Has the Cloud changed the business weather?

Old Car PhoneI have always promoted the ways in which technology can help us, and how its advancement is changing the game in many different areas – from remote surgery via a net connection, to the way we communicate and interact. Some would say that this is great, and these changes are for the better – at least better than the sluggish old ways we used to do things. Others are more sceptical, and suggest some of what is happening is taking away from human interaction, often to the degree that we just can’t interact effectively face to face anymore.

With the above in mind, I must confess that I do a lot more typing than writing, and as a result my writing skills are just not what they used to be. Saying that, some would say my typing skills also leave a lot to be desired.

Anyway, I digress; I titled this article, “Has the cloud changed the business weather?”

This was a direct hit at what the Internet (or as it’s often called, the cloud) is doing to the way we do business. Let’s look back at the history of how it was done; again I will speak from the experience I gained over my working life.

In times gone by

In past lives I have used written reports, sending them back to my direct line manager. Then we got the marvel that was carbon paper copies, which meant I could keep a copy myself.

A fax was installed in my home office and I could fax info straight to main HQ and get it actioned. No more waiting on the snail mail to deliver. This was a revolution.

I was then made the proud owner of a pager. It would bleep to signify that I had to go to a phone and call the office. The next version had a small LCD screen where I could read a streaming text message instead of phoning in. Where was technology taking us?

OK, you have probably guessed by now that I am not a newcomer to the work environment. In fact I have been through a good number of changes to the way things are done.

The next development was a phone mounted in my company car. This was a large brick like device in the cabin, connected to a larger box that was taking up most of my boot space. The aerial was attached to the roof of the car, and off I went. However, my sales area included the highlands of Scotland, and the signal at that time was really very poor, so generally I was uncontactable unless I found a landline.

The car phone I was given after that was the first that could be considered truly mobile, and could be removed from the car and taken, yes taken with you, anywhere. WOW! This was just amazing. I could text and phone from anywhere and no longer needed to be tethered to my car.

I was then simply given a mobile phone, and along with that my first mobile computer. It had details of all the products I used to sell on it, and had the ability to allow searches and pricing on the spot in front of a client…

How could this be I hear you cry? Well that was technology for you, and it was driving sweeping changes to what we were able to do in business.

Obviously things have moved on greatly since these bygone days, and companies have had to accept technology moves one. They also have to deal with the way it has influenced what they do, and landscape of their proposed market places.

Access to the Internet started very slow, I still remember connecting via a dial up modem (33.6k which by today’s standards is the slowest thing ever) but it was new and exciting at the time. Then ADSL has superseded that, and now ADSL is on the wane due to Fibre broadband being rolled out nationwide.

With this advancement, and mobile broadband reaching similar speeds, it finally means that the cloud has come of age. The idea of ‘Always there Internet’ has truly arrived.

What we can do now in the cloud, and through the cloud, is an order of magnitude more impressive than my first work experiences of technology.

Where will it all go?

The question now, I suppose, is where will it all go? But what I want to ask you is where will you take it?

Will you adopt the latest technology and keep pushing what you can do beyond what you do now? Beyond what others are doing? The cloud is truly changing the weather in the business world in ways that a younger me could only dream of.

We can collaborate worldwide as if we were in the same office. We can have instant access to real-time information that allows us to make informed decisions faster than ever before.

We can access information at any time and any place, which means we don’t have to be tied to an office desk. Mobile Internet usage (or cloud usage if you like) has increased year on year to around 68 to 70% of all Internet traffic. Technology has improved beyond a large bulky desktop computer or chunky laptop, the information is now actually in the palm of your hand.

Our mobiles (and remember I started with a brick in my car) have now turned into smart phones. We can do all sorts of tasks using them, and that includes good quality business work.


I am still excited about where technology can take us, and would like to think I’m still a people person. It will never make me a recluse, so that I do not interact, but it can make my life and business world  easier. It can change the weather on the business front, and for me this has meant more sunshine and less rain, even though there will still be clouds.

What are your thoughts on adopting new technology for you or your business?

Sniffing Around CES2014 in Vegas!


Consummer Electricla Show 2014 in Vegas

I have always wanted to put that as a title. However sadly we are not at CES 2014 in Vegas but we are sniffing around some of the reports that are appearing online to see what is being displayed and demoed this year.

The news if heavy with all sorts of reports from all our favourite electrical companies, Samsung stealing a lot of the press with their Ativ Book 9 2014 edition and of course their curved televisions 50-inch OLED.

LG have released their curved phones, which use OLED technology. They have also been showing off their Fireweb Firefox driven phone and not to be left out of course have launched and showed of their 4K curved OLED TV, 77-inch in size with a picture that is stunning.

Sony is producing facts and figures about sales of the new PS4 against the Xbox One and it looks like Sony is in the lead now and if the figures are to be believed, well in front.

Other news, is that Android devices are to top 1 billion in 2014, so not much slow down there.

One of the most interesting facts is that there are more wearable devices than ever before and a lot of talk about Intel moving in this direction. This is firing up rumours that Intel might be giving up on its mobile ambitions to pursue the wearable market. Time will tell.

Lenovo are still prominent this year with their Lenovo Thinkpad 8, they claim this newest offering,  “will put a full PC in the palm of your hands.”

Other memorable news feeds are talking about the progress of self-driving vehicles, again this technology is developing fast and the computers are now able to handle more data than ever before, so watch out for the self-driving vehicle coming your way soon, no pun intended.

I will leave you with this link to a 3D food printer that has appeared at CES this year, it prints chocolate and candy….now there’s a printer for the office……

3D Food Printer

Yes, CES 2014 has once again not let any of us GEEKS down. There are developments from the hardware manufacturers like Tegra and snapdragon showing off where things are going next right down to new travel experiences and viewing delights.

Check out some of the feeds online and start to get excited about what is happening in the world of tech.

What would you like to see come sooner rather than later, let us know?

Ian Thomson
IT Turning Point

Rumours Surface about Surface 2….

touch screenRumours are surfacing about Microsoft being about to launch their next generation of the Surface tablet computers. These remember are the computers that they have a huge stock of in warehouses that is costing them more in Rent for the storage space than it did to make the units.

They have scheduled a press event on the 23rd September in New York and are emailing out media invites, but are keeping very quiet about any other details….oh the intrigue.

The rumour mill of course has been running all the time and snippets have been released about the various new Surface units that might be emerging. For example, it is rumoured there will be a Surface 2 and a Surface Pro device. Also a refreshed version of the Surface RT device. Hardware is expected to be improved to the Tegra 4 CPU with 1080p screen and 4Gb of RAM. Improvements to the battery life have also been muted.

Of course Windows 8.1 is expected in October so all these devices are rumoured to be running this version.
But is it too, little too late for Microsoft. Or will they make the breakthrough they expect to make in this catch up race with IOS and Android devices?

What are your thoughts and do any of you have a Surface just now?
If you do let us know your thoughts on it?
If not, would you rush out and buy a new Microsoft Surface device?

Xbox Durango or is it the 720 … we will know on May 21st

xbox 720 rumoursI have been planning to write this for quite a while, as the rumour mill keeps feeding my excitement factor. There has been a steady stream of small snippets of what we can expect from the next incarnation of the Xbox.

I will be honest and say that I have been an Xbox owner for some time now, and have not really been wooed by the PS3 or its predecessors. This means any Xbox news gets me looking around like a meerkat to see what is happening.

I thought for this post I would trawl the net and try and see what all the various rumours were. I can then sum them up here before the Xbox’s arrival – which is the 21st of May by the way … be still my beating heart.

So here we go:

What will it be called?

The name is the first thing the net is filled with suggestions for. What I have found varies greatly,  but here are some of the best efforts.

Durango          Seems to be the development name for the project

Xbox 720         This seems to be the most popular and has stuck

Xbox Next       This was found a number of times.

Xbox Infinity    Only read this once?

Xbox                Two sources are suggesting that they will go back to just calling it the Xbox.

What about the specs?

Once again rumours abound, and I have picked what seems to be the most consistent info. Here it is for all you hardware buffs and gaming freaks.

Xbox 720’s CPU          AMD Jaguar-based CPU clocked at 1.6GHz

Xbox 720’s Graphics   A revision of AMD’s 7000 series graphics

Xbox 720’s Memory     8GB of general system memory and separate graphics memory

Xbox 720 Drive            A Blu-ray has been rumoured and seems a no brainer.

 Internet and Gaming?

One of the more disturbing rumours doing the rounds is the suggestion that you will have to keep the Xbox connected to the Internet all the time to be able to play any games – a rather nasty form of DRM.

Here is an excerpt from Expertreviews.co.uk,

“The news that the Xbox 720 would include DRM that requires an always-on internet connection, without which games simply won’t play, was all but confirmed earlier this month by Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth who took to Twitter to defend his company’s decision. Sadly, Orth appeared to be speaking out of turn: after mocking those who had stated they wouldn’t buy the Xbox 720 if it required an always-on internet connection, he left the company under a cloud and Microsoft, after a weekend of Xbox Live outages that would have left the next-generation console useless, issued an apology.

That apology did not come with details of how the DRM system, designed to prevent piracy, would operate in the next-generation Xbox – but sources speaking to Polygon claim that the always-on requirement will be set by each game’s publisher individually, rather than by Microsoft. As a result, the console will support requiring an always-on internet connection, without which games won’t run for more than three minutes, but publishers can choose to ignore the feature and allow gamers to play single-player titles entirely offline should they so choose.”

If Microsoft, or the games manufacturers, enforce this – I can only see it as being detrimental to what they are trying to achieve. Many gamers will want to take their Xbox out and about, even away on holiday with them, and as a result they may not always have Internet. Should that mean they can’t game?

Will the controller change?

Again there are a number of suggestions as to what we will end up with, and some of them are quite intriguing indeed. Here is a brief roundup:


The strangest rumour seems to be that the next version of Kinect will be launched with the new console – ‘Kinect 2’ if you like. This will be at the very heart of the new Xbox’s sales drive to increase and enhance the motion control we already have.

However, here is the most intriguing rumour/fact I found. Microsoft has recently filed a patent relating to projecting augmented reality images onto the walls of the room when you are gaming. An attempt, no doubt, to fully immerse you in the game. The codename for this project is ‘Fortaleza’. Is this the fore runner of the Star Trek Holodecks?

Control Pad

The control pad, as far as I can determine, is likely to remain pretty much the same – the current design being well received by the majority of gamers. The only extra item rumoured is the possibility of Microsoft including a touch sensitive strip on the controller, something which is rumoured for the PS4.

To sum up!

Having trawled the Internet and found many potential facts about the next gen Xbox, there seems to be a lot of information out there. However, what it will eventually be called, and what a production unit will look like, is still very much a mystery. I guess we will just have to wait until the 21st May launch date to find out!

What is your favourite gaming system and does the new Xbox excite you?