Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Super Connected Cities Scheme extended

Here is some great news to kick off 2015......

BDUK West Yorkshire have announced that their Super Connected voucher scheme has been extended, not only in time, but geographically too.

This means that more area's now qualify for the scheme, which enables businesses to take advantage of the ability to claim up to £3,000 from the government as a contribution to the installation and one off costs associated with upgrading the speed and reliability of their internet connection.

Previously the scheme only included Leeds and Bradford, and had an expiry date of March 2015. However, the project has been so popular that the government has decided to extend the application expiry date until March 2016.

The area reach has now been extended to all businesses in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield council areas, so the scheme in Leeds and Bradford is replicated in all 5 West Yorkshire districts. The following area map illustrates which areas now qualify;

 For more information on the scheme, or to find out if you qualify then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on - 0845 639 9661.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Spectrum Vega

For a generation of kids growing up in the early 1980’s, the must have device for the bedroom was the ‘home computer’. Home computers were a new thing in the early 80’s and every home had to have one. The potential uses for them were massive, but as history has since shown, most were used to simply play games.

The two most popular devices at the time were the Spectrum 48k and the Commodore 64. Both boasted impressive graphics (for the time), sound and games play and at the time, the rivalry between the two manufacturers was a bit like the rivalry between the Beatles and the Stones in the 60’s. You were either in one camp or the other, and nobody was ever a fan of both.
As the decades and technology moved on, these relatively simple home computers were replaced by a multitude of gaming consoles, leaving them firmly in the history books…..
Or so they thought….

Whilst these 80’s home computers were very limited in terms of graphics, memory, sound and processing power, these limitations meant that the games developers had to do the best with what they had, and as a result the games had to be very playable and for the most part, ‘good’. As such, in many ways the games have stood the test of time, even if the visuals don’t jump out of the screen.

And so for that generation of kids who grew up with this technology, nostalgia has led many of them to maintain an interest in the technology which entertained them in their childhoods. There are websites which are dedicated to retro gaming, emulators for all the major home computers and just about every single game which was available at the time is now available to download, free of charge.

The emulators have been around for many years now, but there has been some criticism that they are not always easy to use and can often crash.

However, in December 2014, it was announced that Retro Computers in conjunction with SMS Electronics, would be developing a new version of the Spectrum 48k called the ‘Spectrum Vega’.

The device, a must have for nostalgia fans and those curious about home gaming history, is a stripped down version of the classic Spectrum 48k, and instead of having a full qwerty keyboard, it only has those keys which were used in the original game play. It also comes pre-loaded with 1,000 classic Spectrum games as standard, with at least 3,000 available on future releases.

The unit is provisionally planned for an April 2015 release, and will sell for around the £100 mark. The initial production run of 1,000 units were only available as a pre-order at £100 each. Unsurprisingly this offer was snapped up in no time at all and now the next batch are currently in production.

For more information on how to get hold of one of these devices then click here.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Facebook Censorship of Unsuitable Content

Whatever you thoughts on Facebook, nobody can deny that it is now a global phenomenon and has been for a number of years, with almost 1.5 billion users now signed up and using the site on a daily basis. Facebook is the world’s most popular social media networking website, and shows no sign of losing its top spot.

Whilst Facebook is mostly used for good things, like old friends staying in touch with each other, people sharing funny video’s, idle gossip and users posting pictures of their cats, there is also a dark side to Facebook. One of the main areas of concern is the way Facebook automatically plays video content which has been posted by its users. Whilst these previews do not play the audio content, the images do appear and every now and then this content may be completely unsuitable for the person who happens to come across it.

There have been horrific examples of people posting direct links to video content which contains either violence, sexual content or in some cases, death. Most of these have been in protest of some of the awful events which have been happening in the Middle East, and whilst they are often posted with the best intentions, most people do now want to see this kind of thing.

However, the good news is that Facebook are now taking the appropriate action by censoring this type of content. Whilst this is still a work in progress, Facebook are now attempting to disable the auto-preview and instead, any suspicious video content will have a warning, informing users that the video contains graphic content which may upset.

Many leading figures and politicians are said to be delighted with this move from Facebook.