractive. Writing clean code that is easy to read and reuse is essential to winning high-end jobs. You need to offer something effortless within your code: one purpose, one function. Make sure you name the variables and functions in a clean way, this means when you or a developer comes back to read it, everything is quick, and it’s easy to identify what it is meant to do. 

Understand your brief and then get to know it even better. While you may have the basic concept of your clients brief, you should get to know why they are building this application. Ask lots of questions about the business and get under the skin of what the company is. You need to understand the objective entirely, and this will ensure you can deliver precisely what the client needs. 

Offer the client more. Most software developers are required to make reports for the clients once the application is built; however, embedded reporting and allowing the business to do their own analytics could be a massive bonus over your competitors. It will enable them to tailor their reports around their needs. See how embedded ad hoc reporting tools work for your client, and you might find this gives you the edge. 

It doesn’t matter how much talent you have; you need to be disciplined in how you work. You might be able to create the most fantastic code and have better ideas than your competition but, if you aren’t disciplined in how you deliver it, then you could end up failing to meet deadlines or missing vital parts of the brief. Being dedicated will help you produce a much better end result. So when you take on new jobs, focus entirely on the task. Remember that quality is more important than speed, so always speak to your client if you think their project needs more time. 

There is a saying that suggests most people listen only to speak. However, when dealing with clients, you need to listen to hear. You should also listen more than you speak. While asking questions and ensuring you have all the information you need correctly, try to avoid taking over the room with all of your ideas. Listen first and then speak. Make sure you have digested everything that has been said to you. It can be really off-putting to a client if they think they are working with a developer that doesn’t listen. 

It isn’t hard to stand out from the crowd if you make sure your focus is on your client’s needs and delivering the very best products that fit the company brief.

What Is A Web Developer And What Do They Do?

A web developer is someone who programs the code that instructs a website on how to function. They will build a website from the bottom up, which means they are both technically and creatively minded. They will design a website in such a way that the user has no trouble navigating around the site. The website will not be that simple that it doesn’t appeal to its advanced users, but it will also not be that complicated that a beginner gets lost.

Web development is divided into three parts: 

Code that executes within a web browser and determines what a client or customer see’s when they land on a website also known as client-side scripting. 

Code that executes within a web server and controls the behind-the-scene mechanics of how a website works also known as server-side scripting. 

Database technology, that helps to keep a website running smoothly and efficiently. 

When there is a large scale project, you will find that each of these tasks is often split between different develops. 

What Does A Web Developer Do?

A web developer maintains and builds websites with the consumer and client in mind. This means that the end design must include services and products offered and show users exactly how they can access these. For example, a customer may want a form to capture an end user’s e-mail to request additional information, thank a customer for their business, ot provide them with offers and a newsletter. 

One type of developer may focus on the client-side (front-end development) while another may work on the back end of a site (back-end developer). However, you do also come across developers who choose to work with both and provide an all-round service. 

The work is most commonly project-focused and involves collaborating with a team of people who help coordinate the client’s needs and wants for the end product. The work may include regular meetings with various clients to discuss their requirements and needs for a website or how they can keep their website up-to-date and functioning. 

Web developers will typically construct the layout of a website, working to create a visually interesting home page and user-friendly design. They will sometimes also write content for the websites they create. Once a website is up and running, a developer will make sure the site is fully functional on all browsers, updating and testing as needed. 

A web developer will be very familiar with technology and understand exactly how a web server and computer operates. They’re also extremely familiar with several different software programs, web programming languages such as hypertext markup language (HTML), JavaScript (JS), Ruby on Rails, and C++, and web applications. They must be able to communicate effectively, meet deadlines, set goals. 

Types Of Web Developers

Back-End Developers – A back-end developer builds and maintains the technology needed to control the components which enable the user-facing side of a website to exist. Their back end code links to everything the front-end designer designs. 

Front-End Developers – A front-end developer is a web developer that designs and codes the front end of a website. While you may have heard of web design, which is the way a website looks, a front-end developer is how those designs actually gt implemented onto the website. 

Full Stack Developers – A Full stack developer will understand each and every part of the web development process and the best practices. These developers have an increasingly important role in the web development of the future/ This is because they are able to look at the ‘big picture’. They are knowledgeable and skilled with the server-side as well as the client side’s user experience. They are considered to be a great asset to anyone needing the services of a developer. 

JavaScript Developers – JavaScript (JS) one type of web programming language that is supported across all web browsers and tools. It’s the language that gives these developers the power and control to enhance, create, and modify websites. A JavaScript developer will generally work on the front-end development of a website, however,  the language itself isn’t limited ot front-end use. 

Are You Suited To Be A Web Developer?

A lot of people who work with web develops will say that they have a very distinct personality. They’re usually artistic people, meaning they are creative, sensitive, intuitive, articulate, and expressive. They are also nonconforming, innovative, original, and unstructured. However, some of them are also conservative and conscientious, conventional individuals. 

If this sounds like you, then a career in web development could be extremely rewarding. 

Where Do Web Developers Work? 

The world is your oyster when you’re a web developer, especially when it comes to where and when you work. They may work both full-time and part-time or a mix of the two. They could work in a technology department as part of a business or work on a self-employed basis at home. If a developer does choose to freelance, then travel may be involved as they can work from anywhere in the world. Some web developers choose to use their web development skills in a variety of different ways such as, as an Ethical Hacker or offer their skills to various different organizations at once. They may even act on a consultant basis to offer their skills and expertise in perfecting an existing website. 

Should I Become A Web Developer?

Here are some of the reasons that other web developers say you should consider entering the field of web development: 

Although there are a lot of skills that go into web development, you don’t actually need a degree. Many successful developers are self-taught and don’t hold any qualifications in the field. If you have knowledge of the relevant programming languages and experience managing a database, you can enter the field. Just bear in mind that some companies may prefer some evidence that you have these skills. 

If you love to be creative and solve problems that a web developing career could be perfect for you. You are able to use your creative juices and a technical mind to create excellent and exciting user experiences. 

When you become a web developer, you become part of a community. Maybe even more than in any other field. Yes, it can be competitive but the web development industry is also very supportive. There is several different online platforms where you can share thoughts, ideas and problems with other developers. It’s a great way to interact with like-minded people. 

The pay! The demand for developers by far surpasses the supply available. This means that employers will pay higher salaries to wor with the best talent. 

You have the freedom to work as a freelancer or as part of the business. Web development is one of few careers where you can pick and choose your projects and control your career. 

You can work remotely! This is becoming more and more sought after for any worker. A web developer has the choice to enjoy working from anywhere they choose and manage your own time. 

It’s future proof. Web technology is forever evolving, so the need for developers is always increasing in demand. 

You can see that a career in web development can be extremely fruitful, fulfilling and give you the freedom to work as and when you want. Although it can take some time to learn. Start with the basics or maybe consider a course. Are you interested in web development? What are you doing to get your career started? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

How to Improve Your Home’s Relationship With Tech

Our homes have become a long way in recent years. It wasn’t so long ago that homes were pretty simple operations, with perhaps just a television and a radio. Now, of course, it’s all different. The rise of the internet and other technology has opened up a world of possibilities. Whereas we used to go outside for our entertainment, to socialize, to learn, now we can do all of that from the comfort of our own properties. But only if we have the right technology. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at a few useful tips that’ll give your home a nudge in the right technological direction.

Upgrade Your Sockets

The way we power our devices is changing. Those old, country-specific plugs are still important, of course, but there’s been a huge rise in other types of power charging methods. For example, the USB. This is used to charge a whole host of devices, most notably our smartphones, which are always running out of power before their time. There are plug sockets you can get now, which include USB ports below the main socket. They’re very handy when you want to charge your phone, but don’t want to unplug the television or other important piece of tech.

Internet of Things

Walking into a home that’s connected to the Internet of Things is like walking into the future. And no doubt, that is where the world is going. Though things will be more impressive in the future, there’s still some pretty gadgets out there right now that connect to the internet. For example, there are devices that allow you to turn your lights off and on without getting up; you can lock your front door from your device; and you can even switch your heating on when you’re out of the house, so that it’s nice and warm when you return back. Rather than adding bits of technology to your home, this approach is more like building technology into the framework of your house. 

Entertainment Options

During the lockdown, some of us are finding out that our homes aren’t quite as exciting as they thought they were. But it’s never too late! There are plenty of ways to make your home more entertaining, most notably by incorporating the hardware that’ll allow you to enjoy many hours of movies and television in the evening. If you’ve only got an old television, then your setup won’t be as advanced as it could be. Smart televisions are so much better! You’ll be able to watch YouTube, Netflix, HBO, and other subscription services right through your television. If you’re still connecting your computer to your television using an HDMI cable, then you’ll be astounded at how much more straightforward it is. 

Music in the Air

What would life be without music? It’s not worth thinking about. One of the best ways to bring some life into your property is to add systems that’ll allow you to play music throughout your home. There are plenty of good, small speakers that you can purchase. And if you get a smart home speaker, then you’ll be able to play music just by talking into the air — you’ll give a command like, “OK Google, play something funky” and then it’ll come on. It’s particularly recommended that you get this set up in your bathroom. Taking a shower is a whole new experience when you can play any song on Spotify just by giving the command. 

Internet That Works For You
Of course, so far, we’ve been making suggestions that will undoubtedly aid your home life, but which all require the internet to work. If you have a poor or unreliable internet connection, then you won’t be able to enjoy all the benefits of modern home technology! So that’ll be the first thing that you’ll want to get into shape. There are plenty of companies that offer internet service, so take a look at what’s available in your local area and get the one that’s right for you. A bad internet connection doesn’t just stop you from enjoying all the good things that it can bring; it can be positively frustrating and make you want to rid your home of technology entirely.

Smart Lighting

In a few years, we’ll look back at the primitive way that people used to light their homes, and think, “what were they thinking?” Smart lighting is a game-changer when it comes to lighting our properties. By using an app, you can make your lighting exactly as you want it. And doesn’t that make sense? You’ll want different lighting when you’re eating dinner compared to when you were preparing it, for instance. Whereas it used to be that you’d need to have different lights to achieve a different look, so all the light can come from the same lightbulb. 

Added Security

Of course, you could have all the tech in the world, but if you’re not feeling comfortable inside your home, then you won’t be able to enjoy it to the full. There are ways to boost your home’s security with technology. For example, there are video doorbells that allow you to look, via your smartphone, at whoever is standing outside of your property. This is useful when you’re home, so you can check to see who it is before opening the door, but is especially recommended when you’re not at home. You’ll get an alert on your phone when someone’s there, allowing you to check the video and take any necessary action. 

Reducing Bills

Technology can be fantastic, but it can also be expensive, both in terms of the devices themselves and the cost they produce in the form of electric bills. If your bills are too high, then take a look at adding a device that shows you exactly how much electricity you’re using. It’ll even show you how much your bill will be in real time. 

Roomba Cleaning 

Tired of always sweeping up your home? Then worry no more: technology is here to help. When home appliances first became a thing, the idea was that they would be so advanced that we’d save a lot of time. But that didn’t happen: we had to work harder to afford the appliances, and then had to use them (like the hoover). But the Roomba really is a game changing device. It’ll help to keep your home clean without you having to do anything!

When to Upgrade

It’s worth remembering that while you may have invested in technology a while ago, it’s sometimes not so long before things have progressed massively, and your current systems are out of date. It’s good practice to stay on top of all the latest home technology so that you’re aware of what’s available. As a general rule, it’s best to upgrade whenever your current system becomes problematic. If everything’s working well, then there’s no need to change anything — but if your tech is causing you stress and compromising your enjoyment of your home, then you’ll know that it’s time to upgrade!

Conclusion

Get your technology right, and you’ll find that it can elevate your home to the next level. You’ll be able to relax more easily, stay entertained, learn more, and save money. While it can seem like a big financial investment to bring your home up to speed, it is worth it, for your enjoyment’s sake, but also for your home’s value: homes are that feature the latest tech are always more attractive to potential buyers.

You Need This Tech To Stay Sane In Lockdown

Are you stuck at home right now? Perhaps you are choosing to stay at home to remain safe from the growing threat of the coronavirus. While many assume that this virus is only dangerous to those with a weakened immune system or those who are elderly, this is not the case. Evidence suggests that anyone can be affected, which is why it’s important to stay inside. However, despite what people claim, this does pose challenges. Escaping boredom is certainly going to be an issue and you’ll have to make sure that you’re not getting on the wrong side of the people you share the property with. 

Noise Cancelling Headphones

You’re going to be spending a lot more time with your family in lockdown. You’ll quickly realize that this is both a blessing and a curse. You see, you won’t be used to everyone being around the house all day, every day. It’s easy and understandable why this might lead to some people getting on your nerves. If you want to avoid this, then there are steps that you will be able to take. You will need to make sure that you practice some calming techniques but tech could help here too. For instance, you might want to consider investing in some noise-canceling headphones. These are great because the tech is actually able to provide a blanket of silence so that you can work or listen to music in peace. So, even if the kids are running around the house like crazy little monkeys, it won’t bother you when you’re trying to match a deadline. 

This tech could also be a lifesaver from the typical person who finds themselves working from home. There are a lot of different examples of this tech available on the market. The trick is to make sure that you find the type that is going to match your needs and your budget. If you’re looking for one of the best options, you can’t go wrong with the Airpod Pros from Apple. 

VR

Sometimes when you’re in lockdown, you’ll be anxious to escape and get away from the mundane existence that you have found yourself trapped in. The good news is that tech can provide the answer here too. With virtual reality headsets, you really can escape to another world. You can head to a tropical paradise by watching VR movies on Youtube. Alternatively, you can take a flight to another universe with your favorite gaming experience. Some of these headsets are now completely affordable and will be able to deliver the incredible experience that you want. Others are more expensive and will provide an adventure that is going to completely blow your mind. There are even now systems available that will allow you to watch movies in what is basically a virtual cinema. 

Of course, paired with noise canceling headphones an experience like this is even more immersive. You  won’t have to worry about noises from the outside world spoiling what could be an incredibly immersive experience. 

Drones

You may not be able to leave your house, but your technology can if you have the right type of course. We’re of course referring to drones through which you will be able to take to the sky and record incredible videos. Drones are awesome because they will offer the escape we need right now and ensure that we can keep ourselves entertained by breaking free from the typical boredom. There are lots of different styles and types of drones on the market. However, we encourage you to explore options like the DJI Mavic Air 2. When you learn more about the DJI Mavic Air 2, you’ll find that it offers the latest technology in the palm of your hand. You’ll be able to capture incredible videos and discover a drone that is truly state of the art in terms of the tech that it brings to the table. 

Of course, you could pair with the other tech that we have mentioned so far. Some drones are designed to pair with a VR headset. This will mean that you can see exactly what the drone is capturing as though you are actually flying through the air. Of course, we advise you to avoid taking this idea too far. Some drone owners have been caught using their drone to complete various outside activities including but not limited to, walking their dog. 

A Home Cinema System

Finally, you might love going to the cinema. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee when or even if cinemas are going to reopen. There’s a hope that theaters will be back on track by September at the latest but are you going to risk sitting in a crowd of people to enjoy the latest Marvel blockbuster. It’s understandable to be concerned and perhaps want to wait for a vaccine. That’s why you should make sure that you have the right setup to enjoy movies in the comfort of your own home. With so many movies on demand right now, it’s the perfect time to upgrade your systems. To do this, you need to make sure that you are investing in the right solution. For instance, you should go beyond just getting a 4K screen and also ensure that you have an immersive sound system too. This will provide a true cinematic experience. 
We hope this helps you understand some of the best tech on the market right now that is going to help guarantee that you are able to survive the lockdown. Remember, it’s possible that right now you are seeing the lockdown being lifted in your area. But it’s not the end of the story. There are growing signs that this pandemic won’t be over until 2021 at least. This means that there could be multiple lockdowns in the future, depending on the level of the threat. This is something that people should definitely prepare for. Guaranteeing that you already have the tech you need to stave off boredom is a great way to do just that.

If You Haven’t Put Your Work On The Cloud, You’re Missing Out

In recent years, we’ve seen a shift towards businesses conducting their operations over the cloud. Everyone, from the solitary home worker to the mightiest corporation, is using the technology to deliver better outcomes to their customers. Yet, even while the benefits stack up, there are a whole bunch of people out there who are yet to take full advantage of this platform, and it’s costing them big. 

The cloud isn’t just another internet service. It fundamentally changes the way that you go about your work. It essentially frees you up to conduct your business from wherever you like. You’re able to connect to all your regular resources from your home office, a coffee shop or even while travelling overseas. It’s a massive boon.

Fundamentally, the cloud changes the way that you think about work. Most of us were brought up on the idea that you have to go to a physical place to do your job. The internet came along and taught us that that wasn’t necessarily true. However, companies still demanded that we showed up anyway. 

The cloud plus coronavirus, however, is a one-two punch for the old system. People are starting to realise that there is no good justification for the office, other than to keep strict control of employees. The fact that the cloud is already there and ready to use means that most businesses won’t be able to resist new home working models of employment. As of 2020, they have no choice. 

If you work for yourself, getting on the cloud is relatively easy. You don’t have to buy any physical hardware. Usually, all you need to do is migrate to AWS and go from there. Amazon takes care of providing all the server farms. You just pay for the services that you use. So, for instance, if you need more data resources, you expand the amount of storage you use by upping your premiums. 

The costs of this sort of thing are much lower than you might imagine. Google, Amazon and Microsoft are fighting a pitched battle for market share. Each firm wants to entice as many business users as possible because they know the market is going to grow enormously. Furthermore, all of them know that the cloud is an intrinsically more efficient model than everyone running their own operations. It is the data equivalent of mass production. You line up a bunch of servers in an air-conditioned room and then add capacity where required. It’s a single installation, replacing the thousands of individual servers you get when people go it alone.

If you’re just a regular guy or gal now working at home – or even if you run a business- the cloud brings a bunch of essential benefits. When you move to a distributed computing model, updates become increasingly straightforward. You no longer have to fiddle about with server shutdowns or get IT crews to work over the weekend. The app company just updates their services in conjunction with their cloud provider, and you don’t notice any changes.