Lessons in the "Technology" Category

Edward Snowden on German TV

Recently the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden was interviewed by German TV channel ARD. In it he said the NSA is involved in industrial espionage. He added that the NSA takes intelligence regardless of its value to national security.

Snowden cited German engineering firm Siemens as one target. Snowden also revealed he no longer had possession of any documents or information on NSA activities. He has though turned everything over to select journalists.

Category: Technology / Edward Snowden / NSA

Facebook could lose 80 percent of users by 2017

Recently a study revealed that Facebook could die out in a few years. The hype surrounding the highly popular social networking site is starting to dissipate. Its growth and fading has been compared to ‘an infectious disease’ by scientists.

Using a mathematical model they charted Facebook’s demise. The researchers from Princeton University first used the number of queries for MySpace, a similar popular site which experienced a steep rise and an even steeper fall.

Category: Technology / Facebook / Social Networks

The chat revolution

Today, let’s talk about the chat revolution. Chat today is either by sending an SMS message or by using video chat that allows us face to face contact with our friends and family. Popular networks for communicating with each other include Skype, Viber, Blackberry’s BBM, Google's Hangouts, Tango, Apple’s Facetime and Facebook.

As a result over the last few years, especially since video chat came about, a chat revolution has taken place. It continues to evolve. Right now it means we can communicate instantly with people right around the world.

Category: Communication / Video Chat / SMS

Social Networking Today!

Today, let’s talk about social networking. Many of us like to chat with each other using social networking sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype or Viber. In fact, we can’t seem to live without them! Why do we use them? Because we like to communicate, especially with our family and friends. It’s also a good way to keep in touch.

Up till a few years ago we used desktop computers and laptops to communicate with each other. Today we still do; but increasingly we use mobile phones and tablets. The iPhone and iPad, as well as the Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets have helped revolutionise how we communicate with each other in many countries around the world.

Category: Lifestyle / Social Networking / Technology

BlackBerry launches Z10 and Q10

Recently BlackBerry launched two new handsets. The Z10 with a touchscreen and the Q10 with a physical keyboard. The new mobile phones, BlackBerry hopes, will resurrect the struggling brand.

Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry: “We have been on a journey of transformation. It has been one year since I was handed the reins, and it has been challenging, but exhilarating.”

Category: Technology / BlackBerry / Business

Mega file-sharing site launched by Kim Dotcom

Recently Kim Dotcom, real name Kim Schmitz, returned to the world stage to launch his new file-sharing site ‘Mega’. Within 24 hours of the new website’s launch it had received more than one million hits! Mr Dotcom’s new cloud service ‘Mega.co.nz’ says, “We promise. We deliver. Bigger – Better – Stronger – Faster - Safer.”

The new webpage follows last year’s raid by New Zealand police at Mr Dotcom’s mansion where he was arrested. His webpage Megaupload was shut down. US law enforcement agencies forced its closure, saying many users of Megaupload were engaged in pirating content and illegally sharing it. All of which Mr Dotcom denied.

Category: Technology / Webpage - Mega / Kim Dotcom

Tablets, gadgets & apps

Today I thought we could look at tablets, gadgets and apps. It is a popular topic that is constantly changing, especially with the introduction of new products and new technology. So where to begin? Let’s start with the new iPad. Recently the world seems to have gone crazy with iPad mania hitting practically every High Street across the globe. Just why are iPads and iPhones so popular?

Category: Tablets / Gadgets / Applications

Top inventions

Today I thought we could look at some top inventions and talk about them. Of course, there are thousands to choose from. Trying to reduce this to the top 50 or even the top 20 was difficult. In the end I decided to see what I could think of. You can create your own top 20 list during this lesson.

Recent inventions that people like to buy include the new iPad and iPhone from Apple. The tablet market is growing rapidly. The Kindle from Amazon is now popular for book reading. Some of us like to get our hands on the latest Samsung Galaxy or alternatively the latest Blackberry. But let’s consider other good inventions. These include; the internet, email, the computer, and the telephone.

What would we do today without Google, Facebook or YouTube? The camera was a good invention, as was the video camera. Women (and men) might consider the bra and contraception (Condoms and the invention of the pill) as useful inventions.

Category: Inventions / Technology / Creativity

Solar power mushrooms in Britain

Solar power in Britain over the past few years has mushroomed, especially during the six weeks before December 12th 2011. This is when the British government tried to close a gap in a solar power scheme the previous government created. The reason ‘it seems’ is that the deal was too good to be true!

Homeowners who installed solar panels could receive a tariff rate of 43.3p per kilowatt-hour with returns predicted at 18% per annum on one initial investment over 25 years. In October 2011 the British government announced it would reduce this figure to 21p from December 12th.

This was challenged by the Friends of the Earth in court. On January 25th the Court of Appeal released its verdict on the government’s appeal. The judges agreed it was unlawful to change the feed in rate to 21p before March 3rd 2012. The British government immediately launched an appeal but this was immediately rejected. Homeowners have until March 3rd to get a completed system registered at the 43.3p receivable tariff rate.

Category: Business / Technology / Solar Energy

Sahara desert sun to power Europe

The Sahara desert in North Africa is vast. So is its desert sunshine. If that could be harvested the potential it offers as an energy producing region is huge.

The idea is now within reach of actually happening - using new technologies to capture the sun in the Sahara desert, converting it into energy and transmitting the power generated to Europe. A group in Germany called Desertec, who have heavyweight commercial backers such as Deutsche Bank and Siemens, have chosen Morocco to embark on a huge commercial venture to do just this.

Solar power will be created for Europe; creating clean energy and jobs. The ambitious programme is feasible. Desertec expects to see the first electricity flowing through undersea cables from Morocco in 2014. Its stated goal however is to power 100% of local needs in Morocco and 15% of European demand by 2050.

Category: Business / Solar Energy / Sahara Desert