How to Sync and Access Your Data Across Devices

How to Sync and Access Your Data Across Devices

Moving your data from one device to another is a pain. It’s enough of a pain that most software services these days offer some kind of data transfer tool when you set up your new device. Unfortunately, most of the time these “migration assistants” are garbage.

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International voice traffic spikes 20% during COVID-19

International voice traffic spikes 20% during COVID-19

International roaming traffic dropping in the region of 30% during the coronavirus pandemic, though international voice traffic increased 20% year-on-year in March, while the duration of phone calls was up 30% in March and over 60% in April 2020 compared to 2019.

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How digital tech can help address the COVID-19 mental health crisis

How digital tech can help address the COVID-19 mental health crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is quietly damaging the mental health of everyone across the world. During the coronavirus outbreak, we have been laser-focused on black-and-white statistics such as the death toll to measure the gravity of the outbreak, but what about the grey areas in between? Not only must we deal with the immediate threat to life but we must also ready ourselves for the mental health fallout caused by lockdown measures.

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Meet UK’s 80 female technology leaders of tomorrow

Meet UK’s 80 female technology leaders of tomorrow

As it stands, women occupy just 16% of IT jobs in the UK and make up less than 14% of CIOs, less than 10% of CEOs at technology companies and less than 5% of board directors at technology firms. With the aim of contributing to the drive towards improved female representation in UK’s technology scene, ‘Future Stars of Tech’ launched two years ago.

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BT Strategy Targets “Green” Recovery from COVID-19 Crisis

BT Strategy Targets “Green” Recovery from COVID-19 Crisis

Broadband and UK mobile giant BT Group has today launched two new UK initiatives, the ‘Green Tech Innovation Platform’ and the ‘UK Electric Fleets Alliance’, which they say will help to form the foundation for a climate friendly recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and help to drive the country’s “Net Zero carbon emissions.”

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Why service providers and vendors are tuning up home-based SD-WAN services

Why service providers and vendors are tuning up home-based SD-WAN services

ith millions of employees now working from home, service providers are looking for ways to offer more secure, manageable services into those home offices. SD-WAN could emerge as a prime technology that better enables work-from-home (WFH) and work-from-anywhere (WFA) scenarios for enterprises.

In short, home-based SD-WAN is doable, but it may not look like current SD-WAN offerings.

Before we get into the details, it’s worth noting that Versa Networks CEO Kelly Ahuja said “The home is now the branch” in an interview with Futuriom founder and analyst Scott Raynovich in a FierceTelecom story. During several interviews since Raynovich’s story ran, I’ve asked if the home is now truly the branch.

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Update on the future of GOV.UK

Update on the future of GOV.UK

In November last year I posted about our plans for the future of GOV.UK. We want to provide trusted, joined-up and personalised interaction for users, so that we can provide the right things to the right people, in the way they want to use them.

Since then a lot has changed. GOV.UK has been at the centre of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing vital and up-to-date information and services. GOV.UK has repeatedly seen record demand, peaking at over 132m page views in a single week (and that’s just of those who consent to analytics tracking – true number approaching 300m?). We have worked across the public sector, including with colleagues in the NHS and local authorities, to build and launch services – from scratch – in just days, to help people receive essential supplies and to help organisations offer their support.

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UK joins US-led Covid-19 HPC consortium to tackle prevailing health crisis

UK joins US-led Covid-19 HPC consortium to tackle prevailing health crisis

The UK government announced its decision to join the global Covid-19 High Performance Computing consortium (Covid-19 HPC consortium), a private-public effort led by the US and IBM, which has been set up in response to the pandemic.

Bu joining the consortium, UK’s researchers and scientists are expected to get access to the largest and fastest supercomputers in the world where they can quickly carry out complex calculations. This is anticipated to speed up the UK’s coronavirus research rapidly, and through the use of advanced modelling, develop further treatments, gain knowledge, and get an understanding of how the virus behaves.

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DASA announces funding competition for MOD’s defence innovation priorities

DASA announces funding competition for MOD’s defence innovation priorities

The UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) said that £1m of Defence Innovation funding has been allocated for civil sector support for the innovation priorities of the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

In this connection, industry and academia in the UK have been asked to file their ideas to help the Ministry of Defence with its most pressing problems in handling future threats.

It is an open call from the ministry, which wants innovative ideas to come out from the competition that can help boost the defence and security of the country. The idea can be a concept, product or service, which may be at various levels of maturity.

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SpaceX Crew Dragon docks with the International Space Station

SpaceX Crew Dragon docks with the International Space Station

SpaceX just completed another milestone in Crew Dragon’s historic journey. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have successfully docked the capsule with the International Space Station just under 19 hours after launch from Cape Canaveral. The largely automated process was uneventful. The crew tested manual operation at one point, which they said behaved much like the simulator.

Don’t expect a hasty return after this. Behnken and Hurley are expected to spend weeks aboard the ISS before returning to Earth. The capsule’s solar arrays are only rated for 119 days in space, so it will have to return by the fall no matter how eager the astronauts might be eager to stay. However long they stay, it’s a historic moment — this is the first time a crewed private spacecraft has docked in orbit. If all goes well, this is an important step toward making space more accessible.

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The importance of data centres during the pandemic

The importance of data centres during the pandemic

During the early days of the coronavirus outbreak many wondered if the internet would end up going down due to the dramatic increase in traffic from remote working, distance learning and people keeping themselves occupied while stuck at home.

In fact, research from Cloudflare revealed that internet usage swelled by over 25 percent in most major cities around the world as a result of lockdown measures. Thankfully though, data center providers were able to upgrade capacity to handle this added strain on their networks.

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EU Court Overturns 2016 Block of O2 and Three UK Merger

EU Court Overturns 2016 Block of O2 and Three UK Merger

The European Court of Justice (General Court) has today annulled a decision by the European Commission’s competition authority, which in 2016 blocked mobile operators O2 and Three UK from merging. The ruling found that the decision to block the £10.45bn deal had failed to prove that such a merger would damage competition.

A merger between Three UK and O2 was always likely to attract a disdainful eye from regulators because it would reduce the number of primary Mobile Network Operators (MNO) in the United Kingdom’s mobile telecoms market from four to three, which is something that Ofcom, the CMA and EU competition authorities all warned could affect competition (i.e. less choice for consumers, damage the MVNO market and higher prices).

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Virgin Media UK Bids Farewell to the High Street – Shuts Stores

Virgin Media UK Bids Farewell to the High Street – Shuts Stores

Cable and fibre optic broadband ISP Virgin Media UK has today decided that they will NOT reopen any of their 53 remaining high street retail stores after the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) lockdown ends, although all of those impacted by the move (341 staff) will be offered alternative roles within the company.

Arguably the writing for this move has been on the wall for awhile and the operator has already significantly reduced their high street presence. At the start of this year alone Virgin Media revealed that it intended to close 25 more of its stores and kiosks across the United Kingdom, but we didn’t expect another bombshell to follow quite so soon.

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Survey on use of Covid-19 contact tracing app draws mixed reactions

Survey on use of Covid-19 contact tracing app draws mixed reactions

Initial findings from a study by researchers at Swansea University and The University of Manchester on the use of the UK’s planned Covid-19 contact tracing app has evoked mixed reactions.

The study so far found that only one-third of people will be downloading the app, who indicated they will do so for the “greater good”. The rest of the survey participants responded that they will not be downloading the app or are not yet sure about it.

Some of the commonly shared concerns among the people are that the contract tracing app will infringe on the privacy of individuals and that it will stigmatise those infected with Covid-19. Certain participants in the survey also believe that the app will not be used by a sufficient number of people for it to be effective.

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UK officials’ focus on price damages IT procurements, report finds

UK officials’ focus on price damages IT procurements, report finds

The UK civil service focuses too closely on price in procurement decisions, a new report has claimed, and “lacks the capability and capacity to fully understand” how new IT systems will create “societal impacts such as excluding certain groups of people from services, biased decision making, or a lack of privacy.” The result, it argues, is that “these implications are often not given due weight, particularly in a technology context, when many cannot be quantified in monetary terms.”

The report, Buying better technology in government, has been produced by think tank Doteveryone – which was founded by Martha Lane Fox, the digital entrepreneur who helped set up the Government Digital Service (GDS) in 2011. It argues that civil service organisations should improve their ability to understand the implications of different choices in digital systems’ design and development, and create processes to assess their impact following delivery.

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Time to Rethink UK Smart Cities?

Time to Rethink UK Smart Cities?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a sudden rise of awareness of the unpreparedness of modern societies to deal with the consequences of widespread lockdown. But, says GlobalData Public Sector’s Tony Cripps, the shrewd use of ICT offers the potential for cities to finally channel their inner “smartness”.

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