Archive for Technology

R.I.P. Steve Jobs 1955-2011

The great visionary who brought us Apple and its ground breaking products has passed away. Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) lost his fight against cancer at the age of 56.

From the first Macintosh in 1984 until the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S today, Apple has been leading the evolution of personal computers. It has all been the vision of this great man. Steve Jobs will be sorely missed!

Here’s one of his great speeches, in 2005 at Stanford University:

Steve Jobs stepping down – will it make a difference?

Steve Jobs is stepping down, about time if you ask me. The man’s health has not been the best over the last few years, and it’s about time that he slowed down and looked after himself. Ok, so he’s not leaving Apple completely, I suppose it’s difficult to leave your brain child in the hands of other people. However, Tim Cook seems like a capable guy. I’m sure he will manage Apple just fine.

The big question is, will this make a difference? Is this the end of Apple? The simple answer is – No! The thing is, although Apple have been the most inventive and out-of-the-box tech company in the past, you don’t actually see many new and innovative products as of late. Although I’m sure we’ll probably see these in the future as well, I don’t think they’ll be as frequent as they have been in the past.

What Apple have to do now is to care for the products at hand, i.e. the iPhone, the iPad and of course the MacIntosh computers. They have to make sure to continue developing and improving their existing products, and I’m sure they will manage that just fine, even with Steve Jobs gone.

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for all you’ve done for Apple and the computer industry, and good luck Tim Cook!

Importance of Live Chat On Your Website

Because commerce is becoming centered in an online market, it is becoming more essential for businesses to consider having live chat on their websites. The benefits of online shopping include the ease and convenience at which items can be purchased. People no longer have to leave the home or office to buy products. In the ecommerce generation, consumers can have the products shipped directly to them or a store for pick up. Unlike storefront shopping, online shopping can take place at any time of the day. Unfortunately, the one thing that is missing from the online environment is a sales person that can assist customers with purchases.

Customer service is as essential as having a fluid ecommerce suite. Many online businesses are employing answering services and virtual offices continue to manage their sales & customer service lines 24 hours a day as well as adding live chat to their customer service strategy. Many times, the live chat is coupled with the answering service extending web chat hours to 24. Because of this, is now possible for online businesses to have an accessible sales person for their items at all times. Live chat is a way of making sure that customers can always get in contact with someone. Telephone communication is still a viable option, but live chat is great for quick answers, immediate response, and consumers who prefer a more passive method of communication.

This may seem silly from the business end, but many individuals no longer like talking on the phone if they do not have to do so. The use of text messages, emails, and video chat has greatly reduced the time that many people spend on the phone. Embracing live chat is not costly and it is adding an extra method of communication for the growing subset of the population who prefers typed communication. It offers a quick communciation because someone is there and ready to answer any questions without forcing the customer to leave the site or perform an extra task. Live chat is especially important for businesses that use email as the only form of customer service.

It can take a day or more for an email to be answered depending on the number of emails that the business owner receives. This can result in a loss of sales because this method requires customers to come back to the site at a later date in order to complete a purchase. Impulse shopping serves as a major source of initial online sales. If for some reason the impulse has to be halted while waiting for help, it is a possibility that people will not. An instant messaging service can help “close the deal”.

The use of live chat is a cost effective means of getting and retaining customers. Just as people are more likely to return to businesses with helpful sales staff, people are more likely to return to an online store where help is immediately on hand when desired. For 24 hour service, a live chat module can be combined with an answering service opening up around the click customer service.

The Pope Uses Modern Technology for Live Updates

In this era of social media with Twitter and Facebook as the two most commonly used tools, it has become a lot easier to stay updated and keep others updated with current event. However, as a medium for staying completely up to date, they certainly have their limitations.

The limitations they have are quite obvious, even to an untrained eye … they can’t feed you with live pictures. Sure, with Twitter you can attach still photographs, and they can even be recent (as recent as just before you post it on Twitter). But it is still only a still picture which shows you what happened at that particular moment. With Facebook it’s pretty much the same thing. You’re limited to still photographs.

What about moving pictures then? Well, there’s YouTube, where you can post you films and then link to them via Twitter or Facebook, or what ever other social media you choose to use. However, even with moving pictures it’s still not what I would call a live update.

www.thepapalvisit.org.uk

So what is the solution for live updates then? Well, let me give you an example, a very much current example in fact. Pope Benedict is, as we speak, on a state visit in the UK from the 16th to the 19th of September. For this great and also historical event they have created an official website, http://www.thepapalvisit.org.uk/, where you can follow the Pope 24/7 via a live stream.

Thanks to this I have had the pleasure of attending the Pope’s visit with Queen Elisabeth in Edinburgh, the open air mass in Glasgow, the mass in Westminster Cathedral, as well as the vigil in Hyde Park. All live! I could not have done this with only Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to rely on. In fact, I’m not the only one … millions of people all around the World have joined the Pope on his journey through the UK.

Well done! They have shown us how to fully take advantage of the technology available, and I recommend others to follow in their footsteps.

Security built in

Big news in the tech industry today. Intel buys McAfee! The price: US$7.7 billion. That’s a lot of money for a company who quite recently experienced some problems with their products. You may wonder what the World’s leading chip maker is planning to do with one of the World’s leading anti virus software producers?

Perhaps it’s simply a wish to diversify. To branch out in to a slightly different market. Possibly, maybe even likely. People are not only concerned about their computers being fast and powerful. They are more and more concerned about security. The way we put our lives online for everyone to see makes it important to us that our information is secure.

Is Intel going to keep running McAfee as an independant company, or do they intend to integrate it into the mother company? The idea of built in virus protection in the processor comes to mind, as well as a built in firewall. However, this might not sit well with for instance the EU who previously has, as you probably know, acted quite harshly towards Microsoft because of how they have “forced” MS Explorer on their users.

Well, this deal that took place today was a surprise to the market. No one saw it coming, and it’s not quite clear as to what it will mean. We’ll just have to wait and see what the future of this merger will bring us.