The digital divide in the UK

I’m writing this article at 35,000ft above sea-level, on a flight from London Heathrow to Atlanta. Before taking off, I sat in the marvel of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 building watching MotoGP on my smartphone, in what looked like an immaculate resolution.

My daughter on Ben Nevis - with a view like that, who would prefer to check their phone?
My daughter on Ben Nevis during the summer – with a view like that, who else would prefer to check their phone?

At the start of the summer, I took most of the family and some friends to Fort William to climb Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak. Whilst the 2001 census reported that Fort William has only 10,000 people living in the town, I suspect there is regularly the same number again in tourists and visitors. Whilst in Fort William, my phone hardly had any reception. In fact, my mobile hardly worked north of Glasgow. Other members of the journey were on different networks, and coverage was also patchy across the group. Continue reading

Bitcoin introduction, key facts and opportunities

The number of Bitcoin transactions per day looks like it's waiting for a major retailer to join the party
The number of Bitcoin transactions per day looks like it’s waiting for a major retailer to join the party

Firstly, I want to set some context about Bitcoin and this article. I started this blog when I found myself explaining something to one person, then another, and another, and I thought there had to be a more efficient method of distributing information (together with my opinion!) Three years later, this mantra still holds true. However this article has taken the longest to write because when I have met people to discuss Bitcoin, every conversation seems to approach the subject from a different perspective and I’m asked many great questions, so I’ve delayed this article while I’ve tacked those extra points to this article. At times I felt that I should just write a book, but I never had the guts to ask my wife for the time during our summer holiday!!!

This article is split into five sections mainly to specifically answer some presumptions that people have about Bitcoin:

  1. Introduction, and Bitcoin key facts
  2. Anonymity & Illegality
  3. Opportunities
  4. Conclusion
  5. Further reading

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What Fotopedia’s closure means to everybody

You better hope users stored their photos elsewhere once Fotopedia closed down
You better hope users stored their photos elsewhere once Fotopedia closed down

This week, the website Fotopedia closed down, and this heralded a key stage in the Internet’s maturity.

We’ve seen various Google products shutdown in the past, sometimes with more publicity than they attracted while the product was ‘live’, such as Google Video and Wave. However Fotopedia signals the dangers that lurk behind relying upon consumer-focussed cloud services.

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Making Google Analytics easier to use

Instant analytics dashboard through the Google Analytics Chrome extension
Instant page analytics dashboard via the Google Analytics Chrome extension

If you use Google Analytics to measure the number of visitors to your website, you will love the new Google Chrome toolbar add-on. And if you have multiple sites, it will make your job even easier.

The Chrome Extension sits quietly while you browse, until you visit a site of which you have access to the analytics. At this point, a dashboard at the top of the browser window shows various page stats. You can also minimise these stats to just display real-time information for each page.

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Facebook and Yammer proving the end is nigh for email

Bet you wish you bought some Facebook shares this time last year?
Bet you wish you bought some Facebook shares this time last year

So much for young users leaving Facebook en masse… Facebook’s latest results (Q2 2014) are simply stunning:

  • $2.91bn revenue (from $1.8bn in 2013)
  • $791m profit (from $333m in 2013)
  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 829 million on average for June 2014, an increase of 19% year-over-year.
  • Mobile DAUs were 654 million on average for June 2014, an increase of 39% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.32 billion as of June 30, 2014, an increase of 14% year-over-year. This is an amazing statistic – 18% of the world’s population access Facebook monthly!
  • Mobile MAUs were 1.07 billion as of June 30, 2014, an increase of 31% year-over-year.

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The Future of Digital #Payments

Yours truly at Endava's Future of Payments Event
Yours truly at Endava’s Future of Payments Event. The audience isn’t asleep – they’re tweeting insights from the presentation, or watching the football

For the past 3,000 years payments hasn’t been the most exciting industry, but in the last 5-10 years, there have been dozens of new entrants into the market.

It took 3,000 years to give us pretty much seven payment options: coins, banknotes, debit cards, Diners club, Visa, Mastercard and American Express. In the last ten years, we’ve seen an explosion of disruptive players, all driven through the adoption of the Internet and/or mobile technologies.

Yesterday we hosted an event “The Future of Digital Payments” in London at the magnificent, if slightly warm, Royal Exchange. It was one of the best attended Endava events that we’ve held, despite the World Cup and Wimbledon trying to compete with us!

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Into the Top 10 UK Digital Agencies!

Great work - Endava are now the 10th biggest Digital Agency in the UK
Great work – Endava are now the 10th biggest Digital Agency in the UK

I am incredibly proud of our Top 10 achievement entering the eConsultancy Top 100 UK Digital Agencies this week.

I believe the eConsultancy Top 100 table is the most important award that we enter each year. Last year we came 17th, and were the top Technical agency, but this year’s entry into the Top 10 is even better.

Five years ago we moved across to Endava from IMG, and pretty much starting building a business, albeit with a good foundation, great staff and some impressive clients. We’ve now grown to compete against some of the biggest players in the industry.

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11 lessons about innovation from the New York Times

The BBC Newsroom. Currently peaceful. And sometimes less peaceful.

Whilst doing some research at work on innovation within the Publishing industry, a colleague of mine found a leaked report from the New York Times from March this year (the full article is at the end of this page).

At 94 pages, it’s a must-read for anyone within Publishing. I took 11 key points from the document:

  1. (page 16) Hallmarks of disruptors… number 4: “Initially inferior to existing products.” This is so true. Almost every time we work on a new innovative project, there will always be someone criticising that product A does things better, or product B is more comprehensive. The answer is twofold – firstly, you can have something more superior, but it will take a lot longer and cost a lost more money; and secondly, it’s part and parcel of developing something new. Remember Twitter’s outages? Remember how basic Facebook looked?
  2. Only a third of NYT readers visit the homepage. Just think of the effort in designing the homepage! Google is great at providing users links directly into articles, and users share articles not homepages. This is the proof. Continue reading

How education, healthcare and politics are going to be transformed in the new digital age

I’ve been working on a new presentation for Endava’s Future of Digital Payments event in London at the end of June. The talk will link the Government’s work on the Identity Assurance scheme with the architectural changes that retail banks have been implementing to enable mobile banking through APIs.

Imagine a digital identity as trusted as this paper book
Imagine a digital identity as trusted as this paper book

Banks have been relatively slow to implement APIs, but it will open up more opportunities than they would have imagined at the start of these programmes.

This got me thinking about how identity assurance and digital identity could transform other industries.

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