Where Does Your Money Go?

To ensure we are just that, we reinvest a substantial amount of what we earn back into constantly researching and testing new systems.

I personally have seen some of our competitors use free/Opensource software for the primary part of the service they provide. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have those increased margins too and I’m sure some would argue that being free and opensource doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t a good product.

Whilst I can tell you that the premium software we use is far superior (it really is – check out my other article here for more information) the real downside to using opensource management software is that the full code is available to the general public.

The “general public” is a broad spectrum of people that includes potential hackers looking for a weak point in that code. Dangerous territory when this software has control over your entire IT infrastructure! I know I wouldn’t want my business potentially exposed to more risk when I’m paying for added security.

We give you more than the competition, we do IT better than the competition, so the only question that remains is why haven’t you switched to IT Assist yet?

Half Board or All Inclusive?

Sorry, no, I’m not talking about holidays…rather an analogy of how I view the current standard of IT service offerings versus the offerings from IT Assist.

You see I’ve worked extremely hard to put IT Assist in a position where our service offering is in an entirely different league to our competitors.

All of our customers benefit from an all inclusive service, which in the long term provides a more stable IT infrastructure, reduced and predictable IT costs, better security and much more.

Below I’ll touch on a few key differences, these include (but aren’t limited to):

Proactive Monitoring

If you currently have an IT provider, I’m sure they’ve made you aware that they proactively monitor your devices around the clock, allowing them to find faults before they happen. The scary truth about this is that some providers are not doing this at all and the ones that do, generally use monitoring systems that require parameters/thresholds to be manually configured and only if the computer falls outside of these parameters are alerts generated.

Running a system of mixed computer types and specifications, running different software with different user habits can make this almost impossible to proactively monitor with any real accuracy.

This is where we differ, we utilise state of the art, AI (artificial intelligence) technology with our monitoring software, meaning it learns the thresholds of each computer automatically and becomes increasingly accurate as time goes on.

Proper Documentation

I challenge you to ask your current IT service provider for a copy of your site/network information and administrator passwords. I have seen, more often than not, very very poor and outdated documentation from our competitors. What happens if that IT company closes its doors? Who knows about your current IT configuration?

As a business owner myself, this is something I consider to be extremely important. We keep organised, structured and current documentation on all of our clients IT infrastructures and we use a secure password management system, where the data is stored on an encrypted drive. We typically send a copy of this out early in the agreement so the customer has a copy, but customers can request an up to date copy of this at any point during their agreement.

Unlimited Support

Some of our competitors are offering “unlimited support” too, but typically this is limited to remote support, meaning that in the instance you need a site visit, they will invoice you for the call out. Not without it’s limits then, is it?

Personally, when I’m paying for a service agreement, I want to know that I am covered without the worry of additional charges. I took this stance with our unlimited support and as such we are truly unlimited, be that remotely or onsite.

Response Times

Let’s face it, when you need support you generally need it immediately and don’t want to have to wait for a callback in an hour or two.

I can’t speak for our competitors first hand, but many of our customers have told us how impressively fast we are by comparison. Generally speaking we fix issues in 30 minutes or less.

Security Software

Unless your computer is entirely isolated from the internet and shared data, security software is an essential part of computing. If you have a computer, you need anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-phishing, anti-spyware and so on. This is often an additional expense to your IT support costs and one that is often overlooked.

Costs of security software vary, but I think an average cost of £5 per pc, per month is a typical and fair cost for security software. Assuming you have 10 computers, that’s an IT expense of around £600 per year, additional to your support costs.

How would you feel if I told you that we can save you that cost? We believe that security software is essential for all IT systems, and as such we provide leading Endpoint Protection for all your systems as standard at no extra cost.

My Personal Availability

Are you able to easily speak with a senior authority or director at your current IT service provider?

I personally, am extremely customer service focused and this is very much the lifeblood of IT Assist. My vision is for IT Assist to be the best IT service provider. Period. This is why we offer more and work harder than our competitors.

With that in mind, I ensure all of our customers have my direct mobile telephone number and email address.

Final Thoughts

With those key points in mind, let me ask you, when it comes to your business, would you rather be half board or all inclusive?

If you want to find out more or even just need a second opinion on anything IT related, please feel free to drop me a message or email me directly: danny@it-assist.co.uk

NASA’s New Plan For Saturn’s Moon

Throughout the past few years, everyone has been asking the same question, which is ‘Is there life on Mars?’, but it seems NASA is taking initiative, but on a huge body of water on the moon of Jupiter’s surface. This ocean was discovered recently by the Cassini space probe and named the Kraken Mare, this should be one hell of a job for a submarine as the ocean has a reported size of 400,000km2, but with NASA recently finding the perfect automated submarine for this job, the plan seems to have been given the green light.

I know you might be sat thinking, what’s so great about the Kraken Mare which would make them want to explore it? Well it is the only location in our solar system where surface liquids have been found, which holds a much higher chance of alien life, but the fact that the rivers & lakes on the moon are all mixed with methane & ethane which means that if aliens are living in on the moon, they must either be very strong or must have evolved to be tolerant of the gases.

The plan is to have the submarine land in the most northern part of the ocean which would allow NASA to get as much information as possible about the inner workings of the moon which provides them with more knowledge.

A website for the mission by NASA goes in to detail about how this is a mission on a scale which has never been attempted before, the statement for the mission reads:

“This investigation represents a significant advancement in our understanding of the history and evolution of organic compounds in the solar system and hence a critical step along the path to understanding the evolution of life here on Earth and potential life elsewhere in the galaxy.” ­­­­

The project is ambitious and huge risk, but even though it will require the upmost major planning, NASA have confirmed that they wish to get the mission started within the next 20 years, they will need to calculate how to get the sub to Titan which is an astonishing 1.4 billion km away, which to put it on context is 3,500 times as long as the journey to the moon, 300,000 trips from LA t0 New York.

 

Apple Offer A Fix To iPhone 7s Devices

Ever since Apple came up with iPhone 7 in 2016, they were considered to be a huge change in phone industry. iPhone 7s were the first phones that did not have a headphone jack, had no physically pressable home button and outstanding A10 processor. These phenomenal phones also display a wider range of colors, have a more long-lasting battery and more functional speakers thanks to the removal of the headphone jack. However, as perfect as these phones seem to be, they also have some slight malfunctions.

One of the malfunctions was announced by Apple in early 2018, about specific models of iPhone 7 not being able to connect to cellular service. This isn’t to be confused with iPhone 7s that do connect to cellular service but have a bad signal. This phenomenon can be quite familiar in the UK, a solution to which can be obtaining a mobile phone signal booster. It will help make the signal stronger and more stable, and the mobile phone signal booster guide will help you familiarize yourself with everything that you need to know about signals.

Now that the confusion is cleared, it’s important to note that not all iPhone 7s are subject to this problem. Only specific iPhone 7s that have been manufactured from the September of 2016 up to February of 2018 with model numbers of A1160, A1780, A1660, A1779 (which can be found on the back of the phone at the very bottom) have trouble with cellular connection. These iPhone 7s were sold in Japan, Hong Kong, China, Macao and the U.S. The malfunction is related to the inability to connect to cellular service, which is why the phone shows “No service” in the status bar even if the phone has been set to connect to cellular service. This problem occurs because of a certain component on the main logic board.

Therefore, Apple is ready to repair the affect iPhone 7s free of charge, after checking to verify that the problem has occurred because of the mentioned program that malfunctioned. In addition, Apple will also get in touch with all the customers that have already paid to fix the problem and offer them reimbursement.

There are also a few other important notes that customers should take into account. If the iPhone 7s have any other issue (such as a cracked screen) not related to the “No service” one, they will have to repair them beforehand. The customers will also need to back up their important files on the phone to iCloud or elsewhere in order to avoid losing them afterwards just in case. It is also important to mention that the repair doesn’t affect the standard warranty coverage for iPhone 7s and the phone must be purchased no more than 2 years ago to be subject for repair. For more information, please click here.

What Is Net Neutrality And Is It Going To Be Changing The Way You Use The Internet?

Lately the news has been focusing on Net Neutrality due to the recent debates in the United States blowing up.

Net Neutrality comes under a law which was implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure that everyone who has access to the internet, also has the rights to access the same content as everyone else, regardless of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) they use.

The demand to remove the law is led by the leading internet providers in the states, including the likes of AT&T and Comcast who both agree that the law isn’t beneficial to their companies as it is reducing the need for improvement and development in the sector, I agree with the statements made, as if there isn’t any need to be better because it will get you no further than your competition in most cases, where is the initiative coming from? Most industries would just flop if all their products had to be created using the same style, materials and colors, take shoes for example, how many different brands would be in competition if every pair had to be the same?

The argument isn’t just strong against the law, the pro Net Neutrality side has proved able to compete with arguments stating that if the law was to be withdrawn, it would lean companies in the direction of “Pay-To-Play” instead of providing the full web experience under one price, meaning that to use certain sites you will be charged or even sold different categories of sites under a package such as Social, Communication etc. which could cause some businesses to take huge hits with the amount of traffic and activity occurring on their site.

Even though the issue hasn’t arisen in the UK at this moment in time due to our protection thanks to Open Internet Access rights which comes under EU law, but as soon as we prepare to leave the EU and we are no longer covered, will Net Neutrality be scrapped and replaced with “Pay-To-Play” technology or will the internet big dogs such as SKY , BT & Plus Net allow us to continue using the internet freely.

Do you think this could be a successful idea, or do you think it is just another corporate method of extorting more money out of the everyday internet users pocket?

Is The New Firefox Quantum Web Browser As Good As People Say?

Tuesday saw the release of a product which has been getting hyped up for around a year, this is the Firefox Quantum Web Browser. Firefox hasn’t gone through an update on as large a scale in over 13 years of web browsers, but now, get ready to try the new browser on all Operating Systems, this being Android, iOS, Linux, Mac and Windows.

Quantum which is also known as Firefox 57, has been gifted with a friendlier user interface which not only makes it look modern, but thanks to the new tools implemented, it also has a modern feel to the browser. During the 2000’s Firefox’s growth was rapid and it took one third of the market, but as Google Chrome upped its speed and usability, Firefox was quickly moved to one side while Chrome took control of 64% of the browser market, leaving Firefox with as little as 14%.

When the test version of the Quantum browser was released in September, it was widely acknowledged as a potential rival to Safari and Chrome and it then set out on the path to destroy all flaws with developers spending over 2 months examining all aspects of the browser to ensure that all bugs and security where discovered and acted upon before public release.
One head of the Mozilla’s Technology Organisation, David Bryant has said “Anyone who downloads this version, which is so advanced we have named it Firefox Quantum, you simply can’t help but notice the speed, performance improvements, and the responsive slick new user interface” and in my opinion, he is completely true, the speed and performance allows you to perform any action at a must faster rate than on previous browser, double that to be exact with 66 Runs per minute.

Not only is the speed tempting to potential switchers, but keep in mind that the memory usage by Quantum is 30% lower than that of Chrome. Remember when Chrome added data sync between Chrome on devices? Well Firefox have taken that up a notch with the new pocket app which allows you to save a page’s content on to the app for later visits.

After the small amount of time using Firefox Quantum, I can say that it’s a brilliant browser and I will now be setting it as my new default on both mobile and desktop, as well as encouraging customers to do so as well, but I guess it all comes down to personal preference. Who else is going to be giving Firefox’s newest creating a shot?

Samsung Mocks iPhone X Fans In Latest Advertisement

In recent years, Samsung has been known for directing jokes at Apple and its users but there was a quiet time in which they left them alone after the many court cases they filed against each other, but in the new commercials for the Samsung S8 show that they just can’t resist the urge to mock iPhone X.

In this new commercial, the Samsung vs Apple wars conflicts are highlighted and shows the key features which allow Samsung to prove dominant over the iPhones creations. The first conflict identified the fact that the iPhone has a much lower memory capacity than their devices due to Apples use of 16GB of storage on the phones it releases. The next dig it takes at Apple is based in 2013 with Samsung showing its Galaxy Note 3 which sported a 5.5-inch display against the 4-inch used on the iPhone 5s. The commercial then begins to show the modern battles with Apple such as the waterproof Samsung’s being used in water while the iPhone is spotted being soaked in a bowl of rice and then finally they targeted the new iPhone Dongle which is an accessory created to charge and listen to music at the same time, ridiculous right?

Why should someone have to pay to use a basic feature, In my opinion the jokes directed at Apple are hilarious and perfectly justified as it speaks the truth, how do you feel about the mocking? View the advert yourself below!

 

Autonom Taxi Unveiled Aka The RoboTaxi

French company by the name of Navya has revealed that they have created a fleet of driverless taxis, the company has already proved itself by providing Las Vegas, Michigan and Singapore with all electric shuttle buses which you guessed it, are also self-driving.

At a company event in Paris, Navya unveiled the autonom cab. They have described the car as being the first “taxi robot”, this looks to overtake the competitors such as Uber when battling for the title of best self-driving transport service.

Although the exterior is extremely different to other self-driving cars, the inside is also features no cockpit which also means no steering wheel, brakes, mirrors, just seats. This shows the confidence in how competent the vehicle they are realising is going to be, let’s hope so.

You may be thinking “where are all the security features?”, well let me explain, the car uses 10 LiDAR sensor units, six built in cameras, four obstacle radars and even a computer system to control the rest of the taxis features without the need for a human. They are also implementing a company made mapping tool which will present the routes to the car.

Look at the testing of the vehicle if you wish

 

A little bit of information about the key features now, the car can seat six passengers thanks to the extra space provided by the removal of the cockpit, the 55-mph max speed will not be taken advantage of as the car has been capped at 35mph to make sure it doesn’t conflict with the urban streets speed limit.

Until we see the car at work within the busy urban streets we will never know what it is capable off, would you trust this vehicle with your morning journey to work?

 

Dubai Police Introduce New Hoverbikes

Dubai has been testing new hover bikes in the effort to upgrade its police force by adding them to the list of police issued vehicles, the Hoversurf Scorpions were recently unveiled at the Gitex Tech Conference.

The bikes are going to be used to allow officers on emergency response to get to location faster and easier by being granted the ability to go over the traffic and prevent being stuck in a backlog of traffic or being stuck behind slow movers. The 600 pound bikes can run at speeds of up to 43 miles per hour and allows the use of the bike for 25 minutes per charge while being able to fly autonomously for four miles.

The hover bikes are going to be mass produced for the Dubai Police after it was confirmed by the Hoversurf CEO on Facebook that they had agreed a deal. It is well known that Dubai have a love for technology and gadgets with the police using a range of high speed super cars and linking drones to them to aid in the fight against crime.

I speak for myself when I say I would like to work the emergency services in Dubai, do you think the tech is needed?

Apple Engineer Dismissed After Daughters iPhone X Video Goes Viral

An Apple engineer has reportedly lost his job due to a video posted by his daughter while visiting the Apple Campus of the unreleased iPhone X went viral on YouTube, people soon realised that her vlog included her playing around with the phone, this then caused it to attract thousands of people and even led to the video being picked up by popular apple related sites such as 9to5Mac which allowed the video to spread to more people at a much faster rate.

The video has been followed up by a video in which she states that her father has been released by Apple because of her posting the video online, the dismissal is down to an Apple policy which prohibits the filming of products before an official release, he wasn’t the one who filmed it, but because he allowed her access to the phone and allowed her to film it leaves him to blame for the issue. Apple reportedly requested that the video be taken down but it was too late as it had already been re-uploaded by many YouTube channels and news outlets.

You may feel like Apple are being harsh by letting the employee go, but not only did she show the phones exterior but also went through the phone and exposed employee only QR codes which are used to access certain things within the phone, along with the notes app which showed code names for future apple products which could lead to the compromise of some future projects.

With filming in general being strictly prohibited on the Apple Campus, the filming of an unreleased iPhone will probably be a huge violation of the rules, so very understandable that he was let go, Do you feel like this was a justified dismissal?