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?

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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the law, the pro Net Neutrality side has proved able to compete with arguments stating that if the law was to be withdrawn, it would lean companies in the direction of “Pay-To-Play” instead of providing the full web experience under one price, meaning that to use certain sites you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%.

Untitled 1 - Is The New Firefox Quantum Web Browser As Good As People Say?

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?

iPhone 8 Battery Bloating

In the past week, there has been numerous reports of the new iPhone’s (8 & 8s) batteries inflating and splitting the phone open and rendering it useless. Apple have not yet made a official statement on the issue, however sources have said that they are beginning very serious investigations in to these reports.

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CNET and TechCrunch have conducted tests to identify what is causing the problem and how many devices are affected, the numbers came back very low – less than 10 occurrences throughout the 5 countries which the research was carried out.

Even though the phones are splitting open, it’s still not as dangerous as the Samsung explosion issues from a few years ago, with zero cases of the iPhone exploding. Will you still be purchasing one of the new iPhones?

You Can Now Find Your Car With Google Maps

Have you ever wandered around car parks looking for your car? Well you’re not alone, it’s something we all do. Fortunately, Google has our backs on this one.

The smart people at Google have realised that this problem is all too common. So the beta version of the latest Google maps can do all the hard work and remember where you left your car. Pretty nifty eh?

All you have to do is tap the blue dot and choose the ‘Save your parking’ option. The only catch is that you’ve got to be signed into Google maps for it to come up, and at the moment it’s only available on Android OS.

maps locator - You Can Now Find Your Car With Google Maps

 

You can also add notes, like the floor you’re parked on, or the zone you’re parked in. You can even add photos. It may sound tedious, but if it saved you wandering around aimlessly then it might be worth the effort.

 

How To Get Microsoft Word For FREE

Are you strapped for cash? Maybe you just love a freebie? Sit tight and we’ll show you how you can get Word and other Microsoft apps at no cost on your PC, laptop, tablet and phone.

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that Windows 10 comes bundled with with Microsoft Office, sadly this isn’t the case. Don’t worry though, as we’re going to show you a legitimate ways to get MS Office, including Microsoft Word, on Windows 10 completely FREE.

Lets imagine you’ve just got a new PC or tablet computer and you want Microsoft Office. There are ways to get this at absolutely no cost and we’re going to show you how.

office free - How To Get Microsoft Word For FREE

Getting Microsoft Word FREE on Windows, iOS and Andriod

Microsoft are currently allowing users to download their mobile apps for free on a wide range of devices including Windows, Android and iOS.

These are readily available through the relevant app store and to save you the hassle of going looking, we’ve included the relevant links below:

iOS:

App Store – MS WordApp Store – MS ExcelApp Store – MS Powerpoint

Android:

Play Store – MS WordPlay Store – MS ExcelPlay Store – MS Powerpoint

Windows :

Windows Store – MS WordWindows Store – MS ExcelWindows Store – MS Powerpoint

Microsoft Office logo Android 710x307 - How To Get Microsoft Word For FREE

So what’s the catch?

Well, whilst you can download and use these apps totally 100% free, not everyone is eligible to actually get full unrestricted access to the land of Microsoft Office.

If you’re using a computer or laptop you’ll be limited to read only and will need an Office 365 subscription to get access to the full features (typically available from as little as £5.99 per month), UNLESS your computers screen is smaller than 10 inch you also get full unrestricted access to the apps.

Change The Default Save Location In Word 2016

You’ll probably find that whenever you try to save a new document in Microsoft Word it will ask you to either login or redirect you to a folder somewhere completely irrelevant.

Fortunately you can change the default location for this so that it will default to your preferred location.

To change the default save location in Microsoft Word 2016 do the following:

Go to File > Options.

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step-1

From the left hand menu in the popup, select “Save”

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step-2

Uncheck “Show addition places for saving, even if sign-in may be required”

Check “Save to computer by default”

Where it says “Default local file location” change this to your desired location.

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step-3

Click “OK”

Why Am I Not Getting Any Website Traffic?

Are you suffering from LWTS? (low website traffic syndrome)

Are you being ignored on the interwebs?

Have you looked at enough cat memes today and figured you better actually do some work?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions then you have come to the right place.

Go grab a beer or make a brew, then prepare to have your mind blown with this epic blog post…

 

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OK, welcome back. Let’s get started with how you can:

Get More Website Traffic

Now, before I jump straight into blowing your mind, let’s use an analogy to help you visualise how it all works.

Imagine your website as a metaphorical bridge: each component has to be equally strong in order for that bridge to carry traffic to your website.

With that in mind, you can now begin to find the holes in your bridge, which are allowing your customers to fall to their gruesome demise, or non-metaphorically, what’s causing prospects to leave your website and go to your competitors.

Website Hosting

Your website hosting is where all your website data is stored and is the integral part of your system that actually delivers your website to your customers’ screens.

Website loading time is incredibly important to User Experience, which is what Google judges your entire website on.

If your hosting provider is not in the same country as you, is frequently down, or you’re using a slow provider just to save a couple of quid over the year, then it’s fair to say Google won’t show you much love.

There are plenty of UK providers out there that are fast and cost effective, however when compared to us, they all seem like asthmatic snails, so save yourselves the hassle 😉 More about our epic awesome mega super fast website hosting here.

 

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Website Load Speed

Aside from good, local hosting (from us obviously), you need to ensure your website is optimised.

All the images, CSS, HTML, Java and content etc. can all be compressed down without any noticeable loss of content or quality.

A well optimised site has all of this and if you’re using a content managed system like Wordpress, there are plugins such as W3 Total CacheWP Super Cache or WP Rocket that can take all the “heavy lifting” out of this for you.

 

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Google has its own Page Speed Insights tool which tells you exactly where you need to improve, but please bear in mind this can be a little pedantic and some of the advice can actually result in slowing your site down.

My personal favourite is Real Site Speed Tool. It tells you what is worth doing and what isn’t worth doing, further to this it tells you what files you need to change and even auto generates the files that need changing.

All you have to do is upload them to your web server. Nifty stuff.

Website Design Quality

Take a long hard look at your website, obviously we’ve all got different tastes, but, hand on heart, do you look at your website and get a self contented glow and think to yourself….. “that is the proverbial dog bits!”

Or do you think your website would hate itself and perhaps even jump off the metaphorical bridge to kill itself if it could?

 

quality - Why Am I Not Getting Any Website Traffic?

 

You need to ensure that your website carries the image and reputation that you want your customers to perceive. We’ve all been on those websites that are poorly designed and immediately turn us off.

This is purely common sense, if your website is lacking in quality then you’re better off not having a website at all as it’ll probably do more harm than good to your business.

If you need a quality website designing and building, there is absolutely no shortage of skilled people.

We offer website design ourselves and as you can see from our own website, it’s well built, however, if you’re looking for a specialist web company, I am happy to recommend a good friend of mine, Chris and his team over at Expert Web.

Content Is King

Right, now you’re happy with your load speed and design, feel free to give yourself a crisp high five, or feel free to give me one down in the comments!

However, if your content is not relevant, has lots of grammatical and spelling errors, or appears to have been typed up by a blindfolded monkey, then it’s safe to say your visitors won’t engage, your bounce rate will be terrible and Google will look at your site with digital disgust.

The other thing you must not do is focus entirely on keywords, if you over stuff your site with unnatural content then it won’t read right and will deliver the same result as above.

 

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The most sound advice I can give you is to write the best, most relevant content you possibly can.

If you do that, it should naturally contain the right keywords and also provide your visitors with some great reading material, which will all help to boost your traffic.

If you cannot write content (as it is an art form in itself), I would like to recommend a good friend of mine, Steph, over at stephlouis.com.

She really knows her stuff and is very easy to work with. She also has some great blog articles if you want some expert tips and tricks for writing your own content.

Google Webmaster Tools

Once you’ve got an epic website built, the first thing you need to do is invite Google over for a look around (not literally).

Google and other search engines can and will find your website without your help, however, if you want to speed up the process, then register for Googles Webmaster Tools and submit your sitemap.

This is the best way to tell Google about your website and all the great content within.

Google will also report any issues in here that it finds with your website, and advise you of how to fix it.

Drive Some Traffic

You’ve got a good reliable host (that’d be us!), your website is beautiful, your content is perfect, but you’re still not getting traffic?

Well, what exactly are you doing to get people to your website?

Let’s just forget about Google for a minute, if you’re doing everything else right, your rankings will climb naturally.

 

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Have you registered your business in all the free online directories, such as Yell and Google?

There are absolutely loads and a quick search can bring you great resources like this.

I suggest you put some time aside and register with as many free listings as you can, as this will generate organic back links to your site if nothing else – which is a good thing.

Social Media

This is without a doubt one of the best things you can do to promote your website or blog. The most common mistake is simply not posting often enough, or just a lack of consistency (more on that later).

If you have social media, to get the most benefit and drive traffic to your money site, you must post awesome content regularly.

There are great free tools such as Hootsuite that take the pain out of posting all the time. Just sit down on a Sunday evening and schedule a weeks’ worth of content to go out. Simple as.

 

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Just to clarify I’m not saying don’t have social media accounts if you’re not going to post, they’re still a great way for people to find you, so it’s always worth having them.

If you don’t have the time or energy to manage your social media accounts then you could consider using an outsourced company such as AT Social Media.

I know Adam quite well and he offers a very comprehensive service and can expose your business to an incredible amount of local and national prospects.

Make It Easy To Share

When you do get some visitors, they might see your content, they might like it, but how easy is it for them to share?

 

easy - Why Am I Not Getting Any Website Traffic?

 

If you just look at this blog, there’s a share button to your left (floating at the bottom on mobile), there’s one at the bottom and there are share buttons on the main blog list.

You need to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to share your content.

If it’s not ridiculously easy, then people just won’t do it.

I personally use the WordPress Shareaholic plugin.

Email Marketing

This is another great way to drive traffic to your website, “but I don’t have an email list” I hear you cry. Well there are plenty of places you can get them.

You can actually export your LinkedIn contacts to help get you started, but officially speaking, you shouldn’t do this, as they haven’t agreed to it.

 

email - Why Am I Not Getting Any Website Traffic?

 

The correct way is to naturally grow your own “opt-in” email list.

To do this you must ensure you have a sign up button on your website and preferably give them an incentive to sign up i.e. “Sign Up To My Newsletter & Receive My FREE PDF On How To <Your Special Subject>”

Once you have a contact list, you can start sending out your emails. MailChimp offer a free email service which includes 12,000 emails a month for up to 2,000 subscribers.

Engage With Your Audience

This mainly applies to blogs, but engaging with your customers anywhere and everywhere will create a much stronger relationship.

Invite people to ask questions, leave feedback and provide other suggestions.

If someone comments, then getting involved can open so many doors without even thinking about website traffic.

With stronger relationships comes a regular client base that will share your content and help market your website. They are the life force of your website, so spend some time answering questions and engaging with your followers.

Consistency

Rome wasn’t built in a day and traffic to your website won’t be either. You need to work hard. Damn hard in fact.

Post regular content and make sure you’re writing what people want to read.

Promote it relentlessly. Mix it up but never stop posting it to social media accounts, you never know who hasn’t read it.

Explore new and unique ways to get your articles seen, such as forums and even guest posting on other blogs.

Most importantly, DO NOT GIVE UP. If you know you’re doing everything right and you’re delivering something you’re proud to stand behind, then you need to have faith and keep pushing. It will come.

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If you have any questions, feedback, ideas for any new posts or liked this post, please let me know in the comments below 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

What is computer vision syndrome – and how can I prevent it?

Protect Yourself From CVS

Do you sit in front of a screen at work for hours, then leave with a headache, sore, dry, blurry eyes and a painful neck? If so, welcome to computer vision syndrome (CVS), a condition just waiting to happen to those who use a screen for more than three hours a day. This happens to be quite a lot of us – about 70 million worldwide. At the risk of being alarmist, some researchers argue that CVS is the “No 1 occupational hazard of the 21st century”. But back pain, tension headaches and discomfort are not inevitable consequences of screen time – perhaps we should simply be more careful. At the very least, we should encourage our children to develop good screen habits.

A study of 642 students in Iran between the ages of 11 and 18 found that about 70% used computers for at least two hours a day. Up to half reported eye strain, blurred vision, dry eyes and headaches. The symptoms were worse in those who were long- or short-sighted. While most got better quickly after coming way from the screen, some took a day to recover. About one-third sat too close to the screen.

 

What can we do about it?

Eyes work harder when they read from a screen because computer images are made of pixels, tiny dots that have a bright centre and blurred edges. Printed images and words, by comparison, are solid and well-defined. Our eyes constantly have to focus, relax and refocus to read the pixels, which tires out the muscles. The 20-20-20 rule to combat this says you should take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and focus on points 20ft from your computer. When we look at a screen, we don’t blink as much as we do normally, so consciously doing so will moisten your eyes and reduce irritation. Flat screens with anti-glare filters are kind to eyes, as is having adequate light. If you have glasses, check your prescription and consider lenses that reduce glare.

When it comes to the distance you sit from the screen, how you sit and the optimum level for reading documents, it becomes rather prescriptive. It’s more comfortable to look down at a screen, so keep yours 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 10-13cm, or 4-5in), as measured from the centre of the screen. The screen should be 46-66cm (18-26in) away from your face; any closer and your eyes have to work too hard to focus on the screen. Sit in a proper chair, even if it’s ugly, so you have support in the small of your back and can sit with your feet flat on the floor. You’re welcome 🙂

 

Credit: The Guardian

Have You Tried Turning It Off And On Again

Turn It Off And Back On Again

That phrase is somewhat a cliché’ amongst the IT professionals these days isn’t it? Often people don’t like this advice due to it not being a true “fix”. There is, however, some logic behind this underwhelming piece of advice.

If you are one of those people (like me) who all too often doesn’t shut your computer down fully i.e. sleep mode, hibernate mode or standby mode, you could be causing a slew of issues with your PC. The reason for this is that over time the applications and processes running on your computer will begin to accumulate some leftover digital crud – temporary files, disk caches, page files, open file descriptors, zombie processes and more that hang around long after you’ve closed the associated applications.

Memory leaks are another common problem, which occurs when you thought you’d closed an application long ago, yet the background process is still hogging space in your system, which in turn causes all sorts of performance and reliability issues.

These issues aren’t exclusive to computers that have been running for prolonged periods, it can happen at any point, but it is more common for computers that haven’t been rebooted in a while.

So there you have it, next time you have an issue, and someone says “have you tried turning it off and on again”, you know how and why it works (sometimes).

3 Essential Tips To Make Your Computer Run Faster

Speed Up Your Computer With These Quick And Easy Tips

You’ve probably had your computer a while now, and during the time you’ve owned it, you’ve noticed its performance has taken a dip. This can be down to numerous factors, but realistically, from my experience, most performance issues come from simply having too many things running.

Every-time you install a new program, be it a new tool bar or a fully fledged piece of software, it installs files all over your computer, and as part of that, comes background processes and services. This essentially means these programs are running in the background, even when they aren’t visibly open on your PC.

First and foremost:

1.) Remove / Uninstall Old Programs

Any programs you no longer use, get rid of, uninstall them and get rid totally. This will remove the background processes and services. I advise you do this at least once or twice per year to help keep your computer in tip top shape.

Secondly:

2.)  Run A System Cleanup

Microsoft systems come with a Disk Cleaner utility as standard, this sweeps out any temporary data and unnecessary files that are consuming room on your hard drive. Its very straight forward and easy to navigate. To open this navigate to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.

My third and final tip

3.) Run AntiVirus / AntiMalware Scans Regularly

If your computer becomes infected, which it can, even with your protection software in place, it will undoubtedly be consuming resources on your computer. By running regular scans and clean-ups, you can better protect yourself against malicious programs but also help keep your computer running sweet.