Colors: Purple Color

Britain is currently basking in a heatwave, with temperatures set to soar over the next few weeks. Whether you are an office worker looking to make the most of the warm weather by catching up on emails outside, a football fan catching up on the World Cup in the garden or just a sunbather looking to binge your favourite Netflix show, the UK’s leading independent tech retailer Ebuyer has some top tips on how to use your laptop in the sunshine.

 

Embrace the shade

Not only will taking regular breaks from the sunshine help you avoid any uniform tan lines, but it also gives your laptop a chance to cool down. If the midday sun is making your screen unreadable, moving somewhere covered or placing your laptop in the shade will ensure you don’t miss out on any of the action!

 

Hike up the brightness

Your instinct may be to turn down the screen brightness in order to combat the screen glare, however, this will actually make it worse. A brighter screen is easier to see in direct light, so although it won’t combat it completely, it will make it more manageable.

 

Invest in the right equipment

If you are planning to spend a lot of summer making the most of the sunshine, it might be worth looking at equipment that makes using your laptop outside easier. A laptop hood may look silly, but it acts as a cap for your laptop, cutting out the sun’s glare from your screen. Using a laptop stand will ensure the fan is not covered and the laptop won’t overheat - if a stand is available, make sure there is space between the laptop and the surface for air to pass. Some manufacturers offer privacy screens which can be attached to your laptop's screen to reduce glare; although they will help fight the dreaded ‘mirror effect’, it doesn’t usually get rid of it all.

Choose your Screen

Your choice in screen can massively impact the way it reacts to sunlight. Most screens are currently glossy or matte - glossy and matte displays use the same LCD panels, however the major difference between these two types of displays in sunlight is the coating applied to the screen. Glossy displays tend to have more vivid colours and higher contrast- meaning they are pretty useless when they are taken outside in the sunshine. Matte screens have an anti-glare coating applied to them, so they’re much better at preventing reflection- making them better suited to working outside.

Keep an eye on the temperature

Laptop batteries are known for not being heat friendly, so keep an eye on the weather app if you are planning to use your laptop outside for an extended period of time. Most laptops will be fine in up to 30 degrees weather, but using your computer outside in high temperatures risks causing damage to the components of your hard drive - not a conversation you want to be having with your work’s IT department.

 

Think about your wardrobe choice

You’ll notice brighter colours, especially white, reflect back onto the screen pretty badly, you can often make out your reflection in the screen. Darker colours are less likely to reflect too much, however wearing a black t-shirt in summer may be a little against the joy of the season.

Ground-breaking solar technology, ‘Google’s Project Sunroof’, is being made available to residents in Britain for the first time, thanks to a partnership between E.ON, Google and software provider Tetraeder. Project Sunroof from Google is an easy-to-use online tool which allows homeowners to calculate the savings they could make by installing solar technology in their homes.

As the first energy supplier to offer a personalised solar savings estimator in Britain, E.ON is giving homeowners the opportunity to take power into their own hands and get the detailed information they need to make informed decisions about whether solar technology could be a viable option for them. This initiative supports the UK’s target to produce 30% renewable energy by 2020.

E.ON is committed to providing smarter, sustainable solutions for its customers. The innovative Project Sunroof tool uses Google Earth, Google Maps and Machine Learning to estimate how much solar potential a house has by examining the property’s surroundings, weather data, sun positioning, and roof area/angle. Believed to be the most advanced technology of its kind, the tool can even assess the impact of shade from a single tree on the solar output potential of a particular property.

Michael Lewis, Chief Executive of E.ON UK said: “Last year, we successfully launched Google’s Project Sunroof in Germany and we’re delighted to bring this exciting new technology to British homeowners too. At E.ON, we’re aiming to create a better tomorrow by offering customers smarter, innovative solutions like Google’s Project Sunroof and Solar and Storage, our solar PV and battery offering.

“The launch of Project Sunroof is also part of our ongoing efforts to bring fresh digital solutions to market for the benefit of our customers. We’re proud to be the first company, working with Google and Tetraeder, to launch Project Sunroof – a service which is easy to use and highly effective in giving people the in-depth and personalised information they need to make well-informed decisions about whether solar technology is the right solution for them.”

Homeowners in certain regions can now visit eon-solar.co.uk to use Google’s Project Sunroof to learn about the solar potential for their home. The tool not only calculates potential cost savings quickly, it also allows people to sign up and begin their solar panel installation process.

People who take E.ON Solar and Storage could make significant savings on their electricity bills as well as earning money through the FiT scheme. Together this could save and earn typical customers £630 a year.

Nicole Lombardo, Business Development & Partnerships of Google, said: “At Google, we’re deeply committed to sustainability and having a positive impact on the environment. We are excited to help people in the UK make more informed choices about installing solar panels on their rooftops and transition to renewable energy sources.”

Stephan Wilforth, Managing Director of Tetraeder, said: “Since the beginning of the 2010’s, we’ve been developing our own software for the most accurate and efficient forecast of solar yield on roofs to help calculate the cost-effectiveness of PV installations. Our goal is to give homeowners the best possible support when deciding on their own PV system. We are proud to be able to provide our outstanding technology in partnership with E.ON and Google for the British people.”

Over 95% of employees are using company time and technology to check up on their ex-partners via social media, a survey has revealed.

In a survey of 3,000 people, an overwhelming majority (95%) of them said they had looked up their ex-partners on social media whilst at work. These social media snoopers were using sites such as Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn on company time in order to check up on how their exes are doing - despite being in a new relationship.

The survey, conducted by employment law and health & safety consultancy Protecting.co.uk, consisted of interviews with 3,000 people from cities around the UK, including Leeds, London, Edinburgh and Bristol, and who had been in a relationship in the past 12 months.

Participants were asked if they had ever used a social media site to check up on an ex whilst they were supposed to be working, and – if so – how much time they spent scrolling through social media instead of working.

The shocking results showed that, despite the fact that most people have access to a smartphone or computer of their own, a huge number were using company technology to look at their ex-partners.

The reason behind the social media detective work seemed to vary, from those longing for a second chance to some exes just being ‘curious’.

All participants of the survey are now in new relationships, but this didn’t appear to deter them when it came to keeping tabs on a past partner.

Barney, 37, from London, said: “I’m not even bothered about her as I met someone else on Tinder, but I do like to look for some reason.”

Some of the people surveyed were taking a trip down memory lane (from their desk) for nostalgic reasons, like

Zoe, 44, from Leeds, who said: “I cheated on my ex and then regretted it”.

Others, with seemingly less fond memories of their previous relationships, seemed to be hoping karma had caught up with their exes, like

Sam, 27, who stated: “She’s married now, had two kids, and is fat – who’s laughing now, Tracy?”

While a majority admitted to checking up on an old partner, some were a little more abashed about the behaviour than others – although, surprisingly, not due to the risk of disciplinary action at work.

Willow, 23, from Bristol, revealed: “I once clicked ‘Like’ on a photo by mistake… that was embarrassing!”

Leeds was home to the biggest snoopers, with 97% of those surveyed admitting to the social media stalking.

Bristol had the lowest percentage, at a still-staggering 91% - and the average amount of time spent looking up their exes a month varied too.

The worst offender reported 4 hours a month spent scrolling through feeds for a glimpse into their ex’s life – with the average being about 1.5 hours a month. Women were much more likely to check up on an ex’s new life, with 98% of women surveyed admitting they frequently Insta-, Facebook, or Twitter-‘stalked’ an ex.

Chris Hall, Head of Employment Law at Protecting.co.uk, sympathised with employers rather than broken-hearted (or nosy) exes on the issue. He said: “We understand that it can be difficult during a break-up but this type of social media use – and the time it takes away from the employee doing their actual job – is costing employers on average £15 per month per person.

“When you multiply that by the number of lovesick workers using company computers to check up on their exes, that’s billions of pounds each year!”

Outright Games and Crayola, have announced a new partnership to create new video games for children of all ages. The game will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC this fall.

“We are thrilled to partner with Crayola as they return to the video game space,” shares Terry Malham, CEO of Outright Games. “Crayola’s drive to provide kids everywhere with relevant and imaginative virtual activities has been an inspiration to us. As we create entertainment for people of all ages to enjoy, we are excited to combine our expertise to develop a brand new way of experiencing creativity with Crayola.”

Warren Schorr, Vice President of Business Development and Global Licensing at Crayola says “At Crayola, we’re all about inspiring creativity through colour and innovative play experiences, and our partnership with Outright Games allows us to extend that passion to new and exciting areas.”

Grand Theft Auto V has topped a poll to reveal the UK’s favourite video games, according to new research by the UK’s largest independent tech retailer Ebuyer.

The research, conducted though YouGov Profiles, surveyed 279,725 UK adults to find out which video games they most enjoyed playing, and which genre was most popular among the gaming community. The research revealed that nearly 40% of the nation regularly play video games.

The Grand Theft Auto series dominated the list, with the V, IV and San Andreas versions all appearing in the top five. Post-apocalyptic role playing game Fallout 4 took second place, with FIFA 15 taking the fourth spot.

The nation’s top 20 video games, ranked by popularity, are:

  • Grand Theft Auto V  
  • Fallout 4 
  • Grand Theft Auto IV  
  • FIFA 15  
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • Destiny  
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  • Minecraft  
  • Far Cry 4  
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Mario Kart Wii  
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim  
  • Doom  
  • Football Manager 2015  
  • The Sims 4  
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2  
  • The Sims  
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag 
  • Assassin's Creed 
  • Assassin's Creed II

Action and adventure, like Assassin's Creed and God of War, was the most popular genre of video game, with 15% naming it as their top style of video game, followed by driving, fighting or shooting games, such as Grand Theft Auto and Mafia (13%) and first person shooter games, such as Call of Duty and Halo (12%). Platform games (10%), such as Little Big Planet or Mario, and sports games (9%), like FIFA or NBA 2K, complete the top five.

When it comes to the console of choice, Nintendo Wii holds the crown, with 17% of the nation either owning or having access to play on one. Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox 360 were also popular choices, both receiving 14% of the vote. The research also revealed that nearly 20% of the nation play video games on their smartphone at least once a month.

Stephen James, Gaming Marketing Manager at Ebuyer said: “Grand Theft Auto V has the accolade of being named one of the best games ever designed, so it is no surprise that the nation have voted it their favourite video game. We were surprised to see that some of the classic titles, such as Tomb Raider, were pipped to the post by more recent entrants to the market, but the results just show how much the improved graphics, technology and developed storylines we have seen from recent video games resonate with the gaming community.”

 

A host of tech talent was on show at the first Digital Apprenticeship Expo in Haringey this week.

The council, in partnership with Ada, National College for Digital Skills, kicked off National Apprenticeship Week with a showcase of some of the opportunities available in the digital sector, held at Ada’s campus in Tottenham Hale.

Top employers from around the country attended the event, with a wealth information about their apprenticeship schemes.

The highlight of the event was a panel discussion and Q&A facilitated by Ana Herrera, Director of HR and Careers for Ada and featuring representatives from apprenticeship employers IG, Deloitte, EY, and Google.

Cllr Joe Goldberg, Haringey Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Social Inclusion and Sustainability, said:

“It was fantastic to be able to partner with Ada for this exciting event. There is a wealth of untapped digital talent in Haringey and events such as this show people what great opportunities are available to them. Hopefully there will be many more events which help to set young people in Haringey on the right path for top-flight careers in the digital sector.”

Amy Fowler, Head of External Relations at Ada said:

"We were excited to host this showcase for digital apprenticeships, bringing together fantastic industry partners with prospective apprentices from across London. At Ada we are passionate about exposing students to the broad range of careers and companies they could access with an apprenticeship and showing industry the immense benefit apprentices bring. We're proud to be at the forefront of connecting talented young people to great quality careers in the digital sector and events like this one for National Apprenticeship Week help demonstrate that commitment."

Gemma Donnely, Future Talent Manager at IG said:

"This is a great opportunity to showcase our business to people who will soon be taking their first steps into the technology sector. It offers us a chance to tell these people all about IG's apprentice scheme, and helps us shape the thinking of schools so that students are better informed about their options, with hopefully more schools and students considering apprenticeships as a route to a great career."