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Mama, there's a thing on the Internet

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) has become a fashionable IT buzzphrase over the past three years, although the idea has been around for much longer, so what’s it all about?

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Windows 10, Lemon or Banker?

Microsoft has a poor track record with PC operating systems. Windows 95 was good, Windows 98 was very iffy until fixed in Windows 98 SE (second edition). Windows ME (Millenium Edition) was a disaster. Windows XP was very good, but Windows Vista was an absolute lemon. Windows 7 has been good, but the design changes introduced in Windows 8 were a serious miscalculation and the take-up of Windows 8 & 8.1 has been very poor. 

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Batteries Not Included

By the time you read this Christmas 2015 will be over - presents unwrapped, turkey devoured, and the thoughts of many will be turning to saving money and losing weight. Older readers however will recognise the title of this article as another seasonal feature.

When I was young one of the traditional activities of Boxing Day was buying batteries. It was inevitable that at least one of the presents given by my Grandparents or a kindly Aunt would, when unwrapped, reveal the phrase “Batteries Not Included” in small print on the side of the box. The electronic or electromechanical delights of the new toy would have to lie dormant until Boxing Day when the local Newsagent’s shop re-opened. These days batteries cost less and last longer so most electronic goodies include batteries and are ready to go out of the box.

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Watch IT

 You’ve probably heard recently that Apple have launched the long awaited Apple Watch, a new IT gadget. Smart watches are not new, they have been around in some form for a few years and like most computer technology have improved with each iteration. Apple finally climbing on the bandwagon tends to confirm that there is a bandwagon, Apple generally don’t invent new genres of product but they are very good at seeing which will succeed and bringing their design skills to bear in improving the breed. They also rely on there being a mass-market; whilst in the past Apple were known for low-volume high-end / specialist computer products these days it is pretty much a given that Apple are unlikely to launch something unless they expect lots of us to buy it. So will the smart watch have any significance for business?

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We Need A Manx App For That

It has become a common cry in the boardroom and Marketing department. The “App” is ubiquitous, our gateway to customer engagement on mobile platforms, so what is an App, and where can you get one?

An App, simply, is a program built to be used on a mobile computer - a smartphone or tablet. It can be standalone or front-end. The standalone App is self-contained and can be used without a data connection, whereas the front-end App is a tool to interact with information stored elsewhere. A game such as Angry Birds, or a tourist reference guide will typically be stand-alone. Apps used for news, stock-market prices, e-shopping etc. will get information from a ‘back-end’ server and need a data connection.

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4G Or Not 4G, A Business Perspective

We’ve had the build-up, the hype, the launch... and now the Isle of Man has a 4G mobile network. So what? How might your business benefit?  I have to admit that for my business 4G (also known as LTE) is largely irrelevant, it may accelerate the arrival of email to my phone by a few milliseconds. If you read the newspapers, magazines, or 4G providers websites you’ll be told how wonderful 4G is for personal entertainment such as downloading movies, speeding up Facebook etc., but the benefits for business are poorly articulated.  Despite this a report into 4G adoption in other countries by consultants Arthur D. Little says “47% of early LTE adopters report resultant cost savings, and 39% report increased sales. The creative, hotel and leisure, healthcare, IT and automotive and transport industries have benefited most widely”.

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