16 January
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How to Clean Your Keyboard

Dirty_keyboard

Did you know your computer keyboard is one of the most forgotten about objects when cleaning?

How Is it So Dirty?

When you consider how often your computer is used and how often it’s cleaned; it’s easy to see how it’s so dirty. If you work at your computer quite frequently; there’s a strong chance you’re eating at your desk meaning sticky fingers and crumbs are adding to daily dust.

Statistics show that 1 in 5 people forget to wash their hands after using the bathroom; meaning 1 in 5 computer keyboards could be exposed to bathroom germs…

So between crisp crumbs and the lack of hand washing;  your computer keyboard is already looking quite grim. To make matters worse office cleaning staff and homeowners forget to clean computer keyboards; some have never been cleaned.

How to Clean Your Keyboard

First of all, switch off your machine or unplug your keyboard. There are multiple ways to clean your keyboard, but whatever you do, don’t try and clean it with anything wet!

Dust Busting

Before you start; turn your device over and shake out all the dirt, generally a gentle tap when its upside down will do the trick. You will need to do this from all angles as the keys will stop dirt from falling out easily.

Like anything in your house, your keyboard will gather plenty of dust, getting rid of this isn’t hard at all. You can buy canisters of compressed air with a specially adapted nozzle which fires clean air under your keys. We recommend tilting your keyboard at a 75-degree angle while doing this to ensure you’re not just forcing the dirt and dust further into your keyboard.

Cleaning the keys

After hearing the statistics about germs from the bathroom, it’s no surprise you’re probably itching to use some Dettol. Our advice is to use an antibacterial wet wipe; some can be very damp when they are straight out of the packet, so leave it for a while to ensure it’s damp, not wet. If your computer is really filthy you might want to take the wet wipe and use it to soak a cotton ear bud; cleaning each key individually.

Key Removal

If things are really bad and your keys are still getting stuck you may need to remove your keys. This totally depends on the type of keyboard your cleaning so we recommend doing a search on your specific device. You can also find toolkits on Amazon to help with the process of getting your keys back on, as it can be fiddly.

Cleanse and Repeat

Cleaning your keyboard should be done regularly. We recommend including it in your weekly tidy up. It’s worth thinking about the number of times you should wash your hands on a weekly basis. Your computer will be continually spreading dirt so it’s advised you clean it as much as possible.

If cleaning your keyboard hasn’t solved the problems you’ve been having it might be time to recycle it and get a new one!

14 January
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Technology Inventions From the 21st century

21st Century Tech Advances

It’s easy to forget in 2018 how worried the world was about the millennium bug; little did we know how far technology would come in 18 years.

We decided to take a trip down memory lane and see what was invented since the year 2000. We’re sure you’ll be surprised by some of the technology we use all day every day, which we used to live without.

Bluetooth Technology

Yep, it’s hard to think of a time where your phone didn’t connect to pretty much every electronic device. These days you can connect your phone to pretty much anything; from Alexa to the dishwasher and washing machine.

Bluetooth was actually around in 1999 but it wasn’t until the year 2000 that manufacturers began to adopt it in mobiles and computers.

Bluetooth was named after a tenth-century king, Harald Bluetooth, who was the King of Denmark and Norway.

The iPod®

The iPod may seem like an old invention which has been phased out, but in 2001 the iPod was groundbreaking. Portable MP3 players had been around for several years before the iPod, but many hadn’t managed to take the market in the same way Apple did. Their large storage and iconic white headphones made Apple the device to have.

After the release of the iPod classic, the brand launched the mini, the nano, the touch and many more. Apple changed the way people listened to music during the 21st century; long gone was the need to carry cassettes and CDs.

Mozilla Firefox

Although this invention seems old hat now; it’s due to a comeback, introducing new technology in 2018. Before Mozilla, there was no google chrome, just good old internet explorer.

The launch of Mozilla owed its success to Windows users who didn’t want to be locked into Microsoft’s software ecosystem. Unfortunately, it was swiftly killed off by the internet giant Google which was extremely user-friendly.

Skype

After a long run, MSN began to die and Skype, the more professional version of online chat took over in 2003. It transformed the way businesses communicated around the world, opening up borders without expensive fees.

With the growth in high-speed internet, Skype maintained its market dominance in both the commercial and recreational sector. Although the likes of Facetime and Whatsapp video have since taken some of the market share for mobile users; Skype remains a firm favourite for tablet and PC users.

Facebook

Yes! We bet you’re as shocked as we are; Facebook wasn’t invented until 2004! It wasn’t the earliest networking site but it has proven to be one of the most successful. Facebook followed a great run from MySpace and Bebo. Its predecessors were extremely popular sites but it’s simplicity and decision to offer open source lead to the growth of the platform while others faded away.

YouTube

Now owned by Google, YouTube was invented in 2005. It’s shocking to think we’ve only had, what is essentially, ‘You’ve Been Framed’ on tap for 13 years. YouTube was created by 3 former PayPal employees; little did they know it would soon become the worlds most popular video sharing websites and the cause of the word “Vlogging”.

Spotify

Spotify has, like iPods changed everything about music; from single-handedly reducing the need for CDs to helping to reduce illegal downloads from sites like LimeWire. Spotify was started in 2008; offering a legal alternative to downloads and a huge library of music. Spotify offers both a free and subscribed version; helping it to boast an enormous 100 million active users with 30 million paying for the service.

4G

If you were born before the millennium you’ll remember the introduction of the internet to your mobile phone. Although it started as something very slow, we only really noticed it was called 3G when 4G was introduced. Since 2008 there’s been a set requirement for 4G standards, offering a faster internet than it’s predecessor 3G.

When it was first rolled out it was only available in selected areas of the country like London and Manchester. This has since increased and around 93% of the UK population has access to 4G services.

So if your old phone is lacking Bluetooth, access to apps like Skype, YouTube or 4G it might be time for an upgrade.

05 January
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Google and Amazon at War

reducing the cost of a phone contract

It appears that Google and amazon maybe at war; last week their brewing row became an all-out war.

What are they arguing about?

Amazon is refusing to stock Google’s line of gadgets, a Chromecast internet tv box, home speakers a smart thermostats. In retaliation, Google has removed access to youtube from Amazons Fire Tv devices.

Google was quick to point out that Amazon’s internet TV services work on chrome cast devices.

What does it mean?

Unfortunately, the ones who really lose out are the general public who enjoy watching youtube via their Kindle stick or those planning to invest in a Google device and unable to buy them on Prime next day delivery.

This isn’t the first time the two giants have had a disagreement, in September Google pulled YouTube from the Eco saying that the way Amazon had implemented YouTube didn’t comply with Google’s terms of service.

What it implies for the industry

When two companies begin blocking services when they don’t like or feel in competition with one another it starts dividing audiences.
Back in the days where people were loyal blackberry BBM users or iPhone iMessage users. We may find in the near future consumers place their allegiances with either Google or Amazon, for their streaming services.

While the battle between Amazon and Google rages, Amazon has finally put out the fires it had with Apple TV. Owners of the Apple streaming service are now able to add Amazon prime video on their devices; it’s taken 6 months for the companies to come to an agreement.

When should we expect resolve?

It could take months when you consider how long some disputes have gone on for with other platforms. We can hope that there is a resolution to the issues by January 2018 but we won’t be holding our breath.

We’re hoping that 2018 brings a form of agreement with both Apple and google meaning that customers don’t lose out regardless of the platforms they are using.