Category Archives: Technology Tip

download

“Tell me what to do” – Office’s new web feature!

Microsoft has added a new feature to its Office Web Apps in order to take some of the legwork out of formatting your documents. The new “tell me what to do” feature allows you to implement commands into Office that you previously may not have known how to find, by typing the command into a small search bar. Once you begin typing, Office will begin to display possible commands.

An example of this new function would be to type “double space” into the field. Once you type double space into the field, you are given a list of options including Line Spacing. From there, you can enter the line spacing tab and proceed as per usual.

The app is not currently available for the desktop version of office but it is likely Microsoft are just testing it online in order to receive user feedback and to beta its functionality. It would be safe to assume that this feature will be added to the desktop client of Office after positive user feedback and any issues have been debugged.

Other features possibly on the line to be added to Microsoft Office include an easier to access layout (possibly making this cool new feature redundant), an easier rendering of shapes, text boxes and images as well as a more simple way to access end notes and footnotes.

images (1)

Amazon’s Latest Idea: Shipping your goods, before you know you want them!

Amazon knows what you want. So well in fact, that they intend todownload start shipping before you even place your order. In December 2013, the Seattle-based retailer took out a patent on the idea of shipping out goods before an order has even been placed. Items will be shipped based on previous orders, viewing history and other factors.

The idea is to remove the fear of important deliveries arriving late due to being shipped from a distance, encouraging online shopping; specifically from Amazon whilst also discouraging them from visiting physical stores.

This new formula for predicting orders to be placed could significantly reduce delivery time and greatly increase customer satisfaction. In the patent document for this formula, Amazon speaks of the delay between buying and receiving an item online and how it “may dissuade customers from buying items from online merchants”. The patent implies that items could wait to be shipped from the shipper’s trucks or storage hubs.

The patent shows different ways of deciding which items to be shipped to where, using factors from your wish list and search history to your returns and even how long you hover your cursor over products you view. All this is in a direct effort to cut down on delivery needs and to become the leader in a growing trend among businesses; to identify and meet consumer needs before even the consumer themselves do.

Amazon have added next day delivery recently by expanding on their warehouse network and also, in 2013, announced that they would be using unmanned drones to ship out packages in order to decrease delivery time by taking small packages directly from warehouses to the consumer’s door. In the patent, Amazon create the idea of filling out partial addresses or ZIP Codes, and using this to keep the item closer to the potential purchaser, with the rest of the label being filled out in transit.

It is unclear whether or not this new delivery tactic has or will been deployed, as no further comment  has been made, but what it does is it shows just one way which Amazon is willing to manipulate their vast knowledge of their customers in order to leap ahead of competition.

However, the algorithms is not without flaws and in times of error the patent states that customers may be given discounts, or even receive the package as a gift in order to build strong customer-client relationships.

What are your thoughts of Amazon’s latest efforts to stay ahead of the competition? Let us know @4pm

images

Windows XP Draws to a Close – Less than 3 months to go!

After being usable for 12 years, the Windows XP operating

winxpprosystem is finally nearing its end. In roughly 84 days, support for Windows XP will be cancelled. To sum this up, there will be no further updates for functionality or security.

The world is changing and since Windows XP was launched in 2001 there has been more than drastic changes in people’s technological needs. People require software and OS’s that match their needs and keep them ahead of the market. as well as a capability for security and compliance. Windows XP no longer provides these features.

Last year, IDC last year that the longer migration is put off the more expensive it is to support old versions such as Windows XP.  IT labour costs go up 25% in the fourth year of continuing to run Windows XP past deadline,

Security experts have also issued a warning regarding hackers. It is their belief that hackers are storing up “zero-day” threats, targetting vulnerabilities within Windows XP that are created by the lack of support, or existing problems which have remained untouched or unfound.

As well as the security threats and lack of support caused by their “dropping” of the XP operating system, Microsoft also issued a warning that by continuing to use Windows XP, people (business and home users alike) lose out on the speed, functionality and mobility of using a modern computer and operating system.

“It’s a great time to lose the added weight of hefty old workhorse PC and software.  Lighten up and increase your business and personal opportunity through increased productivity and cost savings by shedding XP and Office 2003 for a more agile and mobile operating system, like Windows 8.1 and Office 365. The only gains to be made is your ability to compete more efficiently and effectively in today’s competitive global market,” – Patrick Ward, Microsoft

Do you still use Windows XP? And if so, is this enough to make you abandon it? Let us know @4pm!

images

The Galaxy S5, due for launch in April; with the possibility of Iris Scan Technology

Samsung’s flagship product for its next generation of Android

images (1)phone is set to be far more discernible than its predecessors. The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 is set to be visibly distinct from its S3 and S4 counter-parts, with its newer more stylish design to be the next generation forerunner for the Android Phone, with the possibility of it also including an iris scanner. It is set to ship in March or April, as said by the Korean company’s mobile-product leaders.

“Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology… We are studying the possibility,” stated Young-hee Lee, executive vice president of marketing for Samsung mobile phone division, during an interview with Bloomberg news during the CES exhibition in Las Vegas. The iris scanner works by scanning different patterns in a person’s eye and would give Samsung a competitive edge against iPhone and HTC’s fingerprint technology. However, for the iris scanner to be plausible, it would need to be more than a gimmick or an accessory to avoid the same criticism given to HTC’s One Max phone’s fingerprint authenticator system.

Lee said that the S5 should look significantly different to its predecessors too. “When we moves to S4 to S3 it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market wasn’t as big” she had told Bloomberg. “For the S5 we will go back to basics. Mostly it’s about display and the feel of the cover.”

The S5 is set for release in March or April, roughly a year after the launch of the S4. Simultaneously, a new successor to the “Gear” smartwatch is set to arrive, which will be less bulky and have much more advanced features, while the new Galaxy note, a larger smartphone which targets higher-end customers, is due for launch in the second half of 2014.

Lee also said Samsung will be placing a lot more work into its Tab line of tablets in 2014. At the CES exhibition, it introduced the large 12.2 inch Galaxy TabPro and Galaxy NotePro tablets. The NotePro includes a stylus, and both models will ship in the first quarter.

How do you feel about the Galaxy S5’s idea to add iris-scan technology to their smartphones? Let us know @4pm!

twitter

Self-Twitterising

Twitter has opened its self-serve advertising platform for small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, Ireland and Canada.

Twitter advertising will allow businesses to amplify their presence on Twitter. The US has seen thousands businesses using the service as a way to connect with people in their local communities and beyond.

The service allows for businesses to use Promoted Accounts to build followers who can then act as advocates for the business.

Twitter product manager Ravi Narasimhan explained “You’re in control of your ads, the audience you want to reach, and of course your budget.”

“Best of all, you will only be charged when people follow your Promoted Account or retweet, reply, favourite or click on your Promoted Tweets. You are never charged for your organic Twitter activity,” he said.

Twitter has been used as an effective marketing tool when used correctly and been able to target your tweets could prove to be a useful tool in enhancing your businesses reach.

Let us at 4pm hear what you think!