google-wallet-nfc[1]

Contact less vs NFC: Which Tech Will Take Off?

To begin with, let’s get the terminology clear. Contactless generally refers to the touch-and-go system used by credit and debit cards that allow you to simply tap your card to a terminal to make a small payment. NFC stands for near-field communication, and is usually meant to mean the technology that means you can tap your smartphone to a similar terminal. What’s a little confusing is that both technologies are actually NFC, but the general use of the terms makes it sound as though they are different. We’ll continue to use the two terms as they’re widely understood.

So as with all up-and-coming technologies such as this, there’s a debate over whether one of the methods of payment will take off over the other. Usually when there are two similar offerings in the market, one technology is successful and the other fades; think HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray.

Both contactless and NFC work in very similar ways, and have pretty much the same benefits and drawbacks. As things stand, you’re limited by the amount you can spend on both. In the UK, where the technology appears to have taken off the strongest, the limit is £15 or £20 depending on the provider that you’re using.

Divided Marketplace

The critical thing that we think will differentiate the two is that there are a variety of different smartphone applications that allow you to hold and use a NFC wallet. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, and could well split up the market in the short term, with Apple for instance using a different system to just about everyone else. With contactless however, you’re simply using your bank and card as normal; this means it’s a lot simpler and more natural for most people.

Having said that, there is clearly the chance that smartphones will eventually replace cards for even larger payments, meaning nobody carries them around anymore. Apple CEO Tim Cook says here that he believes cards are completely outdated.

The Future

To conclude, in the short term it seems likely that contactless payments using your credit or debit card will become the norm for small purchases, more so than NFC smartphone payments. As security technology strengthens however, we may see cards phased out in favour of using smartphones – it’s not hard to imagine tapping your phone to a terminal and typing in your PIN number while it’s there for larger payments.

How can EA better Fifa 15?

It is a question you ask yourself every year, but how can EA Sports’ FIFA get any better? The football game is one of the most popular video games on the market, as well as the best selling sports game in history.

Like with every year, the game was released with much fanfare and was brilliantly received by both critics and gamers a like. However, to say the game is completely fault-proof is some way off the mark, and with Pro Evolution Soccer awakening from its previous generation slumber, EA need to continuously raise the bar or they could allow their Japanese rivals to reclaim some ground.

So what can EA do to better their already superb game?

Further depth

We will start with the obvious. EA, this year, included every stadium from the Premier League, which was fantastic. At long last Stoke and Aston Villa fans could finally play a game at their actual home instead of at the notorious Ivy Lane. However, why stop there? There are massive sides in the Championship – the second tier of English football – like Leeds United and Nottingham Forest with absolutely massive fan support and iconic stadia.

pic

Elland Road (home of Leeds United) by Ingy The Wingy

The Championship attracts thousands of eyes each week; it is the most competitive league in the world and the total amount of people that involve themselves in the Championship betting is massive. It speaks volumes about the quality of English football when you consider just how good a division the Championship is, and it is something that EA really needs to incorporate more of in the next edition. Honestly, there are a lot of people that would much rather watch the Championship than the French Ligue 1 or the Dutch Eredivisie.

Open world story mode

Be A Pro has always been popular with gamers, but after a while it can become extremely stale. Playing game after game can become extremely monotonous. EA could remove this tedium by making it more of an open world, taking tips from Mousebreaker’s hugely popular Jumpers For Goalposts web game. Rather than just playing football matches, your player has to train; interact with team-mates, manager, girlfriend and fans or go to the casino and bars etc. For a full flavour of being a pro-footballer, EA need to introduce the lifestyle element to the game. Allow us to not only play football but actual live the life. Discovering how many of us would end up like Ravel Morrison would be very interesting indeed.

Don’t change FUT

FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) is the pinnacle of all sport game modes. It has proven that popular that EA now include it on their Madden game and videos of people opening FUT packs regularly attract hundreds of thousands of YouTube viewers. Right now there is absolutely nothing wrong with the game mode, but as we know developers love to tinker with winning formulas.

pic2

Dennis Bergkamp (FUT legendary player) by Kieran Clarke

Hopefully, though, EA would have learned their lesson from the backlash they received for changing popular game modes on NHL 15. If they do that with FUT, gamers really will be up in arms. The best thing for EA to do with FUT if they are to retain its popularity is to do nothing bar bringing out some more legendary players, such as Dennis Bergkamp (pictured above).

fashion111-454001[1]

Trendy Essentials for Your New Office

A great office is about more than just the space it gives you. These days, rows and rows of boring desks and dividers just won’t cut it, especially not in the latest hip professions, where budding designers, analysts and consultants want a cool environment to thrive in. Interior design is paramount, along with all of the technology that now comes with it. Here are some of the latest trends happening in offices all around the world.

Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards are one of the latest new trends. They’re not new, but more and more people are discovering them and the supposedly superior typing experience that they offer. Rather than using a membrane underneath the keys, you’re actually clicking a switch every time you press a key. This makes things feel more substantial, and can apparently let you type faster and more accurately – it’s certainly worth a try.

Graphics

The dull grey walls of the typical office interior are certainly not going to inspire anyone to the latest and greatest piece of web design. Consider putting a few interesting installations on a couple of walls of the office, or having some cool posters hung. You can always swap them around to keep things fresh.

Laptop Docks

Desktop computers are almost redundant these days, but a real workstation and big screens are not. Consider making sure that all of you employees have a laptop so that they can be mobile, but that they’ve got a laptop station that allows them to bring things up onto a monitor. Tablets and hot-desking are certainly cool, but it’s not quite for everyone.

Cool Chairs

Letting people pick their own chairs is a really fun way of bringing some diversity into your interior design. There’s a lot more out there than the same old black office chairs. You can get everything from chairs made with speakers in the headrest, to ones made out of the bucket seats from sports cars. This all does of course depend on your style – mismatched furniture certainly won’t suit everyone.

Of course, if designing your office from floor to ceiling seems like a bit more effort than you’d like to put in, then you could always consider renting out an office that has already been highly appointed. Check out the LEO website to get an idea of the standard of offices that are available to rent out.

5 Easy Ways to Keep Technology Safe at Home

5 Easy Ways to Keep Technology Safe at Home

Most people’s worlds revolve around the technology that they use today. Everyone probably could not survive even a day without all of their favorite gadgets. Technology has improves so many aspects of daily life, that it seems unacceptable to live without it. However, despite all the improvements that technology has made, there are also some drawbacks to using technology so frivolously.

Technology can be a danger to a person’s safety when not used correctly. Everyone is familiar with hackers and identity theft, but few people think that such a thing could every happen to them. Unfortunately, these issues are more common today than ever before. This year, everyone should take special measures to make sure that all the technology that they use on a daily basis is safe and secure. Here are five easy ways to keep technology safe in the home.

Install a home security system

A home security system may not sound like the best way to protect home technology. Home break-ins are one of the most common causes of identity theft. Burglars will break in to steal personal technology items that contain people’s personal information. Therefore, having a Washington DC Home Security system is the first defense a person can have against hackers.

Update anti-spyware and anti-virus protection

Most people will install these types of software onto their devices when they first buy them, but then will forget about it completely. Most software like this only lasts a limited amount of time and needs to be renewed or else it will become inactive. Everyone should check their devices regularly to make sure that their software for protection is up to date to keep their technology clean and safe.

Think twice when giving out an email address

It seems like everyone is quick to give out their email address to anyone and everyone today. Many people will even have a separate email address for ‘spam’ or junk email. This may seem like a good plan, but people forget that the email is still tied to their personal information. It can be very dangerous to not keep track of everyone who has their email.

Consider a new SIM card for a mobile phone

Mobile phones are a rising concern for personal identity safety. Many people will be quick to give out their information via their mobile phone even more than any other device. This makes mobile phones an even bigger target for hackers. Everyone can consider getting a new SIM card to wipe the slate clean and avoid any potential issues with their mobile phone.

Sign out before you leave

Using the ‘keep me signed in’ option has become very popular for many people. This option allows people to save time and avoid having to remember all of their many passwords this may seem like a good idea, but logging in and out every time is the safest option. Everyone should start practicing this to avoid making hacking easy for anyone else.

Image: http://pixabay.com/en/security-protection-anti-virus-265130/

370a06f[1]

What We Predict Will Be the Best Apps of 2015

The last few years have seen an incredible range of apps taking over our lives.

Who would have believed just a short time ago that we would soon be able to do so much with our phones and tablets thank to these apps?

The good news is that the fact that the app revolution is far from over. In fact, we believe that it is only just beginning.  The following are some of the apps we predict will rock our world in 2015.

Smart Home Apps

We are still waiting to see those house cleaning robots and mechanical butlers we were promised all those years ago, aren´t we? Until we get them it seems as though we are going to have to make do with apps that let us get things done around the house more smartly. You can already use your mobile device to switch on your alarm, turn on your lights and manage your fridge´s contents. There is a good chance that 2015 becomes the year in which we finally begin to control more of our homes using apps. Can you imagine using your phone to vacuum your floor, turn on the shower and open your garage? There are lots of interesting ways in which apps could make boring daily chores that bit more interesting. Maybe you could soon cook the dinner while you are work and chill that bottle of wine to the perfect temperature while you are still sitting in traffic

Short Term Fashion Apps

The ease with which mobile apps can now be developed means that they can now be looked on as being more short term than before. This means that they now lend themselves more to temporary use before being discarded or updated. A good example could come in the shape of the fashion world. It would be no surprise to see them now used to showcase a specific season´s trends or to help you to plan your summer wardrobe. There is now little need for a brand to think about using just one overall app for everything. It now makes more sense for them to reach out to their customers on what it is that concerns or interest them at this specific moment in time.

More Personalised Apps

We have already started to see apps gets more personalised and targeted, a trend we expect to see continue in 2015. For instance, if you are going to a shopping centre you could download the app on your way and make a list of what you are after. Once you arrive you would get updates or messages telling you exactly where to find what you are after at the best price. We no longer want generic apps that aren´t particularly useful to us. Instead, we want only the most relevant information that helps us out right here and now.  There is no reason to think that this won´t happen soon. When it does it will make our mobile devices even more useful to us than they already are.

This is a guest post for Socialwatch.co a newly launched social media agency who specialise in the buy twitter followers uk and buy Instagram followers uk market.

psp

Who Will Be the Winner in 2015 – Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or the Wii U?

As always in the world of video games, the hottest topic is which console is going to win 2015?  Is it going to be Wii U, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One?  Although nothing is certain, let’s look at some of the facts that explain why we think Wii U is currently ruling the roost and why it could continue to dominate the video games console market in 2015.

Market Share

Some of the latest figures released show that Wii U had a sales increase of 340% which has given the Nintendo next-gen console sales that pass the 4 million SKU mark.  This means that the console is winning based on market share.

Read More

oculus-rift-hands-preview[1]

What Is The Oculus Rift And Why Is It Important?

DO you remember that film The Lawnmower Man and the old, clunky Virtual Reality headset that used to be available around the same time?  Not only were they too expensive for most people to afford, but they didn’t offer anyone fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it) enough to purchase one the experience they were really hoping to have.

Fast forward 20 years later and there is now a new virtual reality headset available.  Created by the company Oculus VR, the Oculus Rift was actually bought earlier this year by social networking giants Facebook for a cool $2 billion.

Read More

Toshiba%2055ZL2%203-580-90[1]

What Is 4K TV And Why Is It Considered The Future Of Television?

Unless you have been living as a hermit for the last 12 to 24 months you will probably be aware of the term 4K TV being banded around from blog to newspaper to technology magazine.  If you are wondering what exactly 4K TV is, what makes it special and whether or not you should invest in it just yet, you’ve come to the right place as we answers all these questions.

What Exactly Is 4K TV?

Also known as UHD and Ultra HD, 4K TV is next leap forward for television picture quality.  To put it in the most simplest terms, 4K TV is capable of producing pictures that are 4 x more detailed than those produced by current HD sets.

Read More

8659260-large[1]

Welcome Back ZX Spectrum, We Missed You!

Although the gaming industry and the world at large seems wrapped up in excitement over the next generation consoles like the Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U; wearable technology like the Apple iWatch and Google Glass; and virtual reality sets such as Oculus Rift by Oculus VR; there is growing interest in retro gaming.  It’s like anything really in life, for all the modern advancements in technology, there are a lot of people who pine for the good old days of simple, but clever, 8-bit graphics and wickedly addictive game-playing.

The latest step back into the past comes from a Sir Clive Sinclair backed crowd funded campaign through IndieGoGo to bring back his inspirational and cult gaming system – the truly awesome ZX Spectrum.  It only took 2 days for the campaign to reach the £100,000 it needed.  Initially there was 1000 of the ZX Spectrum Vega devices made available through the campaign and although all of these have sold out, there will be a further 3000 units of the limited edition model available 2 months after the first 1000 have been delivered.

Read More

Applenewipad[1]

Top Tech of 2015

With every New Year, comes a new release or 50 in the world of technology and gadgets.  2015 is set to be one of the biggest years in tech for a long time, with everything from new and more powerful smartphones, tablets, virtual reality headsets and a plethora of wearable technology products being released over the next 12 months.  To put it mildly, there is a lot to shout, scream, rave and get excited about like it was Christmas every day.   Therefore, we would say that if you are planning on buying a new phone, tablet or some other piece of technology or gadgetry in the New Year, you need to read this post.  We take a look at some of the must have tech due out in 2015.

New iPad

Based on what the iPad 2 Air has – iOS8, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, ultra-fast A8X processor and Retina screen; the new iPad, whatever it will be called is a mystery at the moment, should be one of the biggest releases of 2015.

Read More